Empire season 3, episode 8, “The Unkindest Cut,” definitely cut more than one person. Find out who in our recap of the episode.

‘Empire’ 3×08, ‘The Unkindest Cut’ recap:

Helene’s fashion show

Gina Gershon guest starred as Helene on Empire 3×08. Helene is a high end fashion designer and her fashion show will feature Tiana as the main performer. Though, she has a huge task ahead of her.

The pot is already getting stirred as Helene tells Cookie she wants Tiana’s hair straightened for the show because it goes with the “aesthetic” of the fashion line being presented. Helene also wants Tiana to wear the final dress piece of the show but it looks too small for Tiana to fit into and too elaborate for her dance routines.

Andre gets permission from Cookie to have Nessa help out with the show because she could learn a lot from Tiana. While Tiana was having a minor freakout moment she asks Nessa to help her take the dress off. Nessa then sets it on top of what seemed to be an ashtray that ended up igniting the dress in flames.

Tiana flipped out on Nessa and it was honestly just because she was upset about being forced into this “white-washed” fashion show. When Tiana storms off Nessa looks at herself in the mirror and kind of smirks — did she just do that on purpose?

Turns out someone (Nessa) recorded Tiana’s speech about the show and Helene and it’s all over the internet. Who is chosen to save the day? Andre.


Andre and Nessa really seem to have this Bonnie and Clyde thing down.

When Andre met with Helene about the incident later it didn’t seem to go as planned. Helene refuses to work with Tiana and when Andre pitched Nessa doing the show she wasn’t for it. Then he made an odd comment about Helene’s daughter’s hair. Okay…

Or not so odd. When the little girl wakes up the following morning it appears as if someone cut her hair off while she was sleeping. Like magic that seemed to work. Andre’s the little sneaky one now.

Nessa is front and center at the fashion show, in a movable dress and with her curls intact. And she completely kills the song, “Black Girl Magic,” while Tiana sulks at home with Hakeem.

Cookie and Angelo’s mother congratulate Helene on another great show and when Cookie walks away Helene tells Angelo’s mother to get away from the Lyon family because they’re “real gangsters.” I chuckled out loud at that.

Tariq and Leah

Tariq is trying to get to Lucious any way he can. He also doesn’t like how Lucious treats his own mother. It looks like he’s trying to get Leah to turn on Lucious and Anika by providing some kind of proof that their marriage is a sham.

Later that night, when Lucious goes to talk to his mom, she tells him all about what happened with Tariq that day. Lucious and Andre are definitely cut from the same cloth because they were both the masterminds of their whole plans. I admit I didn’t see that coming. I thought Leah was acting of her own will.

Jamal’s trigger

Jamal is planning on performing in Angelo’s Captain’s dinner for his Mayoral candidacy and he’s worried he won’t be able to do it because of his PTSD. Phillip helps him try and overcome it with new virtual reality technology.

Jamal is almost able to pass the VR test until Lucious walks in. Lucious tells him that if he fails at the dinner then that’s three strikes and he’s out of Empire and he’ll be an independent artist. Phillip tells Jamal that Lucious is his PTSD trigger because his vitals went through the roof the second Lucious walked in. Jamal now has to work it out with Lucious.

Almost the most impossible thing to do, ever.

Jamal plays his new song for the family at his house and he tells them that he knows where his new album is headed.

This song right here is everything. I am so in love with the music that Jamal has come out with this season and I’m looking forward to the new album he’s working on.

Jamal calls out Lucious and tells him that he’s drowning the family. That he’s blamed for Cookie’s father’s death. But no one else backs up Jamal and he’s left standing alone as usual. Then Lucious drops the bomb that Cookie is the one that made the call to put the hit on Frank Gathers and Jamal is in complete shock. Oh no, another PTSD trigger?

Cookie’s rap sheet


– Cookie to Andre: “You’re the only son I have that has anything in common with Angelo’s bougie-ass Mom.”

– Cookie to Tiana: “Tiana, Porsha is right for a change.”

– Cookie to Andre: “Don’t nobody give a damn about how Nessa feels!”

– Jamal to Phillip: “Man, Lucious is everyone’s PTSD trigger.”

What did you think of ‘Empire’ 3×08, ‘The Unkindest Cut’?

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