“Empire” Lie Index: A Family That Lies Together Still Needs So Much Therapy
“Empire” is delightfully twisty, non-sensical, rollicking television. It is also a house of lies. So many lies. That’s why, instead of a traditional recap, we’re welcoming you to our Lie Index, a fun exercise in which we examine each episode through the lens of the steaming piles of plot-forwarding bullshit that is flung around every Wednesday. Let’s get it.
Lies: He told Cookie that Anika lied about wanting the masters. He continues to lie about killing Bunkie. While not a technical lie, almost every other thing he did this episode was so shady that any sane person would wonder if he was lying or not.
Is this bad? It’s clear from whatever Lucious is doing that he’s no longer a human, but a foot soldier for the devil. Here’s my evidence: that gravelly whisper-growl; his tendency to pit every single human being in his life against each other; praising his son for killing his friend only because it helped him out. Also, he definitely wants to get in them Cookies again, and I will eat my hat if she lets that shit slide.
New Life Motto: This should be no one’s motto, but here is the log line for the music video that Mimi Whitman conceptualized and Lucious said,”Mmm, that seems fine”:
POST-APOCALYPTIC BLACK PANTHER FIGHTING POLICE OPPRESSION WHO WON’T TOLERATE POLICE BRUTALITY AGAINST PEOPLE OF COLOR.
It was shot on a set that looked like a dollar-store version of “California Love,” and it was ridiculous.
Lies: After the a sexy lawyer-led raid on both Empire and Dynsasty, the cops snatched Cookie up on arguably false charges — Porsha jumped a turnstile and gave Cookie’s name LOL forever — just so that the lawyer and her cleavage could shake her down for information. The lawyer threatened Cookie, so Cookie thought long and hard about her personal Orange Is The New Black hell and told a fucking whopper: She doesn’t know who killed Bunkie, but she knows that he and Lucious were fighting over the Apex radio deal. Then, Bunkie disappeared and he died. Mysterious! Crazy! How, Sway?
Let the record show that this is a big, fat, stinking lie.
Is this bad? Depends on what your definition of “bad” is. This lie is good for Cookie, bad for Lucious, and, based on the evidence presented that Lucious is a servant of the devil, then this swings all the way around to good again.
New Life Motto: “Tell me a grandma got an ass like this!”
Lies: Really, only the one to himself that he can be a mogul, because last week, we saw how well Rainbow Miasma Fantasia went.
Is this bad? At first, yes. But, after he stumbles upon a mysterious Latina songbird singing “Blue Bayou” in Spanish at a jazz bar(why is Hakeem at a jazz bar, that makes no sense), it seems that she’s his ticket out.
New Life Motto: Nothing Keem does feels in any way, shape or form inspirational or otherwise, but I will give him 10 points for nearly going in on his brother with that baseball bat because every single thing Jamal has done this season has been leading up to that.
Lies: He’s lying to himself if he thinks it’s cool that his dad’s really gotten over his homosexuality in the span of maybe one calendar year. Does he not remember the trash can? We do. We all do. This lie is not nearly as egregious as the one someone told him about looking good when they dressed him in that Delft blue open robe kimono situation and those sneakers.
Is this bad? Jamal’s new MO seems to be “stunt like my daddy, but ten hundred times worse than he is.” While I’m here for Jamal’s transition from mealy-mouthed mope to evil record mogul overlord, I’m not particularly here for any part of the journey. Also, unlike Jamal, I paid attention to his long-suffering boyfriend Michael this week, and I have a special message for him: please do not worry that the budget-Warhol “artist” they found is going to steal your man. He’s gross and scraggly and that painting looks like something you’d buy in Rockefeller Center for $5 and a half-eaten bag of Doritos. Hard pass.
New Life Motto: Nah.
Lies: Sadly — happily? blessedly? — none, really.
Is this bad? Andre couldn’t tell a lie to save his ass right now because whatever troubles were troubling him last season are coming back full force. He’s way too busy asking his dad for his job back and intercepting God as he tries to slide into his DMs. God, you see, wants him to go dig up Vernon’s body and present it to his father, like a cat dragging in the shaggy corpse of a bird they killed and leaving it by your house shoes. So, that’s what he and and Ride Or Die Rhonda do, together. You know what they say: the family that digs up the rotting corpse of a body that saves the evil father’s ass and stages said body shotgun in the car of the prosecutor trying to bring them down together stays together.
New Life Motto: “ALL OF THE TREES HAVE THE SAME HOLES!”
Best time I realized this show is the world’s most perfectly-executed soap opera:
See you next week!