Empire, Don’t Call Me. I’ll Call You.

True Love Never S2, Ep7

Sigh..I think I’ma stop dating LPB (lackluster potential boo), Empire. Or maybe we just need a break. I don’t know. I need time to think about it. I’ve tried to be understanding. I’ve voiced my unhappiness. I’ve given him ample time to get his shit together. And here we are. Though our relationship has grown a teench, his satisfaction with doing enough to get by has reminded me why I stopped dealing with mediocre dudes. I like overachievers. Be more.

I’m not sure what I’m gonna do. I want to stick around to see how these flashbacks with Lucious’ mom play out, and so I may peek in next week. What I am sure of, though, is that Empire is not living up to its potential and it breaks my heart a bit.

This episode really wasn’t that bad. I still feel like they’re squeezing two episodes’ worth of material into one, and they’re unable to develop some of the plots to the point where they’re believable. I would even excuse this if they tied up loose ends in the next episode, but time has proven that they often do not. I could go on, but for why???

Let’s run this back.

  • It opened with Cookie and Laz in bed, doin’ the grown folks. He encouraged her to stay there instead of going to work. Porsha brought her laptop to her so she could get some work done, and that heffa was in bed with his sexy, shady self for three days.
  • Laz showed her his idea for the Hot Damn Summer Jam. He was thinking of adding some artists from Lyon Dynasty. Cookie wasn’t feeling that. She wanted her own summer jam with her artists as headliners and not some names at the bottom of the flyer. She would call it something like Cookie’s Cookout. (When did she get locked up? She’s still trapped in that year. Clearly. LOL)
  • Jamal reached out to Cookie for help with his newest song. She was reluctant at first, but Laz encouraged her to help. Even though he’s the competition, he’s her son first. You could tell she was excited to help him find his sound as she grinned and texted back and forth with him.
  • Laz’s boy told him focus on business and not the booty once he figured out Laz had Cookie at his place. Laz told him not to worry about the location of his peen. They were about to make ten times the money they had originally planned to get from Cookie. In the meantime, Laz told dude to fall back from messing with Hakeem.
  • Lucious visited an OG in the music biz, Huey Jarvis. I believe he’s supposed to be a Quincy Jones-type character. He played that Boom Bang foolishness for him, and he believed Luscious was on to something, especially once he heard Freda. BUT Lucious needed to go back to the studio. He needed to dig deeper. OG wanted to hear him rap about the part of him that he keeps buried inside. That led to Lucious’ flashback of him burying or digging up something in the grass when he was a little boy.
  • Mirage et Trois performed their Bottomless Mimosas song. Carmen bumped Laura out of the way during the set, catching Cookie’s attention. Cookie told Hakeem Carmen is the star. She has the sex appeal and whatnot. Laura? Nope. She told him he needed to make Carmen the lead singer. Hakeem didn’t want to do that because Carmen didn’t have pipes like Laura and because he’s still hoping Laura can be bae – even if for a night or two or after he gets kidnapped again. He enlisted Tiana’s services. He needed her to teach Laura how to dress, walk, and do her makeup. Welcome to Sexy 101, Laura.
  • Andre wants to get Empire into music streaming. Mimi thought it was a cool idea, but she wanted them to take over/merge with another streaming company instead of starting anew. Andre disagreed, but Lucious never cares what he thinks. All Lucious wanted Andre to do was visit his old cutty buddy, Ms. Deputy Mayor, and get Freda’s gang injunction lifted. Andre didn’t wanna do that ’cause he’s saved now and saved folk aren’t supposed to bone deputy mayors for favors. All favor comes from Jesus.
  • Later, Pastah later found Andre sitting in the same spot where he almost committed suicide, holding a finger-gun to his head. Andre wanted to remind himself of that place he was once in. (I’m not sure how Pastah knew he was there. Did Andre call him? Was Andre dreaming? Did I black out and miss a part?) Anyway, he told Andre there’s more than one way to skin a cat. He could accomplish what his father wanted him to do without gettin’ busy with ol’ girl on her desk.
  • Cookie and Jamal had a secret meeting/dinner. He let her listen to the semi-final version of the song she helped him with. She convinced him to go back to Lyon Dynasty headquarters with her, and he giggled and skipped behind her like a six-year-old eager to get some ice cream. Or cookies. They worked into the morning.
  • Hakeem came in early and almost caught Jamal in the studio. Jamal hit the floor like somebody was sticking the place up, and Cookie rushed out to distract Hakeem while he snuck out. Hakeem could sense something was up, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.
  • Lucious sparred with the owner of the streaming company (in his business attire) while they talked merger possibilities. When the guy said he thought Lucious’ beats were cool and all but the lyrics were shallow, Lucious knocked him out. “Shallow that, punk ass.” – Lucious. 
  • Andre met with the deputy mayor, Raquel, to ask her to lift the gang injunction on Freda. She was open to doing that, but first she was going to open her legs for him. Andre wasn’t down. Raquel was offended. If he wasn’t gonna break her back, why should she help? FTS! Well… Andre pulled up a video on his phone of their previous sexual activities. He reminded her that her boss probably wouldn’t want to see how she likes to conduct business. She couldn’t believe it. Like a bawse, Andre told her to make sure the injunction was lifted by morning and walked out. BOOM.
  • Laz knew the perfect spot for Cookie’s Cookout. Rocksteady Park. BUT she needed to get with the goons who kidnapped Hakeem (a.k.a. his boys) for security. Cookie was still hell-no about it, but Laz told her to make nice for now and get revenge later. Tuh.
  • Hakeem took Laura to the park and told her to bust out singing. He wanted her to make people hear her. She sang “I Will Survive” en Español. A large crowd gathered. Yaaay! She did it! When she finished, she planted a big fat kiss on Hakeem’s juicy lips. Awwww… Later when she rehearsed, it was evident that Tiana’s Sex Kitten Lessons worked. Cookie was pleased as she watched Laura drop it low and work those hips in a circle.
  • So Lucious knocked dude out so badly that he was hospitalized. He and Mimi went to visit him, and dude was shook. Lucious was like, “I told you I didn’t wanna get in the ring with you in the first place, and now you got a morphine drip.” (That line made me chuckle.) Mimi increased the morphine drip because dude was still resistant to partnering with Empire and he became loopy in record time. Within thirty seconds, he was on the phone telling his people to draw up a contract. K.
  • While Cookie was in negotiations with The Longhorn Goons, Hakeem busted in. He needed to be the one doing the negotiating damnit. Riiiight, Keemy, because you have so much experience. But okay. Long story short, they hired the goons to protect them. After the meeting, Hakeem said he doesn’t trust Laz and asked her to be careful.
  • At Huey Jarvis’ living room party… Jamal performed the song Cookie helped him with, and Huey gave the song hella props. Lucious had a weird look on his face, and I’m not sure whether it was because he recognized Cookie’s touch or because it made him have another flashback of his mother. Maybe both? Anyway, at this point, the earlier flashback of Little Lucious digging in the grass made sense. He had hidden the bullets to his mother’s gun. We saw her search the house frantically, tearing up shit. Then she turned to Little Lucious and asked if he’d seen her bullets. Finally, she found one and loaded it in her revolver. Just like Andre, she played Russian Roulette. Thing is, we don’t know whether she won or lost. Not yet.
  • So… Lucious and Mimi took some girl home from the club. This shit was weird. He and Mimi were slobbing each other down. Then she walked out to take a call. He got on the phone ad threatened whoever it was like he was her man. She looked super shady in the midst of it all. Who was on the other end? Lucious asked her to put the phone business aside so they could get back to three-wayin’. All I understood in that scene was that when Lucious saw the gun tattoo on the other girl’s leg, he looked sick to his stomach. It was identical to the one his mother had – a revolver. He put the sexy times on pause  and excused himself from the room. He retrieved his mom’s gun from a box. Next thing we know, he was in the studio. He’d summoned Freda to join him, too. Honestly, this scene would’ve been hot if Terrence wasn’t rapping. I wish somebody would stand in the gap for him on the vocals and let him lip sync. I like the idea of Lucious having THE gun in the studio and using it for sound effects. I just don’t believe Terrence as a ex-thug/rapper. And y’all can’t make me. Ever.

Also:

  • Hakeem’s shirt looked like something out of a Highlight’s book. The hell?
  • The Boom Bang song is catchy, I’ll admit, but I still don’t like it. It’s one of those songs that annoys the hell out of you, but you end up knowing all the words because radio won’t stop playing it.
  • Hakeem doesn’t have any PTSD from his two-hour kidnapping, even when he’s negotiating with his kidnappers. Interesting.
  • I want to know whether Lucious’ mom is still alive. I want her to be alive… in a mental institution. We’ll see her in the next to last episode, present day. But during the finale, she’ll get released from the institution. Or escape. And show up at Lucious’ door. (Lee Daniels, put me on the writing team!)
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One thought on “Empire, Don’t Call Me. I’ll Call You.

  1. Your recap was sooooo on point!
    And I’m right there w/you in that the show is still too shallow.
    I used to skip my yoga class and get home to see it.
    But now I catch it when I can!

    Liked by 1 person

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