Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils (5×7) – Empire

The Black Divas’ song is fire. While Lucious is in the studio with Giselle and Kinsley, Kingsley is a dick. Again. He clearly has no artistic vision.

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giphy – TGON – Empire – Fox

Hakeem and Tiana are at the park. Tiana seems distant while suggesting Hakeem take the kids for a few days. Is she hiding a secret girlfriend? Or just messing around with Blake when Hakeem is not around??

Kai and Jamal have such a cute exchange while cooking a meal together. Jamal remarks “Shady when he’s hungry” because Kai dissed Michael so good. And he’s gorgeous, much more so than Michael was. They have an unexpected visitor during this domestic scene.

Wynter is here. Not like Winter is here on Game of Thrones, although the return on the final season looks terrifying…No, Wynter arrives at Jamal and Kai’s place unexpectedly. Apparently, she’s staying to finish her album? She should make for quite the houseguest for these men.

Sidenote: How is it the Lyon’s were able to hold onto Jamal’s loft this whole time? Wouldn’t they liquidate those assets assuming Jamal and Kai were staying in London permanently?

Cookie and Giselle are skilled in talking their men down to make a deal for the Black Divas. Lucious and Kingsley settle things enough to work together to put together the latest track. Online, Cookie’s followers disappeared. Her tech nephew is on it.

Jamal’s artist Wynter can sing! But Cookie wants her for Lyon Family Management. Thankfully, a quick talk with Kai reminded Jamal he’s his own man. Jamal was able to stand up to Cookie and remind her his record company owns Wynter’s music – she can’t poach what Jamal has.

But it’s clear Jamal has learned well from his mama. And the ring on his finger proves that he controls his own destiny. I imagine Cookie will throw them both a party later.

Analytics, words, and analysis. That’s what Kingsley has to offer. And since he’s working with Lyon family management on TBD’s latest track, Lucious begrudgingly has to put words that sell well into the song.

We also see advancement in Candace’s storyline, with bruised wrists indicating something’s awry. Carol reveals to Cookie that their sister was beaten by Kevin in the past when Carol stayed with them.

But Candace refuses to validate her sisters’ worries, marching off threatening to kick their asses if Cookie and Carol were to investigate the issue further.

I just hope Candace can get out of her situation towards someplace safe soon.

Hakeem’s moment comes as he’s draped in loud pants, lying on his bed with his crew. Who knows what antics he’s up to now.

Hakeem needs to mature himself so he can either try things again with Tiana or move on. I’m hoping for the latter, to see Hakeem on his own and be a good dad to his kids. But it’s more likely that he’ll get back with Tiana after some in-fighting.

I stand corrected. Hakeem squashed the beef between himself and Blake while he was hanging with his friends. I’m proud of the guy, and the development in Hakeem’s character.

We catch Andre in this episode assisting Quincy’s mom in more ways than one. The media splash he helped foster will put a spotlight on the young boy and hopefully push for Quincy’s release from prison sooner rather than later.

Of course, Andre has a shady backup plan with a dude he knew in jail who’s looking after Quincy since Andre got out. Whatever deal is made here hopefully won’t end in too much bloodshed.

Candace and her son Franklin appear nervous around her ex Kevin as he enters the Lyon’s house wondering why he was locked out.

Kingsley was invited to a Lyon family dinner. Much to my surprise, there were no loud arguments, no tablecloths yanked away. But there was visible tension as Lucious reminded Jeff that he should stay away from the music business after a jam session between Jamal, Hakeem and Lucious.

Quincy has been released from jail since an old inmate confessed to the robbery. He’s coming home, and perhaps Andre could form a family between himself, Quincy’s mom, and Quincy in the future. The future he could have had with Rhonda had Anika not shoved her pregnant body over a balcony.

“Trotting out his family like some ghetto Norman Rockwell painting.”

Kingsley seems to enjoy talking to his mother while she’s lying in her hospital bed. Apparently, that’s what he enjoys doing in his spare time while he plots the Lyons’ demise.

We see why Kingsley hates the Lyons so much. His mother is in a bed, unresponsive as he clutches the same photo he’s reached for a few times this season.

What I didn’t expect was to see a photo of a young Lucious standing beside Kingsley’s mom as a child. Lucious has another son???? Perhaps because of Jeff Kingsley’s mom’s involvement with Lucious’ drug hustling back in the day. Was she mixed up with drugs herself and that’s what’s she’s seen comatose in a hospital bed?

Candace disowned Cookie since she called the police on Franklin to prevent him from maiming or killing Candace. It’s still unknown as to why Franklin’s mental illness was triggered. Was he the abuser all along? Did he continue a cycle of abuse since his father Kevin began the cycle? Hopefully, we’ll have these questions answered.

More than anything, the coffin was absent at the end of the episode. I haven’t forgotten that someone is set to die at the season’s conclusion, but I’m happy that I wasn’t explicitly reminded as a viewer of this fact.

Be ready for more drama as you catch new episodes of Empire on Wednesday at 8pm eastern/7pm central on Fox.

 

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