Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x04: "False Imposition"

Written by Wendy Calhoun
Directed by Rosemary Rodriguez

Cookie: "I can't get back the last seventeen years but I'm here now."
Hakeem: "Too late."

Okay, yeah, this episode wasn't my favourite of the bunch. I do like Hakeem but his bratty entitlement when largely focused on doesn't make for a very strong episode. This week when he wasn't impatient to further certain things with his music, he was resistant to Cookie's input in a duet he was planning with Tiana and then he was caught by the latter in a compromising position with Camilla.

To be honest, a part of me was relieved that Tiana was less bothered about Hakeem being unfaithful to her and was more concerned that he might mess up her career. It's been fairly obvious now that we're supposed to be seeing both Hakeem and Tiana (or Takeem) as a showmance and this episode definitely drove that point home.

That being said, aside from Jamal, Tiana is a great musical partner for Hakeem and I did like that both her and Cookie seemed to have connected as well. Despite Anika's opposition, Tiana wanted Cookie to manage her and Cookie's instincts with Tiana were pretty great this week. It was also nice to see Cookie focused on another artist besides Jamal as well.

As for Cookie and Hakeem - the latter still hates her but there was a few moments in this episode where it seemed like he was beginning to thaw a little. Whether Hakeem likes her or not, Cookie did give him some good advice, especially about his duet with Tiana this week at the Teen Choice Awards Nominations at Leviticus, something which even Hakeem had to agree with at the end.

Speaking of Cookie - while she does continue to be somewhat dismissive of Anika, all of her scenes with Lucious are pure gold and Lucious did seem a lot more respectful and apologetic towards her this week. I also liked that Cookie somewhat paved the way for Lucious to bag the controversial Titan as well by visiting his mother.

The story with trying to get Titan (who actually spent most of the episode behind bars) was decent enough. I liked that it tied into the dynamic with Lucious and Hakeem as well as Cookie and Fatima connecting over their children and even that it gave Becky a bit more to do as well. Not only that but we also got an onscreen confrontation between Lucious and record rival Bill Beretti as well, which fared better than expected too.

The only lagging bits were surprisingly the Jamal stuff. I like that he's determined to make it on his own but he should've taken the money he earned from working with Hakeem. I think he was being a bit too stubborn when Lucious pointed that out and that new place he's living with Michael in has to go as well, right? On the plus side, at least his dry spell/songwriter's block seemed to resolve itself as the episode progressed.

Also in "False Imposition"

Andre provided a false alibi for Lucious on the night that Bunky was shot. We also got a flashback of Lucious and Andre in this episode.

Hakeem: "That's cold, dad, that's foul."
Lucious: "It's a race between you and Jamal. It's yours to lose."

With the Teen Choice Awards, I wonder how long we'll have to wait for the Grammys to appear on the show, right?

Cookie: "So what you got?"
Jamal: "My songs ain't ready yet. They just ain't."

Fatima: "You must be happy to be back home."
Cookie: "I'm back but I ain't home."

Anika found out about Lucious's ALS in this episode. I'm guessing it won't be long before Cookie does too, given that she's aware of something being up with Lucious.

Lucious (re Islam): "Nothing but racist views."
Cookie: "Yeah and so is America. Every day I worry about my sons."

Lucious: "Hakeem, I can't make you love your mother but you will respect her because she's lived through hell."

No Rhonda in this episode. I think she was the only regular/recurring character not in this one, though again, Michael hasn't had anything to really do either.

Lucious (to Vernon): "I've changed my mind. I'm gonna visit Titan in prison tomorrow. I'm about to decimate Beretti's ass."

Standout music: Hakeem/Tiana's duet of "Keep It Movin'" and Jamal's "Keep Your Money".

Tiana (re Hakeem): "I got this."
Cookie: "You get him cos I'll kill him."

Chronology: Not long from where "The Devil Quotes Scripture" left off.

The weakest episode so far but not without it's merits. "False Imposition" wasn't the show at it's most exciting but at the same time, it was enjoyable enough as an episode. I do like that we're seeing a layered side to Lucious as well, which certainly helps things.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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