Empire Season 6 Episode 1 Review: What Is Love

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That was a lot of soapy goodness!

Empire Season 6 Episode 1 was filled with the show's signature OMG moments from start to finish, and it was a successful way to set up the final season of this FOX drama. 

We're in for another How to Get Away with Murder-esque death in the future, and if the producers stick with Lucious' death, then I could get on board with that. 

Cookie Keeps Busy - Empire

He has no shortage of enemies, so it's plausible for someone to waltz into his home and end his life. Heck, he's pulled similar stunts on people over the years to the point that he's irredeemable. 

The biggest concern with the storyline is that it's possible we could spend nine months waiting for the reveals, and they won't live up to the hype. Empire has had trouble with storylines paying off in the past, but this being the final season allows the producers to take bigger swings.

The Lyon Patriarch - Empire Season 6 Episode 1

There are so many suspects in this type of storyline that it could get tiring, but at least there was a considerable amount of other storylines put in play on the premiere. 

Lucious taking on a new identity and going on the run was fun and all, but it's hard to imagine anybody not recognizing him. 

Cookie: What's this, the third coming of Christ?
Lucious: Amen.

It's common for people on the run from the law to change their appearance not to get caught, but that was a pretty drastic makeover. 

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

The biggest flaw with his new love interest is that it's Damon Cross's daughter. I would hope that the writers have a plausible explanation for that because there's no way that Lucious miraculously happened to shack up with the daughter of his sworn enemy. 

The New Ms. Lyon? - Empire Season 6 Episode 1

Lucious has been known to only think about himself, but he appears to have a genuine connection with his new woman. Still, it's only a matter of time before the truth is revealed. 

One of them is playing the other. If not, it will go down as the most random storyline ever on the series. 

Cookie: Look, when the hell is this doctor going to get here?
Andre: He'll be here soon, mom.
Cookie: Look, Andre, I know Empire is on your mind, but...
Andre: Pop trusted me with Empire, Ma. I can't let it fail.
Cookie: Boy, that thing will work itself out, OK? Andre, your health is more important, baby. We gotta make sure your heart is fine and that cancer is cleaned out.
[Lucious enters room, dressed in white.]
Andre: Anybody see you?
Lucious: No, I'm good.
Cookie: What the hell is he doing here?
Andre: We're not here for the doctor, OK? The feds are coming for Empire. We're about to take a huge hit. We need the evidence on Damon Cross to clear Pop's name and it's going to take us-- all of us, Ma, working together to do it. This is about family. Our legacy is bigger than your marriage. Now, you two can kiss and make up later or not. I-- we need a solution now. I'll give you a minute to work this out. We have 30 minutes.
Cookie: I'm going to beat your ass.
Andre: Work it out, Ma.

Lucious is fooling himself if he thinks he's over Cookie. They have a love story that spans decades.

They both made sacrifices for each other over the years, but there's been so much back and forth that it's difficult to root for them. 

Lucious is an awful man who would sell out his firstborn if the opportunity presented itself, while Cookie is all about keeping her family intact. 

Cookie's New Look - Empire Season 6 Episode 1

The best part of the premiere was just how much Cookie had changed between seasons. She wanted to carve a career path for herself -- one that did not include the Empire name. 

Related: Empire: Coming to an End

That took her to daytime TV. Cookie has the personality for that line of work, but something tells me she's not going to be able to stick it out for much longer. 

Tracy: Hey, Andre. Maybe you should make an announcement about me?
Andre: Tracy, I... what are you doing here?
Tracy: Where else would I be? I'm Empire's newest co-owner. Hi.

Her co-hosts know that viewers will only be tuning in to get some tidbits of information about Lucious wherabouts and how the family is dealing with this latest scandal. 

It was only a matter of time before Cookie opened a can of whoop-ass on the two women. They were serving her looks and hurling underhand comments about her family. 

Cookie Talks to Andre - Empire Season 6 Episode 1

But they failed to recognize just how fiercely protective Cookie is of her family, and that's why Cookie managed to make the two women look like complete idiots on national television. 

It's fresh and exciting for Cookie to be away from Empire and placing her attention elsewhere. Whenever she's been away from Empire in the past, she tried to fight her way back in. 

Publicist: Your trial run has been fantastic, and the producers want you to be a permanent co-host. They just need to know that Lucious and Empire are finally behind you.
Cookie: That's none of their damn business, baby.
Publicist: Is it a problem? Do you even know where Lucious is?
Cookie: I don't okay, but nobody gets to tell Cookie Lyon what she can and cannot do.
Publicist: Can you stop referring to yourself in the third person?
Cookie: Well, Cookie Lyon loves it, so get used to it. Look, I am proud of what my family did with Empire. And Lucious is my husband.
Publicist: But you left him. That was your choice. Why not make it public?
Cookie: My choice, my damn business.

However, she knows the firm is in good hands with Andre ... and Tracy!

Related: Empire: Jussie Smollett Officially Fired

Tracy popping up as the new co-owner was a splendid surprise. She didn't have much to do during Empire Season 5 aside from being bed-bound for much of the season, so it will be fun to see what she does with the company. 

Andre and Teri - Empire Season 6 Episode 1

Wanting to get close to Andre because her son's heart is what's keeping him alive was no surprise, but asking Andre if she can listen to the heartbeat is a bit out there. 

We can probably rule out Tracy conspiring against Andre because she probably feels somewhat responsible for him being alive right about now. 

Andre: I just don't want to let you down. I'm doing everything I can to rebuild Empire back, Pop. Empire is being attacked on all sides.
Lucious: That's the nature of a kingdom. It's always under attack, and the problem is, I raised you to be a prince, but a prince has no real power. You only have power when you become king, and as a king, you will have to defend your kingdom by any means. And when the time comes, you'll know exactly what you need to do.

My concern with Tracy is that she doesn't have much experience of running a multi-million dollar business. Will Andre coach her, or will he try to ice her out?

The truth is, Andre has proven to be one of the better people at keeping things going smoothly at Empire, but the concerns from investors may return. 

Who's Dead? - Empire Season 5 Episode 18

A biopic about Lucious may seem like a good idea on paper, but did you ever doubt there'd be more family drama?

Hakeem has done a lot of growing up since the beginning of Empire, but he's being bratty again and making decisions for his personal gain. 

Related: Empire Season 5 Episode 18 Review: The Roughest Day

Ambushing Andre on stage when the movie was announced and claiming that he is taking on the role of his father was a striking example of Hakeem's boorish behavior. 

By the time the truth about Lucious is exposed, there's not going to be a biopic. Hell, even the company will probably have folded. 

Lucious Watches the Tour - Empire Season 5 Episode 17

The Lyons could well end up with nothing. 

From a marketing standpoint, Hakeem taking on the role of his father is a good thing, but could that be foreshadowing someone associated with the movie killing Lucious to raise more attention for it?

This is Empire, and twists are never far away. 

Teri losing the baby is going to destroy Andre because he's been so driven by the prospect of being a father again. 

It is going to open up old wounds, and he may well go off the rails again. 

Empire is back, and more twisted than ever!

What did you think of the premiere? 

Do you think Lucious is really dead?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch Empire online right here via TV Fanatic. 

The series airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX. 

What Is Love Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (44 Votes)

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

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Empire Season 6 Episode 1 Quotes

Publicist: Your trial run has been fantastic, and the producers want you to be a permanent co-host. They just need to know that Lucious and Empire are finally behind you.
Cookie: That's none of their damn business, baby.
Publicist: Is it a problem? Do you even know where Lucious is?
Cookie: I don't okay, but nobody gets to tell Cookie Lyon what she can and cannot do.
Publicist: Can you stop referring to yourself in the third person?
Cookie: Well, Cookie Lyon loves it, so get used to it. Look, I am proud of what my family did with Empire. And Lucious is my husband.
Publicist: But you left him. That was your choice. Why not make it public?
Cookie: My choice, my damn business.

Andre: I just don't want to let you down. I'm doing everything I can to rebuild Empire back, Pop. Empire is being attacked on all sides.
Lucious: That's the nature of a kingdom. It's always under attack, and the problem is, I raised you to be a prince, but a prince has no real power. You only have power when you become king, and as a king, you will have to defend your kingdom by any means. And when the time comes, you'll know exactly what you need to do.