Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Empire’s Lyons can’t keep it together anymore than the rest of the country

Photo: Jean Whiteside/Fox
Photo: Jean Whiteside/Fox

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • I couldn’t help but laugh when Shine’s gun jammed. On the one hand, I was relieved that the show didn’t squander the scenes of Xzibit marshaling his forces by just having him sit and stew over his beef with Lucious and Dre. But… would he really have a gun that doesn’t work? I know, it was a contrivance to afford Nessa enough time to make her way into the kitchen to plead for Andre’s life, but it just felt silly.
  • I have a theory that, after their ghost threesome, Andre’s been possessed by Rhonda’s ghost. I would find that more interesting and satisfying than yet another personality shift for the character. We get it—he’s “sick,” as Hakeem later puts it. But Jamal is helping him take his meds, no? I know it’s not quite as simple as that, but I’d rather the writers didn’t toy with Dre’s health so much.
  • So many ups and downs here. I was heartened to see the brothers working together again. I sincerely enjoy watching Jamal, Hakeem, and Andre all working and playing together. I know domestic tranquility can’t last on Empire, but I still hold out hope sometimes.
  • Maybe that’s why it irked me to watch Hakeem tear down Jamal on his way to Dre. It seems obvious that the middle brother had no idea what his older sibling was doing with his younger bro’s crush, but Hakeem’s just lashing out, thanks to Lucious egging him on. The Lyon patriarch will have his figurehead yet.
  • So, now that the family’s splintered again, what’s at stake? Jamal really seems indifferent to returning to lead Empire, but Andre and Hakeem look poised to return to their old competition. But doesn’t Dre know that he won’t get anywhere without a hit song of his own? (At this point, it’d be nice for Rhonda’s ghost to reveal any musical talent.)
  • And speaking of the old dynamic, Cookie’s back to wrangling all of her foolish children. I guess I don’t know what else I expect her to do at this point—other than Angelo.
  • Yes, Angelo, who’s upper-middle-class and running for office, and is much smoother than he lets on—I mean, he was totally going for that “strong and black” over his coffee date with Cookie? That said, there was no way he was getting any of off Cookie in exchange for some damn biscotti.
  • Of course Cookie’s won over everyone at her probation office. And of course Tariq’s already putting the squeeze on her via her probation officer. But hey, at least it allowed Angelo to finally make a move worthy of Cookie.
  • Poor Becky, getting backstabbed by that wackass A&R guy that Cookie hired, whose name I can’t and don’t want to remember. And now Tiana’s mad at her?
  • At least Anika reminded everyone that she’s more than Boo Boo Kitty, handling Shine when no one else could.
  • After last night, I really wasn’t sure whether I’d be in the mood for the fizzy drama of Empire, that’s becoming increasingly less hearty over the years. And, after three weeks of preemptions, I’m not sure Empire was ready to return. Ultimately, this episode was inoffensive, but didn’t stick.
  • “Industry” versus “in the streets”—that’s bound to come up again, right?