Lucious Lyon is definitely going to have to watch his back. On Wednesday’s Season 3, episode 3 of Fox’s “Empire” Anika makes it clear that she can — and will — take down Lucious if she has to. Andre is also propositioned with helping the Feds find out more information about Lucious.
The episode kicks off with Anika (Grace Gealey) going into Lucious’ (Terrence Howard) office to talk to him. Lucious is still obsessing over the streaming numbers for Empire Extreme and tells her that he needs to raise his subscribers or the board will pull the plug on the app and he’ll lose $50 million.
Anika tells Lucious she feels like a prisoner trapped in his home, and wants to go after the open A&R position with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson). Lucious tells her she can’t have the position, and while he’s talking to her he starts to make a funny face. Anika thinks something is wrong and asks him if she should call an ambulance, but a woman suddenly comes from under the desk wiping her mouth. Anika is disgusted and storms out of the office, but she has something in store for Lucious.
To help boost Empire Extreme’s subscribers, Lucious tells Cookie that she needs to get five new songs from the Empire artists. She tells him that’s impossible and he adds an incentive for the artists who can get him the song: a brand new car. Cookie is annoyed Lucious is putting her in that position but tells him she’ll work on getting the songs after she has lunch with Angelo Dubois (Taye Diggs). Lucious clearly isn’t happy Cookie is going to spend time with Angelo.
Andre (Trai Byers) is also released from jail. As he’s leaving the police station he spots his late wife Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) in the crowd of reporters. Rhonda tells him that his arrest wouldn’t have happened if she was still alive.
Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is also still dealing with his post-traumatic stress disorder and goes to a group meeting for help. During the meeting, Jamal refuses to talk about his situation and the counselor tells him afterwards that he shouldn’t be ashamed of having to take pills for it but he should seek help. Jamal lies and tells the counselor that the meeting helped him and he’s already feeling better.
After getting released from jail, Andre heads over to Empire Records. Cookie and Lucious are furious about what the cops did to him and Lucious says he wants his lawyer Thirsty (Andre Royo) to handle the cops. Andre knows how shady Thirsty operates and tells his father he doesn’t want Thirsty involved.
Fans also get to meet Romeo Miller’s character Gram. In Wednesday’s episode, Gram is performing a song with Tiana (Serayah) at an event when he takes jabs at Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray). Grams also flirts with Tiana and kisses her after their performance. Hakeem is angry and wants to fight Gram, but Lucious tells him to get back at the rapper by recording a diss track. Hakeem does the song with Shine (Xzibit) as his producer, and wants Nessa (Sierra McClain) to sing the hook. Nessa refuses because she doesn’t want to take jabs at Tiana. When Nessa tells Shine she’s not going to do the song he grabs her by the neck and chokes her. Hakeem yells at Shine to calm down and he releases Nessa. She storms out of the recording studio.
Hakeem tells Lucious about the incident and Lucious tells his son to mind his business and stay out of it. Lucious also tells Hakeem that his Gram diss song won’t work if he doesn’t have female vocals on the hook so he better figure something out. When Hakeem goes back into the studio to record the song, he has Tiana’s vocals on the track and raps that he can hook up with her whenever he wants. Lucious loves the song and tells Hakeem to release it right away.
To help Jamal with his PTSD, Cookie brings him to meet her friend Kitty (Mariah Carey). Cookie and Kitty, a successful pop star, wants Jamal to record a song with Kitty and then travel with her and perform on it on her tour. Jamal tells Kitty he doesn’t sing anymore, but Cookie is able to talk him into at least recording the track.
When it’s time for Jamal to hit the studio, he freezes up. Jamal takes a minute to get himself together, pops a pill and is able to finally record the song, titled “Infamous.” Jamal also tries to deal with his PTSD himself by visiting Freda Gatz (Bre-Z) in prison but when she starts walking towards him with her arms outstretched for a hug, Jamal has a flashback to when Freda shot him. Freda apologizes for the incident, but Jamal doesn’t accept it.
Another crazy plot twist on Wednesday’s show had Anika securing herself as someone who’s in control and can easily destroy Lucious’ life. After Lucious’ earlier stunt with the woman under his desk, Anika has Lucious meet her in his office. When he gets there she starts talking about Empire Extreme reaching their goal for subscribers. When Anika starts celebrating a little too much, Lucious asks what’s going on and a man pops up from under the desk. Anika wipes his mouth off and tells Lucious that if he wants to play with her, she’s ready. Anika then reminds Lucious that she has upper hand and he needs her to stay quiet and not cooperate with the feds so he does not go to prison. Anika tells Lucious that she saved him by marrying him, and saved him a second time by finding Tyriq’s (Morocco Omari) camera in the teddy bear. Anika tells her husband that he’s going to let her do whatever she wants, when she wants or she’ll ruin his life.
The episode also teases that there’s definitely something romantic brewing between Cookie and Angelo. When Cookie does Angelo a favor by talking his Woke member Zeah out of signing with Empire records, Angelo goes to kiss her but Cookie ducks out of the way. She tells Angelo that he has to take her to lunch first.