Empire Season 2, Episode 9 Review: Is Jamal Delivert?

I have so many questions. Let's discuss.

I’m somewhat surprised Empire aired the night before Thanksgiving. It’s such a heavy day of travel for millions of Americans. Plus, so many mamas, mee-maws, aunties, uncles, and pops’ are slaving over stoves right now in preparation for tomorrow’s day of gluttony and gratitude. Then again Empire is the perfect time to give one’s self a break while everything starts cooking and your glass needs to be refilled with spirits.

In any event, holiday or not, it is my job to recap the show. So let’s get to it. Oh, but before I start: Happy Thanksgiving! Give me some peach cobbler.

So we’re just going to skip what happened at the very end of last week’s episode?

Last week, Anika randomly became an Uber driver and took Hakeem’s new girlfriend from Destiny’s Bilingual Child home. The end result? Not a damn thing. How very anticlimactic for a show all about the megadrama. Why did they even bother with that kind of tease?

Why is Anika so pathetic all of a sudden?

She was once this powerful record executive ready to go toe to toe with an ex-con. Now, she’s some desperate stalker. Is Hakeem’s penis that powerful or did the writers of this show just give up on this character? It can’t be his penis.

What age was Alicia Keys’ character again?

I’m asking because during her introduction, Jamal said her album was
the first CD he ever bought. About that: unless she’s like 40 or Jamal did not legally purchase music until after Napster shut down, that doesn’t make much sense.

Why does Lucious keep asking Cookie to do dumb stuff?

The woman gets out of prison and immediately storms the building to “get my company back.” What makes you think she’s going to sign over her publishing? Whispering Negro, grow up.

Why won’t Anika just say, “Hakeem, I’m pregnant?”

If she’s so determined to keep Hakeem, why not just tell him she’s pregnant with his child? Why is she instead opting to just aggressively insult his new boo, hound him to death, and then demand that he declare that he loves her and just doesn’t want to fess up? I mean, if you’re going to do all of that, why not go even harder and add in the seed?

And once again, how did Anika go from this smart, self-assured, educated woman who could plan out every move both personally and professionally to single white female over Hakeem?

Did Lee Daniels pull a Tyler Perry?

Apparently not. Per Empire writer Eric Haywood, who wrote last night’s episode, “True story: Lee had to be talked into doing that cameo.”

How did Cookie not know about her boo’s bull tattoo?

There’s something remarkably sloppy about the writers having Cookie have sex with this man, but have not an inkling about what’s on his back. I mean, it’s his back. She didn’t see it at all while having sex with him? It’s not like it was a birthmark on his inner thigh. Maybe Cookie only let him hit in the back in the dark? Wait, why am I even trying to excuse this oversight?

What did you make of Jamal’s duet with Alicia Keys?

Whew, that Alicia Keys sure is loud. As for the song itself, I’m not a fan of her newfound habit of writing songs that sound like inspirational word memes on Instagram. They could have just sang “You Don’t Know My Name” and called it a day.

Is Jamal delivert?

Jamal kissing Alicia Keys isn’t improbable in general, but it felt silly and implausible given everything we’ve been hit with his character. His gay ass was tossed in a trashcan as a child. He had a live-in boyfriend on the very first episode. He then had another fine ass man (who is now on Netflix’s
January Jones.)

The entire first season was one extended coming out party. Now this. Oh…okay.

Yes, sexuality is fluid, but didn’t Jamal already have his experimental period when he married Raven-Symone and thought he had a baby with her? That was pretty much a “yeah, I may have had a baby with you, but I’m gay, girl.” And then when the kid turned out not to be his, it was like, “okay, bye,
sis, still a gay.”

Then again, Anika went from some self-assured executive to the baby mama version of Yolanda Saldivar so Jamal might have triplets with Alicia by March. I get that this show is a soap opera, thus, is prone to absurdity, but this felt stupid. I don’t expect the show to give a nuanced, multifaceted portrayal
of sexuality, so I’m horrified of what’s to come.

Do we want to watch a Cookie and Lucious Christmas special?

I know y’all saw that promo.