‘Empire’ Recap, Episode 8: ‘The Lyon’s Roar’

There couldn’t have been a more fitting title for the eighth episode of Empire than “The Lyon’s Roar.” The latest episode of the Fox show revealed a lot about each character and gave most a fresh start. If viewers were wondering whether to stick through the first season, this week’s epsiode offered a reason to stay on board. Good guys became bad guys, bad guys became good in bad ways, and everyone became a lot more interesting.

Below are the most pressing questions that sprung from the eighth episode of season 1 of Empire, “The Lyon’s Roar.”

Are we sick of Lucious yet?

This week’s episode opens with Lucious and Cookie the morning after their forbidden tryst. If you recall, they finally crossed the line — a forgivable slip if ever there was one — after Lucious opened up to his family about suffering from ALS. But the next day, Lucious acts like a washed-up pimp who still has it. When Cookie says he’s still the only man she’s ever been with, Lucious says, “I’ve been with a lot of women…” I can’t help but want to tell him to have a heart. He doesn’t seem to fully grasp Cookie is his babies’ mother with whom he just cheated on his wife-to-be with. Then, when he tries to go for another round in the morning before saying goodbye, Cookie asks him to promise that he will leave Anika. He promises, but we all know Lucious is lying. Not only doesn’t he leave Anika (at least not yet), but he doubles-down on his no-good behavior later in the episode.

Can we give it up for Hakeem and Jamal’s brotherhood?

Without a doubt, the relationship between Hakeem and Jamal is the heart ofEmpire. As Hakeem prays in a church for the wellness of his father, Jamal comes from out of nowhere. The following interaction between the two is beautiful. They each have beef with one of their parents: Jamal with their father, Hakeem with their mother. But each wants his brother to improve the relationship with the other parent. And even though their parents pit them against each other, Hakeem and Jamal want to remain close. The two of them have argued and fought in past episodes, but knowing they always find a way to move past their issues is why Hakeem and Jamal’s relationship is one of the most honest depictions of sibling rivalry on television.

Where does Hakeem and Jamal’s closeness leave Andre?
Ah yes, Andre, the oldest brother and the family nerd. He’s talented — mostly at math and complicated business formulas that help Lucious get richer — but he doesn’t endear Lucious. As Lucious, Cookie, Jamal and Hakeem record their new hit song together for the Legacy project they’re cooking up, Andre sits in a dark corner, looking like the outsider he is. It’s obvious he’s fed up with his status as a numbers guy. If anyone wants to run Empire as a multibillion-dollar business, it’s him, so while his two younger brothers play checkers, Andre attempts to play chess.

Why does the party have to be white?
Every year, Lucious throws an extravagant white party, the name of which is self-explanatory: Attendees must dress in all white. This is a play off Diddy’s real-life legendary white party, which takes place in the Hamptons. But while Empire wants to depict the hip-hop music industry realistically, they should have taken creative license with this detail.

Will Anika now become more likable?
There may be a thousand different ways someone can reveal to their partner that they know they’ve cheated. Anika chose to do so slyly. She never stopped Lucious and Cookie from doing what they were in the middle of, even as she walked in on them and saw them having sex. Instead, Anika calmly walks into Lucious’ office the next day and lets him know she saw everything. She wastes no time laying it all out on the table and reveals her demands. The deal is simple: Lucious must announce his impending nuptials with Anika in front of everyone, including Cookie, at the white party. They then must marry immediately after the party.

Is the manner in which Jamal came out not the best?
A lot happens during Lucious’ white party that leaves those in attendance in awe. Lucious announces his upcoming marriage to Anika, which, not surprisingly, upsets Cookie. Hakeem’s older girlfriend Camila and Cookie instantly beef after being introduced. But nothing compares to when Jamal performs his new single, a remake of one of Lucious’ classic songs “You’re So Beautiful.” At the end of the song, during the final refrain, Jamal starts to sing, “It’s the kind of song that makes a man love a man/ A man love a man.” The entire family is proud and excited for Jamal — all except Lucious.

What will happen next?
Lucious tells Andre that the real reason he will never leave Empire in his hands is because his wife, Rhonda, is white. Lucious refuses to let his family business be handled by a white person, which drives Andre to hold a gun to his head and almost kill himself.

Anika, still upset that Lucious cheated on her with Cookie, seeks revenge by sleeping with Lucious’ archenemy, Billy Beretti. Lucious and Cookie are over romantically. Cookie is fed up with Luscious’ antics and is reminded of all those years she spent in prison without a visit from her ex-husband.

Everyone awaits to see how Jamal’s decision to come out will impact his career.

credit: billboard.com

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