Empire Episode 5: Dangerous Bonds

Mazel tov to Lucious and Anika on their recent engagement on Empire.
Empire (Photo: Chuck Hodes / Fox)

How many bad decisions can the Lyons make in one day?

How many bad decisions can the Lyons make in one day? This week’s episode of Empire established a high water mark which may be tough to beat.

Lucious proposed to Anika, which may be more of a political move to benefit the IPO. To that end, he asked Anika’s dad—who is a doctor—to give him a clean bill of health so that his ALS diagnosis doesn’t scuttle the deal. At first Papa Anika gets on a moral high horse about medical ethics, but then Lucious mentions Anika stands to inherit a billion-dollar company. Anika isn’t supposed to find out about that last part.1

Hakeem wants to do an image makeover so that he isn’t seen as the son of Lucious Lyon. I could understand that viewpoint if he were working on his second album, but Hakeem doesn’t even have an image established yet so there isn’t much to makeover. Also, his music video for “Drip Drop” is the most generic, stereotypical rap video imaginable. Cristal flowing, women rubbing up all over him, rain falling in the background like this is a cover of “Umbrella”—and somehow this is over budget by a million dollars. Is there caviar and lobsters-stuffed-with-tacos at craft services or something?

Speaking of poor financial management, Andre continues to struggle for relevance. Kelly Ripa Rhonda spotted Tiana canoodling with her (female) sidepiece and took video. Andre and Rhonda decide to leverage this by posting the video on Perez Hilton while Hakeem is filming and pinning the blame on Jamal.

Meanwhile, Jamal is at Ghetto Ass Studios2 working on his song. Andre hinted to Hakeem’s entourage of thugs that Jamal is traveling with some expensive watches and such. The thugs go to the studio and cause a ruckus. Jamal is able to finish the record despite the hiccup, but now he and Hakeem are fighting. I don’t see how any of this benefits Andre’s position, as his siblings are now competing to get to their respective products out there first.

Cookie’s in the toughest spot this week. The feds compel her to testify for the grand jury, where we learn she witnessed a drug gang killing of a guy who turned out to be an undercover informant. Cookie calls herself a “dead bitch walking,” and develops extreme paranoia that the gunman she named will come after her. A rose gets delivered to her doorstep, which is the calling card of the guy she named in court. Cookie takes a quick trip to Philadelphia to get a friend of the family to take care of the assassin before he takes care of her.

Oh, and this week would have been Lucious and Cookie’s anniversary. Lucious decided to mark the occasion by sending Cookie a rose, which was left on her doorstep. Oops. When she realizes what happened, it’s too late to call off her hitman. OOPS.

So by my count, that’s at least ten bad ideas and decisions made by the Empire family. If you are not watching this show, why? SO MUCH IS HAPPENING.

  1. Expect Anika to find out about that last part sometime in the next two episodes.  
  2. That’s both the name and the description  

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles

Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it “TV Camp.” After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv