Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Review of Empire's 2x08: "My Bad Parts"

Written by Malcolm Spellman
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Hakeem: "Call me Hakeem, bullet to the name Lyon."

I guess there's only so much of his father's bullshit that Hakeem is willing to tolerate and this week, Lucious really pushed it with Hakeem by getting his protege Freda to engage in a rap battle with Hakeem, involving some rather mean spirited hits about Hakeem's recent kidnapping and Cookie's mothering skills to boot.

After the cool rap battle we had in the first season with Jamal and that homophobic rapper, I was a little worried that Hakeem and Freda's little showdown wouldn't be as good. I was wrong - it was actually a lot better with the two of them really going for it. Freda might be little more than a pawn for Lucious but this was the first episode where she showed some decent charisma as a rapper and Hakeem himself was actually on fine form too.

I don't think dropping the Lyon name is going to be something long lasting though Hakeem was right to be mad this week as Lucious went that extra bit too far. Of course, it wasn't just Hakeem that was causing further tension with Lucious and Cookie as Jamal's plot involving a song for Pepsi created more conflict between the warring pair too.

I did like that Jamal actually tried to get Lucious and Cookie to put their differences to one side as he came up with the idea of combining both of their songs to get the deal. The song turned out great and he succeeded but mainly the scenes between Jamal, Lucious and Cookie were absolute gold to watch this week. Easily the best bit of the episode outside of the rap battle.

Keeping with interesting developments, it seems that one pregnancy storyline wasn't enough for the writers this season. This episode revealed that Anika is pregnant with Hakeem's baby and when she wasn't stalking Laura, she was also spending some time with Rhonda and scared to tell Hakeem that he was about to be a father. I guess after a few meandering episodes, they've finally came up with a storyline for Anika. Not an original one but certainly interesting enough though.

In terms of other potentially interesting plots, Vivica A. Fox rocked up in this episode as Cookie's previously unmentioned, rich other sister Candace. Apparently, Carol's left her kids and it's up to Cookie and Candace to head to Philadelphia to go get her or something. Not sure what to make of Candace just yet and it's not like Carol is a character I deeply care about but plot wise, it could be fun though.

Also in "My Bad Parts"

Where the hell is Tiana these days? They made the actress a regular but aside from having her mugged, they've done nothing with her this season.

Lucious: "Wall Street can kiss my black ass."
Mimi: "And you can kiss my white one."

I'm guessing this whole merging thing with the streaming company and Mimi is going to result in Empire being screwed over. Lucious seems to be getting quite erratic too.

Cookie (to Hakeem): "I'm not taking anything away from your talen baby but that is not what you do."

Thirsty (re Jago): "Can't blackmail a man who flaunts his foulness."

I liked that Cookie slapped Laz for getting up in Hakeem's face. Hopefully by next week, she'll have figured out what he's up to.

Hakeem: "I think I'm in love."
Anika: "You're in love?"

Cookie (to Lucious, re Jamal): "The boy got this far on his own. Don't ruin it by being you."

Standout music: Jamal's "Ready To Go" and Hakeem/Freda's "Rap Battle (Parts 1 &2)".

Candace (re her husband): "And he's rich."
Cookie: "I can't tell by those cheap ass shoes."

Chronology: Not long from where True Love Never left off.

After two fairly disappointing episodes, My Bad Parts was a step in the right direction with some truly great character moments and music to boot. I'm not too fond of having two pregnancies storylines at the same time but it might turn out alright in the end and should provide some interesting material for Hakeem and Anika too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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