Empire: A Rose By Any Other Name
May 9, 2016 4:18 PM - Season 2, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Hakeem is king, Cookie is making great facial expressions, Lucious only sees some things coming, Jamal is getting shit for being a flip flopper, Andre continues down the crazy train, and Rhonda makes a good spy. Oh, and Camilla can't wait for her wife to just die already.

Team Hakeem: Hakeem is now CEO of Empire, complete with scepter and putting his feet up on the desk during press conferences while eating a lollipop. (You should see Cookie’s face at that lollipop.) Jamal is decorously retiring to work on his music or some shit, Cookie is head of A&R and Andre’s staying CFO/head of “Gutter.” When asked how Lucious is doing, Hakeem says, “Who’s Lucious?” before saying, “Empire will always support Lucious Lyon.” Uh-HUH. But Cookie is still hitting him on the head.

I thought Hakeem had dropped his last name, but he’s rapping about being “Mr. Lyon.” He’s also replaced the Empire logo WITH HIS OWN HEAD. Of course he did. (And again, Cookie’s face.) He also says with a straight face that “It’s a dawn of a new empire in the Empire.”

Hakeem is still boning two ladies, even though he calls Camilla out for being married and him being her sidepiece (for a change). Camilla says multiple that Mimi will die soon (presumably she means of cancer), and man, that’s COLD, Camilla. Camilla is also unthrilled with Hakeem’s other women and cuts Tiana’s tour budget and wants Laura outta there, which leads to the decision to send both Tiana and Mirage a Trois on tour together to get them away from Camilla/Hakeem/all this crap. Laura is fine with that, Tiana and her sexy near naked dancing will probably not be. But whatever.

Anyway, Hakeem’s cunning plan is to make his own sex tape of himself—recording Camilla’s charming wishes for Mimi’s death—and sending them to Mimi, causing Mimi to immediately sell the stock and Andre to clean out his son’s future fund to buy it. “She was saying some pretty rank things like I hope Mimi dies.” See, even Hakeem thinks that's cold.

Team Rhondre: Rhonda is reasonably worried that once again Andre needs a meds adjustment. Unlike Andre’s pastor, she thinks it’s a bad sign if he’s having a vision saying that their baby loss wasn’t an accident. Andre talks her into going to marriage counseling with his pet pastor, which doesn’t go well once she figures out that marriage counseling isn’t what either dude had in mind. Also, Andre asks Rhonda if she is cheating on him (while pregnant? This isn’t Waitress) and that ticks her off. Rhonda’s face is next to Cookie’s in this one, looking like she’s in the land of crazy people. Later, Rhonda has Cookie verify her alibi: “She was in my office, snitching on Camilla.”

In other news, despite still walking with a cane, Rhonda says she needs to go back to work, and how about doing that at Camilla’s new clothing line, “Antony and Cleopatra?” (Of COURSE it’s called that.) Rhonda actually makes a pretty good family spy, noticing when Camilla is getting bitchy on the phone when Mimi wants to come into town.

Meanwhile, Hakeem and Jamal don’t know what else to do for their upset brother (literally, they say that) but write him a song about how they don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. It’s kinda sweet, actually.

Team Jamal: Jamal finds out his dad’s been bragging about his new heterosexuality around town, which led to, I’M NOT KIDDING, a dancing protest flash mob singing “Flip, flop.” “That’s not even his song, stupid!” Becky yells, righteously. Jamal writes a super pissy song about not being just like his daddy in retaliation. Sample lines: “People tell me I’m just like my daddy,” “Cause I like like I’m lying,” “Everybody welcome to the gun show,” you’re a snitching ass bitch” and “that ain’t even your name.” I don’t know who the hell thought somebody named their baby “Lucious Lyon,” but yeah, Jamal “outed” him. (Lucious, for the record, is all, well, that was a private thing he blabbed, but now I’m gonna use it as video material.)

Team Cookie: Cookie and her face are having an awfully entertaining time in this episode—for the audience if not for her. For example, she gets to say things like “Your father is a tampon. We already knew that” and “THAT bitch gotta go” and “Boy, I’m trying to protect your ass, you stupid CEO” and “Andre, I don’t care if your crazy ass gotta build her a rocket to the moon—“ though oops, she apologizes on that one. Cookie is busy managing lady tours, eyeballing Lucious’s video, and attempting to suck up to Camilla. And bugging Hakeem to take Camilla and Mimi out already.

Team Lucious: Lucious is plotting his next video—featuring Richard II and armor, I guess—and being interviewed by some hot reporter named Harper. She asks, “Should we expect some violence?” Duh. But Lucious is all, they’ll come crawling back to me in three months. She says, you didn’t see it coming, did you, and he starts yelling about how he’s from South Philly and he sees everything coming! In other news of Things Lucious Didn’t See Coming, he gets his budget cut for his video.

So what has Lucious seen coming? Apparently that his former buddy Mimi is gonna get STRAIGHT UP POISONED MURDERED by Camilla, which comes fairly well out of nowhere. (I don’t know what happened to Marisa Tomei to make the show bail on this entire plot this fast, but damn.) He charges into Camilla’s with a gun and announces he’s got some videos to turn over to the police, that Hakeem is the one that sent Mimi that sex tape, and oh, let me tell you about the joys of prison: always worrying about being raped, and the sanitary conditions! She asks him to shoot her and he’s all, “I don’t owe you any favors. Now you gonna have to off yourself.” He leaves while Camilla chugs poison in her underwear, not even waiting to see if she did it or not.


Quote Corner:
“You can go back to being useless. Stop wearing your granddaddy’s suits.” –Cookie to Thirsty.
“Didn’t I tell you you’d be king someday?” –Camilla
posted by jenfullmoon (3 comments total)
Imma take your grandpa's style,
Imma take your grandpa's style,
No for real — ask your grandpa —
can I have his hand-me-downs?

(Every time Thirsty shows up, I always think, Damn! Bubs is looking good! Kicking heroin and moving to NYC from Baltimore did him a world of good!)

Seriously they ended that whole storyline with Camilla and Mimi so fast I got whiplash. I turned to the hubs and was like, wait, what? And Camilla was all, I HATE YOU, FINE, I'LL DRINK THE DAMN POISON. Lolwut?
posted by mon-ma-tron at 8:52 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also, yeah, I guess Marisa Tomei's contract was up? Because that was a super lame here's-Mimi-dead-in-the-bathtub-but-you-can't-see-her-face-because-it's-not-actually-Marisa-Tomei shot.

Still my favorite awesome tire-fire show on TV.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 8:57 PM on May 11, 2016

Yeah, I'm not sure I've ever seen a plotline wrapped up that fast or a character killed off so unceremoniously.
posted by Bugbread at 9:27 PM on May 25, 2016

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