Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x05: "Dangerous Bonds"

Written by Malcolm Spellman
Directed by John Singleton

Jamal (to Hakeem): "Don't underestimate me!"

Damn you, Andre! I really want to like you but you and Rhonda played extremely dirty this week and thanks to the both of you, both Jamal and Hakeem are at loggerheads with each other. It was bad enough the pair of you decided to out Tiana and India (which also outed both Lucious and Hakeem's not surprising double standards) but putting Jamal in danger by getting Hakeem's idiot crew to attack his recording session was a new low though.

I liked that Jamal managed to hold his ground against Hakeem's crew, even if one of people did get shot during the short lived robbery but while Jamal's anger was justified, a part of me was a little disappointed that he didn't give Hakeem the benefit of the doubt though. I actually felt bad for the latter when Jamal punched him in the stomach and stormed off. I hope we don't have to wait too long before things are resolved though.

I know both Andre and Rhonda are desperate for the former to be Lucious's successor but their actions in this episode were just reckless. They nearly could've gotten Jamal killed and their outing of Tiana (via that fucking site whose name I will not mention) was just pure sleazy. I did love that Tiana held her own and that Cookie encouraged her to use being outed as an advantage as did Lucious when it came to continuing to work with Hakeem for the video as well.

I don't even know why Hakeem was so mad as well. It's not like he was being faithful to Tiana in the first place. He had absolutely no right to be annoyed that she has a girlfriend and I was beyond delighted that Tiana didn't stand for his bullshit either and told him off in front of his crew. That being said, musically they still are a great team. Hakeem just needs to get over himself though.

Moving away from the music plots, it wasn't just Andre being all reckless in this episode. Cookie got tricked into testifying against a shooter who murdered an FBI agent and spent most of the episode mistaking a present from Lucious as a sign that she was about to be killed, which then resulted in her getting an innocent bloke shot instead. Bad move there, Cookie.

When this episode wasn't focusing on Lucious and Cookie's anniversary, Lucious was then planning to marry Anika and get her father to give him a clean bill of health before Empire went public. I liked that we got to meet Anika's parents and to be fair, this hasn't been the worst thing that Lucious has done so far on the show.

Also in "Dangerous Bonds"

Cookie's blonde hair in flashbacks is something to be seen to be believed. It was also nice that we got to see Carol again.

Cookie (to Agent Carter, re Frank): "I just snitched on him in court. Dead bitch walking that's me."

Only one Cookie/Lucious scene in this episode and no Cookie/Anika interaction either. Boo Boo Kitty got rested for an episode.

Hakeem: "We're supposed to be a team. Whatever you do reflects off me. What the hell is you doing?"
Tiana: "Stop yelling at me."

When are we going to see Jamal film a video? Hakeem's already gotten ahead of him there.

Jamal (to thug): "Tell Hakeem his sissy ass brother ain't stupid and he ain't scared."

Dr Calhoun (re Anika): "I don't want her to ever know."
Lucious: "You have my word."

Both Michael and Becky were missing in this episode. I'm surprised we didn't see either of them during the last moments of Jamal's recording session.

Lucious: "Let's look at it from a mathematical perspective. Your girlfriend has a girlfriend, add that up."
Hakeem: "Two."
Lucious: "Two girlfriends. It's a mathematician's dream."

Standout music: Jamal's new and improved version of "Keep Your Money", Hakeem/Tiana's "Drip Drop" (file under guilty pleasure) and Anthony Hamilton's "The Point Of It All".

Cookie: "It's almost morning and even vampires got manners."
Lucious: "Did I wake you up from your coffin?"

Chronology: Not long from where "False Imposition" left off.

Now this was a brilliant episode. While "Dangerous Bonds" wasn't either Cookie or Andre at their best, they did cause some great moments and the back and forth between Jamal and Hakeem's musical moments was the highlight of course.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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