Empire Review: Bringing The Heat


Empire‘s first couple of music take the thin line between love and hate and set it ablaze. Four months after the events of the midseason finale, Cookie and Lucious are ready to tear each other apart. Because it is them, their moves are very subtle at first. That is until Lucious makes a decision which leads to the most intense confrontation of Season 3 yet. I’ll give you a hint if you haven’t had the pleasure of watching this moment yet: Lemonade.

Once again, Lucious and Cookie Lyon are in a civil war, and the kids are taking sides. At least Andre and Hakeem are. It’s not just about picking their parent’s sides, but getting the big deals for Nessa and Tiana. Because Andre is making a big show of aligning himself with his father, Nessa’s gets a showcase promised to Tiana. What comes from that is a public sing-off that turns into a knock-down dragout that will only continue for episodes to come.

The civil war is even trickling beyond the Lyon family. That Becky is being treated like a second-class employee under Xavier is ridiculous. This girl has been by Lucious’s side for years, loyal to a fault, and now she’s being bossed around by a skinny white boy. Forgive the rant, but really? Becky needs help from someone who is experienced getting into the mud. Who better than Thirsty? Lucious is still having trouble with the FBI, and he’s shocked to learn they know about Frank Gathers. Thirsty takes Becky on a road trip to kidnap the little old mama of the FBI’s star witness against Lucious. Becky sees this as a waste of time, but Lucious gets what he wants, and Thirsty finds inspiration to get rid of Xavier.

Angelo isn’t ruined, but Lucious did a lot of damage to his reputation. The investigation into the death of the girl who died in his car is reopened at the worst possible time. Furthermore, Lucious publicly endorses Angelo’s opponent John Meeks. He also offers a reward to anyone who can help convict Angelo. You can deduce that Cookie’s anger is at its boiling point before she reveals to the world that Lucious’s mother is very much alive. Luckily Angelo is able to clear his name, which is at least something good that came out of this mess.

Jamal is doing well in rehab, even making friends with fallen from grace superstar Tory Ash (guest star Rumer Willis). The intensity of the business became too much for both of them, but being separated from their music is a whole other withdrawal. So the two friends decide to break free of rehab, causing Cookie and Lucious to panic. They want to kill each other on everything else, but when it comes to their son’s health Cookie and Lucious are better together than they could ever have apart. Of course that doesn’t last long once Lucious makes his next move. The position Becky is expecting instead goes to Anika. This is Cookie’s breaking point.

There’s something morbidly beautiful about Cookie with a baseball bat, as if she should have had one in her hands years ago. She doesn’t waive it around for fun either. That bat hits nearly every one of Lucious’s hit records, and Lucious himself with a huge gash to prove it. Cookie can kill Lucious and well as she can love him. Yet she stops herself before crossing that line, which hurts Lucious more than any broken award.

How much do you think Cookie’s rejection shifts her tenuous relationship with Lucious?

Empire Season 3 Episode 10 Review: "Sound & Fury"


Lucious and Cookie have their most intense confrontation of the year as Empire kicks off the back-half of Season 3.

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