Empire Season 5 Episode 7 Review: Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils

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If you gave up on Empire, then now would be the time to jump back in. 

The show has had a rocky few years but Empire Season 5 is firing from all cylinders with the show's signature OMG twists, and Empire Season 5 Episode 7 didn't even save the biggest twists for the final scene. 

Empire is at its best when the storylines naturally mesh together, and for now, the show is on a creative upswing with the characters trying to out-maneuver each other in the name of garnering some power. 

Kingsley Reveals All - Empire Season 5 Episode 7

Props to Greysfan2018 for accurately predicting that Kingsley is the son of Lucious in the review of Empire Season 5 Episode 2. The reveal was executed so well what with Kingsley unfolding the picture of his mother to reveal a much-younger Lucious. 

It gives depth to the character of Kingsley that was not there to begin with. Before "Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils," he came across as a manchild who wanted world domination. 

Related: Empire Season 5 Episode 5 Review: The Depth of Grief

I'm intrigued to find out what Lucious did to Kingsley's mother because I'm getting the impression that Lyon family patriarch is behind her coma-like status. 

We've witnessed Lucious resort to murder when the opportunity presents itself, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Kingsley being conceived while Lucious was in a relationship with Cookie. 

Lucious Sends a Message - Empire Season 5 Episode 6

There's also the possibility that Lucious tried to harm the woman he impregnated. Kingsley's big takedown of Lucious is the thing that makes Cookie draw the line and leave Lucious forever. 

We already know that Cookie is close to Damon Cross by the time we get caught up with the future timeline that has one person in a casket. 

The moment Kingsley started to tear up during the dinner date as Lucious talked lovingly about his sons, I knew it was only a matter of time before we learned the truth. 

The presents us Empire fanatics with a lot of possibilities as we approach the midway point of the season. The chances are that Kingsley will reveal the truth about his father on the midseason finale. 

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!

Now that we know about Kingsley, it would be far too easy to rule him as the person in the casket. With the shocks coming out of nowhere this time around, I'd like to think the powers that be would veer away from the obvious. 

What I like most about Kingsley being the secret son is that he and his father are opposites. Lucious makes music from the heart while Kingsley follows algorithms. 

Maybe we're going to learn that Kingsley subconsciously hates anything to do with the making of music because his father is such a pro at turning anything into a hit. 

Cookie in Danger - Empire Season 5 Episode 7

As for Cookie's storyline, Taraji P. Henson brought her A-game. That's not to say she doesn't every week, but you could feel the emotion in her performance throughout her battle to find out the truth about what was going with Candice. 

At the top of the hour, I was under the assumption Cookie's sister's situation was not as dire as we were being led to believe. 

But that scene at the house will stick with me for a long time. Franklin is out of his mind, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he managed to kill Carol or Candace. 

Cookie acted out of instinct when Franklin was trying to burst through the door. He had already punched her, almost murdered Candace and was trying to finish off the job. 

Related: Empire Season 5 Episode 6 Review: What Is Done

That said, I could see why Candace was mad. She was worried that calling the cops would result in Franklin getting shot, and she thought her worst fears were a reality when the officer yelled about the youngster being down. 

Candace has always been on the periphery with Vivica A. Fox getting little to do, so this storyline was used to bring her into the forefront. 

It remains to be seen whether Cookie will be able to fix things with Candace. The Instagram Live will undoubtedly raise awareness for people of color being scared to reach out to the police. 

Joss Stone as Wynter - Empire Season 5 Episode 7

I wasn't as interested in Joss Stone's guest stint as much as I thought I would be. If they were going for the look of Kesha, then they most certainly pulled it off. 

Jamal: Wynter, what the hell are you doing here?
Wynter: Well, you convinced me to sign to your lovely little London label, making all sorts promises and then you run out on me.
Jamal: Okay, that's a little dramatic.

It was ridiculous that Jamal thought he could sign her to his label, and hotfoot it back to New York. He may be her muse, but it's a big ask to keep someone attached to a relatively low key label. 

Cookie is one to strike while the iron is hot, so I can't blame her for trying to snag Wynter for Lyon Family Management, and with Little Miss Wynter being an opportunist, there's going to be fireworks. 

Okay, Empire Fanatics!

What your thoughts on the latest round of twists?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch Empire online right here via TV Fanatic. Get caught up with all the latest action right now. 

Empire continues Wednesdays on Fox. 

Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Empire Season 5 Episode 7 Quotes

Kai: Hey babe, you got cash for the pizza guy?
Jamal: You ain't cooking?
Kai: Oh, you're confusing me with your wannabe chef ex-boyfriend.
Jamal: Oh, shady when he's hungry.

Kai: You are not my pizza -- oh my god.
Wynter: Hi lovey. How are you?
Jamal: Winter ... what the hell?