Much of the first season of Fox's hip-hop drama Empire focused on patriarch Lucious Lyon, his ex-wife Cookie, and their two youngest sons Hakeem and Jamal Lyon. Unfortunately, the eldest Lyon brother, Andre and his smart but conniving wife Rhonda were often forgotten about. While Jamal and Hakeem were being pitted against one another, Andre's bipolar disorder was slowly causing him to unravel. And as Empire Entertainment slipped from his grasp, Andre's wife Rhonda seemed to be his only confidant: She stayed at his side continuously while his family cast him aside in favor of his more musically inclined brothers. And while these two have definitely been painted as villains, that doesn't mean they can't also be great parents.
Sure, it takes some time for us to realize that Rhonda isn't to be underestimated and that her perceived sketchiness is really just ambition and loyalty towards her husband. But though their relationship might be unconventional, they have honest and open communication. Like Claire and Francis Underwood from House of Cards, Andre and Rhonda's decisions are always aligned with their mutual end goals. (Even if they have to sleep with other people to achieve those goals.) This is not to say that the couple is perfect. It becomes clear that Rhonda is no longer comfortable with their extra-marital affairs, leverage or not, when she chooses to focus inward on her relationship with her husband.
And while all that just proves that Rhonda and Andre are master manipulators, that doesn't necessarily mean they would be bad parents. In fact, there are eight particular moments in which Andre and Rhonda proved they've got killer parental instincts deep down.
1. When Rhonda Tries To Keep Andre's Mental Health In Check
Before Andre even realized what was happening, Rhonda knew that he was in danger of having a psychotic break. Since Lucious refused to accept Andre's disorder, Rhonda had been looking after Andre. Her love for her husband was clear even when she had to threaten him to try and get him to the doctor. This situation makes it pretty clear that Rhonda would be a good mother: After all, concern and care for others is an essential competent of good parenting.
2. When We Discovered Their Bibs
From the pristine order of their home and attire, it's clear that Rhonda and Andre both have type A personalities. Their OCD seems to have seeped into other more adult aspects of their marriage. Before engaging in some, let's say, extra curricular activities with her husband, Rhonda put on a bib (one of many) as to not sully her clothing during the act. Bibs are essential for any household with babies, and clearly the duo is all set there.
3. When Rhonda Comforted A Weeping Andre
Out of the three Lyon brothers, Andre took Lucious' ALS diagnosis the hardest. Lucious and Andre had always been the closest, and through flashbacks it was revealed that their tight knit relationship started when Andre was very young. Despite the fact that Lucious is holding Empire Entertainment outside of Andre's reach, his eldest son is still gutted by the news of his illness. Rhonda finds her distraught husband weeping on the shower floor, and she tries her best to take care of him. Once again, though Andre and Rhonda's relationship isn't conventional, their love for one another is strong which makes a strong foundation for raising a child.
4. When Rhonda Clapped Back At Cookie
Even if no one in the Lyon family wants to admit it, we all know that Rhonda is extremely intelligent. Upon her release from prison, Cookie questions Andre's decision to marry Rhonda (even though they've been together for years). Cookie says, "Pretty white girls are brilliant even when they ain't." Obviously, Andre returns home and talks to his wife about this conversation.
When Rhonda and Cookie see each other again, Ronda does Cookie a favor then she says, "Some pretty white girls are brilliant." For once, even Cookie doesn't have a comeback. Rhonda and Andre obviously have great communication and Rhonda certainly is no pushover. Teaching a child to stick up for themselves is an essential parenting goal.
5. When Rhonda Clapped Back At Lucious
When Empire Entertainment goes public, Andre is still hospitalized. Rhonda goes on his behalf and once she realizes that Lucious is trying to cheat Andre out of what he's due, she refuses to sign the paperwork. Rhonda and Andre's ambition will secure their family's financial freedom.
6. When They Decided To Cover Up Vernon's Murder
Rhonda walks in on Andre and Vernon in an altercation. In an effort to defend her husband, Rhonda accidentally murders Vernon. Once Rhonda reveals to Andre that she is pregnant, the couple decide to cover up the crime. As always, they have one another — and now their baby's — best interest at heart.
7. When They Supported Jamal Coming Out
Though Andre and Rhonda pit Jamal and Hakeem against one another in order to try and gain control of Empire Entertainment, they still love their little brothers. The couple's love for their family is shown when they stand up in support of Jamal coming out. Though they may be a tad on the eccentric side, Rhonda and Andre will be tolerant and loving parents.
8. When See Their Baby For The First Time
When Rhonda and Andre see their baby for the first time via ultrasound, they look delighted. It seems for a moment that everything might turn out OK. However, as Trai Byers who plays Andre told Cosmopolitan, "This is basically the beginning of Andre's story for real, where we really focus on why."
Hopefully, their impending bundle of joy will help the couple make more rational decisions.
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