Every week, crazy things happen on “Empire.” And when we say crazy, we mean borderline insane, barely believable WTF situations that we know: If we hadn’t willingly boarded the Lyon train. we’d be asking for our money back. This show embraces its heightened drama, soapy oversaturation, cold-blooded murder, torrid love affairs, and familial chaos — and so do we!
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It’s always been Lucious (Terrence Howard) doing most of the dirty work on “Empire,” but Season 3 features his eldest son taking over those reins — not an easy task. But ever since the death of his wife Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday), the never too stable Andre (Trai Byers) has gone off the deep end and dead inside, with no emotion behind his dark beautiful eyes.
But Andre has recently discovered a way to feel again — a mission, a reason to be passionate about living life… Except that what gets him going these days is concocting evil schemes to further his importance at Empire, no matter what the cost. The more dangerous and twisted, the more excited he gets.
“The Unkindest Cut,” here, was made by Andre on the Dec. 7 episode. And even with all the horrible things the Lyon family members regularly do for money and fame, this moment was particularly disturbing.
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To ensure Empire had an artist performing at Helen Von Wyeth’s (Gina Gershon) fashion show, Andre threatens Helen by chopping off her daughter’s hair. We repeat: Andre touches a child’s hair and chops off the hair of that child.
How he broke into this woman’s home in the middle of the night? We don’t know. But snipping the wispy blonde locks from a girl who couldn’t be older than 5 just to get his way is… An image that’s hard to erase from our minds. It feels irresponsible, in a way, which is a shame, because the rest of the episode thematically links to this, with an expert job dramatizing how image is used to control women, and specifically how “good hair” is used to control women of color:
If you can even imagine this, the theme continues when Gina Gershon dares to suggest that Tiana (Serayah) straighten her natural curls — the most powerful force on the show, if not our planet Earth!
Everybody is insane when it comes to hair, sure — but that’s taking it way too far in our opinion.
- Do not touch Tiana’s hair, Gina Gershon.
- Do not even look at Tiana’s hair. You’ve lost the right.
- You know what? Do not even think about Tiana’s hair — unless you are willing, like we are, to spend your life just doing that.
- Sorry a madman cut off your kid’s hair in the middle of the night, but actually not sorry, because you do not have respect.
The fall finale episode is next up, which means whatever drama we thought was crazy tonight, is about notch up 100 percent. It seems Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has caught wind that Andre’s actions are dangerously toeing the line — so hopefully, she’ll be able to step in yet again, before he does any irreparable damage to himself, his face, or anyone else.
“Empire” airs its fall finale Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.