Deconstructing Empire’s “Sins of the Father” episode leads to many contradictions and surprises that inform and shock audiences. It is really all about a complex tangle of love-hate relationships and the issue of paternity.
Empire shows Luscious Lyons in full paternalistic mode as the bossy and domineering father who is an out-and-out bully to boot. He wants to divide the wealth of his empire (so to say) between everyone except his sons, who need the money desperately.
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The hip hop mogul that Luscious happens to be is a full time job that has hardened his heart beyond recognition. He argues with his ex-wife Cookie regarding stuff. And then the bombshell drops.
Their son Andre has bipolar disorder or manic depression. Now this is a fairly debilitating condition that causes a number of mood swings in the afflicted person’s life and other problems to occur on a regular basis.
But when a musical therapist is found to nurse Andre back to health, Cookie pretends that bipolar doesn’t exist and is just a ruse by the White Man. She says her son is a tough one and doesn’t need any treatment.
Meanwhile, Naomi Campbell who plays Camilla is given an offer she (supposedly) cannot refuse. She is given a blank check to leave Hakeem’s life. She complies without taking any money and when she is later on confronted by Hakeem she refuses to tell him the real reason thereby jeopardizing her own future. Only later on do we learn that Luscious Lyon is the one who actually tried to buy Camilla away from his son.
Malcolm meanwhile has his libido intact and manages to win a smooching session from Cookie. Cookie has plenty of issues with Lyon though. The only answer that Camilla will give Hakeem is that his father is worse than an animal. She did manage to scare the living daylights out of Luscious Lyon by delivering a final curse before departing.
It went like “in six months, you will be rotting in a wheelchair with a colostomy bag trailing behind you.” And she meant it. Finally, when at the end of the episode an enraged Reggie enters the office and tries to shoot Luscious Lyon and company, the conniving father confesses that he is the actual male parent of Lola, Olivia’s daughter. That is when one of the family members comes up from behind and shoots Reggie in the back thereby saving Lyon from lying on the floor with blood coming out of his head.
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In the final analysis, Cookie sees right through Lyon and his pack of lies and dismisses his cajoling behavior by saying that whatever or whomsoever he touches, he destroys in a Midas Touch manner. The sexual tensions and high dramatic moments of Empire are worth every single viewer’s time and attention. They are infotainment at its best.