“Empire” began on a happy note, for a change, as Lucious proposed to Anika while Anthony Hamilton serenaded her. She happily accepts, but Lucious asks her not to wear her engagement ring due to volatile family members. He wants to sit down with her parents first and get their blessing. Hakeem and Tianna continue their whirlwind romance and the press continues to eat it up. Tianna has his back demanding a reporter give him his own identity beyond being Lucious’ youngest son. He tries to convince her to stay over with him that night, but she declines. Inside, she makes out with another woman. Jamal takes Cookie to a ghetto studio he can afford to make his first single. She is skeptical of the place and fears for his safety. Her time with him is cut short when the Feds come calling for her. They insists she testify before the grand jury against the drug dealer that killed someone in front of her and promise to keep her identity safe.
Hakeem pitches his music video and other ideas to his father. Andre, however, is against it, citing how over budget the project is. Lucious questions his ability to get the job. Rhonda alerts him to Tianna’s affair and records it! Cookie testifies in court, but discovers the man that was killed was a federal agent. Andre comes up with the idea to use Tianna in Hakeem’s video to save money, but must get Cookie’s permission to do so. Lucious leaves that job up to him. Cookie fears for her safety when she finds a red rose at her door, fearing she has been found out by the drug dealer. Andre arrives at her door and manages to get her to allow Tianna to help Hakeem by allowing her to become a board member. Jamal tries to finish his song Cookie visits her sister, telling her about the latest news with her case. She enlists her cousin’s aide in taking out the hitman after her. Jamal tries to get feedback from his mother, but she is too busy to adequately help him. The tips she gives does make his song better. Andre has Rhonda anonymously upload Tianna’s affair video to PerezHilton.com, soon Hakeem’s crew sees it and he too learns! He angrily confronts her until she points out his affair with Camilla. Andre sends Hakeem’s friends after Jamal, tricking them.
Vernon informs Lucious the IPO cannot move forward with a doctor signing off on his health. He plans to get Anika’s father to help him. Jamal’s session is interrupted when Hakeem’s friends try to rob him. They are surprised when he is not afraid. He believes Hakeem put them up to this. They shoot one of the engineers in the arm, and are stopped by the studio owner armed with a shotgun! The owner ends his session, but relents when he offers to bring untrained musicians to help him finish the song. Lucious convinces Hakeem to use Tianna’s bisexuality to his advantage. Later, Lucious acquires Anika’s father’s blessing and asks for assistance. He refuses until Lucious tells him how wealthy his daughter will become when he passes. He agrees only if Lucious never tells her. Cookie arrives in time to hear Jamal’s finished song. Later, he confronts Hakeem, punching him in the stomach for believing he sabotaged his session. Hakeem calls Andre and asks him to push up his video’s release to beat the release of Jamal’s single. Lucious visits Cookie, revealing he left her that rose in honor of their past anniversaries. She realizes she put a hit out on an innocent man and tries to call it off, but it is too late!