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The main thing the Universe loves to do is make us all look like damn fools whenever possible. Ca...

'Empire' Recap: Cookie's Sweet Revenge

By 18:05:00

The main thing the Universe loves to do is make us all look like damn fools whenever possible. Call it superstition, call it pseudo-science, but also call it TRUTH: Making a declaration of any kind is basically just begging the fates to make the opposite happen. Naomi Campbell and her wife Mimi Whiteman thought they could just take over Empire Entertainment but were proven wrong in a matter of days. Meanwhile, I personally declared myself kinda bored with this season of Empire and was proven wrong one week later! Because this week’s episode was very wonderful and a true return to form.

Yes, “A Rose By Any Other Name” felt very much like a Season 1 episode. It was effortlessly over-the-top and hilarious while burning through a surprising amount of story in just one hour. By the end it appeared that the Lyon family had wrested control of Empire back, PLUS both Mimi Whiteman and Naomi Campbell were possibly DEAD. That, plus a gay flashmob, a Hakeem-redesigned Empire logo, and any number of throw-away jokes made this episode one of the best in a long time. Let’s talk about it!

We began with a press conference, and like any good press conference, it involved a young rapper turned CEO dressed in a Cosby sweater and holding a gilded scepter. Hakeem had ARRIVED.

He barked out sound bites to all of the assembled bloggers and press (who were mostly hot ladies for some reason) and assured everyone that his family was still well in control of Empire Entertainment. Personally I liked that even though Hakeem was in charge, he still wasn’t totally in charge:

Yeah, Cookie was counting on him to not f–k this up. (I loved that he barely reacted when she slapped his head, and then immediately went back to eating his lollipop. Why bother fighting the true power?)

Speaking of ridiculous, Lucious was getting ready to shoot his new music video and was trying on a bunch of bargain basement costumes while holding a fake axe. That’s right, the video was inspired by Richard II, the Shakespeare play. But I know what you’re thinking, wasn’t Empire originally inspired by King Lear? The answer is yes, but don’t worry about it. There’s plenty of room for fur coat-filled hip hop adaptations of ALL of Shakespeare’s plays. Just wait until Season 3 when a wizard (probably played by a celebrity) arrives and imprisons everyone on an island or whatever. Oh, and then Lucious did this:

Meanwhile Camilla was running the company with the sort of iron fleshy fist that you’d expect of someone who only wanted the job to spite someone. Her main thing was, she did NOT want Hakeem to be dating Laura still, even though Camilla herself was still married to Mimi Whiteman. But, you know, Mimi Whiteman was all set to die any day, so.

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