FOX’s Empire Sinned Against TV Show Review. Empire: Season 2, Episode 9: Sinned Against are Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and her sister, Candace (Vivica A. Fox), who are looking for Carol (Tasha Smith), the third sister who went on a bender in Philly somewhere. The search up and down, in and out of her usual spots to find her while the production of Cookie’s Cookout is underway without the matriarch at the helm. So, Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) is freaking out.
Cookie has to call an old cellmate, Pepper (Rosie O’Donnell), after Candace blames her for nearly everything that Carol has done. Pepper has an ear to the street and
Anika (Grace Gealey) has lost a crucial screw and is obsessed with Hakeem now, and well, he used her in vulnerable state that she believed was more than it was. Last week she donned a wig and somehow managed to hijack a car from the Lyon fleet to cart Laura (Jamila Velazquez) home so she could figure out where she lived. The stalker comes to life. The build up to this has been taking baby steps all season. This is where Anika has arrived. Baby steps.
And now she is batsh*t.
Skye Summers (Alicia Keys) is paired up with Jamal (Jussie Smollett) to make a duet and take a dive in a sea of sexual tension that had me assuming they would be hooking up. I can see how this works. Skye admires Lucious’ (Terrence Howard) style and wants to take some career risks. She admires Jamal’s expression of what is in his heart with his music. Jamal is turnt up over his favorite musician. Now the risk taking is sexy and becomes a socially conscious “risk” with their song, “Powerful”. Emotionally, this is everything daddy wants and Jamal has become a puppy dog. He has been so oddly happy since the breakup because of his work becoming a phenomenal success and the sparks fly.
Maybe this episode should have just been called “Baby Crazy”. Lucious certainly is, but there’s always a catch. I think he is using Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) and Andre’s (Trai Byers) pregnancy to excuse his attempt at buying their loyalty in order to gain a family foothold that Cookie will one day have to depend on. He believes his grandson is the future and even commends Andre for his faith and wants him to know what a good man he is. It’s pretty remarkable considering he was acting more powerful than Satan a few episodes back.
And Lucious gets closer by the day to this goal of controlling Cookie which is how I know he is just fronting with the family to gain a position against her. After he purchases a six bedroom mansion on Long Island for the happy couple, he decides to attempt to partner Hakeem. Keep in mind that he needs Cookie to release her rights of some old songs on the label, and if he can pull Hakeem back into Empire, Cookie will feel totally helpless even if she refuses to show it. She is an impulsive workaholic, and absolutely hates the fact that Lucious wants to rule the music industry and she can’t just be left alone to compete with him on common ground.
He does the right digging this week and figures out that Laz (Adam Rodriguez) is in the gang that kidnapped Hakeem. Now, the online reviews of Empire have nearly imploded since Cookie and Laz hooked up marathon style and she didn’t notice his blazoned back piece of a bull outline. Here’s my theory; Cookie ignored Hakeem when he mentioned the tattoos, maybe she saw it, maybe she didn’t. She rips Laz’s shirt open in her office to prove it to everyone, but she knows it’s there whether she saw it or not. She knows Lucious doesn’t bluff when he can be disproven in front of people like this. She doesn’t trust Lucious, but she can bank on him coming with the right information about people he wants to control or destroy. Bet on it.
Cookie nearly crumbles and the show doesn’t let the audience in on what Lucious has done to Laz. She has no idea either. We’ll just have to wait and see if there is a follow up to that.