Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) has proved all season long that he always gets the last laugh on Fox's hip-hop drama, "Empire." Prosecutor Roxanne Ford (Tyra Ferrell) learned that in the most grotesque way possible in episode 4, “Poor Yorick.”
The episode begins with the FBI raiding Empire as Jamal (Jussie Smollett) records a new track. When he's done, he goes to do an interview with a Rolling Stone reporter but his assistant breaks the news to him about the raid. The FBI also shows up at Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Hakeem's (Bryshere Y. Gray) Lyon Dynasty. Thirsty (Andre Royo) wakes Lucious up at his home and tells him the FBI will be there soon. When Roxanne walks in, Lucious is naked and tells her to look anywhere she wants.
Mimi (Marisa Tomei) returns to a board meeting along with Jamal when Lucious comes back and decides he doesn't care he's not allowed in the building. He wants Empire to roar and says they're going to expand and be bigger than they've ever been before. Lucious also wants Jamal to keep pushing forward with his projects, including being on the Rolling Stone cover.
Thirsty brings the Lyon family together and says they have to pretend to be like a big happy family until the case is dropped. Ultimately what it's going to come down to is whether Vernon (Malik Yoba) testifies. Hakeem, again, asks Lucious if he killed Bunkie. And Lucious, again, denies it. Lucious says they have to find Vernon.
Lucious and Cookie meet following the raid because she wants him to back off Lyon Dynasty, to stop poaching their clients and to give them radio play. She says in return Hakeem will make a music video with Jamal, which will show the feds the Lyons are sticking together. He agrees but says he won't give in on the radio because he's trying to make Jamal a man. He teases Cookie by calling her Grandma, and she says if he ever wants to see his grandchild he should be nicer to his son.
Andre (Trai Byers) goes to see Lucious again to ask him to come back to Empire. Lucious says he won't because of what he did, but he still wants to have a relationship with Andre's future child and be a good grandfather. Andre asks if he makes the court case go away can he then come back into Empire, and Lucious says if he makes it go away he can have anything he wants.
Lucious stops by Hakeem's trailer for the music video, trying to poach him away with a beat he said he made for him. Hakeem says no to him, and Cookie gets back to the trailer while Lucious leaves. Hakeem says he and Cookie are in it together and he's not going back to Empire.
Mimi is on set for the music video, which is going to have a postapocalyptic Black Panther theme for their song “Ain't About the Money.” Cookie steps outside to take a phone call, and police show up to arrest her. Roxanne had brought her in on an active warrant for missing court after jumping over a subway turnstile, but Porsha (Ta'Rhonda Jones) actually did it.
Hakeem listens to the beat Lucious made for him, and Lucious says it's his if he comes back to Empire. Hakeem thinks about the offer for a second but gets into an argument with Lucious after everyone admires a giant painting of Jamal. Hakeem stabs the painting before they get back to work on the video. Jamal and Hakeem start fighting on the video set, which leads to Hakeem quitting.
Roxanne threatens Cookie by saying she can send her back to jail if she finds something. Cookie tells her to dig, but Roxanne says she'll come after Cookie's boys if she doesn't help her take down Lucious. Cookie uses the interrogation to her advantage and tells Roxanne that Lucious was arguing with Bunkie over the Apex radio deal before he was killed. Roxanne says the deal is now as good as done.
Andre and Rhonda grab some shovels and go to dig up Vernon's body. But they dig themselves into a hole when they forget which area they buried Vernon in; all the trees look the same. As they're digging, a car pulls up and it's Lucious and Thirsty, who had been tracking Andre. Rhonda tells him what happened with Vernon and he says they saved his life.
After Thirsty locates Vernon's body with a piece of equipment, they all dig him up. Lucious hugs Andre, apologizes to him and welcomes him back to Empire. Lucious later burns a picture of him with Bunkie and Vernon after they betrayed him.
Roxanne goes out to her car after a call about putting out a press release about blocking Lucious's Apex radio deal. She gets in the car and Vernon's decaying body is in the passenger seat.
Other Major Moments From Episode 4
- After quitting the music video, Hakeem goes to a bar for a drink and finds his new girl group singer and possible love interest in a Spanish singer named Laura (Jamila Velazquez). Expect for her to have a big role the next couple of episodes.
- Anika (Grace Gealey) is still asking Cookie to let her join Lyon Dynasty and feels she should be able to after helping Cookie. Cookie says she doesn't believe she can trust her and that it wouldn't work out; however, this could change eventually.
- A young Lucious is once again shown with his mother, Leah Walker (Kelly Rowland), this time sitting with social services. The series keeps showing glimpses of his childhood, which could explain why Lucious is the way he is with his sons.