Saturday, April 08, 2017

My Review of Empire's 3x12: "Strange Bedfellows"

Written by Matt Pyken & Attica Locke
Directed by Bille Woodruff

Lucious (to Hakeem): "Hey son, happy birthday!"

Ah, the big 21st birthday. I barely remember my own but I do recall it not resulting in live streams and public scraps, so it probably wasn't as chaotic by comparison. Now that he's hit a certain milestone, can Hakeem actually mature?

Sometimes he can show that he's capable of stepping up but most of the time the show seems a little too content with having him in perpetual spoiled child mode and various characters calling him out for it. This episode highlighted why that needed to change as Hakeem's self absorption saw him more concerned about his birthday bash being ruined rather than Tiana's friend being assaulted.

I did like that Andre, Jamal and Tiana's words had some impact on Hakeem given that he decided to celebrate the rest of his birthday with Bella by the end of the episode. The other highlight though was having Lucious tell Hakeem about what happened the night he was born. It's a surprisingly lovely moment and one hell of a way to end the episode as well. Why can't Lucious have more moments on the show like this?

Keeping with Lucious though, both him and Cookie confronted Anika on her maybe screwing them over and the latter managed to worm her way out of being killed. Of course Leah came close to doing it but for now, Anika has the chance to play Tariq for a fool in order to keep in with the Lyons or screw everyone over. You just never know with this show.

Meanwhile we saw some romantic shifts this week. When Cookie wasn't asking for Angelo's help and embracing his upper class of things a little more, we saw Jamal in a triangle of sorts with Philip and the newly out Derek. Needless to say the latter is far more compelling and I had a lot of sympathy for Derek in this episode, even if Jamal is being wise by trying to put some distance between them for now.

As for Giuliana, I'm liking the rapport between her and Andre so far and it's interesting that she's got an ulterior motive as well. Of course what we need now is to have the character in both Cookie and Lucious's orbit but I say that's fairly imminent though.

- Tory disappeared as quickly as she appeared on this show. I know Jamal was annoyed with her in the previous one, but I was hoping they had made it up though.
- Cookie shot a guy in the leg in a flashback and lied about it to Angelo. That'll come back to bite her no doubt.
- Standout music: Jamal/Tiana/Hakeem's I Got You and weirdly enough, a reprise of Hakeem's Can't Truss 'Em.
- Standout music: A few days after where Play On left off.

Another good but not amazing episode. Strange Bedfellows did have it's moments though and I loved all the Jamal/Derek/Philip scenes and that last scene with Lucious and Hakeem though was one of the most surprisingly humane moments we've had this season.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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