Previously on Empire, ‘Sins of the Father’
In the first hour of the finale, story pacing died but fifty times.
Cookie’s best line: “Hell wants the devil back and Lucious is on his way.”
Lucious B. Lyings: He offers Jamal the respect he’s always wanted, but is manipulating him to be a substitute Vernon.
Number of times you wanted to slap Hakeem: Slap him? Oh, you mean slap him on the back for publicly shaming Lucius? Let’s do that after we kick him in the groin for hooking up with his common law step-mom.
Most triflin’ character: Anika has been with Lucious since Hakeem was a pubescent boy. To quote Porsha, “That’s nasty!” It was completely out of Anika’s character, but nothing is impossible in a nighttime soap opera musical.
Health check-up: Lucious was having double vision. An extra that we’ve never seen in our lives appeared out of nowhere like a State Farm agent. He knew that double vision was not a symptom of ALS. Lucious and a doctor had an exposition scene; the doctor reminded us that State Farm extra is the nurse Lucious yelled at last episode. Lucious doesn’t have ALS. He has a similar disease called Myasthenia Gravis. The doctor said, “It’s a chronic, but highly treatable condition.” Lucious was like, Chronic? Yes, I need some.
Who should jump the line for relationship counseling: Malcolm is totally a codependent.
Lee Daniels Extraness: All of this heavy-handed religious extraness. Lucious compared himself to God fifty-eleven times. While Jamal and Ryan got intimate, J-Hud sang, “There ain’t nothing too hard for my God.” Message! Christians think homosexuality can be cured, but it can’t. Get it? Before I leave this topic, I must confess to cracking up when Lucious pretended to catch the spirit from J-Hud.
Best Cameo: Snoop Dogg serving you funk.
Best minor character moments: 1. Porsha calling Lucious, “LuLu.” 2. They finally allowed Gabby Sidibe to look like the executive assistant of a music mogul. The dress was flattering and office appropriate. The shoes looked alive and well.
The BET award goes to: It’s a tie! “Nothing to Lose,” featuring Jussie Smollett and Terrence Howard; and “Peaches and Cream,” by Snoop Dogg.
Most unbelievable moments: First of all, those metal trashcans from Jamal’s youth haven’t rusted or been upgraded to plastic. Lucious fired Cookie! Then he punched Hakeem in the face! Jamal almost threw Beretti off the balcony! Anika and Hakeem?! Ghost Bunkie! Cookie is about to smother Lucious (but not really)!!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was only the first half of the finale.
The second half of the finale had fist fights, manslaughter, a pregnancy announcement, an arrest, and the incomparable Patti Labelle.
Cookie’s best line: “Tell me why I shouldn’t throw this drink in your bitch-ass face?”
Lucious B. Lyings: He’s been lying about his real name so long, not even Cookie knows. His name is Dwight Walker. I thought he said, “The White Walker,” so I was wondering why Empire was referencing Game of Thrones.
Number of times you wanted to slap Hakeem: He gets a play-slap upside the head for asking his brother, who has an MBA, if he’s ever heard of a hostile take-over.
Most triflin’ character: Black Rambo and his unreliable Jafaican accent.
Health check-up: No one’s happy about Lucious living except Jamal. Vernon returned – presumably from rehab – only to be killed by a one pound candleholder that looked like it was made of particle board. Rhonda is pregnant, chile.
Who should jump the line for relationship counseling: Andre and Rhonda stay having the most messed up relationship ever. I just can’t.
Thank You, Lee Daniels: Although I’ve complained about the heavy-handed treatment of Christianity and homosexuality, I know my perception is skewed because I’m well-informed on these topics. This show is doing work on the general population when it comes to challenging homophobia. It’s challenging the people we’re tempted to hide from our Facebook timelines. I’m very happy that it is. They may take as long as Lucious to finally get it, but having this conversation present in this show is making them think.
Best Cameo: Patti! Patti! After name-checking Black Lives Matter, Patti Labelle gave a soul-stirring performance that harkened back to her 1989 single, “Yo Mister.” Her voice sounds the same way it did before I was born, because her voice is the diety Lucious keeps claiming to be.
Least subtle reference to a real-life celebrity: Lucious mentioned a shooting incident involving someone named Shyne.
The BET award goes to: “Nothing to Lose,” featuring Pattie Labelle and Jussie Smollett.
Most unbelievable moment: Lucious was arrested for Bunkie’s murder. He ended the episode in that dark, abandoned prison Cookie used to live in. There’s just one problem – Vernon was the star witness. Oops.
The episode ends with everyone in what we’d think is their rightful place, including Lucious. With Vernon dead, though, it’s highly unlikely he’ll stay there. More importantly, can you believe Patti is 70 years old? Who won the fight between Cookie and Anika? What about Andre v. Vernon?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the finale, so share with us in the comments below!