Saturday, April 29, 2017

My Review of Empire's 3x14: "Love Is A Smoke"

Written by Diane Ademu-John & Cherien Dabis
Directed by Tricia Brock

Cookie: "You two know each other?"
Lucious (re Giuliana): "We met a long time ago."

Ah yes, of course they did. Somewhere between Cookie languishing in prison for Lucious and before Anika was ever on the scene, it seems that Lucious and Giuliana were briefly a pairing that resulted in the latter's husband scamming Lucious for a great deal of money just around the same time that Lucious was beginning to fall for Giuliana as well.

I'll admit the whole Lucious/Giuliana thing comes across as massively contrived and rather convenient considering this episode also came about ending Cookie and Angelo but there's enough chemistry between Lucious and Giuliana to at least make it work well enough and I didn't mind Lucious actually outsmarting Andre, Giuliana and Shyne by giving Tori the spot promised to Nessa and of course, bringing Charlotte Frost into the mix.

Keeping with the guest roster this season, Eva Longoria stepped into the role of Charlotte reasonably well, even if she didn't really actually do anything. All we know is that her character is some kind of power player that Lucious managed to charm before Andre could but going by the trailers, it seems that Andre will find another way of getting Charlotte to his way of thinking.

Speaking of Lucious, when he wasn't outsmarting Andre and Tariq (with some help from Anika), he was also being surprisingly diplomatic about Cookie getting potentially engaged to Angelo. Of course, the episode then came to a very public break up with Cookie and Angelo as the former refused his hand in marriage and the latter unwitting confessed to some of his shadier antics during to a microphone being left on.

While I'm not surprised that Cookie and Angelo's relationship came to an end, I really didn't imagine it would get so nasty so quickly. He well and truly showed his colours by labelling her family as garbage and with his secrets exposed and that meddling mother of his, I think Cookie might have bitten off more than she could chew there.

- Giuliana admitted to Lucious that she killed her husband for him. We saw Lucious and Giuliana's first romance in flashbacks.
- Did anyone else think both Tori and Tiana were going to get it on with each other during that studio performance? Also, the show had Tori channel Amy Winehouse in a big way during this episode.
- Standout music: Tori's Play The World and Crazy 4 U, the latter song that Lucious originally wrote for Giuliana.
- Chronology: A couple of days from where the previous episode left off.

Love Is A Smoke certainly had it's moments. Seeing Cookie and Angelo as Lucious and Giuliana reconnect was convenient enough but with some excellent music and nice one liners (loved Cookie telling Bella that her granddad is a savage beast), it did make for an enjoyable episode though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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