Dangerous Bonds

I don't wanna win the game. I wanna change it. Hakeem

Dangerous Bonds
Season One, Episode Five
Air date: February 4, 2015
Writers: Malcolm Spellman
Director: John Singleton
Premiere: 11.47 million
False Imposition
Out, Damned Spot

Dangerous Bonds is the fifth episode of the first season of FOX television series, Empire, and the fifth episode overall. It first aired on February 4, 2015.

Cookie receives an anonymous gift from an admirer that she believes might be a veiled threat from a person from her prison past. Meanwhile, Lucious takes charge of Hakeem's first video shoot.


The episode opens with a small press conference on the red carpet, where Hakeem Lyon announces to the world that his new video, “Drip Drop,” is going to be released very soon. Tiana then goes back to her apartment, where she kisses with her girlfriend.

Lucious surprises Anika with a performance from Anthony Hamilton.
Meanwhile, in the Lyon mansion, Lucious Lyon proposes to his girlfriend, Anika Calhoun, who accepts his proposal.

The next day, Jamal Lyon brings Cookie to a studio in the ghetto, where he could only afford to have it for one day so that he could record his hit single. However, Cookie immediately has to step out as Agent Carter kept on contacting her, as she was trying to protect her, and convinces her to testify in front of a grand jury, as the proceedings would be kept secret.

At Empire, Hakeem impresses his father with his vision for his new video, in which he tells his father that he needed to recreate himself, adding that he needs to release it before Jamal releases his single. Andre then begins to worry about the budget for Hakeem’s video because it would go over budget, but Lucious tells him to find a way to get the money, because if he couldn't, then Andre would be useless to him. Andre then goes to Rhonda’s fashion shoot after she calls him, and she shows him Tiana getting snuggly with her girlfriend, India, behind some racks of clothing. They then record it so that they could release it at a moment’s notice.

At the grand jury, while Cookie testifies, she remembers what had happened that day. She remembers that she had sold several of Frank Gathers’ drugs to a man, who, as it turned out, was an undercover FBI Agent. The FBI then had come out; and before she was even arrested, Gathers had driven by and shot the undercover agent dead. Afterwards, Cookie became scared and nervous because she knew that Agent Carter couldn’t protect her from Gathers, even if he was in prison.

Meanwhile, at Lucious’ office, Andre tells his father that the only way to get more money for the video was to have Tiana appear in the video. As he leaves to handle Cookie, Vernon Turner informs Lucious that in order to go public, they need a doctor to sign a certificate of good health for Lucious. Lucious then tells Vernon that he had asked Anika to marry him, and begins to fondly remember the engagement party that he had thrown for Cookie years ago.

Later, during dinner with Anika’s parents, in which they break the news that they are engaged and that Lucious has ALS, Lucious asks Anika’s father to commit fraud for him so that Anika would become a billionaire. If the IPO didn’t go through, Anika would be left with nothing. Because of this, Anika’s father agrees to give him a bill of good health.

Cookie finds a rose on her door step after testifying against a drug dealer.
Meanwhile, Cookie gets scared after seeing a rose on her doorstep, which she interprets as Frank Gathers planning to kill her. After she puts a gun into her purse, along with a roll of cash, she gets surprised as Andre suddenly shows up at her doorstep. He then asks Cookie’s permission to have Tiana be in Hakeem’s video. She tells him that she would only allow that to happen if Andre got her a seat on Empire’s board of directors. Afterwards, she gets into a taxi and asks the driver to take her to Philadelphia. On the way, she tries to call Agent Carter, but to no avail. She then calls Jamal, who needed her help because he couldn’t figure out how to change up a part of his song. After letting her hear it over the phone, she gives him some advice and tells him that she would get there as soon as she could.
Jamal records in the only studio he can afford.
At Empire, Hakeem thanks Tiana for helping him out with his video and shows his friends the wonders of visual effects, which was why he was filming with a green screen. As Tiana learns the choreography for the video, Rhonda leaks the video of Tiana and her girlfriend. Afterwards, Andre manipulates some of Hakeem’s freeloading friends to rob Jamal, saying that he was wearing an expensive watch in a ghetto studio in front of them.
Porsha discovers the video of Tiana and her secret girlfriend.
However, after Porsha discovers Tiana’s video online, she shows it to Hakeem who becomes furious at Tiana. However, she doesn't understand what the big problem is as Hakeem is also having an affair.

Meanwhile, Cookie warns her younger sister, Carol, that she might find herself in trouble as well. Because of that, they ask and pay a relative of theirs, to “take care” of Teddy McNally, one of Gathers’ known hit men whose signature death threat is that of a rose.

At the recording studio, the sound engineers praise Jamal’s song. However, as he heads back in to rerecord a part of the song, Hakeem’s friends come in with guns and attempt to rob them at gunpoint. As one of the engineers try to fight back, he gets shot in the arm. Luckily, the studio owner came in and forced them to leave at gunpoint. This causes a problem as they don’t want to allow Jamal to overextend his stay there because of what happened. However, after Cookie talks to the owner, they allow Jamal to stay. He then gets an entire band and some vocalists to come in and tells the owner that he would be able to teach everyone and record the single in a few hours, which he manages to do. When Cookie comes back to see his progress, she asks the sound engineer to make sure that Jamal’s voice stood out. After they hear it, they rejoice as Cookie knew that Jamal now had his hit single.

Meanwhile, Cookie agrees to talk to Tiana for Hakeem and convinces her to bring India to the set. Lucious then convinces Hakeem to cooperate with Tiana for now and to handle their personal issues after the video was shot.

Hakeem calls Andre to tell him about the shooting at Jamal's recording session.
That night, Jamal shows up at Hakeem’s place and confronts him as he knew that the thugs who had attempt to rob him in his studio were his friends. Jamal believes that Hakeem had sent them to ruin his session. As he gets physically closer, to Hakeem, Hakeem pushes him back. Jamal then punches him and warns him not to underestimate him. Hakeem then calls Andre to help him push up the release of the video so that it could be released before Jamal’s single. Andre then becomes disturbed after learning that someone had gotten shot as result of the robbery that he had orchestrated.
Lucious visits Cookie on their anniversary
Meanwhile, Cookie is surprised that Lucious had come over to visit her. He thanks her for talking to Tiana and tells her that they had just finished wrapping up Hakeem’s video. She then tells him to be excited for Jamal’s own single, which is ready to be released. He tells her, to her surprise, that he had given her an anniversary present earlier that day. It turns out that she forgot that it was their anniversary and realizes that it was Lucious who had left the rose, and not Teddy McNally. She then calls Carol to cancel the hit on Teddy, but it is too late as he had already been killed.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast


Song Title Performer(s)
The Point of It All Anthony Hamilton
Drip Drop Hakeem Lyon and Tiana Brown
Keep Your Money Jamal Lyon
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