Monday, November 14, 2016

My Review of Empire's 3x05: "One Before Another"

Written by Joshua Allen & Carlito Rodriguez
Directed by Mario Van Peebles

Lucious (to Hakeem): "Maybe I'll produce you again. Turn you into a destroyer of souls."

It's been a little over a month since the first four episodes of this season and truthfully, it took me a little while to get my head back into this show. I mentioned in my last review that it felt like things were picking up and fortunately this episode continues.

However there was one moment that left a bad taste and needlessly to say, Lucious was the cause of that moment too. Getting Hakeem to turn on both Jamal and Andre at a very public event just made me realise that this show cannot commit to actually evolving Hakeem as a character. Every time he shows a glimmer of maturity, he then takes about ten steps backwards.

Seeing Hakeem lose his shit at Jamal and use a load of homophobic slurs made me want to punch his lights on and his anger towards Andre hooking up with Nessa was beyond pathetic to watch. I get that Lucious wanted some fire at that event but for once, couldn't he have done that without turning family members against each other?

Then the episode ended with Hakeem actually remembering that Bella was his daughter and Lucious offering to produce of his music along with Shyne. Speaking of Shyne, he went from trying to shoot Andre (Nessa stepped in to stop him) to being placated by Anika into working with Lucious. Then it turned out he wanted to team up with Tariq and Freda in order to take Lucious down after all.

As for Cookie, there was a subplot with her probation officer which seemed like a nice little nod back to the first season and more stuff involving her and Angelo. I'm not entirely sold on those two as a couple but it made for some decent enough screen time this week. Then there was also the Cookie trying to clean up the mess of Lucious and Andre as well this week.

- We saw Jamal working again with Derek and keeping their relationship strictly professional. They seem to have moved on from his trauma as well.
- No Ghost Rhonda in this episode too. In fact, even Andre seemed pretty angst free here as well.
- It's obvious they're setting up Becky to leave the label considering that no-one is listening to her. That other assistant of Cookie's needs to go now.
- Standout music: Jamal/Hakeem's Over Everything.

One Before Another was a solid return episode for the series. It did take me a while to get back into the show and the first five minutes were a bit of a struggle but other than that, I am glad to have it back on the air.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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