Empire: (S03E03) “What Remains is Bestial”

Lucious is in his home office, sitting in his big chair and streaming numbers; monitoring subscriptions to Empire Extreme on the big screen. He needs 10 million subscribers by Thursday or he’ll loose $50 Million.  While the big screen is rolling; enter Anika. She wants to talk about the possibility of going back to work.  This Lyons’ Den is stifling her.  As the numbers roll to 6, 799 (+) Lucious “strokes” or looks like he is having one. Rising from under the desk, Pierre a former associate of Anika, claims she still can’t find her earring!  She apparently bumped Lucious’ leg, during “the hunt” . “Keep putting that back into that work of yours” smiles Lucious, as Pierre lives the table and the room. So begins Empire: “Lust and Hip Hop” and so much ewww.
This week, things continue to go south for Andre. His shades of Black Lives Matter and police corruption, come to life. He’s a Wharton graduate and CFO of a major company and feels he will be exonerated in this misunderstanding. Encouraged to take a more proactive defense by his parents, by fighting the system, he refuses. He wants to “go high” and do the right thing, through the process of  law.  His prosecutors, however “go low’ He  is charged with criminal trespassing, felony battery, aggravated assault and assault on a police officer. He is now in the system and must go to trial.  He may wanna’ “Get Shorty” and use the services of “Thirsty” (Andre Royo) the snake oil lawyer with very unique skills for truth and justice, before it’s over. For it appears Uncle Tariq may have had some influence on adding on the felony charges,  hoping the elder son will turn on his father, to make this case go away.   Indeed.“Get Shorty!’
Hakeem is demanding respect again, after Tiana’s new boyfriend Gram, mocks him during a live performance. Expressing true creativity, he uses Tiana’s vocals as the hook to answer the challenge and” diss” by Gram. Note: Nessa attempted to refuse to work the hook, out of respect for the artist.(Tiana)   It fueled her manager, agent and brother, Shine who grabs her by the throat ; threatening her for her refusal to sing.  I honestly would like to see a little more of his/their back-story, before he’s taken out or comes up missing,
Jamal attends his PTSD support group; while Cookie engages iconic diva Kitty (Mariah Carey) to record a duet for Empire Extreme.  Cookie also hopes this will appease Lucious’ demand that Jamal release the “Black and White” album, which Jamal had shelved. “Infamous” with complementary piano , “Kitty’s” famous dog whistle  and Jamal’s soulful drive is well done. It appears to lift Jamal’s funk…along with the pills!  However, the Kitty track encourages Lucious to release Jamal’s album anyway.  He cuts away all that is Cookie’s and renames it “The Black Album”
Lucious is particularly sly, slick  and usurping tonight. With promises of wealth and fame, he attempts to seduce, 16 year old Zeah (Ezri Walker) protégé of Angelo Dubois and the WOKE project, into signing with Empire.  This is foiled by Cookie with a  promise to bring him in after he finishes school.
Yet the star of this episode may be Anika. Sitting in his office big chair, we hear her “YES-YES-YES!”  As the big screen rolls 10 million subscribers…and the UPS delivery man comes from under the desk, apparently looking for the same earring, Pierre was looking for earlier that day. Anika makes it clear, “No more!” Lucious needs her to stop the feds from bringing down his house.  “What remains is bestial”  And Bella Bear should have been in that room!