This episode’s title says it all. Episode 5 of Fox’s Hit drama Empire revealed some double crossing, conniving dastardly deeds going down among the family members of the Empire clan. Folks, pay attention to this episode – you’ll be reminded boldly that when it comes to money and power – even blood brothers abandon allegiances to each other. Taraji P. Henson continues to deliver a stellar performance as Cookie while Terrence Howard continues interject a healthy dose of ruthlessness into the Lucious Lyon character. The episode is aptly named “Dangerous Bonds” and it reflects upon the reality that some of the most dangerous bonds we can make sometimes can be with those we share blood with.
Let’s get to the episode.
This episode revealed why Tiana was so cool toward finding out Hakeem had a cougar side chick in episode four. Tiana has a side chick of her own. Hakeem invites Tiana to sleepover his place. Tiana turns him down and goes home to make out with her side-chick. It was assumed by Hakeem you me and most everybody else Tiana was strictly dickly – now we know different and everyone’s cool with it – except Hakeem who finds out from one of his project managers. You see lesbian deeds doesn’t fit with his image – oh well Hakeem get over it – karma’s a bitch.
Lucious proposes to Anika under some thinly veiled motives – if you ask me. Every since Cookie got out of the slammer Anika has been on shaky ground and when Lucious drops 18 carats of stone on her and proposes I knew he was up to something- When he told her to keep the proposal on the low-low I was sure he was up to something. The Anthony Hamilton serenade didn’t fool me – nice touch by Lucious though.
Ladies if a man proposes to you and tells you keep it hush-hush he’s up to something and it ain’t you.
It turns out Lucious needs a doctor to go unethical and possibly illegal and forge some health documents giving him a clean bill of health so Empire can go public. Guess who’s daddy is a doctor? Anika’s! And Lucious waste no time inviting Anika’s parents over to the crib to share the proposal news to dad and mom, neither of which really cares for Lucious. Right after announcing he plans to wife their little girl Lucious tells pop what he needs from him – a clean bill of health on the Key Man policy necessary for Empire to go public in light of the fact is dying from ALS.
At first Dr. Calhoun rebuffs the notion and calls Lucious for he is – a thug. Lucious tells the good doctor Anika stands to be the mega rich wife of a music executive of a publicly run company. What Father is going to deny his daughter a lap of luxury and riches? The Dr. seems to have relented – we’ll see if Lucious can get the signature on the papers before his devious scheme is found out.
And if we need further proof that Lucious is playing Anika – he shows up at Cookie’s spot at a booty call hour to reminisce about their first anniversary. We all grown here (RIP Bernie Mac) . When the ex shows up at your doorway late in the evening or early in the morning we know the deal. Now Cookie didn’t break this time – but the woman ain’t had a good romp since she’s been out of the slammer – that’s one reason why she’s so wired. Wonder who she’s holding out for? Believe this – Cookie’s booty is going to be one of her biggest trump cards in this series and when she plays that card a lot of shit is gonna change.
Speaking of Cookie being wired – girlfriend was so hype in this episode it looks like she might’ve jumped the gun and gotten a gangster killed for nothing. Flashbacks on this episode depict Cookie testifying against the ruthless gangster / drug dealer Frank Gathers in a grand jury murder trial. Cookie is as paranoid as a teenage weed head after testifying. She becomes ultra-paranoid when she finds a rose left outside her door. Gathers organization had adopted the rose as a logo for their illicit pharmaceutical business so Cookie becomes convinced Gather’s people left the rose as a sign of oncoming retribution for her testifying against Gathers. Cookie high tails it to Philly and pays a brother five grand to kill a gangster. Remember that visit Lucious made to Cookie’s spot in the wee hours- well that was after the wheels had been put in motion to kill a gangster. Lucious bought a rose with him on that visit. It turns up Gathers may have had nothing to do with the rose Cookie found outside her door. Cookie tries to stop the wheels of murder – but a shooting scene in Philly indicates she may be too late. Now Gathers may really come gunning for her – but bet your bottom dollar Cookie will get out of it.
I told you in a recent recap that Rhonda (Andrea’s wife) was in this game for something and this episode proves that suspicion right. She and Andrea are dirtier than a dog that’s wallowed in a North Carolina mud hole. Rhonda, has taken photos of Tiana making out with her girlfriend.
This is all part of a carefully orchestrated plan by Andrea to sabotage his brothers’ career. He instructs Rhonda to send the photos to Perez Hilton knowing they’ll eventually fall Hakeem’s way. Andrea’s looking to take out both brothers. He wants to keep Jamal’s potential star power to a minimum too. While Rhonda is texting dirty pictures of Tiana in the mix Dre strategically stands near a couple of goons Hakeem has in his crew and dry snitches about the studio in the hood where Jamal is recording and the nice watch he owns. The goons take the watch bait and storm the studio in an attempt to rob Jamal and everyone with him. The goons wind up shooting a studio employee before the studio owner chases them off with a gun of his own. This almost gets Jamal kicked out of the studio but he pleads with the attendants to let him pull together a hodge podge group of musicians and finish the project.
Jamal remembers that the would-be robbers are associated with Hakeem and goes after Hakeem thinking he orchestrated the attempted robbery. It looks like Andrea’s plan is working like a charm – but when cooler heads prevail I think Hakeem and Jamal are going to put two and two together and get Andrea.
Hakeem finally looks like he is getting serious about going in the studio. Yes going in there, now what he’s actually doing in there I don’t know. He not business oriented and has no respect for budget constraints which has run his “change the game” quest “Drip Drop” project over budget.
Lucious seems hell bent on funding Hakeem’s exploits and tells Andrea to find the money to fund it. Andrea concocts a scheme to use money from another artist paired with Hakeem to get the funds needed to keep the project moving. These are some double dealing Mo Fos right here.
Jamal continues to be inspired by the bare realities of hood life. He and Cookie even go into a no holds barred hood studio so he can lay down tracks for his red hot song. This place is deep gansta complete with bullet holes in the entry door glass.
As Cookie leaves Jamal at the studio she tells the producer to look after her son and says, “My name is Cookie. Ask about me.” I like that – my reputation precedes me – ASK ABOUT ME. Dude got a cool ass Mom I’ll tell you that.
The Dangerous Bonds episode was weak on the drama and heavy on the anticipated double crossing. Entertaining but at about mid-way of this episode I found my attention wandering because the remainder of the of the episode was predictable to a point. Get geared up for episode 6 – it should be a hot one.
Side Notes & Speculation
I’m still trying to figure out how the uncle Vernon character adds any value to this series. I don’t think Lucious needs a brother in this series. It’s great to see Malik Yoba still working on high-level projects and my perceived failure of the uncle Vernon character has nothing to do with acting abilities at all. That character is just unnecessary. He kind of hangs around but never really does anything except gets checked by Cookie when they run into each other. Uncle Vernon should have been the one that Lucious killed instead of Bunky . Bunky bought more to the changing plot lines than Vernon ever has. If you want to see how popular uncle Vernon is image google “Uncle Vernon Fox’s Empire”.
That character is just unnecessary. He kind of hangs around but never really does anything except gets checked by Cookie when they run into each other. Uncle Vernon should have been the one that Lucious killed instead of Bunky . Bunky bought more to the changing plot lines than Vernon ever has.
Social site observers speculate just when Cookie and Lucious are going to knock the boots. Its coming – if this hasn’t been written in a future episode the writers and producers are missing a huge gateway to residual drama and Anika and Cookie encounters.
Jamal laid down some hot tracks in this episode. Hakeem is in the studio with all the latest props but a weak wack song. Will hard work and talent win out over cash and flash? I think Hakeem and Jamal are going to get righteous with each other again and when they do they’re going to throw Andrea under the bus.
Hakeem better lay back on Tiana and her girlfriend. If he blows their working relationship behind who she is sleeping with he’s hurting himself. Without Tiana’s collaboration Hakeem’s destined to be a one chain, designer sunglass wearing 2Chainz wannabe.
Cookie is going to get out of accidentally having the gangster killed. Come on – this series needs Cookie and from interviews I’ve seen of Taraji – she didn’t sign up for the role of a short-term character. She won’t be going back to jail either – she just got out – sending her back to the slammer would kill the series.
I have a feeling that Anika’s parents are going to find out Empire may not be the money tree Lucious makes it out to be. If they do somewhere in the future Anika will jump ship – provided she’s not already run off by Cookie.
Keep in mind too, the cops still like Lucious for Bunky’s murder – and for good reason – Lucious did it. The cops are gonna come a knocking again at Lucious’ door . I don’t suspect he’ll go to jail in any immediately upcoming episodes – that wouldn’t fit with everything he’s got going right now.
That’s my recap and speculations for this episode of Empire. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section. I’d love to hear them.