Ah, another week, another new character on Empire to throw us all off. Seriously, this show has so many tertiary characters that it may as well be an anthology series. The newest addition to Empire is singer-songwriter Tory Ash, played by Rumer Willis. Will Tory be an important part of the rest of Season 3, or will she get cut like that fashion designer’s daughter’s ponytail (RIP beautiful, flowing tresses)?
According to Deadline, Willis’ Tory Ash is “a brilliant but volatile singer/songwriter whose talent becomes invaluable to Jamal as he creates his most important musical work yet. Her own attempt to make a crossover comeback and her unwillingness to shy away from controversy will have ripple effects throughout Empire.” Sounds like this Tory chick is in it to win it, huh?
Being the (for better or for worse) Empire aficionado that I am, I’m going to extrapolate that little blurb so that we can talk about what Tory’s role on the show could be. As of the Empire winter premiere, Jamal is in rehab because he became addicted to the pain pills he was prescribed after Freda Gatz shot him. If Tory is wants to make a “crossover comeback,” my guess is that she is also in rehab and that she and Jamal have become besties.
Jamal has a tendency to befriend the downtrodden — just look at his relationships with Skye, Freda, and now probably Tory. I think they're pals because they’re stuck in the same place due to their respective addictions, and maybe Tory is the key to helping Jamal find his music again. But also, maybe Jamal is the key for Tory to get famous again. You see where I’m going with this?
Jamal has a history of trusting the wrong people. While it’s usually a commendable thing to be trusting and kind, Jamal has plenty of people in his life who hurt him. His dad, his brothers, even his mother — they’ve all done Jamal dirty, and even still, he comes back for more. I mean, Lucious fathered a child with Jamal’s ex-girlfriend and then told Jamal he was the father. Come on.
The Lyons’ exploits are public knowledge, so that my guess is that Tory will befriend Jamal to help him find his music so that he can, in turn, help her find her musical break. Jamal is in a vulnerable state, newly sober and needing to create more music, and if Tory is more manipulative than friendly, she could just be buttering him up and getting ready to drop him after she gets what she wants.
Maybe this will finally be the turning point for Jamal to stop being so trusting. I, too, want to believe in the good in people, but damn — how many times does a guy need to be taken advantage of before he realizes that something has to change? “Volatile” Tory will “have ripple effects,” so my guess is that Jamal will once again find himself embroiled in controversy and getting kicked while he’s down.