EMPIRE Review: Season 2 Finale

I used to write reviews/recaps of Empire during the first season. I had a lot to write about at first, but slowly towards the end of the season, I really didn’t have much to say. The show, for me, just went downhill. It was exciting, but not AS exciting at it was in the beginning. And if you’re a regular watcher, then you remember how rushed and crazy that season 1 finale was. So for this season, I decided not to do any reviews. I’m glad I didn’t. This season has been all over the place. How so, you ask? Because, I can only remember maybe 5 things that have happened off the top of my head. But with some help (thanks, Hulu) here’s what happened this season (most of it anyway):

  1. Cookie wore outrageous clothes and probably cussed some people out.
  2. Lucious sang/rapped some crazy songs.
  3. Anika fronted the entire season, hiding how crazy she was after pushing Rhonda down the stairs.
  4. Jamal did the ‘do’ with some producer who was on the DL.
  5. Andre found their grandmother who, according to Lucious, had died.
  6. Lucious told Jamal he’d celebrate when he (Jamal) died from AIDS. (WHAT?!)
  7. Lucious had some reporter/journalist(?) off’d. (I assume. We haven’t seen her since Thirsty dropped her off under some bridge and two dudes hauled her off.)
  8. Somehow, Lucious and Cookie got the record company back. (Why did they lose it again in the first place? Oh yeah…)
  9. Camilla’s (Naomi Campbell) wife (Marisa Tomei) was running the company, but died (b/c she poisoned her). Then…
  10. Lucious had Camilla take the poison she used to kill her wife….
  11. But not before Camilla took over Lyon Records and made Hakeem the CEO (so random!)
  12. Oh I forgot…Lucious was in jail and killed someone (I’ve totally forgotten about the beginning of this season.)
  13. OH and remember Adam Rodriguez (he played that promoter that Cookie was dating), what happened to him?? Remember Lucious and Cookie found out he was apart of the group that kidnapped Hakeem…..wait…..
  14. REMEMBER HAKEEM WAS KIDNAPPED!!!!

My Lord… *smh*

I’m sure I’ve missed so many things that have happened, but that’s my point! This show is so forgettable to me! If you feel the same, then you now realize how terrible this show is! I shouldn’t be forgetting things like, Hakeem’s kidnapping or that Cookie had a love interest. On most shows, the main character dating should be significant and remembered. And a kidnapping should be VERY memorable and important. Both of these examples were neither significant, important or memorable, at least to me they weren’t.

Ok, this finale. *sigh* I tweeted that this was the worst season finale of a show I’ve ever seen in my life. IN MY LIFE! Like, I low-key hated it. Hate is a strong word. I STRONGLY disliked it. Ugh. No. I hated it. Seriously, I hated it so much that I don’t care what happens next season. It’s sad because I think about how great this show COULD be, but no. It’s not going to be great. I suspect that it will end by season 4. I’ll be SUPER surprised if it gets a season 5. IF it gets to 5 seasons, I guarantee you the show will be so terrible by that point.

Let me talk about a few things that happened in the finale that I had issues with:

  1. Jamal – Poor Jamal gets shot. He takes a bullet for his father AFTER he (in the previous ep?) says he will celebrate when Jamal dies from AIDS. AIDS!? He doesn’t have it (in case you were confused). No, Lucious is ASSUMING because his son is gay, that he will get AIDS. Like, that was probably the most terrible thing I’ve ever heard on a scripted show. Like, what the entire ****?!? That made me feel some kind of way. Like, that was just…ugh. I didn’t care for it. But that’s not the point.The point is, Jamal took a bullet for his father. And yes, it was instinctive for him to do so, and I don’t fault him for it. But let’s just see how their relationship continues after this because if Empire is true to form, Jamal and Lucious will go back and forth with their love/hate relationship…which I hate. I’ve talked about this before how, one moment, Jamal is absolutely fine with ol’ Lu. Then in the next episode, he’s hating him. And Jamal SHOULD hate Lu. Lu is a horrible father! So next season, which I will not watch, Jamal should continue to hate Lu because he basically said he’ll be happy when Jamal dies…from AIDS. *shudders*
    1. After the hospital, Jamal says he doesn’t want to sing any more. He doesn’t want to do music. He’s over it. Well, that didn’t last long at all, did it?! Like, what the hell!? So Freda raps something for Jamal and that changes his mind instantly??? What was the point of all of that then?? This show… *smh*
  2. Hakeem and Laura – Honestly, I didn’t see the point of them getting married. Like, why did Hakeem need to get married? This was probably the worse storyline this season, in my opinion. So many ridiculous things here. Let’s go backwards: (a) She backs out of marrying Hakeem AT THE WEDDING because a random fight broke out. She says she can’t deal with his family. Ummm, if that woman hadn’t run out after serving Anika the subpoena, which I believe started the fighting, then the wedding would’ve happened as planned. So she would’ve been in the family!! (b) Her parents have concerns THE NIGHT BEFORE the wedding that the Lyons are essentially a thug family. (c) There were NEVER any concerns from Laura about marrying into this crazy family!!! Like, where did all of this concern come from? Did I miss something? It’s possible *lol*
  3.  Anika – So she decides she’ll just jump off the building so she doesn’t have to testify against Lucious. Really, lady? REALLY?? Stop the madness. I do feel bad for her character, as she went from being a big part of the show to being nothing. I mean, she was engaged to Lucious and she was head of A & R at the label!!! If I were writing for this show, I would’ve kept the whole initial Lucious/Anika story. Why? Remember how fun it was season 1 when Cookie and Anika would fight? That was all because Anika was the new girl and Cookie was jealous. Jealousy makes for great soap opera storylines. It makes people do crazy things (as evidenced with Anika pushing Rhonda down the stairs). But honestly, Anika as a character is pointless on the show now. I wonder why they chose to relegate her to a creepster so early on in the show’s history/story. I miss when her and Cookie would dish out snarky insults in season 1. I think that if they were planning to go this route with Anika, this should’ve happened in season 3 or 4. Not by the end of season 1! I always ask, what’s the point of creating these crazy/dramatic subplots if you’re not going to ride it out a little.
  4. Lucious’ mother – For a second, I thought she was going to go crazy and really start wreaking havoc! That scene where she was cutting the cake and telling Lu she wished she’d killed him when she had the chance? Yeah. CREEEEE-PY. Seriously, I was a little legit scared for him! *lol* But nothing came of that later on. Then, it looked like she was going to tell allllllll the family secrets to the press outside the hospital, but apparently Thirsty stopped her (off camera). So in the end, nothing really came from bringing the mom back into the picture. Very disappointing, Empire. What’s going to happen with her next season? Are they going to put her back into the home? Or will they suddenly make her scary mommy again? Who knows.

Those were the main issues I had with the finale (and with this season). I’ve said this time and time again when I reviewed the first season, they need to learn better pacing for this show. If it’s supposed to be a soap opera, cool. It’s fine to do some crazy, off the wall things. BUT… let’s give it time to marinate. For example, the Hakeem kidnapping. WHY? Dude was kidnapped for ONE DAY! *LOL* What was the point of that?? They found him so fast, it was so pointless. Let that brotha stay kidnapped for at least a night! Geez, Empire, learn how to kidnap right! 🙂

Anika’s character was great in the first season and now she’s barely on screen. Again, her fall from the top is fine, but let it build up! Empire, you could’ve had Cookie and Lu sneak around a little longer, or have Lu go back and forth trying to decide who he wanted to be with a little longer. It would’ve been more dramatic, in my opinion, if their love triangle got a little more traction. OH…now that I think of it, if things had gone on between the three of them a little longer, then the “crazy Anika” persona would’ve made much more sense. Instead, she just became a crazy person out of nowhere! I don’t think anyone understood that change at all. OH, remember when Anika drove Laura home (pretending to be the driver), because she was jealous (that didn’t last long)? Why didn’t that go anywhere? Like, ok, suddenly Anika is crazy! SO random, but fine. She decides to impersonate a driver to (seemingly) cause potential harm to Laura for being with Hakeem. Well, why didn’t anything happen? She took Laura home. That was it? Ok, fine. She found out where Laura lived. So I’m thinking, maybe she’ll go back to Laura’s house and do something to her. Nope. Nothing happened. Terrible, Empire, just terrible. 😦

Those were just some examples of how they start the ball rolling with something great and just drop it in the middle of the ocean, never to be found again.

Oh….remember that time Jussie decided for one night he was straight and made out with Alicia Keys? Riiiiight. *smh*

For those that continue to watch this show, good luck! I hope it gets better!

-t

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