Tuesday, May 15, 2018

My Review of Empire's 4x15: "A Lean And Hungry Look"

Written by Matt Pyken & Joshua Allen
Directed by Bille Woodruff

Shyne (to Lucious): "No matter what you do to me now, you gotta live with that."

I leave the show for a few weeks (busy with other things), come back and the episode I catch up with ends in the death of a character I've been wanting the show to get rid of since last season. I don't know who to thank (probably the people who wrote this one) but good riddance, Shyne. As a character, you overstayed your welcome and it feels like we've had to wait too long to you get your just deserved comeuppance.

This episode had Lucious play the long game with Shyne, letting the latter believe that they were going to teach Eddie a lesson or two while at the same time drawing some parallels between Lucious and Shyne's musical rivalry of the past with Hakeem and Blake's rivalry of the present. Much as I wanted Shyne gone from the show, this was a good final episode for him.

The rap in the sound booth was a good moment along with Shyne's realisation that Lucious intended to take him out. The fact that Lucious got one of his aides to do the task instead was a little smarter on his part. With Shyne out of the way, the focus can go back to both Eddie and Anika being dismantled within the last three episodes.

This week saw Anika trying to plant doubt in the board's decision to accept Eddie's resignation with Tiana also backing Eddie up as well. I've been disappointed that Tiana has been relegated to this role in the season and it's odd to see her and Anika work together. Not to mention her nastiness towards Cookie was pretty uncalled for as well.

Speaking of Cookie, while she was aware of what Lucious intended to do with Shyne, she was however more involved in the Poundcake and Maya subplot and to be honest, I really loved this plot. The prison flashbacks with Poundcake sacrificing herself to make sure that Cookie could get her freedom along with Maya getting to read her mother's letter.

Over the course of the season, the show has done a bang up job with Cookie's prison flashbacks and the complicated relationship between her and Poundcake. This episode ultimately paid the whole thing off and even spurred Cookie into seeing her own mother at the end of things. It'll be interesting to see how Cookie and Renee will interact in the remaining episodes this season.

- I can't tell if Jamal's Collective plot is meant to be hinting at another relapse or just him being somewhat pretentious but I was on Becky's side here.
- Speaking of Becky, is this show going to confirm whether or not she's still pregnant or is that being saved for the finale?
- Standout music: Hakeem/Blake's Payroll and Big Sean/Migos Sacrifices.
- Chronology: Not long from where False Face left off.

A Lean And Hungry Look definitely had a lot of meat to it as an episode. Once again, we got a look of how delightfully ruthless Lucious can be but it also showed us Cookie's caring side with her scenes with Maya and Poundcake as well. Definitely one of the strongest episodes of the season.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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