Empire’s Finale, Fist Fights, Manslaughter and Crazy, Crazy, Crazy

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Oooooo so much drama, I don’t know how you’re going to handle this… and all of the QUESTIONS!  Where are the answers!  I don’t want to wait until next season, I want to know NOW!

Tonight’s was a show about fights, that’s for sure.  They were blowing up all over the place.  And one that didn’t end so well… between Vernon and Andre, and his wife.  Vernon was pounding on Andre’s face when his wife walked in on them on the floor.  Did you see how that girl whacked Vernon on the back of the head with that trophy thing?   I knew what was going to happen next… ooOoooo.

Poor Vernon!  I am going to miss that guy.  He was such a good character and actor.  I hope he went to a better place.  Now what will become of Rhonda and Andre, and THEIR BABY?!  Omg, the drama…

It’s interesting that Vernon apparently raised the boys while Cookie was in jail and Lucious was busy being a king of his empire.  Maybe that’s why the kids are so messed up?  Vernon was a pretty violent guy.  I guess he never heard of talking things through.  It’s too bad, because look where it took him.

On to round two, Cookie and Anika, they threw down!  Did that get it out of their systems?  I don’t know, it looked like Cookie was ready to go a few more rounds didn’t it?  You know she’s had enough practice in that prison.  Anika better not forget to watch her back, well, Cookie too.  Those two are dangerous!   Would’ve been better if they took off their earrings first but, hey, it was still pretty entertaining!  When Anika grabbed Cookie’s hair I was wondering if a wig was going to come off lol.

Hmmm…  so these two think they’re going to be able to work together to take over Empire from Lucious?  I don’t know about that…

Speaking of Lucious, who turned him in?  Sounds like it was Vernon, but was it Andre and Hakeem too?  The way that they looked at him as he walked by on his way to the cesspool that is the jail on this show sure looked like they were in on the takedown, didn’t it?  What do you think?

Round three, Jamal and “The Black Rambo.”  (Black Rambo, love that!)  It was great how Jamal handled this guy’s disrespectful behavior with a song fight with the rapper, instead of a real one.  That was a very classy way to stand up to someone who has too much hate in their heart.  I think Jamal won, what about you?  Looks like Jamal has a gift for handling conflicts without violence.

Oh wait, I forgot about the scene between Jamal and Billy the owner of the other music empire…  Jamal physically threatens to drop him off a skyscraper.  Now just how does that fit into his otherwise nonviolent persona?  Hmm…  see the next paragraph.

I have to admit, the plot is still confusing me.  I mean, it’s jumping around left and right, love, hate, relationships breaking, reforming, so fast I’m dizzy.  People’s characters changing radically from one episode or scene to the next…  I wish they would stop… but that’s how they want it it seems.  Hopefully people won’t give up on the show over time because of it.

There were some special musical guests tonight.  Patti LaBelle, what a sweet voice that woman has.  So smooth… I would have loved to hear more.  And Jennifer Hudson did a great job tonight with her pieces as well.  It was nice to have a variety of voices expressing themselves on the show.  I still miss Tiana and Hakeem working together, and Hakeem and Jamal.  Their collaborative pieces really brought out the strengths that both artists have, together.

I am missing sassy Cookie too.  She was back for a minute when she sat down at the table to receive her gift from Lucious (now THAT was a bomb moment, wasn’t it? lol!).  Keep that sass girl!  Don’t lose it on me now.

Looking back over the season, I think that the white party scene was one of the best scenes I have ever seen.  They pulled together music, emotional heights, community, support, and pure joy.  Plus fashion.  Can’t go wrong with that!

This is a great show and I’m excited to see what they bring us next season.  Congrats to all involved with the show on its success!

 

 

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Last Night’s Episode of Empire, are things cooling off for the show?

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

__________________

Hey, are you looking to read about the Empire FINALE?!  Go here:

https://sliceiconic.com/2015/03/19/empires-finale-fist-fights-manslaughter-and-crazy-crazy-crazy/

____________________

It seems that a lot of you want to read about last night’s episode of “Empire.”  I wasn’t going to write about it because honestly, I wasn’t as impressed as I usually am, but I’ll give it a go.

Straight-up, the music on this episode wasn’t very good.  I am not sure what is happening in that department.  They have had some good stuff over the series, mostly “You are Beautiful” and “Drip Drop,” though it’s pretty gross, lyrically.  Some others were also enjoyable.  But last night it just wasn’t there.  When Jamal was singing in the bedroom to Lola with Hakeem, the idea was so sweet, but Jamal just sounded terrible except for about 3 seconds near the end.  I don’t know why they put that into print.  And, Hakeem has a great voice, but we haven’t heard it showcased in a long time now, I’d like to hear him again in a song where his rich, low voice and slow vibrato is highlighted, not just talk-rapping.  And Tiana was missing, again.  That’s ok, it’s just my personal opinion that there is a lot of talent there that is not being utilized optimally.

The show is continuing to fast-forward certain plot lines, leaving us wondering how we got to where we are; they’re leaving out important steps of the stories.  And for others, they are dragging along when they could be simplified.  This is an amazing show with lots of complexities and interesting relationships, and I feel like we are losing out on the potential richness of the experience when they do that.

The show really spent too much time on the Lola story (Jamal’s daughter) this episode.  And it was wasted time.  We didn’t see or hear much of her 2 episodes ago, then she was back on the last episode and there were nice scenes of her with her father, that episode was a good balance and percentage of time allotted to their relationship.  But then on this show, they spend a lot of time discussing how she is becoming an integral part of the family, in both Lucious’ and Jamal’s personal circle.  They talk about how both of them want her to stay with them as their daughter.  We think that she is being added to the regulars on the show and that they are building her story.  But, no.  They suddenly shift gears and she’s off the show, atleast so it seems.  I feel like I’m getting jerked around in this sense.

I did think that Raven-Symoné’s (Lola’s mom) being named Olivia on the show was funny, since that was her name when she played a little girl on the “Cosby” show decades ago.  She wasn’t the best actress but it was good to see her.

The story line with the abusive boyfriend was very good.  His acting was of good quality during the gun scene, but up to that, a bit flat and restricted and I didn’t feel that he really engaged with the audience.  The whole Lucious trying to draw the gunmans’ attention to him by saying all of those things to his family was really odd.  It was good that he tried to save them, but then he didn’t really explain it well to them and they were apparently all too stupid to understand that a dying man did it to save them from getting killed.  Plus, was it all true?  I don’t know, and neither did they, but no one asked, they just assumed he was telling the truth.  Especially with him, that is just crazy…  And they suggested that he was Lola’s father, but no one got a paternity test, no one asked for or offered financial support to the single mother, too many loose ends and unanswered questions here.

I liked where they were going discussing bipolar disorder, how they showed some common reactions to the diagnosis.   Cookie being unaware of the illness, she decided to educate herself.  That was en excellent idea, and a great model for others to follow.  And they also showed Lucious, rejecting the “label” of “mentally ill;” shocking for him, I know.  But this represents how many people might react (though not usually so strongly), and by showing it they can open up the discussion of why there is such a stigma around this and other mental health disorders.  They are medical problems, and people who have them need medical help.  I would have liked to have seen them spend more time going into more depth in these areas on this episode; it would have been very valuable and good entertainment.  But they cut it into short bits and pieces and then it was done with, seemingly.

Another thing about the choppy and erratic plot issues, last episode there was major drama over the conflict between Lucious and his music business rival Billy Beretti, but  on this episode, I didn’t notice any mention of it.  Why not keep a steady course to the plot?  Maybe they could add in a lead writer or plot analyst to ensure that story lines are well-interwoven and characters are consistent with past behavior?  They could have (and probably should have) discussed the rivalry and business concerns at several points during the show.  Especially with the IPO happening, business is business.  They were all concerned about the conflict last episode and how it would impact Empire, then, silence… (hear the crickets chirping?).

The whole IPO thing was choppy and confusing.  They missed a huge opportunity for drama, too, though it probably would have made the show take a turn they didn’t really want.  When Lucious was signing the contracts with his colleague Vernon, his business partner who worked with Andre behind his back to try and get the power from him, Lucious didn’t appear to read the contracts.  They have been portraying Vernon as having a serious grudge against Lucious ever since Lucious murdered their childhood associate.  They have made it seem as if Vernon is only waiting for the opportunity to take power over Empire away from Lucious.  Those contracts were his chance.  He could have given Lucious contracts to sign that he had altered so that they actually gave him power over the company instead of Lucious.  I was really expecting that to happen, but it didn’t.

I thought that Cookie’s character wasn’t as sharp and biting on this episode as she was in the beginning of the series, though she still had some good moments.  The interaction between her and the security expert Malcolm was very hot, so that was well-done.  I like that she is not being pulled into a relationship with Lucious, because we know he’s not good for her.  But they originally had portrayed her as in love with him, and willing to do anything to be with him.  But then in one moment, she is over him?  Unrealistic guys.  That’s not how love works, it lingers on and on, and that was portrayed very well in earlier episodes.  The truth is, the relationship between Cookie and Lucious would be way more interesting and sexy than the one with her and Malcolm.  It would be complex, and real.  At least it felt very real, the way that these two actors were portraying it, up until now.

The scene with Lucious and Camilla, this is interesting.  Apparently she knows that Lucious is sick, but as intelligent as he is, he decides to treat her with no respect and send her off.  What is to stop her from telling the world that he is sick and ruining his dream, his IPO?  Nothing.  Yet, it isn’t mentioned or even hinted at.  Another lost opportunity to build some major drama and anticipation.  They could have written it like he didn’t think she knew he was sick.  When he tries to pay her off, she mentions it, coldly, causally, he pauses, frozen, and afraid, cold sweat breaking out on his brow.  His illness is worsening and the side-effects from his medication are clouding his ability to think clearly and to strategize like he used to.  Suddenly he realizes his mistake, but, is it too late to fix it?

She gets up threateningly, he steps back and stumbles.  Quickly Vernon (who was standing in the room next to Lucious, in the darkness) steps forward and takes control of the situation.  Thinking fast, he asks her what she wants.  She spells out her terms (details to be added later) and they negotiate a truce between them that holds, for now.  Vernon escorts her out, and the scene cuts to Lucious, slumping into his chair, looking like a broken man.  It just takes one mis-step to destroy an empire.

Well that was fun!  🙂

But back to what ACTUALLY happened…  so why did Camilla leave?  She seemed to love Hakeem for real, but then she just left.  Was she afraid that Lucious would hurt her?  It didn’t make any sense to me.  She is a strong, intelligent woman, but in the scene they portrayed her as helpless and a victim, unable to stand up to Lucious by staying in the country.  I can’t picture her like that.  I think she would stay, shove his money in his face and then threaten him that if he messes with her or their relationship again that she will leak his illness to the press or to his competitor Billy Beretti.

The fashion on the show continues to provide a good amount of interest.  Cookie’s well-fitting dress in her scene with Malcolm the security guard was very nice.  Camilla’s outfit was also a stunner.  Hakeem’s white shirt with black designs on the collar was unique and I like unique.  I do think they could pump up the fashion though, I think that too is falling a bit to the wayside lately.  We like our fashion!

I really appreciate that the show addresses important social issues, I’m all for doing that as much as possible.  Having the platform to create change is amazing and that they choose to use it for good, I applaud them.

What do you think, is Empire losing its spark?  Or is it just as charged as ever?  Let me know in the comments!

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“You’re so beautiful…” omg I can’t stop singing it!

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Wow guys!  The last episode of “Empire,” holy cow!  Amazing.  Loved it!  Only problem was it ended without telling me MORE!  Like, what happened to Serayah/Tiana?  She is amazing, PLEASE tell me she is coming back on the show…

And what happened with Elle?  Are they ever going to tell us if the security guard saw what happened?  Maybe that will be part of the whole grand Anika double-cross they mentioned in the previews?  Oooo she is so, ew…

And I figured out why Lucious is still with Anika, before tonight’s episode I realized that it was the whole thing with her FATHER, the doctor, and how Lucious needed him to verify that Lucious was in good health so his big IPO could go forward!  Omg, it sure seems like they just told us that this is why he is sticking with her and giving her what she wants (for now).  Now he needs to open up to Cookie and tell HER that’s what’s going on, otherwise, he is going to lose her forever.  Don’t you think?  Something that good doesn’t come along often, or at all, in life, Lucious, don’t mess it up!

And damn, that Jamal, amazing.  The whole scene at the white party where he is singing HIS song was awesome.  When they were singing the song in the booth, it didn’t sound good, but when he sang it out like that with the crowd, it was the bomb.  I expect it’ll be in all the clubs soon for real.

Check out the video here!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krlxHu6pAA0&spfreload=10

And his scene with his sweet little baby girl, omg, so real.  Loved to see him bonding with her, giving her the security she is going to need with her momma gone missing.  And he is starting to feel what it means to be a dad.  So cool.  So family.

What about the fashion?  Those outfits for the white party, very cool. Definitely not something I see around much.  I like that, stepping out of the usual to bring us something new and different.  The guys jackets were very east Asian or something.  Cookie’s white dress was cool too, clean and striking.

I love that Hakeem finally spoke his piece with his mom, at his dad’s prompting (a very wise man in that moment).  They are now starting to heal the wounds of his abandonment and her separation from her littlest baby.  This is real good.  And Hakeem and Jamal are finally coming back together too, and finding out what brotherhood is really all about.  Love, support, caring.  Even though the two are very different, maybe they have more in common than they sometimes remember.  Their music is their love and their passion, and when they feel that together, they are joined.

Hopefully Lucious can drop whatever baggage he has over Jamal’s sexual orientation and listen to his own advice, love your family, let them be who they are.  It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen though, does it?  I guess that is one of the many things that makes this show so REAL.

Talk to me people, what are YOU thinking?

 

 

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