“Empire” Season 2 react: The State of Jamal & Lucious’ Empire

Empire‘s latest episode, “Without a Country,” left me with some thoughts, thoughts that you probably shared as you watched and live-tweeted. The main thought being that Jamal probably doesn’t know how to run a company. 

• “Smart business decisions”: During Jamal’s interview with the lady from Spilling the Tea, he said he’s busy trying to make music and, to quote him, “smart business decisions.” If he’s all about business, was it smart to send most of your family (i.e. most of the talent that kept Empire Records running) out in the cold? Why fire them if Jamal knows he doesn’t have the acumen to run a company?

Sure, he’s got the creative talent, and yes, he does have a bit of Lucious’ relentless drive, but there is one thing he didn’t inherit from his dad or his mom, and that’s the talent it takes to keep talent and grow a business. Perhaps he does have it, but he hasn’t shown it yet, and he’s certainly not showing by trying to emulate Lucious and oust everyone who goes against him.

By the way, they didn’t even go against him. They were going against Lucious, just as he should have done. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again; Jamal’s strong in his less-than-smartness.

• Rainbow Sensation: Hakeem’s cute to think that “Rainbow Sensation” is a great name for a girl group. Or any group, for that matter. Even the Rainbow Coalition gets laughed at by all races because of how Barney and Friends that name is. But, thankfully, he abandons his search for the Rainbow Sensation in favor of his new squeeze, Valentina Galindo (played by guest star Becky G).

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• Spilling the Tea: I know there’s talk of Lee Daniels creating an Empire spin-off featuring Cookie and her sisters, which I’d watch in a heartbeat. But if Daniels is going into the business of spinoffs, might I suggest also creating a spinoff focusing on Spilling the Tea? From how charming and seemingly harmless the host was with Jamal, I doubt Daniels and the writers created the characters to take on Dynasty-level drama. But there’s tons of machinations behind the scenes of shows; wouldn’t it be fun to take a show like Spilling the Tea and do an Unreal treatment with it? I’d like to see the team try to compete with Wendy Williams and The Real.

• Why is Anika there?: I know she’s there because Hakeem asked her to be there (aka for the plot), but in reality, why would she even want to work with this family again for any reason? If I were her, I would have already said “No” and go work at another music company. Or, even better, get out of music altogether and just work in PR.

•Ludacris and Thirsty: I’m not going to rag on him too hard, but you know what I’m thinking. The delivery of the lines was wooden and, at times, comical. There, I said it. But special shout-out goes out to Thirsty Rawlings aka Bubbles from The Wire, played by Andre Royo. His character, a crooked lawyer from “The University of Guam” in cheap loud suits, is already an instant classic. If you get him and Cookie in a room, it’s going to be epic.

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• Andre’s grandmother: So, we are to assume that the reason Lucious doesn’t want Andre back at Empire is because he reminds Lucious of his mother, who also had mental challenges. Does this make sense? Andre was Lucious’ right-hand man for years, and now Lucious is just going to drop him because Andre’s mental illness was made public? So it’s all right as long as Andre’s illness is behind closed doors? I’ll just say this about Lucious: without getting into details, I know people like Lucious in real life, who will find any reason to hold grudges. These people get on my nerves.

• How do you release a hit song from jail? I’m sure it’s been done, but how incredible is Lucious to be able to do that? Let’s see you try to do that, Jamal, since you know so much about building an empire.

What did you think of this week’s Empire? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

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Photo credit: Chuck Hodes/FOX
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