TV Show Review

TV Review: EMPIRE: Season 2, Episode 7: High Hopes For A Low Heaven A [FOX]

Bryshere Y. Gray Empire

FOX’s  Empire High Hopes For A Low Heaven TV Show Review. Empire: Season 2,  Episode 6: High Hope For A Low Heaven A is a whirlwind of violence I can’t condone or ignore. It picks up with Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) and the kidnapping. He is betting his way out and not making it too hard on himself, but must confront serious feelings of regret, shame, and guilt when it’s his time to heal. He nearly ruins his image for only the slightest moment. The guy is a drama king. And being a boy suits him at Lyon Dynasty.

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) will be the queen of the streets before this season is over. She is skeptical in the vein that she begins to think Hakeem’s video kidnapping footage is a stunt being pulled by Lucious (Terrence Howard). When they figure out it is folks outside the family messing with the family, they together, decide it’s time for mommy and daddy to go out with the same goal in mind; get the baby back. Cookie is as tough as a junkyard dog. Lucious just wants to protect her. He’s a simple guy.

Becky (Gabourey Sibide) is hooking up with her man, J Poppa (Mo McRae), and appears to be in love enough to arrive late at work.

Andre (Trai Byers) makes a divisive move and Christianizes Gutter Life Records with J Poppa on board in his own spiritual style conversion. Becky hears it for the first time in front of Lucious. Remember, she and Andre do not get along in their new roles. What is her title? He is looking for the “new standard” of Gutter Life by pruning the company tree of undesirable fruit. And he thinks he can mess with her romanitc relationship with an artist through the company.

Lucious wants “proof of life” when he sees the video of Hakeem. Cookie is outrageously mad about the concept being used in the negotiation of Hakeem who drops by and comes onto Anika (Grace Gealey) in a vulnerable moment and on her porch. Ouch. He wants a no strings attached session before he reports home with his injuries. The doctor checks him out just fine, but he isn’t fine being Lucious’ son. He blames him and then Cookie for the mishap.  

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) believes he may have been dumped by a concert venue for being gay because he might have been. Lucious has a streak of past homophobia to restore in a positive way, but then Jameson (William Fichtner) shows up and almost loses his footing with Lucious who one could believe was himself being protective of Jamal after bringing his best advice to the studio and convincing Jamal to put the passion into his music. Jamal just wants to break out of his niche marketing by Empire as a “gay artist” and be seen as universal. Good deal.

Andre discovers Jobe, “J Poppa”, his new protégé from the streets. Becky has no idea this image deal is taking place. She gets put off, but has seen so many deals that Andre hasn’t seen. 

In the king’s den, Lucioius is harping about how much he needs to protect Cookie from the world. He doesn’t want her back, though. He tells her about the wolves waiting in line for sanguine privileges. 

The new promoter, Laz (Adam Rodriguez), talks about his history with snatch and grabs. Cookie won’t hire the guys who did this kidnapping to Hakeem like bae is suggesting. He’s her wolf slayer. He can handle the Lyoness, but she then agrees to hire the guys. Lucious knows her money is in control because it’s his money too, but having his guys break into her business did put her in a bad place, and he wants to be the protector. It is just baffling, but I think she comes around eventually to his security measures. He probably did want these tattoo’d guys in, but without a bone to throw. My gut tells me he has everything mapped out in his mind just like the actual devil would have it.

Cookie should not have brought Hakeem to the hiring of the guys who kidnapped him. He needs a little pep talk after that. He pulled out a gun and didn’t fire it. Lucious insults his manhood. 

After a brawl started by Freda (Bre-z) and a club patron breaks up a party, Lucious reminds Andre that she is off limits and that he has been put in place, not in charge. He is paranoid that Andre will be that guy. The guy that is so pushy and controlling about Christianity that no one can really stand to be around him while he’s working. It doesn’t work as a whole strategy.  

The brothers convene without the parents who they know are the cause of it. This is the most moving scene I have ever watched in this series. Jamal reminds Hakeem that he is smarter than anyone on the block. Andre reminds them about surviving Lucious and Cookie Lyon. They huddle after the pep talk.

Anika is trying to shift roles with Hakeem and puts herself off because it is the smart thing to do. She got used again, but she is using back and needs a job. The other word for that is ‘stuck’. She has a coat of desperation that she just can’t seem to function without.

Freda Gatz meets with Lucious who swoons her with poetic ouveres about flames in her eyes and the track he told Hakeem was written for him, “boom, boom, boom boom”. Lucious has some really sick place for her, and I’m not sure how sick this guy can be just yet.

Cookie’s love revelation explodes with the new promoter and his matching tattoo of the gang who beat up Hakeem. So, the enemy is already one step ahead of her. She might be offended. She should be offended.   

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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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