Empire Season 1 Episode 10 Review: “Sins of the Father”


I’d say that Lucious Lyon is the worst father in the world, but there are always killers and abusers who would rival him. The penultimate episode to next week’s season finale of Empire was basically a long list of reasons why Lucious is a horrible father and person.

After being committed last week, Andre begins therapy with his family, sans Lucious of course. Rhonda, Jamal, and Hakeem are nothing but supportive as Cookie holds her eldest son, still struggling herself to understand how her son became so ill. Through flashbacks (Hi Mary J. Blige!), we learn the details of Andre’s first breakdown that led to his diagnosis, and that the family dynamic really hasn’t changed all these years later. Everyone but Lucious is willing to understand his illness. Andre doesn’t make much in the way of progress that we see (unless you count being serenaded and prayed for by Jennifer Hudson), but he does eventually go back home with his wife.

This week, I’m switching gears and naming Rhonda my favorite Lyon family member. I’m sure most of this is because she is not a Lyon by blood, and so the insanity is not so deeply embedded within her. Her strength as she stands by her husband, her endless patience with Cookie, and her brass as she calls Lucious out on his failure at being a father all make her incredible. She earns both Cookie’s and the audience’s respect by being genuinely strong, loving, and smart. She even manages to figure out that Lucious cheated his son’s out of a quarter of a million dollars each. Cheers to Rhonda!

Cookie already had plenty of reasons to never want Lucious back, and this week only solidified her resolve. She and Malcom finally give into their passion, choosing to throw Lucious aside. Malcolm seems like the right fit for her, but something tells me he has no idea the kind of boss Lucious truly is. If he was truly aware of what his boss was capable of, I think Malcom would carry more than one gun.

Lucious finally takes the time to pay attention to the Camilla situation and does not like what he sees. Since Lucious fancies himself a God, he doesn’t mind playing the part in order to get Camilla away from his son. Camilla, who we see actually was helping Hakeem, is disgusted when Lucious offers her money to go away, but she knows that this is a fight she can’t win yet, and so sheallows herself to be escorted to the airport, crying the whole way.

Teeny little Lola is at the center of a lot of chaos this week; she just doesn’t know it. Jamal is head over heels for this little girl, and becomes intent on raising her full time moving forward. He writes a special song for her (best bedtime collaboration ever of Hakeem and Jamal putting Lola to sleep), loses Ryan, and calms Lola’s nightmares about the “scary bird.” When Vernon, now no longer clean thanks to Lucious, brings Olivia and her abusive boyfriend to the house, it doesn’t take long for Jamal to recognize who the “scary bird” is that Lola’s been afraid of. A hostage situation then ensues in the Lyon household. With Cookie’s head pressed up against a gun, Lucious feels he has no choice but to diffuse the situation by coming clean and announcing that he is Lola’s father, not Jamal (and my cousin totally called it, which means I owe her babysitting).

After Malcom kills the shooter, Olivia confirms that Jamal is most likely not Lola’s father, but she knew that her daughter would be safe with him. No one, least of all Cookie, resents Olivia for doing what she had to do to protect her daughter. Lola will always be a Lyon, but I think we can all agree it’s better Olivia raise her from a safe distance from this insanity. Lola did leave her family with some wise parting words though: “Don’t be sad. Don’t be mad. Don’t be scared.”

This week Cookie’s Quotables will be substituted by Reasons to Resent Lucious:

Cookie: “I want you to be a better father, and think about what our sons needs instead of being so self-serving.”

Jamal: “What if she’s not perfect? What if she has that trait that you just can’t seem to look at?”

Camilla: “In six months you’ll be rotting in a wheelchair like a vegetable, with a colostomy bag trailing behind you.”

Rhonda: He stole from his sons to buy your loyalty!”

Lucious: ”If you shoot me, you would be everybody’s personal hero.”

Cookie: “I wish he would have shot you”; “You just don’t want to die alone.”

[Photo via FOX]

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