Friday, October 07, 2016

'Empire' Season 3 Recap: "What Remains Is Bestial" (Or "Mariah Carey Is Here, Y'All!")

Mariah Carey As Kitty On Empire
Mariah Carey As Kitty On Empire

Mariah. Is. Here. Y'ALL. She wears fabulous dresses and even records a song with Jamal while not wearing pants. Because she is Mariah Carey — on Empire, she's "Kitty" — and Cookie brings her in to help Jamal with his PTSD-induced stage fright. Sadly, Mariah-Kitty isn't the cure all and Jamal turns to his pain meds during the recording session, in which Lucious notes that Jamal is "high as a kite."

Mariah Carey as Kitty on Empire
Mariah Carey as Kitty on Empire

Let's back up a bit. Lucious' goal for the episode is to get 10 million subscribers on Empire Xstream or else the board is going to be pissed at him. He also pushes boundaries in his marriage to Anika by flaunting the fact that he's getting, ahem, orally serviced by Anika's old assistant and Boo Boo Kitty is Boo Boo Offended. Later, Anika gets back at him with a hot UPS guy and gets Boo Boo Oral while sitting in Lucious' office. She asks for freedom and, you know, respect in their sham marriage.

Lucious Anika Empire
Lucious Anika Empire

Jamal continues struggling with performing, singing, and PTSD. He visits a PTSD group in which he refuses to talk about the shooting. He visits Freda Gatz in prison (the worst idea he's ever had) and it's obviously a trigger for him, even though Freda is very apologetic. The only thing Jamal seems to want are his pain pills, and that's not going to end well.

Jamal Lyon Singing
Jamal Lyon Singing

Hakeem is suddenly all about "his girl" Tiana again, even though they broke up in Season 1. Tiana gets cozy with rapper Gram on stage, looking like Rihanna and Drake putting on a "will they or won't they show" and grinding up on each other.


They go one step further than RiRi and Drizzy and make out. Hakeem will not stand for this and has one of his tantrums. Lucious suggests that he record a diss track, furthering this whole Drake-comparison thing. So Hakeem spends most of the episode recording mean words about his ex and even uses her song as a sample to really twist the knife.

Lil Romeo As Gram Kissing Serayah, Tiana
Lil Romeo As Gram Kissing Serayah, Tiana

Cookie begins to take a liking to Angelo, the suave and caring politician. He gets pissed when Lucious offers the MIT scholarship kid from the previous episode a recording contract. Angelo and Cookie bond over all of the good things he's been creating in the community — a Black Girls Code center that encourages STEM, for instance. And it clearly has a positive affect on Cookie, who tells the MIT kid that she'll sign him after he graduates from college and rips up Lucious' contract. Lucious and Cookie declare war on each other once again. But it's OK, because Angelo is definitely into Cookie — he tries to kiss her, she deflects, and he says he'll try again another day.

Cookie Ms. Lyon
Cookie Ms. Lyon

Andre, for some reason, still believes in the justice system and thinks that his run-in with police will let him have a fair trial. Unfortunately, he learns that the year is 2016 and his Wharton degree doesn't mean anything when it's his word against that of police officers, who are embellishing their stories. Even the judge did not care. Lucious and Cookie wanted to go eye-for-an-eye on the cops, but Andre tells them no. Rhonda appears as a ghost to tell Andre that this wouldn't have happened if she were still alive. Lucious takes Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem to their old neighborhood to remind them of their roots, but Andre takes offense when Lucious speaks ill of Rhonda.

Andre Sees Rhonda
Andre Sees Rhonda

Tariq infers to Andre that he and the FBI might be behind all of his legal troubles and, if they were to be allies, it could all go away. Andre refuses.

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