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The Best Episodes of Empire

Every episode of Empire ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Empire!

A powerful family drama about the head of a music empire whose three sons and ex-wife all battle for his throne.


Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Empire" is "Et Tu, Brute", rated 8.7/10 from 543 user votes. It was directed by N/A and written by N/A. "Et Tu, Brute" aired on 12/2/2015 and is rated 0.0 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "Rise by Sin".

  • Et Tu, Brute
    8.7/10 543 votes

    #1 - Et Tu, Brute

    Season 2 Episode 10 - Aired 2015-12-02

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Rise by Sin
    8.7/10 408 votes

    #2 - Rise by Sin

    Season 2 Episode 17 - Aired 2016-05-04

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Lyon's Roar
    8.6/10 791 votes

    #3 - The Lyon's Roar

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2015-02-25

    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.

    Director: Danny Strong

    Writer: Danny Strong

  • Unto the Breach
    8.6/10 792 votes

    #4 - Unto the Breach

    Season 1 Episode 9 - Aired 2015-03-04

    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.

    Director: Anthony Hemingway

    Writer: David Rambo

  • Our Dancing Days
    8.5/10 781 votes

    #5 - Our Dancing Days

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2015-02-18

    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.

    Director: Sanaa Hamri

    Writer: Attica Locke

  • Cupid Painted Blind
    8.4/10 241 votes

    #6 - Cupid Painted Blind

    Season 4 Episode 8 - Aired 2017-12-06

    Cookie and Lucious take matters into their own hands as they watch Diana DuBois' master scheme unfold. Meanwhile, Andre begins to spiral out of control, wondering what she could have in store for him. Also, Jamal's sobriety is put to the test and Shine gives Hakeem advice on how to maintain a balance between his work and personal life.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Dangerous Bonds
    8.3/10 754 votes

    #7 - Dangerous Bonds

    Season 1 Episode 5 - Aired 2015-02-04

    Cookie receives an anonymous gift from an admirer that she believes might be a veiled threat from a person from her prison past. Meanwhile, Lucious takes charge of Hakeem's first video shoot.

    Director: John Singleton

    Writer: Malcolm Spellman

  • Who I Am
    8.3/10 673 votes

    #8 - Who I Am

    Season 1 Episode 12 - Aired 2015-03-18

    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.

    Director: Debbie Allen

    Writer: Danny Strong, Ilene Chaiken

  • My Bad Parts
    8.3/10 405 votes

    #9 - My Bad Parts

    Season 2 Episode 8 - Aired 2015-11-18

    Lucious, eager to assert his power, releases a rap by Freda challenging Hakeem as his heir. Not to be outdone in Lucious' eyes, Hakeem fires back at Freda with a rap battle challenge that could put Lyon Dynasty's future in danger. Meanwhile, Cookie gets a special visit from her spitfire sister, Candace, Jamal is working on landing a major sponsorship deal and Anika receives some life changing news

    Director: N/A

    Writer: Malcolm Spellman

  • The Lyon Who Cried Wolf
    8.3/10 339 votes

    #10 - The Lyon Who Cried Wolf

    Season 2 Episode 16 - Aired 2016-05-04

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Sins of the Father
    8.2/10 616 votes

    #11 - Sins of the Father

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2015-03-11

    Andre forms a new musical relationship with Michelle, and a woman from Lucious' past, Angie, comes into the picture. Meanwhile, Lucious invites the whole family over to his home. However, everyone arrives with their own agendas. Hakeem, under the influence of Camilla, sets out to show his father that he's a true artist and a good businessman. Then, Cookie prepares to state her own agenda for Empire and for her family, when Olivia arrives.

    Director: Rob Hardy

    Writer: Eddie Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft

  • Out, Damned Spot
    8.1/10 707 votes

    #12 - Out, Damned Spot

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2015-02-11

    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 (guest star Raven Symone) from the family's past shows up with a huge surprise.

    Director: Michael Engler

    Writer: Eric Haywood

  • Die But Once
    8.1/10 616 votes

    #13 - Die But Once

    Season 1 Episode 11 - Aired 2015-03-18

    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.

    Director: Mario Van Peebles

    Writer: Ilene Chaiken

  • Sinned Against
    8.1/10 389 votes

    #14 - Sinned Against

    Season 2 Episode 9 - Aired 2015-11-25

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Poor Yorick
    8.0/10 441 votes

    #15 - Poor Yorick

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2015-10-14

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Death Will Have His Day
    8.0/10 362 votes

    #16 - Death Will Have His Day

    Season 2 Episode 11 - Aired 2016-03-30

    After losing the company he built, Lucious announces he will stop at nothing to regain his power, but Cookie has her own way of handling things. Meanwhile, Rhonda, Andre and the rest of the Lyon family come to terms with a horrific, life-changing tragedy that changes their lives as they know it.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Outspoken King
    7.9/10 862 votes

    #17 - The Outspoken King

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2015-01-14

    Lucious has to defend Empire's IPO launch after one of his artists is involved in a shooting; Cookie hears about Lucious' plans for a huge performance for Hakeem, but not Jamal; Bunkie's murder is investigated.

    Director: Lee Daniels

    Writer: Danny Strong, Ilene Chaiken

  • False Imposition
    7.9/10 702 votes

    #18 - False Imposition

    Season 1 Episode 4 - Aired 2015-01-28

    Lucious attempts to steal a super-hot, chart-topping artist from his rival at Safe House Records. Meanwhile, Jamal struggles to compose original music and Cookie tries to forge a relationship with her estranged son, Hakeem.

    Director: Rosemary Rodriguez

    Writer: Wendy Calhoun

  • The Devils Are Here
    7.9/10 670 votes

    #19 - The Devils Are Here

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2015-09-23

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Without a Country
    7.9/10 501 votes

    #20 - Without a Country

    Season 2 Episode 2 - Aired 2015-09-30

    Cookie and her cohorts decide to start their own small record label, but it’s off to a bumpy start as everyone has different visions for the new label. As his first project for the new company, Hakeem decides to form a girl group and woos a hot Latina lead singer, proving that he can be more than just an artist. Meanwhile, Lucious, feeling extra pressure from a bloodthirsty prosecutor, hires a new lawyer and records an epic track from inside jail. In Lucious’ absence, Jamal neglects his music and makes business moves that further his journey toward becoming every bit as ruthless as his father.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Fires of Heaven
    7.9/10 447 votes

    #21 - Fires of Heaven

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2015-10-07

    Anika secretly work together behind Lucious’ back to pull off a surprise performance that catches the eye of Pitbull. Meanwhile, Lucious tracks down Frank Gathers’ daughter, Young Ma, to try to convince her to sign with him at Empire, while Hakeem is hard at work on his girl group, Ménage a Trois. Also, Andre and Rhonda hope their baby-on-the-way will be the key that unlocks Lucious’ cold heart and opens the door for Andre to return to the Empire fold.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • A Rose by Any Other Name
    7.9/10 349 votes

    #22 - A Rose by Any Other Name

    Season 2 Episode 12 - Aired 2016-04-06

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Tameness of a Wolf
    7.9/10 319 votes

    #23 - The Tameness of a Wolf

    Season 2 Episode 13 - Aired 2016-04-13

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Fortune Be Not Crost
    7.9/10 181 votes

    #24 - Fortune Be Not Crost

    Season 4 Episode 6 - Aired 2017-11-15

    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.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Slave to Memory
    7.9/10 202 votes

    #25 - Slave to Memory

    Season 4 Episode 9 - Aired 2017-12-13

    Cookie and Lucious devise an elaborate plan to take down Diana Dubois and her family once and for all. Andre recovers from his mental breakdown in the hospital, Shine tries desperately to protect his secret and Eddie Barker is concluding his tenure at Empire. Amidst the chaos, someone's life hangs in the balance.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A