Obviously there will be spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned!
As we get closer to this season’s finale, Fox’s Empire gets more and more unpredictable. Its plot seems to twist and turn after every episode, leaving audiences dizzied by all the action that is occurring at once. This episode, titled “True Love Never,” focuses on Cookie’s troubles with Laz and Lucious’ production of his new single, “Boom Boom Boom Boom.” It seems as if this season the writers were trying to introduce 10 different story arcs, but so far not one of them has reached continuity.
In “True Love Never,” Cookie and Laz want to get to know each other intimately, so the two have a little ‘staycation’ together. Laz succeeds in convincing Cookie into hosting the music festival she’s been planning, ‘Cookie’s Cookout’, in territory controlled by Laz’s thuggish bosses. Even though Cookie resists working with these men, he convinces her to leave the kidnapping in the past to get the best security possible. Hakeem warns Cookie not to follow Laz, but she ignores him. Unbeknownst to Cookie, Laz and his secret bosses are plotting to rob Lyon Dynasty. What’s really unbelievable is how the previously street-smart and protective Cookie could be so gullible to Laz’s charms. While Laz definitely is a crook, in those scenes we could tell that he genuinely doesn’t want Cookie to get hurt, and we could even see a tinge of regretfulness in his demeanor.
Meanwhile, Lucious and his protégé Freda continue to collaborate on “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom,” but he struggles to find the inspiration needed to perfect this obvious masterpiece. Lucious seeks out a former mentor for an opinion on his newest single, and is told that he needs to ‘dig deeper’ in his lyrics. In response to this, the episode is chock full of sepia-toned flashbacks with exposition the audience already knows. Despite this, it is always nice to see Kelly Rowland’s impressive acting skills. Interestingly enough, we also find out that Lucious knows how to play the sitar.
Lucious makes plenty of questionable business decisions in this week’s episode, including one in which he is forced to knockout the CEO of a music streaming company. He makes Andre untangle Freda Gatz’s gang-related legal mess. Andre is forced to make a decision based on his newly discovered moral (something rarely seen on this show), and has to decide whether to sleep with the Deputy Mayor to get Freda’s charges dropped, or to threaten blackmail instead.
Cookie’s relationship with Jamal is the only positive aspect of “True Love Never.” He asks for Cookie’s help with his newest single at the start of the episode, and from there the two plot to go behind Lucious’ back so she can help him record. Though they are family, Jamal is still supposed to be Cookie’s rival because their companies are fierce competitors. We predict that this rivalry will be harder to keep up with in episodes to come, because no company can break apart a family. Time and time again, on this show blood proves to be thicker than water.
Questions we still have after watching Episode 7: Will we ever get Lucious’ full backstory? What explosive encounter will expose Laz’s plot to destroy Lyon Dynasty? Could Laz’s bosses potentially be Lucious’ minions?
Empire episode 7 season 2, “True Love Never”, gets a ⅖ for its lack of continuity and the lyrical horror that is “Boom Boom Boom Boom”.