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I think the key is that every character has the *potential* to either make good choices or bad choices, as the apprentice said. It's the 50/50 thing. Regina thinks that her happy ending will only come about if the author writes it so. But, IMO, she's in her happy ending right now - having her son, Emma's friendship & loyalty, and even the trust of the Charmings. She just doesn't realize it because, sadly, she's fixated on a man making everything perfect (typical mistake). Regina earned all that goodwill on her own - regardless of how she was written - because she chose wisely. Maybe that's where all this "Author" stuff is going - that no one determines our fates but us. We hold the ultimate responsibility and it can't be pawned off to someone else. Snow & Charming chose poorly when they wanted a guarantee that their child would develop & grow to have the future only they envisioned. Rookie parenting mistake, thinking they can control their child's development to the exclusion of everything else - including the child! There are NO guarantees in parenting. But, they didn't know that being young & inexperienced at the time. What was not cool was keeping quiet about it for such a long time. The time to tell Emma was way back when they told her about sending her to Storybrooke in a tree, because that's when her journey really began.

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Totally AGREE! Especially when Lucious accused Cookie of being a snitch when he was arrested. Jamal just stared at her instead of recognizing how ridiculous the accusation was. Cookie spent 17 years in prison, NOT snitching once. If anyone doesn't deserve to be called a rat or a snitch, it's Cookie. And, we ALL know that Lucious would throw anyone under the nearest bus, h*ll he'd frame them or shoot them in the head, to save his own sorry *ss. It's pretty clear that the episode was structured to show that Jamal was basically selling his soul to the devil/Lucious to be the Chosen One. Everyone who supported & loved Jamal regardless of his sexuality *before* he came out was in Lucious' crosshairs at the end of the finale - Cookie, Andre & Rhonda, Hakeem, & Anika. And, poor Vernon was dead. Jamal was starved for his dad's "love & affection" for his entire life that when he finally gets it, he doesn't even see that it's a manipulation and he's allied himself with the wrong person.

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I was talking about the CHARACTERS being in denial; not you personally. Cookie says that being bipolar is a "white person's" disease because she is trying to deflect that her son has a real problem. And, Lucious' comment to Andre about him marrying a "white woman" & not being worthy of the keys to the kingdom is Lucious also in denial about the fact that he'll never hand the keys to his kingdom over to anyone, no matter what he says. He refuses to see that he is a control freak manipulating anyone & everyone. Both characters are using overtly "racist" comments to shield their true fears & natures, consciously & unconsciously, just like people do in real life.

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Thanks for the clarification!

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I disagree. Lucious is many things. But being a moocher and lazy, allowing himself to being taken care of, isn't in his hypermanipulative, narcissistic character. To paraphrase, well, somebody, I think it will take everyone to pry Empire from Lucious' cold, dead hands before he'll EVER give up control voluntarily. He can say whatever he wants about not voting for Andre because he suspected that Andre & Vernon went behind his back. But, Andre realized at that moment that was the real Lucious Lyon in all his egotistical glory. Lucious will have to be unconscious or dead before he gives up control to anyone. It isn't because Andre lost his trust by marrying a white woman. Or because of corporate politics. Those are just excuses Lucious uses to lay the blame on other people. Like JR Ewing and Blake Carrington, Lucious likes to be in control because he likes POWER. And, he's going to stay in power for as long as he can, death sentence be damned.

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I was confused about where Andre was heading at the end of the episode. He shows up to hug Lola goodbye and is led away by Rhonda. I thought he was at the sanitarium, refusing to take his meds. What is he doing at Empire? The whole Lola resolution confused me and seemed contrived. Why would Lucious let any child of his leave, especially that adorable little girl? The boys have a baby sister now. Why is everyone fine with her just waltzing out of their lives to be raised in Florida? Considering Lucious has major control issues and doesn't want to die alone, you'd think he'd want to be a parent to that little girl for the short time he has left on earth.

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The Antony & Cleopatra line was hilarious. Are people catching all
the Shakespeare references that writers throw in? Jamal quotes a lot of
lines so quickly, they almost go under the radar. But, his, "Y'all
know that's a tragedy, right? Everyone ends up dying," might just be a
foreshadowing of Hakeem and Camilla's future. BTW, that's not just
Shakespearean fiction. Their tragic Romeo/Juliet style of
suicide-via-mistaken-death has been accepted as historic fact for
centuries

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Sounds like all the stuff you didn't like is what people do when they're in denial. Doesn't matter what they are actually saying. It's an excuse to distance themself from the reality. Making someone's race part of your comment is a tactic to deflect something away immediately. People do it because they know the reaction it will get.

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That's where this might be going. The Kree will probably decide that they can't allow Earth to create a generation of Inhumans bent on destruction. They feel responsible for all the mayhem that will ensue. So, KreePete will return with the Blue Man Group (hopefully Artie & Myka) & try to draft SHIELD agents into retrieving the crystals that cause the End of the World. Standing in their way will be HYDRA (who want to use the Inhumans, erroneously thinking they can control them), SWORD (who might be convinced to allow the Kree to take their dangerous crystals & leave), the Inhumans (we have a right to exist), and Stark Industries (anything Tony can't control needs to be stopped). This will bring in the Guardians of the Galaxy, who will do some weird sh*t in the second movie and usher in a temporary detente, as per their moniker.

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I've got it - KreePete!