Thursday, November 05, 2015

My Review of Empire's 2x06: "A High Hope For A Low Heaven"

Written by Robert Munic
Directed by Mario Van Peebles

Hakeem: "Can't be worse than the nightmare of being your son."
Lucious: "I ain't your momma, watch how you talk to me."

We got a week's break and with the promise of a serious storyline once the show returned, I was a little surprised that Hakeem's kidnapping plot kind of fizzled out a little in a way. We didn't even get to see both Cookie and Lucious saving their son. Instead his captives let him go somewhere else and he sloped off to have sex with Anika offscreen instead.

I should give the show credit though. There was a solid focus on Hakeem dealing with the trauma - lashing out at his family (Lucious mainly) and being unable to focus on a song that he wrote with his girl band before Laura was able to get him to get his shit together on stage, after that rather moving moment with Jamal, Andre and Hakeem as the brothers banded together.

As for the kidnappers - I should've suspected Laz because the idea of Cookie actually wanting to use those guys as muscle for Hakeem was so ludicrous and I'm glad that Hakeem's blow up when faced with them was a way of highlighting that stupidity as well. The reveal of Laz at the end when Cookie started to have sex with him though was done particularly well. She really does know how to pick them, doesn't she?

As for Lucious - I think he was genuinely trying to help this week in his own divisive sort of way. Lyon Dynasty aren't going to last and if Cookie wasn't so stubborn, she'd admit that and Lucious did try several times to actually reach out to Hakeem, only then to turn his focus onto the volatile Freda instead, whom he saw something of a kindred spirit in.

The rest of the episode seemed to focus on Andre trying to find his place (or be put in his place) within the company by testing out the acts and encouraging Becky's rapper boyfriend, J Poppa to embrace his religious side within his music. Now with this storyline, I'm on Becky and Lucious's side here. Andre did seem like he was forcing the issue a tad.

Also in "A High Hope For A Low Heaven"

The writers really don't know what to do with Anika this season. I'm not sure why she was even featured in this episode.

Hakeem: "This video is proof of life. I'm still here."

I'm relieved that it was Laz who was involved in Hakeem's kidnapping. For a moment, it really could've been Lucious.

Lucious (re Jameson): "There's all kinds of vampires in this business. Some will suck your blood and some will suck your -"
Jamal: "Don't do that."

Lucious: "I don't want you back, Cookie, just Hakeem and if you love him like you say you love him, Cookie, you gotta want that for him."

We met Jameson in this episode - a gay man who might be able to help Jamal break away from his niche marketing. No Michael, Tiana or Rhonda this week though.

Cookie: "You gonna be my wolf slayer?"
Laz: "That's right."

Andre: "You put me in charge."
Lucious: "I put you in your place. Don't confuse the two."

Standout music: Hakeem and his girl band's "Runnin'" and Jamal's "You Broke Love".

Cookie (to Laz): "Make me forget about everything that happened this week."

Chronology: Not long from where Be True left off.

Not the best episode we had this season. I kind of felt like A High Hope For A Low Heaven rushed through too many things for my liking and the pacing seemed a bit off in parts and even some of the Cookie/Lucious moments fell a little flat for me. Hopefully just a minor blip though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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