What is the Shakespearean equivalent to the word “bonkers”? That word is needed to describe this week’s Empire.
Remember a couple weeks ago when I was commenting on there being too many characters on Empire? This week’s episode was straight up trolling, with plotlines focusing on nothing but secondary characters. Here’s what went down this week.
Michael becomes forlorn when Jamal starts to put their relationship on the back burner. Cookie warns the aspiring chef that Jamal may become distant as his star begins to rise. Of course, Cookie would like Jamal to trade up, and more or less tells him so later in the episode. A romantic getaway to Fire Island gets scuttled when Jamal lands a performance and interview on some satellite radio show hosted by Sway. Yes, THAT Sway. During the interview, Sway asks Jamal about his current ladyfriend status. Rather than use the opportunity to correct the record, Jamal demurs. Michael may not be sticking around much longer…more on that in a bit.
Over in Lucious’ sphere, his ALS starts showing more severe symptoms. Since there is no effective treatment currently available in the U.S., Lucious’ “concierge doctor” suggests trying out a Russian experimental drug that has sorta worked on a handful of people. Surely that won’t have hilariously overwrought consequences. Meanwhile, security at the Lyon Estate has gotten lax as the police up their investigation of Bunky’s murder. Lucious hires a new head of security named Malcolm, which should also have hilarious consequences of a Shakespearean nature. Oh, and Cookie might have the hots for him.
Speaking of Cookie, she has taken over the management of Elle Dallas (COURTNEY LOVE!), a fading singer who makes The Rose seem well adjusted. After an intervention that immediately works and a scene reminiscent of Viola Davis taking off her wig, Cookie guides Elle through a cover of “Take Me to the River.” Let it be known the arrangement is the same one used by Big Mouth Billy Bass.
As we are on the subject of dead fish, let’s go back to the Bunky investigation. Lucious confesses to Vernon that he killed Bunky. Vernon does not appreciate this news and confronts Andre about providing an alibi last week. Andre, while in a chokehold, says he covered for his dad because that’s what he does even when he doesn’t know the details. Vernon tries to make the case go away by paying off an associate to take the fall. Well, that’s one way to tie up that thread. Although he apologized for choking Andre out, Andre threatens to slit Vernon’s throat if things ever get physical again. I don’t think Andre is here to make friends, y’all.
Finally, the episode ends with the whole main cast exiting Empire HQ to be greeted by a woman named Olivia (RAVEN-SYMONE!).1 Olivia is there with her daughter and has her sing Jamal’s new single. The toddler won’t be selling any records, but that doesn’t matter because her dad Jamal is going to be huge. DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNN.