Empire: A High Hope for a Low Heaven
November 4, 2015 10:33 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Hakeem's kidnapping is over with very quick, and then he has a bunch of flashbacks and tries to deal with the repercussions of it. In other news, some ladies get laid, Lucious continues to drool over Freda and harass Hakeem, and Andre really doesn't get the point of Gutter Life whatsoever.

Team Hakeem: Hakeem's kidnapping is dealt with pretty quickly. Cookie gets a video sent to her of him with his mouth taped and she of course thinks Lucious has faked this, but he has not. After brief discussions of junkyard dogs vs. house dogs and proof of life and stuff, Hakeem is apparently just let out to roam the streets within like, 5-10 minutes or something. During his kidnapping, he tries to tell his kidnappers off but in general is too immobilized to do much about it beyond notice the weird bull head tats/brands on the guys's backs.

Somehow Hakeem finds his way to Anika (remember her? she's crying, sweating, and calling her mother telling her she has nothing) and cries and cuddles all over her, and then ignores her again for most of the rest of the episode until she comes over to see if he's stil alive and he blows her off again. GIRL, GET A NEW JOB AND A NEW LIFE SOMEWHERE ELSE FROM THESE PEOPLE. Put her on the spinoff, I don't care, but this is just sad. I can't even bother to do a team report on her because there isn't one.

Anyway, Hakeem is okay except for some cuts and scrapes, but he spends the rest of the episode having acid-ish flashbacks and freaking out, making his upcoming performance with Mirage seem like it might not go so well. More on this later.

Team Cookie: How does one solve a problem like this kidnapping thing? Cookie's new boyfriend/promoter guy Laz suggests *gasp* hiring the ones who did it as security. Um, WTF? I dunno on this street logic. Especially when Cookie and Hakeem go to meet these dudes and Hakeem pulls a gun on them. Cookie does an excellent job of talking him out of it by saying she'd have to stand in front of the bullet if he pulls the trigger, then disarming him and pulling it on the bull dudes herself. The bull dudes just calmly raise their fee.
Later, Cookie goes over to Laz's to officially bone...which means we get to find out that he's also got a bull tat. Seriously, you set this up to give your homies a job, dude?!

Team Andre (no Rhonda this week): Andre clearly does NOT AT ALL get the point of Gutter Life, and basically plans to interview them all about their music and morals and boot the ones he doesn't like. Wait a minute, you are seriously insisting that gutter punks have morals?!?!? This leads to some hilarious interviewing ("You do know what P-Busta stand for, right, playa?" one moron says while being asked about women), and of course some conflict with Lucious about how Andre doesn't want Freda as an artist because she kicks a heckler in the neck in this episode and we can't have more liability. Lucious of course doesn't care because this girl is his new baby (or possibly girlfriend, I don't know). Andre says you put me in charge and Lucious says, "No, I put you in PLACE. Don't confuse the two." Ruh-roh.

Team Becky: Becky is getting LAID, y'all! A Gutter Life fella named J. Poppa is using his magic wand on her BUT GOOD. Yay Becky! Also good: "J. Poppa" is not a virginity stealing reference, but refers to him being named Job and that he's a preacher's grandson. Throw in some Bible verses and that guy is #1 with Andre even if he is boning Becky and that's probably not a great thing at work. The Almighty Judge Andre shall allow it.... for now. "It won't be a problem until it's a problem."

Team Lucious: Lucious may be the thug you want in your corner for dealing with shit like this, but that doesn't mean everyone's not still mad at him. Particularly Hakeem, who would not be in this mess except for who his parents are. Lucious kinda attempts to make up with Hakeem by producing a track for/about him, which has the profound lyrics of "Boom boom boom boom, bang bang bang bang." No strings, want it? Hakeem knows exactly how "no strings" works and stomps off on him. Lucious follows Hakeem into the joint that he's going to perform in tonight with Mirage and picks a fight, but then the brothers come in and kick both parents out. Lucious spends half the performance staring creepily at Hakeem, hoping he'll fail, before stomping off in a huff and going to play with his new pet Freda, who he says he relates to better than his own kids because she is actually street. Oh, and I wrote a track JUST FOR YOU. I wonder what it is....boom boom boom boom. Oh, Lucious, you skeeze.

Team Jamal: Jamal's sulking/singing about Michael's cheating (don't share the details with dad, please). He didn't get a gig at the Staples Center for being too "niche," which he interprets as being marketed as a "gay artist" instead of an artist who just happens to be gay. To solve this problem, he's recruited some other record label guy, a gay one named Jamieson Winthrop that Lucious almost signed with and then rejected for his gayness. I guess we'll get to this plotline another time because that's as far as that goes, beyond Lucious objecting but grudgingly being forced to go along with it.
Later, Jamal and Andre do an EXCELLENT job of talking Hakeem down off the mental ledge, pointing out that they can't be broken by thugs or kidnappers because they grew up with their parents.

Team Laura/Mirage a Trois: Despite the pep talk from his brothers, Hakeem still acid-trips on stage, but Laura does an excellent job of covering for him on stage, giving intense eye contact, and getting him to snap out of it. Go Laura. Hakeem is appreciative. Heck, he's so appreciative he turns down the idea of getting a stripper pole for the party!

Quote Corner:"
"I got Destiny's Problem Child looking for their lead man." --Cookie
"I shoulda fired your dumb ass, like ten times already." --Cookie to Porsha, who claims she has skills.
"We shoulda taken the more famous brother!" --kidnappers
"What, y'all a bunch of punk-ass cowboys?" --Hakeem
"This is my worst nightmare." --Lucious
"It can't be worse than the nightmare of being your son." --Hakeem.
"If you pull the trigger, you gonna force me to stand in front of the bullet. I'd rather die than lose you again." --Cookie
"Welcome to my streets, bitch." --Cookie to kidnappers
"I offered him an olive branch." --Lucious
"And the Pilgrims offered Indians a bunch of blankets." --Hakeem, I'm really impressed you learned something in school!
"Your father's giving a lovely lesson about how the whole family could end up behind bars." --Cookie

Fashion Corner:
What the hell is with Porsha's blue curls this week in the mohawk?
Half the people's hair at Gutter Life makes me laugh.
Cookie has a lovely shirt with multicolored cats (leopards?) on it, and a lovely blue suit to meet with thugs. I dunno about the puffy ... thing she wore to Hakeem's show, though, kinda made her look like she should be in a muumuu.
I did enjoy her literally standing on a dude's neck with those heels, btw.
posted by jenfullmoon (2 comments total)
Lucious of course doesn't care because this girl is his new baby (or possibly girlfriend, I don't know).

Yeah, I think by the end of the episode, when he gives her the boom boom/bang bang track, it's clear that Freda represents the son Lucious has always wanted...
posted by TwoStride at 5:25 AM on November 5, 2015

Team Hakeem gets some major points for not taking garbage from his dad. Lucious gave him the song and says there's no strings, and I'm thinking sure, everything has strings with you -- then Hakeem says just what I was thinking. Lucious' reaction to the rejection was so petty, and Hakeem was just not having it. Then Andre's line about them being the kids of Lucious and Cookie Lyon already means they're survivors -- perfect.

My prediction is that Freda shoots Lucious in the finale.
posted by shirobara at 8:25 AM on November 5, 2015

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