Empire: The Devils Are Here
September 23, 2015 11:04 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Lucious rots in jail and reunites with an old friend. Meanwhile, everyone fights over who's going to take over Empire. Again.

It's been three months since we last saw Lucious go to jail, and he's been in there with no bail. Naturally the Lyon family/Empire is putting on a "Free Lucious" concert, EVEN THOUGH THEY KNOW HE KILLED BUNKIE (even Hakeem thinks they should be performing on behalf of people who are actually innocent). Cookie gets into a gorilla costume in a cage (oh dear lord, that statement), gets lowered on to the stage, then pops out of the costume in a sexy outfit to argue against unfair imprisonment in general. Reverend Al Sharpton approves of that, but not Lucious specifically. As do we all.

Anyway, while Lucious is in jail, he's reunited with his old crime boss Frank--you may remember him as that guy Cookie snitched on, thought she got a flower of death from, and then had some dude off one of his dudes by accident. OOPS. The hit man is also in jail with both of them and is basically shitting himself, as well he should be.

While Lucious is in jail. the other Lyons are fighting over who's gonna run Empire, again. I thought we had this decided? Anyway, now everyone BUT Jamal is trying to take over from Lucious/Jamal. Let's see how that goes.

Team Cookie: Cookie's latest takeover scheme is to team up with Andre/Hakeem/Anika(!?!) and some rich, badly dressed lesbian named Mimi to take Empire away from Lucious specifically--which Jamal takes personally. They think they've got the company, but Mimi switches sides at the last minute and sides with Lucious because he IS Empire. Jamal is ticked at her.
In other news, Frank finds out Cookie's a snitch and sends her hitman's head to her in a box. She panics and demands the entire family hide out at Lucious's until it's all over. She finally deigns to visit Lucious in prison to demand he get her out of this, which he does.

Team Lucious: In between managing a secret deal with Mimi to keep his company intact and making a gloat video about it, Lucious is reunited with Frank Gathers, everyone's favorite crazy (not a cannibal, played by Chris Rock) drug dealing murderer, in jail. Everyone else is shitting themselves (including that henchman who gets killed), but Lucious is cool. Until Cookie needs assistance anyway, and their old love-hate relationship kicks in. Lucious and Frank may be cool, but if Frank's not cool with Cookie, then Lucious is at war! Kill him, says Frank, and make it quiet and fast. His henchmen stand there doing nothing. Lucious is now going to pay for all of their families' needs, thanks. Kill him loud and slow, will ya? Lucious's parting words to Frank are that he's going to hire his little rapping daughter for Empire and then fuck her. Class-ay.
Oh yeah, and at some point some lady prosecutor has an illegal meeting with Lucious to threaten him and he spends the entire time insulting her cheap/Tom Ford shoes. How very stereotypically gay of you, Lucious, I never knew you had it in you. (Maybe it was all those scarves...?)

Team Anika: Okay, it's been a long time and I don't think I recall things so well, but seriously, how is Anika back with the Lyon family at the moment? Cookie orders her (!!!) to dance with and sleep with Mimi, which apparently didn't work.
"You can't even dyke right."

Team Hakeem: I give him one point for being all "shouldn't we be performing for people who are actually innocent?" I take that point away for actually singing on stage, "We know that he ain't do it." Hakeem later throws a lesbian party at is pad for Mimi (what, no Tiana?) and invites Anika. Hakeem also has his album art dissed and fights over who's the biggest star with Jamal again. Not the best week for Hakeem, but hey, not his worst.

Team Rhondre: Andre is still scheming to take over the company, and not managing it, still having nightmares, still not actually a suspect in Vernon's murder yet. Rhonda is having a boy, has some lovely new bangs, and gets very annoyed at a kid playing the piano.

Team Jamal: Jamal hasn't gotten to record a song in three weeks and his album's at #22 in Billboard because he's busy running the company. (See, this is why putting a musician in charge is a bad idea! I kept saying that last season!) On the other hand, he's still on the list, he attempted to record something, and he's back together again with Michael. Though since he got into power he's been acting kinda douchey and doesn't so much like Michael's present of uh, getting him a GLAAD award and having uh, Miss Lawrence ooze all over him. I don't know who that is, but I felt like I was watching Jordan Peele do a sketch. And then his family betrays him by trying to steal the company from him? He's both sad and pissed.

In other news, Becky continues to be a good assistant by insisting that Jamal take phone calls and calling Jamal and Hakeem "rude, crude, and socially unacceptable," and Porsha continues to suck by blowing off sister Carol's frantic "You're gonna get killed, Frank sent flowers again" calls. Both of them have interesting hair in this one, though, so there's that. There are also two hideous crappy white Peter Pan blouses tied with white string in the episode, on Mimi and Rhonda. I usually love the 80's, but not this. Look, just because you're gay and/or pregnant doesn't mean your clothes HAVE to suck. Come on, designers. Every time Mimi was on screen my eyes were bleeding with those outfits. Also, that toreador suit, wtf?

This week's winner: Lucious.

Quote Corner:
"I like the way you rhyme and the way you grew that daisy." -Lucious to Frank's daughter.
"We're inspirational figures, you and me!" -Frank to Lucious.
"Ryan is a ho." -Jamal on the previous dude he was dating.
"You're trying too hard, move." --Mimi to a girl propositioning her.
"You ain't never gonna be nothing but a black bitch in cheap shoes to me." --Lucious sure does love to piss off a prosecutor.
"You call it protective, I call it backstabbing." -Jamal to Cookie.
"You're turning into your daddy, I"m watching it happen." -Cookie to Jamal.
"You're shady." -Michael to Jamal after Jamal basically bribes him so he can bail on the GLAAD thing.
"Why you looking like Mr. T?"--Lucious to Cookie on her gold and denim outfit. TRUE DAT.
"For whatever reason, I still love you." and "That's crazy how I can love your ass and hate you at the same moment." --Lucious to Cookie.

Also, during the Power Walk segment tonight as most of the Lyons go into a takeover, Hakeem is riding some kind of skateboard/Segway thing. Good lord.

Disclaimer: this season I have to be out of town Wednesday nights for class stuff/meetings and will be trying to book it back in time, but I don't know if that is always going to be doable. We shall see.
posted by jenfullmoon (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

That whole concert was just an amazing scene. So stunningly manipulative and cynical, but it also tapped into real feelings, real injustices. I don't doubt for a minute that Cookie meant every word she said, with her own history of being locked up when her kids needed her, with her life experience of being a black woman in a racist and uncaring society. She's even willing to put on a gorilla suit to make a pointed, uncomfortable and timely statement -- and yet she knows perfectly well that she's using all that emotion and righteousness to try to free a guilty man. Could anyone but Cookie manipulate an entire civil rights movement for her own ends and still have us love her?

And finally, the payoff from Cookie having that guy killed! All those episodes last season, we kept wondering, when is that going to bite her? It took all the way to Season 2, but it worked. And I completely swallowed that Lucious was hanging her out to dry, before the big reveal that he had all of the goons in his pocket.

Our assistant duo is looking good, I'm liking Becky's wardrobe. We've got the same body type and I'm checking out her clothes like, dang. (That's really why I started watching. Hip-hop King Lear, it sounded promising; add Gabourey Sidibe to the mix and I've got to check it out for plus-size solidarity.) Also in the wardrobe department, the power walk really showed why Anika can't keep up. Cookie looks kick-ass and memorable, and Anika is stuck with this snore of a yellow dress.

Fox now has some thing for signing up online with your cable provider to watch stuff online. I was OK with this last episode, but I don't know what episode 2 is going to look like for me. Last season, I sometimes went to the Y and watched it on the TV attached to the exercise bike, but that's got its drawbacks...
posted by shirobara at 8:46 AM on September 25, 2015

I enjoyed last season overall but I am not sure that I will continue watching. I found this episode to be over the top ridiculous. To me it was a "jumped the shark" episode. It was embarrassing to watch. Did anyone else feel that way?
posted by futz at 3:50 PM on September 27, 2015

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