Empire season 3, episode 5, “One Before Another,” showed us what a Lyon family reality TV show would look like. We would definitely watch it! Read on for our recap.

‘Empire’ 3×05, ‘One Before Another’ review

Shyne’s Revenge


Shyne heads out to find Lucious and Andre because they had beaten him. Instead he finds Nessa with Andre. Now the family has to be on high alert knowing Shyne is after them.

Andre lets Nessa know later on that they’re going to try to work something out with Shyne. When Shyne is invited to Lucious’ place, they finally make a deal once Anika steps in. He insists he wants to work with Freda Gatz.

Shyne is then seen outside walking his pitbull with Tariq. Tariq wants intel on Lucious, and Shyne tells him how convenient it was that Frank Gathers died while Lucious was in prison with him. What a snitch bitch.


Jamal asks Hakeem to work with him on a song. When they announce it on Empire’s livestream, Gram walks in to Leviticus and challenges Hakeem to a battle…at a later time. I personally don’t like planned rap battles. They should have just done it then and there, but of course you gotta get the fans and media all hyped up about it or whatever.

Thankfully, Jamal tries to warn Hakeem that this is obviously planned by Lucious.

Lucious tells Hakeem he needs to crush Gram in the battle to help Empire Exstream. When Hakeem and Jamal practice “Over Everything,” Hakeem basically takes over. He then tells Jamal that he needs to step up because he is the one doing Jamal the favor, not the other way around.

Jamal pretty much snitches on Hakeem like most big brothers do. Cookie convinces them both to perform the song together because that’s what the fans want and have been waiting for.

Jamal’s place is set up and things are going great. Jamal performs and just before Hakeem’s turn, Lucious notices the numbers of the livestream aren’t where he wants them to be. Lucious reminds Hakeem to be more “hard” and Hakeem tells him that he’s going to tell Nessa how he feels later that night.

That was a stupid thing to tell Lucious. Right then, Lucious tells Hakeem that Andre has already hooked up with Nessa. Hakeem goes H.A.M. He improvs his rap and just bashes the family. Afterward everyone is confused and there is a huge argument between the brothers and Nessa. Lucious, of course, has all the live cameras pointing at them.

Nessa tells Hakeem that there was nothing between them; Hakeem tells Jamal that Jamal had to almost beg him to do this so he could hide the fact that he can’t perform in front of a crowd. Hakeem just said a lot of hurtful shit on a livestream! Thankfully, Cookie pulled the plug on the cameras.


Becky, Xavier and Cookie are working hard to get Tiana’s album out. Cookie insists that Tiana put out a specific song — one that Tiana does not want to do. Becky later tells Tiana that Cookie is down for her to record “Starlight” instead and Tiana is ecstatic. Xavier likes the song, too, but later throws Becky under the bus to Cookie.

Tiana gets upset and tells Cookie that she wants Becky off her team because she doesn’t like liars. Xavier tells Becky there are no hard feelings, “It’s just business.” I have a feeling Becky may end up leaving Empire like her boytoy did. But I really hope she doesn’t!

Angelo is slowly becoming Bae

Cookie tells Angelo that she has to check in with her P.O. every few months. When she ends up going to visit her parole officer, things are clearly different. Her P.O. is acting cold toward her and Cookie’s unsure why.

Angelo comes over for a date that night and Cookie grills him because she suspects that he had something to do with the P.O. situation. He claims he doesn’t and blames it on Lucious. He tells her it’s because they have unresolved issues. They unfortunately cut their night short.

At the end of the episode, Angelo introduces Cookie to her parole officer’s boss and he and her P.O. both apologize. They claim they were misinformed (by Tariq we later find out) about her. Angelo is a good friend of his and they trust his judgement.

I’m totally shipping Cookie and Angelo at the moment! And he’s running for Mayor. Get it, Cook!

Cookie’s rap sheet


– Lucious to Cookie: “Once you’re done playing house with Mister Dingleberry, you needa get me a song from Tiana.”

– Becky to Xavier: “Do not mansplain to me and especially do not WHITE mansplain to me.”

– Lucious to Jamal: “Oh my God, you are so corny, ‘Mal. Book a duet with you and Mary Magdalene, soon as God gives me the okay. Oops, I said no!”

– Becky to Tiana: “You know I got your back like bra straps, girl!”

– Cookie to Hakeem: “Get your narrow ass back over here. Don’t you walk away from me.”

– Cookie to Hakeem: “You better clean this place up, boy, before I throw an acid bomb up in here. Nasty ass.”

– Hakeem to Jamal: “Shut yo’ Frank Ocean ass up!”

– Jamal making fun of Hakeem saying he “vibed” with Nessa. Hilarious!

– Angelo to Cookie: “Baby girl, I’m not talking about fighting with you, I’m talking about fighting for you. If that means going up against Lucious, then so be it.”

What did you think of ‘Empire’ 3×05, ‘One Before Another’?

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