Hakeem and Cookie
Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray, left) doesn't trust Cookie's (Taraji P. Henson, right) new lover Laz (Adam Rodriguez, not pictured) and how he deals with Lyon Dynasty business on "Empire" episode 7. Chuck Hodes/Fox

Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) got a taste of his street past when he went to prison on Fox’s hip-hop drama “Empire.” However, Lucious dug even deeper into his roots in episode 7, titled “True Love Never,” when he recorded a new, personal song based on his sad childhood. However, he promised his latest rap would be “history in the making.”

The episode begins with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) spending three days in bed with her new lover Laz (Adam Rodriguez). Cookie gets the idea to put on her own concert event for Lyon Dynasty artists, called Cookie’s Cookout. Lucious, meanwhile, is in the studio with Freda Gatz (Bre-Z) helping get the most out of his artist on a new track on which he wants her to rap with him. Lucious is starting to view Freda as his protégé.

Laz meets with one of his fellow gang members, who wants Laz to stay focused on business and less on Cookie. Laz says he’s going to get some money from the concert Cookie is going to put on and will then get them ten times the money the originally asked for when they grabbed Hakeem in episode 5.

Mimi (Marisa Tomei) returns and suggests Empire purchase a streaming service called Swift Stream to break into the music streaming business. Andre (Trai Byers) doesn’t like the idea, but Lucious wants him to set up a meeting with the company head Jago (Patrick Mulvey). He also asks Andre to set up a meeting with the Deputy Mayor Raquel Alvarez (Sari Sanchez) to try to get Freda’s gang injunction to go away.

Andre turns to his pastor for advice after his father’s request. Andre used to hook up with Alvarez for government favors Lucious wanted. His pastor tells him Lucious is trying to test him again and there are other ways he can achieve what he wants for Empire without comprising his health or his faith.

Lucious goes to meet with Jago at his boxing gym and Mimi encourages him to get in the ring. Lucious throws on boxing gloves and the two box while negotiating. Jago strikes a nerve when he calls Lucious’ lyrics shallow and Lucious knocks him out cold, which Mimi says he might regret.

When Andre meets with Alvarez she starts to get undressed but he stops her. He then asks her to drop the injunction, but she won’t do it just by him asking. Andre then improvises and gets her to drop the injunction by blackmailing her and saying he’ll show the mayor how she conducts government business after he reveals he has videos of their past hook-up sessions. Andre stayed faithful to his wife Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday).

Lucious Lyon Episode 7
Lucious (Terence Howard, left) is working harder in the studio with Freda Gatz (Bre-Z, not pictured) than with his own son Jamal (Jussie Smollett, right) on "Empire," episode 7. Chuck Hodes/Fox

Lucious and Mimi visit Jago in the hospital after Lucious knocked him out. Jago isn’t happy to see Lucious, but Lucious explains that he cut deep when he called out his lyrics. However, Jago inspired him to write a song. Jago says he still doesn’t want to do business with Lucious, but Mimi starts to mess with his morphine drip. Jago gets drowsy and agrees to a merger between the companies.

Laz encourages Cookie to sit down with the gang that grabbed Hakeem to get them on security detail for her concert event, which she wants put on in their territory. Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) walks in on the meeting and gets upset when he sees Laz in his negotiating chair. Both sides come to an agreement and Hakeem warns Cookie than he doesn’t trust Laz.

Mimi tells Lucious that the deal with Jago is done and the two celebrate with women and drinks. Lucious and Mimi bring a woman back to Lucious’s place. Before the three hook up, Lucious sees a gun on the woman’s shoulder, which brings back bad memories from his childhood.

It turns out Lucious’s mother Leah Walker (Kelly Rowland) used to get severely depressed and had a gun around the house. Lucious used to hide the bullets from his mother so she couldn’t hurt herself, but one day she found a bullet, loaded the gun and held it up to her head in front of Lucious.

Lucious remembers this moment and decides to head into the studio with Freda early in the morning because he figured out what the track was missing. Lucious brings his mother’s gun into the studio and uses its sounds as background noise while they rap over it, making it his most personal track yet.

Other Major Moments From Episode 7:

  • Laura (Jamila Velazquez) is proving she might not have what it takes to be the lead singer of the female group Ménage a Trois. Cookie wants Hakeem to switch the singers around, but he’s set on making her better. Hakeem coaches her up and gets her to perform in public, where she makes people stop in their tracks to listen to her. After this the two share a first kiss and she later proves to Cookie she’s lead singer material.
  • Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is struggling with his music without Cookie producing him. He decides to turn to her for help with a new song and although they’re supposed to be in competition, Cookie is reminded that Jamal is her son above all. She helps him fine tune the new song and he’s asked to perform it on Huey Jarvis’s (Quincy Jones) living room sessions. When he performs it, Lucious has a look on his face like he knows Cookie helped.
  • During her celebration over getting the streaming service, Mimi receives a phone call and steps out to take it. She’s heard saying “it’s taking a little longer than expected.” Does she have a trick up her sleeve for Empire and Lucious?