warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

'Empire' Season 2, Episode 6: 'A High Hope For A Low Heaven' Recap

Noah Camarena |
November 5, 2015 | 3:02 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard (Fox)
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard (Fox)
The previous “Empire” left us wondering what happened to Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) as he was thrown into the back of a van by some masked men.

Before we found out what happened to the youngest Lyon, we saw that Jamal’s (Jussie Smollett) assistant Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) is getting romantic with one of the company’s artists J Poppa (Mo McRae). Good for Becky, she puts up with a lot and deserves some love.

Lucious (Terrence Howard) is busy rehearsing with Jamal when Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) comes in and tells him that she just received a video of Hakeem locked up with duct tape over his mouth. Lucious and Cookie go to retrieve their son and make a payment with the guys who took him but when the van comes to drop him off, the driver tells them that Hakeem asked to be dropped off somewhere else.

The kidnapping and abuse really messed up Hakeem and he makes his way to Anika (Grace Gealey) to find solace.

The family finally finds Hakeem, but he does not want to talk about what happened and just keeps saying that he is okay. While Lucious has a doctor check him out, Cookie notices that Anika is calling Hakeem. 

Jamal thinks he cannor book performances because he is only being marketed as a gay artist. He deals with this by hiring a new executive, Jameson Hinthrope (William Fichtner), who had previously tried to work with Lucious.

Andre (Trai Byers) is still in charge of Gutterlife Records, the more street branch of Empire, but he wants to do a background check on his artists. He meets with all of them and discovers that J Poppa has connections with God and encourages him to incorporate that into his music.

Cookie meets with her new promoter Laz (Adam Rodriguez) who encourages her to hire the same guys that took Hakeem. She somehow thinks this is a good idea and she goes to meet with the thugs and brings Hakeem along.

Hakeem is still struggling from the incident and as soon as he sees the men, he pulls out a gun, trying to prove that he is the man they told him he was not. Cookie intervenes and makes sure that her son does not shoot anyone, but she takes the gun and points it at the thugs warning them that they better not mess with her family ever again, even though she puts them on payroll.

At a performance for Gutterlife, J Poppa throws a bible verse in his rap and confuses everyone except Andre, who thinks it will help expand the label from a business perspective. Frida (Bre-Z) then performs and attacks a heckler before running off. Andre wants to cut ties with the problematic rapper but Lucious still views her as his protege and will not let it happen.

Hakeem is getting ready for his first performance since the incident. Lucious rolls up and tries to give him a song that he wrote, but Hakeem will not accept it because he does not trust his father. The two then get into a huge argument. Jamal and Andre intervene and get their parents out of the room so that they can talk to their brother. The calm him down and remind the audience that under all the drama, this family really cares about each other. Hakeem gets on stage to perform and has trouble at first with Lucious in the audience but eventually gets over his fear and has one of the best performances of the season.

Lucious realizes that he has not been able to reach any of his sons and he meets with Frida to give her the song he originally wrote for Hakeem. He sees a lot of himself in her and really wants her to be successful.

The episode ends with Cookie going to Laz’s room and the two passionately attack each other. As the scene closes, we see that Laz has the same tattoo on his back as Hakeem’s kidnappers.

How strong is his connection to them? Did he set Cookie up? Did he order the attack on Hakeem? We’ll have to wait and find out.

Watch “Empire” Wednesdays at 9 on Fox.

Contact Staff Reporter Noah Camarena here and follow him on Twitter here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.