TV Show Review

TV Review: EMPIRE: Season 2, Episode 8: My Bad Parts [FOX]

Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard Empire

FOX’s  Empire My Bad Parts TV Show Review. Empire: Season 2,  Episode 8: My Bad Parts kicks a few people in their good parts. Lucious (Terrence Howard) kicks off the episode by pitting Freda Gatz (Bre-z) against his own son, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray). He sees the video of her new song, Shots Fired, while discussing taking Laura’s (Jamila Velazquez) virginity. Figures.

Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is in the running for a Pepsi sponsorship deal, and all he has to do is win a song contest.

Jago Locke (Patrick Mulvey) jacked up the price of SwiftStream after realizing he agreed to terms on a morphine drip. Lucious, the not-so-discreet devil, will do anything to have him under his thumb, and even suggests killing him as if that will make the merger any swifter. Rather than get involved with the Feds, Mimi (Marisa Tomei) helps him decide to dig up Thirsty (Andre Royo) for some dirt on the new potential partner. Andre has a point about Lucious not really making better men out of anyone he has under his control.

Jamal and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) are still hiding their collaboration from everyone.

Hakeem makes a retaliation video just as Anika (Grace Gealey) realizes she is pregnant. Dang. She has a heart to heart with Rhonda who lets her in on a secret soft side Lucious has for babies. Something tells me he won’t extend the same generous spirit with his ex who is now pregnant with his son’s baby.

Cookie is positively livid over Hakeem wanting to get into the ring with Freda. She thinks it will wreck the cookout if anything happens unexpectedly and calls Freda an “animal”. She fears the worst. Laz tries to leave the office after being excoriated by Hakeem and pushes him to get past. Cookie flies off the handle and slaps the you-know-what out of Laz. She reminds Hakeem that if he loses this battle, Lyon Dynasty becomes Empire’s bitch. No pressure.

Cookie is jamming with Jamal at his pad when Lucious interrupts. She makes a beeline for the closet, stuffing her face with a wrap and eavesdropping on Lucious’ over the top beat he put together for the competition.

The jealous-o-meter is off the scales in this episode and Hakeem walks in on Cookie talking to Jamal in a Skype session and figures out they are working together. He directs his thoughts toward laying the guilt trip on her for not giving him enough support during the biggest battle of his life with Freda. The narcissism just won’t quit from his parents. Cookie tries to rationalize giving her time to Jamal by baiting Hakeem into getting Jamal back on their side. He threatens to expose the collaboration to Lucious, but that’s a dull blade. Cookie calls him a snitch.

Anika wants to try to patch things up, but Hakeem confesses he is in love with someone.

Jamal wants to combine the two tracks his parents have constructed separately. They are not too keen with that. Cookie is acting overwrought and they both refuse to cooperate. The bet is on for whoever wins the rap battle between Hakeem and Freda. If Hakeem wins, Cookie gets to produce Jamal’s next album. If Freda wins, Empire gets Hakeem’s next album. Bet.

Jamal and Hakeem wind up noshing and having boy talk like they just don’t care about beef. Why was it such a big deal that Cookie was working with Jamal again? I never thought Hakeem really had a reason to reject his brother taking guidance from their mom.

It turns out that Jamal is really good at taking the good parts of his parents and combining them into music they helped write. They are both competitive to a fault due to their impulsive control issues and jealousy. I don’t think they really want it to be this way. They are too much alike.

Hakeem wins the rap battle to the Flava In Ya Ear beat, and promptly drops his last name. The irony is he can’t really escape the Lyon drama, just the label, only for a new label that carries the name. That’s what you get when daddy wants to own the world. 

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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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