Taraji P. Henson and Taye Diggs in “Empire”; Chuck Hodes/FOX(NEW YORK) — On Wednesday’s Empire, titled “Chimes at Midnight,” the show begins with Cookie and Angelo flirting, Jamal announcing he’s prescription drug-free, and Anika asking Lucious to be Shyne’s new head of A&R.
During their interactions, their phones suddenly play a track from Empire artist Tiana, which on Lucious’ iPad includes a message saying, “Lucious Lyon… You Got Got.”
Lucious learns that the Empire email server has been hacked. He brings in an expert to troubleshoot the issue, since he now fears that Empire Xtreme’s subscriber data will be released. Lucious suspects the hacker is Vaughn, played by rapper French Montana, who rejected Lucious’ earlier offer to team up with him on the streaming project.
Vaughn denies he’s involved and is exonerated when Lucious receives an extortion demand for $1 million every hour, or Empire’s personal emails will be leaked.
Meanwhile, Cookie is away supporting Angelo, who’s announcing his candidacy for mayor at a rally. She’s called in by Lucious for a board meeting to discuss the hack.
Although the board decides in favor of paying the ransom, Lucious, Cookie and Andre refuse to concede, saying they aren’t afraid of leaked emails, with Andre pointing out that everyone has incriminating information at risk. Just as emails start to leak, causing tensions among the Empire staff, Tariq shows up, claiming to be investigating the situation. Soon after, Cookie’s nude selfie to Angelo is also released.
Shine comes in with Anika and he denies he’s a part of the hack, while Cookie, who’s returned home, confronts Angelo and breaks up with him because she’s afraid her connections to him will affect his chances at becoming mayor.
After receiving some information from the computer tech about a key drive, Andre and Lucious turn their suspicions on Gram, who’d recently blasted Tiana in a video. Tiana confirms that Gram hated the Lyons and wanted to “humiliate” them. Dre and Lucious go to Gram’s house, and bring Shine along to beat him up.
In celebration of bringing down the hacker, Lucious throws a party at Leviticus, where a board member announces Andre is president of Empire Xtreme for handling the crisis.
Hakeem, who still has feelings for Nessa, tells her to choose between him and Andre while in the studio — but now at the party, he becomes enraged when he sees Nessa only has eyes for Andre as they perform together.
During this time, Tariq is going through leaked emails at the bureau and finds that Lucious sent Andre an email about paying off two people two days after Frank Gather’s murder. This intrigues him.
The hack also erased Jamal’s new recordings, which put him on edge — and as a result he ends up mixing alcohol with his pills. His producer, D-Major comes over, and they sleep together. Later, D-Major finds Jamal unconscious and calls Jamal’s friend Philip over, who manages to revive Jamal in the shower.
In the final minutes, Angelo defends Cookie to the media and strips off his shirt to ceremoniously stand with her. Cookie now finds herself falling in love with Angelo.
Meanwhile, Andre takes Nessa to an abandoned warehouse where he shows her his dealings with Vaughn. Nessa finds out Vaughn and Andre were behind the Empire hack. Andre then pays off Vaughn promising to give him more money once the streaming service starts making “billions.”
Andre tells Nessa he did it intentionally to make himself an asset, and that he believes he and Nessa could be “powerful together.”
Empire continues Wednesday, November 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 CT on Fox.
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