Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Review of Empire's 2x05: "Be True"

Written by Wendy Calhoun And Jasheika James And Janeika James
Directed by Kevin Bray

Andre: "I've done horrible things."
Cookie: "So have I, Dre. We are good people."

And this episode was truly the best one yet. After the excellence of last week, Be True managed to produce something even more amazing as confessions, baptisms, looming threats and a kidnapping all brought out the most interesting aspects of every character this week.

First of all - Andre's path into becoming a better man has been great to watch and this week he went one step further by following his reverend's advice and confessing some of his past sins to Jamal/Hakeem (the staged robbery from Dangerous Bonds) and Lucious (getting Cookie to take Jamal on as an act from the Pilot).

The interesting thing was the way all three quickly forgave Andre's past misdeeds against them but were more reluctant to attend his baptism. However all three of them along with Cookie actually did, only for past memories to force Lucious to get the hell out of there but it was nice to see the family (and Rhonda) in one place together. There was even some gentle jokes between Lucious and Cookie sniping at each other.

Of course while the baptism storyline was prominent throughout this one, it wasn't the only major arc kicking off. Witnessing Tiana getting mugged by two shady girls also revealed that Lyon Dynasty has worse problems than Lucious undermining them as Cookie and Hakeem learned that they were marked and the episode itself ended with Hakeem being kidnapped by masked men in broad daylight.

Going by the trailer for the next episode, it definitely seems that Hakeem being snatched will be the thing to band Cookie and Lucious together (when he isn't bugging Lyon Dynasty) but as a twist, this was an oddly unexpected one. Suddenly the Lyon Dynasty storyline has taken a whole new interesting turn - a very soapy one too I might add.

The other major plot of the week though involved Jamal getting ready for touring and both Lucious and Neyo (he got a lot to do here) giving him conflicting advice on whether or not to take Michael on the road this week. Michael however went down in my estimation after he was caught getting a blowjob from creepy photographer guy Chase. I'm really starting to actually dislike Michael this season and I'm wondering if that's meant to be intentional. As great as this show has been with Jamal, it's let the side with Michael as a character. They really should get a look at how Connor/Oliver are written in How To Get Away With Murder for better insight.

Also in "Be True"

The show keeps adding gorgeous guys to the roster with Adam Rodriguez as promoter, Laz Delgado. Pretty sure both him and Cookie will be getting it on by next episode.

Thirsty: "Andre, nice to see you without a shovel."

Thirsty is going to be a major problem down the line. The show definitely is hinting at that and at least Andre is smart enough to pick up on it.

Andre: "Reverend, my family doesn't go to church unless somebody is in the casket."

Chase: "Relationships are the death of creativity."
Jamal: "Why would you say that? Are you telling me you've never been in love?"
Chase: "Every day and it's real."

Hakeem showed some actual growth with the way he dealt with Laura spurning his advances in this one. More of that please.

Lucious (re Vernon): "You knew he was a snake?"
Cookie: "I didn't know nothing. So did you off him or did you get one of your goons to do it?"

Becky (to Jamal): "Jesus does love you. I don't care what the bible says."

Porscha didn't stay fired for long, Andre and Rhonda aren't having sex, Leah tried to 'baptise' Lucious as a kid in the worst way possible and can we please have more scenes with Becky and Jamal getting drunk together?

Cookie: "You packing?"
Laz: "I see you are too."

Lucious (to Andre): "I'm not testing you. I'm telling you the only commandments I want followed here are mine. Check your faith at the door, son."

Standout music: Jamal/Neyo's "Born To Love U", Freda's "Why Go?" and Jamal's "Never Love Again".

Cookie (re Lucious): "Ooh mention the devil and he walk right in."
Jamal: "God help us all."

Chronology: Not long from where Poor Yorick left off.

Easily the best episode of the season. Be True was a truly brilliant episode, gripping from start to finish with genuinely great twists and beautiful character moments. Not to mention the fact that the music was also truly exceptional this week.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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