HOLLYWOOD—Season four of the FOX series “Empire” really returned the series back to its original form in my opinion. It was gripping, delivered twists galore and culminated with a finale that was shocking to say the least. This fifth season has been hit or miss if you ask me. I thought the premiere was interesting: the Lyons have lost it all after the company was taken from underneath them by Eddie Barker (Forest Whitaker). Whitaker’s talent was underutilized because the character met his maker in the premiere episode.
Since then his wife, Giselle has taken over the company, and things are being managed by her and Jeff Kingsley (A.Z. Kelsey). Jeff is a tool to say the least and to see him puff his chest out countlessly has been annoying to the core. The bomb was recently revealed that Jeff is Lucious’ long-lost son, who has a vendetta against dad, for abandoning his mother. Was it a bombshell of a reveal, not even close if you ask me?
I would have been more stunned if it was revealed that Lucious or Cookie had a daughter no one knew about. We’ve been teased all season long of a death, a funeral where Lucious has been seen looking quite guilty to say the least, but we still do not know who met the Grim Reaper. Cookie was busy dealing with her own issues involving Candace and Franklin.
That was an interesting twist where the audience was made to believe that Candace’s husband was beating her, but nope it was Franklin who was unhinged. He put a massive beating on his mother, before attacking Cookie. It led to a major rift in their already fractured relationship, just as Lucious and Cookie discovered that Lucious’ merchandise was being shelved, hurting finances.
Hakeem’s battle with Blake is intensifying causing friction between him and Tiana, but it is more fun to see Lucious and Jeff go to war. Especially, considering Lucious has no idea that his son is working to take him down. Even Giselle has realized that Kingsley is power hungry and has to be dealt with sooner than later. Cookie conversed with Carol regarding the prospect of selling her condo (the one that she has kept hidden from him for years)! Carol has a point; listen to your sister, what Lucious doesn’t know will not hurt him.
Man, I thought Hakeem and Blake were BFF, but why in the world would he pull a gun on his former pal. The music biz is something crazy. Giselle got the goods on Kingsley learning that Lucious is his father, oh, this is about to be very good. Why? This is major leverage that can change everything if used carefully. Becky decided to plead her case to Jeff about her bonus, as a distraction to gather Intel.
Her diversion worked without a doubt, and it became apparent that she wanted information, but felt guilty about it in the long run. To say it was a treat to see Kingsley speechless when Giselle was sitting in the hospital room with his ailing mother, would be an understatement. She knows his secret, and he knows that she knows his secret so it changes everything. Candace arrived to drop the secret that Cookie had been keeping from her great love, and he was not happy to say the least.
The final moments of the episode culminated with Tiana deciding to leave her home with Hakeem, just as Cookie confessed her fears to Lucious. That was nothing compared to the final moments where Bella was seen playing with Hakeem’s gun. To say I was on the edge of my seat would be a complete understatement. I was shaking and nervous to the core, as Cookie, Lucious, Tiana and Hakeem begged Bella to put down the gun, just as she pointed it at her face, cut to black. Oh this sets up a very interesting dynamic as we head into the fall finale where I’m certain the paternity bombshell is about to come to light. “Empire” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX.