Empire Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Dangerous Bonds

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Has this show stumbled at all yet? Empire Season 1 Episode 5 was another solid installment full of catchy music, further character development and another celebrity cameo, this one of the Anthony Hamilton variety.

It's pretty safe to say at this point Empire is a bona fide hit. The ratings are climbing, it's dominating twitter on a weekly basis and the episodes are consistently strong. If you're not watching, you're truly missing out!

Tonight was really all about Cookie and her paranoia and the continued fight for power between the Lyon sons. I knew there would eventually be a breakdown between Jamal and Hakeem, but that didn't make their fight any easier to witness.

Andre was in full on destruction mode this week, with the help of Rhonda. It all started when Rhonda tipped him off to the existence of Tiana's girlfriend, India. Yes, Tiana has a girlfriend.

It wasn't clear at first if they were just roommates or friends that hooked up or a real couple, but Tiana pretty much confirmed they were legit when she called India her girlfriend later.

Knowing Hakeem would have a meltdown, Andre waited until the prefect moment to drop the bomb in the form of a picture blast to all the gossip sites. This was during Hakeem's ridiculous video shoot that Tiana was also a part of.

Honestly, it was a sort of brilliant move for Andre to make. Hakeem is a hothead and even though he has Camilla and he's flirting with video vixens all day, I think he truly does care for Tiana. Learning that what they had wasn't real was surely going to throw him off.

What's not a brilliant move is sending known criminals to rob your brother. As soon as Andre revealed his plan to have some acquaintances of Hakeem's go to the studio Jamal was working at and rob him, you just knew it was going to go south. It ended up with one of the engineers getting shot and Jamal thinking this was all a part of Hakeem's plan to mess up his song.

What came next was the fight between Jamal and Hakeem that I was so not looking forward to.

I can understand why Jamal would think Hakeem set it up because they were his buddies, but I also thought Jamal would be a bit more level-headed. They're so close and Hakeem may be immature and a bit reckless, but he would never put Jamal's life in danger.

Unfortunately, Jamal wasn't listening to reason.

You always coming to me for advice. You always coming to me for advice. I'm going to give you some. Don't ever underestimate me, little brother.

Jamal [to Hakeem]

Andre didn't think things would get that dangerous for Jamal, I get that, but his quest for power is really bringing out a dark side to him. I would not want to be Andre when everyone finds out what he's been doing.

Cookie was finally called upon to testify at the grand jury trial for Frank Gathers and she was freaking out.

Side note, when he was mentioned before I really thought his name was Frank Gattis, but it's Frank Gathers!

Anyway, turns out there was a botched deal back in the day that ended in a buyer being shot by Frank and Cookie witnessed the whole thing. She admitted as much on the stand, but afterwards she was fearful of retaliation.

Thanks to me is right. I just snitched on him in court. Dead bitch walking, that's me out here right now.

Cookie [to Agent Carter]

When a rose showed up on her doorstep, she was certain it was a message from one of Frank's henchman and she went to visit her sister and figure out what to do next. This visit led them to an old friend, whom Cookie asked to do her a favor. 

They all believed Frank's man Teddy McNally delivered the rose, so Cookie requested that he be taken care of. It's a dangerous request and I just kept thinking there was something off about the whole thing. I can understand where Cookie's paranoia stems from, but would everyone know Cookie testified that quickly? And would someone show up with a veiled threat after she testified? Wouldn't they just kill her?

I guess it's all possible, but it just seemed odd to me. The oddness I felt was justified when we found out the rose had nothing to do with Frank Gathers. It was a gift from Lucious to commemorate their anniversary.

So, Cookie just had a man executed. Pretty sure that's going to come back to haunt her.

Random Notes

  • Lucious proposed to Anika, while Anthony Hamilton sang in the background. Swoon. Later, they broke the news to Anika's less than approving parents and Lucious asked Anika's doctor dad to sign a letter for him stating he was in good health so the IPO could go through. Oh, Lucious. Dad agrees but I'm not seeing many father-son golf outings in their future.
  • No mention of Bunkie's murder this week. They're really taking their sweet time with that one.
  • Vernon was back down to like three lines. Boo! I want more Vernon.
  • Song of the week? Well, we had "Drip Drop" by Hakeem and Jamal's song, which sounded eerily similar. The way they bled into one another towards the end was really cool and clearly done on purpose. "Drip Drop" is something I can imagine hearing on the radio right now.
  • Most likely to take over the Empire? It's got to be Andre again. Does the dude have a conscience?

Alright, it's your turn to let me know what you thought about the action tonight! Were you devastated by the Jamal/Hakeem fight? How much trouble is Cookie in now?

Drop me a comment and watch Empire online right now!

Dangerous Bonds Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (34 Votes)

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Empire Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Tyree, that's you? You take care of my baby boy, okay? If not, I'm holding. Name's Cookie. Ask about me.


Lucious: You know, I am going to fight this thing, this disease, with everything I've got. But whatever happens, however long I've got left on this planet, I'm gonna make the most of it. Will you marry me?
Anika: Oh my God! Yes! Yes!