Empire season 3, episode 9, “A Furnace for Your Foe,” threw a lot at us for their mid-season 3 finale! Who had a bigger episode ending, Jamal or Andre?

‘Empire’ mid-season 3 finale recap:

The People’s Ball

During a press conference in Harlem that Angelo was obviously failing at, Cookie took over and reassured the people of who Angelo truly represents. They decided to move the Captain’s Ball into the streets of Harlem, much to Diana’s dismay.

Angelo also announced that the ball is being renamed: The People’s Ball.

Jamal tells Cookie that he’s done taking pills and Cookie personally gets rid of all of them by drowning them in the sink.

The Woke kids are first to perform at the Ball and then Tiana and Hakeem perform their version of “Starlight.”

Tiana hears the crowd chant for Hakeem, and she kisses him. I’m not sure if this is genuine or if it’s to get her fans back on her team. Hakeem and Tiana’s storyline has been on the backburner this finale, but we’ll most likely get more on this in March.

On the morning of the Ball, Jamal is nowhere to be seen, and we discover him at home suffering through withdrawal.

It’s another rock bottom moment for Jamal when Cookie opens the pipe under the sink — “my Daddy was a plumber” — and takes out some of the soggy pills to feed to Jamal.

Jamal and Cookie show up late to the Ball, but Jamal pulls off the performance effortlessly. Well, with the help of his meds. He sings “Born to Win” and it’s amazing as usual.

How ironic is it that Jamal was worried if he didn’t perform then Lucious would win, yet his song is called “Born to Win.”

When Jamal walks off the stage, he is lit with excitement. Little does he know he’s walking into the shortest intervention ever. The entire family is there and ready to send him off to rehab. Sober up, ‘Mal! When you get out you’re gonna be a star! Well, a bigger one.


Tariq is still looking for ways to get his brother Lucious in trouble for basically anything. At the moment it’s for Frank Gather’s murder.

He was able to get a Judge to sign a court order to freeze Empire’s assets for 30 days. Tariq then has to find enough evidence to indict Lucious on murder charges for Frank Gathers. Easy task, right?

Diana asks Lucious to persuade journalist Edison Crews to not publish an article that could destroy Angelo’s run for Mayor. In return, Diana will basically ruin Cookie and Angelo’s relationship for Lucious. Because he’s the prick that he is.

When Lucious holds up his end of the bargain, Diana backs out. Angelo is ahead in the polls and numbers against his opponent and voters are saying it’s because of the “Cookie Effect.” So Lucious decides that this will be his contribution to Angelo’s campaign. Hmmm. She better not believe his ass.

Once Lucious and Cookie realize their assets are frozen, Lucious takes a trip down to the station to confront Tariq. He brought Tariq their father’s police badge and told the entire station that they’re brothers and that brothers don’t do things like this to each other.

Shyne confronts Lucious about the freeze in the assets and he tells Lucious that he can help. But he’ll only help as long as he’s given a stake in the company: he wants a seat at the big kids table.

After Jamal is sent to rehab, Lucious sends Edison in with a TV crew to ask about October 5, the night of his DUI where he drove into a lake and supposedly saved himself and let a woman die. We won’t know more details on this until the mid-season premiere next year, though.

Rhonda’s goodbye

Andre’s bipolar disorder is not at one of its high points at the moment and Nessa wants to help Andre get through it, but as long as he does it himself. I appreciate that Nessa isn’t about codependency, but she should be a little more subtle about it.

Andre later has a conversation with the illusion of Rhonda and she tells him to keep doing what he’s doing. He needs to make Nessa Empire’s number one artist and then he’ll be on top. She tells him it’s okay to let her go, but he has to promise to make Anika pay for killing her and their unborn child.

I’m SO glad we finally got some closure on this! But I still feel like Rhonda and her entire death was swept under the rug this season. Hopefully Andre gets vengeance.

Andre confronts Shyne about setting up Lucious and Empire for the account freeze. Andre tells him that he won’t tell Lucious as long as he respects the hierarchy. After that Andre says, “Then we can kill my father.” NBD.

Cookie’s rap sheet

Cookie to Lucious: “You stay calm! I did 17 years!”

Lucious to Diana: “Lady, don’t ever try to read me.”
Diana to Lucious: “I would never. I read books. Not graffiti.”

‘Empire’ returns in March 2017

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