Empire: Season-2, Episode-2 “Without a Country”

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On tonight’s episode, Cookie tries to start a small record label with her cohorts, but conflicting visions cause problems. Hakeem woos an attractive singer. Lucious hires a new lawyer and records a track in jail. So with the assistance of Rhea McDowell, let’s recap a few highlights of Episode-2, “Without a Country.”

Tonight’s open with Cookie, Hakeem and Andrew getting escorted out of Empire Enterprises. “You know what, we can start our own company,” says Cookie. The scene switching over to Team Cookie brainstorming about their potential new label. Next, she surprises them with leasing a storefront in the hood. It appears Drew is hesitant but decides to play along and Hakeem is down because he has his own dreams to pursue.

Alright Rhea McDowell, what are your thoughts about Cookie starting her own record label and do you believe she will have success with the new venture?

“I think Cookie is very ambitious and has vast knowledge of the music business, however lacks the capital to pull off a record label to compete with Empire.”

The scene cuts to Jamal interviewing with Sharon of TEA magazines. Cookie badges into the apartment interrupting the interview. Pulling him to the side, she discusses giving Hakeem his album back. Jamal agrees, she said her goodbyes to Sharon, and as she steps onto the elevator she reveals Team Cookie started a new record company “Lyon Dynasty” — the elevator doors closes.

Over on the prison yard Lucious performs for a few of the inmates but becomes ill because he isn’t receiving any meds. Security officer McKnight (aka Ludicias) approaches, demanding them to quiet down, plus, taunt Lucious about not receiving meds. Big country (aka Petey Pablo) jumps to Lucious defense stopping the assault, but he ends up in the hole. As Lucious return to lock-up, he’s confronted by the officer McKnight again, who basically tells him to play ball if he wants his meds.

Meanwhile, Hakeem is hosting auditions, trying to find a multicultural girl group. Tonight’s, fans are introduced to Tiana (Serayah McNeill) and treated to a studio session with songstress Veronica (Veronika Bozeman). Then in walks Valentina, a sassy latino girl, who express no desire to be a part of a girls group and tell him, “With or Without you I will shine!” Hakeem continues to addition, Cookie walks in to discuss his idea of creating a new girls group — Anika is there. Cookie questions Anika’s involvement in her new venture.

Rhea, quick question, what are your thoughts about Anika current situation dealing with the Lyon’s family, especially her nemesis, Cookie?

“In my opinion, Cookie needs to check her attitude at the door because Anika’s marketing expertise is needed to pull off the new venture.”

Jamal goes to visit Lucious to chat about Cookie starting another company. In the process, a hustling looking dude wearing a purple suit is eavesdropping on the conversation. He introduces himself as attorney Thirsty Rawlings and passes Jamal a card, explaining District Attorney Ford is known for withholding meds in efforts to force convicts to cop a plea.

On the other side of town, Andrew’s wife stops by to visit Jamal. The two discuss Drew returning to work. She also reveals she pregnant and Jamal admits he does miss working with his brother because Drew handled the business side of the company. Meanwhile, over at the prison, Lucious is in the infirmary and a guard opens the door placing his meds on the desk by mean of Attorney Thirsty Rawlings. Lucious follow the guard to another section of the prison. Once inside, all of his boys except for Big Country are there waiting to record a new single. With minimal equipment, he proves to still have skills — recording a single in one tape. In walks Officer McNasty (McKnight) and his crew busting the recording session up placing all of them in the hole. Before closing the food tray slot, Officer McKnight tries to shade Lucious and accuses him of threatening him. Lucious smiles and says,

“I’m not getting convicted” Why because you’re innocent, asked Officer, McKnight? “No, I didn’t say that I’m not getting convicted because I don’t make mistakes like you and D.A. Ford.” and the slot slams shut.

Hey Rhea, what are your thoughts on this cat, attorney Thirsty Rawlings?

“Hmmm, Thirsty Rawlings appears to act thirsty, you know the type, the ambulance chasers, with an online law degree.”

Hakeem reveals to Cookie and Drew, he’s not going back to Empire or working with punk ass brother, Jamal. Also reveals he leaked his album online. Hakeem’s decision takes Drew to his breaking point and he walks out. Cookie follows behind begging him not to walk out on her, Drew begs her to let him go because his heart isn’t ready to start over trying to build a business from the bottom up.

Meanwhile, Cookie goes to look at renting another property and Drew goes to visit Lucious in prison, asking him for forgiveness but Lucious rejects him. Drew can’t understand why and asks,

“Why do you hate me, but accept Jamal giving him the keys to the kingdom, when I’m the one that studied and worked hard helping you build your enterprise. Plus, you even asked Hakeem to come but not me?”

The scene flashback to Lucious as a child, sitting on his mom Leah Walker’s lap. She’s singing “Itsy bitsy spider” but begins to drift off as a person with a mental illness. Sidebar: Now, fans understand why Lucious is so critical of Drew because his illness reminds him of his mother. Anyway, Lucious explains he doesn’t hate him but doesn’t explain his contempt for him and walk away. In the meantime, outside in the parking lot, officer McKnight is getting the crap beat out of him. Sidebar: Didn’t Ludacris get his ass beat in “Hustle & Flow too?” Anyway, Attorney Thirsty is meeting up with a guard working on the inside to retrieve the laptop.

Rhea, my last question for tonight, have your opinion changed in regards to Attorney Thirsty Rawlings?

“Yes, in my opinion, it appears Attorney Thirsty is more connected than we thought. Also, I’m started to believe Lucious has bitten off more than he can chew and has gotten into bed with satan. Hell, Thirsty seems to have mob connections or he’s actually the devil in a cheap purple suit.”

Tonight’s episode ends in Federal court, Lucious has his bail hearing and Jamal is there for support. Attorney Thirsty arrives late, immediately apologizes for his tardiness while passing a folder to the judge containing a few kinky pics and one folder of bull crap to D.A. Ford — the next thing you know, the judge grants bail. Lucious is a free man! Over at the “Lyons Dynasty” Cookie’s record company, Hakeem’s there to help clean-up, turns on the radio, lo and behold, Lucious newly released single “Snitchin’ Ass Bitches” from inside federal prison is on the airways.

“Damn Its Hot,” Cookie smirks!

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Tune in next week to watch the drama continue on “Empire” — Wednesday nights on FOX at 9 pm, est.

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