Empire (2015–…): Season 3, Episode 3 - Empire - full transcript

Cookie asks superstar Kitty to record a new song with Jamal, in hopes of helping him regain his ability to perform; Andre gets into trouble; Hakeem and Gram vie for Tiana's attention.

- Previously on Empire...
- Empire XStream...

We are taking over the world!

I do the music, you handle the business,

and we stay out of each other's way.

I know you're working on
the Black & White album.

I'm shelving it.

African-American men,

the primary victims in gun violence.

If anybody's a victim, it's Freda Gatz.

I'm Zeah, Mr. Lyon.

I'm gonna be an MC, just like you.



Cookie, you should come
down to the center sometime.

I can't get onstage.

I can't do it no more.

You got one job in this
house and that's a mother.

Tariq, he may be your half brother,

but he is not your friend.

- Step away from the car.
- Sir, I live right there.

(grunting)

Hey, Lucious.

Can we talk?

LUCIOUS: Door is open. Come on in.

Hey.

You still, uh, obsessing over
these streaming numbers?

Well, the board has determined



that if I don't get to
ten million subscribers

by Thursday, they want to pull the plug

which means I lose $50 million.

What's on your mind?

I'm like a prisoner in this house.

Come on, with
nothing to look forward to.

You call looking after my
granddaughter nothing?

You ain't gonna get much sympathy

from anybody about this
shack you calling a prison.

No, that's not what I mean, Lucious.

Look, I know that we
have had our differences,

but, I know that Cookie's looking
for a new head of A&R.

And you know that that
is never going to happen,

so you need to just...

Lucious?

Are you okay?

Oh, my God, do you need
me to call a doctor?

- (woman gasps)
- Mm.

No, I looked everywhere

and I couldn't find
my earring under there.

Damn.

Maybe you can look for it later.

Oh, Pia, you remember your old boss,

Anika.

I like your assistant.

Pia, will you be a doll

and get Cho in here?

I need to see the new
Empire XStream artwork.

Keep putting your back
into that work of yours.

Ooh.

Look what I found. (laughing)

(chuckles)

LUCIOUS: I mean, Empire
XStream is bleeding out.

Our main asset is exclusive content

and I don't have it.

I need five new songs

- by the end of this week.
- Man,

I cannot get you five new
songs by the end of this...

What is that?

LUCIOUS: Incentive.

You are gonna give a car to whoever

can deliver a new song
that's ready to drop by this Friday.

And while you're at it, tell your son

that I'm releasing
his Black & White album.

Jamal does not want that
album released, Lucious.

He done told you that a million times.

Well, I don't care. He can
tell me a million more.

Look, Cookie, if you with me

with this business, 50/50,

then you're gonna get me those songs.

Okay. Sure.

I'll get on it tomorrow, after
my lunch with Angelo.

What are you seeing
in that Oreo, anyway?

I'm being proactive in the community.

I'm going to meet some of the
WOKE kids from his foundation.

So he can warm your heart with
how good he is with these kids.

He might warm something
else later. (chuckles)

Everything's under control, Mom.

MAN: He's coming out!

Yeah, I-I got... I got Max with me.

- (crowd clamoring)
- Max Perkins.

- WOMAN: Andre!
- MAN: Can we get a comment, please?

WOMAN: Over here, please!

- Over here!
- Andre Lyon!

Mr. Lyon, can you tell us what happened?

Okay, okay.

Do exactly what we
discussed a few minutes ago.

Don't go all "Black Lives
Matter" on me here, okay?

We're good. Let's go.

(reporters clamoring)

This was all a simple misunderstanding.

My client has fully cooperated
with law enforcement,

it will all be cleared up

- in a matter of days. Thank you.
- Your mother and father

have a checkered
history with law enforcement.

Are you just following in
their criminal footsteps?

That's all for now. My client won't
be making any statements. Thank you.

So, are you a gangster now, too, Andre?

What happened to me is what's happening

all across America, right now.

WOMAN: And what's that?

Hey, babe.

Answer her. Come on, she's waiting.

We both know that none of
this would have happened

if I was still here.

MAN: I went back to the
bar where it went down,

like you all told me to.

I took my new lady with me.

As soon as we hit the
door, I start shaking.

But you did the breathing?

- Yeah.
- And?

I'm still here.

You all noticed, we have someone
new in group today.

This is Jamal...

Jamal Lyon.

Jamal...

we ask new people to

tell the group what caused their PTSD.

WOMAN: Everybody knows
what happened to Jamal.

They played it over and
over again on the news.

LEADER: That doesn't matter.

Your fame just creates
another barrier for your recovery

because you have to face your trauma

in front of the world.

It's still PTSD.

Yeah, I'm good.

Um, it's my first time,

so I'm probably just gonna, you know,

lay low and listen.

But thank you.

Okay.

Hey, Jamal. Hey! Hey.

Look, what happened
inside, that wasn't cool.

That's not how we do things.

(clears throat) They
all know what happened,

so it's no sense in
frontin' like they don't.

Let me ask you something, man.

Are you still taking any pain meds?

Yeah.

I was hoping to be off
of them by now, but, um,

I'm not, so...

It's nothing to be ashamed about.

When a soldier gets shot...

I'm not a soldier.

You were in the military, right?

- Um, Major Philip Barrett?
- You got shot.

Your PTSD is no less
significant than mine.

If you need treatment, man...

Um, I came here, you know, just to...

kind of, test the waters.

And, uh, it actually worked.

A lot, you know? All right.

And at this point, I kind of feel like

I know how to manage
this. Which is, it's great.

And that's... that's
'cause of y'all, so thank you.

Andre!

Hey. Oh.

Let me guess: it was a white cop.

I should've been smarter about it, okay?

I know this whole
thing could've turned out

a whole lot differently.

I wouldn't be standing
here with you today, I know.

Nothing you could have done different.

You were born black.

What happened, Andre?

I was clearing out me
and Rhonda's apartment,

- a cop shows up and...
- Mm-hmm.

Look, I gave him attitude.

- No, I don't want to hear that!
- That's some B.S.!

Look,

I'm-a make Thirsty

- take care of these cops.
- Yeah.

- Thirsty?
- Let him look into these charges!

Pop, I-I don't need Thirsty, okay?

I got my own lawyer.

With the FBI watching our every move,

the last thing we need

is Thirsty taking care of anything.

I-I just want to do this the right way.

(scoffs) Andre, the right...

You do realize you're a
black man, right, Andre?

And that was a dirty cop that
did that to your face.

And since this was not
caught on video, it is your word

against theirs, all right?

No, see, the police messed up this time.

They done messed with the wrong ones.

So, we gonna fight fire with fire!

Enough!

(sighs)

I'm a Wharton graduate, Mama.

I'm a CFO of a publically
traded corporation.

I'm not gonna fight fire with fire.

- Andre...
- I'm not doing it!

That boy is headed for
a world of trouble.

MAN: Raymond Lewis, aka Gram.

Tiana Brown's new boyfriend...
Ran with the Uptown Mafia

for a minute, now he's a rapper.

WOMAN: Can I get a selfie?

TARIQ: When you get inside,
see if he's still affiliated.

Anything we can get on him,

we might be able to
use against the Lyons.

You want a selfie? No?

I have no idea who that one is.

Porsha Taylor, Cookie Lyon's assistant.

Don't waste your time.

So, don't nobody know who I am?

Nobody knows Porsha?

That's cool. That's cool.

I got a question, sir.

Lucious Lyon was cleared
of all charges last year.

What's this really about?

Lyon beat the case

because it was mishandled.

All I have to do now is build a new case

based on new charges.

Knowing Lucious Lyon the way I do,

I have plenty to choose from.

(crowd cheering)

♪ ♪

COOKIE: Yes! Tiana, girl!

- ♪ Anytime any day, yeah ♪
- ♪ Yeah ♪

♪ I can put it on you, all
you gotta do is say yeah ♪

♪ Oh, you like what you see, yeah? ♪

♪ And I know you know
this where you wanna be, yeah ♪

♪ Now, baby, let me love
you, love you long time ♪

♪ Long time ♪

♪ No one can do it the
way you do, yeah ♪

GRAM: ♪ Look ♪

♪ Her fly match mine ♪

♪ She get better with
time, like fine wine ♪

♪ Call me any hour ♪

I didn't know Gram

was performing with
Tiana tonight. Did you?

♪ And no I ain't that clown
Hakeem, this Gram work ♪

♪ 10,000 likes on ya
pic that gram work ♪

♪ I be taking dudes
chicks like the repo ♪

♪ Later we can throw back
shots like free throws ♪

♪ Whisper in ya ear, I got
some things I wanna tell you ♪

♪ Ya last boyfriend,
mm, not on my level ♪

♪ I can love you long
time, this the anthem ♪

♪ Hella diamonds on ya
body, steady dancing ♪

♪ Cuz I'm the one that's
gon put it down, yeah ♪

COOKIE: Ooh, Hakeem is not happy.

Damn, son, you look worse than I did

when I was dying from ALS.

Thanks, Dad.

I thought you went to the doctors today.

I went to a, um, PTSD group.

PTSD?

It was stupid. Don't worry about it.

Yeah, I could have saved you
the time if you had asked me.

Look, the only thing
that's gonna fix your problem

is get your ass back on that stage.

JAMAL: I'm going into
the studio next week.

I'm gonna record some new stuff.

Being in the studio ain't the
same as being on the stage.

If you don't give these
fans something to look at,

you're gonna lose 'em.

You gonna be all right, Jamal.

Shut up.

- ♪ See yeah ♪
- ♪ What I see ♪

♪ And I know you know
this where you wanna be, yeah ♪

♪ Now, baby, let me love
you, love you long time ♪

- ♪ Long time ♪
- ♪ I can, I can love you ♪

- ♪ Love you long time ♪
- ♪ Long time ♪

♪ Imma put it on
you, on you on time ♪

- ♪ Oh, yeah ♪
- ♪ No one can do it ♪

♪ The way you do it, yeah. ♪

(crowd cheering)

MAN: Yeah!

(grunts) Man!

Listen, I know that he's
foul, or whatever,

but you need to just forget about it.

I'm-a beat his ass,
man. That's my girl, man!

- Had me an affair one.
- That ain't your girl.

- That's my girl!
- Since when is it your girl, Hakeem.

Now, calm your ass down, 'cause fighting

ain't never helped nothing.

Your brother's absolutely right.

It's pointless to
clap back at Gram cracker

unless you're gonna finish him.

You're the Lyon, he's not.

Why don't you spit
some napalm on a diss track,

and bury him and everything
he cares about?

Y'all go ahead and do that.

See, if you've got something
you want to say to someone,

let the world hear you say it.

WOMAN: So, Randal, what
I'm gonna need from you is...

Mom, no. I...

COOKIE (laughing): Get your ass in here.

Wait. Seriously,
Kitty? How did you do this?

Look, boy, don't you question how I make

my black girl magic happen.

I'm gonna cure you of this PTSD.

- Okay, you ready? All right.
- Okay.

Kitty!

Baby, come on down

with your fabulous self... Look at you!

Come on, come on, come on, come on.

These shoes.

(laughs)

Girl, ain't nothing
changed. Look at you!

You look gorgeous, as always.

- And look at this.
- Nah...

- Oh, stop.
- I...

don't even know what to say right now.

Un, well, I think you
should say yes, right, Kitty?

Yes. Yes, yes.

- Yes.
- Uh... Hell... yes.

- What did... (chuckles)
- (laughing)

What did I just say yes to?

I don't care, but...

Uh, well, Kitty, why don't you tell him.

Okay. So this beautiful lady, your mom,

had an idea... I'm here rehearsing.

Getting ready to go on
a South American tour,

and I want you with me,

because we found a
song that's perfect for us.

I just want to sing with you, and
I think it would be amazing.

It's hot, Jamal. It's hot!

I...

I'm not really performing
right now... just yet.

Um... okay.

- I'm gonna go back to rehearsal.
- Yeah, just let me talk

- to him for a second.
- Just call me when... Yeah.

No, no, no, let me talk to
him for a second. Come here!

Get your stupid ass...

- Well...
- Watch your step.

Boy, your father was right.

The number of performance requests

I'm getting for you has dropped to half.

I ain't ready yet, all right?

I'm not.

(sighs) Look...

Kitty even said we have the live rights

to Empire XStream, okay?

And I thought that
would keep your father

off of releasing that
Black & White album of yours.

All right. Kitty...

I have a proposition for you.

Okay.

Wait... you want me
to record for Empire?

You didn't think I brought you here

to have tea, did you?

Look, I caught your performance
at the summit.

It's about the only
thing that kept me awake

during them boring-ass speeches.

So unless you think
Angelo's gonna mind...

- I don't think so.
- Good, son.

Let's go make some music.

- (door closes)
- Dad...

now, I specifically said that
the Black & White album

is not to be released.

Yeah, well, Empire
spent a whole lot of money

on that joint, and we need to recoup.

Besides that, Empire XStream needs it.

Oh, God, do you ever
not mention Empire XStream?

It happens to be a ravenous beast

that is the lifeblood of this company.

So if we don't feed it some content,

it's gonna consume
each and every one of us.

JAMAL: Okay, we get it.

You are a vampire.

(chuckles)

So let me bring you a freshly slit vein

for your liking... Kitty.

Delicious. Keep bleeding.

She agreed to record a duet with me,

and live-stream the
session as exclusive content

to Empire XStream.

Wow, a collaboration like
that would bring in

a whole lot of subscriptions.

JAMAL: Yes, it would.

So...

the Black & White album.

Dead.

Thank you, sir.

(chuckles) Thank you.

And you're welcome.

Very nice.

Is that all you think about?

Crunching numbers and bottom lines?

What else is left for me, Cookie?

(chuckles)

Jamal was right. You are a vampire.

Then why don't you let me
suck on some of your blood?

Drop dead, Lucious.

I can't.

I'm a vampire.

♪ Ha, you-you be blowing
up her line cuz ♪

- ♪ She be throwing me that ♪
- ♪ She be throwing me that ♪

Yeah, he embodying her.

SHINE: Tiana gonna trip
out on this... come on.

♪ Yeah, that's-that's ya new thing ♪

- ♪ Boy, that's old work ♪
- ♪ Old work ♪

♪ And you ain't know ♪

♪ Shoulda did ya homework ♪

♪ And I ain't even mad at ♪

♪ 'Cause I could still hit that ♪

You beastin', Hakeem. That's it.

Now we just need the hook.

It's legendary.

- Nessa, you ready?
- Not really, Shine.

I mean, are we really about to do this?

Yeah, what are you talking about?

I'm really about to go in
here and talk about this girl?

What's the matter?

(sighs) I get it.

You mad at your ex, Keem.

But disrespecting her is not my jam.

No, your jam is in that booth.

Now, get your ass in there and sing.

Who you looking at crazy!

Yo, man, chill!

(gasping)

Nessa, come here.

- (door slams)
- Wow, really?

LUCIOUS: So Shine laid hands on Nessa

'cause she didn't want to do the hook?

And?

Dad, he just put his
hands on her for no reason.

- Are you sleeping with her?
- What?

No, I ain't sleeping with her.

Then it ain't your fight.

Look...

the way I see it, Shine was trying

to get me something that I need,

which is a hot song.

So instead of you running in here

ratting him out like a little bitch,

you need to be taking notes.

I mean, what in the
hell happened to that monster

who tried to take his father out

and rule his throne?

Hmm? Where he at?

I ain't choking no girl.

That's bitch tendencies.

Where he at?

He never left.

'Cause that's who I want
to see raising Bella.

Your song don't work

without a female voice for the hook.

So I don't know what the
hell you're doing standing here.

You need to get me that song.

I just saw Juanita holding Bella.

Aren't you supposed to
be looking after her?

Aren't you supposed to
be sedated... or dead?

My mama used to stick
pins in a voodoo doll

that looked just like you.

(doorbell rings)

Excuse me.

I will go get it. (sighs)

- Hi.
- Hi.

Delivery for Mrs. Lucious Lyon.

Oh, yeah, that's me. Thanks.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

God...

Mr. Dubois?

Oh, there you are.

Hey!

Hey.

So, what, a black kid's life is worth

a couple of bucks and a car?

What?

This young man barely
escapes with his life.

He's on his way to
MIT, full scholarship.

And you want him to throw all that out

for a contract to be a rapper?

The world doesn't need another rapper.

Lucious...

Lucious did that so that
you could be pissed at me.

Are you for real?

Yeah. That's how he plays, dirty.

All right, well, I don't
care about all that.

This kid's future is bright.

So whatever y'all did to tempt him,

you need to undo it.

- Oh, I do, do I?
- Yeah.

- Undo it.
- Do you know how many kids

would kill to have a
recording contract with Empire?

Yes, I know, because I see it every day.

That's what I'm trying to change.

These kids need to know
that they can aspire to be more

than a rapper or an athlete or a...

- a hustler.
- (chuckles)

Boy, bye.

All right, wait. I'm sorry, wait!

I'm sorry.

That wasn't...

Just, can you...

I need you to see what I'm trying
to do with these kids.

Please.

This is the Black Girls Code seminar.

Zeah's a mentor.

- COOKIE: Black Girls Code?
- ANGELO: Yeah.

In computing alone,

there are over a
million jobs in the U.S.

People don't know that.

So all these girls here,
they live in Zeah's neighborhood,

they look up to him.

Good.

All right, see, this is the future.

This right here.

This is how we rise.

MAX: This is a misdemeanor,

and you own the home you
were coming out of.

We should be out of here in
five minutes at the most.

Out in five?

Damn...

I came ready to bust you
out of this joint, man.

What y'all doing here?

I told you this was nothing.

Shut up, Dre.

We're gonna take your jailbird ass out

out to eat after this.

BAILIFF: All rise!

The Honorable Judge
Barbara Reid presiding.

Court is now in session.

- (bangs gavel)
- Be seated.

MAX: Let's go, that's us.

JUDGE: Andre Lyon...

the charges against you are one count

criminal trespassing.

My client pleads not guilty, Your Honor.

I'm not finished, Counselor.

The defendant is also
charged with felony battery,

aggravated assault, and
assault against a police officer.

Your Honor, I...

Step back!

Your Honor, I didn't assault anybody.

That's what a trial is for, Mr. Lyon,

to determine your guilt or innocence.

Yo, so what do all this mean, man?

It means we might just need to

plead out and cut a deal.

I could probably swing
probation if it's your first offense,

- Wait. Wait.
- And eventually, this all goes away...

No, hold the hell up.

What do you mean,
"eventually" and "probation"?

Max, you've known me for a decade.
You were in my wedding.

- Yo, Dre, this dude's an ass.
- MAX: Listen.

It... It's your word against a cop's.

But we'll be fine, we
just need to cut a deal.

No.

Hell no. I'm not gonna
lie about being guilty

when I didn't do anything,

except go into my own damn home, Max.

ANDRE: This is insane.

Get in.

♪ ♪

Told you that you needed
to let Thirsty handle it,

but you didn't want to listen to me.

So now, congratulations.
You're in the system.

Hey, um, make a
right at the next corner,

and then come to a stop.

HAKEEM: Yo, where you taking us?

Our old neighborhood.

This is where we grew up.

We ain't never lived here.

Yeah, we did.

You were a baby. You wouldn't remember.

(coughing, car alarm sounding)

LUCIOUS: Take a good look around.

I did everything I could
to shield y'all from this.

Yeah. Straight, all right?

I'm cool.

After your mama went away, I...

got us up and out of here as
fast as humanly possible,

but I coddled y'all.

Let y'all breathe rarified
air and live behind giant gates

and drive in limos.

Biggest mistake of my life.

'Cause it made y'all soft.

Now my sons

walk these streets like food.

Here endeth the lesson.

This lesson's only begun, son.

You see, self-preservation

has the very first rule of nature:

it's kill or be killed in these streets.

Driver.

Open this damn door.

Why, so you can get out and
get beat up by the cops

or thrown back in jail again?

Or you get shot, and
go running and crying

with your little girlfriends
in your... therapy club.

Or you let some

closet lady-boy punk you in my club.

I mean, this whole time, I thought

the problem was, that you were bipolar

and you were gay

and you were just spoiled.

But now I'm realizing...

...y'all don't know you're black.

(sighs)

Open...

- the door.
- When you step outside

of this high wall of privilege
that I've built around you,

your name might as well
be Trayvon or Philando

or Freddie.

And the fault lies in me.

'Cause I didn't prepare you.

And it's something you got to live with.

But you better get woke, and quick.

Because you are one moment
away from becoming a hashtag,

and I don't care how many white
wives or white lawyers

- you get...
- Open this door!

Open it!

♪ ♪

You dare talk about my
wife after what happened?

I don't know what it means to
be a black man in America?

I know what it means to be a Lyon.

And I'd rather be in jail...
Hell, I'd rather be dead...

Than end up like you.

Open this damn door
before I break it off its hinges.

You heard the Lyon.

Open the door. Let the Lyon out.

MAN: Hey, that's my couch!

Hey, you got to get
yo feet off my couch...

MAN 2: Hey, yo, can I get a light?

JAMAL: Dre!

MAN: Oh, that's him! It's Jamal!

Ain't you gonna follow your sisters?

Hell, nah, old man.

Hey, yo.

Take me and Original Black Man

to the studio.

I'm-a let 'em eat these words.

(door closes)

You gonna like this.

Let's see what you got. Run that.

♪ You ain't know, uh,
that-that's ya new thing ♪

♪ Boy, that's old work,
oh, you ain't know ♪

♪ Shoulda did ya homework, ha,
damn boy, that's ya chick ♪

♪ I been hittin' that

- ♪ Yeah ♪
- ♪ Yeah, she ain't gon ♪

- ♪ Love you love you long time ♪
- ♪ I bet that freak won't ♪

SHINE: Yo, that's why Tiana's bunkin'!

♪ She on the bandwagon, walk
around lit pants sag ♪

♪ Pockets too deep, he give you a gram ♪

♪ Not the whole thing, he too cheap ♪

♪ I can put it on you ♪

♪ Nah, you can stay
there, you washed up ♪

♪ Get that boy mopped up ♪

♪ This the clap boy for that whack boy ♪

♪ You ain't hot, you
just a rebound tryin' ta get ♪

♪ The King spot, put some ♪

♪ Respect on it ♪

♪ This verse pop, don't it ♪

♪ If you put a ring on it ♪

♪ Bet I still own it ♪

♪ Just got a new MAC-11 ♪

♪ I'm finna use it on gram playa ♪

♪ I do what I want, you
lame, you do what you can ♪

♪ We talking money I be
blowing bags all night ♪

♪ Just know that she gon
do a dance for me all night ♪

♪ Don't let me catch
you round here, boy ♪

♪ It's on sight, next day ♪

♪ I'm outta town, I be on flight ♪

Huh! What was that?

♪ 'Cause she be throwingme that ♪

♪ Cake cake cake, she
be throwing me that ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, as soon as ♪

♪ You leave, she be sending me a text ♪

- ♪ Like boy ♪
- ♪ Get over here ♪

♪ Yeah that's-that's ya new thing ♪

♪ Boy, that's old work,
and you ain't know ♪

♪ Shoulda did ya homework ♪

♪ And I ain't even mad at ya ♪

- ♪ 'Cause I can still hit that ♪
- ♪ Every day Every day. ♪

Charlie, open it up, open
it up, open it up.

Damn!

- (chuckles)
- You took that off of

Tiana from two nights ago.

Yeah. 100% owned by Empire.

See now, that's that
monster I'm talking about.

(phone ringing)

Why are you calling me?

Wait-wait, hell no.

I'll be right there.

Look.

I want to see that on
your Channel tonight.

Bring him home, Shine.

Got it.

♪ ♪

Where is she?

What are you doing in my office?

Almost...

A little higher...

Almost...

Yes!

Yes!

Yes! (hits table)

(yelling): Lucious!

(sighs)

You sound more excited than me.

I am, Lucious.

Oh! I am.

(chuckles)

Mm.

ANIKA: Don't worry.

- He was...
- (opens box)

just looking... for my earring.

- Oh, no, no!
- (laughs)

Nah, why you running out?

Uh-uh. Come on.

Yes.

I only wanted to remind you

that when you push
me, I push back harder.

Then I'll remind you

that you are my wife, in my house,

and you're gonna act like it.

And the only men that's
gonna be touching you in here

is gonna be the coroner, when
he carries your dead-ass body away

after my crazy-ass mama kills you.

No.

Excuse me?

That's not how this
is gonna go, Lucious.

See, I married you to save...

yo ass.

And then I saved your ass again

when I found that
camera in the teddy bear,

so let's be clear.

I am not the one who
needs this marriage.

No, you married me because
you always wanted to be

Mrs. Lucious Lyon.

Not anymore.

I am here, in this

haunted house of horrors, because I knew

that if I did cooperate with Tariq,

my baby would grow up without a mother.

Very, very smart girl.

And now you're cornered.

And so are you.

I'm just making a point here, Lucious.

I'm gonna do...

what I want,

when I want...

or we both go down in flames.

I like to call it mutually

assured destruction.

(buzzer sounds)

(man speaks indistinctly over P.A.)

GUARD: All clear!

GUARD 2: All right, let's go.

Jamal. You finally came.

No, no, no... stop, stop, stop!

- No, stop!
- (screams)

Now, hold on...

Look, we good.

Yeah. Everything's okay.

They got 15, right?

That's right.

I'll walk you back.

Sorry I didn't come see you sooner. Aww.

At least you're here.

Yeah, I hate seeing you like this.

Such a waste of your
talent and everything.

It is what it is. But...
What's up with you, though?

I've been waiting to hear the
latest Jamal Lyon smash.

Just laying low, you know?

Yeah, I'm messed to come out.

Ah, forget that album. I
ain't done with that anyway.

The Jamal Lyon I know is
a beast in the studio.

No, the Jamal Lyon that you
knew went missing when you shot him.

Jamal, I didn't mean to hurt you.

- No!
- (gunshot, screams)

Yeah, but you did.

Freda.

And now I'm sitting here, I'm just...

I'm... man, I'm ruined.

Oh, and that's your
fault. You the one that did it.

Oh, Jamal, please...

- Yo, somebody get her please?
- Jamal!

I did not mean to hurt you!

- Back up, prisoner.
- I didn't! You got...

- Get off of me, man!
- Come on!

Jamal! Jamal!

COOKIE: Andre, go see where Jamal's at.

I got it.

They're waiting on you, brother.

Let's do this.

♪ ♪

♪ It's too.. ♪

(clears throat) Sorry. Sorry.

- Hold up, hold up.
- (music stops)

Sorry.

This is not my day.

- Hold up.
- No, it's good.

(sighs)

- Um...
- You good?

- Yeah, I'm okay.
- Hey, Jamal.

If you ain't really feeling this,

we can reschedule this thing.

Is that what you want to do?

No, no.

KITTY: Personally, I think we're good.

JAMAL: Yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah. Just give me a second

because, just, can we turn the
lights down or something?

That's good... let's get the
mood right in the studio.

I got it.

I think we're about to
be front row and center

for another Jamal flameout.

Andre.

They got you doing everything
around here.

Just, uh, trying to help out, Kitty.

KITTY: Very nice.

What a waste of time.

So, um, I was thinking at the bridge,

we'd treat it like... kind
of like a rap session.

MAN (on intercom): He might need it.

- Throw Auto-Tunes on the bridge.
- Y'all ready?

I'm ready.

(piano intro plays)

♪ ♪

♪ Tonight all things are possible ♪

♪ Come drink, my cup it overflows ♪

♪ Right now we face ♪

♪ The sunrise of love ♪

- ♪ Ah ah ah ♪
- ♪ Mmm ♪

♪ You're bound to
close this little mind ♪

♪ Wishes break in and justify ♪

♪ A sweet hurricane ♪

♪ Of love flowing with the tide ♪

♪ Now say you mean the world to me ♪

♪ See what you are ♪

- ♪ It's infamous... ♪
- ♪ It's infamous... ♪

So how does that crow taste?

I mean, I'm surprised...

but happy.

♪ ♪

♪ I know it's dangerous ♪

♪ But I believe a greater love... ♪

Man, that boy's high as a kite,

but, damn, they sound good.

COOKIE: Shut up. He is not.

KITTY: ♪ So turn to me ♪

♪ Carry on and on and rap with me ♪

♪ Long as it's real in the rhythm ♪

- ♪ Okay, you got quite a reputation ♪
- COOKIE: Yes, baby, that's it!

♪ Been around since
day one baby, my A-one ♪

♪ Knowing we have a little past ♪

♪ But yeah, ain't
nothin' like that creation ♪

♪ Carry on and on and rap with me ♪

♪ Long as we're rolling we're safe ♪

♪ I'm going to say so
you know what that means ♪

♪ It ain't my last temptation ♪

♪ I know that my feelings is clouded ♪

♪ But baby we can't live without it ♪

♪ Love's no game ♪

♪ Oh, carry on and on and rap with me ♪

♪ Long as we're rolling it's safe... ♪

- ♪ Now say you're me ♪
- ♪ Hey ♪

- ♪ But I believe ♪
- ♪ Hey ♪

- ♪ A greater love there'll never be ♪
- ♪ Never never ♪

♪ I'm up there boy ♪

- ♪ Yeah ♪
- ♪ So try to see ♪

♪ Carry on and on and rap with me ♪

♪ As long as it's growing
as long as it's moving ♪

- ♪ Real for love ♪
- ♪ Ah. ♪

Yes.

(applause)

(chuckles)

Y'all are some bad,
bad, bad people up in there.

I can't believe this is real.

LUCIOUS: Oh, it's very real.

That and much more, anything you want.

Even the keys to a brand-new car.

All you got to do is sign
on the dotted line.

(sighs) I'm a little nervous.

Yeah, I'd be nervous, too, if I was

signing my life over to the devil.

(chuckles) Look, Zeah,

baby, I know this is hard,

so I'm gonna do this for you.

What in the hell do
you think you're doing?

Sending him to
college, where he belongs.

Such a shame.

You could have been huge.

Did Mr. Wonderful put you up to this?

I put me up to this.

Zeah, look, when I look at you,

I see more than a future

multi-platinum-selling artist.

What I see is a brilliant mind.

Yeah, the world has enough rappers.

We don't need another one... yet.

But I tell you what.

If you're serious about music,

you come see us after you
graduate in four years.

Empire ain't going nowhere.

You really think this business
is gonna wait for your ass?

You have Cookie's word, baby.

And that means a lot out
here on these streets.

Thank you for what you did for Zeah.

You're welcome.

Angelo...

you're not better than me.

I'm not ashamed of who I am,

I'm not ashamed of where I come from,

or the fact that Lucious and I started

from the bottom with nothing.

And now we're here.

I'm not ashamed of
the music I make, so...

I understand that.

I respect you.

I respect your music, and I respect

everything that you do.

Thank you.

I mean that for real, Cookie.

Empire is an American triumph.

- That it is.
- Mm-hmm.

- (chuckles) Whoa...
- Oh...

(laughs)

Let's get some lunch first.

Yes. I'll get at you.

Okay. Nice try, though.

- I'll get it next time.
- (Cookie laughs)

Well, your father should be happy.

We got over ten million subscribers,

and we spiked another 150,000

just in the hour after streaming

you and Kitty's duet.

Why are you standing
here looking stupid?

Wait for it.

Uh, wait for what?

COOKIE (gasps): The Black Album?

- What is that?
- Yeah.

Good thing I took a bullet for him.

Now I can kill him myself.

Wait, wait, wait, Jamal.

LUCIOUS: It's beautiful, ain't it?

Uh... Jamal!

So what the hell is
the damn Black Album?

The Black Album?

Just a little something that came up

in a marketing brainstorm.

You see, half the songs on that album,

which Jamal likes to
call "the black side,"

is produced by me.

Yeah, I know, I know.

So all I had to do
was get rid of the songs

that you produced,

and it became this whole new concept.

I mean, his fans are gonna
love it, it'll probably...

double subscription overnight.

This ain't got nothing to do

with Empire XStream, does it?

Yeah, this is personal.

Yeah, it's personal.

But it's also business.

'Cause, see that's what we do, right?

No, that's what you do, Lucious.

I like how y'all are judging me,

like y'all are walking around
with these haloes.

I'm a human being, Cook.

Good, you should try acting like one.

I did, until you hurt my feelings.

Oh, I kept hurting your
feelings, Lucious?

Like you're the only
one walking around here

with feelings, really?

Well, you're walking around here

demonizing me for how

I run my company.

But I haven't seen ne'er
one of y'all quit.

Yeah, because half of this company

belongs to me.

And that's the piece
you like to forget, Lucious.

- Half of this company?
- Half, that's right.

This whole separation of responsibility

that you keep talking about,

that's never gonna happen.

I'm retaking control of Empire Music

because, at the end of the day,

it's all business.

Oh, you are, are you?

Well, don't forget I
have the board on my side.

So if you try to kick me out,

that means war.

Is that what you want, Lucious?

Oh... (chuckles)

Well, all right... baby.

You wanna play?

Let's play.

Let the games begin, Cook.

Let's play.

Out walking while black.

Isn't that what got you in
trouble in the first place?

(sighs)

What do you want?

Just seeing how you're doing

under the weight of some nasty charges.

Assaulting a police officer?

Mm, mm, mm!

I read Officer
Horowitz's amended report.

He makes you sound positively unhinged.

You gonna see some time
after that... believe that.

You're behind this.

Some twisted way of getting
back at my father.

You got that officer to
lie and up my charges.

Oh, I just sat back
and let the man talk.

By the time he finished,

he remembered all
kinds of mess about you.

That's how they do.

I just made sure I took advantage
of the situation.

Mm.

You think I'm scared...

of some trumped-up
charges from a trumped-up Fed?

Is that what you think I am?

Maybe I'm just a black
sheep just like you.

Hmm? Nah, hear me out, nephew.

We ain't so far apart.

Maybe you should do yourself a favor...

before we get you, too. Hmm?

I get it. You think you can make me

inform on my father

in exchange for
dropping some charges, right?

Let me help you out, Uncle.

That ain't gonna happen.

You are your father's son after all.

Well, we shall see.

It doesn't take much to
put the screws on a black man,

once he's part of the system.

And you ain't no ordinary black man.

You're a Lyon. Prize game.

Have a good night, nephew.