Photo: Chuck Hodes/Fox

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • Although sleeping with a firearm seems perfectly in character, Lucious should rethink his life choices if he has to have a gun on his person while on bed rest.
  • Anika’s vague death threat and reconciliatory speech to Cookie suggest she won’t survive her encounter with Shine. No one’s perfect on this show, but the fact that she has sunk to that level could mean she’s on her way out. Her character also remains underdeveloped this season. Everyone in this family has a bit of Michael “I don’t want to be part of the family business/Yes I do” Corleone in them, but Anika’s iteration of that is the least interesting.
  • Andre, meanwhile, continues his transformation from Fredo to Michael. He’s making moves in Vegas, and a power grab at home. Andre appears to be a couple good ideas away from a full Empire coup, which would be nice because it would mean that I could stop trying to keep track of who runs the damn company.
  • A sick Lucious still manages to outmaneuver just about everyone else, though he’s no match for Andre’s big, um, profit margins.
  • Estelle returned as Delphine to collaborate with Jamal on “Dangerous,” a song about how terrible an idea it is to fall in love with Lucious, I think.
  • As apt as it might be, When Cookie Met Lucious is a silly title for Jamal’s album. Setting that aside, a whole record about your parents’ love affair, marriage, and break-up just sounds messed up. I know he wrote that “Mother” song to console Cookie last season, but why would he want to live (or have Cookie relive) any of that?
  • And Giuliana’s ulterior motives have ulterior motives. We could see that coming from a mile away, as well as a sordid, hidden past with Lucious. But good on her for telling Nessa about Andre’s attempts at a threesome.
  • So Empire missed out on a chance to weigh in on the election, and it’s not looking to make up for any lost time. But it is trying to be timely with its victim shaming thread, which rightly points out how extraordinary effort is put into defaming someone to protect someone in power. (Even when it’s accurate, it’s still shitty.) Plus, it got Hakeem to sing, which is always, well, something.

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