Thursday, October 08, 2015

My Review of Empire's 2x03: "Fires Of Heaven"

Written by Attica Locke
Directed by Craig Brewer

Cookie: "You keep forgetting Lucious, you can't keep Cookie down."

And this week the gloves were off as Empire and Lyon Dynasty effectively went to war with each other or more accurately, Lucious and Cookie tried to outdo and sabotage each other at different points. Except that Lucious somewhat gained the upper hand here.

Cookie did put up a good fight though. Thanks to Anika, she was able to sabotage his own 'get out of jail' party at Levitcus by having Hakeem perform a song about the new record company while charming the pants off Pitbull (who sang with Jamal this week) and getting Lyon Dynasty the promotional kick up the backside it desperately needed. Also after Hakeem's dreams of managing a girl band went up in smoke, it's a promotion they really do need.

The subplot with Mirage A Trois did feel somewhat predictable though. The previous episode made a point of pointing out Valentina's diva like behaviour so it wasn't a shock to see her rub up her fellow band mates the wrong way, irritate Cookie and then jump ship to Lucious's team when he bought out Apex Radio for good measure. At least she felt moderately bad for abandoning Hakeem though.

I have to say though it felt a little too easy for Lucious to be on top this week. He was able to get both Andre (whom he keeps rejecting) and Jamal on his side, bested Cookie brilliantly and even provided a decent thorn for Roxanne's side to boot. Not to mention the fact that he managed to get through to aspiring rapper Freda in a way that Jamal clearly couldn't.

Basically, what I'm trying to get at, even if Lucious isn't destined for some prison time, surely he's at least destined for some kind of defeat or something big to backfire on him, right? As for the Lyon Dynasty storyline, it's getting a little more interesting but I still wouldn't be shocked if Cookie, Hakeem, Andre and Anika are all back there before this show gets to it's winter finale though.

As for Jamal - I like that the show are addressing his own frustrations with trying to record decent material and that he was quick to remind Lucious that he's been keeping things ticking over as well. Jamal is better recording than managing Empire though. I want to see more of that now.

Also in "Fires Of Heaven"

Not really sure what the title was supposed to actually allude to in this episode but I liked it though.

Lucious: "That's just a building. I am the Empire."

If the previous episode didn't make it clear, then this one confirmed that Lucious's mother Leah had bipolar. Although she's not getting a lot of screentime, I do think Kelly Rowland is doing well in the role. Lucious and Cookie had different reaction towards being imminent grandparents too.

Cookie (to Lucious): "I'm always gonna eat, just not with you."

Lucious: "They wanted to take Lucious Lyon to the gutter, well I'm a show them what the streets is about."

Roxanne was bluffing about Vernon and Lucious picked up on it quickly. The trailer for next week seems like we're going to see more on Andre/Rhonda burying him.

Cookie (to Lucious): "Oh and welcome to my very own 'Welcome to the World' party. Oh you know this next artist."

Lucious: "Have I broken any laws?"
Roxanne: "Not yet but the night is young."

Michael was a no show in this episode. I really do hope they have an idea of what to actually do with him this season.

Hakeem: "Where did you learn that from?"
Cookie: "Prison."

Standout music: Jamal/Pitbull's "No Doubt About It" and Valentina's "New New".

Lucious: "You don't need one. You're past a Cookie."
Jamal: "Tell me how that is?"

Chronology: Not long from where "Without A Country" left off.

Probably one of the weaker episodes we've had so far. I didn't mind Fires Of Heaven so much but I didn't love it as much as the previous episode. There were some nice moments but the Cookie/Lucious feud would work better if it felt a little more evenly matched though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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