Emprire, Season 2 is Running Out of Steam!

I was a fan of Empire during the first season.  It was edgy and represented an African American cast to the utmost.  Lucius and Cookie started a record business in their garage and it actually hit the open market this year as a publicly traded company.  Last season ended on a whirlwind of activity.  Lucius was jailed for the murder of his cousin Bunky.  Andre's wife killed their Uncle Vernon and his story line played well into the second season.  The schism between Hakeem and Jamal have grown during the second season and will not end well.

Chris Rock made the briefest of cameos this season as a gangster who had been jailed.  While in jail he executed someone who had killed one of his associates in a retribution killing.  He was coming hard after Cookie and tried to get Lucius' blessing to kill her.  Lucius wouldn't do it.  Chris' character, Frank Gathers, was killed forcefully based on Lucius' past acts of goodwill.  One of the results of this close encounter was him meeting Gathers' daughter Freda.  She has a real deep voice and is another play towards the growing LGBT audience.  She is the supposed star of Gutter Life records but her debut on last nights episode was interrupted by a heckler.  She pulled a gun during a previous battle and I think her talent is minimal.

Hakeem is kidnapped during the last episode.  In a tribute to the Junior Black Mafia from Philly the kidnappers tell Hakeem to get down or lay down.  He is released with a slight cut over his eye and a serious care of double vision.  He goes to Annika's house for sexual healing and I cannot believe she fell for that.  This is fiction though so I will have to go with the flow.  Lucius writes a song for him but he throws the file containing it on the ground.  So he conveniently tells Freda that he wrote it for her.  Boom, boom, boom, bang, bang, bang, bang.  It has a nice riff that Freda spits hard too.  Maybe she will grow on me.

Andre's growing spirituality is not going to mesh well with the whole concept of Gutter Life records.  The rapper that is trysting with Becky is asked to speak about Jesus on one of his songs.  Andre also wants to get to know his rappers on a more personal basis.  Jamal is still coming to grips with the fact that Michael cheated on him with the artist commissioned to do his Rolling Stones spread.  I hate to say that Jamal is acting like the girl in the relationship.  An Artist's life is a lonely life on the road.  The pain of lost love and separation has spawned many a mega hit.  He will just not focus on his music.  The fact that the Staple Center has cancelled one of his concerts has set him off in a major way.

My girl Cookie cannot catch a break.  The relationship with Lucius is obviously over.  When Annika was around I think it fueled her competitive fire.  She has a new love interest that was her beau in a Tyler Perry movie.  Laz suggested that she make a deal with Hakeem's captors.  He also has her wrapped up in a steamy embrace in one of the last scenes.  Why  did he have to have the same tattoo as the guys who kidnapped Hakeem?   She couldn't leave with Derek Luke last season even though he professed love to her.  Being married to the game is tough.

I just feel that this season doesn't have the same aura as last season.  The prosecutor who was gunning for Lucius disappeared after Vernon was resurrected in her car.  Lucius was hell bent on getting his family together after a hostile takeover attempt that he further alienated his sons.  The soryline is not compelling and I am losing interest.  I hope it maintains its audience share and continues to elevate African American actors in a sparse market for our talent sometimes.

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