10 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.

Warning: the following content contains spoilers!

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Empire - S3E18

#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.

The episode was rated 8.20 from 1520 votes.

Empire - S5E8

#2 - Master of What is Mine Own (Season 5 - Episode 8)


The cost of running Lyon Family Management starts to put pressure on Cookie and Lucious’ relationship. When Kingsley pulls a power move of his own that has major financial repercussions for Lucious, Cookie thinks back to their early struggles. Kai becomes upset when Jamal announces their engagement on live TV and Tiana hits a crossroad with Hakeem, who refuses to set aside his beef with Blake. Meanwhile, Candace becomes vindictive after feeling betrayed by Cookie and Giselle uncovers a key to her future.

The episode was rated 8.17 from 274 votes.

Empire - S2E18

#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.

The episode was rated 8.13 from 1538 votes.

Empire - S2E17

#4 - 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.

The episode was rated 8.13 from 1486 votes.

Empire - S1E12

#5 - 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.

The episode was rated 8.12 from 964 votes.

Empire - S5E9

#6 - Had It From My Father (Season 5 - Episode 9)


The financial security of the Lyon family is on the line as their LFM showcase quickly approaches. Kai’s research for an expose on Empire uncovers some dirty activity within the company and causes conflict with Jamal. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Tiana finally reach an agreement on how best to move forward with their relationship, Andre struggles with his decision to let a new love interest in and Kingsley strikes a deal with Giselle.

The episode was rated 8.08 from 279 votes.

Empire - S4E18

#7 - The Empire Unpossess'd (Season 4 - Episode 18)

As the Empire ownership bid presentation nears, Lucious must make a difficult decision to save the future of the company and his family, while Eddie shows no signs of backing down. However, Cookie reveals a potential upper hand in the power play for Empire, after doing a little digging into her past. Meanwhile, Andre makes a power play of his own, Hakeem’s high spirits comes to a quick end due to a threat, Jamal and Tory struggle to cope with the success of their new music group, tension boils as the Lyons face Empire’s most existential threat yet and someone’s past mistakes leads to a deadly consequence. Season Finale.

The episode was rated 8.07 from 457 votes.

Empire - S5E7

#8 - Treasons, Stratagems, and Spoils (Season 5 - Episode 7)


In an effort to bridge the gap between Lyon Family Management and Empire, Lucious must play nice with Jeff Kingsley, so that the two companies can get girl group TBD back on the map. Meanwhile, Jamal grows frustrated with Cookie when she tries to steal his London artist, Wynter, out from under him, Andre works with the mother of one of his old inmates to help free her innocent son and Cookie realizes her sister is in danger.

The episode was rated 8.05 from 293 votes.

Empire - S4E9

#9 - Slave To Memory (Season 4 - Episode 9)

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.

The episode was rated 8.04 from 675 votes.

Empire - S5E3

#10 - Pride (Season 5 - Episode 3)


Cookie and Lucious push to get back in the music game, but they’ll need the whole family and some old allies to make serious sacrifices in order to do so. Meanwhile, Andre finds a risky way to make a name for himself among his fellow inmates.

The episode was rated 8.01 from 299 votes.

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    Empire - S5E2

    #11 - Pay for Their Presumptions (Season 5 - Episode 2)

    Cookie and Lucious learn the difficulties of launching an artist without Empire Entertainment’s resources, and their future with new artist Treasure is jeopardized. So when they receive two interesting offers that will launch them back into power in the music industry, they make a surprising decision. Meanwhile, Jamal decides to put his family first and move back to New York, leaving Kai with some tough decisions.

    The episode was rated 8.01 from 310 votes.

    Empire - S2E12

    #12 - 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.

    The episode was rated 7.99 from 1364 votes.

    Empire - S2E10

    #13 - 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.

    The episode was rated 7.98 from 987 votes.

    Empire - S3E10

    #14 - 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.

    The episode was rated 7.97 from 1676 votes.

    Empire - S4E6

    #15 - 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.

    The episode was rated 7.97 from 751 votes.

    Empire - S2E13

    #16 - 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.

    The episode was rated 7.96 from 1369 votes.

    Empire - S3E17

    #17 - 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.”

    The episode was rated 7.95 from 1450 votes.

    Empire - S1E7

    #18 - 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.

    The episode was rated 7.95 from 872 votes.

    Empire - S4E8

    #19 - Cupid Painted Blind (Season 4 - Episode 8)

    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.

    The episode was rated 7.94 from 672 votes.

    Empire - S1E9

    #20 - 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.

    The episode was rated 7.94 from 897 votes.


    Last updated: jan 08, 2023

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