Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Review of Empire's 3x04: "Cupid Kills"

Written by Matt Pyken & Attica Locke
Directed by Hanelle Culpepper

Andre (to Nessa): "If I had your musical talent, I'd already own Empire."

After last week's somewhat poor offering, this was an episode that really felt like the show at it's genuine best. Maybe it was the lack of three certain characters or the amplification of other plots but whatever it was, it certainly made for an exciting hour.

First of all, having Andre and Nessa become a couple (along with ghost Rhonda for an awkward threesome) was an interesting and slightly unexpected. I was convinced the show was going that route with her and Hakeem but having her and Andre connect over their academic sides was a powerful move.

Similarly powerful was Andre appealing to Nessa's self interest and ultimately taking away some of Shyne's hold on her. Four episodes in and can we just accept that Shyne is a dreadful character who needs to go away now? I'm bored of his thuggish behaviour and cheered when Lucious and Andre banded together to beat the crap out of him at Empire as well when Shyne tried to attack Andre.

Also if we're going to have Shyne and his group start shooting up the Lyons, then surely that's another reason to hope that the character won't be long for the series. Nessa can stay though. She's a brilliant character and has been a great addition to the season and is talented to boot.

Speaking of talent, Cookie getting the idea of using Gia's aria into Tiana's clap track was a stroke of genius and one of the musical highlights of this week's episode. Her relationship with Angelo though is a bit of a concern. Aside from Lucious's conceited determination to break them up, there's also the fact that Angelo kind of set up Cookie up as a bit of rough for a black tie event and the fact that he's also running for mayor too. Cookie and Angelo won't last beyond this season, will they?

In other plots, when Hakeem wasn't getting royally played by Shyne, Jamal found himself being duped by Lucious and Freda in order to get the latter freed but have her discredited in case she decided to turn on Lucious later on. A truly nasty move on Lucious's part but hopefully Jamal will actually listen to his sponsor friend and truly get himself back to where he was. As for Freda, how is she going to work for the rest of the season?

- More young Cookie/Lucious flashbacks this week whereas we learned that it was Lucious who gave Cookie her name and Berry one hell of a beating.
- Becky didn't get promoted. Instead we got a cute but idiotic guy named Xavier getting the job that Becky deserved more. Porscha has purple hair now.
- Standout music: Tiana's Me and Jamal's I Am What I Am.
- Chronology: Not long from where What Remains Is Bestial left off but the series won't be back until after World Series is finished.

Cupid Kills delivered big time. The best episode we've had so far this season and an interesting one to take a break from too. I really hope now this is a genuine sign of an improved quality for the rest of the season.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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