Empire: (S03E07) “What We May Be”

This is a Cookie centric episode.  She’s finally claiming Angelo as her boyfriend and she’s ready to “meet the parents”, Mother Diana Dubois. (Phylicia Rashad) In an attempt to be impressive and worthy to the Upper Class and old money, she arranges an upscale dinner in her newly renovated, redecorated and “made mama friendly” apartment. She also decides to make it a family affair by pulling her sons together for support, to showcase their talents, Ivy League education and a show of family unity.

 However, anything that can go wrong will. It was the perfect storm. Jamal is the first to arrive “sky high” He accepts his new prescription out of the hands of Major D, his producer. It’s considered safe and “everybody’s doing it” Mother Dubois is allergic to shellfish, which is the entire meal. So they go straight to dessert; Peach Cobbler anyone? Hakeem arrives with a pacifier in his mouth and a screaming baby Bella. Yet no storm is complete without Lucious. He arrives with Anika, supposedly looking for his baby, yet seized the opportunity to introduce himself to Mother Dubois. He conducts a one-sided conversation, weaving a tale of family dysfunction:  “I am Cookie’s ex-husband this is my wife, the mother of my granddaughter, did you meet my gay son? This is the irresponsible one — and where is the crazy one?”   He was finally shut down when Jamal sang a song dedicated to his mama.  He left without further voice and I think I saw his tail between his legs.

 Meanwhile on the other side of town, Andre is pressed for time and appears caught between a rock and a hard place. Andre is late for the dinner because he’s with Nessa and her “family” As we know, Nessa’s voice appears to have a Siren effect on Andre and he is often hypnotized.  He decides to stay on the block and the “crazy one” is a no-show.  This I was glad to see.

 Yet the hi-lite  of the episode gives further explanation into the relationship of Cookie,  Lucious and how her life got to be this way (with him) We saw the evolution of  his “ownership” and how her dependency on him grew. With the death of her father, he becomes her substitute dad and provider. She also feels responsible for her father’s death, adding to her confusion.  It was the mind of a child.

 The longstanding impact we have on our children is reflected here. From the influence of Angelo’s mother on him, her references to her bootlegging daddy, the daddy who raised 3 girls (Cookie), and the love and respect for Cookie from her boys. We also see the influences of the block as Nessa and Freda celebrate the life of those who raised them and saved them from the streets.  Indeed. Our children are our legacy and “what we may be” And then there’s Lucious…