‘Empire’ Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: Lucious Teaches Hakeem a Valuable Lesson, Cookie Brings Titan to Empire
We're four weeks in and 'Empire' has yet to disappoint. With fans glued to their television screens like fiends, it seems Lee Daniels and Danny Strong are giving soap operas some stiff competition.
With Lucious' son, Jamal, deciding to walk away from the family business and his daddy's money -- at least that's what he wants his family to think -- the show's 11 million viewers were probably wondering if he would last. And by the looks of what's happening on this hip-hop saga, he is. However, he and his partner, Michael, are clearly struggling to make ends meet. In fact, let Jamal tell it and they're living in an apartment too small to hold more than one socket in the wall. But he'll never admit any of that to his father since it's obvious he's not the family favorite.
Speaking of favorites, you would never know Jamal and his younger brother, Hakeem, are being pit against each other as complete rivals by the way they act when they're alone. It's amazing what fuel parents can bring to a family fire.
With his mind focused on "thots and money," Lucious knows he has his work cut out for him if he's serious about grooming Hakeem to take over Empire Entertainment. To get things going, he goes after the show's latest character, Titan, as motivation. His addition will put a few extra dollars in his company's pockets. Ultimately, Lucious wants Hakeem to prove he's as "bad" as Titan. People can only imagine what that line of thinking does for Hakeem's fragile ego. But Hakeem isn't the only one vying for Mr. Lyon's approval.
Anika knows she has a "place" when it comes to her man, his company and her position, but it looks like she's trying to prove she can be a big girl, too. With everyone running around trying to come up with a way to get Titan -- a rapper on Empire's rival label -- on the roster, she candidly volunteers to visit the currently incarcerated rhyme slinger in jail. This way she can persuade him to dump his current contract and sign with Empire.
In other words, she's willing to put herself in the middle of a gang war -- the reason Titan's sitting in jail in the first place -- to show she can play with the big dogs. If you haven't seen the episode yet, here's a spoiler alert: there's a drive-by during her meeting -- Lucious is present -- with Titan's manager, and her chance to play with boys and their guns quickly comes to an end.
But Anika does do one thing right: she proves she's more than a side chick with a job title when producers craft her character to be a loving, passionate girlfriend. She opts to shave Lucious' face when he's physically unable to do it for himself. How sweet.
While Anika's chasing her tail for Lucious, Cookie is going straight to the source to pull Titan to the label: his mother. And what do you know? Empire Entertainment has a new client.
Now, for the random facts and recaps. It looks like Lucious is starting to reminisce over the soft spot he has for his ex-wife because once again, he finds himself checking someone in her honor. This time it's their youngest son. "She's lived through a hell that you'll have to understand if you ever want to make music that speaks to a poetry," he yells. Well, damn! And Tianna decides to part ways with Anika and rock with Cookie. Stayed tuned for that drama.
And finally, Naomi Campbell's found herself a recurring role on TV. This time the super model graces the small screen by licking something off of Hakeem's face. Tianna walks in on Hakeem and his "mama" (Camilla) in the jacuzzi tub -- amateur mistake. Don't give your girlfriend the key to your apartment, boy. Tianna handles herself like a boss when Hakeem finally shows up to sound check for the Teen Choice Awards nominations.
She said she doesn't care about what he did with ol' girl -- she just wants him to get in there so they can "bring the house down." While we haven't heard anyone say, "Let's bring the house down," since the nerdy kid in '10 Things I Hate About You,' she keeps it professional.
By the way, the first rule of music is to "always take the money" -- tonight's lesson by Lucious.