Angela and Terryn are back for their weekly recap of Fox’s tawdry melodrama.
Per the usual, last night’s episode of Empire was doing so much — it was almost doing the most but I will reserve my judgement for next week’s blowout 2-hour finale.
This week, we find Andre (Business Son) hobbled by his meltdown and not able to join in when they are signing the stock options for the IPO (or something to that effect, I couldn’t really keep up with all the business mumbo-jumbo). Cookie’s reaction to his mental illness seemed normal for a bamma-fied person, which I suppose is realistic. But I was surprised by how shoddily Andre treated his wife Rhonda, seeing as she makes sure he is straight in all things (as we find out later when she uses her Wharton savvy to blow Lucius’ spot about diluting stock options for his sons in order to give some to Cookie).
Lucius, though, is nothing but a low-down, gutter-butt trollop (in my B. Scott voice). Just last week, he wants to get back with Anika, and now he wants to marry Cookie and give her what’s hers? Chile BYE. That green-eyed monster is up to no good. I am glad, however, that he squashed that whole Hakeem/Camilla situation. +10 points for GOOD PARENTING.
The whole Jamal/Olivia/adorable baby storyline was a lot on it. Lucius’ little revelation that he was, in fact, the baby’s daddy gave me pause; it felt like the show was revving up for a shark jump. I wonder if Lucius just said that to protect Cookie from the gunman, but either way, ALL OF THIS WOULD BE SOLVED BY A PATERNITY TEST.
- Yo, Antoine Fisher fell for Cookie QUICK. I mean technically so did TV viewers so I get it, but I wish they would have spaced out that storyline a bit. Also Antoine Fisher’s part is silly.
- Cookie wore a loose dress for the first time this whole season and looked lovely.
- Where is Boo Boo Kitty?
- Please Lord Jesus in Heaven stop singing, Lucius. Just let it go.
- I wish I could get between Andre’s knees and pray like JHud…
This was the most bewildering episode thus far for me. I felt like I was trapped in the cafeteria of a nursing home, watching several daytime soap operas blast from TVs at the same time. So much tawdriness, so much low-downess popping off in one hour. That in itself is not a bad thing. My biggest issue with last night’s episode, and with the show in general, is pacing. I mentioned a few weeks back that the show sets up lines of tension or conflict that look like they should take a few episodes to resolve, but certain plot lines are miraculously wrapped up within the space of one episode. This week, within the first half hour we see Olivia again, find out she has a crazy boyfriend, and watch him get shot down after prompting Lucius’s reveal of paternity (“I put the baby in her!”).
This is the definition of doing the most.
Why, oh why had we not seen Olivia since she dropped off baby girl? Why was she just now boarding a bus to get out of Dodge? If she really feared for her life, wouldn’t she be long gone? It’s like her character’s storyline was put on pause for two episodes, and then resumed right where we last saw her, illogical as that is in real life. It’s just as illogical that these millionaires haven’t thought to do DNA testing. I get that it’s hard to give so many storylines attention every week, but the show calls attention to itself when it tries to over-explain what someone’s been up to since the last time we saw them. What difference would it have made if Olivia just showed up with dude at the end of this episode, without the bus scene and without the awkward scene with Vernon at Leviticus? Not much difference is the answer. My gut says we’ll not see Anika for a while, then all of a sudden Boo Boo Kitty will be back with a vengeance doing a million things in one episode.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten my gripes off, some notes:
- This was the first time Cookie disappointed me. She didn’t want to accept the doctor’s diagnosis of Andre’s condition, which is bad on its own, but she sounded a lot like Lucius, focusing on the signing of shares rather than her son’s health.
- Why is Digeriboo hating on Jamal’s relationship with Lola? That seemed presumptuous of him considering they’ve known each other for roughly two weeks.
- Who chose music therapy for Andre, and why? Did Rhonda chose it? Has it worked in the past? It would be interesting if music has been successful for him before, considering that he’s the son with no musical talent.
- Funniest moment of the episode: Cookie preparing to bust it open for the Kehinde Wiley portrait thinking there was a camera in it, but there wasn’t.
Gripes aside, I’m looking forward to the finale. A few sharks will likely be jumped, but it’ll still be a good time.