Birth of an Empire

As season three of the hot new Fox series, ‘Empire’ aired September 21st, viewers were left with the jaw dropping revelations in the murder of Andre’s wife, Rhonda Mae Lyon.

This comes as no surprise as Empire has become known for it’s dramatic antics and gun related violence. Episode two, ‘ Sin that Amends,’ demonstrates the rather serious events that have plagued our nation. Empire created an outstanding replication of these events while touching on other major issues such as child endangerment and PTSD. The Lyons den held no bars when bringing these current affairs to light. Following the newly imposed marriage of Lucious Lyon and Anika Calhoun,  Cookie soon began to cut all ties with her vindictive ex-husband, lucious. This by no means sits well with the King of hip-hop, aiming to win back the heart of his children’s Mother  with luxurious deliveries of gold-plated signs, jewelry, and a lion statue just to name a few. Cookie, wanting nothing to do with his apologetic gestures sent each of them back, that is of course except for the gold-plated gun and bullets, because well,  it’s Cookie Lyon. Conflicting emotions arise, as Cookie becomes awaken by the sounds of a memorable song playing in her living room. Set up by Luscious, of course, he counteracts any ill feelings the two share with a jam representing the moment they first met. Greeted by the ever-famous, Biz Markie as he raps to the song made famous in 1989, ‘ Just a friend.’ The attempt, although sweet to say the least, was cut short as Cookie had not been moved by the act. Do your thing, girl!

Introducing Angelou Dubois ( Taye Diggs) to the show as a high-end politician whose main focus becomes the safety of children among violence. Angelou’s background and respectable uprising becomes an immediate threat to the royal, hip-hop family as Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) form a friendship with the ‘Woke’ organization’s leader. Suffering from his own violent past, Jamal uses his fame to bring awareness to the cause in standing against violence. This comes as no surprise as Jamal is still coming to terms with the realization his life was nearly ended by the hands of his close friend, Freda Gatz. Demonstrating signs of PTSD, Jamal remains haunted by the recent attack, unable to bring himself back into the limelight. The lack of vocal performance does not go unnoticed by Jamal’s father and manager, Lucious Lyon. Speculating his son has lost his voice and can no longer provide the talent needed to contribute towards profitable records. The lack of emotional support becomes quickly intercepted by the Empire queen herself, Cookie Lyon.

Attempting to keep her family together, while gaining back her own strength, Cookie is faced with the influence of her two sisters in attempting to bring down Lucious Lyon, when long time friend, and newly found family member Tariq comes snooping around.  This New York city police officer is determined to end the triumph of his brother while giving the impression there is deeper meaning behind his investigation. The loyal and head-strong Cookie refused to play along in their quest to lock away her ex-husband. Tariq’s failed attempt at discreetly wiring a teddy bear in the nursery is short lived when discovered by Anika Calhoun. This is Lucious Lyon we are talking about! I am surprised he didn’t find it sooner.

While Jamal and Andre rely on medicinal forms of recovery, Hakeem Lyon distracts himself with his music. Struggling to bring to light his break-up with his fiancee’ Laura, who recently abandoned him at the alter. Hakeem continues to focus on his new track, alongside Shyne Johnson, played by rap artist Xzibit. Tempted by the growing attraction between himself and Shyne’s sister, Nessa, Hakeem continues to remain absent from his daughter’s life. With his father’s (Lucious Lyon) name on the birth certificate, the new heir to the throne, Bella Lyon, lies caught between the dysfunctional reality of her new family.

This father-son drawn out manipulative pattern remains the least of the family’s worries, with each son carrying the burden of their recent loss, Cookie once again is left searching for ways to bring the family back together.

Becoming the voice of reason, Cookie and Andre find comfort during a heart-to-heart discussion. Appreciating the struggle his Mother managed to overcome, Andre finds himself reluctantly depending on Cookie’s guidance. Andre, being the duo’s eldest son finds himself advising his younger siblings with motivational feedback during the closing scenes. Confronting his past head on as he agrees in making his stay at Jamal’s New York city studio permanent. The heartfelt moment when Andre removes the last of his items from the suburban home he and his late wife recently purchased, demonstrates a very real and terrifying event that has come down on our Country. Approached by several white male police officers, Andre falls under questioning regarding the recent burglaries taken place within the neighborhood.  Bystanders look on as officers tackle Andre to the ground in an attempt to restrain him, leaving viewers to witness a shocking reenactment of current affairs as one police officer aims a gun to Andre’s head. Fans are left to wonder if the Lyon’s oldest son will become the latest victim of gun violence. How will Empire survive?  The highly anticipated answer will be revealed in episode 3, titled “ What remains is Bestial” airing October, 3rd only on FOX.

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Gigi Demitro

My name is Gigi Demitro and I am a freelance writer in Spokane, Washington. I am an undergraduate of creative writing and English at the University of Southern New Hampshire. As an avid advocate for women's equality, I am actively seeking to publish inspirational articles about women's rights. I am currently working on finishing my first novel and enjoy watching movies during my down time. I appreciate the fine arts and poetry. I hope to become an established author, but for now, you can follow me: Twitter @Glam209