This week's episode of Empire was full of irony and the Lyon family walking in their truth. During episode 7 of season 2, Lucious was forced to face his demons and use his personal experiences in his music. Elsewhere, Cookie and Jamal make up.
The episode picked up from last week’s jaw dropping ending with Cookie and Laz getting it in. Her new lover/promotional partner convinced her to stay in with him and work from home between sessions. In the midst of their physical romance, Cookie manages to lend some musical advice to Jamal, whose been working on a new song for Lucious.
Meanwhile, Lucious is putting in work with his new favorite, Freda Gatz, who struggles to find inspiration. He tells her to confront her "monsters.” It’s baffling how he’s taken her under his wing after he had her father killed earlier in the season.
During their multi-day rendezvous, Laz gives Cookie an idea for a concert event. He sneaks away from the music maven on the premise of getting a newspaper and meets with his business partner, who was also involved in Hakeem’s kidnapping. The two discuss their plan to steal from Lyon Dynasty and the upcoming event Cookie has in the works.
Once Lucious gets Freda Gatz to knock their “Boom Boom Boom Boom” collaboration out of the park, he heads to the home of Huey Jarvis, an award winning studio exec. Legend is living room sessions at Huey’s home somehow always lead to award wins. But to his surprise, Huey takes interest in Freda Gatz but tells Lucious that he needs to dig deeper lyrically. His feedback sends Lucious spinning into a series of flashbacks where he steals his mother’s bullets and buries them in the backyard.
Cookie decides to throw a party to announce her upcoming "Cookie Cookout" Summer Jam concert. Hakeem’s group, Mirage A Trois performs, but there seems to be some competition between supporting group member Carmen and Laura, the group’s lead. Cookie urges Hakeem to make Carmen the group’s lead.
Marisa Tomei, who plays Mimi Whiteman, is back in the boardroom and she’s not pleased with Empire’s stock performances. During a meeting, she ignores Andre’s caveats and pushes for a merger with an up-and-coming streaming service. Lucious sides with his investor and basically asks Andre to pimp himself out to the Deputy Mayor in order to get Freda Gatz’s gang charges dropped. His father’s proposition leaves Andre at a moral crossroad as he tries hard to stay on the straight and narrow path since his baptism.
Cookie and Jamal set up a secret meeting, share a bottle of bubbly and end up sneaking to the studio together where they work on music until they’re interrupted by Hakeem. Jamal happens to make it out undetected to avoid heat from his father and brothers.
Elsewhere, Andre meets with his pastor and confesses about his one time suicide attempt. He informs him of his father’s request and the pastor advises him to do “repugnant” things if it serves their larger goal. Did I forget to mention that Andre and the Deputy Mayor had an affair last season?
Mimi brings Lucious to a boxing gym where he gets in the ring with a CEO of a music streaming company she mentioned to him before. When the exec taunts him, Lucious knocks him out cold. Apparently, his comments struck a nerve.
Back in the Deputy Mayor's office, Andre manages to resist her advances and ultimately convinces her to drop the gang injunction charges against Freda Gatz with a video of one of their hookups. He proceeds to go home and celebrate his win with his wife Rhonda.
Despite Cookie’s push for a switch in the group’s lead, Hakeem has faith in Laura, the girl he found singing at a bar. He spends time grooming her into the superstar and vocal powerhouse his mother is looking for and even enlist some help from Tiana for a lesson in body movement and star quality.
Things are still hot and heavy between Cookie and Laz in between their lip locks, he convinces her to to have her summer jam at a venue operated by his shady business partner.
Jamal issues Laura a challenge, taking her to New York City's Hudson Plaza, where she sings a Spanish rendition of "I Will Survive." She’s met with a slew of cell phone cameras and cheers and Hakeem is convinced that a star has been born. Even Hakeem looks shocked when she plants a wet one on him after she’s done.
Lucious heads to the hospital to apologize for laying out the CEO of SwiftStream. After his potential business partner gets snappy, Lucious signals for Mimi to toy with the guy’s morphine drip. Things get a bit hazy and he agrees to make a deal with Empire.
Cookie holds a business meeting of her own and Hakeem happens to walk in as she’s making a deal with the Longhorn tattoo having kidnappers who snatched her son. Guns are quickly drawn but things are settled and they decide to give the shady dudes 15 percent in exchange for the concert venue. Hakeem warns his mom not to trust Laz.
Jamal performs his new song in Huey’s living room and he proudly tells Lucious that his son has got something special and Lucious is insanely jealous. He grows suspicious that Jamal has been working with Cookie.
To drown out his ex’s apparent win and celebrate their Swiftstream deal, Lucious gets drunk with Mimi, who shows up at the club with an array of lovely ladies. Lucious takes his pick and things are about to go down with Mimi also getting in on the action. Their three-way comes to a halt when Mimi receives a phone call that leaves her in tears and Lucious discovers the girl’s gun tattoo on her thigh.
The revelation brings Lucious’ flashback full circle. He finds a gun and is taken back to his childhood when he buried his mother’s bullets. Hellbent on finding her bullets, Lucious’ mother discovers that he forgot one and proceeds to play Russian Roulette in front of him. The song “Boom Boom Boom Boom” gets a whole new meaning and Lucious uses his newfound fire to put the finishing touches on his collab with Freda Gatz. He tells her that history is in the making.