12 Times ‘Empire’ Was Absolutely Terrifying

Welcome back to the Lyon’s den! One reason we have fallen in love with Empire is because of those unforgettable “Oh Shit!” moments that make us jump out of our seats.  From shootouts to balconies, Empire is full of frightening moments and cliffhangers that keep us begging for more.

Lucious Anika Empire
Lucious Anika Empire
The show’s midseason finale left us afraid for Andre and Rhonda’s baby and how will Lucious and Hakeem resolve their issues!?
Lucious Hakeem Empire
Lucious Hakeem Empire

You can’t forget about the show’s initial season that included a countless number of terrifying moments.  I was scared Anika and Cookie would kill each other before Empire’s second season! 
Cookie Anika Fight
Cookie Anika Fight

Without further ado, here are 11 Times ‘Empire’ Was Absolutely Terrifying:

12. Anika Kidnaps Laura. Season 2, “Sinned Against”


Anika Kidnaps Laura
Anika Kidnaps Laura

Anika (Grace Gealey) is unpredictable at this point.  While we know Cookie can hold her own vs. Ms. Calhoun, we don’t think Laura (Jamila Velazquez) is about that life.  When Anika decides to put on a wig and drive Laura home we didn’t think we’d ever see Laura again! Luckily, Anika was just being nosey.
11. Andre Kills Imaginary Pamela. Season 4 “Cupid Painted Blind”


Andre Kills Pamela
Andre Kills Pamela

Andre hasn’t been the same since Rhonda died.  His flying with Nessa didn’t last so I was happy to see him with Pamela Rose even though she was a cop.  Andre thought he could trust Pamela but then we found out that she was working undercover.  Just when we thought we knew it all we find out that Pamela was a figment of Andre’s imagination.

10. Tiana Gets Robbed. Season 2, “Be True”


Serayah Gets Robbed
Serayah Gets Robbed

Similar to Laura, Tiana (Serayah McNeill) is another one of Hakeem’s former baes that is not about that life.  When the blade comes out the one chick’s mouth we just knew it was a wrap for Tiana! Luckily, the girls were just trying to send a message to Lyon Dynasty and they posts a taunting video online

9. Hakeem Gets Kidnapped And Beat Up. Season 2, “Be True”


Hakeem Kidnapped
Hakeem Kidnapped

Hakeem’s baes weren’t the only ones involved in terrifying moments, Hakeem himself finds himself in the hands of the 125th Street Bulls after he is kidnapped and beat up.  The show is unpredictable so although we hope they wouldn’t kill off a member of the Lyon family’s core, anything can happen when it comes to Empire!

8. Lucious Has A Conversation With Bunkie’s Ghost. Season 1, “Die But Once”


Bunkie's Ghost Empire
Bunkie’s Ghost Empire

Anything can happen when it comes to Empire including Bunkie returning to have a conversation with Lucious.  Lucious’ medication leads him to confess about killing Bunkie! We can’t decide which part of the scene was most terrifying: The ghost of Bunkie or Cookie almost suffocating Lucious with a pillow.


7. Frank Gathers: The Drug Dealing Cannibal. Season 2, “The Devils Are Here”


Frank Gathers
Frank Gathers

Lee Daniels wanted Frank Gathers to be a cannibal on Empire but Fox wasn’t having it.  Daniels wanted to take the scene to the next level and told the makeup department to come up with some human flesh.  After Fox shot down the idea Daniels went ahead and shot his concept.  After Fox found out, Chris Rock had to return to the set to reshoot the scene.  


6. Jamal Beats Up Warren. Season 4, “The Lady Doth Protest”

Jamal Beats Up Warren
Jamal Beats Up Warren

Jamal thought he finally found true love.  Warren was everything he could wish for.  He has a beautiful voice and truly seemed to care about Jamal.  Warren was living a lie and when Jamal saw him with Diana he attacked him.  If Andre and Hakeem weren’t there to stop Jamal, he could have killed Warren.

5. Cookie Receives A Head In The Mail. Season 2, “The Devils Are Here”


Empire Head In The Mail
Empire Head In The Mail

Daniels wasn’t able to use human flesh but Fox allowed him to use a human head! In the show’s “The Devils Are Here” episode Frank Gathers sends Cookie a head-in-the-mail.  After Gathers finds out that Cookie snitched on him, he sends her Jermel’s head in a box.



4. Jamal Almost Throws Baretti Off The Balcony. Season 1, “Die But Once”


Jamal Baretti Balcony
Jamal Baretti Balcony

We can’t forget about Jamal Lyon.  In the show’s first season, the Lyon brothers proved that they would do whatever it takes to show Lucious their worth.  Jamal took the crown after letting us know that he was willing to kill for the company.  When Baretti (Judd Nelson) refuses to sign off the masters Jamal lets him know he’s not playing.



3. Rhonda Kills Vernon. Season 1, “Die But Once”


Rhonda Kills Vernon
Rhonda Kills Vernon

After seeing Vernon on top of her husband, Rhonda picks up a metal candlestick and hits Vernon over the head with it.  We have found out that Rhonda has a track record of terror.  From cutting hair to her willingness to do anything to takeover Empire Entertainment.  Killing Vernon proves that Rhonda is truly “Ride or Die”.

2. Roxanne Greeted By Vernon’s Corpse. Season 2, “Poor Yorick”


Vernon's Corpse Roxanne
Roxanne Greeted By Vernon’s Corpse

Speaking of Vernon, who would of thought that he would find a way to make an appearance in the show’s second season.  In order to fulfill Roxanne Ford’s wishes, Lucious puts Vernon’s corpse in Roxanne’s car after they dig his body out of the ground.  The unforgettable moment is more horrifying every time I see it!


1. Reg Visits Lucious’ Mansion. Season 1, “Sins Of The Father”


Malcolm Kills Reg
Malcolm Kills Reg

Prior to being murdered by Rhonda, a relapsing Vernon led Reg (Olivia’s crazy boyfriend) to Lucious’ mansion.  Jamal ends up attacking Reg for what he has done to Lola but Reg pulls out his gun.  Cookie attempts to save the day but she ends up with the gun pointed at her head.  Luckily, Malcolm (Derek Luke) shoots Reg in his head before he can cause any harm.

Which Empire moment do you think was the most terrifying? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Published by

Jason J.

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