Previously on Empire...
With Andre out, Pamplemousse is gonna have to expand its role managing Empire.
That means the return of its most profitable CEO.
I'm stuck between either being able to protect Empire or protect Andre.
Let's team up on this.
Come down to BossyFest.
We will be hosting on stages all across New York City.
Your daughter's the real thing, man.
Just keep it business, Lucious.
Where did your little, young ass learn how to put those soulful words together?
I didn't. Lucious did.
I'm getting on that plane for the mission trip and I'm never coming back.
Our meeting was the beginning, so I'm thinking of you now as I'm facing the end.
I love you, always.
Do me a favor. Yeah.
Please make sure that Cookie gets this.
Your mama can't save you now, sucka!
I got half a mind to shove dynamite down your throat and light the fuse.
So why don't you spill your mama's secrets, or else?
Get this! Ha!
Now, just like the day after Thanksgiving, I'ma toss the rest of you jive turkeys out, you dig?
Now I done had it with you low-life skeezeballs messing with my business, but now?
You done come after my son. Bring it.
Come on, brothers, let's go.
Ha! Let's get it on.
I've been waiting for this, you sanctified bitch.
You belong to me, bitch.
You got one!
Relax your nerve, baby, because Cookie always arrives on time.
In my dream, I was invincible.
You know, I...
I could do no wrong.
Then I wake up and it's all a mess on top of a mess.
I'm launching a huge festival while my oldest son is trying to run off to God knows where.
Doesn't he have the right to make his own choices, like you did?
You described yourself as a shy Catholic school girl who became Cookie Lyon, the media mogul.
You chose that.
Look, I didn't choose a lot of things in my life, okay?
My mother left us.
And then I realized my father and my sisters were a wreck.
And then I saw it clear as day.
I was the only person left with shoulders strong enough to carry the load, so I did.
You describe Loretha as a girl with her world upended, yet Cookie refuses to lose.
How did that come about? Loretha becoming Cookie?
Lucious gave me that nickname.
I mean, his life was interesting.
It was, um, dangerous and it was exciting and so I just leaned into it, child.
I mean hair, clothes...
But what happened to Loretha?
You know, talking about all this Cookie and Loretha stuff, that ain't gonna make Andre stay.
Cookie is more than a nickname.
She's a persona, your armor and your sword.
But are you in touch with Loretha?
What do you mean?
Many black women feel the pressure to be superwomen, like in your dream.
They feel they're expected to conquer everybody's problems without showing any weakness or vulnerability.
The thing is, that's an impossible standard.
Do you think that's how you lost Loretha to Cookie?
Look, I'm about to lose my son, mm-kay?
I got a huge festival to run and a green-eyed bitch on my back, okay?
I can't sit here and yap about Catholic school, child.
Guess what? Hmm?
BossyFest is completely sold out...
Whoo. And the live streaming is gonna definitely give the ASAs a run for their damn money, so.
Question is, what's gonna happen with Kelly Patel and Giselle?
Well, I'm sure they got some tricks up their sleeves after we "Me Too" dragged their asses.
Oh, there he is.
I was just gonna store some of my stuff here or I can send it to Goodwill.
Um, baby, look.
I know you've gone through a lot in the last few months.
Look, it's a lot for anybody.
Your father and I think that you should just stay put.
You know, just... just try a staycation.
I appreciate your concern, but my flight leaves tomorrow.
I'm gonna be on it.
Andre, please listen to your mother for a minute.
I listened to you, Ma, I listened to you.
I tried to talk to Teri. It was a disaster.
Look, regardless of what happened with Teri, son, you just got out of the damn facility.
I mean, give yourself a little time to relax and make sure your meds are calibrated before you go trying to demonstrate down in some other country.
I got stuff to do. Andre.
I love you both. I always will.
I hope you didn't make us late typing up that corset.
Man, private flights mean you can't be late.
Kelly Patel and that push-up bra fell right into our little trap.
I hope persecuting the only black-owned business by Pamplemousse is worth it.
But who gives a damn?
Let's un-gentrify the neighborhood.
All right, Mr. Robinson.
Okay, it's about damn time y'all got here.
Let's all get seated and start this meeting, please.
What the hell is going on here?
Oh, God, I thought Frik was slow but it looks like Frak is just as challenged.
Okay, look, playtime is over, Cookie.
Lucious, this is Pamplemousse's boardroom, not a street fight.
You have no grounds here.
Should I tell her or should you?
Well, I think it's best coming from the first female board member of Pamplemousse.
Well, that can't be
'cause you have to vote to ratify a new board member.
Well, actually, it's two new members.
In view of these very sensitive times in which we live in, I think a worldwide brand should not be granting promotions from a bedroom, do you?
Yeah, Kelly looks like the type that likes it on all fours.
This is beyond ridiculous.
We came here to clear the air and lay out a path for the future.
While you two were busy playing checkers, we, well, we weren't playing games at all.
Two hours ago, we all agreed Pamplemousse needed to add a bit of color and femininity in order to clean up the mess that you two have created for the company.
You know what?
In fact, let's get this official vote started now.
All in favor? Yes.
Listen, listen, listen.
We are here to lay out a five-year plan to launch Empire to become the biggest media platform on this side of the planet.
Do you understand? Just hear me out.
No, you listen, Linda.
Take your tired ass and your nipple confidence and get to stepping and take his little, tight ass too.
You are fired.
Again, girl, bye!
Nobody want to hear what you got to say.
Keep your legs closed, child.
Keep your personal affairs to yourself next time.
She got nobody else.
Cook, what's wrong with you, man?
I mean, we won and you looked like somebody just stole your dog.
I'm just thinking.
I went to therapy today.
We were talking about how Loretha just left and Cookie appeared.
How did that happen?
Do you even hear yourself right now?
I mean, you're still the same, sweet Loretha that I fell in love with all those years ago.
Cookie, that's the monster that needed to show up to defend Loretha and the people that Loretha loves.
Loretha is still right there.
You're more than just somebody that survived, Cook.
Loretha is one of the most beautiful, kind, and loving, and baddest bitches walking on two feet on this planet.
You done took everything that life has thrown at you, you done took everything I threw at you, and you're still standing.
That didn't break you, it made your ass stronger.
I really needed to hear this.
Oh, man, I got you.
Whatever happens, we're always gonna make a good team.
Here you go, dear.
Now, you know you ain't gonna see Walker or Teri if you go to Uganda.
And I keep telling you Teri wants nothing to do with me, Hakeem.
Bro, she might change her mind. What about Walker?
Maybe he's better off without me.
I was a baby when Mom left.
You know how that was?
You want that for your own kid?
Told you family's everything and you gotta fight.
It's over, Hakeem. It's finished.
She doesn't trust me with Walker.
She doesn't trust me with anything.
We got lawyers on retainer.
Go get your son.
I can't deal with this, like, no.
No, no, no, what is this? Kash, I hear it too.
Don't worry about it.
We just have a few more kinks to work out on our end and so why don't you just take a five and when you're back, it'll be all good, I promise.
Why don't we just take 60 since you're wasting my time?
This is amateur night or something? Girl.
You will not embarrass me and Kash Doll tonight in front of the entire world.
The whole world's watching? Girl, don't be smart, okay?
I don't want my artists to sound like they're underwater.
We're in sound check, Becky. That's the whole point.
We fix the issue before a performance, you know that.
Okay, I don't understand how you produced the track, you wrote the lyrics, and you still got it wrong.
Wow. That's low.
Is it? Yeah, even for you.
Well, guess what, sis?
We don't gotta be friends, do we?
Just secure the bag.
Mm, that is a beast, man.
That's what I'm talking about.
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Give us a minute.
Yeah, we're gonna put this right out on Empire Xstream just as Yana is taking center stage at that BossyFest.
I heard you're putting her out on tour?
You're damn right, I am. European tour.
She's about to be a megastar.
Well, you called that one early, bro.
But yo, I've been watching her in the booth lately, man.
She been sweating.
Seem like she's doing it more for you than she is for herself.
She's a good girl, you know?
Problem is, she's just a little too smart for her own good.
Why do you say that? That song?
She figured out it was about Cookie.
I knew it, man.
Did you tell her what she needed to hear?
You're damn right, I did.
Didn't feel good telling her that, though.
Cookie's your day one, man.
She given you three beautiful kids, y'all built a mega business.
Ain't no Yanas gonna go fill that void, man.
If you told her the truth, it would only hurt her.
This way, she's protected.
Yeah, man. How long does that go on?
I mean, it's just a matter of time before she figures it out.
What's this about, Lucious?
I've got a thousand things to do to get ready for BossyFest.
I know, I just wanted to tell you in person that I'm gonna go on that tour with Yana.
You could've texted me that, Lucious.
Something else I didn't tell you.
That song, "Home Is On The Way," is about you and me.
It's about us.
You're telling me something I already know.
No, I wrote the lyrics from some of the letters that I wrote for you while you was in prison.
You never wrote me no letters with your trifling ass.
What are you talking about?
I just never sent them, but I wrote them.
You let me rot in that prison cell all those years thinking you didn't care about me.
At the time, I thought you needed to be hard in order to survive in there, and I thought that these letters would just weaken you, so...
So you sent divorce papers instead.
I can't make the past go away, but uh, I needed you to know, um, whatever love was left in my heart died the day you got locked up because I should've been there for you.
I lied when I told you that I built Empire on my own without you, 'cause the truth is you were the reason that I didn't allow it to fail.
Because I didn't want those 17 years you spent in there to be in vain.
I just didn't have the heart to tell you, and, uh...
I was too young and too dumb, you know?
Those 17 years... it's not on you.
You have no idea how it's not on you.
What do you mean?
Our lives were moving fast, you know?
Kids, money, streets, and you had the talent to change our lives.
All this time, I thought going to prison meant that I was strong.
I was so wrong, Lucious.
I wasn't brave enough to invest in me without you.
But that's changed now.
You wrote all of that?
I should've sent 'em.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda.
You and Yana have a good time on tour.
I just needed you to know.
So, mm, let me get this right.
No sidekicks, no co-hosts. No.
No comedians, no sad, sappy white girls with three cats.
Just me and America, baby.
They better get ready
'cause Cookie's got her own show, now.
I've got a perfect idea for a segment with two incredible women.
One divorced, one single, but both sassy and sexy.
You and Carol? Mm-hmm.
Oh, okay. I'll produce it.
And we'll call it, uh, "Bougie and the Ho."
Shut yo ass.
So how's this show gonna be different than, uh, Tea Talk?
Uh, what's gonna be different? Mm-hmm.
I did 17 years in prison, honey.
I went through the fire, got therapy, left Lucious's ass, came out on the other side whole and happy.
My journey is the angle, Candace.
Left Lucious behind? Mm-hmm.
I spent all my life putting that man first, and through therapy, I've learned that it's okay to be selfish, to put myself first, and that's what I'm doing.
So he is my ex who is now my friend.
Girl, if you believe it, ain't my place to doubt it.
I can love Lucious without being in love with him.
Come on, now.
You ain't gotta front on me, Cookie.
'Cause it's the same as it ever was.
Ever since the two of you locked eyes on that corner in Philly.
Thank you so much for your permission, honey.
But love is about choice, and this grown-ass woman is making her choice.
And I think we should toast to that before I kick your ass.
Let's toast. Mm-hmm.
To choices. To choices.
For me choosing to kick your ass.
You hungry? Yes, let's eat something.
"And said I, 'Woe is me, for I am undone
"'because I am a man of unclean lips
"'and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.
"For mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'
"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? Who shall go for us?'
"And said I, 'Here am I.
Teri, it's Andre.
I don't want to ambush you again.
I just need you to know that I'm staying in town.
I can't prove it today, but I will be the man that my son can look up to.
I will and I don't mean to pressure you, you know.
This isn't about lawyers.
It's not about threats or anything like that.
I prayed on this and... and I hope you will, too.
I just need you to know that when you're ready...
When you're ready, I'll be here for my son.
So, Maya, let's talk about your upbringing and your mother.
Um, well, I like to focus on the right now, which is BossyFest.
Cookie Lyon, your mother-in-law, was cellmates with your mother.
Jill, these weren't the talking points.
A woman who was raped and impregnated with you.
That had to shape your early years.
Talk about that journey from prison baby to wife of Hakeem Lyon.
That's quite a climb.
Okay, you know what? Mm, Jill, that, um...
This interview is over. My wife is crying.
I don't care about nothing else right now.
Get your ass out of here. Stop.
You see me? You okay?
Hey! What's up?
Y'all ready for BossyFest to put it on ya?
Then give it up for Hakeem and Maya Lyon!
Live from BossyFest Harlem, give it up for Kash Doll!
It's gonna be flawless, Lucious.
Yeah, I know. It's gotta be.
Make you sure you get everything on point on stage.
You always got me on my back foot.
You're going to Europe with my daughter?
Look, I figured since you and her were talking again that maybe she wanted to be the one to tell you.
Man, I can't believe my little girl going on a European tour, man.
I gotta admit, you made good with your promise to make her a star.
And you kept it professional. You did.
She's a good girl.
You did good, man.
Ah, thank you, Lucious.
Put your hands together for Bossy's own Tiana!
Can we talk about me being a super messy bitch for a bit?
I don't have time for your multiple personalities, 'cause one of 'em told me let's keep it strictly business.
So let's do that.
I know I said that and I'm really sorry about that.
I don't know who that was.
I'm also really sorry that I stole your song and gave it to Kash Doll, and I want to make amends, so can... so the last verse on Tiana's bop is all yours.
The track has already been extended and Tiana knows that you're gonna join her.
Are you serious right now?
Not bad for your first performance, right?
Becky, do not play with me, 'cause I will catch you...
I will beat your ass back here if you're playing with me, okay?
You can put away your paws, Porsha.
I really just want to right one of my biggest wrongs, and I'm just trying to get my friend back.
Yes, bitch! Yes!
I'm really sorry.
Are you for real? You gotta go, though.
Like, right now? Give me your purse.
Do me a favor.
Introduce me as, uh, Loretha... no, Loretha "Cookie" Lyon.
Did I just hear that? Loretha "Cookie" Lyon?
Sounds good. It feels good.
Now, let's hear it for a legend.
Loretha "Cookie" Lyon!
All right. How y'all feeling?
Oh, Yana, um...
When you get out there...
I mean, that crowd is gonna be really, really loud, so don't try and over-sing them, you know?
Don't make a moment, just let the moment happen.
It's gonna be perfect.
Vocal coaching, Lucious?
I know you, Lucious. That's not what you wanna say.
What is it?
Yana, we're gonna talk about it after the performance.
Just... You're not going?
You're not going to Europe with me?
I saw this coming. I saw it.
She has your heart, Lucious.
She always has and she always will.
I want y'all to keep that same energy for our rising star at Bossy.
Please welcome Yana.
How are you, BossyFest?
Being here was a million miles away from what I thought I wanted, but then I, um, I met someone who inspired me to dream.
And instead of doing my new single tonight, I would like to sing a song that he wrote.
It's about love.
I think you may know it.
Make sure that child don't miss his cue.
You know he ain't so bright. Go on.
Andre! Hey, Ma.
You're still here. Does that mean you're staying?
Well, I was all set to go and then I realized I have more reason to stay.
Oh, boy, that's what I've been trying to tell you.
Come here. You were right, Ma.
As soon as this is over, we are gonna celebrate.
I feel like the Lyons coming through a storm, baby.
Come on. Whoo!
Thank you, BossyFest!
That was amazing.
Wait a minute, Yana. Come on.
Hold up a second. Hold up for what, Lucious?
Stop trying to make me your stepping stone to your ex-wife.
Believe it or not, I do love you, I really do.
I know you do, just not the way that you love Cookie.
Doesn't mean that it's all bad, what we did.
You yourself said that you couldn't imagine that you would be here at the doorstep to superstardom.
And you're here, right?
I don't want to hate you.
You are still that silky voice that just grabbed all my attention in that bar.
And now you're gonna do that to everybody in the whole damn world.
They're gonna have that same joy.
It's just you made me believe in music again.
And sadly, this song is what we have left to remember the rising young star, Yana Cross after her sudden death.
She was shot and killed in Manhattan at the musical festival BossyFest.
Authorities continue to search for her killer, and we'll keep you posted here as we learn more information.
Despite my best efforts, Damon Cross is still breathing oxygen.
You mean he might be coming after us?
Look, in view of the present threat, in addition to your usual security, we've arranged for you guys to have 24/7 added detail to you and your families until everyone is safe.
We also have decided to cancel the Empi movie premier just to keep everybody safe.
Man, that's wack.
An attack on one is an attack on all.
The Lyons have never backed down before and we're not about to start now.
We trust you handle Damon, Pop, just like you pulled us through every other crisis we have ever faced.
The show must go on.
Okay, well, then we lock down Leviticus tight as a drum.
It's good to have you back, son.
You always make it back.
You can't deny what's in your blood, Pop.
Promise me that you're gonna leave Damon out of this at least until the premiere.
Unfortunately, that's not up to me.
That's up to Damon.
So what do you think?
Oh, well, you finally look like the proper ho.
Philly Street, what are you doing here?
This is from your man.
He won't let me help.
He's taking on Damon by himself.
Loretha, from the moment I saw you, I knew we were meant to be.
I've messed up a million times, but you never stopped believing in me.
You took away from me what matters the most.
You gave me Empire, you gave me our boys, you gave me life.
Our meeting was the beginning, so I'm thinking of you now as I'm facing the end.
I love you, always.
What's that about?
You were right.
He's the love of my life and it might be too late.
Oh, my God.
Oh, no, no, no! No, Lucious!
Lucious, Lucious, Lucious, Lucious, Lucious, Lucious.
Come on, damn it! Breathe!
Breathe! Think about your sons, Lucious.
Get up! Think about me!
Yes, yes, thank you.
Thank you, thank you, God.
It's all over.
It's over? It's over.
It's okay. It's okay.
It's okay. We won.
This is what it was all for. Yes.
This is our family's night, Lucious.
I'm so happy the family's coming together.
It's like nothing we couldn't accomplish, Cook.
Thank y'all so much.
Um, this is the night that we've all been waiting for, 'cause this isn't just my story.
The truth is, this is our story, the story of our very lives.
But before we get into all of the Lyon secrets, honey, I would like to give it up for the cinematic reincarnation of Lucious Lyon by our son, Hakeem!
To the Empire! To the Empire!
To the Empire!