'Empire' Recap, Episode 10: 'Sins of the Father'
The second to the last episode of Empire is officially in the bag. Compared to the last couple of episodes, this one seemed to be rather tame until the end. The entire episode builds around the moment the Lyons family has been working for -- taking Empire public. The signing of the papers to make it official will take place at Lucious' estate, but not before a life-threatening showdown takes place and Lucious delivers some news so shocking, even Maury Povich would be proud. The season finale cannot come fast enough, but in the meantime, here are the questions we have about last night's episode.
Was Andre keeping his bipolar disorder a secret or was the family in denial?
We begin at the hospital where Andre was taken at the end of last episode. Rhonda, Cookie, Hakeem, and Jamal are there, but Lucious is absent. At this point, we know he's pretty bad at this whole father thing. Meanwhile, the hospital therapist has recommended Andre undergo music therapy, enlisting the services of Michelle White (Jennifer Hudson). But Cookie isn't buying it and tosses the suggestions aside because Andre's bipolar disorder, according to her, is white people's problems. That's when Rhonda and Andre shut Cookie down. Andre reveals he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder his junior year, and Rhonda reaffirms saying that is when he had his first psychotic break. Throughout the episode there are flashback scenes pointing to the exact incident Rhonda is talking about. A doctor tells Lucious his son has a mental illness, but Lucious, who was even more stubborn and close-minded during those years portrayed in the flashback scenes, tells the doctor that he's wrong. No one in his family would have such a thing.
What else is wrong with Lucious besides the ALS?
After ending things with Anika, Lucious is plotting a way to marry Cookie again. Not only that, but he's giving Cookie the same amount of shares he's giving his sons in Empire Entertainment because, according to him, if he gives her shares of her own, she won't have issues signing a prenup. Vernon who is listening to Lucious's scheme looks at Lucious like we all would -- like he's crazy. Then Lucious tells Vernon he's not getting any shares, despite the fact that Vernon has been there from the beginning and practically raised the Lyons boys when Lucious was busy and Cookie was in jail. Lucious is still mad at Vernon for helping Andre try to sway the board to vote him interim CEO. Now Vernon doesn't just look at Lucious like he's crazy, he also wants to smack the living daylights out of him.
How long can Cookie and Malcolm keep their affair a secret?
Malcolm finally decided he wanted to know what Cookie tastes like and pays the estranged wife of his boss a little visit at her office, which is the same building he is being paid to keep protected. Conventional wisdom would tell us to never get laid where we get paid, but such rules don't apply in the world of Empire. No one has any chill, not even chill Malcolm, which means this is only going to get messy. Their fling continues to be kept under wraps throughout the episode.
Can we trust Jamal's new boo, Ryan?
After Jamal is finished recording a song he's written for his daughter (allegedly!) Lola, Ryan questions what Jamal is going to do next. That's when Jamal reveals that he wants to take full custody of Lola, and take her off of Lucious' hands. Ryan applauds Jamal for taking such a big step, but says he doesn't know if it's something he can take on, even if Jamal wasn't asking Ryan to co-parent. Later, when Jamal asks Lucious about letting Lola move in with him, Lucious also has an issue with it.
Why is Olivia back in the picture?
We assumed Lola's mother left, never to be heard of again, but instead she comes back in this episode. Her possessive boyfriend Reggie finds her at a bus station where she is obviously trying to run away from him. When he finds her, he practically kidnaps her in public and tells her to show him where Lola is because both Olivia and Lola are his possessions. Lola finds Vernon and introduces him to Reggie at Leviticus.
Are we glad Lucious got Camilla up out of here?
The relationship between Hakeem and Camilla has always been strange and unconvincing. Considering Camilla has been portrayed by Naomi Campbell, it certainly isn't aesthetics that make her unbearable, but it is the age difference. It's just awkward to see the youngest Lyon being tamed by this sugar mama. So when Camilla joins Hakeem at Lucious' estate where everyone is gathering to sign the papers that will make Empire go public, Hakeem's parents do not approve. Cookie tells Lucious that Camilla has her panties wrapped around Hakeem's neck and "he can't breathe." Meanwhile, Lucious has done his own research on Camilla, and realizes she's so far in debt, that she probably has a price to go away. At first, Camilla refuses when she meets with Lucious in his office privately, but eventually he finds a number that works for her and she leaves -- but not before leveling him with some cringe-inducing insults and telling him that as soon as he dies she will be on the first flight back to be with Hakeem.
Does Lucious deserve to die?
The entire episode culminates in a huge three-way standoff between Reggie, Lucious, and the entire Lyon family. Vernon, still upset with Lucious, decides to bring Olivia and Reggie to Lucious' house. Lucious knows a loose cannon when he sees one, and Reggie is going to explode. Cookie knows it, too, which is why she's inspecting Reggie's tattoos. Everyone is shocked to see Olivia as well, including Jamal who was just getting used to playing the role of father to Lola. Rhonda, who has been given the power of attorney by Andre, is not signing the papers because she notices how shares have been taken away from her husband as well as the other two Lyons' boys.
All of this is going on but then things get really ugly when Reggie goes after Jamal and pulls a gun on him. He wants to take Jamal down for stealing away Lola and Olivia. Jamal isn't scared though, and pushes Reggie to see if he's actually going to pull the trigger. Cookie is standing behind Reggie and attempts to grab the gun away but instead Reggie reverses and ends up grabbing Cookie and points the gun at her head. Lucious begs Reggie to not shoot her and if he is going to shoot anyone, it should be him. That's when Lucious begins to confess to all of his sins, how he has abandoned Andre at his most vulnerable point, how he's paid Camilla off to leave Hakeem, and the bombshell of all bombshells, LUCIOUS IS LOLA'S FATHER, NOT JAMAL. At that point, pretty much everyone hates Lucious to the point where shooting Reggie isn't as bad of an idea anymore. But Malcolm, out of nowhere, saves the day, shooting Reggie from across the room, right in the head. Everyone is sort of relieved, but no one can forget everything Lucious just said. Cookie tells Lucious, "I wish he would have shot you."
Next week is the season finale, and Lucious has a lot of explaining to do.