Black Girls' Night Out: Cookie Lyon

I knew it.

Let me tell y'all how much Lucious Lyon still loves Cookie (aside for the fact that he flat-out states it): Cookie thinks Jamal needs a big hit, but she feels he can't write it himself; it's just not his style.  So Cookie visits an old family friend, Dwayne "Puma" Robinson (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), who gives her a song he wrote years ago.  It's a song about Puma's unrequited love for Cookie, which Lucious never really took to and couldn't musically tweak (in part, due to a jealousy which never went away).

Cookie gives the same song to Jamal who, being the genius that he is, plays a rearranged version for his father (after a hilarious family dinner, I might add).  The look on Lucious's face...no words, y'all.  No words.

The nature of this development is very Sun Tzu; Cookie is learning just how much her ex-husband still cares for her, while simultaneously confirming what's she suspected all long.  Lucious's biggest gripe with Jamal isn't his sexuality (though it's still major point of contention, mind you).  It's the fact that Jamal's musical talent is vastly superior to his own.  Lucious is washed-up, living on minimal borrowed time, unable to craft a good track anymore (see the pilot), while Jamal is still young, healthy, charming, and ridiculously gifted.

For people who are complaining that Cookie's role is becoming limited to throwing shade and wearing flashy outfits, they're not seeing the layers of Empire.  They see the fun and outrageous Cookie, but not the clever, insightful Cookie.  Need I remind folks that this woman went from a being penniless ex-con to a millionaire overnight?  No run-of-the-mill, loudmouth hoodrat can do that, children.

They're also not seeing her power.  Remember that dinner I mentioned?  Apparently, while Cookie was in jail, when the Lyons would sit down to break bread, Anika and Lucious would sit on opposite ends of the dinner table.  Tonight, Anika finds Cookie sitting in her seat and is unable to move her.  She ends up sitting next to Lucious (after Cookie tells her to go sit next to her "daddy"), as though she were a guest in her own home.  After Anika makes a toast, and assumes everyone will get to just start chowing down, Cookie stands up and basically commands the family to cooperate (as in hold hands) while she says grace (repeatedly thanking God for the gift of family, further alienating Anika).  And they cooperate!  Even Anika and Hakeem!  That's power, children!

Shortly after the dinner, Anika and Cookie have one of their "moments", and it's the type of moment I hope is repeated in many episodes to come.  Anika tries to lord her highborn roots over Cookie (her father is a doctor and her mother was a debutante), and this happens:
“Do you even know what a debutante is?” Anika asks. Cookie looks the new wife up and down and says, “A bougie ho with a lot of money.” Anika smiles calmly and says, “A ho who can slice your throat without disturbing your pearls.” Game recognize game so Cookie says, “Damn, that made me hot.” As she walks away, Anika says, “I aim to please.” (Source)
I'm just saying.

As to how Cookie got out of prison, she snitched on someone we haven't met yet, so that part of her story waits to be fleshed out.


Honorable Mentions, Call-Outs, and WTFs

Serayah McNeill returns as Tiana, the shallow, gold-digging, opportunistic popstar recently signed to Empire whose music makes my ears bleed and who has wormed her way into Lyon family dinners (oh, yes...she was there too), and is apparently Hakeem's new public squeeze.

I emphasize the word "public" because in private, Hakeem has been sleeping with Camilla (yes, THE Naomi Campbell) for a year.  There's not enough, "Dear God, why?" in the world to express my horror at this latest development.  Like, Naomi...why?

And speaking of "Why, God, why?" the astonishing and amazing Veronika Bozeman (finally) returned this week...as back up to Tiana in a train-wreck video shoot.  Bitch, what????  I mean, have you heard the two sing?

Hopefully, this is the foundation of a future storyline which will discuss marketing decisions in the music industry.  'Cause, like...damn.

I'm really glad Ta'Rhonda Jones is sticking around as Porsha because her interactions with Cookie are just too friggin' funny.  The two are actually alike in some ways, so I hope Cookie doesn't snap and fire her.

This episode briefly (and rather unceremoniously) introduced Tasha Smith as Cookie's younger sister Carol Hardaway (at least, she refers to Cookie as her "big sister").  According to IMDB, she's destined to return for a few more episodes.  Their reunion took place back in Philly when the Lyons headed back for Bunky's funeral.  Apparently, after leaving Cookie to rot in prison, Lucious got rich and took nobody with him.  Everybody back home is just as broke and wrecked as they ever were.

Here's hoping Cookie's a bit more generous.


  1. Naomi, girl...what? How dare you be the PRIVATE boo? And to what sounds like a loser.

    1. When she first steps on the scene, it's implied she showed up uninvited, most likely due to news of Hakeem and Tiana. And when Hakeem sees Camilla, he's annoyed.

      I shuddered at the thought of Naomi in this role. I hope she has some sort of ulterior angle, because Hakeem is one of his family's weaker links and a logical way in.

      But if I find out she's just his needy side-piece.....

  2. Yeah, I was like "poor Naomi...*shake my head*", this isn't flattering for her.

    I watch the show, though I'm always one ep late compared to you. I don't even mind the spoilers lol I hope I'll see Naomi and the other black women regularly in the show (not a fan of Tiana though).

    Oh, you all probably have seen it but youtube recommended me this video with Taraji P. Henson (in Wendy Williams show) today so I watched it, she sounds cool when she talks about "Empire" or her love life:

  3. With some folks , they're between a rock and a hard place. You'll never be able to satisfy everybody. If a show was made with perfect acting characters ,the show still wouldn't because it will become predictable and dull. I wouldn't watch a show if it had such storylines.So far, that is what I'm liking about Empire

    Each week, I'm becoming more impressed with this show and this past Wednsday was no exception. I laughed at the part when Cookie was saying grace and referred to Anika as a " ho "Now that wasn't right..lol! Cookie is right about one thing. Just because you're " up there" doesn't mean you can't be a ho.

    I liked the " WTW" look on Lucious's face. Judging by the look on his face, he didn't want Jamal to succeed in this area. I mean, to tell your son that you hated his past song that he's trying to sing is discouraging,but what a surprise..thank's to Puma and Cookie.

    I had no idea that Naomi Campbell , Gladys Knight and Cuba Gooding Jr. was going to be in Empire, but they all helped it be a great show. I've also read where Foxy Brown is supposed top make an appearance on there. I would like to see her on there (And to remind Iggy that who the queens of rap really were). I was looking at my local news station where a reporter asked what entertainers they would like to see guest star on Empire? Hmmm...I would like to see some old school/new school rappers on there like: Whodini,a Tribe Called Quest( love'em), Slick Rick,Money Love, Queen Latifah. If Teena Marie was alive, it would have been nice for her to be on the show...it'd just so many faces that I would like to see on there.

    Much as I'm loving Empire, I just wish that critics stop bragging about,not because it's not a good show..it's excellent. I'm superstitious ..a little playfully anxious for the longevity of the show. I was reading about the opening for Empire. I was said that FOX have never had a show to rank as high as that since 1993. Unfortunately, that highly rated show went belly up during it's second season( forgot the name of the show)

    1. No, the ratings report just meant that no DRAMA series on any TV broadcast network over the last 21 years had increased its 18-49 age group demo rating from its 2nd to 3rd episode.

      FOX has had higher-rated shows over the last 20 years - when overall broadcast TV viewership numbers were higher - but they did not increase over the 2nd and 3rd episode like EMPIRE did.

  4. Gotta love empire! http://empireboobookitty.com


This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.