3.13.2015

Black Girls' Night Out: Cookie Lyon #Empire

First of all, y'all...there's a Cookie Lyon Wisdom Generator.

Secondly, this week was crazy, but in a good way.  Cookie wasn't over the top this week (which is fun), but she sure kept it real.

With Anika gone, Lucious is now free to marry Cookie, and sets about to do so...without actually telling Cookie.  See, Lucious has it all worked out in his head: he and Cookie are going to get married and live together in his 18,000-square foot mansion.  They are going to take in little Lola Lyon, that tiny human everyone in the world is currently dreaming of kidnapping, and get the "second chance" they didn't have with the boys, because apparently Jamal is not father material being gay and all.  *cue eye roll*

After all, through flashbacks it's revealed just how much Lucious dropped the ball while Cookie was in jail.  First he refuses to accept Jamal for being gay.  Then we find out the family knew about Andre's bipolar disorder years ago (when he had a psychotic break and disrupted Lucious's single with Angie (Mary J. Blige), but since no son of Lucious could possibly be mentally ill, he silenced everyone about it and spent the next several years pretending like his son didn't have to pop pills just to stay level.  For real though?

This episode revealed the level of not only Lucious's bottomless selfishness, but his deep-seated fear (and denial) of his impending death.

So now Cookie's come into this mess, trying to bring her boys together and be there for them.  She goes to a family meeting at a very swanky clinic where Jennifer Hudson plays Andre's polished music therapist (whom he's obviously hot for).  Cookie didn't know her child was sick; first she's in denial about his "white people's disease" and then as reality dawns, she goes into deep, serious mode.  Like, Cookie knew things were bad while she was away - Hakeem's fuck-ups were more than enough proof of that - but now it's finally starting to dawn on her just how bad things got.  We get to watch her mood deepen as we see her researching bipolar disorder and realizing what her son's been going through.  I think Andre's illness is what breaks the camel's back for her, because we also see that she's over Lucious when Malcolm (Derek Luke) walks in and announces he's "fallen for the wife of [his] commander" and needs to maintain his distance.

And since Cookie now has negative fucks to give, they end up having sex right there and then.



They keep their new little affair on the sly though, while Cookie tries to navigate the growing chaos of her family.

Andre won't leave the hospital and after chewing his wife Rhonda out, sends her to be his proxy in signing over shares for the IPO.  While looking over the papers, the very shrewd Rhonda realizes that Lucious took company shares from his sons (without their knowledge) give to Cookie, (read: buy her loyalty).  Lucious tries to play the Rich White Girl card and Rhonda shuts that down swiftly, revealing that she's been with Andre for ten years, that she came from nothing, put up with everything, and that Lucious better recognize.  But see, whenever anyone calls Lucious out on what the hell is wrong with him, and how could he steal from his own kids, why isn't he giving credit due to Vernon, to Cookie, to Andre's hard-working ass...Lucious recites the tired, self-centered stock response: this is his company, he built it, and apparently, in the History According to Lucious, he managed to do it all by himself.  No Cookie to put up the money, no Andre to grow the empire, no Bunkie and Vernon to hide the bodies, no Jamal and Hakeem to keep the fans coming back for more - no, sirree; Lucious did that all by his lone wolf lonesome.

On top of this drama, during this night when the family's gathered to sign their papers, Hakeem brings friggin' Camilla (Naomi Campbell, is the check that good???) and formally presents her as his girlfriend.  Camilla tries to play the "I love your son and support his career routine" and Cookie's, well...Cookie.
 

Determined to show what a functional, healthy couple they are, Hakeem and Camilla share some pics from Hakeem's photoshoot earlier that day (which Camilla herself took).  The creepy lovebirds start cooing about how they're like "Antony and Cleopatra," to which Jamal's like, "Uh...y'all know they died, right?"


Still not to be discouraged, Hakeem offers up a cringe-worthy song about older woman/younger man love set to that old-school Suzanne Vega beat from back in the day that rappers...will not...just let...die.



Lucious, who's been calm this whole time, decides this uncouth shit needs to end ASAP and wastes no time.  He corners Camilla and asks her how much money it will take for her to disappear forever.  He knows she's broke and that her business is tanking (is that why she's so emotionally needy and desperate?), and that she's been selling her own clothes to stay afloat.  But to our surprise, Camilla won't take the bribe.  Lucious don't give a shit; he still has Malcolm pack her off on a one-way trip to London, and I applauded that ish.  Camilla warns that once he dies, she's coming right back.  Lucious tells her to go ahead; Hakeem will have moved on by then.

But THEN, Uncle Vernon (who's back on the salt), shows up with Olivia (Raven-Symone) and her crazy abusive ex who used to hurt her and Lola - that's why she left baby girl with Jamal; she figured his family could keep the tiny human safe.  Seriously...the Lyons cannot find a minute to sit down and just close the deal!  Crazy Ex pulls a gun on Jamal, talking smack about how dare he marry Olivia and knock her up, then leave.  Jamal, cool as ever, dares Crazy Ex to bust a cap because this is not the first time he's had a gun to his head.

Cookie tries to rescue her baby and winds up with a barrel to her head.  Lucious - fresh from rescuing Hakeem from Camilla - quickly offers himself up, telling all his sins (mind you, he wasn't willing to do this for Jamal).  For all y'all who called it from day one, Lucious is the father of Lola; he was sleeping with Olivia and paid her to marry Jamal.  He confesses to leaving Cookie to rot in prison and bribing his youngest son's now ex-girlfriend.  Lucious promises the Crazy Ex that if he shoots him, Crazy Ex will be everybody's instant hero.

Luckily, Malcolm comes from behind like a pro and caps Crazy Ex in the head, leaving Liv and Lola to fly off to sunny Florida in peace...while Lucious makes Cookie head of A & R, and proposes to her, only to get rejected coldly.

Cookie finally lets her ex-husband have it; she is fed up with how he has treated their sons and does not have anymore time for him.  He doesn't love her or anyone else; he just doesn't want to die alone.  That's what all this over-bearing, trying-to-control-everyone ish has been about.  Marry Cookie and he won't be alone.  Take Lola in and he won't be alone.  Isolate Hakeem from his girlfriend and promise him the company, and Lucious won't be alone.  He even starts to marginally tolerate Jamal - Lucious the Uber-Homophobe is that desperate to not die alone.

Well, fuck that - Cookie heads out the door and goes straight to Malcolm, announcing that she wants to be with him, alone with him some place that's else.  Naturally, he agrees, and the episode ends on the highest note Cookie's had all season.

4 comments:

  1. I'm really surprised at the pace that Empire has taken.

    Most shows start to get cold after a couple of weeks,but that show just keeps going up and that is great news. Supposedly, after the finale ( a must see) it will return in 2016. I'm hoping that it will stay it's course because as I've said before my concern for this show is that it may get sabotaged by the networks because it's too good of a show and a Black gay man wrote the script and with a majority Black lead on there. Maybe it's paranoia,but with the history of how Black/POC shows have been done..you have to keep your eyes on the networks. They'll put on an " unreachable" time for the viewers just to keep them from being able to see it. I also pray to God that he doesn't let Spike Lee to be guest director the show as he wish for him to. It's not that Spike is a bad one. Spike just seems to know political stuff more than anything, With the exception of Malcolm X, I just found his movies to be jumpy. To me, he's not a well rounded director.

    Far as this episode. Oh my..how I wish that I would have been in Cookie's place kissing Malcolm. I cannot blame her for wanting to be with him, not only for his sexiness.but the way Luscious is . Man..he is a man who is about nobody but himself , a player and a control freak. That is why his family is suffering. I was shocked about what took place with Camilla( then again, with a man like Luscious, it should have been obvious). He seemed indifferent and unpredictable with his feelings about her. I was under the impression that he would be for her. I guess not and Hakeem is still standing by herself. I really think that Camilla may actually love him for himself .Then again, I could be wrong.

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    1. 'm hoping that it will stay it's course because as I've said before my concern for this show is that it may get sabotaged by the networks because it's too good of a show and a Black gay man wrote the script and with a majority Black lead on there. Maybe it's paranoia,but with the history of how Black/POC shows have been done..you have to keep your eyes on the networks. They'll put on an " unreachable" time for the viewers just to keep them from being able to see it.

      Which is precisely why I'm just enjoying it while it lasts. FOX better be careful though, because people are specifically tuning in just to watch this show. They are deliberately missing American Idol right before it. And I can only imagine how many people (aside for me) watch it on Hulu the next day.

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  2. I really wish I could snatch Lee Daniels ear right now. I don't think men should write for women in terms of intimacy...gay or otherwise. The way they wrote that scene is as it would be if Cookie and Malcolm had already been intimate with each other.

    Just because Cookie is bold and in your face in real life, does not mean she needs to be one dimensional. A woman that conscientiously chooses to only be with one man for 25 + years will not be throwing down the new guy in their first sexual encounter. Why make it a point to show she was on with Lucious if you were going to make her act like sex was nothing to her.

    Realistically she would have wanted to move forward but with hesitation. She kept herself for Lucsious for decades because it was the most important thing to her. You don't let that go without fear of change. Malcolm would have had to be the aggressor who was sensitive and comforting as she broke her self covenant. A man could never understand this because a man would never do this...Save himself for the one he truly loves.

    TakiTaki

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    1. That is because men aren't going to let someone screw them over and allow that person back into their lives. Women are the only ones who hold torches for morons and waste away while they could be moving on.

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