Empire Round Table: Hakeem vs. Freda!

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It's the battle we've all been waiting for, right?

Well, that may be a little extreme, but the battle between Hakeem and Freda on Empire Season 2 Episode 8 was a pretty fun affair. Both parties came out strong, but did the right person walk away the winner?

Below, TV Fanatic panelists Carissa Pavlica, Paul Dailly and Whitney Evans gather to discuss the ramifications of Hakeem's big decision and all the other big events from a strong installment.

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What was your favorite moment from the episode?

Carissa: Hakeem standing up for himself with Cookie both in front of her boy toy and after learning she was working with Jamal. He has grown so much and is probably the most rational member of the family. I love him.

Paul: Cookie referencing her sister's cheap shoes. HA.

Whitney: I enjoyed the rap battle and I liked Hakeem making a stand against Lucious. Like Carissa said, he's really grown a lot this season and escaping the Lyon name may be a good thing for him.

Anika is pregnant! React!

Carissa: You know, I wish it wasn't true. And I hope Hakeem gets a DNA test. It may not be his. He has so much going for him right now that I don't want him to be strapped to her crazy ass for eternity. Which is a shame, because I really liked her for a short time.

Paul: This was an interesting development, but if you think it's going to make her relevant again, think of Rhonda.

Whitney: The writing was on the wall for this one, but it's still odd. If making her crazy is going to give her some relevance, though, then I can get on board. It looks like she's going to go off the deep end and I'm all for seeing that train wreck.

Did the right person win the rap battle?

Carissa: For me? Yes. In reality? Probably not. But I just cannot stand Freda Gatz. Make her go away.

Paul: I'm with Carissa on this one. Freda has the worst attitude. EVER.

Whitney: Freda is the better rapper, but the way in which the "battle" was set up was clearly in Hakeem's favor. He played to the crowd and turned it into a concert, instead of a lyrical contest. If these two were really going to head to head without all the glitz and glamor, Freda would win hands down.

Can Cookie and Lucious put aside their differences to help Jamal? Or any of their sons for that matter?

Carissa: It's highly unlikely. They're like toddlers playing in a sandbox, fighting over their toys. They were utterly embarrassing to watch. That Cookie was going to GET UP AND LEAVE during the Pepsi demonstration? What?! Have some couth woman.

Paul: I think that soon they'll realize the strain they are putting on their sons and they'll iron a few differences out in order to try and get along, but it won't last.

Whitney: These two have shown they can work together under certain circumstances, but it's really bothersome to see two parents not set aside their egos when it comes to their children. I don't expect anything from Lucious, but I do expect more from Cookie.

What are your thoughts on Hakeem removing Lyon as his last name?

Carissa: Good for him. Their father is so two-faced. He couldn't stand Jamal because he was gay like two seconds ago and now he treats Hakeem like dirt. It's all so ridiculous. The only thing that really hurts him is exactly what Hakeem did. Removing the name. Good job.

Paul: I'm all for it. Lucious has done nothing but make his son's life hell and it's about time he got hit where it hurts. Karma.

Whitney: I'm with the round table here! I think it's a great move for him and I was very proud of him for taking that stand.

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

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Empire Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

Jamal: I think it's perfect, Mom. I love working with you.
Cookie: Yeah, I know you do, cause you can feel when it's real. It's only a matter of time before you come on back home with us.

Freda Gatz is a animal. Now I'm not taking anything away from your talent baby, but that is not what you do.

Cookie [to Hakeem]