Thursday, April 09, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x10: "Sins Of The Father"

Written by Eddie Gonzalez And Jeremy Haft
Directed by Rob Hardy

Lucious (to Reg, re Olivia/Lola): "It was me. I'm the father. I put the baby in her, not him. I did it."

And the award for the most (or fairly most) predictable plot twists goes to .... Lucious actually being Lola's father. Of course he had to be. Just when Jamal was fully embracing the idea of wanting to be a father and also wanting to have Lola live with him. For this alone, Olivia had to resurface with her violent ex-boyfriend Reg in tow and for a near shooting to force Lucious's hand into revealing the truth.

I have to admit, I'm a little relieved and disappointed by the reveal. Relieved in one way because I'd like Jamal to be a little footloose and fancy free for now but disappointed because it felt so obvious that Lucious and Olivia would've had a child together and tried to pass it off as Jamal's in a way. As a plot, it somewhat wrote itself, didn't it?

On the plus side, at least with Malcolm coming to Cookie's rescue, Reg was taken out pretty quickly so we don't have to put up with him any further but at the same time, I was sad to see Lola leave. I'm not a kid person myself but she was a nice child and they still threw a tiny ambiguity about her parentage as well. I still think she has to be Lucious's now but a DNA test wouldn't go amiss here.

Having said that, I guess with fatherhood not being an option for Jamal now, they can continue the focus on who Lucious's heir apparent will. This week Lucious did seem to be going out of his way to woo Cookie and had the reveal about Lola not come out, he might have had a chance. I liked that Cookie ended the episode by knocking Lucious into touch and copping off with Malcolm.

Actually, even though the whole Cookie/Malcolm thing is a tad rushed, it still somewhat works. I don't think it's a relationship we're meant to see as a long term thing but as a bit of fun, it does work a treat. Malcolm might have resisted her charms in the previous episode but he certainly succumbed to them in this one.

Speaking of charms - this episode finally made me root for Hakeem and Camilla as a couple and then Lucious got Malcolm to escort the latter back to the airport. Naomi Campbell hasn't exactly been an acting revelation but I actually really liked Camilla in this episode - she genuinely cares for Hakeem and his career and sees his potential and the fact she refused to take Lucious's money, despite her own financial difficulties actually speaks volumes too. I say she'll return next season. After this episode, she definitely can now.

As for Andre - I liked that we got flashbacks to his first episode with bipolar and I actually liked that Lucious was aware of it even back then. I didn't like that Lucious was a prick about Andre's condition or his snide remarks towards Rhonda, but at the same time, Rhonda standing her ground with Lucious was a wonderful sight to behold. I've really grown to love her character the last few episodes and the scenes with Andre and his music therapist Michelle (hello, Jennifer Hudson) were enjoyable to watch too.

Also in "Sins Of The Father"

Aside from Jennifer Hudson, we also had Lucious singing with Mary J. Blige in Andre's flashback as well this week.

Rhonda: "No, this isn't a white person thing, Cookie."
Andre: "I was diagnosed in junior college."
Rhonda: "That was when he had his first psychotic episode."

Speaking of flashbacks - Jamal had a lot of hair back then too, lol. I also got some serious reminders of Three Men And A Little Lady during one scene with him, Hakeem and Lola.

Camilla (to Hakeem): "Cookie may be vulgar but at least she makes Jamal better, which is what I'm trying to do with you. We've got to keep our eye on the prize."

Cookie (to Lucious): "I want you to be a better father. I want you to think about our sons need instead of being self serving all the time."

Ryan admitted that he didn't want to really get involved with Jamal if he was going to be a full time parent. I can understand where he's coming from a tiny bit. After all, Michael bolted too after learning about Lola (among other issues).

Cookie (to Malcolm): "I'm going to give you a reason to arrest me for indecent exposure."

Hakeem (re Camilla): "She said we're like the new Anthony & Cleopatra."
Jamal: "Y'all know that's a tragedy when they ended up dying?"

Since when was Vernon a coke addict? I felt like we missed something here. Not sure I really care either if I'm being honest.

Lucious: "I didn't say you were dismissed."
Camilla: "You are not gonna keep me in here."
Lucious: "Sit down."

Rhonda (to Lucious): "I've been with your son for ten years and you don't know a damn thing about me but just to clarify, I came from nothing and I worked my ass off to put myself through Penn."

Standout music: Lucious/Mary J. Blige's "Shake Down", Michelle's "Remember The Music" and Jamal/Hakeem's "Lola".

Cookie (to Lucious): "You just don't want to die alone."

Chronology: Not long from where "Unto The Breach" left off - oh and no Anika/Porscha/Becky this week.

Not quite as good as the last few episodes but nonetheless, I did like "Sins Of The Father". I do think they could've resolved the Lola storyline a lot better than they did but at the same time, I could watch every female character (or a nice rotation of Cookie, Rhonda and Camilla) call out Lucious for his many failings as a person all week.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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