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'Empire' Episode 4 Recap: 'Poor Yorick'

by Jeff Johnson /
From left to right: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and guest star Jossie Harris Thacker as Video Director in the 'Poor Yorick' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 14.Chuck Hodes / FOX

The rival factions of the Lyon empire join together for a mutually beneficial collaboration, while Lucious needs Vernon out of the picture by any means necessary.

All this and more on this week's Empire recap: “Poor Yorick”

Making A Federal Case

As Roxanne Ford tries to build a winning case against Lucious, she obtains a warrant for the FBI to search Empire records, Lucious’s home and The Lyon Dynasty offices. Lucious let’s his board of directors know that Empire will not back down and instead will continue to expand as their “street cred” from the FBI raid can only bring positive results.

Thirsty gathers the entire family together to devise a plan to overcome the Federal pressure: The Lyons must show solidarity and they have to find Vernon and “convince” him not to snitch. What sounds like a feasible plan has one major glitch... Andre has killed Vernon and no one knows!

Cookie offers Lucious a truce in exchange for allowing Jamal and Hakeem to shoot their music video: allowing Lyons Dynasty back on urban radio, and no longer poaching her artists. Lucious agrees to the video and poaching terms, but they will have to find another way on the radio. Cookie also cautions Lucious to make peace with Andre if he ever wants a place in his future grandchild’s life.

 From left to right: Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon and Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon in the 'Poor Yorick' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 14. Chuck Hodes / FOX

Warhol of the Roses

Jamal will be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, and has a reporter and artists following him. The photographer pays a visit to his house to shoot the cover, and becomes enamored with Jamal. He wants Jamal to play on his keyboard for action shots which will eventually become a painting inspired cover.

The photog’s complimentary words weren’t taken too kindly by Jamal’s Boyfriend Michael.

Later at the video shoot you could cut the tension with a knife. Lucious tried to offer Hakeem a new beat he created as a peace offering but Hakeem refuses. The actual video shoot (which paid homage to another classic video) went well until Hakeem saw the finished Rolling Stone cover for Jamal, presented as a huge painting.

His jealousy overflowed on the set, as he challenged Lucious, stabbed the painting with a knife, and fought Jamal on set! He stormed off refusing to do the video. His only consolation was finding a potential replacement for Valentina in a local bar.

 From left to right: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and Trai Byers as Andre Lyon in the 'Poor Yorick' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 14 Chuck Hodes / FOX

By Any Means Necessary

Andre and Lucious have another face-to-face discussion, where Andre once again pleads to rejoin Empire but Lucious remains adamant in keeping him out. Andre leaves the door open for Lucious to see his grandchild, while offering a proposition: If Andre can get the case dismissed he can rejoin Empire as CFO. Lucious agrees but keeps an eye out for what Andre may do next.

Andre convinces Rhonda that they need to dig up Vernon (!?!?!?) in order to get the case against Lucious dismissed so he can take his CFO position back.

What was Rhonda’s reaction to Andre’s master plan?

As they begin the excavation for Vernon’s body, they realize that the precise location where they originally buried him wasn’t so precise. The longer it took to actually find Vernon, the greater the chance of getting caught.

Rhonda convinces Andre that there’s more to life than Empire, and they should stop trying to find Vernon. As they began covering their tracks, a car pulls up right on their location. They thinks it’s police when it’s actually Lucious and Thirsty!

Thirsty placed a tracker in Andre’s car after their conversation to monitor his movements. Thirsty also (conveniently) had a metal detector to locate the body. They find Vernon and take his body away, as Lucious bids him good riddance and welcomes Andre back to the company.

 From left to right: Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon and guest star Jossie Harris Thacker as Video Director in the 'Poor Yorick' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 14. Chuck Hodes / FOX

Cookie’s Plea

Cookie once again gets arrested by the cops in a last ditch effort by Roxanne Ford to get hard evidence on Lucious and she gave a socially conscious nod to current events while in the back seat of the police car.

Ms. Ford threatens to go after Cookie’s children if she doesn’t comply. What seemed like a dire situation turns into opportunity for Cookie. Ms. Ford gets a court ordered injunction on the Apex deal and looks to set up future moves against Lucious when she’s greeted in her car by Vernon’s dead corpse!

What crazy, ridiculous and mind blowing situations will arise from these revelations? Tune in next week and catch our recap to find out!

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.