“What I want is for you to put Donkey Kong in a barrel and
get the hell out of my office.” Courtesy of Lucious addressing Cookie about
Portia, thus begins the 4th installment of Empire…at least for me.
While that line was special and Portia’s facial expressions
are priceless, tonight’s episode felt more like a shifting of sands rather than
any compelling forward motion. All the
characters were busy making their various chess moves that seemed to land us at
an impasse. But the drama is at a steady perk.
A quick rundown:
Hakeem is busy in his role as petulant child,
telling his Daddy he’ll start workin’ them records straightaway but he’s just
got this one thing he’s gotta do first, see Titan perform.
‘Word?!’ is essentially what Daddy says when his
child, per usual, misses the point. You sweatin this dude Titan because he’s
good, but you’re not willing to put in the work to be on his level. Lucious,
always on some ‘each one teach one’ trip passes the Titan tickets to his
assistant, Becky (Gabourey Sidibe). She ends up witnessing Titan shoot some
dude we later find out burned down a community center close to Titan’s heart.
Freshly jailed Titan turns out be a wayward
Nation of Islam member, which we find out courtesy of Cookie—donning thigh-high
leather boots and a demure black scarf/head cover—visiting Titan’s mama.
I didn’t realize Titan being part of the Nation
even mattered until Cookie drops this bomb, “The Nation killed your [Lucious]
father.” What? Wait, how long do we have to wait for those blanks to be filled?
Oh yeah, let’s not forget Tiana’s power move,
going to see Cookie. This young ‘un is feeling her and serves Lucious a teacup
of sass when he questions her choice to have Cookie as her manager, “She helped
your career didn’t she?”
Judd Nelson’s character Bill Barretti, exec of
Safe House Records and also ‘owner’ of Titan appears at the club to tell
Lucious not to take Empire public or else he’ll dig up the dirt of his past. We
find out Barretti also took credit for writing Lucious’ songs back in his early
rapper days. No bueno.
· Surprise Surprise, BooBoo Kitty has a heart! The
first real glimpse into Lucious and Annika/Miss Calhoun’s relationship shows a
softer side of homegirl, a nice change from her usual frosty demeanor. I
assumed she’d be unsympathetic to Lucious’ condition; I was happy to be wrong.
Detective pays Lucious Lyon a visit about good
ol’ six feet under Bunky and then this week’s flashbacks begin of Andre covering
up for Lucious both as a kid and an adult. I wasn’t moved, Andre just irritates
me; too much shucking and jiving.
“Twist (ing)in the wind” was used too many times
tonight: Cookie to Lucious, referencing
Lucious’ treatment of her while she was in jail and Lucious to Baretti,
referencing Baretti’s taking credit for Lucious’ work.
Hakeem and Tiana’s performance at the Teen
Choice Awards was cute. Once again we see Hakeem shines as a sidekick, both
with Tiana and with his brother Jamal, but his solo work needs work. Betta
listen to ya Pops and get in that studio boy!
Camille (Naomi Campbell) and Hakeem; why do we
care beyond seeing Naomi Campbell. We need to know why she’s important soon.
What was your favorite
scene/line/moment in this episode?