EMPIRE: L-R: Taraji P. Henson and Bryshere Gray in the “True Love Never” episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Chuck Hodes/FOX.

EMPIRE: L-R: Taraji P. Henson and Bryshere Gray in the “True Love Never” episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Nov. 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX..

*After last week’s horrific episode I was certain that no good would come of viewing another. But while last night’s Empire wasn’t perfect, it was far more cohesive than the one that preceded it.

The show opened up with Cookie and her new boo Laz in bed. It appears that they remained naked and sweaty for the next three days as they make love, have food delivered, make love again—you get the picture. It was good to see Cookie get her freak on with not one strand of hair out of place. When they finally stop and Laz excuses himself to go buy a newspaper, Cookie should have known he was up to no good. Who does that?

Laz was actually meeting up with one of his boys to discuss plans to extort money from Cookie, who is planning an event featuring all of her artists and will need “protection.”

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Lucious was quite busy as well. We see him laying tracks with his latest discovery, Freda, the rappin’ daughter of the man he had killed in prison. After they wrap, Lucious takes a copy of the track to Linc from The Mod Squad—I mean some award-winning Quincy Jones-like music producer. He tells Lucious that he has to “dig deeper,” which triggers the first of many annoying flashbacks with young Lucious and his mother played by Kelly Rowland.

Hopefully the point of these will be revealed soon.

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Mimi, the lesbian investor who reneged on her deal with Cookie, Andre and Hakeem when they were attempting to take over Empire, was back on the scene discussing the company’s bottom line with Lucious and his executives. Andre, rightfully suspicious of her motives, gets kicked to the curb when she suggests a meeting with a man who might be interested in a merger. Instead, Lucious dispatches his oldest son to City Hall to fix a little legal situation involving Freda and some gang activity.

Andre’s visit to the lieutenant mayor’s office is successful but only after he tapes her trying to seduce him and threatens to report her to the mayor.

Jamal didn’t have much to do last night. He sang a few bars of some tortured ballad and when he got stuck, texted his mother – who was still in bed with Laz – saying he needed her help. She was initially hesitant because they are competitors, but Laz reminded her that Jamal was her son. Naturally, Cookie’s suggestions helped Jamal turn it out, but they almost got caught in her studio by Hakeem. Thank God he didn’t catch him. I can’t take another tantrum from this dude. It’s too painful to watch.

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Hakeem spent most of the episode pimping his girl group. When Cookie strongly suggested they switch out the lead singer because “she just doesn’t have it,” Hakeem was determined to prove her wrong. So he has her sing “I Will Survive” in Spanish outside an office building and suddenly she’s gone from Michelle to Beyonce.

One of the more curious turns last night was when Lucious and Mimi were about to kick it with some half-naked woman at Lu’s crib. Mimi gets a call and tells someone “it’s going to take longer than I expected.” Next things we see are Lucious grabbing the phone and telling Mimi’s wife to leave her alone, Lucious kissing Mimi and then Lucious leaving that scene to go get his piece before we see another flashback.

Apparently the gun triggered a memory that allowed Lucious to dig deeper and figure out what the track was missing. With gun in hand, Freda and Lucious work it out.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

BEST LINES:

  • “Yaaas, my boss is a pimp!” Porscha as Cookie exits the building in some wild outfit.
  • “What are you doing looking all walk of shame and what not?” Hakeem to Cookie as she tries to hide the fact that she’s been in the studio with Jamal.