We know that when the cat's away, the mice will play. Turns out, the same holds true for Lucious Lyon and his clan, though let's be real:
Mice they most certainly are not.
On Empire Season 3 Episode 13, Lucious' non-ALS illness resurfaced and kept him confined to his bed and hooked up to a breathing tube for the majority of the episode.
Speaking of which: remember when Lucious supposedly had ALS? Remember when him dying of ALS was supposed to be the central storyline of the entire series? It feels like so long ago!
I had forgotten Lucious' brief dance with death was even a thing until they referenced it again a few episodes ago – likely just to set up his illness in this episode.
Naturally, the family's response to their patriarch's predicament was less than sympathetic. Instead, they decided to push through new projects while Lucious was too sick to object. (Or so they thought.)
Hakeem: Does he have ALS again?
Andre: That's not how ALS works, Hakeem.
This episode was awesome, mostly because it was incredibly satisfying to watch Lucious lying helpless in bed as his family and fellow board members refused to do acquiesce to his demands.
The best part of "My Naked Villainy" was most definitely the bit when Anika started squeezing Lucious' breathing tube while reminding him that since they never signed a pre-nup, she would inherit everything if he died. Two words: damn, girl!
Anika seemed to have briefly toned down her crazy once she got Rhonda out of the picture, but now that she's juggling the head of A&R job at Empire and weird conspiracies involving Tariq she's starting to fall off her rocker again.
I thought Anika's initial descent into madness was one of the stupider things about Empire's second season; it just seemed incredibly out of left field for this polished debutante-turned-executive to lose her mind in such a big way.
I've seen firsthand what you're willing to do to protect your own blood. Bella needs that.Anika [to Cookie]
But, I welcome the return of crazy-eyed Anika now. Grace Byers seems to be having great fun, and I enjoy watching her screw with Lucious. And anyone willing to mess with Lucious is all right in my book.
Cookie: There's only one man that I love and his name ain't Lucious, honey.
Anika: You can say that, but it's not the truth.
While Lucious was busy hiding a gun under his pillow in case Anika came to kill him in the night (a hilarious image), Jamal was recording the first teaser video for his new album, "When Cookie Met Lucious," before his father could put a stop to it.
I loved the Eighties vibe of Jamal's video, designed to recreate the moment Cookie and Lucious first fell in love. The combination of the retro-inspired images with Cookie's voiceover talking about how much Lucious' music meant to her was quite powerful.
Boy, I gave my soul for you to tell this story. It better be good.Cookie [to Jamal]
No wonder Angelo was so infuriated. It's clear as one watches Cookie reminisce that even if she and Lucious are not meant to live happily ever after, their relationship will never truly die – not while Empire lives.
The song isn't about love at first sight. It's about a lifetime.Cookie
As for Hakeem, well, the youngest Lyon continued his quest to turn over a new leaf for the sake of baby Bella.
After watching Thirsty rip Kennedy and her lawsuit against Empire apart, Hakeem went to Cookie and Jamal to profess his feelings of guilt. Jamal then gave his brother a much-needed explainer on victim blaming – far too prevelant in many of Hakeem's songs.
Determined to make it up to Kennedy, Tiana, Bella and his legions of female fans, Hakeem recorded an ode to female empowerment that he released live on Empire Xstream. And while it wasn't Hakeem's best song, it was definitely one of his best moments as a character.
Andre seized his opportunity in the form of a meeting with Giuliana and Nessa, in which Nessa was caught very far off guard after Giuliana started quizzing her about her supposed open relationship with Andre.
Coocious sounds like a damn STD. And now Angelo is butthurt.Cookie [to Jamal]
The expression on Nessa's face when Giuliana asked about how they handled their hookups was priceless. I'm not fond of Nessa – Team Tiana all the way – so I didn't mind watching her get this rude awakening as to how Andre does business.
Andre attempted to hold a secret board meeting to get the Vegas deal approve while Lucious was ill, but Lucious managed to get word of his son's plotting and called his own board meeting from bed.
This impromptu meeting gave us the second best moment in "My Naked Villainy": the part when Lucious attempted to fire Andre but no one else on the board would back him in his histrionics.
He is my son and I'll fire him if I want to.Lucious [on Andre]
Turns out, money talks louder than Lucious, especially when his voice is hoarse from illness. And if Vegas promises money, then the board will back it, no matter how much Lucious protests.
In the end, Lucious managed to get himself out of bed long enough to hijack Angelo's primary election victory party, but it was still fun to watch all of the other Lyons tiptoe cautiously around his barely conscious body for so much of the episode.
And, in the nights big cliffhanger, we learned that Giuliana and Lucious do indeed know each other. But how did they meet? That remains a mystery. Needless to say, something tells me we know why Lucious would rather die than do business in Vegas...
Coocious sounds like a damn STD. And now Angelo is butthurt.
What did you think of "My Naked Villainy"? Will Angelo and Cookie's relationship survive the mayoral race? Will Jamal's various lovers leave him alone to record his music? And how do Giuliana and Lucious know each other?
Remember, you can watch Empire online via TV Fanatic.
Lee Jutton was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She went into retirement in July of 2017. Follow her on Twitter.