Thursday, May 12, 2016
My Review of Empire's 2x17: "Rise By Sin"
Written by Ayanna Floyd Davis And Jamie Rosengard
Directed by Paul McCrane
Cookie (re Freda): "That bitch shot my baby."
Hakeem: "She shot at Lucious and Jamal just stepped in front of the bullet."
We all knew the moment that Freda realised that Lucious killed her father that things were going to down chaotically. Hell, it was even predictable that it would happen in a very public setting so the episode finally showing the ASAs actually seemed appropriate for it but what I didn't expect was for Jamal to end up on the ouch end of a bullet though.
Despite some of the most horrific things said to him this week by his father, Jamal actually risked his life to save Lucious from Freda's very public wrath. Personally I don't think the show will kill him off but this was not exactly the kind of plot line I was hoping for Jamal this week, especially considering that everything else wasn't going smoothly for him either.
His relationship with Derek is already marred with the latter's insistence on being in the closet, which even Lucious knew was a lie and then there was Lucious dialling up his homophobia to even more repugnant levels than before. I know Jamal threw Leah into his face but Lucious started the whole thing and to be honest we're past the point where Jamal simply needs to knock his father's bigoted ass out.
Keeping with Lucious, when he wasn't bouncing his vile homophobia towards Jamal and then expressing regret at the hospital, we did see him doing his best to worm his way back into Cookie's affections. These two will always have insane chemistry with each other but I don't know if I can ever really root for them as a pairing.
Speaking of Cookie, I'm glad she blew up on Carol this week. Carol continues to be quite stupid at times as a character and her refusal to show some caution with Tariq caused some deep seated between Cookie and Carol to come to the surface. It was also Carol and her big mouth that set Freda off on Lucious as well.
As for the rest of the episode, it's looking like maybe Anika did push Rhonda that fateful night as the latter openly quizzed the former about her shoes while Lucious wisely went to some lengths to keep both Andre and Leah away from the ASAs. However following the last scene of this episode, Lucious's desperation to keep his mother a ghost just went out the window.
Also in "Rise By Sin"
Both Lucious and Jamal lost out on the ASAs and Hakeem is starting to realise how mediocre Laura actually is too.
Leah (re Lucious): "He's always been a liar. Boom faced liar."
Instead of avoiding her, why didn't Lucious just send his mother somewhere else then?
Leah (to Andre): "So many maids and people working in this house, it's like Gone With The Wind."
Cookie: "Oh Lucious, don't nobody want your fat ass."
Lucious: "I'm only fat where it counts."
Cookie: "In the mouth."
We learned in this episode that Cookie stole two of Carol's previous boyfriends and that the latter met Lucious before Cookie did. We also learned that Jamal is 26.
Jamal (re Derek): "You knew?"
Lucious: "A real dog can always tell a fake bitch."
Standout music: Jamal's "Hemingway", Jamal/Freda's "My Own Thang" and DMK's "Fabulous".
Lucious (to Cookie): "I knew we'd get here. I didn't know it was gonna take this long."
Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off.
Rise By Sin almost could've been a finale had there not been one or two things more things to resolve. Did Anika push Rhonda and will she rat out the Lyon family to the feds? Will Jamal survive (yes, he will)? Are the show going to have Cookie and Lucious reunite and who the hell is getting married? We'll know next week, folks.
Rating: 9 out of 10