'Empire,' Season 2, Episode 6: Bad boys and girls
Soooo... Cookie's got a type, huh?
Only bad and dangerous men get her motor running. I'm all for summoning the beast within, but girl, if you keep sleeping with devils you're going to end up with Rosemary's Baby.
In other exciting news, Hakeem survived! It felt like he'd been missing for two weeks or so because right after he'd gotten kidnapped by the neighborhood thugs, Fox decided that broadcasting the MLB World Series last week was a great idea. The New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals?!? Empire fans cared as much about that as any one cares about Boo Boo Kitty right now.
On to the rankings:
8. Speaking of Boo Boo Kitty, Anika was ready to collapse into a puddle of despair until Hakeem showed up on her doorstep -- fresh from being released by his kidnappers. There's no place for her at Empire, Lyon Dynasty or Berretti. All her bridges were toast, and she knew it was all her fault. When a disoriented Hakeem showed up to make out (and probably more) with her, it seemed her luck could be turning. You could here the sad trombone noise when Hakeem later dismissed her without even letting her inside his apartment. That's the Lyon men for you, Boo Boo Kitty. Hopefully, you uploaded your resumes to Monster or something.
7. Hakeem got a taste of the thug life and found himself unable to stomach the helplessness. He revealed his brash persona to his captors for five seconds before he got punched in the eye. The event left him traumatized and unable to hear music or cope. He almost shot his kidnappers during a negotiation meeting until his mom stepped in. Hakeem was just on the edge of breaking until Lucious brought him to his senses by being generally evil. Anything is better than working with my father, he must have thought to himself.
6. Cookie had to turn to her mortal enemy, Lucious, for help in getting Hakeem back. Her son was an erratic mess when he returned and her new promoter, Laz, was offering solutions that didn't make sense to her neighborhood thug plan. Everything worked out -- even after she put a gun to the head of the supposed head thug and threatened him to stay away. But Cookie's loins are a magnet for evil, so she has decided to start a tryst with Laz, who just happens to be in the same gang as the punks who traumatized her son. Oh, Cookie. Just let Becky pick out somebody for you. She's better at it.
5. Lucious didn't really lose or gain anything this episode, though he did get his feelings hurt. He made a track and offered it to Hakeem as a way of getting back on his son's good side and eventually bringing him back to Empire. Hakeem was not impressed. Frustrated, he turned to his rap protégé, Freda Gatz, confessing he feels more kinship with her violent, hard scrabble ways than with his own sons. He gave her Hakeem's track because he sucks at parenting. I wonder if this will be enough to keep Freda from shooting him for murdering her father at the beginning of the season?
4. Jamal was still angry about Michael's cheating, but got to sing it out in a bunch of episode filler scenes. He also got rejected by the Staples Center but brought on a Lucious enemy to help him get to the top. He also got to be friends with everyone including Cookie.
3. Andre's vision for Gutter Life Records isn't exactly what I'd call a successful strategy in rap terms. He's pruning the roster of acts that lack "character" but his standards are rooted directly in the bible. Luckily for him, Becky's boyfriend, J Poppa, is a rapper with a church background who can easily work scripture into his rhymes. Of course, Lucious is against it, but isn't he always?
2. Speaking of Becky, wooooooohoooooooo! Our Girl Friday got a love line and a story arc, finally. Sure, as an artists and repertoire employee for Gutter Life, it was probably bad business to be dating a client. But who cares when you have man like J Poppa to make out with on a balcony overlooking New York City? She knows her fight with Andre a.k.a.. Captain Christian for the success of Gutter Life will be tough, but right now Becky's living it up in the penthouse, a hop, skip and a jump from Cloud 9.
1. Laz wins this week though, because he got the Cookie (pun intended) and the money. Red flags went off for everyone but Cookie when he suggested paying the thugs who kidnapped Hakeem for protection. That's how you get robbed blind. Who gets a job by threatening to burn down the building? His crew demanded a paltry $40,000 for Hakeem since Laz already works for Lyon Dynasty as a promoter. The stress of the week took it's toll on his boss and she came knocking at episode's end to collect some loving. He's not losing on any fronts this week but we all know, there is no permanent king on Empire. Fortunes change. And Laz will find out the hard way what happens when you cross Cookie. He might want to ask Boo Boo Kitty about that one.