Empire series premiere recap: 'Pilot'

January 8, 2015 3:06 AM

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So there's this guy who's built a giant kingdom, but he knows he's going to die and he has to figure out a way for that kingdom to survive. The obvious choice is to pass on the spoils to his children, but he doesn't know which kid to trust. He assembles them together and then asks the question that no father should have to ask: "Which of you shall we say doth love us most?" That turns out to be his tragic flaw, as he disinherits the wrong daughter and then spends another two hours wandering around in a storm complaining. Later, everyone dies.

Okay, sorry, that's a recap for William Shakespeare's King Lear, but I bring the Elizabethan comparison because, beneath its splashy fur coat-laden surface, Empire asks nearly the same questions about nearly the same family. In the pilot, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) learns he has ALS and has to d...

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