Poor Yorick
Season Two, Episode Four
Cookie Hakeem S2E4 Poor Yorick.jpg
Air date: October 14, 2015
Writers: Danny Strong
Director: Danny Strong
Premiere: 12.22 million
Fires of Heaven
Be True

Where we come from, if the cops raid your house, that makes you a G. If the Feds raid your house, that makes you an O.G.

Lucious Lyon to Mimi Whiteman

Poor Yorick is the fourth episode of the second season of Empire and the sixteenth episode overall. The episode aired on October 14, 2015.

The Lyons are still split into warring factions, but they all decide to shoot a music video that will capitalize on Hakeem and Jamal's duet from Hakeem's leaked album, a collaboration that will benefit both companies. Meanwhile, Lucious trades his real handcuffs for virtual ones. However, knowing he can't fully control his company with a federal murder case hanging over his head, he sets out to find Vernon and make him permanently disappear.


The episode begins with the FBI raiding Empire HQ, while Jamal is simultaneously recording a song ("Battle Cry") from a representative from Rolling Stone, who wants to put Jamal on the cover. Jamal's interview is interrupted by his personal assistant, who alerts him to the situation.

"Hey baby. Look wherever you like."

While the FBI is raiding Empire, Lucious is at home, sleeping in bed with a woman. Thirsty wakes him up, alerting him to the raid at Empire. Lucious initially wonders how he got in, but Thirsty reminds him that they were both with girls last night, and that he slept in the guest room with some twins. Roxanne Ford and other agents appear at Lucious' house. Thirsty claims a false statute to prevent their entry, but Roxanne sees through it. As Roxanne appears in Lucious' room, Lucious stands there nude, telling her to look wherever she wants.

At Lyon Dynasty's studio, Anika tries to plead Cookie to hire her, but Cookie refuses. After Anika tells her & Hakeem about the raid on Empire, Cookie tells Hakeem to convince Valentina to come back and tells Anika that if she can convince Royale-T to leave Empire and join Lyon Dynasty, then she'd hire her back. However, as Cookie tries to leave, the Feds arrive with a warrant to search the premises.

Lucious arrives at Empire after the raid finishes, where Jamal is telling the board of directors that he'll cancel his Rolling Stone cover and that they need to lay low. Lucious tells Mimi Whiteman that they need to use this press coverage for their benefit. He tells everyone that he'll beat his murder rap, and that the only reason they were raided is due to the lack of substantial evidence. Lucious tells Mimi that where he was raised, if the cops raided your home you were a G, but if the Feds did so, it made you an O.G. The comment sways Mimi over.

That night, the Lyon family, minus Rhonda, plus Thirsty, have private meeting at Laviticus. Thirsty tells them that the entire ordeal won't be over until they find Vernon Turner and convince him not to testify. He also tells them, that for the sake of public image, they need to stop feuding and make it seem like that they're all in this together. Hakeem asks Lucious if he killed Bunkie, but Lucious lies and tells Hakeem that he would never lay a finger on Bunkie (Lucious is somewhat correct, as he didn't literally touch Bunkie, he shot him). Andre then remember Vernon's death.

Cookie meets with Lucious at Empire

Cookie meets with Lucious at Empire, where she proposes a deal -- if Lucious promises not to steal any of Lyon Dynasty's artists or songs, and lets them back on the radio, Hakeem will do a video with Jamal. Lucious asks what the deal does for him, and Cookie tells him that the music video with the two brothers will send the world a message - that the Lyons are sticking with Lucious. Lucious tells Cookie that while he won't poach the artists, he won't budge on the radio deal, and tells Cookie that the Dynasty still wins as Hakeem gets a free video, as Empire will pay for it. Cookie tells him that he can't steal her masters, but Lucious is confused, telling Cookie that he never tried to steal her music. Cookie tells him that Anika told her so, and Lucious says that Anika must have lied, and asks Cookie why she's keeping Anika around. Cookie is unable to answer, and Lucious is surprised that he managed to shut her up for once, and chides her by calling her Grandma Moses. She calls him grandpa in retort, but tells Lucious that if he isn't nicer to Andre, he may never see his grandchild, a comment which affects Lucious.

At Jamal's apartment, a photographer (named Chase One) is taking photos of him for the Rolling Stone cover. He overtly comes on and hits on Jamal, which pisses his boyfriend, Michael, off.

"If I can make this whole mess go away, will you let me back at Empire?"

Lucious calls Andre to meet him at Laviticus, where he tells Andre that even though he won't bring him back to Empire, he will do anything to protect his grandchild, and be the kind of grandfather to the child as he should have been a father to his kids. While talking to Andre, Lucious has a flashback of when Child Protective Services nearly took his away from his mother, due to neighbors' concerns that Leah wasn't a fit mother. In the present, Andre tells him that Lucious will always be able to visit his grandchild. Lucious asks if it's a grandson, as Lucious prefers male children, and Andre confirms. When Lucious brings up Vernon and the murder rap, Andre remembers when Rhonda killed him and they buried him. Andre asks Lucious if he can get rid of his murder rap, would Lucious hire him back, to which Lucious agrees. Andre agrees and leaves immediately.

At home, Andre tells Rhonda that he's going to dig up Vernon's body and produce the body in order to get Lucious free of his charge. When Rhonda asks why he would take such a risk, Andre tells her that God has spoken to him, and that he wants Andre to continue striving for Empire.

At Hakeem's trailer, Lucious comes in with a beat he's made specifically for Hakeem and asks Hakeem to listen to it, which Hakeem refuses to listen to. He and Jamal then begin singing and filming "Ain't About The Money". Mimi tells the director of the shoot that the video will be about police aggression on colored people. Cookie, who still has a grudge on Mimi, wants her out of there, but as Mimi owns 20% of Empire (worth $250,000,000), Mimi has all rights to stay there.

Cookie is arrested by the NYPD

After they take a break, Cookie steps out to take a call, but is arrested by the police, who claim that she missed a court hearing and therefore her parole is being revoked. As she is being hauled into the car, she openly claims that if she dies in prison, she did not commit suicide. In prison, she is met by Roxanne Ford, who tells her that she jumped a subway turnstile and refused to show up to work. Roxanne shows her a photo; however, it shows Porsha jumping the turnstile. Porsha gave her name as Cookie Lyon. Roxanne tells Cookie that she will come after her and her sons, and that not only could she revoke Cookie's parole and have her jailed again, she could also leak Andre's medical report and reveal his bipolar disorder to the world.

Hakeem listens to Lucious' beat and agrees that it's dope, but refuses to return to Empire and manage Valentina. Lucious tells him that he needs a resourceful label behind him, and that Cookie isn't reliable, as she hasn't been seen for half an hour.

At the police station, Cookie remembers how psychologically troubling it was for her to be incarcerated for 17 years. Unable to handle that again, she demands to see Roxanne Ford.

Jamal's portrait

At the video shoot, Chase shows Lucious and Jamal the finished product. Lucious praises Jamal, which stirs an intense about of jealousy in Hakeem. Hakeem lashes out. Lucious calls Hakeem a mama's boy, which infuriates Hakeem. Lucious tells Hakeem that he chose Jamal instead of him since Jamal doesn't need his mama to work. Hakeem takes a knife in anger and stabs the painting and demands they continue the shoot, a move that impresses Lucious.

At the station, Cookie tells Roxanne that she isn't sure whether Lucious killed Bunkie or not, but fabricates a story about how Lucious wanted to acquire Apex Radio and Bunkie did not approve of it, and that the next thing she knows, Bunkie is dead and Lucious buys Apex right after coming out of prison. Roxanne thanks Cookie for help and promises her that Lucious' deal with Apex Radio will be dead.

At the shoot, Jamal and Hakeem get into a fight. Jamal punches Hakeem in the face, at which point Hakeem trips Jamal to the floor. Hakeem then grabs a baseball bat and stands up, and prepares to swing at Jamal's face, to the gasps of everyone else. Hakeem doesn't swing, but asks why everyone is surprised, and reminds them that they were never a family, and leaves the shoot, telling them that he'll never return.

Andre puts a shovel in his car and gets ready to leave, but Rhonda gets in the car, telling him that she is ride or die, and reminds him of their vows, that death do they part, or prison. Andre smiles and they both leave.

Jamal apologizes to Chase, but Chase claims that the attack on the painting works, as it could be represented as an attack by a racist and homophobic community.

Lucious thanks Rhonda for inadvertently saving his life

Andre and Rhonda begin digging, with Andre reminding Rhonda that they buried him next to the tree with the hole. Rhonda wonders how they've dug up so much and have not found a body, and realizes that all the trees have the hole. Andre, however, tells her that he needs to find the body as he needs Empire. However, they notice headlights approaching, and try to hide. The car stops, and out steps Lucious and Thirsty. Andre is surprised to see his father, and Lucious tells him that after their meeting at Laviticus, he had Thirsty install a tracking chip in Andre's car. Lucious demands for an explanation, and Rhonda tells him that when she walked in on Vernon fighting with Andre, she hit him over the head with a candlestick. When he didn't wake up, they buried him. Lucious thanks her for saving his life, and Thirsty, who's brought a corpse detector, manages to locate Vernon's body. Lucious tells Andre that he's proud of him for disposing of Vernon's body.

Hakeem sits at a fancy bar, where he types a text message apologizing to Jamal, although he doesn't end up saying it. He hears Laura Calleros, a Latin singer, and smiles as he notices her talent. Meanwhile, Lucious, Rhonda, Andre and Thirsty begin digging up Vernon.

Chase, Jamal and Michael begin posting the paintings of Jamal. As Chase praises Jamal as being "the art", it begins to stir more jealousy in Michael.

Lucious' final words to Vernon

After digging up Vernon, Andre asks if he can some final words, since he never did so when Vernon first died. Andre apologizes for causing his death, and tells him that if he could go back and do it over, he would. He tells Vernon (or rather, his corpse), that he forgives him and thanks him, as he is only the man he is today due to Vernon raising him. The speech takes a mental toll on Andre. As Andre walks towards his car, Lucious asks for some privacy to have some final words with Vernon. Alone, Lucious hisses at Vernon's corpse to rot in hell.

Cookie gets out of police custody, only to return to an empty film studio. She calls Anika, and asks about the masters. Anika tells her that she didn't lie, that Lucious had asked for them. Cookie tells Anika that she can't trust her, and therefore she can't work at Lyon Dynasty.

Lucious' Squad.png

At home, Lucious burns a photo of himself, Bunkie and Vernon, and thinks of his mother. Roxanne, on the other hand, is on the phone with someone, telling them to announce that the FCC is undoing Empire's acquisition of Apex Radio. As she gets in the car, she screams as she sees Vernon's corpse in the passenger seat.

Roxanne discovers Vernon's corpse


Song Title Performer(s)
Ain't About The Money Hakeem Lyon and Jamal Lyon
Battle Cry Jamal Lyon
When Love Finds U
Lago Azul Laura Calleros


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Major/Highlighted Events


  • For the fourth episode in a row, at least one member of the main cast is missing in this episode. The members of the main cast who fail to appear in all episodes together are Serayah, Ta'Rhonda Jones and Gabourey Sidibe.
  • For the third time in a row, an episode has previous viewers tuning in than the previous episode. This episode had 12.22 million viewers on its premiere, compared to the previous episode's 13.1 million.
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