It was a night full of surprises on Fox’s hit hip-hop soap opera Empire.
There were lots of celebrity cameos – Gladys Knight, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Naomi Campbell – and a healthy helping of unexpected twists. Will the cops bust Lucious for murder? Has Cookie’s undercover life as an informant been exposed? How deep are Hakeem’s mommy issues?
But before we go there, let’s talk about the music and the guests because that’s what fans were tweeting about on Wednesday night.
Cuba Gooding Jr. And Naomi Campbell? This is like 1990s Black dynasty. #Empire— Andreana Clay (@andreanaclay) January 22, 2015
For starters, old-school music lovers applauded Knight’s soulful performance at Bunkie’s funeral. At 70-years-young, Queen Gladys looked regal and ready for her close up as she belted out a slow and reverent rendition of “Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.”
Meanwhile, fans of Boyz N the Hood enjoyed seeing Tre, aka Cuba Gooding Jr., guest star as a music writer named Puma – Really? Puma? – who had a huge crush on Cookie back in the day.
Some folks couldn’t get over how young the 47-year-old Oscar winning actor looks while others, such as Porsha Williams of The Real Housewives of Atlanta fame, wondered if Gooding Jr. would turn on the waterworks.
Cuba Gooding Jr. Welcome just don’t start crying on #EmpireFOX You know He loves to shed a good ol tear— Porsha Williams (@Porsha4real) January 22, 2015
Last but not least, Naomi Campbell turned in a wicked performance as Hakeem’s secret lover Camilla and Empire fans ate it up.
Naomi Campbell owned that entire scene with just her walk! That’s how you slay! #Empire— Ᏸecca (@MJStarLover) January 22, 2015
Campbell’s Camilla was so fierce she had Hakeem calling her his mama. Ewwww.
Hakeem needs to work out his issues with his mother. That was…gross. #empire— Krissy Brierre (@krissybri) January 22, 2015
Oddly enough, the scene inspired Usher’s ex wife Tameka Raymond to hint that the singer maybe called her mama, too. She later deleted the tweet but not before someone screen grabbed it:
Now that was a real-life twist people really weren’t expecting. But, back to the show: who would’ve thought Anika would hire a private detective to spy on Cookie? Or that Cookie’s business with the FBI isn’t about Lucious as all? Thankfully for Cookie and #TeamCookie types, Lucious didn’t learn the truth because the FBI agent pretended to be Cookie’s parole officer.
Of course, the ruse came after Cookie delivered one of the best lines of the night: “Lucious is on some Darth Vader ish.”
Speaking of great Cookie lines, it was hilarious when she confronted Lucious about his plans for Bunkie’s funeral. “Oh, Okay. Well, can you share?” So maybe it wasn’t what she said but how she said it.
Folks on Twitter celebrated her line about forgiveness:
Just cuz I asked JESUS to forgive you, doesn’t mean I do!! (Using this on all my ex’s!) #Empire— Dominique_Sharie (@AFine_Mess) January 22, 2015
Others loved her biting dinner prayer:
Even with all of those priceless one-liners, you have to wonder between the homeless witness and the FBI, who will crumble first? Lucious or Cookie? Other questions: Why are Dre and Rhonda so kinky and was she really aroused by his infidelity? Yikes. Will Jamal move back into the loft and make nice with his dad? And lastly, are Hakeem and Tiana the fictional versions of Chris Brown and Rihanna?
And, about those flashbacks! Cookie’s 90s chic had Twitter on fire. Looks like lots of girls will be waiting their turn for crimps come Saturday morning.
Wonders never cease on Empire. What did you think of the latest installment? Feel free to weigh in below.