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Empire – S1E9 – Unto the Breach

Previously on Empire, ‘Lyon’s Roar’

The title of this episode comes from Shakespeare’s play Henry V. In the third act, the king gives a speech to his soldiers to embolden them for battle against the French. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead,” the king shouts. He tells them to harden their faces, and “imitate the action of the tiger.” As if talking to our Lyons instead, Henry V says, “”Dishonor not your mothers; now attest that those whom you called fathers did beget you.”

This week Anika drew the line, the Lyons family went to war, Porsha lead the charge, and Andre’s sanity was a casualty.

EMPIRE: The family rallies to save Empire Ent. in the "Unto the Breach" episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, March 4 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX

Cookie’s Best Line: “Come on, let’s go grab this ho’s clothes. Help her move out.”

Lucious B. Lyings: To Hakeem: “Why do you think I picked you to be the one who watches and learns firsthand? I’m handing you the baton.” I don’t think Lucious has decided on any of the boys, and may not leave the company to any of them.

Number of times you wanted to slap Hakeem: Only once. He proposed to blow up the Creedmore offices with C4.

EMPIRE: Jamal (Jussie Smollett, R), Hakeem (Bryshere Gray, C) and Becky (guest star Gabourey Sidibe, L) rally to save Empire Ent. in the "Unto the Breach" episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, March 4 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX

Most triflin’ character: I don’t think anyone was triflin’ this episode. Anika did betray the company, but Lucious and the company have betrayed her as well. As Shakespeare’s Henry V said, “Be copy now to men of grosser blood, and teach them how to war.” That’s exactly what Anika did. She acted the way men do on this show, and she fought back.

empire-s1e9-anika-hakeem

Health check-up: Lucious was fine. We saw Andre flush all his pills, in case we’d forgotten he wasn’t taking them. As some people do in a manic phase, Andre spent extravagantly by purchasing a Lamborghini. He was screaming, fighting, and knocking things over. It became clear Lucious and Jamal are fully aware of Andre’s emotional instability, if not his actual diagnosis. Lucious had Andre’s wife commit him to a 48-hour involuntary psychiatric hold. When Andre is released, will Lucious use this as a wedge in their marriage?

Who should jump the line for relationship counseling: Lucious and Boo Boo Kitty.

Lee Daniels Extraness: Why on God’s green earth was Jamal half naked in his video for All of the Above? It was out of Jamal’s character to recreate D’Angelo’s How Does It Feel visuals with a bright ass Empire logo in the background.

Best Cameo: Estelle as British singer Delphine. I saw Estelle open for John Legend years ago, and she slays.

EMPIRE: Jamal (Jussie Smollett, R) gets close with famous artist Delphine (guest star Estelle, L) in the "Unto the Breach" episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, March 4 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX

Best Minor Character moment: Porsha took Anika’s money and “spied right back on yo’ ass!”

The BET award goes to: It’s a tie! Conqueror, featuring Jussie Smollett and Estelle; and All of the Above, featuring Jussie Smollett. I love the uplifting lyrics of the former, and the Prince homage of the latter.

Most unbelievable moment: Empire and Creedmore had a stand-off on the street with guns blazing. So, Black men can pull out guns at a busy intersection and the police won’t come faster than a speeding bullet? This is not my America.

EMPIRE: Hakeem (Bryshere Gray, C), and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson, R) team up to keep Tiana (guest star Serayah, L) in the "Unto the Breach" episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, March 4 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX

Who do you think was the best soldier in the Great Creedmore Battle? Although I commend Cookie for putting the G in Ghetto Ass Studio, methinks the king should knight Porsha. Weigh in with your comments below!

About Nikki P (18 Articles)
Nikki is a fan of children’s books, graphic novels, British police procedurals, French cinema, and TV marathons.

23 Comments on Empire – S1E9 – Unto the Breach

  1. Hakeem played Anika outside the restaurant. I mean, Ray Charles saw that.

    It sure did take the Skidrow paramedics a long time to get to Empire to collect Andre. I mean, in my head, he killed the entire staff it was so long.

    Was it me, but the way Luscious said to the EMT’s, that’s his wife and pointed to Kelly Ripa (I’m with you, Nina, she does not look like a Rhonda), it made me think he did not want to put his son in the 48 hour hold. The receptionist should’ve been able to sign that form. Andre is hurting so bad. I feel bad for him. Seems like all the family lovey dovey time never includes him. Example, everyone was at the club singing, dancing and having a good time and no Dre.

    I’m not here for Derek Luke and Cookie. I don’t know if it’s the hair or what, but no.

    Oh, back to Andre. I’m gon need the person in charge of picking out Andre clothes to go up a size or four. That Baby Gap t-shirt he was wearing when he threw away his meds was bothering me. Sidenote: Dude is built. Those arms! That is all.

  2. I love this show so much! I can’t believe there’s only 2 episodes left!

    I especially love Cookie! She is the Queen & we should all bow down to her! Love how she showed those little boys how a real G handles her drink! But when she wanted Malcolm to taste her cookies I hollered! Lmao!! And of course dealing with Miss Boo Boo Kitty. Smh. She should’ve known better than to mess with Cookie. She came for the wrong one! And I’m so proud of Porscha for sticking by her boss lady. She knew not to cross Cookie. Lol

    I love Jamal but what was that no shirt bit at the beginning? An homage to D’Angelo? Not that he didn’t look good, cause he did. It was just out of character. Guess he was trying to show off for his new boo. Loved his duet with Estelle tho. I hope we see more of her on there.

    Clearly Lucious is trying to teach Hakeem but that boy ain’t bright. But he was trying. And he came thru for the family. Loved the set up with fake ass Halle Berry. Lol

    I’m glad Andre is gonna get some help cause he sorely needed it. I think his brothers were probably aware that he got like that sometimes but they probably hadn’t realized how serious it was. Loved the Lean On Me scene in the elevator. That was beautiful. Tho I was legit scared cause Andre is a monster off his meds. He’s a big dude too. And I think he should wear tighter shirts. For reasons. (His banging body!)

    Now I think Lucious knows that Andre is sick but considering the way he reacts to Jamal’s homosexuality makes me believe that he never properly dealt with Andre’s mental illness. He probably never wanted it officially diagnosed cause Lucious is clearly all about image. I feel bad for fake Kelly Ripa. Her name is still Rhonda but damn if she don’t look like Kelly Ripa’s younger, taller sister. But she’s been trying to hold all this together for a while now.

    So that pulling guns in broad daylight outside an airport no less was something. Since it looked like a private airfield, maybe they have less security? I don’t know. But in TV land, a bunch of brothas can pull guns on folks like it’s nothing. No cops for miles around b

    Can’t wait to see next week! And listen to the podcast!

    Btw, when is Lucious gonna wake his bigoted ass up and see that Jamal is the one with the good head on his shoulders and the business savvy to run things. Smh. And I really think he’s gonna try to live forever and never let his boys take over. Personally, I think all 3 of them should run it together if he doesn’t pick Jamal. They would make a great team.

    • British Boo is having a lot of influence over Jamal’s career already. Have we even gone on a second date? Slow it down!

      The “lean on me” moment was reminiscent of the movie Lean on Me. I thought they were about to sing Fair Eastside.

  3. Empire gets better with each episode and I don’t see a slow down point. Mad props to Danny Strong and Lee Daniels for delivering on so many levels.

    Did yall know that reading is fundamental? Well, the library was open last night and Lucious was read for FILTH! Jamal told him what to do with his ridiculous homophobia that was threatening to destroy the business. I mean, is it that serious? Cookie read those dudes at the hood studio then drank their mark asses under the fuckin table! Too funny.

    Hakeem is trying to keep his likability streak going. I give him credit for all he did in last night’s episode. Though still being in love with Camilla?

    • I remember when calling someone a mark was tantamount to slapping them in front of all their friends and family. It was a fighting word in the 90s, so I liked that the character Cookie used it. She’s done so much time in prison, she doesn’t know the new street words.

  4. I can’t get enough of Empire. This episode made me scream.

    I think that Jamal is feeling himself. He was filming the video for his new song and forgot his clothes. I guess that was an homage to De’Angelo but I have to say that even w the braids De’Angelo did it better. When he was singing w Estele he had three buttons undone on his shirt. I see you Mal.

    I loved seeing the brothers be nicer to Andre. He obviously needed them and they were there for him. I am glad that Andre finally got to sing. Snow bunny seemed a bit shaken when he had a manic episode. I wonder if he has been this bad before. Andre’s acting might make me forget those tight suits. I am starting to really care about Andre. I dropped my iPad and screamed when he said Luscious was a murderer.

    I love Cookie. That being said, I didn’t like the “take the cookie moment “. It made her seem thirsty. I think that the scene wasn’t necessary and that the purpose of the scene was to a. Let the audience know that Cookie and Too Flight Security was not going to ship and b. It’s obvious to everyone that Lucious loves Cookie. I also gave the show a side eye when they said that one of the artists was at Ghetto Ass Studios

  5. I can’t get enough of Empire. This episode made me scream.

    Hakeem is starting to be a sweetheart. I appreciated him being honest w Tiana.

    I think that Jamal is feeling himself. He was filming the video for his new song and forgot his clothes. I guess that was an homage to De’Angelo but I have to say that even w the braids De’Angelo did it better. When he was singing w Estele he had three buttons undone on his shirt. I see you Mal. Seeing Jamal’s mouth form the word proclivities was sexier than the video

    I loved seeing the brothers be nicer to Andre. He obviously needed them and they were there for him. I am glad that Andre finally got to sing. Snow bunny seemed a bit shaken when he had a manic episode. I wonder if he has been this bad before. Andre’s acting might make me forget those tight suits. I am starting to really care about Andre. I dropped my iPad and screamed when he said Luscious was a murderer.

    I love Cookie. That being said, I didn’t like the “take the cookie moment “. It made her seem thirsty. I think that the scene wasn’t necessary and that the purpose of the scene was to a. Let the audience know that Cookie and Too Flight Security was not going to ship and b. It’s obvious to everyone that Lucious loves Cookie. I also gave the show a side eye when they said that one of the artists was at Ghetto Ass Studios

  6. I loved this episode so much!!
    1. Admittedly I was worried about Porsha taking the deal with Boo Boo Kitty but she effing came in proving her loyalty to the Lyons?..wow I?m having a serious Gryffindor moment. But the opening scenes with her and Cookie tossing Anika?s clothes and grabbing the phone. Now that?s how you get rid of bitch.
    2. Now with Daddy Lyon?s illness I was wondering if she already told Baretti but when Lucious threaten her Daddy it was confirmed she hadn?t spilled everything. It?s obvious it was going to be a serious long con that was suddenly ramped up, thanks to All-Star Soldier Porsha.
    3. I fucking love Cookie! She is everything!! She?s your sister, friend, mother, cousin, play momma ? SHE. IS. EVERY.WOMAN. When she went to the studio was like I?ve did 17 yrs, what did you do with this weak ass drank! And when Mr. Security dude was analyzing her while putting her in the car?.I was losing it cause I was laughing so hard.
    4. Now on to my boo Jamal?..I?m still trying to process the Jamal video?.the girl who?s crushing on him was in her happy place but the D?Angelo fan in me was like ?Whatcha doin? Willis?? Overall, Jamal is Lucious wrapped up in a sweeter package and Daddy Lyon is too stupid to realize it. Loved the duet with Estelle, it was so good!!
    5. The Elevator scene?..was just epic. From the lighting, the reactions from lil Chris Brown and Jamal, and someone give Trai a fucking Emmy!! His scenes the last 2 episodes has to seal his nominations. Hell this ENTIRE cast is stellar but he was the one I didn?t see coming?..his antics just got to me?.and next week he might sing with JHud?.oh hell yeah!! And when Andre told Lucious the one you should give the company to is the one who know you?re a murderer?..oh damn?.that man?.with his broad backside?.losing it!!
    I could go on and on and this is already long winded but this show is amazing. I did not want to like it nor did I expect to like it. Its so great!! They better be nominated for ALL the awards!!!
    I just realized I?m going to be drunk in Austin during the finale!!! URGH!!

  7. Andre clearly is envious of how easy he feels his brothers had it. On or off meds those his real feelings. He worked to earn the keys to the kingdom but he won’t get them.

    Also Luscious knew he was off his meds, he even asked him in the elevator a few episodes ago. That’s probably another reason he doesn’t trust him.

    Aside from Cookie, Cookie’s assistant is everything! She so good.

    • I think you’re right about Andre’s resentment. I think he underestimates how much of the hard times Jamal remembers, but since he is the oldest, Andre would have understood more and been more deeply affected by it.

  8. I forgot to add…..I think Daddy Lyon was aware something was wrong with Andre but I think he was in serious denial about it. I have a feeling the uncle hid alot of it from him. And Jamal may have always been aware and that’s why he was able to sing him down from the edge for a few minutes. Lil Chris Brown is so unaware of his brother’s condition.

  9. This show just gets better and better. When Cookie and Porsha marched in and gave BooBoo Kitty her walking papers, it was all moving so fast I thought I’d missed something.

    Hakeem beat boxing in the elevator had me shaking my head. Solange would never.

  10. Not much to say other than it was another great episode. Poor Andre with his Hulk like tendencies. He really does feel cutoff from the musical aspect of the family. And to my shame, I think I would have took those cookies.

    And I can’t get over how the actors keep a straight face when they have to say “Ghetto ass studio’. Lol

  11. I’m reading these comments wondering, who the hell is Porsha (and not the one from RHOA). I call her Cookie’s assistant.

  12. Great recaps Nikki and Nina, glad you’re doing a podcast about Empire now. This was another great episode that had so much tension in it. Even though it was unbelievable I was freaking out as Lucious kept stepping closer to Beretti with his gun pulled out. And the elevator scene….man. Around that time in the episode I was wondering if Andre was going to unravel since it’d been a while since taking his meds. Right as the thought crossed my mind the elevator stopped. I’m sure some people will say that was over-the-top acting but I thought the actor playing Andre did a great job of “breaking down” and then coming back after his brothers sang. Good episode Lee.

  13. This. Was. Andre’s. Episode. The scene in the elevator when they were singing “Lean On Me” broke me. Both times I watched. I’m the oldest of four and I can sympathize with Dre feeling that he’s done everything himself. I call BS when Beretti and Lucious met up at what looked like a park or something and everyone drew their guns. Not one paparazzi was around?? Loved Cookie in this episode. Do you think she hired Porsha to keep her slang game current? Bye Felicia is more current despite Friday coming out 20 years ago. And the You’re So Beautiful (Empire remix), I was fine with Tiana and Hakeem know the lyrics. I’m just glad they didn’t bust out in a synchronized dance routine. This show got me itchin like Tyrone Biggums. I can’t for the last few episodes!

  14. This episode was another really good..But I’m starting to wonder, how long can the show keep going at this pace. So much has happened already in this first season already, and it’s been really good. I’m afraid that if it gets renewed for a second season and Fox orders 22 episodes or something it’ll get bad real quick (i.e. Sleepy Hollow this past season). I hope they keep the seasons short and tight. I feel It’ll be the only way to stay on top. ——– By the way, Jamal fine ass has me questioning my life decisions. Love the podcast!!

    • It will definitely be hard to keep up this pace, but I’m not sure the networks have learned their lesson. Scandal has also gotten a bit ridiculous but they just keep going big.

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