Without a Country



Critic Consensus: In "Without a Country," Empire fully embraces its soapy tendencies by showcasing the best and worst of its beloved characters.

Episode Info

Cookie and her cohorts decide to start their own small record label, but their opposing visions make for a bumpy start to the venture. Meanwhile, Hakeem woos a hot Latina singer for the girl group he wants to form; Lucious hires a new lawyer and records an epic track from inside jail; and Jamal proves to be just as ruthless as his father when making business moves.


Terrence Howard
as Lucious Lyon
Taraji P. Henson
as Cookie Lyon
Malik Yoba
as Vernon Turner
Jussie Smollett
as Jamal Lyon
Bryshere Y. Gray
as Hakeem Lyon
Trai Byers
as Andre Lyon
Grace Byers
as Anika Calhoun
Grace Gealey
as Anika Calhoun
Rafael De La Fuente
as Michael Sanchez
Andre Royo
as Thirsty Rawlings
Kelly Rowland
as Leah Walker
Becky G
as Valentina
Show More Cast

Without a Country Photos

Critic Reviews for Without a Country

There's no other Empire scene more representative of this show's janky absurdity, its wonderfully tacky musical signatures, and its wild performances.

Aug 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Hakeem and Cookie seemed to be the only people thinking of the family by trying to remove the poisonous influence that is Lucious Lyon from their lives. But removing a cancerous organ, when it's vital ensures the death of the body.

Oct 1, 2015 | Full Review…

Empire is a flawed, yet intoxicating enterprise, and I'm going to stick with it to the bitter end, but I really want everyone to step up their game.

Oct 1, 2015 | Rating: 8.9/10 | Full Review…

Last night's episode, Without a Country, was chiller than Jamal on a slow jam.

Oct 1, 2015 | Full Review…

[One] moment falls in line with the show's penchant for hitting on real-world issues the black community faces, particularly issues around mass incarceration and police brutality.

Oct 15, 2015 | Full Review…

After last week's breathless opener, Empire slowed the pace this week in order to let us absorb the reality of the new normal.

Oct 7, 2015 | Full Review…

Cue the dramatic music Empire reserves for truly evil characters. If Officer Luda could grow a longer mustache, he'd twirl it.

Oct 4, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Fortunately, Empire and its viewers and listeners have months more time to spend together. You are hereby sentenced to a goddamn delightful show.

Oct 1, 2015 | Full Review…

It's getting delightfully tricky to tell who's a genuine threat to the Lyon family's well-being and who's a short-stay special guest meant to be done away with before the credits roll.

Oct 1, 2015 | Full Review…

"Without A Country" feels like the show Empire was trying to become in its first season. The episode is still silly as hell, but in an arch, savvy way that suggests the show is being made by people who really love nighttime soaps.

Oct 1, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…