Empire: Sins Of The Father
March 11, 2015 10:54 PM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

It's time to sign some important IPO papers! Let's bring on some drama with ditching girlfriends, returning babymommas, coke-snorting lawyers and a random dude with a gun!

Team Flashback: Oh, flashback hair! See Lucious eying a blonde Olivia, see Jamal's poofy flashback hair and how little Hakeem is perfectly cast, see Andre slipping into bipolarity and shopping like Santa Claus. See Lucious who doesn't deal AT ALL with weakness out of anyone, ever.

Team Jamal and Lola: Lola! That adorable kid! She's cute as a button! Jamal is singing adorable songs about her! He and Hakeem make an adorable boy band singing to her at night! She's scared of the scary bird, but Jamal will protect her! (He will also protect her from Hakeem singing "Drip Drop" again. Nobody wants to hear that, Hakeem.) Jamal's new dude isn't really into parenting, but Jamal is totally up for it even if Lucious makes cracks about his "lifestyle."
.... You know that isn't going to end well, right?

Team Rhondre: Andre's still in the hospital, getting music therapy and prayer (between his legs though?) from his new music therapist, Michelle. Cookie is trying to comprehend bipolar disorder, but Lucious can't show up at all. Returning the favor, a cranky Andre passes his share signing rights to Rhonda and bails on the big show of signing away his shares for the IPO. Poor Rhonda looks pretty dang annoyed/fed up/exhausted dealing with the family drama in this episode and you can't blame her. At one point she tells Lucious off for not knowing anything about her after 10 years and she worked her way up from nothing. She also reads over the paperwork and correctly susses out that Lucious has made a few changes not in Andre's favor. Or his brothers' favors either.

Team Cookie: Cookie gets what she wants. She gets to be head of A&R now! Lucious is portioning off shares from his sons to give Cookie a share of the business, and he's interested in marrying her again. Little does he know that Malcolm has admitted his interest to Cookie and she has reciprocated....even wanting to flash the "camera" she thinks Malcolm has hidden in a painting. In other news, she's still very concerned about her sons and Lucious's crap parenting. And she calls Lucious out on shorting his kids' shares but not his own even if it's for her own benefit. Nor is she terribly interested in a marriage proposal later--she's over those jailhouse fantasies, thanks. Also, look what you did to your boys and you destroy everything you touch. Hey, Malcolm, you busy?

Team Hakeem: Hakeem continues to become less of an ass and more of a adorable little geeky boy, albeit one with very buff arms. Camilla wants to remake Hakeem, take some adorable photos of him, use him for a men's clothing line, encourage him to sing "Age Ain't Nuffin' But A Number" instead of rapping.... I'm not sure what to make of that performance. Jamal is enjoying the HELL out of it, but both parents are stonefaced. After that, Lucious calls Camilla into his office, LOCKS HER IN, and asks "How much?" because she's hella in debt. By the end of that awkward conversation, he's shipping her back to England immediately and will mail her stuff back, and she's cussing him out, ripping up his check(?) and saying she'll return over his dead body. I'm not sure how the hell she's leaving but not taking the money.

Team Vernon: After Lucious heartlessly bitches that it's all MY company and I did it myself and blah blah dickpants, Vernon starts snorting coke and looking for Olivia, who turns up being manhandled by some dick boyfriend named Reg. He brings them all to Lucious's big deal signing of the IPO papers, assuming Reg must be a good guy because he found Olivia and convinced her to go back for her kid, right? Vernon is obviously still high (note messy tie) to think this is all a good idea. Hell, even Lucious is calling him "Mr. Sketchy" within about five seconds of meeting his acquaintance!

Team Lucious: After Cookie starts checking out Reg's tats and notes there's a crow, Jamal deduces who "Scary Bird" is, and the next thing you know, Reg's pulled out a gun. Hakeem immediately pitches his $30k watch at the guy if he wants money--aw, Hakeem, you did something heroic! But Reg isn't here for money, he wants to shoot Lola's babydaddy. And Lucious leaps into the fray and confesses that HE'S OLIVIA'S BABYDADDY. Yes, Jamal, that's your sister, not your daughter! Lucious asks R to kill him instead, everyone here hates him and he'll be doing the world a favor! Luckily for Lucious, Malcolm has excellent aim in shooting a dude in the head. By the end of the episode, the littlest Lyon is going home with her mama and saying goodbye to her BROTHERS. Very charmingly.

Other random thoughts:
* Jamal, no to the chin pew. Hakeem, you have new hair designs every episode, actually that's rather cute.
* Ditto Hakeem's adorably dorky dancing, for that matter. He's growing on me, you guys!
* The dress Cookie is wearing in the last scene is the most Dynasty I've ever seen her in.
* I'm not sure if it's the best move ever to leave a shit ton of burning candles around Andre just now.

Quotes:
"I've been disloyal to my commander for falling for his wife." -Malcolm is very formal in declaring his romantic interest, while still attempting to stand on his side of the line.
"Whatever Cookie wants, Cookie gets." --Lucious
"She got her drawers wrapped around my baby's neck." --Cookie on Camilla.
"He's so much deeper than you realize." --Camilla on Hakeem.
"See, I wasn't even thinking about money. But you sure was." --Lucious to Camilla.
"I'm making Hakeem in my image. God didn't need no help and neither did I." -Lucious, totally full of himself.
"No, get away from her with all of that. She ain't listening to no Drip Drop!" -Jamal, saving the baby and the audience.
"You look just like your dad." O RLY?
"You doing that thing again?" --Lucious to Vernon, because Lucious is apparently too delicate to publicly call out a dude's recurring coke habit now?
"I wish he would have shot you." --Cookie to Lucious

And let's close with some of Lucious's best lines this episode, all delivered to Reg at gunpoint:
"If you killed me, everyone in this room would applaud."
"My son wants me dead because I saved him from a con artist."
"I let the mother of my children rot in jail for seventeen years."
"If you shoot me, you would be everyone's personal hero."
"What you looking at? I saved your ass."
posted by jenfullmoon (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Jamal and Hakeem singing to Lola was just about the damn cutest thing on this show. I feel for Jamal. He was so willing to take Lola in and make an honest go at being a daddy. But at the same time, Luscious had to go and mess everything up again. Honestly, Luscious, how did you get anything done before now?

I was actually pleased with Rhonda in this episode. Any time anyone stands up for themselves to Luscious I'm happy, really.

And the way Cookie at first dismissed bipolar disorder as a "white people problem," but was researching it afterwards. She's making an effort.

And yeah, Hakeem is growing up, and it's very endearing.
posted by gc at 9:45 AM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, Jamal, that's your sister, not your daughter!

Forget it, Jamal, it's Chinatown Empire.

The dress Cookie is wearing in the last scene is the most Dynasty I've ever seen her in.

That dress was all kinds of wrong. It didn't fit her, it was too long (compared to what she usually wears), and it was rather dated. Not sure I get what she was going for with that look.

By the end of the episode, the littlest Lyon is going home with her mama and saying goodbye to her BROTHERS.

And one hopes Lucious is setting her up with some generous child support and her own shares in Empire.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:59 PM on March 12, 2015


That dress was all kinds of wrong. It didn't fit her, it was too long (compared to what she usually wears), and it was rather dated. Not sure I get what she was going for with that look.
And one hopes Lucious is setting her up with some generous child support and her own shares in Empire.

I second all of this. I think the "Dynasty" look was the only reason Cookie had that dress on. But somehow *cough* I bet Lucious *forgets* to get that kid some money. Especially since she has no penis and thus cannot be his clone.

Loved how literally EVERY OTHER FAMILY MEMBER, including Andre and Rhonda who have barely seen the kid, came out to say goodbye except her presumed technical actual daddy. KEEP IT CLASSY LUCIOUS.

In other news, HOO BOY THIS TRIBUTE TO HAKEEM!
" Like Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Don Draper before him, the character of Hakeem Lyon is a bouillabaisse of contradictions. He defies our need to peg him as hero or villain. If he were a real person, his lyrical artistry might match a John Lennon, a Bob Dylan, or a Skee-Lo. Through his story arc, he teaches us about ourselves.

but what was significantly more, well, significant was Camilla’s provocative, edgy photo shoot. If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then these photos would be one of those really long Ayn Rand novels I’ve never read.

He’s a soft boy in a hard man’s world, and he just wants affection. Can you blame him? There’s a little bit of Hakeem inside all of us, and he comes out even if we don’t want him to. He comes out at the end of Titanic, when you watch Kevin Durant’s MVP acceptance speech, after your first kiss, and the first time you saw that picture of the weasel riding the bird.
Who is Hakeem? We are all Hakeem."
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:05 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


jenfullmoon - I just want to say I LOVE reading your recaps of the shows we mutually watch. I look forward to them as much (maybe more!) as the ones on the AV Club and NYMag.
posted by lalex at 9:15 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Empire episode 10: "Lucious juggles two women and lies and promises a bunch of shit and reneges." Is there an episode that fabulous sentence can't be stretched to fit?

I also was a little thrown off by Camilla's departure, and I'm handwaving it that Lucious had a stick prepared that we didn't see, in addition to the carrot which we did. It could have been anything from working to sabotage her business to even possibly accusing her of statutory rape. (Should have been shown, though -- this show really is moving fast.) Now I know that in that situation she would not take the money I have some retroactive sympathy for her even if I'm not a supporter of their relationship, and I hope Hakeem learns the truth. I only could have wished she'd gone out singing a few choice bars of "Keep Your Money." Speaking of which, points to Team Hakeem for his song about her, and I thought it was funny that Jamal was being supportive and getting into it while Lucious and Cookie were rather less entranced. I was also amused by the line about them being Anthony and Cleopatra, thinking "Wait, is that really the comparison you want to make?" then having Jamal echo that very thought. And I laughed when he joked about singing Drip Drop to Lola, because he's clearly got some awareness it's a silly earworm of a song.

Cookie looked amazing this episode! I loved the dress she wore when Malcom came to talk to her, and the cool snake necklace that went with it. I liked the rose pattern dress, too, and I did like the golden-white dress she wore at the end, but I'm a sucker for dresses that look that flowy and cool to the touch. I'm so glad that she turned down Lucious, but that means he's going to make things explosive in the finale, as we all know how he handles feelings of betrayal. I like Malcom better, but am I the only one a little worried about him tracking Cookie? He's open about it, and she doesn't seem to mind (understatement there), so I suppose it could just be part of his job to know where the major people are. Still, it worries me, and I don't want her to go back to Lucious just because Malcom ends up betraying her in some way.

I don't know whether Rhonda is someone I can back or someone I should still be suspicious of, but I liked that she stood up to Lucious and she was looking out for her husband even when he's apparently been cold to her. I hope that Andre isn't intending to replace her with someone more acceptable to his dad, because that's one of the things that made me start liking Andre: while Jamal got railroaded into a loveless marriage, Andre picked someone who evidently works really well with him but his dad didn't approve of one bit. (Did Rhonda ever get the Camilla offer? Did Lucious have that kind of money ten years ago?) I'm not into the music therapist gal -- I don't know much about music therapy but I doubt it's as simple as singing a song about how she's going to be his own personal musical angel.

I'd like to think that Olivia and Lola are going to be taken care of, but somehow I doubt it. I guess this explains why there wasn't a paternity test that we saw: that certainly wouldn't be in Lucious' interests. I'd like to see Olivia getting generous child support and Hakeem and Jamal keeping up their relationship with Lola -- I would have liked to have seen Olivia set up with a nice place nearby, but perhaps she had reasons to leave like going back to family now her abusive boyfriend was gone.

Finale next week! I think Cookie's hit on that guy is finally going to have repercussions, and I'm also guessing we'll see more about the Bucky murder plot. Aside from that, no idea. The preview seemed to offer lots of punching.

Links of note: SNL's Empire skit, and this cool gif set of Empire's ratings.
posted by shirobara at 8:15 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


He will also protect her from Hakeem singing "Drip Drop" again. Nobody wants to hear that, Hakeem.)

They only referenced "Drip Drop" in dialogue and it has been in my head ever since I watched last night.

While I don't always agree with the site's overall assessment of the show, the AV Club review was right when they treated this episode like Empire living up to its fullest potential. It was just great - soapy but not too silly, melodramatic in the best sense (what I like to call "the opera in soap opera"), all of the character beats felt earned through the plot and visa versa. And I knew Cookie (or really anybody else other than maybe Olivia or Vernon) were going to get shot, the gunplay was still pretty intense.

I kind of love that, despite all his supposed swagger, they are basically just making Hakeem a different flavor of "black dork" than we usually see on TV. Peeling back the layers, it's possible that he'll become the most interesting of the brothers.

I did like Rhonda holding her own with the family and calling Lucious on (some of) his shit. The more they make the characters hard to pin down, the more I'm going to like this show. There isn't really a "villain" in the main cast, just a lot of competing agendas fighting against external forces, and I think that's really important to the show's ongoing success. (Soap operas can get really "trip all over themselves" when they have people be "all bad" for a while and then have a redemption arc.)

In fact, the closest thing the show has to a villain is Lucious, but my partner called it last night when he said he wasn't the villain but he was the Victor (referring to Victor Newman from The Young and the Restless) of his family and of the show. (Not going to lie, but since he's not fully the "soap historian" like me, I pretty much

Speaking of, this was the second show I watched this week where they mined conflict from a gay guy and his new boyfriend on different pages about the possibility of parenting. What a time to be alive!

The show has enough love from me right now that I will head-canon, even if we never see them again, that Jamal and Hakeem will make sure Lola and Olivia are well taken care of whether Lucious cares at all. The "don't be sad / don't be mad' goodbyes to Andre and Hakeem were affective. Also, the idea of impossibly-cute-as-a-child Raven-Symoné playing the mother of another impossibly-cute-as-a-child television character makes me happy.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:59 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




I'm handwaving it that Lucious had a stick prepared that we didn't see, in addition to the carrot which we did.

In my head canon, Camilla has been listening between the lines of what Hakeem has been saying about Empire and Lucious. She has figured out bad things happen to people that stand between Lucious and what he wants.

Now Lucious wants to make Hakeem in his image. She sees that Lucious has been tolerating her as long as she's been hidden but now what he wants is her gone, and asks her to leave. She figures he won't ask twice. She takes the exit he offers, literally or figuratively dodging a bullet.

For the night, anyway.

In this episode, Hakeem learns that money can buy heartbreak, and soon after tries to buy his brother's life with one of the $30K watches that Lucious gave to his singing sons. Learning fast.

For Hakeem to be made eventually into the image of Lucious starting from season 1 as a goofy nerdy spoiled gangster wannabe is going to take some horror.

That would be some good television.
posted by otherchaz at 12:07 PM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


MCMikeNamara, otherchaz: headcanons accepted! And otherchaz, the last two sentences of your post gave me goosebumps...
posted by shirobara at 1:09 PM on March 13, 2015




You know that isn't going to end well, right?
yes! i know! ugh. i knew by the "previously on" - i knew when she showed up. but that doesn't mean that i hoped against hope he'd just raise his totally adorable daughter and that could be the shining moment of happiness that carried us through. :( totally unreasonable, but i i just held that hope in my heart right up until the end.

"look at what you've done to our sons [...] you just don't want to die alone"'
the best and most heartbreaking truth. they got the wealth, but nothing else cookie imagined. her plea to malcolm won't soothe her wounds, it can't.

If he were a real person, his lyrical artistry might match a John Lennon, a Bob Dylan, or a Skee-Lo.
it's best for all of us that i can't include rihanna rolling up the window disgusted as the perfect in line gif to this line. wtf is this even (but, you know, i probably agree)?

. I was also amused by the line about them being Anthony and Cleopatra, thinking "Wait, is that really the comparison you want to make?" then having Jamal echo that very thought. And I laughed when he joked about singing Drip Drop to Lola, because he's clearly got some awareness it's a silly earworm of a song.
cosign, cosign, cosign.

thought it was funny that Jamal was being supportive and getting into it
understandable physical assault or no, jamal just obviously loves his brother(s) and wants to to see him (them) succeed. so far jamal is us at our best selves. that will have to fall down at some point but for now, he just wants everyone to succeed and i just want him to be right.

next week will be so brutal. are we prepared? i'm not prepared.
posted by nadawi at 9:52 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not prepared either! With all that they pack into one hour, two hours is going to be so intense. When I was reading the link about the QA, I thought "the good news: they got to see the first half early! the bad news: they had to see the first half early!" Imagine having to wait... It's not as if things will be wrapped up after the first hour and hour 2 is a family singalong of Drip Drop!

I'm expecting some bodies, as after all we started this season with a murder. Who do you all think isn't going to make it to season 2? Cookie's sister and brother-in-law may be targeted, but if season 2 is going to show us where Cookie and Lucious came from, I'd hope they stick around. Michelle the music therapist may go meet her maker if Rhonda hears about her particular praying style, but I doubt it, she just showed up. Anika would be the easy choice, but no one would really mourn unless, say, Cookie was somehow implicated. But not one of the brothers, please!
posted by shirobara at 6:13 PM on March 14, 2015


Ooooh, I have bad news. The 2-hour finale is starting at 8 and I have a class until 8:30ish that I can't skip or leave early, etc. So recapping...will be sadly incomplete.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:57 AM on March 15, 2015


Vulture TV Podcast on Empire.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:31 PM on March 16, 2015


I'll be watching Thursday online, probably around 6 or 7 AM PST when my son wakes me up. Anyone want to sync up starting times and hang out on mefi chat? Probably the closest I'm going to get to a finale viewing party...
posted by shirobara at 9:50 AM on March 17, 2015


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