‘Empire’ season 3, episode 8 review: Lyon family values

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How powerful is Andre Lyon becoming? He’s certainly starting to rise up some of the ranks, but what makes his story interesting on “Empire” at the moment is that his love interest is just as power-hungry as he is — if not even more so.

For much of the episode, what we saw was the two working to pull some strings in order to ensure that she had a chance to perform at an important event put on by by Diana and Helene. These two women have become increasingly important to Cookie, mostly because of her relationship with Angelo. She managed to convince Jamal to co-headline the event, and after a series of incidents unfolded with Tiana and others, Nessa finally got the gig and the rave reviews that she wanted.

In turn, what Andre started to get was more of a spotlight on him, in particular from his mother. Cookie questioned his actions and his dishonesty, and went on to say that she was not much of a fan of the changes that she was seeing him make. He claimed that he was okay, but you know what they saw about mama knowing best…

Ready for some awkward moments with Lucious? – First, we saw him and Anika almost hook up on a table when his mother walked in — and to think, this was after Boo Boo Kitty nearly broke all of his stuff. He knows that the FBI is after him, and with that, he’s in full sniffing-for-clues mode. His mother, at one point a blight upon his life, could turn out to be an asset to him now.

If the show tried to make you feel a little bit more sympathy for Lucious (whether or not that worked is debatable), it came via Jamal performing his new song in front of the family — and how it was almost entirely a takedown on his “heartless” father and how he was responsible for ruining many lives. This eventually started to break down into a series of angry accusations, with the truth about Cookie’s father coming up into the conversation. The closest thing that Lucious had for his past was “I can’t change the past,” while reminding the entire clan that he is the only reason any of them are still there and have any success.

The truth of the matter is, the family face-off is something we’ve seen on this show so many times before that it doesn’t have the same weight that it used to, and we haven’t gotten much of a sense that Lucious is ever going to change, either. He’d have to want to, and apparently, his son writing and performing songs destroying his character isn’t enough of a motivation.

So the family remains as dysfunctional as ever as the accusations fly and Cookie tries to figure out how much blame she needs to assign to herself for the past. We don’t know if there is a clear answer there; all we know is that somehow, this family finds a way to be successful almost in spite of themselves.

Overall – To us, “Empire” is at its best when Cookie is at the center of the story. The unfortunate news today is that there wasn’t a lot of Cookie this time in comparison to last week. Some of the story started slow this week, and it was made a little bit tougher by not being the biggest fan of the Nessa character. Grade: B.

Next week – The winter finale is here, and if you want to get some additional news about it right now, be sure to head over to the link here! (Photo: Fox.)

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