Can a leopard change its spots? In this case, a Lyon?
In this week's Empire episode, titled "Cupid Kills," each Lyon family member faced their true identity. Though "Lucifer Lyon" -- as Cookie dubs him -- is a cancer to the entire family's morality, they all uncovered similarities to the scheming Lyon patriarch. Andre fought to protect the family business, Jamal deceived the law on behalf of Freda, and Cookie struggled to adapt to Angelo's world. And Lucious, well, he stood aside to watch his puppet mastering at work.
So, how conniving are the Lyons when business desperately needs to be handled? How far will they go when chaos hits the fan? How far outside of their comfort zone will they venture when love is at stake?
Peep the highlights from episode 4 below.
Nessa's Bidding War
After Nessa blew away the crowd at the Empire X Stream launch, Lucious was anxious to sign Nessa as a new artist. Lucious and Andre showed up to Shyne's shoddy studio to put the ink to paper, but Shyne blindsided the Empire execs with an old school bidding war.
Given his connection with Nessa, Hakeem made the first attempt to seal the deal with an exclusive livestream, but failed when Shyne broadcasts the $2.5 million offer to the world to egg on the competition. "That's how Empire's coming," he blared directly to camera. "All you other labels out there, don't even come below $2.5."
Andre's bid was more successful. He took a one-on-one with Nessa and realized they have a lot in common: They're both the money guys to their boss' business and ultimately want more power and respect. Because the deal appealed to Nessa's self-interest, she signed without Shyne's advisement. Predictably, Shyne showed up to rumble over Nessa's backdoor deal, which led to a beat down from Andre.
Later, Andre and Nessa took their business relationship a step further with a didn't-see-that-coming threesome. (Seriously. We can't make this stuff up.)
Jamal Springs Freda Gatz
Jamal is still dealing with his PTSD, except now he's enlisted his group therapy leader, military vet Philip, to assist in confronting Freda again. When Jamal faced his shooter a second time he saw that she'd been badly beaten, which compelled him to get her released quickly.
With the help of Angelo's highly placed connections, Jamal used a temporary insanity plea and an off-the-books payoff to gain her bail before finding out the real story behind the shooting and that, of course, Lucious stands to gain form her unexpected plea. It's a win-win for Lucious, who explained that Jamal is more like him than he realized. "The beauty is, I didn't have to tell you to do it," he told his son. "How's it feel to know you just like your daddy?"
Cookie and Angelo's Different Worlds Collide
Cookie has been trying to explore her love life post-Lucious and their street hustle beginnings all season. It wasn't until she accompanied Angelo to a high-brow fundraiser for socialites and bourgeois bigwigs that she questioned if they're too different to make it work.
During a performance of La Bohème -- a story about a woman caught in between two men -- she shouted like she was at a Beyoncé show, not an opera. Then, she overheard Angelo's uppity female associates throwing jabs and laughing about his "hoodrat" companion in the ladies' room. "Just wonder how long before he tosses that charity case back to… what's the prison she escaped from?," they said. Never one to back down from a diss, Cookie set them straight before she hightailed it out of the party, undetected by Angelo.
Cookie's normally flamboyant and fearless personality took a visible hit as she safely retreated to the music as Angelo tried to win her back.