Empire: Dangerous Bonds
February 5, 2015 9:52 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

It's a tale of two songs: Hakeem records a video and Jamal records a song. Meanwhile, Cookie gets forced to testify against a killer and spends most of the episode freaking out about that.

Team Lucious (and Anika): Lucious starts out the episode proposing to Anika with Elizabeth Taylor's Richard Burton ring (really?), then immediately tells her she's gonna have to hide that puppy for awhile because he needs to break it to the rest of the family. Which he doesn't do in this episode except to tell her parents. Conveniently, Anika's dad is a doctor and Lucious needs someone to lie and sign off that he's in good health for the IPO. Anika's dad objects to this, and Lucious is all "When I die, your daughter will be a billionaire." 'Nuff said.
Despite proposing to another woman, Lucious is still somewhat interested in celebrating his wedding anniversary with Cookie, and leaves a rose on her doorstep about it. This turns out to be a bad idea.

Team Hakeem: Hakeem's new single (off his album, "The Prince of Empire," apparently) is called "Drip Drop." It is a turd of a song and we hear it way too many times and it's the same ol' "I got money and bitches" crap he always does. (Also, ew, is he talking about dick drops? Probably.) The video is apparently going to cost like a million more than it was budgeted for, and Andre is told to FIND THAT MONEY. Which he does by enlisting Tiana in the video (Cookie says she'll allow it if she gets a spot on the board of directors). However....

Team Andra (Andre + Rhonda): Team Andra is all over starting a fight between the other brothers as they record albums. Tiana turns out to not give a shit about Hakeem beyond showmancing because she already has a girlfriend, India. Who she canoodles with on a couch at some photo shoot with tons of people roaming around, conveniently so that Rhonda can record the incident and post it online. When Hakeem finds out about this during his video shoot, Tiana is pretty much all, "What? You have a sidepiece too." After Lucious points out the power of the threesome, Hakeem is over it. While at Hakeem's photo shoot, Andre also loudly drops information about Jamal's location, what kind of expensive bling he's supposedly wearing, and that he's gay in front of Hakeem's homeboys so they'll rob him. But they won't shoot anybody, they're just thieves and posers, Andre says!

Team Jamal: Jamal is at "Ghetto-Ass Studios" (actual name), recording a song called "Dolla Dolla Bill" about no longer taking his dad's money. It's already a lot better than Hakeem's turd, plus it reminds me of "The Money" on 21 Chump Street: The Musical However, Cookie's not available to do much consulting most of the time, and then Jamal's dumbass friends come in and shoot up the joint. Jamal manages to salvage the recording anyway, then chews out Hakeem and actually punches him. Which is delightful.

Team Cookie: Cookie is forced to testify against a drug dealer/killer guy who uses a rose motif, which she REALLY doesn't wanna do. She is even more ticked when it turns out the guy whose murder she witnessed was a secret Fed. She spends the rest of the episode freaking out about being murdered (and not being able to do much with her clients), especially when she finds a rose on her door. So of course she hires a hit man in retaliation, and then when she finds out the rose came from Lucious...OOOPS, TOO LATE NOW.
posted by jenfullmoon (7 comments total)
 
Jamal standing up to a guy pointing a gun at him was terrifying and impressive. I did feel bad for Hakeem, whose only crime was having crap taste in hangers-on. Wonder if he'll have enough curiosity to trace it back to Andre?

I'm now very interested in Tiana, I like that she is so clear-eyed and self-possessed -- or to be honest, I like that she seems quite calculating. Cookie's response to the video was great, too -- I have no doubt that she can find a way to sell it somehow.

"The name's Cookie. Ask about me." Wow, I'm totally #hereforcookie -- but increasingly worried about her. Real smooth, Lucious...
posted by shirobara at 11:17 AM on February 5, 2015


Team Jamal. Of course. Who can be team anyone else?

Cookie isn't a team. She's an entire league all by herself.

This show is constantly ridiculous and delightful. I am constantly impressed at how much I'm entertained by it.

(I find it hard to believe Tiana was that dumb to be getting it on with her model girlfriend at her boyfriend's brother's wife's photo shoot, but whatever. Empire, you're awesome.)
posted by darksong at 6:43 PM on February 5, 2015


Yeah, I second the obvious dumb in getting caught like that. But I'm liking Tiana: "so just here for the showmance publicity, it's not like I actually like this idjit."
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:47 PM on February 5, 2015




I am really fascinated by how much no one is talking about the queer narrative of this show. Jamal isn't just sleeping with a guy, he's a deeply queer character and I love it. People are in to the soap operaness, and I can't get enough of the sissy being presented as The person to root for. I love it.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:45 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


i worry about the jamal and cookie fall that is inevitable because you can't keep them being totally awesome and everyone else being irredeemable - everyone has to get humanized eventually.
posted by nadawi at 2:39 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Cookie had the start of that this week. They've spun it so that we're totally understanding and sympathetic about the hit, but the sucker punch at the end sets her up as morally ambiguous.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:35 AM on February 10, 2015


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