That's the Empire we know and love!
Maybe it was the music! Maybe it was the hot hookups! Maybe it was the deliciously soapy drama that returned!
Empire Season 5 Episode 13 was the most well-rounded episode of the show in a while, and I say that as a fan who has been hate-watching the back half of Empire Season 5.
Who knew taking the gang on tour would be the perfect way to turn up the heat, and send storylines in some exciting directions?
In all honesty, "Hot Blood, Hot Thoughts, Hot Deeds" would have served as the perfect season finale. It was THAT good.
The episode helped highlight what I've suspected for a while now: The spark between Cookie and Lucious has fizzled out.
If you watch Empire online, you know that Cookie has stood by Lucious more than he's stood by her. He did divorce her while she was in prison serving a sentence for something that helped kickstart the company all those years ago.
Lucious is wicked and expects everyone to roll over and obey him. Treasure trying to seduce him was just par for the course. The newest addition to the Empire family has been desperately trying to find a way to climb that carer ladder quicker.
It was predictable that Cookie was going to walk in when it looked like Lucious was going to give in and allow Treasure to have her way with him.
But I can't fault that reveal because it sent Cookie straight into Damon's arms. That final montage with Cookie walking to the room while remembering all of the shit Lucious has done to her over the years.
You need to change your name to Hey, Bitch.Cookie
She knew fine well that Lucious noticed she was going up the hotel elevator, and going to another room proved that she didn't give a damn whether she was caught.
The gloves are off now, and the division between her and Lucious is only going to worsen, especially now that Cookie had sex with Damon. That man is just as bad, if not worse than Lucious, and I suspect there's going to be a war between the two men for Cookie's heart.
At this stage, however, it's time for Cookie and Lucious to go their separate ways. Cookie was having sex dreams about Damon before that incident with Treasure, so it makes me think Cookie used the apparent act of betrayal as a means of giving into her passion.
The foundation between Cookie and Lucious has never been solid. It's hard to regain trust in any relationship that goes south, but it's time for the powers that be to keep these two apart.
I don't doubt Cookie will second-guess her decision when she learns about Andre's cancer diagnosis. It's just a matter of time before she learns about it. There's also the whole issue of an alibi for Lucious now that his murderous tendencies have returned.
Will Cookie give Lucious an alibi because she feels guilty, or will she wash her hands of him? It's interesting because Empire has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, and the Trust Tour was the thing to rebuild their image.
Hell, even the "Hey Beautiful" host managed to switch gears on the whole tour after Jamal cried real tears.
We'll speak more about Jamal in a little because I'm not done with Lucious yet. Cookie warned him that the feds were watching, so taking his rage out on the man who was trying to extort the family was the worst thing he could possibly do.
You little dirty bitch. How could you do this again?Cookie
I've spent so long thinking that the deceased Lyon is going to be a result of the war between Lucious and Damon, but how do we know Treasure's ex-manager does not have a powerful family or circle of friends who will bite back?
The promos are teasing that a Lyon will fall before the conclusion of Empire Season 5. It's easy to assume that the person dying is Andre because his stage IV Lymphoma diagnosis, but there may be hope for him.
Having Kingsley the dead one would be a major copout, especially when you consider the fact that his presence is scarce these days.
Let's circle back to Jamal. I'm not going to lie and say that it's been easy to watch Jussie Smollett's scenes recently with the whole scandal surrounding the embattled actor.
How’s my neck? I can’t tell if I put in back on straight after Tiana bit it off.Maya
But Jamal showed he was not over the Kai breakup, and I liked that we got to see that. Jamal has never been one of the best characters on the show.
He's always been a bit all over the place, but there was a vulnerability to him when Kai was in the picture, and we were told some important storylines earlier into Empire Season 5 as a result.
It's hard to imagine Smollett remaining with the show if it is renewed for a sixth season. That's a big IF right now given that the ratings are diving every week. The show's DVR ratings are also way down, proving that even the most significant shows show some fatigue.
I didn't care much for the Maya, Blake, Carlito, and Tiana drama. When these characters disappear for weeks on end, it's difficult to care about them.
That's all I got, Empire Fanatics!
What are your thoughts on the big twists?
Hit the comments below.
Remember you can watch Empire online right here via TV Fanatic.
Empire airs Wednesdays on Fox.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.