Episode 13 of this delicious show known as Empire begins at Camilla’s funeral, which is super glamorous, and Rhonda’s bangs look incredible.

The city has ruled her death a “murder-suicide," and regardless of how everything really went down, Lucius makes it a point to let Hakeem know that if it weren’t for the video he took of her, she would still be around.

Hakeem and Jamal head to a spooky part of town to attempt to win over Freda, but not before an impromptu musical interlude with the people hanging around in the area. Freda eventually shows up, and declares that Lucius has been like a father-figure to her, and she has no desire to turn her back on him. Hakeem and Jamal attempt to convince her that Lucius has been manipulating her just like everyone else, but in true Freda fashion, she doesn’t want to hear it.

On tour in DC, Tiana and Menage a Trois are butting proverbial heads over Laura’s stage-hogging and Tiana’s flaring diva temperament. Hakeem, who is obviously caught in the middle of it, heads to DC in an attempt to fix things between them. Does it work? No. Why? Because it’s Hakeem!

Freda finds out Lucius has cut her out of “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,” and she swiftly returns to Jamal who is in the process of recording the song he wanted to sing with Freda! She jumps in on the verse, and together they make spiteful, collaborative, anti-Lucius music.

Cookie Lucious Empire
Chuck Hodes, FOX

Lucius, on the set of his new video, has a quasi-mental lapse when everything Cookie sets up for him is a little too real. He finally divulges his traumatic past to her, which seems a little late? But regardless, I’m always so thrilled to see Cookie and Lucius get along because I believe in true love. Cookie convinces Lucius to put his past behind him and commit emotionally to the video shoot.

Back on tour, Hakeem announces a new song at the end of Tiana’s set in Baltimore. Tiana and Laura are undeniably icy to each other.

The real victim of this episode, however, is Cookie. It’s her birthday, and none of her children want to attend her birthday dinner with Lucius there. Just when things start to look really sad, like teddy bear on the dinner table sad, Lucius surprises her with ALL of her children! It was a really tender moment. I love this family even though I can’t fathom this family.

Empire Cookie
Chuck Hodes, FOX

Cookie, as part of her birthday celebration, screens a rough-cut of Lucius’s new music video. The video showcases his past and his mother’s clear mental illness, and Andre freaks out when he realizes she was bipolar. He calls Lucius out for keeping this information from him, and Lucius tells him he was “embarrassed as her as he is embarrassed by him.”

UMM AND THEN HAKEEM PROPOSES TO LAURA? JUST LIKE, HE JUST DOES IT. Outside of a stage door. He just…proposes. Because his family is crazy and he doesn’t want crazy. Ugh. Hakeem!

Rhonda calls Anika to come to her rescue from the Lyon birthday dinner, which is equivalent to calling a shark to blood. The scene is very short, but I can’t help but feel like Rhonda’s on her way out this season.

To end the episode, Freda shows up to one of Jamal’s recording sessions. Cookie finds out Freda is Frank’s daughter, which throws her into a panic, and she retreats into a well-lit space in the back of the studio to reflect on her past crimes, Lucius’ past crimes, and Freda’s involvement in it all. Will Freda find out how the Lyon's screwed her over? Will Cookie's fear of retribution become fully-realized?


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