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Empire Episode 9 Recap: “Sinned Against”

From left, guest stars Rosie O'Donnell and Vivica A. Fox with Taraji P. Henson in the “Sinned Against” episode of "Empire." Chuck Hodes / FOX

Cookie and Candace’s search for their missing sister brings about new revelations on this week's episode of Empire: “Sinned Against”.

Where’s My Sister?!

When we last left Cookie and Candace, they got into a family squabble about their missing sister Carol (played by the great Tasha Smith). Loretha “Cookie” Lyon cannot be bothered with searching for Carol, knowing that she will pop up sometime, but Candace will hear none of that!

The sisters traverse the hoods of Philadelphia questioning people but hit a dead end. Cookie decides to use her resources and enlist the aide of a former prison mate Pepper (Rosie O’Donnell) to find her sister. Oh the stories and reactions we got from Pepper were priceless.

Pepper’s help eventually leads to Carol. She’s alive, but in the middle of a neighborhood sitting on a random couch and she’s in BAD shape.

Cookie and Candace drag Carol to a diner to feed her and convince her to get her life right. Carol seems defiant in her position that she’s OK. Candace alludes to a potentially shady act committed by Carol while Cookie was in jail that could tear the family apart. What could it be? Twitter has a theory...

Carol and Cookie have a heart-to-heart talk where despite Cookie’s abrasive nature, she refuses to see drugs destroy Carol’s life, and pledges to stand by Carol and help. Big sister came through in the clutch!

No Means No

Anika’s pride still stings from Hakeem’s rejection and she can’t conquer her personal hurt. She decides to hate on Hakeem and Laura’s relationship by gathering intel on Laura’s family and living arrangement. Anika crashes a get together attempting to embarrass Laura and entice Hakeem to get back to her.

Anika confronts Hakeem in private later on, and he makes it abundantly clear that they have no future. Makes you wonder why a woman like Anika would be love struck over a kid like Hakeem.

Boo Boo Kitty exhibits equal parts desperation and danger. Her stalker-like tendencies won’t work anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean Anika will give up her pursuit!

From left, Kaitlin Doubleday, Terrence Howard and Trai Byers in the "Sinned Against" episode of "Empire." Chuck Hodes / FOX

The Big Reveal

Andre has finally passed all of Lucious’s tests and is rewarded with a brand new house! Lucious gifts always accompany a quid pro quo rule, and today is no different. He wants Andre to continue working on the Swiftstream deal.

Andre’s first idea for raising capital is to use Lucious’s early masters as collateral. The caveat is Lucious would have to convince Cookie to sell her share of those masters, which he already knew wouldn’t work.

Lucious tries to ask and interrupts an intimate moment between Cookie and Laz. In a hilarious example of role reversal, Lucious goes into a Cookie-esque tirade once she refuses to sell, complete with a read of Laz and sassy walk off! Hilarious!

Lucious’s unannounced visits would continue, but in a good way. During a meeting between Cookie, Laz and Hakeem regarding a new venue to host the Lyon Dynasty event, Lucious drops the bomb that the viewers all knew: Laz is in the same gang as Hakeem’s kidnappers and continuously runs an extortion ring. The bull tattoo was the dead giveaway.

Needless to say, the jig was up and Cookie was not pleased. Laz tried to profess his love but Cookie would hear none of that! She left Lucious to do whatever he feels is necessary with Laz. We know how this ends up:

They may have their issues but Cookie and Lucious always seem to come through for one another when the chips are down.

Guest star Alicia Keys and Jussie Smollett on "Empire." Chuck Hodes / FOX

Poetry In Motion

Jamal gets to work with his idol Skye Summers. While this is huge for him, Skye seems reluctant to express herself musically. Of course Lucious has his own ideas for her sound that Jamal couldn’t care less about. Skye gets some great advice from Jamal to let the music speak her truth (whatever that truth is because it doesn't really get revealed…) and their collaboration proved to be fruitful.

The cliffhanger at the end of this episode leaves us with Jamal and Skye embracing in a kiss!

So many questions…So many comments!

Jamal and Skye discuss their artistry and being “placed in a box” creatively and societally, and the end of Episode 9 leaves us wondering how Jamal will be redefined, if at all. Next week is the winter finale, so catch your breath and get ready!