HOLLYWOOD—Season three of the FOX series “Empire” has been intense, must-see and full of surprises from week-to-week. The season three mid-season finale was full of stunning moments. Last week Lucious dropped a bomb on Jamal with news about Cookie’s involvement in the hit on Frank Gatz, and the division between the Lyon clan only further splintered.
The episode, ‘A Furnace for Your Foe,’ saw Cookie step up to help her boy toy Angelo (Taye Diggs) in his quest for his mayoral bid. Jamal was still fighting his demons to get back onto the stage to prove that his musical talent hasn’t fizzled. Lucious was certain that Jamal was not ready to hit the stage, but the FBI continued to dig on evidence of Lucious by freezing Empire’s assets. Now, who would have ever expected that Lucious and Angelo’s upper class mother would indulge in a partnership?
Just as it became apparent the fireworks between Anika and Lucious’ mother reached a feverish pitch and the most inopportune time. Cookie slammed the gavel on Jamal and his pill popping habit, but it was apparent she knew her son was not being 100 percent honest with her. Andre confessed to Nessa his struggles with bipolar disorder, and how Rhonda helped keep him under control when he spiraled out of control. It was a tender moment, but it was apparent that Andre’s visions of Rhonda could place him in a dangerous place.
Cookie was livid when she learned that her funds have been frozen, and Lucious did his best to rekindle his past with his former wife. Lucious broke down the dirty truth to Tariq and his colleagues that they are half-brothers, which didn’t bode well for the FBI agent. Our matriarch was a mess wondering why Jamal was late to a performance that could change his career and help her beau Angelo elected to Mayor. Jamal was having major withdrawal symptoms, and refused to allow her son to move down a dark path, but caved into temptation. Man Cookie, how in the world can you do this! This will not end well for Jamal, I can see a catastrophic fail in the near future.
Lucious was taken aback when Shine was willing to provide financial assistance to his former foe in exchange for a seat on the board. Looks like the sparks between Hakeem and Tiana are back in effect, just as Andre begged for Rhonda to let him go. It was a bittersweet moment seeing Andre bid farewell to Rhonda. Angelo, his mother, Lucious and the rest of the gang were concerned with Jamal and rather he could deliver on the stage in front of an epic audience.
Jamal managed to deliver a performance that rocked the house, but I was waiting for the moment for him to crash and burn. Tariq had a confrontation with Shine regarding his betrayal; so it was Shine who double-crossed Lucious and the gang. And here comes the moment of truth, Jamal had a family intervention where he was forced to face the music, he needed to go to rehab. The look on Cookie’s face seeing the betrayal she inflicted on him was heartbreaking.
Andre confronted Shine and proposed an epic bomb to the guy that has been secretly working with the enemy: the goal to take down Lucious Lyon. My gut instinct is telling me that Andre Lyon has not only crossed over to the dark side, but it could be the fate that many have speculated: one of the Lyon members will meet a grisly demise, and I expect that person to be the eldest son of Cookie and Lucious.
We have a few weeks before “Empire” returns for the second half of season three. Be advised, if the first half is any indicator of what is to come, audiences might be stunned with the end result.