The Best Episodes of Empire (2015)

LUCIOUS LYON is the king of hip-hop. An immensely talented artist, the CEO of Empire Entertainment and a former street thug, his reign has been unchallenged for years. But all that changes, when he learns he has a disease that is going to render him crippled and incapacitated in a matter of three years. The clock is ticking, and he must groom one of his three sons to take over his crowning achievement, without destroying his already fractured family.

Toil and Trouble (2)

#1 - Toil and Trouble (2)

Season 3 - Episode 18

As Lucious gets ready to launch EMPIRE Las Vegas with Giuliana at his side, Cookie pulls together her own team of allies to wreak havoc on the opening. The final five minutes will leave viewers speechless.

star 8.22
1,445 votes
Directors: Sanaa Hamri
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Rise by Sin

#2 - Rise by Sin

Season 2 - Episode 17

Hakeem feels the pressure of his underwhelming fiancé, Laura, as he struggles to find a place for her both in his family and his career. Cookie finally reveals to Jamal the truth behind what happened to Freda's father, prompting Jamal to warn Freda of his family's ulterior motives. Meanwhile, despite his frustration with the family, Jamal makes a sacrifice for Lucious from which it will be hard to recover.

star 8.16
1,437 votes
Directors: Paul McCrane
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Past is Prologue

#3 - Past is Prologue

Season 2 - Episode 18

After a life-changing experience, Jamal refuses to make music until his family ends its seemingly endless cycle of violence and fighting. Meanwhile, the Feds are tailing Anika because they want to force her to testify against Lucious. In order to protect her family, Cookie organizes a meeting at Hakeem and Laura's wedding with various people from her and Lucious' past.

star 8.15
1,486 votes
Directors: Sanaa Hamri
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Who I Am

#4 - Who I Am

Season 1 - Episode 12

Jamal and Lucious are on their way to forming a music-centered relationship, but once again, Lucious has a secret that's about to change everything. Hakeem decides to flirt with the enemy, while trying to figure out what the best move is for his career. Meanwhile, Cookie is cooking up a plan of her own.

star 8.14
923 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
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Fortune Be Not Crost

#5 - Fortune Be Not Crost

Season 4 - Episode 6

The Lyon family stands together as Anika and Hakeem begin a custody battle for Bella. Although they're confident in Hakeem's ability as a father, no one is prepared for the revelations her team brings to the trial. Meanwhile, Claudia grows more possessive over Lucious, who has unlocked a new way to understand music through his paintings. Also, Jamal introduces Warren to Lucious, Andre begins seeing a new therapist, and one of Becky's old flames returns.

star 8.08
567 votes
Directors: Sanaa Hamri
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Et Tu, Brute?

#6 - Et Tu, Brute?

Season 2 - Episode 10

Lucious makes a reckless play for the streaming service that he believes will make him the most powerful man in music, only to learn that the entire business strategy was part of a scheme that might bring Hakeem’s ex, Camilla, back into the picture. Meanwhile, Cookie decides to plan a concert at the prison where she spent 17 years locked away from her family and a tragic “accident” leaves Rhonda in a scary state.

star 8.02
936 votes
Directors: Sanaa Hamri
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A Rose by Any Other Name

#7 - A Rose by Any Other Name

Season 2 - Episode 12

With Hakeem acting as Empire’s CEO, Camilla sinks her claws further and further into him. The rest of the Lyon family tries to get him to rejoin their side, but Hakeem has his own plan. Meanwhile, Jamal receives backlash from his fans and Andre and Rhonda’s marriage is tested.

star 8.01
1,316 votes
Directors: Michael Engler
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Sound and Fury

#8 - Sound and Fury

Season 3 - Episode 10

After launching a deadly missile at Angelo, Lucious announces his new music project, Inferno, and puts everyone on notice - especially Cookie, who then vows to knock him off his throne for good. The two engage in an epic clash - fueled by a history of love, loyalty and betrayal. Meanwhile, Jamal befriends musician Tory Ash during his stay in rehab, Andre continues with his plan to take over EMPIRE, and Hakeem and Tiana battle Nessa for a spot in the music showcase.

star 7.99
1,616 votes
Directors: Craig Brewer
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Toil and Trouble (1)

#9 - Toil and Trouble (1)

Season 3 - Episode 17

When Cookie is banned from Leviticus Vegas, she pulls together a team of her own allies to seek revenge on Giuliana and steal her secret weapon. Meanwhile, Jamal is encouraged to put his album on hold, so as not to compete with Lucious' "Inferno".

star 7.98
1,370 votes
Directors: Craig Brewer
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Our Dancing Days

#10 - Our Dancing Days

Season 1 - Episode 7

Tension mounts between Hakeem and Jamal, as Lucious attempts to brand Empire Entertainment as a tight-knit, "family-run" company. Meanwhile, Cookie and Anika don't hold anything back when it comes to taking over the company.

star 7.98
833 votes
Directors: Sanaa Hamri
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The Tameness of a Wolf

#11 - The Tameness of a Wolf

Season 2 - Episode 13

Tensions between Lucious and his sons continue to rise. Back at Lyon Dynasty, Lucious aims to direct his most emotional and honest music video yet and recreates a traumatic interaction with his mother for the new single. Meanwhile, on the Mirage a Trois tour, Tiana and Laura begin viciously fighting over the spotlight, forcing Hakeem to mediate between the two divas.

star 7.98
1,321 votes
Directors: Paris Barclay
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Die But Once

#12 - Die But Once

Season 1 - Episode 11

Jamal and Lucious are on their way to forming a music-centered relationship, but once again, Lucious has a secret that's about to change everything. Hakeem decides to flirt with the enemy, while trying to figure out what the best move is for his career. Meanwhile, Cookie is cooking up a plan of her own.

star 7.97
920 votes
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Unto the Breach

#13 - Unto the Breach

Season 1 - Episode 9

It's an all-out war when Cookie uncovers Anika's big backstabbing secret, and Lucious must come face-to-face with his longtime rival, Billy Beretti. As the Lyon family rallies to save Empire Entertainment, all three sons take drastic measures: Jamal gets close with famous artist Delphine, Hakeem works hand-in-hand with Cookie and Andre is pushed way beyond his limits.

star 7.96
855 votes
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The Fool

#14 - The Fool

Season 4 - Episode 5

When the secret about Lucious' memory is exposed, Cookie attempts to convince the board that he is fine by inviting the press to watch him produce the first 20 for 20 album. Eddie Barker jumps in to help Lucious get back in his groove and make music in the studio. Just as Andre's feelings for Detective Pamela Rose intensify, she reveals information that's been uncovered regarding the explosion. Meanwhile, Hakeem worries about his secret involvement with the DuBois family and Claudia helps Lucious with a breakthrough.

star 7.95
588 votes
Directors: Howie Deutch
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Absent Child

#15 - Absent Child

Season 3 - Episode 16

The Lyons fear that the Dubois family is to blame for their latest family crisis, so when no one is willing to give up any information, Cookie takes matters into her own hands. Jamal and Lucious reach a breakthrough in a song on which they have been working, and Andre lashes out. Meanwhile, Cookie sets her eyes on a new plan for Empire in Vegas.

star 7.95
1,362 votes
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Civil Hands Unclean

#16 - Civil Hands Unclean

Season 3 - Episode 15

Angelo's relationship with Cookie turns toxic and leaves her questioning her decisions. Hakeem makes a public plea for Lucious to give him paternity of Bella during his return to Empire Xstream. Meanwhile, Cookie becomes increasingly more suspicious of Lucious' intentions with Giuliana and Empire's future in Vegas, and Lucious and Jamal work overtime to finish their albums.

star 7.94
1,435 votes
Directors: Howard Deutch
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The Lyon Who Cried Wolf

#17 - The Lyon Who Cried Wolf

Season 2 - Episode 16

A wrench is thrown into Lucious' deeply personal music video about his mother, when Andre discovers a dark secret. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Jamal are compromised after tempting themselves with new or rekindling, but secretive affairs. Then, Rhonda starts to suspect who her attacker was.

star 7.93
1,343 votes
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The Lyon's Roar

#18 - The Lyon's Roar

Season 1 - Episode 8

It’s time for the Lyon family to come together and record a legacy album with Lucious, Hakeem and Jamal. Cookie and Camilla finally come face-to-face, Andre struggles with some inner demons and Jamal steps into the spotlight with news that surprises everyone.

star 7.92
837 votes
Directors: Danny Strong
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Sinned Against

#19 - Sinned Against

Season 2 - Episode 9

Cookie and her sister, Candace, team up with a former prison mate to rescue their sister, Carol. Back at Empire, Jamal and critically acclaimed pop star Skye Summers begin collaborating and soon share a deep connection. Meanwhile, Laz has truly fallen for Cookie, but things get complicated when she finds out the truth about him.

star 7.91
944 votes
Directors: Paul McCrane
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More Than Kin

#20 - More Than Kin

Season 2 - Episode 15

With help from Andre, Lucious hosts a fundraiser, as part of his campaign to prove to the board that he should return as Empire’s CEO. Meanwhile, Hakeem must decide whether he wants to be a father to his and Anika’s child.

star 7.91
1,392 votes
Directors: Sanaa Hamri
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The Devil Quotes Scripture

#21 - The Devil Quotes Scripture

Season 1 - Episode 3

The Lyons head to Philadelphia and get a taste of what their life could have been if Lucious hadn't made it big. Lucious promotes Hakeem's new relationship with hip-hop star Tianna, but tensions rise when another woman tries to catch Hakeem's eye.

star 7.90
882 votes
Directors: Sanaa Hamri
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Out, Damned Spot

#22 - Out, Damned Spot

Season 1 - Episode 6

Vernon is caught in the middle of a very sticky situation. Meanwhile, Jamal is rising to stardom, but his newfound drive and ambition might stir up trouble in his relationships. To make matters worse, a mystery woman from the family's past shows up with a huge surprise.

star 7.90
824 votes
Directors: Michael Engler
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Love is a Smoke

#23 - Love is a Smoke

Season 3 - Episode 14

Cookie gives Lucious unexpected news that makes him feel uneasy about the future. Hoping to make Cookie jealous, Giuliana moves in on Lucious and persuades him to comply with her new plans. Meanwhile, Anika and Tariq devise a new plan and Charlotte Frost holds the EMPIRE Las Vegas dream in her hands.

star 7.90
1,477 votes
Directors: Tricia Brock
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The Devils Are Here

#24 - The Devils Are Here

Season 2 - Episode 1

Three months after the shocking arrest and incarceration of Empire Entertainment head Lucious Lyon. Still in federal lockup, Lucious is trying to run Empire from inside, while a headline-grabbing state prosecutor hangs her political ambitions on bringing him down - no matter what it takes. Meanwhile, Cookie stages a star-studded #FreeLucious concert in his support, while scheming with Andre, Hakeem, Anika and the business savvy Mimi Whiteman to finalize the hostile takeover of Empire.

star 7.89
1,210 votes
Directors: Lee Daniels
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Poor Yorick

#25 - Poor Yorick

Season 2 - Episode 4

The Lyons are still split into warring factions, but they all decide to shoot a music video that will capitalize on Hakeem and Jamal's duet from Hakeem's leaked album, a collaboration that will benefit both companies. Meanwhile, Lucious trades his real handcuffs for virtual ones. However, knowing he can't fully control his company with a federal murder case hanging over his head, he sets out to find Vernon and make him permanently disappear.

star 7.88
933 votes
Directors: Danny Strong
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