Saturday, April 15, 2017

My Review of Empire's 3x13: "My Naked Villainy"

Written by Joshua Allen & Jamie Rosengard
Directed by Cherien Dabis

Guiliana (to Lucious): "I'm about to make your wishes come true."

This episode started with Lucious in bad condition and then ended with the not remotely shocking revelation that he has a past with Guiliana. In between that though he had to deal with Andre and Anika making their own power plays while continuing to be a lingering threat to Cookie and Angelo's relationship.

The last few episodes have been signposting the beginning of the end for Cookie and Angelo due to the former being hooked on Lucious and this episode really had to hammer home the point even more. When Cookie wasn't being accosted in the street by fangirls over Jamal's ode to his parents dangerous love, even Anika was dismissive of Cookie not being in love with Lucious.

Angelo himself even had his own mayoral victory upstaged by Lucious gatecrashing Leviticus and playing You're So Beautiful before Giuliana took the wind out of the latter's sails. I think the question now with five episodes left to go, will Angelo and Cookie break up in the finale or before then? The trailers show that Cookie is certainly put out of place by Lucious/Giuliana working together soon, so I imagine it's going to be soon enough.

Of course when things weren't pivoting on either being love with Lucious or wanting to get one over on him, business wise as Andre managed to successfully do this week, there were some other plots worth getting into.

Hakeem went from being oblivious to the fallout of Kennedy's attack during his birthday antics to actually taking on board the advice both Jamal and Cookie gave him in relation to misogyny and victim blaming, especially when both called out some of his past music. Hakeem's attempts to amend the situation with a female friendly song were actually pretty good, even if Andre tried to scupper the whole thing. At least Hakeem is showing some maturity though.

- Anika asking Cookie to look after Bella was a surprising moment but I can actually believe that despite their mutual hatred, Cookie would be the best person to look after Bella though.
- Jamal and Delphine (Estelle) played Lucious and Cookie while flashbacks also showed Cookie peddling drugs for Lucious as well.
- Standout music: You're So Beautiful by Lucious and Jamal/Delphine's Dangerous and Hakeem's Special.
- Chronology: A couple of days since Strange Bedfellows.

Solid enough episode. My Naked Villainy had some good bits in it (Jamal schooling both Hakeem and Derek, Nessa doing something similar to Andre) and it was nice to see Hakeem actually do something mature as well but the whole Guiliana/Lucious/Cookie/Angelo quadrangle really could go either way in the last few episodes though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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