TV Review: Empire (2×03) “Fires of Heaven”

Despite last week’s drop in viewers, Empire returned this week full force, as always. “As always,” is slowly turning into “This is getting repetitive.”

The entire episode this week centered on the war between Lucious and Cookie. Lucious is out of prison, and the now warring companies are battling like school children . . . with music and great fashion.

Typically when watching an Empire episode, one can expect at least three plot twists and a dozen lines worth gif-ing, but this episode lacked the unique quality of past Empire episodes.

My jaw only dropped twice this episode. One of those moments was because of that pant suit Cookie had on. I almost enjoyed it more than the overall episode. Almost.

Cookie’s pant suit can’t fix it all though. The plot of the episode was predictable, and more than once I caught myself non-enthusiastically saying, “I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.” Despite this, the actors in the show never let the inevitable story line get the best of them.

Overall, as predictable as the episode came to be, there were incredibly discombobulating things that occurred.

Disconcerting things that happened in this episode:

  • Timbaland trying to lip sync
  • Timbaland’s (sun?) glasses
  • Pitbull’s random aggressive grabs at Cookie

I mean, that song between Pitbull and Jamal was on point, but why are they making the singers act? The audience could have gone their entire lives without hearing Pitbull have a conversation with Cookie while wearing those weird sunglasses.

Although Timbaland caused a shining scene for Hakeem to become somewhat funny, the music became a dominating piece of the scenes. From this, it was clear that the framework surrounding Hakeem and Cookie’s musical relationship would be a huge piece of the finale puzzle. From the hostile club scene to the Cookie-choreographed girl group, the tunes weren’t shy and went straight for the neck.

[Cue gif of Timbaland singing with mic no where near his face]

Things progress from there, and soon the full out war between Cookie and Lucious becomes a dangerous and slippery slope that causes not only Anika to get involved, but also devastating losses. There’s no way audiences will be forgetting Andre still needing acceptance from his dad. The moment that Andre walks away while Lucious is playing the piano is worth remembering. It’s the highlight of the episode.

A non-highlight of the week is Jamal getting left behind in episodes. If this continues, I will have to write a strongly worded tweet to Jussie Smollett and Lee Daniels demanding an explanation.

Going into this episode, I was unaware this was the episode in which Kelly Rowland would make her grand appearance. So when she popped up in a very pivotal scene between Andre and Lucious, I was blissfully in the shock only an episode of Empire can give me. This was the other moment my jaw hit the ground. Although she only makes very brief appearances as Lucious’s mother, the writers have set the flashbacks up as a plot device that will hopefully continue into the season. It’s one of the story line’s I am truly looking forward to seeing develop and take shape.

What did you guys think of this weeks episode? Was I the only one that found Timbaland amusing? What are you guys hoping to see happen next week?

I’d say to expect more claws to come out of the Lyon’s den.


Brooke Pawling Stennett is a college student pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction in the old Windy City. She tends to lean toward the obsessive side of the tracks when it comes to books and music. She's an avid concert attendee (or at least she tries to!) and rambler. She'd like to travel the world and write about it, but in the only ways she knows how: sarcastically and full of internet jargon. Her opinions are her best ones, especially if they involve boy-bands and Netflix. . .even though she doesn't even have her own account. You can tweet her at @br_stennett and tell her how ridiculous (and totally great!) her opinions are.