Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) is ready to face her estranged mother, Renee (Alfre Woodard), in the upcoming episode of "Empire."
In the episode titled "A Lean and Hungry Look," the synopsis reveals that Cookie is quickly losing hope that she will not be able to fulfill her promise to Poundcake (Da'Vine Joy Randolph). Her ex-prison mate is dying, and she wants to see her daughter one more time.
Cookie managed to trace the girl, a ballerina named Maya (Rhyon Nicole Brown), but the latter refused to listen to her after receiving insults from Tiana (Serayah). In the previous episode, Cookie invited the dancer to Empire to watch her perform, but Tiana ruined everything with her prima donna ways. She felt threatened by Maya's skills and went ballistic on her.
Cookie can understand why Maya does not wish to see her birth mother. She also feels the same with meeting Renee. Her mom has stayed in town since Cookie got hospitalized for a mild heart attack, but Cookie has no plans to see her, considering their bitter past. She never got along with Renee, despite her sisters urging her to give the old woman a chance.
The promo shows a teary-eyed Cookie in front of her mother. Renee also cannot believe that her daughter has come to see her.
Elsewhere, Lucious (Terrence Howard) is determined to take down Eddie (guest star Forest Whitaker). He is set to work with a former enemy, Shine (Xzibit), to send off the older man out of his company. The promo shows Lucious and Shine shaking hands after agreeing to team up. Later on, though, they are shown pointing guns at each other.
Meanwhile, the episode will also see Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and Tory (Rumer Willis) struggling with their new band. Since they are determined to produce music on their own, they cannot expect help Empire.
Fortunately for Jamal, his new friend, Preacher Azal (guest star Kade Wise), will be there to save the day. The rapper will have a brilliant idea to get everyone in sync and push through with the plans without further problems.
In an interview with Hollywood Life, Wise spoke about his character and how he would connect with Jamal. According to him, Preacher Azal is a politically driven Muslim rapper who will add a lot of flavor to the show. He is never one to hold off on telling Jamal exactly what he thinks of pampered brats like him.
"The story is that he's this artist that Empire tried to sign a year prior but never gave him a shot because he wanted to stay true to the respected craft of hip hop. That's until Jamal, dealing with his trauma of accidentally killing someone a few episodes prior, he's not feeling very inspired musically. He and Tory Ash decide to start a band, and they want to start this live instrumentation-focused band. They need a rapper for the group, so they go and find Preacher Azal. There's a lot of pushback. They definitely have the type of chemistry that has a lot of ranting back and forth," Wise said.
"Empire" season 4 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EDT on FOX.