This week, Empire decided to not just make Lucious an anti-hero, but also make him straight-up garbage. He’s acting more unreasonable than ever and this is a man who murdered someone in the pilot.
The episode starts with Boo Boo Kitty going into Lucious’ home office where he’s watching XStream’s numbers on way too many TVs. XStream has to reach 10 million subscribers by the end of the week or the investors will pull the plug. This would be a completely normal conversation between two adult humans, except for the fact that Lucious is getting a blow job under his desk from Boo Boo Kitty’s old assistant. Lucious. I need you to get it together.
Lucious continues his reign of terror by antagonizing every woman he’s ever loved and demanding that Cookie force Jamal to release his Black and White album. At this point, who cares about the damn album? Lucious also needs five new songs by the end of the week and he’s willing to give a new car to the first five artists who give him new content. How many artists does Empire Records have right now? Do they even have five? Is Porsha gonna release a track? Cookie doesn’t want to hear it, so he flits out of the room to go see Angelo. Within moments, Lucious calls him an Oreo. Lucious. What is wrong with you?
Meanwhile, Andre is getting out of jail and facing the paparazzi. His (white) lawyer advises him not go get all “Black Lives Matter” out there. I need literally everyone in this episode to stop saying garbage things. What? We’re only seven minutes in? I need someone to swaddle me in a thundershirt. A reporter on the street asks Andre if he’s just following in his family’s criminal footsteps. “Are you a gangster now, Andre?” Is that what journalism has come to? Heckling a recent widower? And speak of the white wife, Andre stands up to the reporters and sees Ghost Rhonda wearing a fabulous suit. I’m glad heaven has a Bloomingdale’s.
Jamal is going to a PTSD support group with a bunch of rude-ass people and one guy who kind of looks like The Weeknd — so much so that I assumed he was going to get an Empire Records company car. The group leader is a really nice guy who compares what happened to Jamal to what happens to soldiers. Like most of the other men in the Lyon family, Jamal completely rejects any and all mental health advice.