As season 2 of Empire approaches its midseason finale, the Lyon clan faces several unexpected plot twists as Cookie searched for her missing sister while Jamal connected with a new artist played by Alicia Keys. During episode 9 (“Sinned Against”), Laz gets exposed, one of Cookie’s sisters threatens to reveal a secret and Lucious tries to get Hakeem back on Empire. We've recapped five of the best moments from the episode below.
This week’s episode picked up with Cookie and her sister Candace, played by Vivica A. Fox, frantically searching the streets of Philly for their other sibling, Carol, who they believed was on a drug binge. Soon after their reunion, Cookie and Candace clash. Cookie then decides to seek out Pepper (Rosie O’Donnell), her old prison cell mate who was now working in a bakery. They ultimately find Carol strung out and make her decide who she wants to live with. Carol chooses to go with Cookie, despite the fact that Candace is caring for her kids. Cookie’s sisters are apparently keeping a secret about something Carol did while Cookie was locked up and Candace holds it over her head.
Deal or No Deal?
While Cookie is out of town, she leaves Hakeem in charge of Lyon Dynasty. Meanwhile, Laz is pressured to speed up the Cookie shake-down by Big Heavy and his shady associates. But apparently, Laz has fallen for Cookie and has a change of heart, which leads him to calling the deal off. Hakeem pissed to see them at Lyon Dynasty, urges Laz to finalize the plans for Cookie’s Cookout, which had already sold out. They are forced to book a second show. In a last ditch effort to save face from his sketchy dealings, Laz proposes a new venue. Lucious, who appears jealous of Cookie’s new romance, does some research of his own and exposes Laz as one of the guys involved in Hakeem’s kidnapping.
After buying parents-to-be Andre and Rhonda a house and becoming jealous of Jamal at the Pepsi video shoot, Lucious decides to try his hand with Hakeem and offers him one last chance to resign with Empire. Lucious promises to make his youngest son a partner and mentioned his gift to Andre. Hakeem, however, insists he couldn’t be bought. Lucious ultimately pulls a risky move to kick up enough money to be the sole owner of the streaming service.
During episode 8, Rhonda and Anika somewhat bonded over their pregnancies, even though Anika has not yet made the big reveal. She visits Rhonda and Andre’s new home and subtly reveals that she is still hung up on her relationship with Hakeem. Rhonda, unaware of what’s really going on, encourages Anika to take down anyone who stands in the way of her love. Anika proceeds to crash Hakeem’s party, diss Laura and tell him that he can do better. Elsewhere, Anika talks to Hakeem, insisting there is an “us,” which leads him to yell at her, “You won’t ever be a Lyon!”
Stay in Your Lane
At Lucious’ home, Jamal is introduced to pop sensation Skye Summers, played by Alicia Keys. Eager to show off a new side of herself, Skye opens up to Jamal about being forced to stay in her pop lane. The middle Lyon convinces her to step out of her box and she informs Lucious that she would like to work with his son. By the end of the episode, Jamal and Skye have established a strong connection as they work on their duet, a song called “Powerful.” Their passionate performance leads to a kiss before the episode ends.