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"Shut your dumb ass up."
The hardest man alive shows a soft side when it comes to the youth and buys a McMansion of love for Andre and dem. Hooray! He unveils the lecherous Laz as a fraud and member of the Longhorn gang to Cookie and dem. Hooray! He then handles Laz like, well, he would. Say no more. He agrees to sell off part of his business to buy into the music streaming biz and take Empire forward. Yikes?
Cookie in Philly. OK. With her sister Carol (Tasha Smith) missing, she heads off to Philly to look for her, aided by her elder sister, Candace (Vivica A. Fox). Finally, they find her in a crack daze in a nasty alley. Standard. Over dinner in a diner afterward with all three sisters "reunited and it feels so good (name that song for $100)," Carol chooses to stay with Cookie in NYC. Candace lets a small bomb drop as she whispers to Carol about her role in a secret she's hiding about Cookie that relates to her 17-year bid in prison. Shade. Shade. Shade! What did Carol do????
Cookie in love. Who needs it! Not Cookie. Luscious reveals in front of Hakeem that Laz is a Longhorn. Heartbroken, she exits, weeping. But, heart strong, Cookie does not exit and leave Laz in the room with Luscious before she hands a pistol to Luscious, who's in the room with said Laz. Door closes. Uh, methinks he is finito. Adios, Laz!
Damn, baby. With his moms pounding the streets looking for her addict sister in Philly, he’s left to navigate slimy-ass Laz (Adam Rodriguez), Luscious' ploy to buy him back (again) and Anika's now cray, cray, cray (yes three times cray) forays into his life. With his plate full, he's either gonna drop it like a rock or learn to eat like a big boy. And Anika. She. Is. Pregnant for him (those that know the phrase "for" instead of "by," hey!). And he still does not know it. And she has pictures of him and Laura with doodles drawn on them in marker. I mean, life happens, but really? But, since he's managed to wrestle free from his father's money bait, is running his company and protecting his mom and his boo Laura, something tells me he will be OK, but I did scream, "Run Hakeem — she's not OK!" at the TV. Twice.
Seems to me like he may be going a lil' bit straight for Miss Sunshine (Alicia Keys). As they collaborate on tracks that expose their truest dreams, they form a bond that finds both of them a bit doe-eyed and kissy-faced when together. Tickling a bit more than the old ivories, are we? What will happen next week? I don’t know. Will they be singing, "I don't see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind?" Hmmmm.
Is there a glimmer of fight and cunning in Andre's eyes? Is he seeing past the six-bedroom house his father bought for him and Rhonda and their scions in the suburbs? Is Daddy's "push" present being pulled into Andre's stream of integrity and being seen as just another gimmick? He advises his father to sell off portions of the company to get the liquidity to buy a streaming service. After an initial refusal, Luscious turns around and says he'll sell. Is that a good thing? Is Andre getting revenge the long slow way? I don't know. But God….
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