Empire Season 3 Episode 7: The Crooked Twisted Family Tree


If you did not enjoy this episode of Empire then I have quite a few questions for you. This one was just different from everything else.. Don’t get me wrong, there was drama, there is always drama because honestly what is Empire without it? But this episode was special. It just felt real. 

You’re probably wondering what I mean by real. I’m sure you’ll agree by the time you’re done reading this post. Firstly what I loved about this episode was how much was focused on Cookie. It was refreshing. Last we saw, Cookie had just realised that she was in love with Angelo just after breaking up with him. Well that didn’t last very long because in the very first scene, Angelo shows up at her door, coffee in hand and starts to give her a little speech which ends in an ultimatum. “Are you in our out?” Cookie doesn’t even give him an answer, she just kisses him. Can you blame her? He’s honestly so perfect. The reunion ends with him asking Cookie to meet his mother, but due to events that we shall discuss later, Cookie misses the meeting. Naturally they reschedule and the new plan is to have a family dinner at Cookie’s.

Alright first of all I haven’t seen Cookie this nervous since hers and Angelo’s first date, except this time it was worse. Yes that’s possible. I mean she enlisted Candace’s help! I mean she had her whole apartment redesigned, her fur coats stashed away in a closet, learned how to ‘conversate’ and which forks were which. It was a big deal guys. She then asks her children to show up for them, and I know it’s been a while but we’ve got to bring the QOTE back for this.

Cookie: I don’t ask y’all for nothing

Hakeem: Yes you do. Have you met you?

I don’t know about the rest of you but I was howling at that part. Anyway the night of the dinner arrives and things don’t go exactly to plan. First of all, Jamal turns up but he’s high. We’ll talk about that in more detail later. Did anyone else enjoy watching Cookie smack him on the head and tell him to go wash his face? I don’t know, I just thought it was funny but cute. Angelo and his mother, Diana arrive next and oh before I forget to mention, she’s played by the amazing Phylicia Rashad. If you don’t know who she is, the name Claire Huxtable should ring a bell. Things just go south for Cookie. Hakeem is next to arrive but he comes with a crying Bella because Luscious left him alone with the baby. On top of that Angelo tells Cookie that his mother is allergic to shellfish but that is Cookie’s whole menu. At this point I was hoping nothing more would go wrong for her because she was just stressed out, but boy was I wrong. Just as soon as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, in walks Luscious with Anika and they’re furious that Hakeem took Bella without their knowledge. Luscious decides that this is the perfect opportunity to try to ruin everything. OMG this man. Can he just stop. This is getting real annoying now! Let me tell you what I mean. Luscious begins to explain the family dynamic to  Diana and it’s pretty obvious that he’s doing it in hopes to put her off. Unluckily for him though, Cookie owns it, and weirdly it all somehow impresses Diana. At the moment she doesn’t seem to object to her son dating Cookie, she does however warn her not to burn Angelo. I don’t think we even want to find out what will happen if she does.

you go cookie.jpg

Back to the time I mentioned that Cookie missed the meeting with Diana, there was a reason for that. Ever since Jamal got shot we know he’s been working on some music but it’s taking time. We also know that it’s supposed to be a tell all about his family. Well we got the first glimpse of that this episode. The first we see of Jamal is in a meeting on a Saturday where the team gathers to tell him that his numbers are low. That’s when he tells them that he’s been working on a visual album. Honestly I got excited about the idea of this because you know.. they’re in now and they’re so great. Jamal decides to give him mother a preview of what he’s been working  on and it’s a song about her featuring some home videos Carol gave him. initially Cookie is loving it but just a few minutes in, it stirs up some anger in her and she asks him to shut the whole thing down. Later on in the episode she decides to be open with Jamal and tells him why she reacted the way she did.

Back when Cookie and Luscious had started dating, her father wasn’t happy about it at all and so kicked her out of the house. He could see her becoming someone else and he just couldn’t take it, or risk her sisters getting influenced. Sadly three days later he had a heart attack, maybe from a broken heart, who knows? Candace refused to let Cookie accompany them to the hospital and that same night, her father passed. Her father died with them not on speaking terms. That was really the story of how Cookie and Luscious became all each other had. Cookie however does tell Jamal that if the videos inspire him, he can use them. I thought that was really nice of her to be honest. She didn’t have to. At the dinner while everything was sort of blowing up, Cookie asks Jamal to sing a song and he sings a revised version of the song from the video, and it’s all about how strong of a woman she is. It was beautiful, nearly had me tearing up. Jamal takes this opportunity to tell his father that this is the new music he’s working on and Luscious seems to back down. For now at least. My only worry with Jamal is the drug issue. Philip and most viewers I assume are quite worried after him passing out last episode but Jamal and Derick for that matter don’t seem too bothered. In fact Derick is still enabling Jamal! He gives Jamal some new drugs which apparently aren’t as harsh as his medication. Drugs are drugs Derick! End of. I don’t care how good-looking you are, you need to go.

In other news, Andre and Nessa are getting closer. She invites him to her brothers remembrance service but he has to bring Freida Gatz. Freida still wants nothing to do with the Lyons after everything that went down and that is not music to Shine’s ears. After all, he’s supposed to be producing her. Somehow Andre manages to bring Freida to the event and she gets on stage and raps with Nessa. I don’t really know what Shine has got planned but he’s got something planned.

Hopefully now you understand a bit more what I meant by the episode felt real. There was no FBI drama, no blackmailing, no hacking, it was just pure family drama. I really hope the next few episodes are like this and that we get a bit more calm before Tariq returns to shake things up.


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