TV Show Review

TV Review: EMPIRE: Season 2, Episode 13: The Tameness of a Wolf [Fox]

Terrence Howard Trai Byers Bryshere Y. Gray Empire The Tameness of a Wolf

Fox‘s Empire The Tameness of a Wolf TV Show ReviewEmpire: Season 2, Episode 13: The Tameness of a Wolf completely changes directions from the previous few episodes to bring us into new territory. If you’re like me, all you’ve been wondering coming into this week’s episode of Empire is what happened to Camilla (Naomi Campbell); surely the show wouldn’t just let it end that easily, right?

Wrong. Not only has Camilla died, but we don’t even have to wait to find out. This week’s episode opens at some sort of memorial/business announcement, where Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) provides snide commentary to Jamal (Jussie Smollett) under her breath while Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) announces to everyone that Camilla’s line, Antony and Cleopatra, will continue with Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) as its creative director. Bye, Camilla.

Except, maybe not. Lucious (Terrence Howard) still wants to talk about it: “Thank God you killed her,” he says to Hakeem, who naturally gets pretty upset about all of this. Hakeem isn’t in trouble- the case has been explained as murder suicide- but could Lucious’s accusation mean that he’s planning to take Hakeem down by getting him convicted for this crime? Lucious throws out a few more jabs at all of his sons, and Cookie responds that for her first free birthday in 17 years this week all she wants is a family dinner with no drama.

As promised, we learn more about Lucious’s backstory as he films a music video that doubles as a mini-autobiography. Although Lucious wants to tell his story because he thinks it will win him the award, looking back at his past is tough for him to do. We learn that, although Lucious loved his mother (Kelly Rowland), he was also afraid of her. She once nearly drowned him in a bathtub to “cleanse” him, and later that day she felt so guilty that she killed herself in front of him. Lucious falters a couple of times as he gets back in touch with these memories, but Cookie encourages him to tell the whole truth…and the two of them may be rekindling their feelings in the process.

Lucious’s music video has some casualties, though. Freda Gatz (Bre-z), who cowrote the song, comes to set to find out that she is no longer a part of the song or video- after having told Jamal and Hakeem that she is loyal to their father and not to them. Furious and disappointed, she approaches Jamal and decides to work with him after all. Freda’s father is dead, and they end up collaborating on a song about the pain they have both had because of their fathers. More on this later.

In other news, Tiana (Serayah) is on tour and is not happy about Laura (Jamila Velazquez) and the rest of Mirage a Trois stepping on her toes as the opening act. Could there be some bad blood because Tiana is Hakeem’s ex? This awkward triangle is brought into the spotlight when Hakeem meets them both on tour to work out some sort of compromise and ends up performing a song in which they both have a part. This definitely looks like a battle for the guy, and the hits to Tiana’s pride keep coming as Hakeem leaves Cookie’s birthday dinner early to propose to Laura after a show in front of all of their fans.

Hakeem isn’t the only one to leave the party early. It has a sweet start: Jamal refuses to come, and Cookie shows up to see that Lucious is the only one there. But then she hears Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” coming from another room; the boys have all surprised her. Cookie shares with them the rough cut of Lucious’s music video, which starts to seem like a touching family moment, until Andre (Trai Byers) gets up and turns it off. Watching this portrayal of Lucious’s mother, he realizes that this is where his mental illness comes from, and he asks why Lucious never told him. To which Lucious responds, “I was embarrassed by her, the same way that I’m embarrassed by you.”

The party falls apart, and the episode ends fittingly with Freda and Jamal singing about their less-than-ideal experiences with their fathers. Cookie loves it, until she realizes through the lyrics that Freda is Frank Gathers’ (Chris Rock) daughter. Looks like Cookie is in for some trouble.

Camilla’s exit certainly has not left Empire wanting for drama, and the show is a lot more fun without all of the business of who’s CEO and who produces what. This episode had a really strong balance between serious life stuff and some family drama for each character. The nitty gritty of Lucious’s past and how it relates especially to Andre’s future is going to keep us questioning for the next several episodes, and for those fans who just love their love triangles, Tiana is sure to deliver. Meanwhile, we’ll be listening to The Sun Will Always Shine on Me on repeat.

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About the author

Leah Singerman

Leah writes about life lessons found in unconventional places. She especially likes to draw random connections, think about the things that we all share as humans, and find the important life lessons in seemingly fluffy romantic comedies. Leah’s other interests include Harry Potter, music, and the great outdoors.

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