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Empire Episode 5 play-by-play recap: Did it make anyone else scream 'Nooo!'?

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Cookie has to make some really hard choices — who will be true to her?

Things going through your mind as this episode runs: Will Andre feast in Empire’s lair or will he be torn apart by the hungry Lyon, Lucious? Will Cookie and Lyon Dynasty slip out of Empire’s grip, onto the main stage, away from the razor-blade ladies lurking in the alleys of her life? Will Jamal and Michael’s love make it, or will it burn, burn, burn in the ring of temptation’s fire? Will Hakeem bring it with his tres leches girl and grow into the man his soul cries out to be? Will aiming to be true just be wrong for a family built on the American Dream: get rich or die trying?

Tweet-able quote: “If snitches don’t kill themselves, someone else will.” — Cookie to Jamal

GIF you should use today:

Cookie has to make some really hard choices — who will be true to her?
Image: Fox

More: Empire episode 4 play-by-play recap: Is Cookie crumbling?

Lucious Lyon

Lucious: “Cold-blooded..." (Hum that Rick James track as you slip back into your sofa).

Faced with Andre’s desire to get baptized, Lucious biscuit-whips Andre with this greasy two-piece: “The only commandments I want followed here are mine. Check your faith at the door.” Mind on his money, Lucious sends some basics to jack Lyon Dynasty’s tracks from the studio. Lucious gives zero effs about anyone. Zero. Effs.

Back in the studio, he plans on erecting “GutterLife” on the strength of Frida, daughter of slain Frank Gathers. Under his supple word-whip, Lucious fine-tunes her pain into pure, white-hot heat as she spits 16 bars like machine-gun fire. Never one to miss a stage, he pops into church as Andre gets baptized. Hold on now! Lucious has a flashback of his mother dunking him in a bathtub in a brutal home baptism that makes Rosemary’s Baby look like a lullaby. We learn a hard truth: hurt people hurt people. After all he’s been through, can we empathize with Lucious? Does holy water work miracles? Depends on what you believe to be true. But God…

Cookie has to make some really hard choices — who will be true to her?
Image: Fox

Cookie Lyon

Cookie: Handling her business like a boss after Tiana was attacked in the foyer of Lyon Dynasty, she gots to make choices. Hard choices.

Vetting a promoter with a street nose, she pops politik with Laz, played by Adam (fiiiiiine) Rodriguez. Is Cookie feeling like she might like some adobo on her chicken? The pressure mounts as she wrestles to keep the streets far enough away to ascend to the top of the music industry throne. Raising her boys to be men has been a battle, and her shining star Hakeem is shining bright. Andre's getting right with the Lord and Jamal is teaming up with the likes of Ne-Yo to make the most of his sound. But who’s really in Cookie’s corner? Even a boss lady needs help. Sometimes. Who will be true to Cookie? Who, I ask ya, who?

Cookie has to make some really hard choices — who will be true to her?
Image: Fox

Hakeem

The young G throws a lil' party for his girl group and gets taught a lesson or two about respect by new prospect Laura. Not all women go for his come-hither tactics, so Laura’s out. Promising to never push up on her again, he vows to respect her talent, not just her sexuality. Is redemption close?

Hakeem accepts Andre’s confessions of family betrayal and convinces Jamal to go to church for Andre’s baptism. But a jog in the park ends up with Hakeem’s brutal kidnapping as the episode closes. Noooo! (Imagine I said that in a Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple-type crying out). Thirsty, did you do this? Let me find out!

More: Man Crush Monday: Empire edition with Jussie Smollett

Cookie has to make some really hard choices — who will be true to her?
Image: Fox

Jamal

Jamal sings his heart out while fighting to keep his relationship from freezing like a Botox smile. Under pressure from his father to leave Michael at home, he decides to trust his heart, take Ne-Yo’s advice and take his boo on tour. But I spy with my eye Michael getting more head than a turtleneck from the freaky Rolling Stones photog. I mean, really.

More: A definitive ranking of Jamal's best songs in Empire Season 2 (VIDEO)

Andre and Rhonda

Lying-ass Rhonda. Yes, I said it — wait for why, though! Mystery mama is about done being horny housewife as Andre puts their sex life on the shelf now that wifey’s "pregnant." Something's rotten in Denmark, y'all. Andre wants nothing more than to get his family together and be happy. His commitment to repentance is clear, and he’s taking his heart to the Lord. Yet, it seems that the only one being true to Andre is Andre. Let the choir sang.

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