Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Review of Empire's 4x13: "Of Hardiness Is Mother"

Written by Dianne Houston & Carlito Rodriguez
Directed by Craig Brewer

Cookie (to Lucious): "I hate to break it to you, but everybody at this table at one point wanted you dead."

With Andre being the only one to actually try and go through with it though. I can see Cookie's point of view here, but I also think Lucious has every right to be mad at Andre for the damage he caused. However Cookie's influence still overruled and Lucious and Andre did actually work together in order to stop Eddie's own little takeover plans.

I did like that when Lucious failed to charm wife 2 Celeste that it was Andre who was able to get through to her and I also liked the stark conversation they later had when Andre pointed out Lucious's ruthlessness as well. I think this episode did succeed in making some headway with the two of them, even if there's still some tension between them.

When Cookie wasn't trying to get Lucious and Andre onside and scorning over having to wear a heart monitor, there was a great subplot here involving Poundcake. This season really has had fun with the prison flashbacks with Cookie and here, we saw that Poundcake's deal with Burleson didn't last long when the latter ended up in jail again.

In the present day, Cookie realised that Poundcake was dying and made it her mission to try and find the latter's daughter, leading to her also dropping a grenade on Burleson's wife for good measure. Sub plot wise, this was pretty interesting stuff to watch and it did tie in nicely to Cookie wanting to be on more equal terms with Lucious as well.

As for the rest of the episode, we saw Jamal experimenting with a new sound that didn't seem to go down well with his fans while Eddie's influence on Tiana had the latter bringing out her worst diva behaviour. Hakeem on the other hand, played mentor to a white rapper named Blake and to be honest, their rap battle in the studio was the highlight of the episode. I also found it amusing to learn that Chet Hanks who played Blake is actually Tom Hanks son as well.

- Tori is back on the drugs, even though her observations on Tiana were rather spot on.
- Going by next week's trailer, it looks like we're going to be seeing Cookie's mother in flashbacks.
- Standout music: Hakeem & Blake Battle by er, Hakeem and Blake, Jamal and Tori's They Don't Know and Tiana's Unforgettable.
- Chronology: Not long since Sweet Sorrow left off.

Of Hardiness Is Mother is a strong episode. Not the show at it's best but engaging enough nonetheless with some nicely done scenes with Cookie and Poundcake, Lucious and Andre and Hakeem and Blake to measure. It does seem like the Eddie plot will intensify a bit more though, which is good as it might be a bit too late in the game to add another antagonist into the mix this season.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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