Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x03: "The Devil Quotes Scripture"

Written by Ilene Chaiken And Joshua Allen
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Cookie (to Lucious): "You are going straight to hell."

While that's probably true, I imagine it's going to be at least another three years/seasons before such a thing even happens. Lucious will probably continue to be polarising character, especially when it comes to any scene he shares with Jamal but he still maintains a certain level of interest throughout the show though.

I hated how he tore Jamal to pieces over the song at dinner but I absolutely loved Jamal ripping his homophobic father a new one by first moving out of the apartment with Michael and then vowing to take his father's empire. I get that this episode was trying to show that it's Jamal's sexuality that Lucious hates more than Jamal himself but that's no excuse either.

Jamal's struggles with proving that he's just as much of a man to his father as both Hakeem and Andre was nicely dealt with in this episode and I have to admit that I really found it satisfying that he realised he had more talent than his father had back in the day. Of course Cookie didn't help matters by giving Jamal a song from a man that fancied her who Lucious disliked as well, even if it was a great song.

On the plus side, the songwriter in question - Puma/Dwayne Johnson was played by Cuba Gooding Jr and he had some nice scenes in this episode with Cookie. Scenes that were so good I actually do hope that we get Cuba for another episode or two. Given the mutual dislike that Puma and Lucious seem to have for each other, I can't imagine the writers not wanting to explore that a little further.

Of course, Cuba wasn't the only special guest star in this episode. We briefly got Naomi Campbell in two scenes as Camilla - an older woman that Hakeem has been sleeping with for over a year. Campbell's acting wasn't the most impressive but it wasn't too bad either. I can see why Hakeem though isn't so keen to out his relationship with Camilla considering that he also fancies Tiana as well, something which Lucious wanted to capitalise on as well during the episode with the family gathering.

The good thing about this episode was a lot of the subplots coming together. Cookie working with the Feds was something discovered quickly, so it resulted in Agent Carter (not Peggy) coming up with a perfect cover story to even fool Lucious while Andre used his own sexual prowess to get information on a witness to Bunky's shooting for his father as well.

It did look like the detectives in question were suspicious of Lucious even before they started to talk to Old Salty. I can't see Lucious getting caught or even sent down for Bunky's death, especially not this early in the series. I imagine we'll have a series of red herrings throughout the season before the storyline is either dropped or delayed for another time too. On the other hand, at least we got see Bunky's funeral and meet another member of Cookie's family - younger sister Carol this week.

Also in "The Devil Quotes Scripture"

What is it with the Lyons and instruments? Lucious beat Veronika's 'ex' manager offscreen in a manner probably similar to how Cookie did it with Hakeem in the first episode.

Lucious: "Mel had a little accident. You might need to clean that up."

Having Andre reenact his sexual encounter with the deputy mayor with Rhonda was bizarre to watch. I'm guessing she tolerates his straying up to a point.

Cookie (to Andre): "Back in the day they were songwriters who actually knew how to write songs."

Vernon (re Lucious): "He ain't cheating on you."
Anika: "I hired him to follow Cookie, fool. I don't trust her."

I'm really loving Anika as a character. The reason why her rivalry with Cookie works is because they're both intelligent women and evenly matched in wits.

Agent Carter: "Thanks for this. My kid will cherish it."
Lucious (re Cookie): "And I will cherish you locking her back up."

Michael: "I just wanted to say thank you for inviting me."
Lucious (re Cookie): "I didn't invite you, thank her."

Michael needs more to do other than being dismissed by both Cookie and Lucious. I feel I know more about Anika, Rhonda and even Tiana than I do him.

Lucious (re Puma): "Does he still like you?"
Cookie: "That's none of your business."

Anika: "Do you even know what a debutante is?"
Cookie: "A bourgeois hoe with a lot of money."
Anika: "A hoe who could slice your throat without even disturbing her pearls."

Standout music: Jamal's "Up All Night" as well as Tiana and Veronika's "Bad Girl".

Jamal (to Michael, re Lucious): "I'm going after his Empire and I'm gonna take it."

Chronology: From where "The Outspoken King" more or less left off.

Yeah, still hooked to this show. I think "The Devil Quotes Scripture" was a fave of mine too - definitely over the first two episodes, even if they had better music though. The show is moving a great pace and the back and forth with certain characters is also working rather nicely too.

Rating: 8 out of 10


Sridhar Chandrasekaran said...

You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging journey.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Thanks, glad you like.