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Actionmage

Andre Lyon: The Businessman

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Jamal is set up to be the most sympathetic of the three, but I found myself most interested in Andre. It's tough to be a gay son to a homophobic father, but it's also hard to work your head off and go unappreciated because your talents just aren't what a parent values. The most intriguing thing about him for me was that mysterious pill. What was it? Speculations on the "Pilot" thread included Viagra and something for bipolar disorder. My mind went to some kind of blood pressure or ulcer medication. I wondered if his wife was actually white or a very light-skinned black, until someone commented on her. I guess she represents status to him? I can hardly wait to see more scheming from these two!

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. The most intriguing thing about him for me was that mysterious pill. What was it?

 

I thought that the scene of him taking pills was interesting and I wonder what they are for. But what I found the most interesting last night about Andre, was his scenes and lack of scenes with his mother Cookie. I think that he was the first one in the family to find out that Cookie got out. I thought it was interesting how Cookie didn't go and see him, but went to see Jamal and even Hakeem, who doesn't really know her. I think that might be telling in a way.

 

Cookie seemed surprised when Andre showed up at her apartment but happy to see him. I think that Cookie loves Andre, and is proud of him, and what he has accomplished as a man/businessman. But I think that there are feelings of shame involved with these two. I think she's ashamed that she's been in prison all this time, while her oldest son has went and really made something of himself. And I think that Andre is ashamed that his mother was in prison while he was out working hard and making something of himself. 

 

I think that it's telling that he didn't visit her in prison, even though he was the oldest child and had the most memories of her. Jamal, the middle child visited her, but Andre didn't. We haven't even seen flashbacks of young Andre yet, and I wonder why he hasn't been shown visiting her in prison, even after she was first locked up like Jamal was shown doing. I wonder how old he was at that time. If Jamal was like six, maybe Andre was like 11/12, maybe 13? I think that Andre is supposed to be late 20's/around 30.

 

I am interested in seeing how Andre is developed as a character and seeing how he interacts more with his family, especially Cookie.

Edited by Jx223
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I'm just guessing here, but he and Cookie are probably most alike, being business/money savvy (though she clearly made a huge error), whereas Lu and the other brothers are all "artists".

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That's an interesting point and would bring a lot to the Cookie/Andre relationship. It's a different angle on the usual trope of the father butting heads with the son most like him. 

 

I find Andre very sympathetic at this point, because I identify with being the smart one when smarts aren't particularly valued. He's an interesting mix, because he's still hungry for his father's approval (or at least his company) but he seems comfortable with his very different choices and preferences and doesn't make apologies for them.  Go on with your hummus-ordering yuppie self, Andre!  Plus, I love that he said "when I was at Penn" rather than "when I was at college" because that's exactly what Ivy League students do. 

 

I wonder if he's the most business/non-hip-hop focused because he's old enough to remember what it was like to actually be poor and in the middle of violence, not just surrounded with the faux trappings of that lifestyle.

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That's an interesting point and would bring a lot to the Cookie/Andre relationship. It's a different angle on the usual trope of the father butting heads with the son most like him. 

 

I find Andre very sympathetic at this point, because I identify with being the smart one when smarts aren't particularly valued. He's an interesting mix, because he's still hungry for his father's approval (or at least his company) but he seems comfortable with his very different choices and preferences and doesn't make apologies for them.  Go on with your hummus-ordering yuppie self, Andre!  Plus, I love that he said "when I was at Penn" rather than "when I was at college" because that's exactly what Ivy League students do. 

 

I wonder if he's the most business/non-hip-hop focused because he's old enough to remember what it was like to actually be poor and in the middle of violence, not just surrounded with the faux trappings of that lifestyle.

Yes! Jamal sees his mother as his heroine/protectress, while the younger brother doesn't really know her at all, but Andre was THERE. That might also explain why she waited for HIM to visit, rather than seeking him out, as she did with the other two. She knew Jamal would be welcoming, and she probably wanted to assess where she stood with the youngest, but knew that the relationship with Andre would be determined by his actions.

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Until Andre went to see Cookie, I thought she wasn't his biological mother.  He seemed very detached, and I'm pretty sure he only went to see her to hatch the "brother vs brother war, so I can sneak in and reap the spoils" plan.  But you can't play someone who knows the game - ashamed or no, Cookie saw right through his attempt at manipulation.  As I mentioned on the episode thread, I think she's willingly colluding with him.  She adores Jamal, yes, and wants him successful, but that's not the whole story.

 

For all I know, Cookie is manipulating Andre as much as he is trying to manipulate her.  Cookie is rather vulnerable without many allies, and Andre could be one.

 

His wife might have been a status symbol, but he doesn't seem all that into her. 

Edited by ribboninthesky1
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My read on Cookie waiting for Andre to visit is a little different.  At this point, it is just a fan wank since we really don't know the nature of their relationship and had no flashbacks of them, but my take is this:  Cookie is clearly hood.  She was a drug runner, she was street.  She lived in and amongst lower - to - low income folks.  There may have been non-blacks in their neighborhood, but they were of the same economic and probably education level.  Add to that she is an ex-con.

 

Now here we have a son who has gone to an Ivy league college, has an MBA, and a white wife.  For all that Lucius is rich & the company is wealthy, it is still based in hip-hop and is something that is still in her wheelhouse.  But she is out of her depth when it comes to the educated, moneyed, white high class society.  A little bit of that came through when she wandered through Lucius' office and saw how far he came.  My thought is that even though Andre is her son, he has moved outside of her comfort zone. 

 

 

She's had two sons reject her while she was in prison.  Hakeem's rejection is the sort Cookie can deal with.  He is a rapper who probably reminds her a lot of Lucius when he was young.  So she can deal with him.  But Andre, given what he has become, probably feels as alien to her as Martha Stewart. For all Cookie's bravado, there is now probably a class consciousness there that she is uncomfortable with and she herself probably feels some shame for her circumstances.   So Andre's rejection is one that she isn't as comfortable with.  Hence she doesn't force the issue and lets him come to her.

Edited by DearEvette
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I thought it was Phil Collins? It's been a long time since I watched it. 

 

Anyway, I wonder if Cookie's avoidance was as simple as Andre made it clear he wanted nothing to do with her by not visiting or writing - presumably ever, per his words.  Jamal was always close to her, and Hakeem was a baby when she went away.  I perceived her visit to Hakeem as an attempt to reconnect with the son who never knew her. 

 

So even if Andre wasn't an Ivy League-educated executive, I think she would have felt a sense of shame and guilt.  Because that's what Andre projected with his distance.  At first glance, Cookie doesn't strike me as easily intimidated by intellect or class, especially not from the son who would have been most familiar with their hood way of life.  Based on my initial impression, Andre walks, talks, and breathes overcompensation and entitlement. Though, it's tough to blame him for the latter with regard to the company.  It'll be interesting to see where they take his character. 

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His wife might have been a status symbol, but he doesn't seem all that into her.

 

Yep. He reminds me of the guy from Dear White People.

 

He was probably right about her being brilliant. Rhonda may end up running Empire without Andre. I wonder if that has anything to do with Lucious not seeing Andre as the heir apparent. Black mama skepticism aside, if Cookie thinks Rhonda is pulling Andre's strings a couple of days after getting out of jail, who knows what Lucius thinks. Or knows. 

 

As someone with whatever medical condition Andre has, he might want to be skeptical of someone who is encouraging him to tear apart his already dysfunctional, but somewhat loving family. If I was only going to have one member of the Lyon family in my corner, I'd pick Cookie, Jamal, or even Hakeem over Rhonda. Or over Andre. 

 

I also didn't get how his brothers were "showing off" when they were just hanging around having fun with other. 

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I think that was Andre's insecurity coming through.  He may be great at business but he strikes me as the type to resent his younger brothers because of their talent.  Funny how Jamal and Hakeem have a great brotherly bond, but Andre seems to look down on them.  I'm guessing he wasn't the "fatherly" big brother most oldest sons become for their younger siblings.  Especially the way he dismissed Jamal's complaint about Andre and his wife flaking on he and his boyfriend for dinner.  There was no sincerity or concern with talking to Jamal.  

 

Andre's flashbacks should be interesting.  On one hand it seems like he wants it both ways; to be the head of the family/company but also distance himself from his "common/ghetto/dysfunctional" roots.

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Andre Lyon is one sexy dude.  His lips are his trademark in my opinion.  LOL.  On a deeper level, I'm fascinated by the possibility that underneath that seemingly stoic, refined, sophisticated, uppity demeanor of his, there might be a truly disturbed individual underneath it all.  Perhaps some of us are getting ahead of ourselves after seeing him popping pills, but based on the tone and feel of the show so far,  Andre's medication is bound to be for something serious.  Overwhelmingly, I'm seeing quite a few around the internet suggesting that Andre is mentally ill in some way.  Quite something to ponder considering the Ivy-League educated Andre reads as someone who has his shit all together. 

Edited by Syndicate

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With Luscious as his dad, and seeing how he treated Jamal as a kid for not being what Luscious thought was correct?  Bipolar is barely more tolerable because there's drugs for that, but Andre'd get nixed for inheritance due to "crazy".  (My guess as to Luscious' opinion of mental health issues, regardless of treatability.)

 

But White Girl Brilliant? She may have a bit more going on than just Lady Macbeth-ing the place up.  Seeing her and Cookie in a scene, taking the pulse of the other? Would be super fun! She may like Rhonda more than Anika, which could be interesting and give those ladies a whole 'nother level to play on.

 

But yeah, the elevator scene was not a good look for Andre. He came off as if he'd taken speed or meth or something like that. Take your pills, Andre!

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But White Girl Brilliant? She may have a bit more going on than just Lady Macbeth-ing the place up.  Seeing her and Cookie in a scene, taking the pulse of the other? Would be super fun! She may like Rhonda more than Anika, which could be interesting and give those ladies a whole 'nother level to play on.

 

 

I thought it was interesting how Cookie and Rhonda seemed to get along. They might actually end up having a decent relationship as long as Rhonda doesn't come at Cookie, incorrectly, (which it doesn't look like she has so far). I thought in tonight's episode she seemed respectful and helpful to Cookie.

 

I could see Cookie making some remarks about Rhonda to other people (and possibly to her face as well), kind of like she does to Michael, but I could see her and Rhonda actually getting along for at least a little while. I think it may depend on exactly what type of scheming plans Rhonda/Andre continue to come up with and how Cookie is involved/reacts to those plans.

Edited by Jx223
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That's true; Rhonda throwing Cookie's line back at the photo shoot was fun. 

 

I also liked off-his-meds Andre with his " That is why it's called 'table service.' " hee!

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Jamal is set up to be the most sympathetic of the three, but I found myself most interested in Andre. It's tough to be a gay son to a homophobic father, but it's also hard to work your head off and go unappreciated because your talents just aren't what a parent values. The most intriguing thing about him for me was that mysterious pill. What was it? Speculations on the "Pilot" thread included Viagra and something for bipolar disorder. My mind went to some kind of blood pressure or ulcer medication. I wondered if his wife was actually white or a very light-skinned black, until someone commented on her. I guess she represents status to him? I can hardly wait to see more scheming from these two!

see the whole white wife thing is the one thing i don't like

 

 

every black man who gets status doesn't runoff and marry a white women on top of that dude seems like such a corn ball

 

every black man who dates white women is not corny , has no game , or doesn't do it because he doesn't fit into black culture but this show jsut seems to feed into some stereotypes of the black guy who dates primarily white women its cool but its really eyeroll worthy

Edited by teezy

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see the whole white wife thing is theo ne thing i don't like

 

 

every black man who gets status doesn't runoff and marries a white women on top of that dude seemsl ike such a corn ball

 

every black man who dates white women is not corny , has no games , or doesn't od it because he doesn't fit into black culture but this show jsut seems to feed into some stereotypes of the black guy who dates primarily white women its cool but its really eyeroll worthy

 

Well, Andre is an Ivy League graduate, he probably considers marrying a white woman status.

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Well, Andre is an Ivy League graduate, he probably considers marrying a white woman status.

im suprise terrance is paired with a white women seeing as that what he seems to like in real life lol

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I agree with the person on the episode thread who wished they'd waited a little longer to make the reveal about Andre's bipolar disorder.  It might have been more effective to see him as the cool, controlled businessman for a few episodes and then have him come apart.  Even so, he's currently the most interesting of the three sons to me (in the sense that you KNOW a major downfall is coming for this guy).

 

 

Andre Lyon is one sexy dude.  His lips are his trademark in my opinion.  LOL.

 

This too.

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Andre, I believe, was the one in the car flashback, so he remembers the most about Cookie. He's known her love and discipline, but Andre is more wary now more because he's got schemes going that he doesn't want anyone to blow up, with or without a bib.

 

I can't! But may I just express how many questions I had about the bib? Is it used all the time or just in the morning? Is there a schedule, so she knows when to have it at the ready? How do you ensure no residue gets on Andre's suits? Is it disposable, or washable? Does Andre have his own bib? Is it stored with the linens? I need answers.

 

Personally, I think it's only when Rhonda's all glammed up; she had rollers still in and a nice dress and necklace covered by the bib.

 

I think:

a) it's not alone, so Rhonda can roll am or pm.

b) again, she's been married/ around Andre for a while, so unless it is a really inopportune time, Rhonda will find a way to help Andre, schedules aren't needed.

c)pants are pretty easy to remove.

d) the one we saw looked like a regular ol' terry cloth bib, so Rhonda may be going green.

e)No idea.

f) I doubt it; nosy dinner guests could stumble across them. We haven't been shown children for Andre and Rhonda, so what would other folks think about a drawer full of bibs? Yeah, you can use them to clean silverware and other items, but that was a pretty clean looking bib we saw.

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No prob, ribboninthesky1! *g*  You know, someone in the mainstream media would actually ask the same things and actually expect production to have answers.

Edited by Actionmage

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Bringing this over from the episode thread:
 

I don't mind shock value moments as long as they don't completely take the place of good storytelling and exposition.  I find the set up of Lucious favoring Hakeem and Cookie favoring Jamal while neither parent favors Andre, to be interesting.  I tend to believe that this is why Andre is the son with the mental illness.  He was largely ignored and perhaps rejected as a child, and we can certainly see glimpses of that now with him as an adult.  I suspect tragedy will strike and Lucious and Cookie will have to face just how sick their son has been all this time and they knew nothing of it.  Expect lots of blaming and finger pointing.  Lucious and Cookie blaming each other for failing Andre and definitely Cookie ripping into Rhonda for knowing and not saying anything.

 

I'm guessing Andre grew up, or survived his family dysfunction, by embracing the role of "good son" (in a worldly success sense).  A lot of families paradoxically ignore the "good" sibling because they're seen as doing OK and not needing so much parental help.  That's probably what's given him his drive to succeed, but will also be his downfall if it prevents him from truly accepting how much help he needs for his illness.  I agree there's the potential for a tragic character with Andre, even if he goes full-on villain.

 

In regards to Rhonda, she's definitely shady.  But at the moment, her one redeeming feature is that she seems to take Andre's bipolar disorder seriously.  Sure, it's in her self-interest to keep him on track, but at least someone's on the ball.  (Of course, I also will not be shocked if the show reveals she's messing around with his meds in some way.) 

 

As far as telling Cookie or Luscious, why would she?  Luscious is openly pitting his sons against each other and Cookie's an unknown quantity from Rhonda's POV.  And Andre himself comes across like he'd sooner eat glass than admit his condition to his family.  I could see Luscious and Cookie both blaming Rhonda for not speaking up, but I'm not sure they'd really have a leg to stand on. 

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When Andre went to see that woman for information on an on-going police investigation, not only was Andre ready with a booty call of appropriate high-rank, but Lucious was seeming like he knew who the high-ranking leak was. 

 

In the previews, it seemed like "boring, square businessman" was going to be the trope for Andre. When we first meet him and Rhonda, you roll your eyes at them and almost dismiss them as uptight, non-fun-loving folks. 

 

Well. I am thinking no one believes that anymore! *g* They are going to be one of the more interesting relationships of the show!

 

Thank you, Trai Byers! You are braving new TV frontiers, sir!

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My wish for Andre right now is to actually seem like he's part of this family in some way.  At this point I feel like you can exchange him for some random executive in the company that's not related to the family who thinks they deserve to run it because they've actually worked for it instead of nepotism.  That's probably what they're going for but so far Uncle Vernon seems like more of a family member (is he?) than Andre.  Its kind of been bugging me.

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My wish for Andre right now is to actually seem like he's part of this family in some way.  At this point I feel like you can exchange him for some random executive in the company that's not related to the family who thinks they deserve to run it because they've actually worked for it instead of nepotism.  That's probably what they're going for but so far Uncle Vernon seems like more of a family member (is he?) than Andre.  Its kind of been bugging me.

I agree so much!  Some of it is that Andre seems to purposely hold himself apart from his family, but his relationships with everyone except Rhonda are still a little fuzzy.  I think you can make the case for him having daddy issues or mommy issues or both, but it's all just trying to fill in the blanks at this point.  I'm hoping he turns out to be a slow-boil type of character, and that there's going to be some payoff down the line.

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I agree so much!  Some of it is that Andre seems to purposely hold himself apart from his family, but his relationships with everyone except Rhonda are still a little fuzzy.  I think you can make the case for him having daddy issues or mommy issues or both, but it's all just trying to fill in the blanks at this point.  I'm hoping he turns out to be a slow-boil type of character, and that there's going to be some payoff down the line.

 

But that makes sense to me. Andre is the only one who left the nest, and probably worked damned hard to get away. He had to be away from his family for at least 7 years getting his degrees and working at goldman sachs.

 

I find him to be the most interesting brother and I hope they don't make light of his illness or turn him into a villian. Bipolar doesn't equal evil. 

 

What's interesting about Andre is that he doesn't seem to hold resentment towards his younger brothers. He doesn't appear to want to be mommy or daddy's favorite. He just wants a position he feels he's the best fit for. But Lucious believes intelligence and hard work is less important than the ability to write and sing songs, which is just nuts. Talent typically doesn't run music labels. Labels are run by business man, Andres. Most of which have zero music ability. Andre is currently the CFO, the oldest son, and the only son who can interpret a profit or loss statement or even has the desire to read one. Hakeem could never run the company and while Jamal possibly could I don't think he has any interest in the business side of things. So I guess my point is that the narrative loses me when it tries to beat me over the head with the idea that passion for music is most important for the CEO position of a label.

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What's interesting about Andre is that he doesn't seem to hold resentment towards his younger brothers. He doesn't appear to want to be mommy or daddy's favorite.

 

I thought Andre's desire to undermine his brothers and destroy their fraternal bond was due to his resentment of them and maybe their relationship with each other. Andre complained about Lucious loving him less than his brothers. He asked Cookie if she loved him before launching into his plan to pit Hakeem and Jamal against each other. Andre and Rhonda both seemed pretty resentful in that scene where they accused Jamal and Hakeem "showing off."

 

 

So I guess my point is that the narrative loses me when it tries to beat me over the head with the idea that passion for music is most important for the CEO position of a label.

 

Sure. Neither, Jamal nor Hakeem seem to be better options for running the company. 

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So I guess my point is that the narrative loses me when it tries to beat me over the head with the idea that passion for music is most important for the CEO position of a label.

That's Lucious's view, but I'm not 100% convinced it's the show's. 

 

Have we ever received a good reason--other than plot contrivance--why only one brother can take control of Empire? Why couldn't Andre and one of the others share the position, with Andre handling the dollars and cents and the other one the creative side?

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But that makes sense to me. Andre is the only one who left the nest, and probably worked damned hard to get away. He had to be away from his family for at least 7 years getting his degrees and working at goldman sachs.

 

I find him to be the most interesting brother and I hope they don't make light of his illness or turn him into a villian. Bipolar doesn't equal evil. 

 

What's interesting about Andre is that he doesn't seem to hold resentment towards his younger brothers. He doesn't appear to want to be mommy or daddy's favorite. He just wants a position he feels he's the best fit for. But Lucious believes intelligence and hard work is less important than the ability to write and sing songs, which is just nuts. Talent typically doesn't run music labels. Labels are run by business man, Andres. Most of which have zero music ability. Andre is currently the CFO, the oldest son, and the only son who can interpret a profit or loss statement or even has the desire to read one. Hakeem could never run the company and while Jamal possibly could I don't think he has any interest in the business side of things. So I guess my point is that the narrative loses me when it tries to beat me over the head with the idea that passion for music is most important for the CEO position of a label.

 

I agree with your whole post, and I also hope they don't make Andre a 100% villain. They've been so good with Jamal's storyline, it would really disappoint me if the show cheaped out and went with the "mentally ill guy = evil" trope.  I do think Andre has a cold and manipulative side to his personality, but right now to me it seems like he'd be that way regardless of having bipolar disorder or not.  I hope the show can maintain that nuance.

 

The fact that the rest of the Lyon family seems not to have a clue is also a really sad detail when you think about it.  It implies that whenever his Andre's illness first presented, he dealt with it on his own (possibly with Rhonda, if she was in the picture at that point) and didn't consider his family to be a real source of support.  For all the talk of Jamal coming out, it's actually Andre who is way, WAY deeper in his own "closet."  That makes for a pretty fascinating character, so I think it would be a waste if they just reduced him to being pure evil.

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Have we ever received a good reason--other than plot contrivance--why only one brother can take control of Empire? Why couldn't Andre and one of the others share the position, with Andre handling the dollars and cents and the other one the creative side?

 

Isn't that the way the company is being run now, with Lucious doing admin and Annika doing A&R?

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I thought Andre's desire to undermine his brothers and destroy their fraternal bond was due to his resentment of them and maybe their relationship with each other. Andre complained about Lucious loving him less than his brothers. He asked Cookie if she loved him before launching into his plan to pit Hakeem and Jamal against each other. Andre and Rhonda both seemed pretty resentful in that scene where they accused Jamal and Hakeem "showing off."

 

I don't think it's that deep for Andre. He only started trying to pit his brother's against each other after his father's speech about one of them needing to step up. He recognizes that's he's #3 in line, so he's trying to get the other two to knock each other out. If Lucious told him the company was his because he was the most qualified, he wouldn't care if Jamal and Hakeem were the favorites who got all the attention from L and C, because Andre just wants the CEO position. If he was looking for the love from mommy and daddy that Jamal and Hakeem receive, he could play the "sophisticated thug" role to bond with his dad, and as far as cookie goes, I actually don't think Andre would have to do much of anything to get her love and attention. But he doesn't want it. He's likely embarrassed by the fact that his mother did time for selling drugs. I imagine it was awkward when his Ivy league friends asked about his mother. He was playing Cookie in that whole scene about Hakeem and Jamal to get Cookie to take Jamal on and has made no attempts to try and bond with her like Jamal has with Lucious.

 

And I also didn't see resentment or bitterness in that scene where they accused J and H of "showing off." To me, it was more "look at these knuckleheads."

 

 

Have we ever received a good reason--other than plot contrivance--why only one brother can take control of Empire? Why couldn't Andre and one of the others share the position, with Andre handling the dollars and cents and the other one the creative side?

 

There can only be one CEO I guess. Andre is currently the CFO, chief financial officer, so he would keep that position if one of his brothers is chosen to be CEO, unless he quit of course.

Edited by dirtypop90

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I've heard both sides of this from people I know who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but can't psych meds affect creativity in some people living with bipolar disorder? I know for one friend it's just a matter of learning to be creative in a different way, but another definitely says that her writing is affected by being on meds as opposed to not - she said it's like walking through sludge to find that creative spark.

 

So, I wonder if there's supposed to be a connection between Andre turning away from the creative side and him being diagnosed as bipolar. He was fine singing in the flashback, but in the present, he's completely divorced himself from anything creative and he's fixated on the idea that his lack of talent is the reason why Luscious won't give him Empire. So, I wonder if it was a conscious choice he made because of how the meds affected him. Not that that's a good reason to not take the medication obvs.

Edited by loveigniting
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I'm intrigued by Empire's portrayal of Andre's bipolar disorder.  I have bipolar disorder. (I don't like to say "I'm bipolar" because I am much more than my disorder. But that's a personal thing.)  Andre has shown signs of the kind of mania that I sometimes have, the aggression and delusions.  I found him aggressive in his response to Lucious' confession of his ALS and his response to Rhonda trying to help.  It may have seemed normal to other people but I saw it differently, maybe because I've seen the behavior in myself.  And I thought his trying to become acting CEO a delusion.  Why?  Because he came up with this all on his own...well, with Vernon.  Lucious did not ever say he was looking for someone to become acting CEO in case he became unable to fulfill his duties.  (Or did I miss that?)  Andre and Vernon came up with that on their own and expected Lucious just to fall in line with their scheme.  If I were Lucious I would have done the same thing.  Hell nawl, you not coming up in a board meeting and try to pull that one on me without having come to me for a discussion first.  From the outside looking in, and probably from Lucious' vantage point, that Andre was trying to make a move to take over the company, even while Lucious was in power.  No sir, no ma'am.  When it comes to Empire, Lucious is playing chess and Andre was playing checkers.

 

As far as why Lucious doesn't respect Andre or want him in the role, it could be that he is not musically inclined but I believe it is the fact it looks like he's trying to take over the business rather than grow the MUSIC, which Lucious is focused on. And I am willing to bet that Andre has some musical talent but decided to go another route after seeing how his mama went to jail and how Empire came up from the streets.  Some folks don't want to stay tied to the streets.  Hell, Cookie even said Lucious lost his ties to the streets once Empire became a, well, empire.  Whether it is Andre's bipolar disorder that keeps him from being creative...I won't say yay or nay because it would depend on when his disorder manifested itself.  For me, I was 22.  That's about "normal" time frame.  Before that point, Andre would have expressed an interest in music if he had it.

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I agree with your whole post, and I also hope they don't make Andre a 100% villain. They've been so good with Jamal's storyline, it would really disappoint me if the show cheaped out and went with the "mentally ill guy = evil" trope.  I do think Andre has a cold and manipulative side to his personality, but right now to me it seems like he'd be that way regardless of having bipolar disorder or not.  I hope the show can maintain that nuance.

 

The fact that the rest of the Lyon family seems not to have a clue is also a really sad detail when you think about it.  It implies that whenever his Andre's illness first presented, he dealt with it on his own (possibly with Rhonda, if she was in the picture at that point) and didn't consider his family to be a real source of support.  For all the talk of Jamal coming out, it's actually Andre who is way, WAY deeper in his own "closet."  That makes for a pretty fascinating character, so I think it would be a waste if they just reduced him to being pure evil.

I don't think they would make him purely evil, from the way he's been shown so far. He's perhaps the most ambiguous character (with Luscious/Anika being more on the "evil" side, and Jamal/Hakeem/Cookie on the "good" side). Many of his actions are in a grey area - getting the thugs to attack Jamal at his studio was definitely awful, but I truly believe that he didn't want his brother to be actually hurt. And he's been portrayed in a somewhat sympathetic way - we see how he's distanced from his family in several ways (music; being old enough to remember his mother; ambition and education). I think many viewers see that he's not *trying* to distance himself - in fact, he deeply wants to be accepted. My heart has gone out to him the most (and I'm gay, so I can relate to Jamal!) But his thirst for power, as well as bipolar disorder and complicated family relations make him a very morally ambiguous character. 

You make a really good point about how he and Rhonda had to handle his bipolar disorder on their own. I hope that the show delves deeper into the family history: what exactly has gone on in the past 17 years? How did Andre and Rhonda get to this point? In Rhonda's thread, there's some evidence that she has an intriguing story as well, so when they expand on these characters', we'll better understand where they are today. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll get to that point until Season 2, but who knows what'll happen, with the lightning pace of this show!

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ITA with the spec here about Andre having some talent, but for Reasons, has not pursued it.

 

Then again, if Lucious truly has no idea about the bipolar diagnosis, then I can see Lucious viciously deciding that Andre turned his back on Lucious' dreams and wants for him and "settled" on an Ivy-League educated son who could "do" business, not too differently from Tommy B, the man Lucious still hates.  I am very interested in the next couple of episodes!

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If Lucious had sense gave a Kardashian, he would be USING what Andre learned in school rather than denigrating him for going to school rather than focusing on the music.  He may not be the right one to RUN the company but he damn sure should be given a top spot in the company to make it RUN.  Companies don't run on music.  The focus can be growing the music business but money needs to be made, investors need to be captured, etc. and folks want someone with business sense - someone who can talk money like a business man - to hand their money too.  Just like Cookie said, ANDRE is going to be the one to make everyone rich.

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Just like Cookie said, ANDRE is going to be the one to make everyone rich.

 

I see that as Cookie believing so hard in her sons. Jamal and Hakeem are like Lucious and are obviously musically- inclined. Andre's talent is working the business side, actually, not unlike herself.  Cookie understands revenue streams and making as much cash as you can out of what you have. Unfortunately, Lucious has some mega-bias against having a son that is helping to make the family business stay afloat finacially

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Well, in the last episode "Unto the Breach", Lucious did seem to have a moment of respect for Andre when he was selling the vision to that artist that mentioned sharecropping (sideye). Andre really went in on that vision there and it was great to see (even though it was a little manic, imo) and Lucious then said, "He's going to make us a lot of money" about Andre to the artist.

So, there's that.

But I doubt that will last with Lucious - he just doesn't respect his son. And now that the bipolar stuff is out, he'll be even worse to him - treating him even more like Jamal. Lucious shuns what he doesn't understand.

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I liked the attitude Andre had toward the whole IPO thing: "Lucious wasn't there when I needed him the most, so I can't be bothered with him while I am trying to heal."

 

I also liked that he took care of everything legally so that he didn't have to go and couldn't be cajoled into doing it because. Not that I dislike Rhonda trying to talk him into going, but she didn't fight Andre and carried out his wishes, Re: the IPO. 

 

I just hope that Andre does care about his wife of ten years. I know he remembers that Cookie, Jamal and Hakeem love him. 

 

I want to know if Andre was carrying that box of stuff because Lucious fired him. I hope Lucious isn't that stupid.  Just because Andre's bipolar, doesn't mean he can be dismissed in a trial.

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Knowing that Andre's first psychotic break was at home, what he told Jamal and Hakeem in the last episode that Lucious can never see him the way he sees them is even MORE heartbreaking. AND Lucious not wanting to see Andre-----I wanted to kick Lucious' butt.

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Why is it that Andre was so disrespected even before his bipolar condition was found out?  Why do, we as black folks, totally diminish, not celebrate, our scholars? I found it ironic that it was Cookie, no Lucious, that spoke at the Investor's Summit.  

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Why is it that Andre was so disrespected even before his bipolar condition was found out?  Why do, we as black folks, totally diminish, not celebrate, our scholars? I found it ironic that it was Cookie, no Lucious, that spoke at the Investor's Summit.  

 

Lucious paid for Andre to become a scholar and encouraged him to use what he learned for the benefit of building the Empire. Jamal knows about King Lear and Anthony and Cleopatra. Hakeem reads Machiavelli and Grazer. Anika is educated. Camilla may be formally educated. It's conceivable that Ryan went to film school. Lucious' comments about being book smart aside, I'm not convinced that the Lyons would disrespect and diminish anyone solely because they are a scholar.

 

Andre sent thugs to Ghetto Ass Studio when Jamal was there. Andre and his wife plotted to get between Hakeem and Jamal. 

 

Jamal supported Andre on the elevator. Cookie mentioned Andre with pride at the Investor's Summit. The family has acknowledge Andre's part in making Empire what it is. 

 

Andre doesn't seem to respect or celebrate his family. Lifting his glass up to Jamal at the white party is the only genuine offer of support that  I remember Andre offering to any of his family members. He doesn't act like much of a big brother to Jamal and Hakeem.

 

Maybe it isn't that they Lyons don't value Andre and what he brings to the family. Maybe they don't know how to connect to him.

 

Or maybe, ridiculous finale alliance aside, they rightfully think that they can't trust him.

 

And, regarding black folks not celebrating black scholars, I'd wager that about 99.99% of black scholars have been supported and celebrated by other black people along the way. 

Edited by RaeSpellman
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Lucious' comments about being book smart aside, I'm not convinced that the Lyons would disrespect and diminish anyone solely because they are a scholar.

 

I don't think Lucious's comments can be brushed aside that readily. He's happy to use Andre's education for the benefit of Empire, but he doesn't value Andre's talents. It's not a "Black folks" thing, either; a lot of American culture doesn't think much of book learning unless it can serve a practical purpose.

 

Or maybe, ridiculous finale alliance aside, they rightfully think that they can't trust him.

 

 

We don't know that Andre did anything to suggest he can't be trusted before Lucious encouraged his sons to compete against one another but pretty much put Andre out of the running from the beginning. Lucious's reason for calling Andre untrustworthy--that he married Rhonda--is just his prejudices talking.

 

Andre doesn't seem to respect or celebrate his family. Lifting his glass up to Jamal at the white party is the only genuine offer of support that  I remember Andre offering to any of his family members. He doesn't act like much of a big brother to Jamal and Hakeem.

 

 

 

He could have taken his business skills elsewhere, but he chose the family business. I thought it was telling that during his first bipolar episode, he bought presents for everyone. He could just as easily have spent the money on himself, but even in his state, he thought of his family. In his crazy way, I thought he was trying to buy their love. As for supporting his brothers, we've only seen him when he's been competing against them, a situation created by Lucious. We know he sang "Lean on Me" to them when they were kids and things were bad. I hope we get more flashbacks where we see the three together. I'm guessing Andre stepped into the parent role a lot of the time.

 

That said, I do think part of him is embarrassed by his background and parents, especially Cookie. Frasier did a great job of showing in a humorous way what happens to the parent/child dynamic when the sons are more educated than the father; I'm hoping Empire can do something similar in a more serious way.

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Why is it that Andre was so disrespected even before his bipolar condition was found out?  Why do, we as black folks, totally diminish, not celebrate, our scholars? I found it ironic that it was Cookie, no Lucious, that spoke at the Investor's Summit.  

 

That lie is the one that is told by non-black people who don't want blacks to succeed on an academic level. And, by blacks that don't want to address the real reasons as to why they stick out like a sore thumb within their family and community, so they further instigate the issue by suggesting that their superior intelligence and drive for more is why the other black peons don't like them very much. Hmmph!

 

Andre, and other blacks like him, is an arrogant twerp that has no game and no social skills, but he does have a degree. The degree is what makes him barely tolerable, because he does serve a purpose, but the degree is what fuels more animosity as he hits everyone over the head with it.

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