Trai Byers (Andre Lyon) appears in this photo from the "Be True" episode of Fox's "Empire."

Trai Byers (Andre Lyon) appears in this photo from the “Be True” episode of Fox’s “Empire.”

*Empire’s rating might be down just a smidge, but the overall writing is getting much better.

In Episode 5, no member of the Lyon family is exempt from drama. All the charges against Lucious have been dropped after it was determined Vernon committed suicide. Not sure how the judge came to that conclusion after his corpse was found in the car of Roxanne Wood, the prosecuting attorney in the case against Lucious. But his glee was rather short-lived as these flashbacks with his mama are revealing more and more about his rather nefarious formative years.

Ta'Rhonda Jones (Porsha) and Whoopty Whoop appear in this photo from the "Be True" episode of Fox's "Empire."

Ta’Rhonda Jones (Porsha) and Whoopty Whoop appear in this photo from the “Be True” episode of Fox’s “Empire.”

Thankfully, Cookie had the good sense to rehire Porsha and her shaggy little guard dog Whoopty-Whoop after Tiana is jacked leaving the studio. Cookie and her new consultant, Laz, determine that Cookie is being marked because she’s the ex-wife of one of the richest men in hip-hop.

Singer/songwriter Ne-Yo makes a guest appearance on Fox's "Empire" in the "Be True" episode.

Singer/songwriter Ne-Yo makes a guest appearance on Fox’s “Empire” in the “Be True” episode.

Poor Jamal can’t seem to find the right rhythm personally or professionally. He busts his boo Michael with the slimy photographer who hit on Jamal before turning Michael out. Next! The good news, however, is that Jamal and Ne-Yo are planning to do a little sumthin’ together on the road.

Hakeem makes the wrong moves on his new singer Laura and she bolts, saying she’s not that kind of girl. But the smitten baby mogul apparently has found true love and is seemingly willing to give up those on standby in his harem.

Yani Marin, Jamila Velazquez and Raquel Castro appear in the "Be True" episode of Fox's "Empire."

Yani Marin, Jamila Velazquez and Raquel Castro appear in the “Be True” episode of Fox’s “Empire.”

The night, however, belonged to Andre, who invited his estranged family members to his baptism. Dre confessed all of his sins on the advice of his pastor and brought the family together for a minute until Lucious walked out of the church after another one of his flashback episodes with his mama. In this one, she actually tries to drown her baby boy.

Dre, who is now president of Gutter Life records, also mixes it up with his father’s lawyer, Thirsty. Too soon to tell if Thirsty is shady, but he did hire some thugs to steal tracks from Cookie for Lucious.

Or did he have other reasons?

Just like last week’s episode, this one ends with a bang. I hope Jamal hadn’t booked any studio time in the near future. He’s likely to be MIA for those sessions!

Bre-Z (Freda) and Terrence Howard (Lucious Lyon) appear in this photo from the "Be True" episode of Fox's "Empire."

Bre-Z (Freda) and Terrence Howard (Lucious Lyon) appear in this photo from the “Be True” episode of Fox’s “Empire.”

The storyline that needs some fine-tuning on the fast track, however, features Bre-Z, the daughter of the late Frank Gathers. Right now nothing about it is making me care. Either develop it quickly or let it go.

Best Lines

• “I fired her because she got me arrested.” Cookie explaining Porsha’s absence to Tiana.
• “Andre, nice to see you without a shovel.” Thirsty to Andre, referencing his attempt to exhume Vernon’s remains.
• “That’s a mistake. The first rule of the road is that you don’t bring your girlfriend—I mean boyfriend.” Lucious to Jamal, advising him not to take sand to the beach.
• “Reverend, my family doesn’t go to a church unless somebody’s in a casket.” Andre to his pastor when asked if his family would be attending his baptism.
• “Jesus do love you. I don’t care what the Bible says.” Becky to Jamal, who is drowning his sorrows with a few drinks after breaking up with his boyfriend.
• “God knows your heart, now keep your mouth shut!” Cookie to her sons at the church.
• “I think I seen some angels running for cover.” Hakeem, upon seeing his father enter the church.
• “Mention the devil’s name and he will walk right in.” Cookie, upon seeing Lucious enter the church.