Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Review of Empire's 2x15: "More Than Kin"

Written by Eric Haywood And Michael Spellman
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Lucious (to Cookie): "You and me finally working together side by side. I wouldn't have it any other way. Congratulations baby."

I didn't expect that particular outcome but I actually really, really like it. Lucious and Cookie running Empire together has the potential to the best decision ever or the start of the bloodiest war known to man. It really is an outcome that could spectacularly go either way and instead of dragging this storyline out, it came to a natural and believable conclusion.

Lucious when he puts the effort can be charismatic and charming as hell and even when trash talking his own sons (mainly Jamal this week, Acer stuff, yadda yadda), he was still able to woo everyone by bringing a 'human' face to mental illness. Yeah, the hypocrisy was strong with Lucious, even more so when a vengeful Harper made it her mission to make sure that Andre knew that his grandmother was alive and residing in a home in Philadelphia.

Then there was Cookie. Last week, she prevented bloodshed between Lucious and Hakeem and this week, she was also doing more peace keeping, promotion and schmoozing between bitchy barbs with Harper and not being horrible to Anika (more on that in a bit), so by the end of this episode it actually made a tonne of sense for the board to want her as co-CEO as well. Like I said, there's great potential with this storyline.

Speaking of Anika, this week we had her in hospital with a health scare for the baby which not only introduced audiences to her mother but it saw both Cookie and Lucious showing some sympathy for Anika while Hakeem decided to step up as a soon to be father (a good thing, considering how dull the opening scenes of his hedonism were) while Laura seemed conflicted about being with a man who got another woman pregnant.

Elsewhere while Jamal spent too much of the episode sniping at Lucious, we did get some moments of his past in this one. One was that cafe that he used to perform in prior to his fame and another was meeting up with Michael once again. This episode was probably Michael at his most likeable in a while but at the same, what does this show want to do with him? Will we see him again as both him and Jamal seemed to have cleared the air?

Also in "More Than Kin"

The logo sequence now has a golden disc instead of either Lucious or Hakeem.

Lucious: "I'm ready to play, are you ready to play?"
Jamal: "I was born to play."

Michael has become a waiter since we've last seen him. Rafael De La Fuente will also be in ABC's LGBT miniseries When We Rise.

Cookie (to Lucious, re Harper): "Are you trying to save your company or catch an STD?"

Hakeem: "You don't care that I got Anika pregnant?"
Laura: "What?"
Hakeem: "Nika got pregnant before we got together."

Jamal and Freda seem to be maintaining their friendship. I'm guessing she's going to find out about her father pretty soon though.

Cookie: "Hakeem will kill me if something happens to this baby."
Anika: "You mean your grandchild."

Hakeem (to Anika, re Lucious): "What did he do?"
Cookie: "What boy? It's your father. What hasn't he done?"

Standout music: A new version of Jamal's "Good Enough", Jamal/Fantastic Negrito's "Lost In The Crowd" and Hakeem's "Got That Work".

Lucious (to Harper): "I didn't know anything sweetheart but I like to share my stories."

Chronology: Not long where Time Shall Unfold left off.

A solid episode. I liked the outcome of the CEO situation that More Than Kin laid out, Michael's brief return (the guy was only in two scenes) was nice enough and seeing Hakeem trying to step up to the plate is never a bad thing either.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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