Show of hands: Who was shocked to see Chris Rock as the big, bad, scary Frank Gathers on Empire ? I know I was. Rock's time as Frank Gathers, the guy who was out for blood (and a Cookie), was brief on the season premiere of Empire. After a promise of going to war with Lucious — who is locked up in jail with Frank — Frank ordered his "men" to kill Lucious. Quickly, and quietly. Well, Lucious Lyon doesn't go down that easily, and Lucious quickly turned the situation back around on Frank, having his men kill Frank. Loudly, and slowly. But, is Frank Gathers really dead? I am not entirely convinced Rock's short-lived role is a done deal.
When I saw Frank Gathers walk up to that prison, I had a tough time believing this was the guy that scared Cookie to the core. Maybe it is because Rock has made me laugh so many times, I just didn't buy it. Then I read about the fact that Rock might have been playing a secret cannibal, and I was like, Oh, yeah. This guy is bad. I wouldn't want to mess with Frank, but Lucious didn't have the same fear. When it looked like Lucious was going to be killed by Frank's — very quickly assembled — squad, Lucious killed Frank. Well, not by himself, but he ordered it. If that's the end of Frank Gathers, then #RIP. Chris Rock's IMDB page only credits him as an actor in one episode, but maybe that's only for spoiler reasons?
Here's why Frank Gathers' death just seemed too easy.
We Didn't See Him Dead
It would have been graphic, I know, but all we technically heard were grunts and punches being thrown. Yes, my "reading-between-the-lines" lessons from middle school did not go to waste — I know what it was alluding to — but stranger things have happened. I want to see a death certificate.
It Was A Little Rushed, Right?
While I understand that the show doesn't want to dwell on the Frank Gathers plot for too long, I expected more than a single episode! Frank Gathers has been someone the show has been dealing with from the very beginning. For it to be wrapped up in a tidy little bow with a snap of Lucious' fingers seems too quick. I'm waiting for the mic-drop, and it doesn't feel like it's happened yet.
Killing Frank Doesn't Keep The Lyon Family Safe
Not only is Frank a bad guy, but he's friends with bad guys. Very rarely can you just kill someone and not see repercussions to that action (in the TV world, of course). If Frank is dead, his death is only a small pause in the people looking to get revenge on the Lyon Family. You know what they say, "It's not over until... Hakeem drops a sick beat and rolls around on his drifting board."
Images: Chuck Hodes/FOX (4)