Previously on Empire, Lucious faked his mother's death, killed Freda Gatz's father and still integrated her into his family, plus a bunch of other evil shit. He's the devil, if that wasn't already clear.
1. LUCIOUS LYON (last week: 3)
He told his son he can't wait till he dies of AIDS!!!!!!!! I love how everyone decided that the same boring-ass conversations they've had for 20 years needed to be dialed up to 11 just so we'd think more than one person was going to shoot Lucious this week. But here's the thing: No one in his family is interesting enough to try to commit murder besides Cookie, and she already tried to smother him last season. Lucious is a low-rent, Belly version of J.R. Ewing, and I wish Freda Gatz actually had shot him and hadn't missed, because the show was much better when he was dying.
2. THIRSTY RAWLINGS (last week: 4)
Come thru, Thirsty! His ass turned into Kristen DiMera from Days of Our Lives with secret rooms hidden in mansions. Locking up Andre and Mamma Walker in Lucious's secret room was hysterical. I'm surprised they haven't kidnapped Anika and locked her in there yet, to be honest.
3. FREDA GATZ (last week: not ranked)
I knew this girl was crazy. She finds out from a drunk, unreliable Carol that Lucious had her dad killed, and what does she do? Grabs a gun and tries to SHOOT HIM IN A CROWDED BUILDING. At a goddamn awards show. This isn't the Source Awards, girl. Cookie was right: She is dangerous. But now that she went ahead and shot Jamal by accident, pretty sure she's just gonna go to prison and be forgotten about, so byyyyeeeeee.
4. COOKIE LYON (last week: 5)
Cookie must've seen Captain America: Civil War, because she showed up with black gloves with gold claws on them. That's actually the only powerful thing she did this week, but that's such a fire outfit that she deserves her spot at the top.
5. ANIKA CALHOUN (last week: 7)
Only this psycho could shove a pregnant woman down a flight of stairs, have said woman recover her memories, and still be walking around living her life. Is Rhonda ever going to expose her? What was the point of this story line?
6. LEAH WALKER (last week: 1)
Leah made Lucious fall off his diet by shoving cakes down his throat, so I guess she did something. Mostly she just wanders around looking sad and depressed, asking to go to the ASAs. At the end, she presumably announces to the world that she's Lucious's mother, so maybe she's actually doing something now!
7. DEREK MAJOR (last week: 8)
Lucious knows that Derek's on the DL, which he's not particularly happy about, but other than that Derek seems to be running Jamal's life with ease. Jamal really only has trash boyfriends, doesn't he?
8. HAKEEM LYON (last week: 12)
Hakeem gets yelled at by the paparazzi for having his cardboard-cutout girlfriend on his arm at the ASA red carpet, which is pretty much appropriate for his character.
9. CAROL HARDAWAY (last week: 17)
Cookie's alcoholic sister is officially off the wagon and showing up at awards shows causing a scene. She's also the reason Jamal got shot, since she told Freda about Lucious killing her father, so I'm pretty sure Carol's days are numbered.
10. FBI AGENT TARIQ THE FREAK (last week: not ranked)
Why is the FBI still obsessed with the Lyons? This family is not that important. I'm more interested in how Tariq got his name "Tariq the Freak." Can we get some flashbacks?
11. SHAKESPEARE (last week: not ranked)
We're back to the Shakespeare-inspired episode titles! "Rise by Sin" references this quote from Measure for Measure: "Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall." SEEMS LIKE THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT LUCIOUS AND JAMAL.
12. RHONDA LYON (last week: 6)
Girl, you know that Anika pushed you down the stairs and made you lose your baby. Why the hell are you still engaging in pleasantries with her?
13. ANDRE LYON (last week: 2)
LOL getting locked in a secret room when you're not Marlena Evans is silly, son.
14. THE MUSIC (last week: 11)
I'm all for new music groups getting their shot at fame, but this song was like a knock-off Cherish B-side from 2006.
15. JAMAL LYON (last week: 10)
Jamal has really reached a low point, hasn't he? Fucking around with an abusive down-low producer and standing in front of a bullet for a man who said he wants him to die of AIDS? Jamal has always been an idiot, but this time he actually paid for it. Please let Jamal die so Jussie Smollett can do something better with his time.
16. HAKEEM'S GIRLFRIEND OR FIANCÉE OR WHATEVER (last week: 14)