The Lyons may be working together to build their new label from the ground up, but without actual capital resources, the chances of it being a success are pretty much nil.
The whole Empire legacy has been that Cookie and Lucious managed to start the OG business from their home, but they've failed to realize that the music business is a lot different nowadays.
On Empire Season 5 Episode 3, the family learned the hard way that the dark days were not over.
Even without Kingsley's meddling, it was obvious the investors were not going to open their checkbooks when the investment is using a tried and tested formula that worked once several years ago.
Lightning rarely strikes twice, and the very notion that it's going to ignite a new family-run business that's going to thrive is a bitter pill to swallow.
Empire was built on drug money, and with the family under a lot of scrutiny, it's difficult to imagine them reverting to their drug dealing ways.
They have a lot more than their reputations to lose this time. It was smart of Jamal to an iron-clad contract with Empire that allowed him to have all the creative control in the world.
That part made sense because Jamal has battled with his family members in the past over what type of music to put out to the masses.
Everybody wants to be in control of their creativity, and the look on Kingsley's face when Jamal said that his family helped with the album was priceless.
Kingsley is mad that Lucious publicly shamed him, and now he has to cut checks and pay his family royalties. The Lyons always find a way to turn the tables.
Wait, this is it? This is the whole company? I didn’t come here to invest in no living room.Investor
If you watch Empire online, you know that Lucious has been big on loyalty, and that's what he bases most of his decisions on, but I took issue with the way he treated Becky.
Becky's career is on the right path. She may be away from the people who gave her the job in the first place, but she's still moving up that career ladder.
I doubt she's on a high enough salary that would allow her to have the right amount saved to work for nothing until this new firm takes off.
Lucious single-handedly pushed the final person who could have given him intel from inside the Fort Knox that has become Empire.
Cookie picked up on that, and that wasn't the only thing. Cookie spent seventeen years in the slammer as a result of the drug money that was used to kickstart the firm.
When she emerged from her slumber, her kids had moved on, and so had her husband. She had to fight tirelessly to get some control back because Lucious demeaned her part in building the company.
What’s this gathering of the Witches of Eastwick for?Lucious
Their relationship may be stronger than ever these days, but Lucious quickly took the "we" out of the negotiating and replaced it with "I."
That likely brought Cookie's insecurities back, and who can blame her? This woman is not going to make the same mistake twice, and that's why she decided to keep her hands on the loft.
The moment Lucious gets power, there's going to be another significant change in the dynamic of their relationship, and I dare say it's going to cause a divide between them.
What's more, Lucious is going to flip the eff out when he learns about the loft. Candace was right to look out for her sister, and you could tell she realized Cookie was worried that Lucious left her high and dry again.
In Candace's defense, she lost her sister for seventeen years so she knows that she can't let that happen again.
It's nice that Cookie wants her sisters to work in this new business, and it will be fun if it does get a nice injection of cash because she's going to show them the door if she finds more experienced individuals.
Loretha: I want a title.
Cookie: Your title is recovering crack hoe.
While the Lyons continued their plans to build a new beginning, Kingsley was all about securing his future, and that meant he turned to an old foe the family faced.
With some nifty editing, we got fooled into believing he was visiting Andre in prison. Instead, he was visiting none other than Diana Dubois.
Putting these two villains together is a genius move. Diana lost everything because of her revenge mission, and with nothing else to lose, she's going to be deadlier than ever.
She was cunning and knew everything the family was getting up to. There's no telling what the Kingsley/Diana pairing will do to get rid of the family once and for all.
Dad put all of our asses on blast. I had a homeless person trying to give me a dollar when we were leaving.Hakeem
I'm now more convinced than ever that Giselle will turn to the side of good when she realizes that Diana is involved. She could be the one to take the news to the Lyons.
"Pride" was light on Giselle, and that's not a good thing. Nicole Ari Parker has been the best new addition for Empire Season 5, and I want more of her one-liners.
As a whole, the hour was another solid one. There were some issues, but the show is going from strength to strength and the struggle for power is making it all worthwhile.
Other tidbits from the episode:
- Did anyone buy Kai's thinly veiled attempt at an apology to Jamal? You don't leave the love of your life when his family is in the midst of a crisis. He needs to go.
- I'm not Tiana's biggest fan, but her comment about Hakeem needing to put all of his thoughts on paper was spot on. Being shot at was a harrowing experience, and music is like medicine for the Lyons.
- Andre's prison storyline has about as much substance as his character. I'll give you a hint: Not very much. The only thing it successfully did was make Diana's return more shocking.
Over to you, Empire Fanatics!
What are your thoughts on the latest installment? Were you surprised by Diana's return?
Hit the comments below.
Empire continues Wednesdays on Fox.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.