TV Show Review

TV Review: EMPIRE: Season 2, Episode 1: The Devils Are Here [FOX]


FOX’s  Empire The Devils Are Here TV Show Review. Empire: Season 2,  Episode 1: The Devils Are Here wades into this series knee deep in deception and it is clear to me now why Taraji P. Henson was nominated for an Emmy. Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) is a positively diabolical delight to sink your teeth into if you are craving bad attitude and backstabbing.

This show is about a wealthy family whose patriarch is staged to die and must choose a rightful heir to lead his music company, Empire. Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is locked up for murder at the start of this season and Cookie is throwing a concert in Central Park to gain political and media connections that might help him. Her son, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray), questions why they are wasting time on freeing a man who is guilty in the first place in the opening scene. Cookie calls his father a “tampon” and an ego maniac and the oblivious hypocrisy of her own character plays out for the rest of the episode. She  proceeds to engage in their plans for a hostile takeover of the company. Her play is to depose Lucious with billionaire lesbian investor Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei).

This show is jam packed, no pun intended, with story, and drama, and really bad people who navigate some plot twists that will keep you on your toes in The Devils Are Here. I am in awe of how much was packed into the space of around forty-five minutes of screen time.

Cookie spends most of her time on the take over, but hits a bump in the road when a dead man’s head arrives on her doorstep in a pretty present box. It was sent by a man who entered Lucious’ world in federal prison, Frank Gathers (Chris Rock), right from the jump off. He’s trying to figure out who snitched on him, and as the episode progresses, everyone realizes it was Cookie while she was locked up doing the five years she did time without a single visit from Lucious.

Lucious is at the helm of his company from the crowbar hotel and has been secretly engaging in any deal to be made with Mimi, who doesn’t tell Cookie who her ears on the street are while they are entertaining at a lesbian hot tub party Cookie is throwing in order to seduce the investor into the company to play.

The three brothers are the products of their incredibly narcissistic parents, and currently, Jamal (Jussie Smollett), who is gay, is staged to lead everyone, but appears to be a man just going for a walk alone. He is reprieved when the bomb drops on Cookie’s plan during the meeting she wanted to reveal her success at when Jamal lets her in on his own little secret. Mimi is there in anticipation and will not be involved without Lucious Lyon, the one little detail everyone seems to have ignored. “Bye, bye, bitches.”

Cookie, it turns out, still needs Lucious after all is said and done with her ploy. You see, the head in the box is unnerving enough to kindle some loyalty to her from Lucious, who in his own diabolical strategy, has bribed Frank Gathers’ inmate bodyguards to kill him instead of Lucious in the world that he rules from inside and outside the system. They make it long and loud, but when it’s all over, Lucious still has Jamal to back him up and take a hit (literally).    

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About the author

Stephanie King

I am a meticulous writer. Story is my strong suit.

I do not waste time on political "critique" or paranoid "undertones" that might have been an inspiration to a story writer, but clearly are not a main or secondary theme.

I can identify high concept, main and sub theme(s), protagonists and antagonists, secondary character roles, the turning point, the key, the antagonist's story thrust, the spine, twelve sequences, the climax, the resolution, and most importantly, the goal of any film. I am aware of the act structure which can be from three to five acts, generally.

Aristotle elaborates in his Poetics on Plato's Republic on act structure.

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