Empire Recap: 3 Reasons Lucious Lyon Is A Terrible Parent
Empire, Fox’s Wednesday night drama, is a bona fide hit. Since its debut back in January, the hip-hop soap opera has continued to attract millions of viewers, making it one of the most-watched shows on network TV. Last night’s episode garnered 14.7 million viewers and 750,000 tweets. While fans are attracted to the over-the-top drama, Cookie Lyon’s witty one-liners, and the show’s original music, Lucious Lyon is at the heart of it all.
In case you haven’t been keeping up with Empire (uh, where have you been?), Lucious Lyon is a former drug dealer turned music mogul, and the patriarch of the show. With the help of his sons—and $400,000 from his ex-wife Cookie—Lucious built Empire Records into a multimillion dollar conglomerate on the verge of even bigger things.
But, of course, taking over the music and business world won’t be easy. Lucious was diagnosed with a terminal disease (ALS) and his prospects look bleak. Before he dies, however, he wants to make sure his beloved Empire is in good hands. Ideally, he’d like to pass the reins onto one of his three sons, but none of them are quite ready. Andre, the oldest, is struggling with a mental illness; Jamal, the middle son, is gay and Lucious hates it; and Hakeem, the youngest, is just way too immature to run the company. Instead of helping his sons shine, Lucious forces them to compete against each other, which inevitably causes even more drama.
Wednesday night’s episode was a doozy with secrets coming to light, uncomfortable truths being exposed, and Lucious once again proving that while he may be great at making hits, he knows very little about being a good dad.
#1 Lucious refuses to acknowledge Andre has a mental illness
On the last few episodes of Empire, Andre’s mental stability has been quickly declining. After being informed he wasn’t going to run the company, Andre stopped taking his meds and started playing Russian Roulette. No bueno. After that, things really went downhill. In the middle of a company crisis, Andre blew Empire’s petty cash on a new sports car, took a swing at his brothers, and Hulked out during a company meeting. At the end of the last week’s episode Andre was sedated and carted off to a psychiatric hospital because he clearly needed help.
Despite his son’s bipolar diagnosis, Lucious refuses to acknowledge Andre’s disease. Even after Andre was admitted to the psychiatric hospital, Lucious refused to “see him like that,” which only made Andre feel more isolated and alone. Instead of being supportive of his son’s treatment, Lucious blamed his outbursts on Andre’s white wife and lack of strength. Basically, he’s making Andre’s recovery a lot harder than it already is.
#2 Lucious is a bigot & its clouding judgment
One of Lucious’ biggest flaws—and something that consistently pisses me off—is that he’s a bigot. He can’t stand that Andre is married to a white woman, but what really gets Lucious going is Jamal’s sexuality. Throughout the series Lucious has called Jamal a slew of offensive names, disparaged his “lifestyle,” and tried to prevent his son from coming out by paying him off. While his views on his son’s sexuality are outdated, they’re also bad for Empire’s business. Lucious seems intent on grooming Hakeem to be the next head of the label, even though he’s the least qualified. And while Jamal is extremely talented, Lucious doesn’t support his music because he’s gay. In short: Lucious is a homophobe, and he needs to move into this decade before it destroys his family and his business.
#3 Lucious has to get his way, no matter what
During a family dinner party where the Lyon clan is supposed to sign documents to take Empire public, Hakeem shows up with Camilla, his much older lover. Lucious believes Camilla is just using his son, so he offers to pay her off as long as she heads back to London immediately. Camilla refuses, but Lucious writes her a check anyway (she tears it up) and has his security guard escort her to the airport. When Hakeem asks where his girlfriend went Lucious leads him to believe she took the cash and left town, but the truth is sure to come out later.
While Lucious is used to getting what he wants, something tells me his luck is about to run out.
Did you watch the latest episode of Empire? Share your thoughts below!