How Did Anika Become One Of Empire's Most Sympathetic Characters?

Photo: Courtesy of Fox.
I’m about to say something no Empire fan has ever expected to hear: I feel bad for Anika "Boo Boo Kitty" Calhoun Lyon (Grace Byers). In fact, I feel very, very bad for her. I realized this last night while watching "Strange Bedfellows," which has the new mom trapped between the rock and the hard place better known as the trigger happy Lyons and the imprisonment happy federal government.
Anika’s troubles began last week, when Lucious Lyon’s revenge obsessed half-brother Tariq decided to come at the Lyon family by pushing Anika to snitch on Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson). Anika’s marriage to Lucious (Terrence Howard) may bar her from testifying against him, but her husband’s ex-wife is fair game. Tariq (Morocco Omari) offers Anika and her baby, Bella, a place in the Witness Protection Program in exchange for any information that would lead to an arrest.
While the FBI agent thinks this is a great idea, Anika realizes turning on Empire’s king and queen is obviously a death sentence. So she disappears from New York City to meet up with her parents in the world’s shadiest parking lot to get the world’s shadiest prepaid cell phone to call the world’s shadiest man, Lucious, and see if he’ll "let her back home."
Anika started the series as a powerful and ambitious woman and now she’s cowering in SUVs from her dangerous husband and the feds.
Things get even sadder for the music exec as she returns home to the Lyon estate. Although the maid tells Anika that baby Bella is upstairs in her crib, when the terrified mom arrives in her daughter’s room, she’s missing. No matter how awful Anika has been, no woman deserves to experience that kind of panic.
The horror show continues, when Lucious and Cookie refuse to tell Anika where Bella is and threaten to murder the cornered woman if she doesn’t make a satisfactory plea for her life. "You’ve been really nice and helpful with me, but, you’ve become a huge problem and I don’t see a reason we shouldn’t just kill you right now," Lucious coldly tells his wife. Even Lucious’s murder cakes-loving mom Leah is in on the plan and pulls a gun on Anika.
Boo Boo Kitty manages to survive all of the family intimidation, only to begin another terrible scheme. Now Anika is planning to seduce Tariq — or at least make it look like the in-laws were intimate — as a way to force him to end the investigation and protect the Lyons, who just threatened to murder her.
She’s going through all of this garbage just to see her daughter and survive.
Anika may have committed countless sins over the last three seasons, like causing the deaths of both Rhonda and her unborn baby, but so has everyone else. Sorry, guys, it's time to start rooting for Boo Boo Kitty.

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