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Empire - A Rose By Any Other Name - Advance Preview: "Flip, Flop, Flip-Flippidy-Flop"


2.12 - "A Rose By Any Other Name"
Directed by Michael Engler
Written by Ilene Chaiken
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)

Didn't I tell you Empire fans that the show was back on track? Don't want to be the guy who says "I told you so", but it wasn't the first episode back that struck gold - I can guarantee you guys, you will love this episode. Quote me on that if you must, but this episode was, to me, better than the previous one. Why? If I told you that, it would be too big a spoiler. I'm dying to tell you guys, but the last 3 or so minutes of the episode had me reeling. I couldn't believe it, and I didn't see it coming. Just wow. Okay, aside from the last 3 minutes, the rest of the episode was really great too, so much happens to make this another great and dramatic instalment of the show. I would say all the characters have their moments to shine here, though there are a couple of absences, most notably Anika in this one.

Who isn't loving the devious schemes of Camilla? She's such a character that every time she appears, she just makes you want to smirk and scowl at the same time. She's no different in this episode, in fact, she does the worst thing she's ever done ever in this episode. She is still rubbing Cookie and the others up the wrong way, and sometimes you have to wonder if she's doing it just because she can. She has so much power now that it really will mean only Hakeem can really put her in her place. And as you can see in the previews, he makes a sex tape - whether or not the consequences of that sex tape will come to fruition in this episode, I will not reveal, but the set-up is there, and it could mean a very dangerous turn for some of the characters involved. Very dangerous.

Let's not forget about Rhonda and Andre. It will take a lot more to get over the death of their baby, and I'm glad the show is not skipping over that. Andre still has a hard time dealing with it, and we can see it through his paranoia and random outbursts. Rhonda, who is arguably becoming a better character as this season progresses, worries about him, and it's quite funny to see her reactions to his belief in God, especially when he asks her to try it with him. The most emotional scene, though, comes in one of the best family bonding moments of the show's history - it really shows the beauty in brotherhood when Jamal and Hakeem are there for Andre, and it even makes Cookie cry. It's all one big tear-fest and it really pulled at my heartstrings. Bravo to the writers for that one.

Jamal is having a hard time this episode. The repercussions of his "is he gay, is he straight" puts a bigger strain on his relationship with his father, Lucious. There's a scene with Jamal and Becky outside, and we fully realise that the gay community is turning their back on him. It happens in a way that's quite painful to watch, but is also quite entertaining. It's where my "flip, flop, flip-flippidy-flop" tagline comes from. Hakeem is truly rising to the top, and he has a pretty good song in this, too. So do Jamal (solo) and Tiana, but Hakeem's I would say is the best one out of the solo performances. I was beginning to lose faith in Hakeem, but he pulls it around in this episode, and I enjoy the true Lyon stronghold here (though minus Lucious). Lucious isn't a big player in this episode, but his scenes are mainly shared with new character Harper (played by the talented Annie Ilonzah), a reporter who clearly has no problem crossing the line when it comes to her questions.

EPISODE VERDICT

Brilliant. That's what I would say about this episode of Empire. We have some amazing family scenes and all of the Lyons shine, not just Cookie like always (though she is still the best). I couldn't turn my eyes from the screen for most of it, and it's clear this season is heating up already. I'm telling you, the last 3 minutes were jaw-dropping. You will not expect what happens to happen. There are many highlights to come from this episode, and I simply cannot wait for you guys to watch it. Once you see it, you will be waiting anxiously for the next episode. I know I am!

DIALOGUE TEASES

- "Lucious who?"
- "You're acting paranoid right now."
- "That's probably some of the best work you've done in a long time."
- "That's not even his song stupid!"
- "I'm calling you a bitch!"
- "Just drop your drawers, brother."
- "You let that psycho bitch in the house in the first place."
- "I'm saying Lucious Lyon ain't even his real name."
- "What have I done?"
- "Rot in hell."

Any questions about 'A Rose By Any Other Name'? 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 April 6th!



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