Tuesday, May 29, 2018

My Review of Empire's 4x18: "The Empire Unpossess'd"

Written by Brett Mahoney & Joshua Allen#
Directed by Craig Bewer

Rhonda (to Anika): "Karma is a bitch."

Now that was delicious! After a rather underwhelming previous episode, this was a finale that delivered in a few major, failed in at least one but also set up enough for next season. I actually cannot believe the show has finally killed Anika off.

It's one of those things I was hoping for a while the show would do but didn't think the show would do. Anika has been pretty tired as a character and this season exhausted her, so having Andre avenge his wife's death and drug Anika while 'Rhonda' haunted before Anika fell to her death was more than fine by me.

I'm sure Grace Byers is a lovely person in real life and I hope she gets more TV gigs but getting rid of Anika is absolutely the right thing to do. Every season she has tried to screw the Lyons over and when she killed both Andre's unborn child and Rhonda, she went too far. Killing the character off was overdue at this point (she should've died last season) and at least she got a rather memorable exit though.

Not that Anika was the only death in this episode. We might have had Lucious and Cookie threatening to kill Eddie but the other big death here was poor Tory, who I was a bit sad to see go. I liked the character and her rapport with Jamal but sadly she fell back into her addiction and her passing also resulted in Jamal deciding to be a bit less known by heading to London. I'm sure he'll be back early next season.

Then there was the cliffhanger of Hakeem, Bella, Tiana and Blake being shot at by the latter's racist father. I'm going to be honest - only Blake will be dead. Bella will be fine and either Hakeem and/or Tiana might be injured but none of those three will actually die. Then there's also Tiana being pregnant, adding another complication to the show. Do we really need to see Hakeem with another kid next season?

However with everything else being pretty great, plotting wise my major gripe with this episode was Eddie actually getting the Empire off the Lyons. I really do think they should've written him out of this episode. On the plus side, despite losing their business, at least we got to see Lucious and Cookie get married by the end of this one.

- Renee's scenes with Lucious were fantastic. I cracked up when she referred to him as Old Yeller. I hope we see more of Alfre Woodard next season.
- Lucious finally accepting Andre was nice. Let's hope they can retain that next season.
- Standout music: Has to be the use of Ain't No Mountain High Enough, doesn't it?
- Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off.

The Empire Unpossess'd marks an ending for this season and a rather strong one to boot. While I am a little frustrated that the Eddie storyline will continue next season, at least we know Anika has finally left the building and hopefully it won't be too long before the Lyons seize back their company.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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