For those who felt “Empire” was too complex, too crazy, or simply too much on this past episode of the show, you’ve got a good reason to hand out fist-pumps following what we saw Wednesday night: THIS is “Empire” … or at least the version of the show we came to love in season 1.
We feel like the core of this show is and should always be the relationship between Cookie and Lucious Lyon, and thankfully, that is precisely what we got from this episode. The relationship drama was there, it was real, and it was certainly entertaining given how Cookie chose to side with her new squeeze Angelo Dubois rather than her business-partner / sometimes-lover, working to get a highly intelligent young man to further his education rather than immerse himself in the Empire Entertainment game. Suffice it to say, Lucious was none too pleased about this.
Then again, couldn’t Lucious be spending more time amping up his own recruiting efforts rather than having sex with random women to tick Anika off? She got her revenge courtesy of a delivery guy later on in the episode, but these two are probably going to spend so much time throwing shade that they each’ll end up faltering in their own commitments … not that we mind. Lucious and Anika are better when they’re going full train wreck.
You know when Lucious is not fun? When he’s being a complete and total heel to his son Andre, who was brought in for effectively robbing his own house and ended up becoming a symbol for a movement at a time he never intended to be in the spotlight. This is a man still in mourning, and now everyone is asking something of him and, horribly, Lucious is one of the few people he has to turn to. The show portrayed the spot he was in beautifully, even if we felt for Andre more and more by the end of it.
At least there was some happier news for Jamal, right? If nothing else, he is getting closer to being back in the music business. A good duet with uber-singer Kitty (Mariah Carey) will do that for you.
As we noted, this episode was a pretty entertaining hoot with some funny moments, heavy scenes, and ultimately Lucious and Cookie getting themselves so immersed in drama that who knows where it’ll lead. “Empire’s” getting messy, and we like this kind of messy. Grade: B+.