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Empire - Death Will Have His Day - Advance Preview: "Back On Top (and the Bottom of the Stairs)"


2.11 - "Death Will Have His Day"
Directed by Danny Strong
Written by Danny Strong
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Check out my other Empire advance previews:

2.11 - "Death Will Have His Day" (March 30, 2016)
2.12 - "A Rose By Any Other Name" (April 6, 2016)
2.13 - "The Tameness of a Wolf" (April 13, 2016)

Roar! The mid-season premiere is literally just one week away and it's all the things that it should be - dramatic, intense, heart-warming, heart-stopping... and Cookie-licious. Yes, broadcast TV's number-one show Empire returns on March 30, but if you can't wait that long, my spoiler-free preview of the upcoming premiere will surely whet your appetite. Before I delve into the madness of the episode, let me remind us of what has gone on before. So Jamal has been sort of flirting the boundaries between sexual preference identities as he and Skye got a little closer; Camilla returned and helped Hakeem make a huge leap at Empire by voting against his father, as Lucious is then unceremoniously kicked out of the company; and Anika was getting eerily close to the pregnant Rhonda, who ends the mid-season finale with a fall down the stairs, but who pushed her?

Unfortunately, we don't find out who pushed Rhonda in the first episode back, and I certainly cannot reveal whether Rhonda lives or dies. We do get a big clue to who the pusher is - and I'm pretty sure you see it in one of the trailers for the episode so this isn't a spoiler, but it's a shoe with a red sole. Was it a man, a woman? Anybody we know who wears shoes with red soles? I'm not sure, but I'm betting this shoe will re-appear later in the show and give us that big reveal. It might shock us, or it might go the obvious but logical route (and we all know who I mean). But the main fruit of this episode was also the fallout from Hakeem's decision to turn his back on his father and ice him out of Empire, and as you can see in the photo just above, Cookie does not take it well. She's livid, and it's quite a scary side of Cookie that I never expected to see. But as always Taraji P. Henson played it beautifully and I loved every moment.

Camilla cooks up quite the storm too, and she's just as vindictive and vicious as she's always been. Naomi Campbell has some talent at making Camilla the most conniving character on Empire, and that is a crown that has been fought over continuously. She continues in this episode to whisper into Hakeem's ear, who, at times, doesn't really want to listen to her. There will be some tension between Hakeem and Camilla, but will it mean it will put him on the same page as his family? Maybe, maybe not, but I think we will enjoy Camilla for a little while longer before her plan begins to unravel. All the while Cookie vows to take her down, and it's glorious to see Cookie as a woman on a mission. It's bizarre to think how she can be an alliance to Lucious, but this crazy family find ways of sticking together and seeing things through, even if the tension with Hakeem can kind of make you feel a little uncomfortable (see the hospital scene in this episode and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Jamal continues to question what he feels and how to approach his sexuality, which to me is being handled quite well, and we have some very good dialogue between him and Cookie. Lucious has a very hard time accepting defeat, and it leads to one hell of a scene between father and son later in this episode. If you felt that maybe the drama has been a little stale in the first half of season two, then you are so in for a treat with this newfound family drama. Already I feel an epic finale for the sophomore show, and things slowly fall into place that can potentially build to that sweet crescendo. And to talk about the other Lyon - Andre. Poor, poor Andre. He can't catch a break, but it's amazing to see how he handles things in this episode, and how it will lead to bigger, more emotional things in the future.

EPISODE VERDICT

Empire is returning next week with a bang, there's no doubt about it when watching this mid-season premiere. It's nothing short of delicious and intense, and every character seems to up their game as the stakes get a little higher for the Lyons. I love Empire, and I continued to love Empire even when fans complained through the first half of season two, but with new developments and some pretty dangerous cracks showing, Empire is back, and it's back on top. Alliances shift, dynamics change, and a few lives are actually threatened, which makes 'Death Will Have His Day' one of the most exciting hours of Empire yet. I cannot wait for you fans to see this dramatic instalment. Danny Strong, I love you!

DIALOGUE TEASES

"Why? Why would you do this to our family?"
"We all got it coming sooner or later."
"Get out of my office."
"I think I'm in love with her."
"Kill your father and sit on his throne."

Any burning questions about the return of Empire? Can't wait for the show to return? Let me know how excited you are about this episode in the comments and be sure to watch it when it airs on FOX at 9pm, Wednesday March 30th!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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