Empire: (S03E17) “Toil and Trouble” Part 1

It’s Showtime @ The Laviticus in Vegas. The 3 C’s (Candace, Carol and Cookie) the original Hardaway girls walk in, with a simple plan. It’s”Ocean’s 11” and the pursuit of the “Guisi Fruit” Giuliani’s financial ledger is presumed to be her secret weapon & success.

The plan is to shut Giuliana down, exposing her ill gotten gains to Charlotte. (Eva Longoria) In the process they’ll free the apparently “whipped” Lucious and save Empire. A simple plan, yes? And if anything can go wrong it will, in the worst possible moment. 

The shenanigans of these 3, peppered with Thirsty (Andre Royo) his grasshopper Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) & the faithful assistant, Porsha (Ta’Rhonda Jones) was a nice and needed change from the usual and customary. Kevin (Gudahl) Candace’s rich husband was just glad to be there; having fun and hanging with da’ homies!  He was having too much fun! It was nice to meet him!  

Lucious, Charlotte & Giuliani toast, the legitimate arrival of Hip Hop in Vegas. Although the straight laced Charlotte doesn’t drink alcohol, partake in caffeine, nor does she have a sense of humor; it’s still a celebration. As long as “you (hip hop) people” remain civil and keep the thug element out of her town”…”Welcome to Vegas” #warning It’s too late to keep crime out of Sin City! 

Cookie’s in da’club, uninvited. She’s on the “do not admit” list and she’s asked to leave. It’s not her club with Lucious, he’s in partnership with Giuliana!  ♥  “Oh no you didn’t!”…

She goes full Cookie from the hood; throwing chips, screaming & cussing before being thrown out. Nobody does “urban decay” and uncouth like Cookie, She’s perfect for the Guisi Fruit distraction, just being Cookie. It’s a simple plan

And although Carol cracks the safe & gets the ledger, the victory is short lived. Lucious pays Charlotte, $500k to “fugetaboutit!” She accepts, yet should’ve charged more. She has 7 mouths to feed, after all! Every cent counts.  ♥  

But wait!  In another Lyon cross and double cross; Andre is in the other room, listening in victory. He and Charlotte touch, smile, kiss and knowing Andre…”so much more!” #strictlybusiness 

And finally, the Walker brothers unite and bond. Tariq (Mocorro Omari) returns as requested by Lucious. “Anything you want” find Bella. He know he has the skills.

Tariq finds a document forger who is physically encouraged to cooperate. He’s  beaten by the brothers at the same time, in their first bonding moment of crime and violence!

Later, Tariq finds Bella @ a Dubois estate.  He calls Lucious for a sit down and to share the good news, face to face.  It’s a genuinely caring, brotherly moment, with smiles and promises;  just as Leah (Leslie Uggams) stabs Tariq in the jugular! She’s killed “Fatima’s bastard”

He bleeds out, before the Bella tell. “Mama, what have you done!”cries Lucious. (Angelo said the same thing to his mama recently!)  Tariq is gone again, murdered & the secret with him. ♥ #wasted

The murder was surprising, brutal, gruesome, beyond WTF?!  Sadly, mama needs to be supervised,  24/7 or on lockdown.  It seems the family hasn’t addressed her condition seriously. She’s often spoken maliciously and “acted out” without consequences.  And now she’s murdered someone, “cause he doesn’t belong here”  #criminallyinsane

It’s not a good look for the seriousness of mental health illness, issues and for those who suffer and their supporters. There’s help out there! It would be nice to see it in this series. #fightthestigma.

Nevertheless,♥#blackhearts, cross & double cross, “who’s gonna take the blame”  and the backstage of Family affairs, wraps in Empire’s season finale. next week, Wednesday @ 9:00 p.m. Pacific time.