The 16 Most Shocking 'Empire' Season 1 Moments, From Jamal In The Trashcan To Lucious In Jail
I have this love/hate issue that comes up whenever I get really into a television show. Of course, I love watching the episodes and talking about all of the plot developments, but then there's this hate that comes in between seasons when I start feeling pretty restless. It's tough surviving as a fan when there aren't any new episodes to watch of your favorite show. Right now, I'm all about Empire and I'm in need of some unique ways to cope before Season 2 starts. My first thought would be to watch some old episodes, but Empire Season 1 was only 12 episodes, and if you're really bored you can get that done in a day. So what's the next best thing to do? Recap the most "holy crap!" moments, of course.
If you're a real fan, you know exactly what I mean by that. I'm talking about those moments that made your jaw drop and made you hit refresh on your Twitter timeline to see what the other fans had to say. The events that changed the course of the show and made you question your allegiance to certain characters. The scenarios that made you genuinely say "holy shit!" when you really couldn't come up with a more articulate way to respond.
1. Lucious Throws Young Jamal Into A Trash Can
One of the first moments that stood out for its absurdity happened in the pilot episode. Things got too real when a do-rag-wearing Lucious Lyon threw his young son Jamal into a trash can in a flashback scene, after he caught him wearing his mother's scarf and high heels.
2. Lucious Kills Bunkie
It was pretty wild for fans to see Lucious kill his right hand man and his ex-wife's cousin Bunkie in the first episode. There is no possible debate over what happened. Lucious just coldly shot him without even blinking an eye and it was clear that pretty much anything could happen on this show.
3. Cookie's Lingerie
There's obviously something sexy about Cookie Lyon, but beyond her sassy style and one liners, we got a a real good look at her when she showed up to a family dinner to reveal that she was just wearing lingerie underneath her coat. Damn, girl.
4. Lucious Lyon Reveals His Real Name
If I really thought about it, I probably wouldn't have been too surprised that Lucious Lyon is not Terrence Howard's character's given name, but you never know. It was randomly revealed that his real name is Dwight Walker. So yes, that kind of surprised me in the moment. I have a feeling that revelation will become extremely relevant in Season 2. Trust me on this one.
5. Anika Catches Lucious & Cookie Having Sex
We all knew it was bound to happen. Lucious and Cookie are just one of those couples: even when they're not actually a couple, there's always something there. The tension was building up for a long time, so it wasn't a huge shock when they ended up in bed together. The crazy thing is that Anika actually saw them in the act and just silently walked out of the room before they noticed her.
6. Andre's Suicide Attempt
To be honest, I wasn't really feeling Andre when he was first introduced. He seemed pretty cold and calculating. But the show took an intense turn when the bipolar character contemplated suicide with a gun to his head and we realized that the Ivy League educated son isn't so together as he would like people to believe.
7. Hakeem Hooks Up With Anika
I knew Hakeem was going to get some sort of revenge on his father for banishing his cougar love interest from the country, but I never expected him to have sex with his dad's fiancée. Was that even legal? It's unclear how old Hakeem is, but Anika did not seem to care. And the craziest thing is that Lucious actually caught them and they just went right back to hooking up... seemingly more turned on than before. How twisted.
8. Hakeem's Diss Rap About Lucious
Lucious was so set on having Hakeem take over Empire, that he somehow overlooked his teenage son hooking up with Anika and still supported him when he performed at an industry event. With his dad watching and bopping along to the beat, Hakeem dropped a diss rap against his own father. He ended it with "They say that he the king, well I'm the prince. I'm gon' run the empire and leave with your bitch." Lucious was so caught up in getting his bop on that it took a few seconds for the very public diss to register. And on top of it all, Snoop Dogg was there so that always makes a scene a little more outrageous.
9. Jamal Comes Out While Singing His Father's Song
Lucious made it very clear that he wasn't OK with Jamal's sexual orientation. He blackmailed Jamal into staying in the closet with money, but once Jamal had enough, he decided to come out in a very public way at his father's event. And the best part is he changed the lyrics on Lucious' own song to say "when a man loves a man."
10. Raven-Symoné Appearing With A Baby
First off, it was a big shock to see Raven-Symoné at all. It had been a long time and I missed her. It got even more intense when I saw that she was accompanied by a toddler. And aside from that, she said it was Jamal's child. Umm what? How scandalous.
11. Lucious Reveals That He Is Lola's Real Father
I started to warm up to the idea of Jamal fathering a child and then the drama got amped up even more. After a pretty contentious family dinner, everyone was held up at gun point and Lucious admitted that he was the one who fathered Lola. So does this mean that the toddler is set to inherit some of Empire someday? I wouldn't be shocked if Raven-Symoné's character returned to fight for her daughter's inheritance.
12. Lucious Doesn't Have ALS
This has to be one of the biggest shockers in television history. I knew they had to find some way to keep Terrence Howard from dying on the show, but they just all of a sudden said that he does not actually have ALS. Total game changer for his family. They really seemed to be putting up with him until he kicked the bucket, but it doesn't seem like Lucious is going anywhere anytime soon.
13. Lucious Giving Cookie A Pillow
When Lucious was high from his medication, he confessed to Cookie that he killed Bunkie, and in turn, Cookie tried suffocate Lucious with a pillow. And if that attempted murder wasn't shocking enough, Lucious was actually more present during that hallucination than he seemed. In a self-important act, he decided to give out symbolic gifts to his family in some sort of weird ceremony about handing over his business. And he gave Cookie a pillow, indicating that he knows she tried to kill him and that he was very much aware.
14. Lucious Gives Jamal The Empire
It makes total sense to me, with Andre having suicidal feelings and Hakeem sleeping with Anika and being completely irresponsible in general, it makes sense that Jamal would be chosen to run the record label. But still, I can't believe Lucious handed over the business to his middle son. Jamal was originally painted as the most sensitive and calm out of all the Lyon boys, but in the finale he dangled Lucious Lyon's rival Billy Beretti off a balcony to gain rights to a song. So maybe he's more ruthless than we thought? There seems to be more Lucious Lyon in him than I originally suspected.
15. Rhonda Kills Vernon
When Vernon and Andre's heated exchange turned physical, Rhonda came up behind them and started beating Vernon with a statue. I figured that she would just knock him out, but he's clearly dead and now there's another Lyon trying to get away with murder. And immediately post-murder, she revealed that she is pregnant, so there's that. Oh, and Vernon was a key in the murder case against Lucious, so I wonder how that's going to play out.
16. Lucious Lyon Goes To Jail
This should not be at all surprising since we did see Lucious kill Bunkie in the very first episode, but after escaping, like, every other consequence for his actions, I was pretty shocked that Lucious got sent to jail. And honestly, I was a little annoyed that they took him off in handcuffs in the middle of his own tribute concert. How rude.
Well damn, there was quite a bit of scandal in Season 1. I can't even imagine what's going to happen in Season 2!
Images: Chuck Hodes/FOX; Giphy