RECAP: 'EMPIRE' S3EP1 - 'LIGHT IN DARKNESS' - GHOSTS AND PTSD
Oh Empire, how I've missed you.
Season 3 kicks off where the last ended. Rhonda and Anika are bitch-fighting it out on the balcony and Andre appears just as one or maybe two of these beautiful ladies fall off the balcony.
Oh Rhonda, sweet Rhonda. At the beginning of Season 1, you seemed to be just a white girl going after Andre's fortune, wearing a bib for foreplay. But in Season 2 you lost so much. You fell down the stairs and lost your child while in the womb and you haven't been the same since. The thing is, Anika pushed you down those stairs.
Anika on the other hand, went from strong independent black woman to an insecure, psycho stalker now turned killer. Anika is a terrible human being.
But Empire doesn't pull any punches on the audience. Rhonda falls to her death and Andre loses his shit on Anika. He pins her to the wall and chokes her. The bitch deserves to die. But lo and behold, Anika's water breaks and stops Andre in his tracks.
Anika should be in jail. She should be dead. But at the hospital, as Anika is pushing and having her baby, Lucious comes to the rescue.
Fuck you Lucious. For being so smart and so evil. Lucious whispers into his wife's ears and coaches her to change her story to avoid the blame. Anika may not be getting her just desserts yet, but Rhonda and Andre better get some damn justice around here!
The rest of the Lyon family got problems too. Tariq is still after the Lyons and tries to get Cookie's sisters to help him out. Cookie, for now, won't rat Lucious out but who knows what could change a few episodes from now.
Hakeem gets a new mentor in the form of Xzibit, a producer with a massive rage problem as he crushes the hand of a mediocre producer. A good choice for a mentor though, as Xzibit turns Facts into my favourite song thus far from the season.
Jamal is meant to be the face of Empire X Stream. He's meant to show everyone that he can handle being top dog. On the contrary, Jamal spectacularly fucks up on stage and has a panic attack. Apparently, he's showing signs of PTSD after Freda shot him last season. Instead, Xzibit's daughter pops up on stage and sings Jamal's Need Freedom. Big problems for Empire ahead as Xzibit has leverage on the Lyon family now.
At a 'family' dinner, the Lyon family appears strong as Tariq tries to tear them apart. He tears into them, one by one. At the end of the table, Tariq tears into Cookie as well. But he doesn't get far enough before every one of the Lyon boys steps in to protect their mother. Problems aside, the family is still strong.
As for the BEST MOMENT of this episode, and one that I partly saw coming - Rhonda returns to Andre in ghost form. Empire just continues to go full Shakespeare here, as Rhonda's ghost plays devil's advocate to Dre's misery. The ghost blames him for letting her die, and I think we all know that revenge is going to be a big part of Andre's future. Alongside losing his kid, his wife and his faith in God, Andre just can't catch a break. When Jamal walks in and sees Andre talking to himself, the fear on his face mirrored my feels exactly.
The Lyon family is strong, but Tariq ain't no idiot. He has a surveillance teddy bear in the baby's nursery and we hope that that doesn't come to bite Lucious in the ass later on.