(Warning: This post contains spoilers from Season 4, Episode 12 of Empire titled "Sweet Sorrow." Read at your own risk.)
Wednesday's episode revealed that the backbone of the Lyon family only suffered a mild heart attack and will be just fine as long as she reduces the stress in her life. But considering that Andre's (Trai Byers) betrayal still looms over the family and Eddie (Forest Whitaker) is now staging a coup on their record label, following the doctor's orders won't be an easy feat.
As she heads down the road to recovery, the health scare will expose a side of Cookie that we haven't quite seen before, forcing her to really think about her mortality. "We've seen her vulnerable before but this is different," Jussie Smollett told TV Guide. "This whole part of the season really shows Cookie vulnerable for different reasons. She's scared for her health."
And Cookie won't be the only one adversely affected by this. With the strongest member of the family down for the count, it will be up to the rest of the Lyons to step up and finally get their messy lives in order. "[It's] a wakeup call not just for Lucious but also her sons," added Smollett. " [It's] like, 'Listen we gotta get our stuff together. That's kind of the catalyst that brings the family together."
The seed has already been planted with Andre uncovering Eddie's secret plan, taking that important first step towards getting back in his family's good graces.
The health scare will also draw Cookie's long-absent mother Renee (played by Alfre Woodard) to town, undoubtedly bringing more unwanted stress into her life. While Cookie's sisters Carol (Tasha Smith) and Candace (Vivica A. Fox) have been keeping up with mom, the Lyon family matriarch still holds a grudge against the woman who walked out on them when they were younger. Though well-intentioned, Renee's visit probably won't be a welcome one.
Watch the drama unfold when Empire continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on Fox.