'Empire' Midseason Finale: 10 Craziest Moments of Season 2 So Far

EMPIRE
Chuck Hodes/FOX

Guest star Andre Royo, Jussie Smollette, Terrence Howard and Trai Byers in the “Et Tu, Brute?” fall finale episode of EMPIRE airing Dec. 2 2015 on FOX. 

With more Shakespearean drama than some plays written by William Shakespeare, Empire season 2 came to its mid-season close last night (Dec. 2) with the episode "Et tu, Brute?" (a reference to Julius Caesar, because, you know, Shakespeare).

While the midseason finale packed plenty of insane surprises, we're looking back at the whole picture and rounding up the 10 craziest moments season 2 has given us so far, and ranking them from crazy to just…wuuuut.

10) The Return of Camilla

While the flashback provided insight into why Hakeem would vote to dethrone Lucious Lyon at Empire, it was still shocking to learn that Camilla Marks (Naomi Campbell) -- his under-the-radar ex who we haven't seen onscreen since February -- was the one playing both Hakeem and Mimi (Marisa Tomei) like puppets. Kudos to Empire for ending the mid-season with a genuine surprise.

'Empire' Releases Songs With Ne-Yo and Pitbull

9) Ménage à…Nah

Remember when Lucious and his new business partner Mimi tried to have a threesome together by hiring a prostitute? Totally normal way to celebrate with a new coworker, right?

8) Michael Cheats on Jamal

While Jamal fended off his music video director's advances, boyfriend Michael got the wrong idea when he saw the Artist attempt to fellate Jamal -- "A mouth is a mouth!" Adam Busch's character memorably said in his own defense. Michael took that to heart and hooked up with the Artist as revenge, ending their relationship (at least, for now).

7) Cruel Eulogy

Andre eulogized the murdered Uncle Vernon with some kind words, but Lucious was blunt and brutal while speaking to the corpse of his former friend: "Rot in hell, you snitch."

6) Lucious Gets Real Creepy

Just when you think Lucious can't get any worse, he goes ahead and does it. While speaking to Chris Rock's character right before his murder, Lucious made this icky promise about his rival's daughter: "I'm gonna sign your baby girl -- and then Imma slip her my bone." 

5) Cookie Gets Played By Gang Member Who Abducted Her Son

What are the chances that the hot new piece you're sleeping with is part of a dangerous gang that abducted your son and held him for ransom? On Empire, pretty good actually. Cookie eventually found out the truth, and although he gave the whole "but that was before I fell in love with you!" excuse, she wasn't having it.

Meet 'Empire' Cast Member Bre-Z

4) Lucious Still Thinks Jamal's Sexuality Can Be 'Fixed'

While a homophobic person subscribing to the idea that gay people can be "fixed" is nothing new, the exchange between Lucious and Jamal when the former learns his son had heterosexual sex for the first time (with Alicia Keys' character, no less) is downright bizarre. "Are you hitting that?" asks a father to his son. "I'm still gay so don't get weird," Jamal replies. Lucious, tears in his eyes like a proud papa, then says, "She fixed you." Yikes.

3) Rhonda Gets Pushed

Rhonda getting pushed down the stairs by an unseen assailant (presumably Anika) in an attempt to kill the unborn Lyon heir wasn't exactly surprising -- the show led up to it fairly obviously -- but when it happened, it was brutal. You saw the fall in both slow motion and real-time, and you could feel it every time her body impacted the stairs. It was a predictable plot twist delivered with surprisingly visceral directing.

2) Anika Abducts Laura

Okay, Anika abducting Laura was crazy -- but it was especially insane because we'd JUST witnessed a major character getting abducted two episodes ago. You can't have multiple abduction plot lines in one season, much less within a three-episode arc. At that point, you just need some new ideas.

1) Cookie Dresses In a Gorilla Suit

Season 2's craziest moment so far was also one of its earliest. Season 2 premiered with a person in a gorilla suit contained within a cage at a "Free Lucious" outdoor concert. After the mask came off to reveal Cookie was inside, she asked, "How much longer are they gonna treat us like animals? The American correctional system is built on the back of our brothers, father and sons." It was some blunt truth for network TV, and a risky move, too, given America's sad history of likening African-Americans to apes. It made enough of an impact that even as the midseason came to a close, Da Brat's character -- an old friend of Cookie's who's still behind bars -- brought it up to mock her for it. 

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.