Thursday, November 12, 2015

Empire 2x07 "True Love Never" (So Much Kissing) [Contributor: Rae Nudson]

"True Love Never"
Original Airdate: November 11, 2015

When Hakeem is the most responsible Lyon family member, you know you’re in trouble. Other members of the Lyon clan stayed out too late drinking, participated in blackmail, and unsuccessfully tried to have a threesome. But Hakeem showed up early to work to train his leading lady and participated in some business decisions. Apart from that, though, this was an unfocused and nonsensical episode of Empire, and it was crazy in the kind of way that does not work to Empire’s advantage.


What was going on with that threesome between April, Mimi, and Lucious? Do all threesomes that are also business meetings always start with someone crying? I would imagine so. I have no idea what is going on with Mimi, and it’s hard to see how it will matter to the bigger picture of Empire. Maybe it’s supposed to be cute that Lucious is acting like he cares about her, but to me it reeks of a guy swooping into a woman’s business because he feels like he’s saving her, whether she wants his help or not. It didn’t seem like Mimi appreciated it, either. April seemed unfazed by the weirdness, but did she even speak at all? April’s character was more like a board game Lucious and Mimi were talking about playing than an actual human being. I can’t imagine it’s fun to begin all of that with someone who has clearly been crying and had to leave the room for a while. So it would have been nice to see more of April’s reactions, even if she was keeping it cool and professional.


I love when people make out on TV shows, and this episode had a lot of making out! But if Hakeem and Laura had waited longer and if Empire had more build-up to their romance, it would have felt more earned. Let that tension build, and let them develop a real friendship first, instead of just Hakeem She's All That-ing her — transforming her essentially from a geek in glasses into a hot girl at the prom. Now Laura’s just another girl Hakeem worked with and hooked up with.

Cookie spent three days in bed with her new man, who is so boring I can’t even remember his name and who still may or may not be extorting her. I can’t believe Cookie is taking his questionable advice on working with Hakeem’s kidnappers, but I guess she’s too smitten to think clearly. Hakeem is right; she should be careful.


One good thing that happened in this episode is Jamal and Cookie reconnecting. Like I said last week, the show works best when the family is together. Jamal needed help with his song, and he’s finally waking up to what Becky knew all along: he needs to work with Cookie. No one else gets him like she does, and no one else is as good as she is. They get punch drunk on their creativity, and then actually drunk on some champagne, and head into Lyon Dynasty for Jamal to record some of his song. This plan was never going to work, and Hakeem almost catches him when he comes into work early — and sober.

There was no way Jamal was going to be able to keep this a secret, and Lucious already knows what’s up as soon as he hears his finished song. As I’ve said before, why does Jamal want to keep working with Lucious when Lucious clearly doesn’t get his music or treat him as an artist worth respecting? Jamal could actually benefit a lot from working with Cookie at Dynasty, and he’s so big right now he could still get a lot of opportunities with a smaller label.


Oh yeah, Andre was in this episode. I miss evil Andre, and it looks like his marriage missed evil Andre, too. Andre was only interested in having sex with Rhonda after he blackmailed the woman he used to bang to get legal favors taken care of. His relationship with his pastor is very underdeveloped, and I’m not that into it. It would be nice if Andre found a father figure with an actual moral compass for once, instead of another guy who is like, “oh no, you can’t have sex with someone who is not your wife even when you’re honest with your wife about it and she is cool with your evil plans — let’s try blackmail instead. Blackmail is fine.”


No one knows or cares. (Except me. I care.)


The previews for Empire continue to be some of the best TV each week, and next week looks like it will be much more focused and with much more of the Lyon family in one place as Hakeem rap battles Frida. Let’s hope this is true, anyway.

Cookie Crumbs:
  • Cookie at least looked great all episode, as usual. Props to storyline continuity for having her re-wear that jumpsuit after she spent the weekend shacking up.
  • It’s always great to see Marisa Tomei as Mimi, but I just wish her character made more sense.


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