Empire Season 2 Episode 18: Past Is Prologue
I’m so glad we had this time together 🙂
For those of you that have been riding out with me all season reading these recaps I Thank You. I write the recaps with you in mind. That said, let’s jump into the season finale of our favorite What The Fuck?! series.
Three Weeks Later
Jamal is returning home from the hospital after being shot by Freda, and his family is ready to go on with their lives as if he wasn’t almost murdered damn near a month ago.
And let’s not forget, he lost the ASA as well. It was all too much for Mally and in a very tearful monologue he informs everyone ‘I’m not singing anymore until our family stops acting like goons!’ The Lyon’s, who only speak Goon, looked at him like he was crazy. That’s when the real crazy one Gran’mom Mary (The Legendary Leslie Uggams) revealed that everyone in the family is destined to pay for the sins of Lucious’ father Joe. Lucious escorts her out of the living room, promising brandy and crazy pills galore awaiting her upstairs. He manhandles Mary a little too rough for her tastes, and she informs him that she’s about to kick him in his mouth if he doesn’t loosen his grip.
Gran’mom Mary is GANGSTA!
And do you know who else is gangsta?
Rhonda ‘I Choke Bitches’ Lyon!
Anika came by to inform Lucious and Cookie Corleone about how the Feds, including Tariq (Morocco Omari), pried her for illegal information involving Lucious and Empire Records. She refuses to help the Feds and wants Cookie and Lucious to know about the potential investigation being formed. But as she continues talking to them Rhonda bursts into the room and starts choking the shit out of Anika!
‘Bitch you pushed me!’ Rhonda screams.
‘What? Girl no! I would NEVAH!’ Anika says, clutching her pearls and her baby bump at the same time.
Andre carts Rhonda away because nobody believes her, and Rhonda gets so mad that she leaves.
Meanwhile, Jamal is sad. Sadder than normal. He doesn’t want to write or sing his depressing songs anymore. He just wants to sit in his wheelchair and be sad 🙁
This, of course, doesn’t work at all for the Lyon’s. They figure ‘Hakeem is getting married soon! Why’s Jamal so sad?’
Ummm, he’s sad because he got shot while trying to stop his friend from killing his father, who had just told him to go die from AIDS so he could celebrate.
Do you see how fucked up they all are?
Well, maybe not so much because Lucious tracks down his former protege Freda in prison.
He plays the dummy role, asking ‘Why did you try to kill me?’
‘You killed my father!’ Freda says.
‘No I didn’t. I need you to write a song for Jamal. He’s not feeling good after you shot him’
‘Ok’ Freda obliges.
Dead ass, that’s how it went down.
Anyway, later that night Lucious gives the song to Jamal. Immediately after hearing Freda’s first verse Jamal is ready to compose another beautiful, haunting melody to sing at Hakeem’s wedding.
He even gets some help from Closet-Boo D-Major (Tobias Truvillion), who I’m just too sure we will not be seeing in season 3 because of Empire‘s world renowned #ByeBitch brand of storytelling.
Speaking of #ByeBitch, Anika is ready to kill herself after realizing that testifying against Lucious would land her in a premature pine box anyway. She steps out onto a ledge at Empire but is interrupted from her cordless bungee jump by Hakeem, Lucious and Cookie. They reassure her that she won’t have to testify and that everything will be all right. Then Cookie puts the icing on the cake by saying ‘You’ll never be alone. You’re a Lyon now!’
I would have let go and taken my chances with the fall. But since Anika has no balls and is now relegated to sniveling wimp she falls into Momma Cookie’s arms and cries.
With another dangerous situation averted the Lyon’s prepare for….
Remember back when Laura was an actual character with hopes, dreams and a storyline?
Well, not anymore!
She’s now been demoted to ‘Hakeem’s Fiancee’ and she plays the role with just as much excitement as we have watching her become this season’s Anika.
Earlier in the episode, as Cookie and Lucious discuss tying up all loose ends so the Feds won’t lock their shifty asses up, Lucious tells Cookie about a murder he and fellow associate Shine Johnson (Xzibit) committed while she was “away”. Cookie goes to visit Shine, looking like Carmen San Diego’s sister Carmelita De Compton, and asks for his cooperation to not speak to the Feds. His asking price? He wants to come to Hakeem’s wedding.
And then, word gets out to Laura’s parents about Shine’s attendance, so naturally they have some concerns about having someone as dangerous as Shine Johnson at their daughter’s wedding.
Of course, the Lyon’s being such moral upstanding people, pretty much tell them to fuck off. They’re gonna do whatever they want and you can either get down or lay down ho.
On the day of the wedding Empire artist from the premiere episode Veronika (V. Bozeman) returns to sing an enchanting song as the guests mingle and prepare for the nuptials. After Veronika is done singing that’s when Shine arrives accompanied by the finest selection of back alley stripper whores draped on each arm. Meanwhile, as Shine causes chaos in the wedding hall, Laura is about to take her last steps towards becoming Mrs. Hakeem Lyon. As she and her parents prepare to make their entrance they both say to her ‘We love you my darling. We just want the best for you. We hope Hakeem keeps you safe’
Back in the wedding hall, Anika is served papers by a processor disguised as a member of the catering staff. As the server runs out security tries to stop her and she pushes Shine out of her way to make an exit. Enraged, Shine hits one of the oncoming security guards in the head with a champagne bottle. PANDEMONIUM ERUPTS!
And this is the exact same moment where Laura and her parents walk in. Hakeem runs to her ‘Baby I’m sorry!’
‘It’s Over!!!’ She screams as she runs off with her parents.
….#ByeBitch acting anyone?
Lucious clears the hall. The Lyon’s must now come up with another evil scheme to dodge prosecution.
‘Anika, we gettin’ married right now!’ Lucious declares.
‘Oh no the hell you ain’t!’ Cookie bellows. Lucious reminds Cookie that this marriage is merely a strategy to prevent Anika from testifying against him, and that she’s the true and only lady in his life.
But Cookie, being Cookie, is not here for any of that mess so she leaves.
And Lucious and Anika get married.
By Andre’, who’s now an ordained minister.
While Hakeem, who was just left at the alter, watches his father marry his baby momma.
My sentiments exactly.
After Lucious gives Anika a creepy kiss on the cheek the two of them do their walk of shame as husband and wife.
Lucious turns to Jamal.
Jamal gets up but he doesn’t sing. Finally feeling the effects of the fucked up-ness everyone sits in the room with sad faces, while Anika runs to the balcony to grab some fresh air because she realizes she’s now Satan’s wife.
Moments later, as the dysfunctional light skinned Lyon’s of South Philly depart together to continue their horrible lives Tariq comes out of nowhere to ‘congratulate’ Lucious on his unholy union. That’s when Gran’mom Mary drops another bomb on us.
‘Dwight, what’s your half-brother doing here?’
WOW! Tariq is Lucious’ brother. Didn’t see that coming at all, and that ain’t sarcasm either.
While that drama is unfolding Anika, who still can’t believe she just married her unborn baby’s PopPop, is treated to a wonderful wedding gift.
The continuation of the beatdown from earlier!
Rhonda appears out of nowhere, choking Anika.
‘You pushed me didn’t you??!’ Rhonda asks.
Anika turns the tables when she flips Rhonda around and starts choking her. ‘Sure did bitch! And I’d do it again!’
The two of them choke each other on the edge of the balcony, one of them certain for death. As Dre’ discovers them fighting before he can break them up we hear a scream. Dre’ yells out ‘NOOOOOOO!!!!!!’
Highlight (Just 1)
– Becky and Porsha’s cameo. Becky, of course, looked like she was at a wedding. She’s always occasion ready. Porsha, however, looked like a low budget drag queen from the slums of Emerald City. Normally I don’t have anything bad to say about Porsha, but last night….come on.
I had mixed feelings about the finale. It was entertaining enough towards the end, but I knew Hakeem and Laura weren’t getting married. And Keem didn’t even look convincing as the love of his life ran out the door. It was like ‘no. stop. don’t leave…..Laura hole up….’
It will be interesting to see what changes they make as they prepare for season 3. Was this a good seasons overall?
Meh, it had its moments, and there were quite a few.
But honestly even Dynasty, the iconic 80’s soap opera many have compared Empire to, had a slow start until they got to their second and third seasons.
I’m still rooting for Empire, mainly because it bears a slight resemblance to the hell I put my own characters through, espcecially The Buckleys and Illusions. And since Lee Daniels is a gay brotha from Philly, of course I want him to do well.
But I’ma need consistency, narrative and believability. I’m still rockin’ wit’ choo Empire! And I’ma see you again in the fall to tell you about yourself, because I love you.