'Empire' Episode 3 Recap: 'Fires of Heaven'

by Jeff Johnson /  / Updated 
From left, Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and Trai Byers as Andre Lyon in the "Fires of Heaven" episode of "Empire."
From left, Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and Trai Byers as Andre Lyon in the "Fires of Heaven" episode of "Empire." Chuck Hodes / FOX

Lucious wants to grow his label, while crushing the Lyons Dynasty through love or force. Cookie will hear nothing of it and has her own plans to end the Empire dynasty. This is the Empire Episode 3 recap: “Fires of Heaven”

Hakeem’s Promo Tour

Hakeem goes on Sway to promote his album and embarrasses Lucious in the process. Hakeem agrees to bring his new girl group “Menage a Trois” to Sway’s station later that week, although they aren’t ready. Cookie whips them into shape by working on their choreography. Hakeem is resistant to Cookie’s interference at first, but becomes more receptive once he sees results.

Hostile Takeover

Lucious, fresh out of prison, meets with his family to discuss the dissolution of their newly formed “Lyons Dynasty," offering them an opportunity to rejoin Empire. Cookie defiantly refuses on behalf of everyone and declares that she will be alright without him. So Lucious decides to go the “Divide and Conquer” route to success. Andre has a plan to merge Empire with all the urban radio stations, but that’s still not enough for Lucious to allow him back. Anika gets a chance to return if she steals Cookie’s music, but she informs Cookie, as revenge against Lucious is paramount to an Empire return. Together, they devise a plan to spoil Lucious’s return.

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in the in the "Fires of Heaven" episode of "Empire."
Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in the in the "Fires of Heaven" episode of "Empire."Chuck Hodes / FOX

Party Crashers

Lucious throws himself a “Welcome Back” extravaganza, complete with all the pomp and circumstance of a wild NYC nightlife soiree, complete with performances from Jamal and Pitbul. Cookie made it a point to spoil the festivities by creating a diversion to commandeer the DJ booth and announce an impromptu diss track performance by Hakeem and Timbaland! Lucious allowed them to finish the song, as all press is good press. Lyons Dynasty created the impact they were looking for, and the buzz in the industry proves the valor of this move.


Freda (The daughter of Frank Gathers) bum rushes the Empire’s offices to meet Lucious and sign a deal for the new Gutter Life Records imprint. Jamal goes in his stead, and fails to do so, as Freda doesn’t trust him. Lucious and Jamal argue, as they extoll the virtues of their family members who would be better in this situation (Hakeem and Cookie respectively). Lucious goes to the projects to meet Freda, and during her battle rap cypher she attempt shoot the other rapper for disrespecting her dead father. Lucious stops her and offers to help rather than allow Freda to throw her life away.

Family Secrets

Andre reveals to Cookie that Rhonda is pregnant. Cookie loves the news, and suggests that Andre uses this to get back in Lucious’s good graces. Upon hearing the news, Lucious is happy but worried also due to Andre’s bipolar disorder. Andre doesn’t fear his child getting the because it doesn’t run in their family, however Lucious knows this isn’t the case, as his own mother dealt with this issue. Although Lucious loves the prospect of being a grandfather, he remains unmoved by Andre’s attempts to rejoin Empire and denies him yet again.

Bryshere Gray as Hakeem Lyon in the "Fires Of Heaven" episode of "Empire."
Bryshere Gray as Hakeem Lyon in the "Fires Of Heaven" episode of "Empire."Chuck Hodes / FOX

A Star Is Born

Lucious discovered that Jamal has collaborated with Cookie on his music as they have a truce. Jamal cannot work with the producers that Lucious has provided as they aren’t compatible with him musically. Lucious doesn’t want Jamal to do business with the woman who tried to overthrow his Empire, so he offers to produce Jamal himself. Jamal agrees, but only if he is the main focus, as he is ready to take the next leap towards greatness.

Turnabout Is Fair Play

Hakeem and Cookie wait patiently at Apex Radio for Valentina, the lead singer in Menage a Trois as she is late for their performance. Lucious arrives at the station, and reveals that he’s purchased Apex Radio. Now, Lyons Dynasty music will be stifled on the airwaves. Valentina finally shows up, and while Hakeem tells her that they won’t be performing, Lucious reveals that she will perform...as a solo act on Empire records. Lucious has signed Valentina to a deal and completely shattered Hakeem’s plans for an original group for the Lyons Dynasty! Cookie won’t go quietly, and tells Lucious that this isn’t over.

The battle for musical supremacy continues next week on Empire!

To hear an in depth review of this week’s Episode, listen to The Lyons Den Empire podcast from NBCBLK Contributor Jeff Johnson and friends on That ADHD Show: http://traffic.libsyn.com/adhdshow/Empire203.mp3