Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My Review of Empire's 4x02: "Full Circle"

Written by Craig Brewer & Eric Haywood
Directed by Craig Brewer

Lucious (to Claudia): "You're the only one I can trust."

And that statement is not a good thing. As we've suspected, Claudia is not going to be a good influence for Lucious and her manipulation of him certainly came out in this episode, especially as the end scene meant that she got her claws into Lucious pretty good.

I actually don't mind Claudia as a baddie though I'm not sure how long she actually can have Lucious on side, especially with Cookie back living in the house but she certainly played a role in Leah being taken out of the mix. Of course Cookie was the main factor as Leah unwisely confessed her murder of Tariq to her, which even surprised me.

The upside of things is that Leah got sent away and Anika with a new hairdo got released from prison, although that had more to do with her using Bunkie's murder to get Cookie and Thirsty to spring her out of jail rather than Leah's own confession. Going by the trailer for the next episode, it does look like we're going to have an Anika vs. Hakeem/Tiana fight for Bella though before Diana also gets involved with things.

Going back to Lucious though - the episode confirmed that he's not faking his memory loss. A scene with Uncle Eddie (Forrest Whitaker) proved that his memory loss is genuine. Speaking of Eddie, he's an interesting new character from Lucious's past that the episode added into the mix and I thought Whitaker played off well with both Lucious and Cookie here too, so I'm interested in seeing more of him.

Another new interest character also added into the episode was Detective Pamela Rose. Andre nearly had sex with her in a bathroom at a bar he was and then later it was revealed who she was. With Nessa clearly out of the picture, it looks like Pamela will be both a love interest and a potential antagonist for Andre this season.

As for the rest of the episode, there was a subplot where Jamal and Becky clashed over a song and the latter ended up giving it to Tory. To be honest, I was on Becky's side with this one as I think Jamal came across pretty unprofessional throughout the whole thing. On the plus side, I did like the singing session with Jamal and Warren when they were on their own though.

- Cookie's face is in the opening credits. I meant to point that out in my previous review.
- We never did learn the movie that Jamal was doing a song for, other than the mention of a hero's journey.
- Standout music: Both Jamal and Tory's take on Appreciated and Hakeem's She's A Monster.
- Chronology: Five months since the previous season finale as emphasised by how much time Anika has been in prison before her release.

Full Circle (not sure what came full circle here to be honest) was a little stronger than the opening episode. Some interesting new characters with Eddie and Pamela added into the mix and nice character bits as well. Too bad the ratings aren't as great for a season that's really promising so far.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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