Fox’s fantastically trash drama Empire returned from hibernation. The Lyon family found themselves trapped in the den by a heinous betrayal. And a shocking revelation changed Andre and Rhonda’s lives forever.
The episode opens where ended with Rhonda lying helpless, bloodied, at the bottom of her grand staircase. Paralyzed by fear and injury, she could only watch a pair of red bottoms waltz out the door. Later at the hospital, the family learns her child did not survive. Andre, in two amazing scenes, leans on his faith. Rhonda however sees nothing but fault in his God.
Lucious witnesses his record company stolen from him. Hakeem’s lust for power and pussy upended Lucious as CEO, placing all of Empire Records within the hands of his cougar girlfriend Camilla. The betrayal ostracizes Hakeem from the family, and places a target on his head. Lucious promises to stop at nothing to reclaim what is his. While he slowly plots for war, Cookie, Andre and Jamal win one battle. They convince Hakeem to allow Cookie some sharing power on Empire as he remains her artist on Dynasty.
In between these two main plots, we see blips and pieces of the backing cast. The once smart and sexy Anika has been reduced to a scorned sidepiece. Her visit to Rhonda’s sick bed places her as the prime suspect in the unborn child’s demise. And we see Laura bicker with a bitter Hakeem before the two succumb to love. As for Jamal we are to believe he’s the greatest thing since Lucious’s reign on the charts. So in this world Lucious is Marvin Gaye and Jamal, Frank Ocean?
As long as Empire focuses on the smut, it never deters focus. Attempts to be taken seriously fall flat. But it’s why I watch and will be here next week.