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'Empire' Season 2, Episode 7: 'True Love Never' Recap

Noah Camarena |
November 13, 2015 | 11:15 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Taraji P. Henson and Bryshere Y. Gray (Fox)
Taraji P. Henson and Bryshere Y. Gray (Fox)
“Empire” has always been about its characters and their development. That continues to shine in the seventh episode of the second season.

We start off with Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) still falling for the recently revealed criminal Laz (Adam Rodrgiuez). Laz convinces her that she is powerful enough to not go into work and he gets her to spend three consecutive days in bed with him. This is all part of his plan to get her to fall for him so that he can get some money for his goons. Cookie wants to work with Laz to set up a concert for her Lyon Dynasty artists, but she wants to do it in Highland Park, an area that is run by the same gang leader that kidnapped Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray), the men that Laz is working with. Of course he will use this is his advantage and get his guys the most money he can.

However, Cookie always puts her family first; even as she is fooling around with her promoter, she takes a break to help out her son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) figure out his latest song and helps him transform it to a hit record.

Meanwhile Lucious (Terrence Howard) is busy working with his new favorite project, Frida Gatz (Bre-Z), as he tries to get her a hit song that will convince Andre (Trai Bryers) to look past her legal issues. Lucious wants the song and Frida to be featured by Huey (Clarence Williams III) a man who is known for promoting new artists. However, when Lucious plays him the track, he does not think it has enough.

Speaking of not having enough, Cookie does not think Hakeem’s lead singer for his all girl group has enough to be the star. She tells him to switch things up but he is resistant because he has feelings for Laura (Jamila Velazquez). He becomes determined to make her a star so that he does not kick her out of the spotlight.

Back at Empire, Lucious is working on expanding his company with the help of Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei). They want to make a deal to get Empire into music streaming and they will do whatever it takes to make it happen. They eventually get a man in the hospital and on drugs to get him to agree to make the deal. Basically another day in the office. Lucious is also still trying to clear Frida’s name so he asks Andre to make a visit to the deputy mayor and convince her to drop Frida’s charges. Andre has a history with the deputy mayor as he used to have sex with her to get what he wanted. However, now that Andre is a man of God, he does not want to perform these acts. Instead, he goes to her office and blackmails her in order to fulfill his father’s wishes.

As Hakeem is busy working with Laura, Cookie meets with Jamal to congratulate him on getting a spot on Huey’s show for the song she helped him with. The two go out to dinner and get a little drunk and Jamal agrees to record a song at Cookie’s studio. He has to leave before he finishes because Hakeem shows up, but this relationship will surely hurt Jamal’s relationship with Lucious and Cookie’s with Hakeem.

Lucious is stuck on trying to perfect his new song and as he works, we keep seeing flashbacks to a young Lucious burying bullets in the backyard and hiding them from his mentally unstable mother. This is obviously a relationship that has affected him and might even scare him to this day.

Hakeem knows he is running out of time to get Laura where she needs to be, so he takes drastic measures. He has her perform a song in the middle of a busy section of town and forces her to get the attention of all the bystanders. She eventually gathers up the courage to sing her heart out and she wins the attention and approval of all those who stop and watch. With her newfound confidence, she even kisses Hakeem as a sign of thanks.

As Cookie completes the deal to secure the park for her concert, Hakeem tells her that he does not trust her new man and that she better watch out. However, she doesn’t seem to listen.

Jamal performs his new song at Huey’s showcase and this success only causes his father to have more flashbacks of his mother finding a bullet in her drawer, one that young Lucious must have missed.

Lucious tries to get his mind off of his music by going out with Mimi to celebrate their new streaming deal for Empire. They go out to a club and then the two bring back a young woman to an apartment. Lucious is excited at the possibility to hookup with these two women, but Mimi runs off crying after a phone call. Lucious interrupts the call and hangs up on whoever Mimi was talking to because he just wants to have a good time. However, just as Lucious is about to start, he notices that the young woman has a gun tattoo which forces another flashback to his mom holding a gun to her head. He then goes to find the gun in a drawer, and he realizes that it was the missing piece to his song. He heads to the studio with Frida and records the song that he thinks will put her on the map.

Watch “Empire” Wednesdays at 9 on Fox.

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



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