Poor Cookie's (Taraji P. Henson) roll of the love dice earned her snake eyes on this week's Empire, when her relationship with Angelo (Taye Diggs) went left AND Lucious (Terrence Howard) proved again he's not good — or even available — for her either. Elsewhere, Andre (Trai Byers) ramped up his campaign to take down his dad, and Giuliana (Nia Long) inched toward a patented Cookie beatdown. Check out the episode's 7 most outrageous moments below.
1. Giuliana meets Cookie
When Andre's shifty co-conspirator Giuliana — who we know is VERY DANGEROUS thanks to Lucious saying it and the ominous music that accompanies her every step — is reunited with Lucious in the lobby of Empire, she also meets Cookie, setting off an exchange that's something like the hip-hop Abbott and Costello. Shine (Xzibit) is like, "He knew Rafael?" and Cookie says, "Who is Rafael?" and Lucious is like, "Why are you speaking of Rafael in the past tense?" (Hint: it's because Giuliana is VERY DANGEROUS.) Anyway, Cookie's stank eye towards her is priceless and sets up an inevitable fight to come.
2. Lucious' struggle ponytail
Let's just address this before we go any further. Lucious' O.G. prison ponytail is many, many things, and it deserves a soliloquy. His struggling-for-hangtime, fresh-out-of-a-fishnet pimp pony demands respect on the yard but now that it's back out in the streets, needs a reentry and rehabilitation program. That ponytail needs a hug. That ponytail can't use the internet. That ponytail needs to go to church this Sunday, march to the altar and promise to follow the Lord.
3. Andre proposes copying Beyoncé
Cookie hosts a dinner to tell her boys that momma's about to be Mrs. Cookie DuBois. This sends Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) into a predictable hissy fit before her sons come to agree that she ought to be happy. Later in the scene, Andre proposes doing a visual album on Empire Extreme, which just sounds like stapling together two big music industry trends as opposed to innovative thought. Post-Lemonade, everyone wants a visual album. Frank Ocean did a visual album. Brad Paisley is doing a visual album. The next KIDZ BOP will be a visual album at this rate. Try harder, Andre.
4. Shine drags Thirsty (Andre Royo) with an epic verbal smackdown
"The only reason I'm not smacking you out of that Buy One, Get One Free suit you got on right now is out of respect for Lucious," Shine says to the perennially petty attorney. So good.
5. Lucious has never heard of Amy Winehouse or Adele
Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) rushes to get Lucious to hear some vocals Tory (Rumer Willis) is laying down and he's all like, "Nobody would ever expect her to be singing soul music! A white girl blowing through black music like that?!" Will someone please FedEx this music mogul a compilation of tracks by Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Teena Marie and early Madonna pronto? Anyway, Lucious is swiping her music, right from under Andre's nose, so that's nice.
6. Cookie sabotages her relationship... and Angelo's mayoral campaign
Ah, the old "incriminating hot mic" trick! Not only does Cookie flush her chances of being officially bad and boujee down the commode, she inadvertently gets Angelo to confess to illegal stuff while everyone in the studio of that budget public access show could hear it over the loudspeakers. Well done, Cookie!
7. The Lyons officially drive Diana DuBois (Phylicia Rashad) insane
There WILL be no scene on Empire this season or any to come that tops Phylicia Rashad calling Cookie an ungrateful bitch and vowing to make the Lyons pay until they grovel for a "merciful death." The Joker-like smile she cracks here as she says, "They're going down," just might live in my nightmares for the next weeks, and I'm so here for it.
What were your favorite unbelievable moments?
Empire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Fox.