Friday, December 04, 2015

My Review of Empire's 2x10: "Et Tu Brute"

Written by Rahda Black
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Jameson (to Lucious): "Is that every parent's dream to have their children surpass them?"

Not if you're Lucious Lyon it isn't and after this episode, the idea of any of his children surpassing him will only induce a homicidal rage. For now, Lucious has Andre under a certain degree of control but the same cannot be said for either Jamal or Hakeem, can it?

Starting with Jamal first - I absolutely loved that Jameson told Lucious that Jamal could surpass him musically. Granted, it's nothing new information wise but this episode reinforced it with the amount of nominations that Jamal was amassing at the American Sound Awards and the end result with both Lucious and Jamal competing in the same category is going to ensure that things will get ugly between father and son in the second half of the season.

As for Lucious and Hakeem, well that's been getting ugly since the series began but this week, it truly became it's worst when Hakeem played a rule in Lucious's temporary downfall. I think everyone saw Mimi scheming to seize Lucious's control of Empire coming a mile away but the fact that Camilla was in on it and was revealed to be Mimi's wife was an interesting twist.

Going by the way Camilla was working Hakeem again (not the hardest feat), it's pretty obvious that her and Mimi don't exactly have the most conventional of marriages and while the idea of Hakeem/Camilla Mark 2 far from excites me, seeing Hakeem at odds with all his family could make for some great television in the second half of the season.

Even though Lucious was pretty much a massive prick in this episode (thinking Skye "cured" Jamal, blabbing that info to Jameson), a part of me felt a little bad for him at the end. The scene where he broke down to Cookie was one of the best moments in the episode but I'm glad the episode eschewed the obvious trope of having them sleep together.

As for the rest of the episode - thank goodness they ended Jamal/Skye before taking it any further. Between Lucious's belief of being "cured" and both Jamal and Skye facing public scrutiny (the former for his sexuality, latter for being biracial), I liked that Skye realised Jamal was gay and he confessed about Michael and it ended. It was sweet, mature and dignified for both characters.

Now for the soapiest bit of the episode - Rhonda's tumble from the stairs. That looked pretty epic but was it Anika who actually caused it or someone else? It certainly seemed like Anika was suffering from the green eyed monster big time in this one but given that Rhonda has been one of the kinder people to her, would Anika really do that?

Also in "Et Tu Brute"

Some cameo appearances from Jason Derulo and Nicole Richie in this episode during the American Sound Awards bits.

Mimi: "I'm learning to see the world the way you do, Lucious."

Either Camilla was married to Mimi before we saw her with Hakeem or she did it after Lucious got rid of her.

Rhonda (re Anika): "She's probably lonely."
Andre: "I feel bad for her. My family really messed her over."

Camilla: "Remember me, Lucious?"

I liked the subplot Cookie had with seeing her former cellmates. I wouldn't mind more prison flashbacks for Cookie.

Skye: "I don't want to change you and I know that you wouldn't feel about a woman the way that you felt about, um, tell me his name again."
Jamal: "Michael. And I wouldn't."

Camilla (to Hakeem): "I can take you to the next level if you're willing to go there."

Standout music: Jamal/Skye's "Powerful" once again along with Hakeem/Laura's "Miracles".

Cookie (to Hakeem): "Lyon Dynasty is our company but Empire is our legacy and anybody who tries to steal that is our enemy, do you understand that?"

Chronology: Apparently it's nearly a year since the Pilot episode of the show.

Ten episodes in and ratings aside, this has been a mostly strong second outing for Empire. Yes, we've had some hit and miss episodes/moments that haven't worked as well as they could've done but this show still has plenty to offer and Et Tu Brute certainly demonstrated how effective it's punches still are to boot.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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