Empire Recap: Toil and Trouble – Season 4 Finale

Empire wrapped up its third season on 5/24/17 with plenty of drama but precious little logic. This was the second part of “Toil and Trouble.” The main storyline we’ve been following was Diana Dubois’ revenge plot against the Lyons family. She kidnapped Hakeem’s baby and in the first part of “Toil and Trouble” (5/17/17), Lucious got his half-brother Tariq to locate the baby. Just when Tariq was going to tell Lucious where Bella was, Lucious’ mother, Leah Walker, killed him with a letter-opener. “What is wrong with you?” was Lucious’ reaction. LOL! And that happened after she made Tariq a sandwich with broken glass in it for lunch that Lucious took away.

Leah Walker got Anika to come over for her mail and suggested she use the letter-opener. Machiavellian Mama. Ho-hum. Besides, we already knew Anika was going to get arrested for Tariq’s murder because they showed that in last week’s preview!

In this episode, suddenly Anika knows where Bella is and Leah advised Hakeem to follow her if he wanted to find out. So there was no explanation as to how Anika knew that Bella was at the Dubois home and when Hakeem arrived, they let him hold his daughter and promised she would be taken good care of as long as he did what they wanted.

Hakeem gets to hold Bella for a price

Why didn’t Hakeem call the police when he followed Anika to Chateau Dubois?

Mama Dubois is sure she can count on her ability to manipulate Hakeem. She also sent another son out to Vegas to seduce Jamal. Angelo was now fully on board with the babynapping, despite his protests that they wouldn’t do something like that when Shine’s thugs worked him over. See what we mean? This series makes you feel cheated. There should have at least been a scene showing Angelo calling his mother a criminal and how she manipulated him into cooperating. He did, after all, rant and rave about how he broke the law for Cookie on the hot mic.

Pretty much everything else that happened occurred without any sensible transition. Lucious gave Giuliana the gate after she unwittingly signed over her club to him. Cookie called off the doggs and Andre tried to after his father turned the Empire over to him willingly. Shine was heading up both plots to bring Lucious down. He called it off for Cookie but pulled a gun on Andre and proceeded with the plan to blow up Lucious as he left Club Leviticus.

Andre frantically tried to get there before both his parents were blown to kingdom come, but Lucious could not get out of the way fast enough. They fast-forwarded 3 months to him still in a coma. He wakes up and has amnesia. It’s only temporary, obviously, because they then showed upcoming scenes where’s he back in action.

So the Empire must have been like the kingdom in Sleeping Beauty. Everything went on hold. We’re sure that in Season 4 what happened in those 3 months will be dealt with in a sentence or two and a new boatload of dramatic moments will be ensue. However, this is where we part company with the series. Substituting shock value for substance just isn’t working.

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