I'd like to think that I'm not easily frazzled, so, when a television show leaves me with my mouth hanging open long after it has gone off, I know that I've gotten hooked on something good. Not since the first season of Game of Thrones has a show left me screaming OMG at the walls of my apartment. Empire is so twisty and fun that all you can do is hang on and go along for the ride. During the two hour finale of Empire Season 1, there were so many twists and turns that I had to pause my television between the first and second hour to debrief with myself. (Dramatic, I know.) From the pilot episode, I knew that creator Lee Daniels had gifted us with a treat.
From bibs and babies, to death and hostile takeovers; I'm almost afraid of what's going to happen during Season 2. Season 1 ended with more things unresolved than questions answered. Whatever happen to that body that Malcolm was supposed to dispose of? Vernon's blood is on Rhonda's hands, but she only acted in defense of her hubby. Even more troubling, Jamal and Cookie seem to be on the outs, which might get even worse before it gets better. Also, we all know that, once Lucious is released from prison, no one is going to be safe from his wrath.
Until then, let's look back at all of the times Empire had us gasping for air. Here are the 17 jaw-dropping moments from the first season.
1. Lucious Throwing Jamal In the Trash
Lucious dumps his middle child in the trash after discovering him in pumps and a scarf. This was such a shocking scene for a pilot that I cried.
2. Lucious is A Killer
Lucious thinks nothing of murdering his oldest friend in cold blood. Though Bunkie has his issues, it's obvious that he is struggling with addiction. Instead of helping him, Lucious shoots him and leaves his body by the river during the pilot episode.
3. Bib Fun
In "The Outspoken King," Rhonda bribes Andre to go to the doctor to get his medication adjusted. In an effort to get him to listen to her, she pleasures him, but not before covering her silk top with a baby bib. I still can't believe this happened.
4. 50 Shades of Andre & Rhonda
Bibs aren't the only way Rhonda and Andre keep their relationship spicy. In "The Devil Quotes Scripture," it becomes clear that they also like to indulge in extramarital affairs, which they then reenact with one another. Hey, to each his own.
5. Cookie Delivers A Beating
The pilot was full of many gems. Though Cookie tries to reconnect with each of her sons upon her release, Hakeem is both uninterested and disrespectful. Fed up with his horrid behavior, Cookie beats him with a broom.
6. Anika's Cruel Streak Is Revealed
In "Our Dancing Days," Anika's jealousy over Cookie and Lucious' connection drives her to sabotage Elle, Cookie's artist who has struggled to overcome her addictions. It was particularly vicious because I didn't think Anika had it in her to behave that way.
7. FBI Informant Cookie Lyon
Cookie tells everyone that she's been released from prison early due to good behavior. However, we soon learn that her release is because she's working for the FBI. Plot twist!
8. Jamal Lyon You Are Not the Father
In "Out Damned Spot," Jamal's ex shows up with their daughter. Jamal immediately takes on responsibility as Lola's father until "Sins of the Father," when it's revealed that Lucious is actually Lola's dad.
9. Cookie & Anika Throw Down
After an entire season at each other's throats, Cookie and Anika finally come to blows in the finale. The results are comically delightful.
10. Cookie and Lucious Get Down, and Anika Discovers Them
After 17 years away from one another, the sexual tension between Cookie and Lucious was almost unbearable. In "Our Dancing Days," they finally give into their desires, not realizing Anika has caught them in the act.
11. Jamal Comes Out
Though Jamal grows more and more comfortable with his sexuality, he has to contend with Lucious' homophobia. Disregarding his father's wishes, Jamal decides that it's time for him to be true to himself and he comes out in "The Lyon's Roar."
12. Hakeem Calls Camilla Momma
I've said it before and I will say it again, Hakeem and Camilla's relationship is weird. It's probably because when we first meet Camilla in "The Devil Quotes Scripture," Hakeem is calling her "momma," and then stops when he and his actual mother, Cookie, bury the hatchet.
13. Cookie's A Victoria's Secret Angel
Cookie thinks she and Lucious are going to reunite in "Out, Damned Spot." She dresses for a sexy encounter, only to discover that she's been invited to Anika and Lucious' engagement party.
14. Anika The Traitor
To be fair, Lucious betrayed Anika long before she betrays him. However, it was shocking to discover that Anika has deflected to Creedmoor, Empire Entertainment's rival company. But, hey, a girl has to do what she has to do.
15. Andre Has A Gun
It was really difficult to see Andre struggling with his bipolar disorder. Even before his manic episode, he had been spiraling. In "The Lyon's Roar," he plays Russian Roulette with a gun, and I wasn't sure that he was going to make it out alive.
16. Rhonda Kills Vernon
In Rhonda's defense, she was only trying to stop Vernon from hurting her husband. However, when she smashes that object over Vernon's head, he dies immediately. This will surely only cause more issues for the couple's already fragile relationship.
17. Lucious Isn't Dying
The devil apparently has nine lives. In what was probably the most shocking moment of the entire first season, Lucious learns that he has been misdiagnosed with ALS. It seems like we're stuck with him for the long run.
Images: Chuck Hodes/Fox (1); Giphy (11); fangirl-utopia, dailyempiregifs (2), stilesbanshee, lyonbrothers/Tumblr (2)