Empire: (S03E16) “Absent Child”

The family comes in like a pride of lions, to sit with the family Dubois. They believe the Dubois’ called CPS , removing Bella from the Lyons Den. The Dubois family denies any involvement. “Sorry for your loss”

Then we find, Bella’s lost in the system!  Hakeem is livid and blames Dubois. He live streams; stemming a “Free Bella” movement outside the Dubois home.

Cookie works with Shine on the DL to get her baby back! She knows Angelo or his mama has her grandchild. I first thought of Tariq, but remembered he ran. #waste

Later, Cookie meets Shine @ a laundromat & they beat up a tied up Angelo. “Where’s Bella?!” He claims he doesn’t know.  Not believing him, Cookie continues the beating. He begs. It was very disturbing.

Back @ the Lyon’s Den, Thirsty (Andre Royo) declares on paper the entire family is unfit, He suggests expediting the divorce, so that Anika is favored. Thirsty makes it happen and Lucious vows to make the family”fit’ for Bella.  He did sound sincere. ♥Ummm. A Lucious shift in consciousness?

Anika wants to die!  At least she declared so, when Andre, remembering Rhonda’s words, decides this is the day she does just that! He decides to let her live as she screams & cries, “do it!” She is suffering.  Like an Ice man and satisfied with her pain; he’ll let her live, so she can continue to suffer. He won’t stop her! It was intense. He’s obviously off his meds, why?

Meanwhile in the studio, Trig (rapper Fetty Wap) arrives. He’s been shot 4 times & bleeding, yet arrives to represent Lucious on Inferno. Lucious likes his dedication; proven by his blood stained shirt!  The rap was good, although he’s weakened by pain killers. 

Yet Jamal wants to go in a different direction. He and his pops continue to tango creatively, Then Mama Leah (Leslie Uggams) shares his daddy’s (Joe Walker) photos and history. It’s one of the sweeter moments. This prompts Lucious to surrender control and share the creative process with Jamal ♥ Another shift?

In Vegas, Cookie & Andre go behind Lucious’ back to sell “Cooucious” to Gino Marcone  (Alexander Gemignani)  the $$$ man with the casinos. If they can get Lucious, he’s in.

Andre refuses to work with his pops and almost blows the proposal. Cookie slaps Nessa, because she agrees with Andre. Out of respect, I suppose, Nessa doesn’t retaliate & André says nothing.  Later in a showdown, Nessa leaves Andre; sinking my ship!  His (Trai Byers) portrayal of this illness is real, right down to the disassociated stares ♥

Cookie further humiliates …me, when she appears to beg Lucious to work with her on the “Cooucious” project, to meet Marcone’s demand. He sincerely looks sorry, as he declines, saying “no” to something that could bring the family together. He chooses Guisi. What?!

Giuliani arrives fresh from Vegas. (Did he know she was in the house?) Marcone shared with her, “Cookie’s Choice” and she’s here to shut it down!  In response to Cookie’s usual, “I did 17 years”…She thanks her for her sacrifice, but, “she’ll take it from here!’ Oh my, my, goodness; smooth and confident, ‘Loved her in that moment! ♥♥  And Lucious said nothing.

And finally, Mama Dubois tends to Angelo’s cuts & bruises. He wants to have them all arrested, even Cookie! She doesn’t and smiles.  “Mama, what did u do?!” “They ruined one of mine, I took one of theirs” As the nanny rolls in, mama holds the newest member of their family, Bella!. Oh Snap!

 Empire airs, Wednesday, 9:00 p.m Pacific Time on Fox