You’re probably thinking that this is a very interesting title for this post, but trust me it’s very relevant. The episode is titled ‘Unkindest Cut’ which is taken directly from Julius Caesar after Brutus’ betrayal and ladies and gentlemen, Empire breathes betrayal. This episode embodies betrayal in many forms. Let’s get right to it.
Now that Nessa and Andre are a couple they are plotting to be the power couple. After a conversation with Rhonda, oh sorry, I mean Rhonda’s ghost, Andre decides that it’s time for he and Nessa to make their next play. Empire is teaming up with a fashion designer Helen von Wyeth for her white collection. We soon find out that her white collection had another meaning. Tiana is supposed to be performing at the show but Helen asks that Tiana have her straitened to the point where you can run a fine tooth comb through it, and gives her a constricting dress that hugs her curves. It was at this point that I realised HVW was a low-key racist. Okay she was racist.
Andre asks for Nessa to be allowed to shadow Tiana so she can learn from her. Honestly i knew they were up to something. it would have been more of a shock if we didn’t see him and Nessa talk about having to make a move, so we pretty much expected it. While shadowing Tiana, Nessa accidentally sets the dress on fire and Tiana loses it. She goes on a rant calling HVW for what she is, a racist, and apparently the show with Empire was a publicity stunt to fix an apparently culturally appropriated show and seem ‘diverse.’ Okay can we just talk about how relevant this is right now? This is something that has been happening recently, fashion designers using African and black culture and influences in their shows but yet having no people of colour model? I’m not going to name any names but this happened with a relatively large designer late last year. Rather than do what HVW does in Empire why not apologise and just admit that you made a mistake so we can all move on? Trying to come across as black or like nothing happened just makes you look even more racist. Back to Empire, the video gets ‘leaked’ and I use quotation marks because Andre is the one that does the leaking. The video obviously offends Helen and she pulls out of the deal, however Andre tells Cookie that he will go and smooth things over.
Andre does pay Helen a visit. Throughout the conversation she’s brushing her daughter’s hair. Andre tries to convince her to come back to Empire and use a more ‘urban’ artist since Tiana is more of a crossover. He suggests Nessa but unfortunately Helen doesn’t bite and wants nothing to do with Empire. Before he leaves, Andre puts on a very Luscious like smirk before turning to Helen and telling her that her daughter has very beautiful hair. Yeah her hair was going to go. That was pretty much a threat. The next morning Helen’s daughter wakes up with her hair cut off. Okay I’m sorry but how did Andre manage to slip into the house at night and cut off a little girl’s hair? I don’t even want to think about it. The threat coming to fruition gets Helen to comply and she tells Cookie that she want’s Nessa to perform instead of Tiana. The show goes smoothly and everyone is happy with the exception of Helen of course who warns Diana that the Lyon’s are gangsters and to get as far away as possible. Funnily enough I think Diana can handle herself.
During rehearsals for the fashion show, Diana tells Jamal that she wants him to write a song for Angelo’s campaign and perform it at a fundraiser coming up. Jamal accepts because apparently it’s now or never. Honestly I’m glad he’s ready to try to get over his PTSD. After he and Philip run some tests they conclude that Luscious is Jamal’s PTSD trigger. Jamal invites the family over and performs a new song for them all about how Luscious pretty much ruins everything he touches. The song talks about Luscious pretty much killing Cookie’s father, letting Cookie take the fall and also how ‘evil’ he is. Luscious tells Jamal that he does the things he needs to do to keep the family safe, such as killing Frank Gathers. Information that leaves them gobsmacked and before he walks out telling them that he will never apologise for loving Cookie. Woah. Pretty heavy stuff.
Remember Luscious mother? Honestly I forgot about her for a while. Tariq (yeah he’s back) decides that it would be a good idea to turn Mama Luscious against him and use her for inside information. The two go out for a chat and she get’s him to admit the real reason why he’s going after Luscious. It’s apparently because he didn’t get to know his dad whereas Luscious did. So this whole thing is about jealousy? Wow. Eventually though we find out that there was a double-cross! Luscious knew exactly what Tariq would try to do and so put his mother up to the task. They’re playing Tariq and when he finds out, all hell will break loose.
In other news, Hakeem and Andre are still at war. Maybe not war but tensions are still high. Hakeem confronts Andre about the leak and Andre pretty much admits to it. Later that night we see him with Tiana and the two talk about how they’ve been done wrong. The share a sweet moment as Hakeem braids Tiana’s hair. OMG guys, could be the rebirth of these two?
Things are heating up and honestly I’m just ready to see what’s going to happen now.