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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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
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).
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
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.