Empire: Lionel Serves Time, Cookie Serves Herself

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This recap by HNTP’s own Susan Velazquez…

Last season, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and the Lyons cubs successfully sent Lucious (Terrence Howard) to jail for murder. Now, three months later, the family is pretending that Lucious is being falsely accused and leading a #BlackLivesMatters-esque protest in his honor, complete with a “gorilla in a cage” skit and cameos by Reverend Al Sharpton and Don Lemon.

I guess they realized it would be bad for business if the founder/CEO of Empire was doing time.

Surprisingly, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) is the only one showing self-awareness about protests piggybacking off an actual movement addressing actual problems for Lucious’ benefit but Cookie dismisses his concerns. “This is about us taking over the empire,” she snaps. “Stay focused.”

The family needs to impress investor Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) so she will fund their hostile takeover of Empire and formally oust Lucious for good. Hakeem worries that Jamal (Jussie Smollett), who was crowned the official head of Empire last season, might view this move as a backstab, but once again Cookie barrels on.

For Lucious, life in prison is more Oz than Orange is the New Black. Frank Gathers (Chris Rock), the drug dealer that Lucious and Cookie worked for once upon a time, is back in jail. While the two play nice in front of the other inmates, you can tell that there is uneasiness between them.

Remember how at the beginning of last season Cookie spent the most time mentoring Jamal to be more confident and attempting to win over Hakeem’s affections? Now, Hakeem is the one Cookie is fussing over while Jamal ignores her and barks orders at everyone. Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) sums up the new Lyons’ dynamic: “You’re rude, he’s crude, and both of y’all are socially unacceptable.”

What is especially unacceptable is that Jamal is visiting Lucious and taking his advice on how to run the company. Lucious warns Jamal that he knows all about Mimi Whiteman and that Cookie is up to something.

Meanwhile, Andre (Trai Byers) is still angsting with his wife, Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday), about killing Vernon (Malik Yoba). He’s sorry that he took another man’s life. Oh no, actually he regrets the murder because Vernon’s testimony could have put Lucious away for good.

It goes without saying that the Lyons are pretty self absorbed. #ONLYLyonLivesMatter to this crew.

At a party thrown for Mimi Whiteman…

 – Continue reading at TVJuriste.com 

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TV Show: Empire

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