Hakeem Makes A Major Decision About 'Empire'

If there were ever any doubts to how serious Hakeem is about leaving the Empire and becoming a legend at Lyon Dynasty, they're surely gone after Wednesday night's episode of Empire , "Poor Yorick." At first it seemed as though Hakeem was still feeling pretty betrayed by his father for his radio deal and signing Valentina, but things began to soften when he and Jamal came together to film a music video. The family also bonded together after the FBI raided both Empire and Dynasty as part of Roxanne Ford's vendetta against Lucious, as a way to show the feds they couldn't break the family apart. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened anyway, and now Hakeem is hellbent on making it to the top. But what about his relationship with Jamal?

Sadly, the brothers' bond is getting pretty weak, and despite Hakeem's immaturity and occassional anger issues, I think the blame for this rift falls mostly on Jamal's shoulders. The middle Lyon brother has slowly but surely become more like his father, in all the worst ways. Sure, his music still sounds great and he's helping run a successful company, but he has alienated his family, become selfish, and is treating his boyfriend Michael very poorly. It's no surprise that Hakeem is not happy with the direction of Jamal's personality, and has chosen to separate himself even further from his brother.

Lucious then attempts to bring Hakeem back to Empire by promising that he'll be a more attentive father and producer, will allow Hakeem to manage Valentina, and more. But just as it seems like Hakeem is crossing back over, a painting of Jamal is unveiled at the music video shoot, taking up a lot of time on set. Hakeem throws a temper tantrum and after he is insulted by Lucious, stabs the painting and gets on with the music video. Of course, the two brothers begin fighting, until Hakeem storms off and states that the Lyons have never been a family.

By the end of the episode, it seems pretty clear that Hakeem is ready to move on with his career and become a mogul at Lyon Dynasty. He almost sends Jamal an apology text, but decides against it at the last minute, just as Jamal is putting up prints of the painting around town to show off his artistic talent. Hakeem seems to be both annoyed at Jamal for changing and jealous that he hasn't reached that level of success yet. But if Dynasty takes off the way it should, Hakeem can take pride in knowing that when he got there on his own — with some help from Cookie, of course.

Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX