‘Empire’ season 2, episode 9 review: A Jamal surprise and much more

Empire -Usually when you think about big surprises happening on Fox’s “Empire,” you are thinking about them mostly through the lens of something that puts the characters into a near-death situation. It’s not that often when you see something take place on a romantic level that was as stunning as what we had during this episode.

Are we supposed to read too much in Jamal kissing Alicia Keys’ character of Skye on a literal level? Probably not. The show has set it up that this character is an openly gay man, and we do not see there being any questions or doubt on that being thrown into the mix over the next several weeks. There’s just not that much of a reason for it.

However, at the same exact time we do think that this is meant to be a sign of the full extent of his struggle. This is clearly someone who is going through a lot. We are seeing him try to grapple with the notion that his life is constantly in flux, his father clearly has issues, and he is rarely on the same page with his brothers. It makes sense that all of this drama would get to him in due time.

Speaking of people conflicted and struggling under the weight of various factors in his life, Hakeem seems to be intent for now on sticking with Lyon Dynasty. Lucious may think that he has a dramatic impact on the character, but we’re still seeing evidence to the contrary. Also, he’s too wrapped up in his own world that he’s not even letting Anika speak long enough to realize that she is carrying his child.

Of course, we’d be hard-pressed to not mention the awesomeness of some of the guest roles tonight, from Keys to Rosie O’Donnell to Vivica A. Fox. They all brought something interested to the show, and with the latter it was a nice window into Cookie’s past and what she is hoping to get out of the world. While we’re still not sold per se on Jamal kissing Skye as a huge development, the majority of this episode was entertaining enough to make it something that we’re looking forward to seeing next week for resolution alone. Grade: B.

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