Saturday, May 18, 2024

Recap: Empire (S3, Ep4) What Remains Is Bestial


OK, Lucious has done some dirty, underhanded, illegal and janky things in the three seasons that we’ve come to know, love and despise him, but last night’s opening scene with Anika and her former assistant was a new all-time low! The Lyon patriarch is not only the King of his empire, but the crown prince of freakdom!

Just in case you DVR’d the show to watch this weekend, we won’t spoil it, but let me just say this. Big Lu’s payback was just as epic when he busted the UPS on his knees redefining the term happy endings with Lucious’ grandbaby mama.

So, when you open like that, is there anything that a guest star like Mariah Carey can do for you? Not really. Mimi made her much-publicized debut on Wednesday, playing a singer named Kitty, an old friend that Cookie had recruited to help Jamal get past his PTSD. The middle son in the Lyon dynasty still hasn’t gotten his mojo back. Initially, he tells Kitty he’s not ready, but after a reality check—his fans are dropping off like dead leaves—Jamal eventually agrees to record a track after a less-than-empowering chat in prison with Freda, the woman who accidentally shot him.

Even though Lucious was getting some “healing” from Anika’s old assistant, he still can’t bare the thought that Cookie has moved on. She’s kind of in that “curious” phase with Angelo, the handsome community leader that’s trying to do the right thing by kids in the ‘hood. When Lucious learns that their connection might be something deeper, he conspires to offer a contract to one of Angelo’s college-bound charges, which causes a rift between Cookie and Angelo until she hips Angelo to Lucious’ motives.

Andre emerges from his situation with the police with a bruise on his cheek, but not on his ego. He thinks just because he’s a Wharton graduate and a CFO, his blackness is not an issue with the po-po. It’s not until Lucious takes all three of his sons for a joy ride in the ‘hood that reality starts to seep in a bit. Apparently the bipolar, gay and spoiled Lyon brothers don’t realize that they’re really brothas as well.

But while Andre is trying to find himself and escape the ghost of his late wife; and Jamal is battling PTSD; poor Hakeem gets publicly humiliated when his ex-finacee gets all close and personal with a rival rapper on stage during an unplanned duet. Hakeem takes the low road and pours his hatoration and shame into some rhymes trashing Tianna. Further, he aligns himself with his father after that trip to the ‘hood when he’s the only brother who doesn’t bolt for the door when pops asks: “Ain’t you gonna follow your sisters?”

The biggest reveal of the night, however, is when we learn who is behind Andre’s arrest. What was once thought to be a minor misdemeanor has now evolved into felony charges.

Miki Turner is a full time lecturer at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and author of the book Journey to the Woman I’ve Come to Love
Miki Turner is a full time lecturer at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and author of the book Journey to the Woman I’ve Come to Love

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