The Lyon family empire made their much anticipated return to FOX last night. The episode began with a concert that echoed the sentiments of the Black Lives Matter movement to garner support for Lucious Lyon who, as we saw in last season’s finale, was arrested for Bunkie’s murder. This public show of support for Lucious was also a critical part in Cookie’s bid for a hostile takeover of Empire. #FreeLucious? Why though? Cookie’s moving speech about the incarceration of innocent black men was rather ironic considering the fact that Lucious is as guilty as sin. I hope the writers were not trying to send a subliminal message considering the sensitive nature of the Black Lives Matter movement. This stance can be considered a mockery of the movement and it played right into the hands of the social media critics who believe that Black Lives Matter is about protesting for the freedom of guilty black men who deserved their fate.
Jamal, Jamal, Jamal. The power and responsibility that comes with being in charge of the Empire is clearly too much for him to handle. Last season, we were all rooting for Jamal because he was just so likeable. Now, he has transformed into a mini Lucious. Well, this is quite understandable since Lucious is still running the show through Jamal. Will Jamal ever be able to stand on his own two feet and be a true leader? First it was Cookie pulling his strings and now it’s Lucious. Also, Jamal’s ability to completely turn his back on his mother really concerned me. I mean, after she groomed him to take over Empire now he’s 100% on Team Lucious? He will regret this though. While Cookie genuinely loves him, Lucious will manipulate anyone for his own gain. He really deserved the slaps from Cookie.
I think the Frank Gathers (played by Chris Rock) situation was a missed opportunity in the plot. For several episodes last season we saw Cookie dealing with the Feds to build a case against Frank. Aside from receiving her cousin’s head in a box, Cookie got off really easily for snitching. Or was this an attempt to show us just how powerful Lucious really is? Then why didn’t Cookie go to him to deal with the Frank Gathers problem when she received the rose last season? It was unbelievable that a conflict which was a main part of the plot last season was resolved so quickly in the season premiere. Or is there more to this story? I sure hope there is.
By the way, did everyone just forget about Vernon? I mean, his demise is still haunting Rhonda and Andre, but no one else is concerned? Ok then…
Now that the hostile takeover ended up in shambles (thanks to the double-crossing Mimi), the battle lines have been drawn.
Team Cookie, Hakeem, Andre and Anika
Team Lucious and Jamal
I’m eager to see how this season will unfold.