Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, February 21, 2019

“Empire” Recap: Kiss from a rose


Note: The following recap contains spoilers for fifth episode of “Empire,” entitled “Dangerous Bonds.”

In this week’s episode of “Empire,” Andre Lyon (Trai Byers “Selma”) finally steps up and begins to start scheming to claim his own piece of Empire. After being ignored and underappreciated for so long, Andre’s subtle manipulations start to disrupt the harmonious relationship between Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Gray) and Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett, “The Mighty Ducks”), resulting in a very satisfying punch to the gut for an increasingly arrogant Hakeem. Despite the growing rift between the brothers and their music, which was developed individually, begins to sound more similar than ever. Each brother records a hot new single, yet, ironically, the two songs have extremely similar beats. There is no doubt that this will heighten drama for the next episode.

After exposing Tatiana Brown’s (Serayah McNeil, “Chocolatto is Back!”) girlfriend to the public and thereby humiliating Hakeem, Andre then orchestrates a robbery at Jamal’s new studio. The irony behind all of these exploitations and devious maneuvers is that they seem to all come from Andre’s blonde, Ivy League-educated wife, who seems suspiciously intent on keeping Andre medicated for bipolar disorder.

The only thing that seems to be happening without any coercion or ulterior motives (that we know of so far) on this show is the rekindling relationship between Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson, “Think Like a Man”) and Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard, “Hustle & Flow”). While Lucious proposes to Anika (Grace Gealy) for the sake of his company, he sends a rose to his “cookie monster” to remind her of the anniversary of their previous marriage. Why is Lucious playing around? We are all rooting for Cookie to “get what’s hers,” why can’t Lucious just give in already?

Of course, an episode of “Empire” is not complete without an outrageous closing scene, and this week did not disappoint. We finally get to see Cookie collaborate with the FBI to testify against a certain gangster who killed a certain undercover agent. Cookie later finds a rose outside her door and assumes it is a sign that she has been targeted by the gangster’s hitmen. In order to stay safe, she organizes a preemptive strike. It is only afterwards when she learns that the rose was a token of love from Lucious not a threat from a hitman. The episode concludes with Cookie’s hitmen mistakenly killing another hitman, and, in typical “Empire” fashion, drawing a collective gasp from the viewer.

Tune into “Empire” on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

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