Empire: Fires of Heaven
October 7, 2015 11:00 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Lucious gets out of jail, declares himself a god, and attempts to sign Freda as an artist, much to Jamal's annoyance. Jamal has musician's block. Lyon Dynasty declares war on Empire, Empire fires right back.

Team Lucious: Lucious is out on bail, but for some retconned weird reason he's not allowed in the Empire building. Like that's gonna stop him from having the entire family over for an awkward dinner, working on making deals, etc.

The Awkward Family Dinner involves most of the invitees not actually eating and actively wondering if the food is poisoned, and Lucious asking Cookie to dismantle Lyon Dynasty and saying all will be forgiven and he wants the family together. Cookie says no, and she wants to save her sons, and Lucious gripes about his ex-family. Andre walks out, and Cookie soon follows...dragging the tablecloth and the untouched lovely dinner behind her.

Lucious's deals of the week:
(a) Throwing himself a giant party and getting Pitbull to perform at it.
(b) Asking Anika to do some scheming for him
(c) Buying up Apex Radio, which gives him control of 200 urban radio stations and thus all the music for all time, apparently.
(d) Signing Valentina, which works out.
(e) Attempting to sign Freda, which does not happen because she is a little punk with 'tude.
(f) Attempting to kiss Miss Ford the grudgy attorney, or at least leaning in like he would and grossing her right out.

Thirsty tracks down Freda at some shitty park--he recommends Lucious not go there but knows he will anyway--and when Lucious arrives, Freda's in a rap battle and pulls a gun when a dude brings up her dad and then bitches that females are weak and gonna cry. She shoots that thing off all over the place while Lucious is trying to drag her off and stop her. She runs away, Thirsty drags Lucious away, only to have a creepy run in with the stalker attorney, who claims they have Vernon hidden away (O RLY?), and Lucious reasonably figures out that Vernon must not be cooperating and the case must b e stalled. Both of them threaten each other creepily, but Lucious is also apparently down to hatefuck. Ew, dude.

Team Anika: Anika's still unemployed. Lucious hasn't gotten that memo and he asks her to come over to the club, saying she wouldn't have shown up if she was happy at Lyon Dynasty. "You always been a little dirty, why not get a reward for it?" What do you have in mind? Jacking your track, apparently ,i.e. stealing all of their music. Anika then runs to Cookie to tell her all of this because her desire for revenge against Lucious is winning so far. This leads to...

Team Cookie: Cookie mostly has a good week, whupping Mirage a Trois into shape for the radio (including banging a cane and demanding pushups at their dance practice for some reason, a technique she claims to have learned in prison instead of watching shitty dance movies) and invading Lucious's party to have Hakeem perform a not-that-bad-dude solo rap battle. Until the end, anyway, when Lucious steals a singer AND the entire radio. Pitbull's interested in her, at least. Lyon Dynasty is getting tons of calls and there's a grandchild on the way.

Team Andre: Andre is begging and begging to get back into Empire, offering up a deal with Apex Radio and that his wife is pregnant, a fact that he shares with both parents in this episode. Cookie suggests that "nothing says legacy like a grandchild" and suggests Andre use that to get back in, but Andre doesn't want to use his kid as leverage. "All I'm saying is, sometimes you got to pull at those heartstrings to get paid. Ain't nothing wrong with that," Cookie says.
Andre's announcement to his dad doesn't go as planned, as unbeknownst to him (Andre doesn't think bipolar runs in the family), Lucious is having flashbacks to his mom's manic-depressive behavior as a kid, and he asks if Andre's worried about the kid inheriting it. Also, Lucious says it breaks his heart that Andre is using this right now to get what he wants from him. Andre denies it, saying there's just more at stake right now. Lucious says to give Rhonda his love (?!) and then sits at the piano alone as Andre leaves. So that went not so well. Also, if y'all don't know the gender of the child, maybe you shouldn't promise it has a penis yet?

Team Jamal: Jamal has writer's block, or musician's block or whatever we call it when we hate every producer daddy has called in to work with him. He needs his Cookie, but there's a war on. Becky about talks him into going to see her ("She's the only one that can deal with your moody ass."), but then she blabs this to Lucious later and Lucious pulls up at the door to stop him.
Jamal is also annoyed at his dad this week for wanting to sign Freda--she shows up when Lucious isn't around with a bunch of punks and walks out on a deal. Daddy-o says about Fred that "she means everything to me, musically!" which ticks Jamal the hell off. Where's that supposed to leave him?
Jamal takes that limo time to insist that he's not second fiddle to Freda and wants to be a superstar, which his father goes along with, offering to produce him because he needs a GOD to do t. (Oh lord, that God complex.)
On the other hand, he does perform with Pitbull "No Doubt About It," which is clearly my favorite song in this entire season so far.

Team Hakeem: Hakeem's having a pretty good week mostly--he's named his Latina girl group Mirage a Trois, he nailed Valentina, he got Mirage on Sway Radio, he performed on Sway himself, and he horned in on his dad's party bragging his ass off in a solo rap battle. Except for the part where Valentina and the radio station got poached, anyway.

Amusing Moments With Hakeem:
1. being asked on the radio how his dad took the news and he is all, "You'd have to ask him, bro." So Sway calls Lucious up and Lucious is all, I always said that boy had some growing up to do. Hakeem is all, you know why he didn't stop me? Because he was in prison.
2. Sample lyrics from Hakeem: "I'm so ready for war" and "I know she used to be yours, but I took her to Mars."

Quote Corner:
"Blasphemy. I'm a god." --Lucious
"Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we war." --Lucious
"I doubt if Jesus Christ could save you without burning his hands." --Cookie
"Pride is chewy and hard to swallow." -Lucious
"If you wanted a go at my boy, you should have asked me. I would have let it happen." --Lucious to Anika, WHAT?
"Say what you want about Cookie, but she was always there when I needed her!" -Jamal
"You are the baddest bitch ever. You are badder than all the animals that populate your wardrobe." --Anika bowing down in supplication to Queen Cookie, pretty much.
"Don't smirk at me like I don't know what I'm talking about." --Becky
"I'm starting to think Miss Ford is a little sweet on Lucious." --Lucious
"You need a GOD to produce you." --Lucious to Jamal
"Y'all keep acting like you don't know me." --Lucious upon buying Apex Radio.
"You can't keep Cookie down." --Cookie

Winning outfit of the week: Cookie in chain mail at the party.
Worst outfit of the week: Porsha's weird Sesame Street from hell sweater, wtf?
posted by jenfullmoon (4 comments total)
It was such a tease to have Cookie bang her cane during Mirage a Trois' rehearsal and actually say, "You want fame?" I needed her to finish with, "Well, Fame costs, and here's where you start paying."

Andre's arc has taken a downward slope this season. I hope they're building toward him screwing Lucious in some fitting way. During the scene when he tells Cookie that they're expecting, I was marveling at how this show lets Cookie have all the dramatics and schemes of a typical soap villain (not to mention wardrobe), but still keeps her sympathetic and loving, especially to her sons. I don't think Cookie's an anti-hero; she's just a straight-up hero.
posted by gladly at 8:23 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Fun fact: This episode was directed by Craig Brewer, who wrote and directed Hustle & Flow. He was the person who originally paired Taraji Henson and Terrance Howard.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:10 AM on October 8, 2015

Hakeem Lyon's Search For True Love Continues on Empire:

"If Lucious burned down Hakeem’s apartment, urinated in the gas tank of his Bentley, and mixed the whites and the colors in his laundry, he’d say, “I did it for you, my favorite son. I love you, ‘keem. Now let’s go hop in my private jet and record some slammin’ hip-hop tracks while drinking champagne out of gold-plated Slurpee cups. Oh, PS, I am God.”

God, I love Dave Schilling.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:02 AM on October 9, 2015

See, Cookie? See, Anika? Good things happen when you two work together. Thinking over the entire show, Lucious has treated both of them with callousness and disdain, manipulating and discarding them. When Lucious made his offer I was thinking nooo Anika, don't do it, don't you remember how you got completely played by Porsha's double agent skills? So I'm glad she didn't even try to be deceptive.

I feel so lonely being a week behind. The whole internet has had all this time to enjoy the glory of Cookie's chain corset...
posted by shirobara at 2:48 PM on October 15, 2015

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