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Jamal Comes Out, Cookie Reads Camilla & 7 Other OMG Empire Moments

Jamal Comes Out, Cookie Reads Camilla & 7 Other OMG Empire Moments

Cookie v Camille

This the kinda post to make a man love a man.

When Cookie met Camille

Last night's episode of Empire might have been the best of the season, but then again, I say that about nearly every episode. But thanks to Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) finally coming out publicly and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) continuing to be the best thing to happen to TV since, well, Viola Davis got away with murder, "The Lyon's Roar" certainly ranks high. And ratings followed suit with an impressive 13.75 million viewers tuning in. Below, let's have a kiki over TV's guiltiest pleasure having its gayest episode to date.

I Dream of Cookie

Cookie Hi-Pony

First of all, can we talk about Cookie's I Dream of Jeannie hair? I'm not even going to start on that throwback blonde bob because there are other more pressing matters at hand -- such as this jumpsuit:

Cookie Jumpsuit

The Fashion

Jamal and Lucious

In fact, last night's episode was a standout in the costume department, thanks to Lucious Lyon's (Terrence Howard) White Party. Lucious and Jamal turned it out in sherwanis, while Anika (Grace Gealey) finally gave me a reason to like her.


If she committed more of her tricks in a maribou chubby, she could give Porsha (Cookie's assistant) a run for second place on the "Best Characters on Empire" list I keep for myself.

Jamal + Ryan

Jamal and Ryan

Jamal, apparently already over Michael, meets a new man -- Ryan Morgan (Aussie Eka Darville) -- who not only knows what it's like having a homophobic black father, but doesn't let it bother him.


Jamal takes Ryan's words to heart and takes a hatchet to the closet door.

Man-Loving Music

You're So Beautiful

"You're So Beautiful" may just be the catchiest song to come out of Empire and it also serves as the centerpiece for Jamal's public coming out. Of course, everyone had different reactions to it. Lucious, for instance, not pleased.

Lucious Gay

Cookie was a bit more understanding.

Cookie Gay

But Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) had the best, and most touching, reaction.

Hakeem Gay

And in the end, Empire left us with this uplifting message:

Nothing Changed

Cookie v. Camilla

Cookie v Camille

The showdown I've been waiting for all season did not disappoint. You know shit was going to go down as soon as they did a Sam Peckinpah zoom on Cookie spotting her baby being devoured by cougar Camilla Marks (Naomi Campbell).

Cookie Zoom

Cookie then opened up the library, put on her reading glasses, took out her bookmark and schooled Camilla in multiple languages. Who knew she was such a cunning linguist.

Cunning Linguist

Cookie Is the New Black

Cookie is the New Black

That vaginal volley aside, Cookie was serving some serious Orange Is the New Black realness, while giving us a hint of that singing voice fans of classic pimp anthems might remember. Give Cookie a solo!

Cookie Sing

Team Rhonda

Rhonda hurls

I'm finally getting on board with Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday), Andre's scheming wife, who looks like she finally ran completely out of fucks.

Rhonda Face

Andre's Got a Gun

Andre Gun

Eldest Lyon scion, Andre (Trai Byers), has been kind of boring this season, and he nailed just why: he's got no talent. His storyline's been the least compelling because he can't sing like Jamal; can't rap like Lucious or Hakeem; and can't just own the world like Cookie.

Family Sings

But his mental breakdown is really adding to the soapy melodrama that makes Empire so much fun to watch, so let's see where this loose canon is going to fire off next.

Daddy Jamal

Daddy Jamal

Was anyone else on the floor experiencing the last moments of life escape from their bodies when Jamal sang to his little girl? Gotta go, feeling things.

Les Fabian Brathwaite, dreaming of Cookie with the long black weave.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Les Fabian Brathwaite