We're still in the second season of Empire, which returned in March after a lengthy break, but a lot has happened in these four episodes: Camilla (Naomi Campbell) and Mimi (Marisa Tomei) are gone, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) is playing peacemaker and Lucious (Terrence Howard) is back to being ruthless in his attempt to gain back control of his record label. In last week's episode, Empire showed us that it's doubling down on family drama--and making Lucious the evil epicenter of it all. His shady factor has been ramped up like, 1,000 percent in the past four episodes--so much so that he may be on his way to becoming one of the most compelling villains on TV today. Here, six moments in this season's second half that lead us to believe he may be Lucifer himself.

1. That time Lucious handed Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) a gun and was like, "If you don't shoot me now, I'll kill you later." It was so gangster, and the ultimate test. Do you think he even had bullets in that gun?



2. When Andre (Trai Byers) finally learned that his mental health issues have a familial precedent--Lucious' mom, to be precise--and he's understandably furious nobody told him. Lucious says, "I was embarrassed by her, the same way I'm embarrassed by you." Damn homie.

3. That time Lucious realized he could use Andre to turn him against his brothers by honing in on the exact thing that would make Andre bend: a visit to the grave of his not-really-dead grandmother. There's a reason they're wearing winter gear in this scene: that ish was cold.

4. That time he just popped up in Camilla's crib, right after she's murdered her wife...

...then drops the double whammy that he saw her commit murder and Hakeem only had sex with her to blackmail her, so, yeah, it's probably best you just go ahead and kill yourself.

And Camilla is all like, "You know, that's not a bad idea. Goodbye cruel world!"

5. Or that other time, when he elaborately sabotaged Hakeem by planting drugs on his group's tour and seized his little clothing line, then casually treated himself to an evening snack while Hakeem was all in his feelings over it...

...mocked Hakeem's angry threats to do something in response....

...rolled up on Hakeem and took over his son's shareholder meeting...

and then snatched his place back in one masterstroke.

6. Or, that time he was waiting inside Anika's (Grace Gealey) house when she came home from mommy-to-be yoga or whatever...

...And offered her $10 million to give up her baby with Hakeem. When that doesn't work he threatened her, prompting her to respond:

That didn't scare him though, because he came back with, "A lot of women don't survive childbirth." Monster!

You know what Lucious, let's just let Cookie tell it.

Empire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Fox.