Officially, Wednesday night’s episode is known as “What Remains is Bestial.”
Many, however, simply know it as “The Mariah Episode.”
Mariah Carey guests as Kitty, a global music superstar. As a favor to Cookie, Kitty agrees to record a duet with Jamal. The hope is that the opportunity to record a great song with an icon will help Jamal overcome the psychological issues he has been facing since getting shot.
“What Remains is Bestial” airs at 9PM ET/PT on October 5. We screened the episode in advance, and we’re pleased to share six things to expect.
Not much Mariah
She may factor into a key storyline, but Mariah does not have a particularly large presence in the episode. Carey’s appearance is limited to a musical number and a rather simple setup scene.
Carey is fine in the role, but the appearance is frankly too brief and limited to warrant deep analysis.
The hook is Mariah appearing — and singing — on an episode of “Empire.” The arc itself is absolutely nothing about which to write home.
Jamal confronts his trauma
Cookie hopes Kitty can help Jamal overcome his PTSD and fear of performing.
That is not the only avenue Jamal explores this week.
The talented artist also considers and pursues other strategies for confronting the trauma he is facing in the wake of the shooting.
Lucious, Anika and the Desk
The “marriage” between Lucious and Anika is “Empire”‘s most conventionally “soapy” element, and Wednesday’s episode kicks things up a notch.
The juicy drama between the two begins in the very first scene — a scene executive producer Ilene Chaiken called “wild and twisted” in a note to critics.
We cannot reveal exactly what happens between Lucious and Anika this week, but we can tell you that a desk is involved. We can also tell you that Anika, once again, proves she is not to be taken lightly.
The Angelo-Cookie connection grows
Cookie warmed up to Angelo (guest star Taye Diggs) late in the previous episode, and their bond continues to develop this week.
That does not mean one should expect immediate fireworks. “Empire” is being coy and methodical, at least by its own standard, when it comes to their relationship and flirtation.
One should, however, expect the blossoming relationship to create tension between Cookie and Lucious. Two individuals, one a member of the Lyon family and one part of Angelo’s WOKE group, end up in the crossfire.
Hakeem, Gram feud over Tiana
Mariah Carey and Taye Diggs are not the only notable guest stars on this week’s “Empire.”
Romeo Miller also appears. The entertainer previously known as “Lil Romeo” guests as Gram, a rapper with whom Tiana recorded a new song (with lyrics directed at Hakeem). We quickly learn that their relationship may go beyond the stage.
The situation inspires Hakeem to develop a diss track.
Andre’s arrest has fallout
Near the end of last week’s episode, Andre was victimized by a blatant bout of police discrimination. The fallout of his arrest factors into this week’s episode.
As a supremely wealthy, Wharton-educated executive shielded from many of the challenges regularly facing inner-city black men, Andre contemplates the best way to respond. He (if for no other reason than urging from those he loves) knows staying silent is philosophically wrong, but a more combative, public approach is not in his nature.
The situation connects to a broader conversation about whether the Lyon boys, by virtue of their coddled living situation, have lost their black identities.
It also overlaps with another ongoing “Empire” storyline.