Empire Season 6 Episode 5 Review: Stronger Than My Rival

at .

That's the Empire we know and love. 

Empire Season 6 Episode 5 was bursting at the seams with storylines that will have a lasting effect on the characters. 

Empire Season 6 has been a dud for the most part, but "Stronger Than My Rival" started the process of setting up the show's endgame. 

Taking Control - Empire

If you watch Empire online, you know Cookie and Lucious have gone up against each other many times.

They've been cutthroat with each other, but something tells me everything that transpired this time is only going to lead to resentment from both parties. 

Lucious in Pain - Empire Season 6 Episode 5

Lucious likes to think that he's the King of the family and that he is the reason for Empire's early success. But fans knew from the get-go that the $400,000 Cookie raised for the company before spending almost two decades in prison was instrumental in those early years. 

Cookie has been driven throughout her six-season arc to take back what's hers and let everyone know that Lucious is not the genius he would like her to believe. 

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

Cookie ridiculing Lucious by dropping the bomb about how Empire got started was a big move and one that Lucious will likely never be able to forgive. 

Lucious then proceeded to push Cookie to the limit. He was putting labels on food in the house, chucking her out of the master bedroom, and generally being a sucky person. 

Something Only She Can Solve - Empire Season 6 Episode 4

Lucious was adamant that he was not forgiving Cookie for her past misdeeds, yet Cookie has been the one to forgive him after every horrible thing he's done over the years. 

Now that Cookie has publicly outed the origins of Empire, Lucious will likely go after her to sue her for the NDA. He's a petty man who hates when someone makes him look like an idiot. 

Lucious: This is my legacy.
Cookie: This is our house, Lucious. Our legacy, our Empire.

It's unclear whether Lucious is lying about Philly Street's money from the banks he robbed being more important than the sum that sent her to prison. In any case, Lucious made Cookie feel horrible when he told her that. Well, that and that he no longer loved her. 

That had a profound effect on Cookie. She refused to believe either nugget of information. Maybe she's in denial, or maybe she genuinely believes he's lying, but the fabric of Cookie and Lucious has forever been changed as a result of these revelations. 

Lucious Gets Revenge - Empire Season 6 Episode 4

If Cookie does go against Lucious, then there's a good chance she will use the truth about Lucious stealing the money so that she can get Philly Street on her side. 

Lucious is all about keeping his enemies close, and that's why he turned to the producer and offered a role at Empire if they can hash out their differences. However, now that we know what Lucious did, it's possible that Philly could be the one to end his life. 

Related: Empire: Coming to an End!

Unless we're being royally played by the producers, Lucious and Cookie are dead in the future storyline. We're being led to believe Cookie pulled the trigger before rushing out of the home into her car, only for it to explode with her in it. 

It's certainly a wild plot, but with Empire in its final season, it's perfectly plausible. But the Lyons have a big list of enemies that doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. 

Tracy is Back - Empire Season 6 Episode 5

Tracy has got to be the most frustrating character. She just pops up, taking real estate on the screen and doesn't really have anything she can do to get back at the Lyons. 

Beyond her arguments with Lucious and Cookie, there's nothing there. But that doesn't mean she won't be pushed to the point of murder. It was horrible of Lucious to say that Kingsley's existence would be scrubbed from the biopic. 

I got some news for you, your $400,000 and your 17 years meant less to Empire than you do to me.


Tracy knows the Lyons are mostly responsible for her son's death, so it's possible she could team up with some of their enemies to be their ultimate undoing. 

Andre and Lucious' battle was unncessary. It only showed that Lucious would go to some crazy lengths to get one over on his son. Couldn't he have just rolled over and let Andre win on one occasion?

Treasure Smiles - Empire Season 6 Episode 5

Treasure was right in her assessment that the song she was being forced to release was written for Tiana. She's a musician, so she knows that the song was not crafted for her style. That's why she couldn't get behind it. 

I built this legacy, not you.


Treasure is still relatively new to Empire, but if she continues to feel like her creativity is getting stifled, then she could make her way to Bossy Media. Even though their media launch was an utter failure, the label is getting some buzz for having Tiana in the fold. 

Related: Empire Season 6 Episode 4 Review: Tell the Truth

"Stronger Than My Rival" was an excellent installment of this FOX drama. The storylines are finally going somewhere, and it's exciting gathering the clues to find out who kills the Lyons. 

What are your thoughts on the latest twists and turns?

Hit the comments below. 

Empire airs Tuesdays on FOX. 

Editor's Note: Our system got updated! Now, you'll be able to scroll through many articles at once. That required a bit of a change to the comments, though, and now you have to click the blue "comments" bar at the bottom of an article to access them.

There are also two segments to comments now. You can either comment using Facebook or Disqus. Either way, you can SEE both types of comments. We hope that will be more inclusive of our community at large and that the conversations will grow as a result.

Stronger Than My Rival Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
  • 3.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

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

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Empire Season 6 Episode 5 Quotes

Lucious: This is my legacy.
Cookie: This is our house, Lucious. Our legacy, our Empire.

I got some news for you, your $400,000 and your 17 years meant less to Empire than you do to me.