The Mistake Lucious Keeps Making On 'Empire' Will Be His Downfall

Lucious Lyon is one of the more complicated characters on primetime television, and definitely the most loathsome. Actually, he’s the worst character, morally, that I can think of. Sure, he had a traumatic childhood — his mother suffered from bipolar disorder, and let’s just say things were less than stable — but he now has a family of his own. You would think that would have calmed him down. Not the case. Frequently disappointed by his own sons, Lucious Lyon attempts to find surrogate children on Empire , and his attempts to do so are so misguided.

His sons — Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem — haven’t lived up to his expectations. Andre has bipolar disorder, so Lucious thinks him too similar to his own mother and hates him as a result. Jamal is gay, and Lucious still feels that being homosexual is a choice, and that Jamal has made the wrong one. Hakeem is the most like Lucious, but Lucious doesn’t like that; Hakeem is too independent and too headstrong to listen to everything that his father says. All of Lucious’ sons have planned a takedown of their father at one point or another (wonder why, Lucious), and, because of that, Lucious keeps trying to make another child in his image.

He tried it with Freda Gatz, who he dropped when she tried to kill him after finding out he killed her father. (Did I mention that Freda is still in jail and Lucious won’t do anything about it, even though it’s his fault?) In “What Remains is Bestial,” Lucious attempted to recruit a young MC into a record deal. Luckily, Cookie stepped in and told this “WOKE” member to go to college, and that rapping would always be there. Cookie saved that boy’s life from the "devil," as she rightfully calls Lucious.


Why cant he just be happy with the sons that he has? He thinks they’re different, and that he raised them wrong. Lucious even goes so far as to take them back to their old neighborhood to prove how “soft” they are now. But what he doesn’t understand is that his sons don’t want to be “hard” like their father. They don’t have to be. They have money and status, because Lucious and Cookie worked to give them a better life. And, considering Lucious definition of "hard" appears to mean willing to murder people when the feds are already circling them, it seems less like being tough and more like being stupid.

Lucious is stuck between two worlds, and that’s what makes him act the way he does. He wants the street cred of his old world while still having the money of his new world, and he doesn’t understand that you can’t have both. His sons don’t want or need both. They don’t need to be on the street because their parents built a better world for them, and the fact that Lucious keeps trying to drag them backward instead of letting them move forward is the source of a lot of their problems on the show.

He doesn’t get that he made his bed, and now he has to lie in it. The sooner Lucious accepts that it's OK to live for the present and the future instead of constantly trying to regress into old bad habits — let alone abandon your sons when they refuse to move backward with you — the happier we'll all be.

Images: Chuck Hodes/FOX; Giphy