Fox‘s Empire Time Shall Unfold TV Show Review. Empire: Season 2, Episode 14: Time Shall Unfold is aptly named, as this episode gives us far more questions than answers. Here are the biggest questions we have after this week’s share of drama.
Who is Empire’s next heir?
Remember when Anika (Grace Gealey) was with Lucious (Terrence Howard) and then Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray)? That was fun for everyone (not). Now the fun returns when Anika announces to the family that she is pregnant, and she has no doubt that it’s Hakeem’s baby. As usual, the family is weirdly concerned about having heirs (which is a whole different question: what’s the rush? Plenty of them are still around, and they’re all relatively young.), so they want her to keep it. Lucious even goes as far as to offer her 10 million dollars to give them the baby. Anika has a different idea, though. She just wants her baby to have a family; what that means in the context of the already imploding Lyon family, we’re not sure. When he gets Anika alone, Lucious implores her to take his offer so that he doesn’t have to do anything sketchy to her. When she responds that she has plenty of dirt on him that the FBI would love to know, Lucious simply says that she should be careful. After all, many women don’t survive childbirth.
Jamal reminds the family that if they’re serious about an heir they should be trying to find Lola. However, Lucious casually mentions that he had a DNA test done on her, confirming that she is not in fact an heir. Now Lola is out of the picture, and we’re not sure what’s going to happen with Anika’s child. Once again, we’re not sure why this is even relevant, but the question remains of who will be Empire’s heir.
Who will lead Empire? (Or, why is Lucious such a jerk?)
We’ve known that Lucious wants to be back on top, but seriously, did he have to do it this way? Lucious starts getting cozy with the shareholders, many of whom begin to express their fidelity to him. Just to make things certain, Lucious sabotages everything Hakeem has going for Empire; he has all of the Antony & Cleopatra items stolen and plants drugs on Laura’s (Jamila Velazquez) tour bus, causing the company to put a hold on the line and cancel the tour. Of course, Lucious can’t be blamed for any of it. Hakeem is left scrambling for some good news to present at the upcoming shareholders meeting.
Because it’s Empire, of course the shareholders meeting looks like a concert, which begins with a performance from Tiana (Serayah). Then Hakeem introduces a music streaming app, which everyone is really excited about until Lucious shows up and begins his verbal attack. He questions Hakeem’s knowledge about the music industry, and then goes in for the kill, pointing out that under Hakeem’s leadership Empire seems to be full of delays and mishaps; he announces, to everybody’s surprise, that the app Hakeem has just presented doesn’t even work. World’s best dad, no?
Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) saves the day with an impassioned speech about how Hakeem and Lucious are just two men who care about Empire and who will work together to make it as great as can be (Cookie for CEO!), but she can’t stop the board from voting Hakeem out. Lucious has nothing to say to Cookie about this exciting turn of events other than, “You know you love me, baby.” Will Lucious again be the king of the Empire?
Where is the love for Jamal? (Or, what’s the deal with Frank Gatz?)
This episode confirms yet again that Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is probably the purest, most good-hearted character on the show. He and Freda (Bre-z) are loving their collaborations for his upcoming album; Freda is singing in two songs, and the two artists are vibing hard-core. However, Cookie is still totally freaked about Frank Gatz, Freda’s father who was murdered in prison, and whose death Cookie and Lucious seem to know too much about. To distract Jamal, Cookie sets him up to work with the amazing Stacee Run Run (Cat Washington), an emcee who’s all the rage right now, but who has an exclusivity clause in her contract which means that Freda can’t be on the same album. When Jamal breaks the news to Freda, he promises that after this album he and Freda can pick up where they left off. Freda says there’s “no need for promises.” Ouch.
When Jamal shows up to his first session with Stacee, the star isn’t there. Instead she has sent in a prerecorded verse for Jamal to work with, and he gives it a shot but he just can’t do it. Jamal, maybe more than any other character on the show, needs other people. He can’t do his music without that human connection, which can elevate someone like Freda to something so much greater than Stacee Run Run. So, like the great man he is, Jamal backs out of fame and goes for the people and the art. He apologizes to Freda, asking her to come back. She says she’ll think about it.
What happened to Lucious’s mother?
Speaking of human connection… Andre (Trai Byers) gets caught in the middle of the Hakeem-Lucious battle when Lucious brings Andre to the grave of his mother, Leah Walker. “She could make the sun come up at midnight,” Lucious remembers. Andre has a touching moment of speaking to Leah, but Lucious ruins it by taking the opportunity to get Andre on his side; this explains how he ends up knowing about the faulty app at the shareholders meeting, and who knows what this breach of trust will do to Andre’s relationship with his brothers.
The bigger question here, though, is about the last minute of this week’s episode: Thirsty Rawlings (Andre Royo) walks into a nursing home in Pennsylvania to check up on, and provide money for, none other than Leah Walker (Leslie Uggams). That’s right, Lucious’s mother is alive and seemingly doing pretty well, hanging out in her rocking chair singing songs. At least she’s doing better than last time we saw her, also known as that time we watched Lucious and Andre visit her gravestone. Somebody has a lot of explaining to do…