Empire Season 2 Ep. 3 ‘Fires in Heaven’ Review: The Battle Royale

EMPIRE: Cast Pictured L-R: (Bottom Row) Bryshere Gray as Hakeem Lyon, Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon, Trai Byers as Andre Lyon (Middle Row) Grace Gealey as Anika, Kaitlin Doubleday as Rhonda Lyon (Back Row) Gabourey Sidibe as Becky, Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon and Ta'Rhonda Jones as Porsha on EMPIRE Season 2 premiering Wednesday, September 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: James Dimmock/FOX.

As viewers watch as Luscious makes his grand entrance into the Lyon’s family dining room, one can only feel some of the surly glee in his eyes as he courts ideas of exacting punishment on those who betrayed him. The ensuing war between Luscious’ Empire and Cookie’s Dynasty is upon us know, and God help those in their way.

 

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After being freed from prison, Luscious doesn’t miss a beat, starting with a huge rally in his name and acquiring his position as head of Empire as if he hadn’t even left. ‘I’m giving ya’ll one last chance because ya’ll are my family. I know ya’ll can’t eat without me because all ya’ll got is pride. And it’s chewy and it’s hard to swallow. Let it go.’ bellows Luscious to those present at the table. Cookie snaps back coyly saying, ‘I don’t know what happened to you when you were locked up, but you got me twisted, O.G. I’m always gonna’ eat. Just not with you.’, as she slowly walks away, pulling the tablecloth with her, wasting the family meal on the floor. Wow.

 

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I see that the writers are sticking to what fans like the most, and that’s the fireworks in the dynamics between the inner circles of the Lyons. Andre finally confesses to his mother concerning Rhonda’s pregnancy, and Cookie couldn’t have been happier. Yet Andre’s desperation to get back into the Empire fold is what was most disheartening for Cookie to watch. Luscious’ fears regarding Andre taking reins of the company further came to the surface when it came to a possible hereditary passing down of Andre’s Bi-polar issues to his grandchild. ‘Aren’t you worried?’ Luscious asks. ‘About what?’ Andre responds. ‘The child’s mental health’ the beleaguered CEO says to his son, knowing his own mother’s battles with being Bi-polar (as played by Kelly Rowland last week see here) via the flashbacks we saw. Bi-polar doesn’t run in our family, Dad. There’s nothing to worry about’ says Andre, even though one might suspect that even Andre himself doesn’t believe what he’s saying.

Cookie pulls no punches in getting Hakeem’s music promoted, and what better way than having your son on Sway in The Morning’s radio show? Hakeem however, against his mother’s wishes, lets Sway know about his talented, but inexperienced, all girl group Mirage-á-Trois. What better way to fix this snafu than to have Hakeem and crew crash Luscious’ release event for Jamal?

 

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Even though Jamal and special guest Hip Hop start Pitbull put a fairly good performance, I would have to say Jamal’s song ‘Run It’ with super producer Timbaland, hands down is probably going to be the hit of this season. Of course, the ultimate slap in the face came from daddy Lyons, in the form of stealing Jamal’s prized girl group from beneath him. Being dirty isn’t easy folks.

Overall, this was a well-balanced episode, without too many over-arching storylines to contend with.

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