Empire has seen better days.
The only notable storyline on Empire Season 6 Episode 8 was Cookie returning to the world of music.
Her passion shone through as she nurtured a star from Empire's past, and it supported the idea that Cookie should ditch her other endeavors and spend her time in music for the foreseeable future.
"Do You Remember Me" highlighted how difficult the industry is for someone going through an identity crisis.
Lucious cut short Melody's time in the spotlight because he couldn't see past the fact that she wanted to transition.
Threatening her with lawsuits was a horrible move that had a lasting effect on her career. Cookie recognized the talent emanating from Melody and struggled to see her being relegated to backup singer.
Cookie strives for perfection to nurture talent. It's a tough-love approach, but she recognized that there was more to the artist than anyone would ever understand.
The drama that is Lucious follows me everywhere.Cookie
Melody's career was tainted by Lucious dismissing her, but singing in front of the man she despised helped highlight what the label missed out on.
Cookie believed in Melody so much that she returned her wedding ring to Lucious -- a move he could have never seen coming.
Lucious thinks the world revolves around him and that Cookie will return to him before long. The reaction on his face said it all: He understood the error of his ways, both in his marriage and his failure to help Melody.
Actions speak louder than words and giving the ring back to Cookie, as well as allowing Melody to restart her career, hinted at his icy demeanor beginning the process of defrosting.
If you watch Empire online, you know Lucious is a horrible man who wants all the power in the world, but he's slowly starting to change.
And it's all thanks to Andre telling his truth on Empire Season 6 Episode 7. Lucious might be softening up, but Andre is headed in the other direction.
Andre has flirted with darkness several times throughout the series, and his final arc is poised to involve him doing some things that won't make him proud.
Hell, even Teri is starting to clock on to how devious he can be. Andre is getting coached into staying on the side of evil from the version of Kingsley he has in his mind.
You and I, we were destined to find each other.Yana
Kingsley was the black sheep of the family that had the potential to take down Lucious. Andre is always pushed to the side because he can't sing, so there are similarities between the two of them.
Whether they will be able to come together to exact the ultimate revenge on Lucious is unclear. There are so many enemies stacking up, and it's beginning to make my head hurt.
Phylis Street is a worthy contender. Lucious stole everything from him, and coupled with the formidable force that is Tracy, Lucious, and his entire family should be worried.
Tracy tried to play nice with Lucious and even noticed there was a connection between them, but that only lasted until Yana arrived on the scene again.
Tracy wants to get together with Lucious. She's always had a soft spot for him, even though he is a horrid human being. Now that Trace is conspiring against him, she's going to do what she can to dole out some revenge.
My one hope is that the death of Lucious is not a big fakeout. He deserves to go. Cookie's demise could be a fakeout. Fans would not react well to her getting written out via a car explosion.
Bossy Media is quite the drag. Becky and Giselle were both in powerful positions at Empire, but they can't seem to make their company turn a profit.
They each make decisions without conversing with each other. That's not the way to run a business, and Giselle's deal with her former frenemy is only going to bring more problems.
Of course, there are strings attached to giving money to get a 1000 percent return. Giselle was dumb not to understand that. The saving grace may be that she didn't invest the $2 million, but if it turns out to be dirty money, she still turned $1,000 into $10,000.
A scandal in the first year of a flop company is not going to do them any favors. Look for the two to be back at Empire before Empire Season 6 wraps.
Empire needs to regain its focus. The loss of Jussie Smollett and the lack of Bryshere Gray has resulted in the series grasping at straws to engage viewers.
Jamal got a decent ending, but Hakeem disappears for multiple episodes at a time. The only Lyons we have to play with regularly are Cookie, Lucious, and Andre.
Everyone else is just taking up precious screentime.
As we head into the second half of the final season, it's time for the action to pick up.
What did you think of Melody?
Will Cookie nurture Melody at Empire or Bossy Media?
Did Giselle make a mistake?
Hit the comments below.
Empire continues Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.