“Empire” Season 1 Episode 4 “False Impositions” aired last Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. on FOX. In this episode, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), in an attempt to undermine Billy Beretti (Judd Nelson), who had ripped him off in the past, decided to sign on the rapper Titan (Jim Beanz). He was jailed for shooting a gangster who had burned down his local community center. To this end, Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey) and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) tried to get him for Lucious, but it was Cookie’s visits to Titan’s mother that saved the day. Meanwhile, Jamal Lyon (Jessie Smollett) refused his payment for backing up younger brother Hakeem (Bryshere Gray). He finally got to write his new single after taking a walk around his new apartment. Meanwhile, Cookie became the manager of Tiana (Serayah). She also managed to produce a great duet for Hakeem and Tiana to perform at the Teen’s Choice Awards Nominations Concert at Leviticus. Back at home, Lucious came clean to Anika about his diagnosis. Read on to learn more about this episode.
At home, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) pressured his youngest son, Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) to continue to record in the studio. He didn’t have enough songs to release and album yet. However, he complained and told his father that his older brother, Lucious’ second son, Jamal (Jessie Smollett) didn’t have any songs yet. He was “too busy complaining” about how awful his new apartment in Bushwick was. Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey), the head of A & R and Lucious’ girlfriend suggested that they push back the release date, which Lucious refused to do. However, their meeting was interrupted by Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson). She barged in and demanded a better office, and “benefits for Porsha.” He has given Becky (Gabourey Sibide), a “dead person’s Social Security number.” Before leaving, Cookie told Hakeem. He refused to even touch his mother, to stop rapping as if he was “from the streets” because he has never experienced that. He told him that the reason why his song “No Apologies” was good was because he had rapped from his heart.
Afterwards, Tiana (Serayah) asked Cookie to listen to her demo. She asked for some advice as to how to make it better because she knew that Cookie was better in this than Anika, who she described as “a suit.” She also asked her to be her manager. It was because she was impressed with the song that she had given Jamal to sing the other night, during the family dinner.
Meanwhile, Lucious took away Hakeem’s all access passes to see the rapper Titan. She gave it to Becky so that Hakeem could work on his songs. While there, during a fight in the club where Titan performed, Titan shot the leader of a certain gang, which landed him in jail.
The next morning, Lucious discovered that he couldn’t shave his face at all because of his sickness, and finally told Anika about his diagnosis. She then, with tears in her eyes, took the shaver, and shaved him herself.
At the office, Anika was surprised to find Cookie presiding over her meeting. She told everyone that she was also now handling Tianna. As they continued the meeting, Lucious told them that he wanted Titan to sign with Empire Entertainment Enterprises, even though he was being represented by Creedmore. It was owned by Billy Beretti (Judd Nelson), with whom Lucious had some history with. He then pulled Anika aside. He explained to her that the reason why he was being so hard on everyone, especially on Hakeem. He dis it in order that he could die reassured that his company was safe, and was being run by one of his sons. Anika then volunteered to talk to Titan at the county jail, after Cookie volunteered to help out in signing on Titan for Empire. However, Lucious wouldn’t let Anika go, as Titan was now being targeted by the gang members of the leader whom he had shot, and told her that Vernon Turner (Malik Yoba) would handle it. However, Mr. Mitchell, Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) and Vernon believed that this was a big mistake on Lucious’ part. Lucious then decided that Anika would meet up with Titan’s manager and that Cookie needed to “handle” Jamal, who hadn’t produced any other songs yet.
At Jamal’s new apartment, he complained to his mother about it. However, Cookie told him that his new place wasn’t as bad as the apartment that she and Lucious used to live in back in Philadelphia. She then told Jamal that he really needed to start working on his songs, and that they didn’t have any time for his “mind block”, as he had claimed that his songs weren’t ready yet.
Back at Lucious’ house, Anika informed Tiana and Hakeem that she was able to get a duet performance for them at the Teen’s Choice Awards Nomination Show, as they were going to shoot the show at Leviticus. Tianna then informed her new manager about it, who told her that Hakeem should rap to her new song, “Keep It Movin’”. Tiana then reassured Anika that Cookie wasn’t going to sabotage or harm the performance in any way.
The next day, Cookie, dressed in a headscarf, as she knew that Fatima, Titan’s mother, was a follower of the Nation of Islam, paid her a visit. There she was able to connect with Fatima. She learned that the gang member that Titan had shot had burned down their local community center the other day. That center was close to his heart as he used to record his first songs there. It was also because he had gone there every day after school when he was growing up. She then told him that Lucious could help Titan get out of prison.
Meanwhile, back at the office, Detective Walker (Damon Gupton) informed them that they were able to narrow down Bunkie Campbell’s (Antoine McKay) time of death. He asked Lucious where he was on that particular day and time. Andre, who noticed that his father was lying, covered for him, and informed the detective that they had been together the entire night. As he covered for his father, he remembered that when he was younger, there was an instance that the cops inspected their home. On the other hand, he had hidden his father’s gun inside his case of Lego blocks.
Later that night, Lucious and Anika met up with Titan’s manager. He was his cousin, and who was also under a particular gang. While they discussed, a drive-by shoot out happened, and Lucious, much to Anika’s dismay at the fact that Lucious treated her like a porcelain doll, protected Anika from any harm.
The next day, Cookie informed Lucious that she had talked to Titan’s mother. She looked willing to help them convince Titan to sign with them. But she warned Lucious that it would mean “inviting the Nation of Islam” back into his life. She had warned him ahead of time because she knew that Lucious’ father had been killed a member of the Nation. Before she left, he told her that he had never really forgotten her. He also told her that he had done everything, and had made sacrifices so that Cookie could have all the material wealth that she needed. However, Cookie told him that she didn’t really need all that wealth because before, they only had each other.
Back at the studio, Lucious scolded Hakeem and told him that even if he couldn’t find it in himself to love his mother, that he needed to respect her, because she knew a lot about music, and was a good producer. He also told him that he should listen to what Cookie was saying because “she lived through hell.” If Hakeem ever wanted his raps and music to “elevate to poetry,” he should try to understand all the suffering that Cookie had gone through.
Afterward, Lucious was surprised by a visit from Jamal. He gave him back the money that was paid to him by Empire for backing up Hakeem at Leviticus. He then told his father that he was just helping out Hakeem, and that he believed in his own talent. After he left, Lucious smiled, as he was proud that his son was becoming more like a man.
At Leviticus, Lucious told Vernon that he did not want Titan anymore. He was too “heavily involved with the Fruit of Islam.” However, Beretti came and warned Lucious not go public, or else he would “dig up” Lucious’ past and “bury Empire and everyone in it” with what he was going to dig up on him. Because of this, Lucious decided that he wanted Titan to be in his roster again.
It turned out that Beretti made a killing out of exploiting other musicians’ work. He used to work with Lucious. After Lucious learned that Beretti had had himself credited on the album itself, and made money off its sales, had decided to drop him.
Meanwhile, Cookie, who had prepared dinner for her, Tiana and Hakeem, to listen to the demo reel, and to practice for their upcoming duet, discovered that Tiana was actually raised up well. She also informed Tianna that she was the one who had first produced Lucious back in the day. However as Hakeem didn’t show up, Tianna decided to look for him in his apartment, where he found her with Camilla (Naomi Campbell), his older girlfriend.
The next night, Hakeem, who was supposed to be with Tiana and Cookie for the sound check for the show, visited Jamal’s apartment. After hearing the sounds in his apartment, and from Jamal’s neighbor, he suggested that he make a song out of everything that he heard.
At the sound check, Tianna told him that she was angry at him because he had stood up his mother. She had actually prepared dinner for him. They then went onstage and performed. Meanwhile, Lucious visited Titan in his cell. He told him that he had just “cut a check” for $1.7 million dollars for the burned down community center and his signing bonus. He told Titan that he personally did not want anything to do with the Nation of Islam. He told him that he was free to do whatever he wanted to do with it, and suggested that he rebuilt the community center, and place a studio there in his name. He then slipped him a cellphone so that he could begin making and recording songs for them while still in jail. Titan then agreed to join Empire.
The next day, Lucious and Cookie were ecstatic at how things were turning out. They got Titan to Empire, and Tianna’s and Hakeem’s duet at the televised Teen’s Choice Awards was a hit. Lucious then reminded Cookie that Hakeem was her son as well. However, Cookie told him that Hakeem didn’t behave that way. He had admitted that she had been right about the song, but refused any of her advances, and told her that he didn’t love her. She then approved of his picture in the newspaper. Lucious admitted that they both made a great team together. She then reminded him that “she made him better.” He then surprised her by calling her “baby”and his “baby mama” as she walked out of his office.
And that was all for the recap on “Empire” Season 1 Episode 4 “False Impositions”. For more news, updates and recaps on “Empire” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Empire” every Wednesday at 9:00p.m. on FOX.