Empire: (S03E01) "Light in Darkness"

“In the beginning”…of the 3rd season opener and in the last seconds of the season 2 finale, someone went over the balcony at 50 feet.  Amidst the cries of Andre (Trai Byers) who is in witness, there is the sound of a crash and Rhonda Lyon, (Kaitlin Doubleday) Andre’s beloved, lies below on the roof of a car. And so begins the first episode of “Empire; Crime and Hip Hop” 
 The major players of the family returns with Papa Lucious Lyon, (Terrance Howard) Mama Cookie Lyon, (Taraji P. Henson)  sons Jamal Lyon, (Jussie Smollett) Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray) and Andre; each with their own story about family and what that is supposed to look like.
Besides the usual and customary of this family drama, such as a birth in the family, a death in the family, post traumatic stress disorder and mental illness, timely topics such as, Black Lives Matter was addressed in the music.  The song was perfect; taking us back to what this show should be about; the unifying principles of music.  Through the lives of the characters and what’s happening within this nation in particular, it brings a certain reality to the show.
‘Just keeping it real’ and staying in character, Jamal writes and nearly performs a song about the many tragedies of the Black Lives Matter movement, hate crimes and gun control.  Supporting his goal to bring a consciousness of good through his music, his “Free Freda” names the recent deaths (black) of those killed by officers of the law as well as the victims of the Orlando shootings, in Florida.  Adding in the act of violence from fictional character Freda Gatz, his attacker, it was a perfect piece, as a sign of the times. However, having a flashback of his shooting, while on stage, he is unable to continue. This should lead to a story of post traumatic recovery, with a little bit of the current issues aforementioned peppered in. Here is your “Light in Darkness”
 Andre is about to go on “a long journey into night” it seems, as the devastation over the loss of his Rhonda aggravates his challenges with Bipolar. She is now a voice in his head and apparition.
 Hakeem. His humiliation is chronic. His is a journey of self love, responsibility and a right to claim respect, particularly from his family.
 Finally, Cookie’s declaration,” I’m through with your daddy” after that on the spot marriage to Anika, his former girlfriend, last season, would be a good thing. She’s the strength of the family and Lucious needs a little downtime.  Being the legal father of his granddaughter (he’s on the birth certificate)  and married to his son’s baby mama is way to soapy for me.
 However, I am looking forward to the inevitable altercation between Lucious and Tariq (Morocco Omari) his half brother and Federal Agent, when the Teddy Bear with the camera, in the nursery releases the video!
 Stay tuned!
Tonight’s show was written by Malcolm Spellman (The Sopranos) and Joshua Allen
 #Empire #Lightindarkness #FreeFreda #Crimeandhiphop