“Empire” Season 1 Episode 2 “The Outspoken King” aired last Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 at 9:00 p.m. on FOX. In this episode, the war between Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and his ex-wife Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) escalated after she learned that Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) was going to be the opening act for Lucious’ new club, Leviticus. In retaliation, she planned a coming out press conference for Jamal (Jessie Smollett), but the two brothers had something else in mind. Meanwhile, Bunkie’s body was found, and Lucious had to do some damage control after a shooting incident was inspired by one of his artists and after Hakeem’s acting out went viral. Meanwhile, Cookie, as it turned out, had one more secret in her pocket — the reason why she had gotten out of prison early. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began with Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) exercising on the treadmill while watching the news, which reported that Empire Entertainment Industries had gone public and that he was trying to make himself immortal by doing so. Anika Gibbons (Grace Gealey), his new wife, and the head of A & R, wondered and got annoyed that his ex-wife Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) was there. There, she told him to feed her and she was trying to make sure that he wasn’t going to stab his son in the back. They were then interrupted by Anika, who had come out in her underwear.
In the dining room, Cookie insisted that he put Jamal (Jessie Smollett) in as the opening act of the club after their youngest son, Hakeem, as she knew that Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) was going to have his debut at the opening of his new club, Leviticus. However, Lucious refused to allow Jamal on his stage because he did not want the club to be associated with homosexuals. Cookie then snapped back at Anika, who was there, listening in, and told her that she had helped the company out before as she had given in $400,000 of her money. After Lucious dragged her away from the dining room, Cookie told him that she wanted to make things right as she had not been able to see her sons grow up and told him that he was not going to shut Jamal out anymore.
While this happened, Hakeem walked in on Tiana’s, a new artist that had just been signed up, rehearsal. He then invited her to Leviticus, but she turned him down.
On the way to the office, Lucious told Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) to get someone, like Vernon Turner (Malik Yoba) , to back up Hakeem for his opening number. Vernon then suggested that they use a rapper under their label called Kid FoFo (Kriston Lofton), as Kid FoFo would soon be owing them a big favor. He was then informed that a shooting at a mall had just recently occurred, and the main suspect had told the cops that he had done so because he had been inspired by FoFo’s lyrics. As soon as he got to the office, he was assaulted by reporters left and right.
Meanwhile, in the eldest son’s, Andre’s (Trai Byers) house, his wife, Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday), insisted that he should go to the doctor soon to recalibrate his medication because it turned out that he was bipolar. However, he insisted to do it after the opening of Leviticus, as he had to help out to repair the damage caused by Kid FoFo. Rhonda also discovered that Andre had already informed his mother about his father’s plans regarding Hakeem’s big debut that weekend.
Meanwhile, Cookie and her new assistant, Porsha (Ta’Rhonda Jones), walked in on Jamal and his boyfriend, Michael (Rafael de la Fuente), and told him that he had to start working on his new song so that he could show the world that Saturday that he was as talented as his brother.
At the office, Becky, who had a bad habit of using her boss’ bathroom, found Lucious’ medication and discovered that Lucious had ALS. She then realized that this was the reason why he was making his sons compete against each other for control over the company.
Later that day, Vernon and Lucious met with Kid FoFo in order to assess the damage that he had caused. They then told him that they would help him make everything disappear, if he went on stage with Hakeem that Saturday. They were then interrupted by Cookie, who told them that FoFo’s music was terrible and that they should drop him because of that. Lucious then brought her out of the conference room and told her to act like a professional. She then suggested that Lucious should put Jamal on stage so that they could both be launched at the same time. However, Lucious refused and told her that she was not wanted there. Because of that, she threw her shoe at him.
Cookie then took Porsha’s genius idea and told Jamal that they would have the press conference for his coming out on Saturday as well and that they would stage it where the protests against Kid FoFo were happening so that they would have the attention of the press instead of Hakeem. However, their conversation was interrupted by Lucious, who informed them that Vernon had just told him that Bunkie (Antoine McKay), Cookie’s cousin, had been found dead and had been fished out of the Hudson.
At Lucious’ house, he broke the bad news to them, which affected Hakeem a lot since Bunkie had almost been like a father to him. She tried to hug Hakeem, but he just spoke to her disrespectfully and pushed her away. Lucious vowed to bring Bunkie’s murderer to justice and shed several tears, even though he was the one who had killed Bunkie. He then noticed that something was wrong with Andre, but he insisted that he was alright.
The next day, Andre told him that their underwriter for the IPO had backed out, as he probably had gotten scared because of everything that had just happened. He then told Andre to get the banks back on the table and that if he did that, then Empire would be his. He then managed to let it slip that Jamal was going to have a coming out press conference on Saturday as well. Because of this, Lucious talked to Jamal and threatened to cut him off if he came out.
Meanwhile, Rhonda hooked Cookie up with a publicist friend of hers, Dominique (Cindy Gold) in order to help out with organizing Jamal’s press conference.
Later that night, Hakeem caused a lot of trouble for his father after he had gotten a little tipsy at a bar, urinated in a restaurant and called the President of the United States a sellout. This ended up going viral on the internet and was everywhere on the news. Lucious then agreed to go and speak to Kelly McGain on her show so that they would be able to get into the good graces of the New York SC so that they could still go public. However, the only good thing that came out of it was the fact that because of Hakeem’s newfound bad boy reputation, the RSVP count for Leviticus’ opening had gone up.
The next day, Cookie barged in on another meeting and, after learning that he was going to go on national television to defend the company, told him that he had gotten soft. After leaving the building, she saw that she had gotten another text message from Agent Carter (Nealla Gordon) , whom she ignored.
Because of his father’s threats, Jamal decided not to show up to his own press conference. Instead, while watching his father’s interview on television, in which he said that he was helping young angry people channel their anger into music instead of violence, he composed a song.
After the television interview, Andre lied to his father and told him that he felt fine and that the banks were willing to talk to them again.
Inside the elevator, Cookie joined Lucious, Anika, Kid FoFo and Andre in the elevator. There, she tried to hit Anika who had laughed after Kid FoFo insulted her. She then turned and asked tearfully for them to tell her what she had ever done to them. After she left, Kid FoFo then told Lucious that he had been smart to divorce her as she was crazy. He then terminated his contract with Empire, because Lucious realized that Cookie was right about one thing — Kid FoFo’s lyrics were terrible.
That Saturday night, at Leviticus, Jamal tried to pacify his mother, who was annoyed at him. He then told her that he felt that it wasn’t the right time yet to come out then went to check on Hakeem, who was very nervous about performing, especially without Kid FoFo. After telling Jamal that he felt more confident when Jamal was there with him, they surprised everyone by pulling off an impromptu double act — with Hakeem rapping and Jamal singing and playing the piano. Their collaboration electrified the audience, and thanks to that, Hakeem got the attention of Tiana.
Afterwards, Cookie admitted that Hakeem had gotten his father’s talent but told Lucious that he had been a bad parent as he had raised a selfish, self-entitled and spoiled son. Lucious then informed Cookie that they had dropped Kid FoFo because of the way that he had spoken to her.
Outside, she was forced into a car with Agent Carter, who told her that their deal had changed and that she had to testify in front of a grand jury, which Cookie was reluctant to do as she knew that that would just get her killed.
And that was all for the recap on “Empire” Season 1 Episode 2 “The Outspoken King.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Empire” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Empire” every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on FOX.