Last weeks episode left us on an ultimate high. Emotions were all over the place, real life issues were addressed and it was great to see. This episode continued to address those issues to some extent, but could have been done better. There were some parts of the episode that were brilliant and others that just reminded me of why the show had gone down in my eyes.
Starting with Andre, something that doesn’t happen often, the episode pretty much picks up where it left off with him coming out of the police station. He’s reminded by his lawyer not to say anything but as soon as the lawyer opened his mouth and said ‘black lives matter crap’, the rage I felt was unexplainable and as soon as Andre did not react to that, I saw a problem. He was able to calm me down shortly after when he told the reporter that what happened to him is what happens in America everyday. That right there is the truth, so they gave me false hope because I got super excited thinking the BLM movement was going to be addressed. But no. It was a lie. Andre goes back to Empire and sees his parents who both agree that Andre’s only crime was that he was black. What angered me was that Andre refused to see the problem and somehow tried to put some of the blame on himself. You’re a black man who was assaulted for no other reason than the fact that you were black Andre. His parents try to get him to see reason and fight back but no, he wants to take the ‘high road’ because of his position and for some reason where he went to school. Is your old college going to come and defend you at your trial Andre? No! Open your eyes. Lucious offers to have thirsty handle it but Andre refuses and says he has his own lawyer, Yeah right. The lawyer that refused to see that race was a reason for your arrest and said ‘black lives matter crap’. Did it go well for you Andre? No. What was supposed to be a misdemeanour ended up with you getting a long list of charges and being admitted into the system. Now you’re going to trial. Well done. (Side note: Didn’t anyone find it very odd how no one rolled his hearing? For his status it highly unlikely that there was no media press on his bogus charges following the hearing. COME ON EMPIRE DO BETTER)
Just as the brothers are discussing Andre’s situation, Lucious arrives in style and takes them back to their old neighbourhood, where he informs them that he was wrong this whole time. The Lyon brothers although may know where they come from, don’t seem to understand where they come from. The great thing is that Lucious sees why and tries to get them to too. They think they’re white. Hate too break it to you but in case you didn’t realise, you’re black. Maybe it’s the privilege, or surrounding themselves with white people, living a certain kind of lifestyle or even going to the best schools. All that is nice but when it comes down to it, you’re still black and at some point, you’ll be reminded of that because that’s just how the world works. Lucious very accurately reminds them of that and for this he gets QOTE
Lucious: When y’all step out of this car, your names could have easily been Trayvon, Philando or Freddie. You could have been a hashtag
GUYS. MY FELLOW READERS, WATCHERS OF EMPIRE, FANS OF TV AND LOVERS OF THE BLM MOVEMENT. Do you see what just happened there? 3 victims of police shootings. Trayvon, Philando or Freddie, as in Trayvon Martin. Philander Castle or Freddie Gray. This is what I wanted. For the show to relate its story line to real life events not just for one scene though, but for at least an episode. As it turns out, Andre’s long list of charges was Tariq’s doing as he hoped reduced charges would be a great incentive to inform on Lucious. So there goes the BLM aspect of the story. They’ve already moved on, which is what I was scared they’d do. Graze the topic then turn it into something else.
The story line they haven’t been grazing however is Jamal’s PTSD. After admitting that he had a problem, this episode he attempts to seek help by going to a PTSD group meeting. I’m unsure whether he just didn’t find it helpful or he was too embarrassed but he insinuates that he will no longer be returning but found it helpful. LIE. He does take a step forward on the road to recovery as he goes to see Freda in jail. He tells her that she ruined him and during that conversation, every time she tried to reach towards him, he would pull back, like he was scared of her, that she was going to hurt him again. Honestly this was just sad to see because the two of them used to be so close and their friendship truly was just somethings beautiful to watch. After his confrontation with Freda if I can call it that, for Emprie XStream, Jamal records a song live streaming from the studio with Kitty aka Mariah Carey. Before he does, he pops a few pills. Sigh. Let me tell you how this is going to go. Instead of trying to treat his PTSD Jamal is going to attempt to run away from it, this will mean that he will start popping pills often and therefore becoming addicted to them. His addiction will change his character and will lead to a downward spiral which will get his mother especially worried. That will be a plot they won’t graze over.
Hakeem apparently still has some serious feelings for Tiana and as far as he’s concerned, she’s his woman. Tiana performs a song with rapper Graham, played by Romeo (my inner preteen is screaming) at leviticus and turns out they are together. Hakeem is livid and decides he want to beef and starts to record a diss track. After Shyne lays hands on Nessa who refused to be on the diss track, and his fathers speech about how they were soft, Hakeem finishes his track and oh was it good! That was nice and all but it’s episode 3 and have we seen Hakeem be a father yet? Forget all this petty stuff and lets just focus on whats important.
Speaking of petty, Lucious. The episode began with Anika telling Lucious that she was bored and wanted more freedom. The whole time they were having a conversation, he was getting some under the desk action, which was very insulting to Anika. Not just that he clearly did not care for the being faithful part of the marriage but also that he did it in her presence meaning he had no respect for her whatsoever. Funnily enough this is what was needed to awaken Boo Boo Kitty from the grave because badass Anika came back. Not only does she receive some of her own under the desk action in his chair, as he hit his target but she also reminds him that she has the power to take them all down, and so from now, she’ll be doing as she pleases.
The second issue regarding pettiness was just brought about by jealousy. To compromise Cookies potential relationship with Councilman Angelo Dubois, Lucious tries to sign one of Angelos protégés to empire. It doesn’t go well, because Cookie interrupt it. Since his ‘feelings’ got hurt, he decides to release Jamal’s album under the name ‘The black Album’ because Lucious has taken off all songs Cookie produced. He kills two birds with one stone because he’s starting a war with not only Jamal but Cookie too and oh I am so ready for this.Here’s a second QOTE
Cookie: You wanna play? Lets play
This was an unusually long post but there was a lot to say about this episode. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the direction in which the season is heading. The way things are right now, it could be either very good or painful to watch and hopefully its the former.