Season 2 Episode 2
"Without a Country"
Cookie and her cohorts decide to start their own small record label, but it’s off to a bumpy start as everyone has different visions for the new label. As his first project for the new company, Hakeem decides to form a girl group and woos a hot Latina lead singer (guest star Becky G.), proving that he can be more than just an artist. Meanwhile, Lucious, feeling extra pressure from a bloodthirsty prosecutor, hires a new lawyer (guest star Andre Royo) and records an epic track from inside jail. In Lucious’ absence, Jamal neglects his music and makes business moves that further his journey toward becoming every bit as ruthless as his father.
Security escorts out Cookie, Andre and Hakeem. She says the can start their own company. Dre says it wont work and Cookie says Hakeem can finish his album. Andre says Jamal won’t give them the album. Cookie say Tiana is going with them. Hakeem asks her to let him work albums. Cookie doesn’t want Anika but Hakeem likes to Anika and says she’s in. Anika is working with V. Cookie says they can call it anything they want. Cookie talks to Andre who says they need Anika.
Rhonda says this could work. Hakeem says he wants to set up a girl group like Destiny’s Child. They meet at the ratty ghetto studio. Cookie reminds them they started making music in Carol’s living room long before they had an Empire. She says whatever they call it, as long as mama has something to do with it, it will live up to its name. The owner of the studio says Anika is already there recording with V. Anika annoys V who goes to walk out. Cookie stops her and tells Bo Boo Kitty she’s taking over from here.
Lucious is told by the clinic nurse that his authorization form is missing and he can’t give him his meds for his illness. He suggest Lucious call his lawyer to get it corrected. Jamal is performing at his place while Michael watches. He does an interview after. The reporter asks how Jamal deals with his male and female fans all going crazy for him. He says it’s fine as long as your relationship is solid. The reporter talks about how adorable Michael is and what a good cook he is.
The reporter asks about a new album and he says he’s been busy. Then she asks about Lucious’ trial. He says he can’t say too much about that and is working on music and making smart decisions. He says it’s hard on them all. Cookie shows up and interrupts. Jamal drags her into another room and says he’s trying to do an interview. Cookie reminds him that she set up the interview. She says she wants to talk about Hakeem who he calls a traitor.
She says Hakeem was hurt by their dad and asks him to give back his album. He asks why he’d do that and Cookie says he won and got Empire and all Hakeem has left is his music. She says his dad is trying to make him like him. Cookie smiles nice for the cameras then tells Jamal that they are starting their own label. In the prison yard, Lucious's new crew asks him to sing his new song. McKnight, a prison guard played by Ludacris, watches in disgust.
Lucious has to stop rapping because he’s coughing and his vision goes blurry. McKnight walks over and asks if he’s having trouble breathing. He tells them party’s over and get the hell off the table then calls them boys. Lucious tells them to calm down and tells Big Country to calm down. McKnight goes off on them and says everything is his, not theirs and they better not forget it. Hakeem auditions women for the girls group. Many are awful. Valentina is next – guest start Becky G.
Valentina kills the audition. She asks if she got the job. He says he’s trying to keep it at three. She says Instagram didn’t say anything about a girl group and says she’s not into being in a group. She goes off on him in Spanish then translates it to say she’ll make it without him. The next audition is awful and Andre interrupts and asks what this mess is. He tells the girl not to sing another word then tells Hakeem he can’t make decisions without them. Chicken says to keep singing. Andre tells Cookie that Hakeem needs to be in the studio not messing with girl groups. He says they will sink unless Hakeem is recording.
Lucious gets whooped at by McKnight and says he’s not interested in being up Lucious’ ass. He asks if the breathing is getting any better. McKnight says he doesn’t give a damn and he makes them look bad and he wishes he would drop dead. He says his medication might turn up if he was more cooperative. McKnight walks away and Lucious watches him go.
Cookie talks to Hakeem and says Tiana is recording tomorrow. Hakeem wants to focus on the girl group and Andre says he’s using the auditions like a sped date session. Anika shows up and Cookie goes off with her. Hakeem says he wanted one white girl, one black girl and one Hispanic – called Rainbow Sensation. Cookie asks if his daddy dropped him on his head. Anika says the concept is good, the name is bad. Anika and Cookie go off on each other. Anika tells her good luck and walks out. Andre and Hakeem aren’t happy about Cookie.
Jamal tells his dad he’s thinking about giving Hakeem his album. He says Hakeem should be at Empire and tells Jamal to make it happen. Jamal asks what’s the matter and he says he’s fine and is working on new music. He talks about doing a Lucious Lyon joint from the joint. Jamal says that would be epic.
He says he needs some basic recording equipment. A laptop, mini twister and a step up. Thurston Rawlings is at the next table and hands them a card. He’s a lawyer. He asks when was the last time they got him a bail hearing. Lucious asks if he can do better. Thurston comes to sit with them and Jamal says the guy went to school in Guam and is in a cheap suit. Thurston says withholding meds is one of prosecutor Roxanne’s tactics.
Tiana is working on her new song and Hakeem shows up. Hakeem tells her she’s on fire and she asks if he has the song he owes her. She says he’s trying to be Diddy then he asks her to join her girl group. Tiana says she won’t be at the label if this is what they’re doing and Cookie shows up and tells Hakeem to back off. Hakeem is startled by Jamal pulling up outside the studio. He tells Hakeem to get in and he says he saw dad and he wants him back at Empire and so does he.
Hakeem asks why now and Jamal says it’s time to move past what they did. Hakeem asks if he’ll take Andre and Cookie back too and Jamal says one step at a time. Jamal promises to do a big release for his album if he comes back. Cookie sees them together and Jamal puts the window up in her face and tells Hakeem – let’s go.
Hakeem shares a bubble bath soak with Valentina. She asks if he’s not really doing the girl group. He says he’s going back to Empire and she says she would do the girl group gig for Empire. Jamal fixes drinks and offers one to Rhonda who says she’s not drinking these days. She says she’s nervous then says she’s not supposed to be there. She tells him she’s scared for Andre and says he’s miserable and Empire was everything to him.
Jamal asks why he’s doing the label with Cookie. Rhonda says Andre messed up but she asks him to forgive him and says Andre wants to be back at Empire with the family and says he gave his heart and life to the company. Jamal says he misses Dre and says he’d like to hand off a lot of stuff he’s dealing with to Andre. Rhonda tells him she’s pregnant. Jamal is thrilled for them. He says he’s Uncle Jamal and agrees to talk to Lucious about Andre. Rhonda says not to say anything to Andre and he says he’ll handle it.
Lucious is in the clinic when a guard sets his meds on the counter and says it’s from his lawyer Thirsty. Later, the guard tells Lucious that Thirsty has a lot of friends in here. He takes him to a room where they set up a mini recording story for him. The guard says he’s locking them in and has 65 minutes. Guy is playing drums and keyboards. Mike and Bam Bam are there helping too. The song is about snitching ass bitches.
Guy says it’s a Lucious Lyon hit. Then McKnight comes in and breaks up the session. He says to lock them up for the contraband. Lucious says they’re already locked up and snaps cuffs hard on him. Lucious says they were just talking about his ass. He pulls Lucious out in the hall. He puts Lucious in solitary and McKnight says in there, he’s just another prisoner and he could kill him now with no consequences. Lucious says he knows people that know about his family.
McKnight says that’s a new charge. Lucious says people like McKnight and that bitch Ford make mistakes. McKnight slams the metal window shut. McKnight is attacked in a parking lot and he fights back hard. They pistol whip him and demand to know where the laptop is that he took from Lucious. They deliver the laptop to Thirsty and tell him they checked to make sure the music is on it. Cookie tells Hakeem she understands why he wants to go back to Empire.
Andre asks if he’s going to take his Rainbow Abomination. Hakeem says he’s not working for Lucious or Jamal’s punk ass. Chicken shows them that Hakeem just leaked his album online. Andre asks if he’s stupid and says Empire will sue him. Hakeem says he just cares that his music is out. Andre says he’s done and goes to walk out. Cookie chases him out. She tells him he worries too much and says Jamal won’t sue him. Andre tells Cookie she doesn’t worry enough.
He tells her this isn’t him working at this scrappy little set up. He says his heart is not in this. He asks her to let him go. She begs him not to and says she needs him. He says over and over – let me go. He walks away. The boss of Ghetto-Ass shows Cookie a space she can use and he uses the word dynasty to describe some things that were stored there. She likes the name Dynasty and asks him to clean it. He says clean it herself.
Andre goes to see his dad and says he messed up being part of Cookie’s hostile takeover. Lucious says it hurt him and Andre says Empire is in his blood and wants him to forgive him. He asks if he’s still going to church and Andre says to pray to God to forgive him because he doesn’t. He goes to walk away and Andre says he rejected Jamal for who he was and now he’s running Empire. He says Hakeem slept with his fiancée and he wants him back there.
He asks why he looks at him like he’s a mutant. Lucious says he doesn’t hate him but still walks away. Andre is distraught. Hakeem goes to see Jamal and they jam together. He sings a song about saying sorry not cutting it. Hakeem says he’s glad he’s singing again and Jamal says he wrote the song for him. He says to come home to Empire and they can do more stuff together. Hakeem says he’s not coming back and Jamal asks about his album and Hakeem says he leaked it.
Jamal asks if that’s how they’re going to roll and says Hakeem will never see a penny and he’ll sue his black ass. Hakeem says their new album is Lyon Dynasty and says they’ll crush Empire. Jamal says he’s corny and to get out. Cookie cleans up the new space when Hakeem shows up. He asks if the two of them are their new kingdom. She tells him to grab a broom and help. They hear Lucious’ new song he dropped from prison. Cookie says he has his way.
Cookie says it’s hot and Hakeem says he’s going to come at them hard and she says that’s why they have to get it up and running before Lucious gets out. The bail hearing is going down and there are protestors outside screaming to free Lucious. Thirsty shows up late and says he has new evidence. He hands a copy to the judge and Ford. It’s the judge in S&M photos. The judge says he will be released on bail for $1 million. Obviously Ford didn’t see the photos.
Synopsis is courtesy of Stormy Elizabeth/CelebDirtyLaundry.com