Empire has always been full of non-stop silliness. Who can forget when Cookie wore the Gorilla suit? Or when Lucious set up an entire recording studio — in prison? But this season began differently. There was a touch of welcome maturity.
Well, adiós to that! The Empire of the past has awaken and is back in full effect!
The winter finale was all about the Lyons getting revenge on the DuBois family. Andre’s attack was the final straw for Cookie and Lucious. Diana DuBois’ plan of mixing up his meds has landed the eldest Lyon in the hospital, and there, he’s sedated, strapped to a bed and randomly dreaming about being Empire’s top-selling artist.
Throughout the episode, the plan to take Diana DuBois and her family down is devised by the Lyons. Let’s examine their strategy step-by-step.
Step One: Ambush Angelo, beat him up and make him sign a document that paints his mom guilty of kidnapping and coercion.
The Lyons pull this feat off with a bit of coercion of their own. Lucious beat up Angelo and put a gun to his head to get the ink on the paper.
Step Two: Attend Diana DuBois’ fancy party, and execute a hood tango.
If anyone caught the point of Cookie and Lucious’ showstopper, please let me know. Cute dance, but once again, silly.
Step Three: Put on a random revenge concert!
Personally, I was thoroughly entertained by Jamal and Hakeem’s performance, but the crowd at that ball certainly wasn’t. I’m sure they were just as confused as me about why the spectacle was even taking place.
Step Four: Let Cookie do the talking.
Cookie grabbed the mic and spilt all the tea on Diana DuBois’ wrongdoings towards her sons. But honestly, the onlookers were looking more like, “Get off the stage. You ruined my night.”
Eventually, Diana DuBois was escorted out of her own party and apprehended by the police, all based on Cookie allegations. It felt similar to a #MeToo moment. And though the plan was successful, I’m sure they could’ve found a better way to attack. The sloppiness of it all just begs for a clap back of some sort from a attendee of the party.
After the messy fiasco, we find Warren, who, via FaceTime, helped Cookie spill Diana’s tea at the ball, hiding out at a janky hotel in Long Island. Expecting a forgiving Jamal to come and scoop him, he doesn’t ask who’s at the door when he hears a knock. It ain’t Jamal. It’s Angelo, with a gun in tow. But luckily, Jamal isn’t far behind. He appears and tries to calm Angelo down, to no avail, and gets into a tussle. This results in Warren receiving a bullet in the shoulder, and Angelo getting wounded, possibly fatally, by Jamal.
In the final scene of the episode, a drugged-up Andre unconsciously reveals to Lucious that he attempted to murder him. But the shock is short-lived as nurse Claudia stabs a needle in Lucious neck, putting him to sleep and chaining him up like a prisoner inside a creepy cabin.
This is one piece of a hilarious setup for the second half of the season. The preview for next year’s return looks like a horror movie that you’d find in the dark corners of Netflix. I was personally reminded of the Kathy Bates classic, Misery.
The other piece of setup surprisingly involves famed record producer Eddie Barker. He’s notified by his ex-wife (played by Nicole Ari Parker) that he’s flat out broke. He apparently was the victim of an elaborate Ponzi scheme that sucked him dry. He now plans to rebuild his bank account some shady way through Empire’s resources.
Eddie’s plan seems so unnecessary to me. Why go behind your rich friend’s back to scam some cash? Just ask him for it. But this is Empire. That would be too easy.
So, in all, while awaiting Empire’s return, we have a lot to ponder and look forward to. How is Lucious going to escape nurse Claudia’s crazy ass? How will the death of Angelo — if he’s really dead — be covered up? And prepare to cringe in your seat as Eddie Barker possibly steals money from his amigo, Lucious Lyon. Fun!
Oh! And another surprise: Our girl Becky is pregnant! I’m assuming by her gospel bae J-Poppa, but you never know with this grab bag of a show.