EMPIRE: “Sins of the Father” Review
On Empire this week, Lucious (Terrence Howard) is about to lose control…and he doesn’t like it. As Empire Records moves closer to going public, he wants to ensure that nothing goes wrong, and he makes his decisions based on delusions, bigotry and fear more than anything else.
Right from the get go, he starts shutting out Vernon (Malik Yoba), since Vernon tried to make sure Andre (Trai Byers) has a rightful place as the head of the company once Lucious is gone. Lucious also believes that now that Anika (Grace Gealey) is out of the picture, he and Cookie (Taraji P Henson) will get married, so he pulls shares from his sons to give to her to make her the head of A&R.
Cookie isn’t buying it, though. She has her sights set on Lucious’ head of security, Malcolm (Derek Luke), and the feeling is more than mutual. But Cookie, and the rest of the family, have bigger things to worry about as all three brothers’ respective drama come to a head the night that they’re all supposed to sign the paperwork at Lucious’ house.
Andre is still hospitalized for his bipolar disorder, and Lucious refuses to visit him. We see Andre’s first break in flashback, from his college days, and how Lucious refuses to acknowledge his disease. Olivia (Raven Symone) is in this flashback as well, and there’s more than a little eye contact between her and Lucious. Since Lucious won’t visit the hospital, Andre makes Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) his proxy and sends her off to the meeting, giving him time to get inappropriately close to his therapist (Jennifer Hudson).
Olivia is back in present day as well. She tries to take a bus away, but her current man Reg (Jerod Haynes) catches up to her and they go to Vernon, who brings them to Lucious. Jamal (Jussie Smollett) wants to raise Lola himself, but Lucious is against it, his bigotry rearing its ugly head. But when Reg shows up, Jamal realizes that Reg has been hurting Lola and confronts him. Reg pulls a gun and in a last ditch effort to save everyone, Lucious admits that Lola is his daughter, not Jamal’s. Fortunately Malcolm shows up in time to shoot Reg and save the family.
Where was Malcolm during all this? Oh, he was escorting Camilla (Naomi Campbell) to the airport. After she and Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) produce a song together, Lucious offers Camilla money in order for her to disappear. When she refuses, he removes her by force, and she vows that she will return as soon as he is dead.
As Cookie tells Lucious: “You destroy everything you touch.” She’s right. His need for control and his prejudice and paranoia are tearing his family apart. One by one, he is alienating all of the people closest to him. Even Rhonda is standing up to him at this point. She points out that after ten years of being with Andre, he still doesn’t know anything about her, assuming that she was a spoiled rich white girl when she came from nothing and worked her way to where she is now. This was the first moment that I actually liked Rhonda, so good for her.