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I mean, how does it feel that your little girl can do something you couldn't? [...] And the songs I'm writing will only further prove that I'm you but on steroids.

Jamal [to Lucious]


The Devil Quotes Scripture
Season One, Episode Three
Tumblr nihj32euqE1u5351mo1 400.jpg
Air date: January 21, 2015
Writers: Ilene Chaiken
Joshua Allen
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Premiere: 11.07 million
The Outspoken King
False Imposition

The Devil Quotes Scripture is the third episode of the first season of FOX television series, Empire, and the third episode overall. It aired on January 21, 2015.

Lucious learns that someone witnessed Bunkie's murder; Cookie seeks help from an old friend, Lucious promotes Hakeem's new relationship with hip-hop star Tiana, but tensions rise when another woman tries to catch Hakeem's eye.


Lucious plans a little get-together for Hakeem and Tiana, since they seem to be good for business.

Tiana films a new, seductive music video with Veronica for Bad Girlwhile Hakeem and his friends watch in attraction, yet Lucious assumes and predicts that Hakeem and Tiana have hooked up. When Hakeem approaches Lucious, asking when he'll film his music video, Lucious encourages him to go to the studio to make more music. The music video abruptly stops when Veronica asks for her manager when she accuses Tiana of bumping her on purpose. Veronica's manager, Mel, arrives and deprecates Lucious for giving Veronica a lack of spotlight, it later leads to confrontation that allows Lucious to request to have a "talk" in his trailer. When Lucious attacks him audibly from the trailer, he departs and calls Mel an ex-manager for Veronica. Meanwhile, Cookie arrives to question Lucious for his lack of communication regarding Bunkie's funeral. Lucious pushes the discussion aside for work but promises that he has a special funeral planned for Bunkie.

Lucious plans for Bunkie's funeral by inviting R&B singer, Gladys Knight, to perform, but his plans are interrupted when Andre arrives with a magazine with his then-protege Kidd Fo-Fo being signed with Creedmoor. Lucious demands his company team to go after Billy Beretti, the writer behind the article. Detective Walker arrives at Empire Entertainment for a discussion about Bunkie's murder. Walker discovers someone who may have witnessed Bunkie's murder, much to Lucious's fear. 

A songwriter auditions for Cookie and Porsha to help Jamal with his music career. After the songwriter is immediately rejected, Andre requests that she should talk to the Jorgensons about songwriting. However, the hope for a songwriter search fails when Anika interrupts and calls her a prisoner in Norwegian language. Jamal is irritated when realizing that Cookie is attempting to find songwriters for her, knowing that he writes his own material, but Cookie wants to help him find a "breakout hit" and compete against Hakeem. Jamal doesn't want to be turned against his brother.

Jamal and Cookie at Bunkie's funeral

Cookie confronting her sister, Carol

Anika, meanwhile, hired a private detective to spy on Cookie, not trusting her instincts after discovering that she is affiliated with the FBI. Lucious is shocked, and goes to confront her while she examines Bunkie's body before the funeral, fearing that Cookie snitched on him to get out of jail. During the day of Bunkie's funeral, Cookie confronts her sister, Carol, of whether she told Lucious about her deal with the feds, considering that Cookie only told her. At the funeral, Gladys Knight performs and Lucious gives a tear-jerking speech about his friendship with Bunkie, which is stated with flashbacks from the Pilot that lead to Bunkie's death.  

Andre seduces Deputy Mayor Raquel Alvarez in order to blackmail her into helping stop Detective Walker from investigating Bunkie's murder. Meanwhile, Lucious suffers from the side effects of his ALS, and Anika tries to make her think of the positive things regarding the Empire Entertainment successes. Lucious then requests a get-together dinner for the family. 

Detective Walker and Gus Berger interrogates a homeless man, Ol' Salty, who is considered a witness of Bunkie's muder. At first hand, he does not remember the occurrence, but Walker is determined to find out. Meanwhile, Andre gathers the information on the investigation on Bunkie, and shares a role play encounter with Rhonda. Hakeem texts Camilla, one of his lovers, who shockingly arrives at a club while he is with Tiana.

Cookie enters Agent Carter's car after it is clear that Lucious knows about Cookie's affiliation with the feds. After knowing that Gus Berger was hired by Anika to spy on Cookie. Carter wants to keep their deeds a secret, making sure no one knows what they are doing. Cookie asks for Carter to track down Dwayne "Puma" Robinson, a songwriter turned former crush of Cookie, to help with Jamal's album. In order to receive the information, Cookie and Carter stall Lucious, who invites her to dinner.

Puma, now going by Dwayne, has built a good life for himself, away from everyone.

Cookie reunites with Puma, who goes by Dwayne, and works at a farm. There still seems to remain awkward, romantic tension between the two because of Puma's longing affection for her. Cookie hopes for Puma to write a song for Jamal, but he isn't in the spirit anymore. However, he finally agrees to send Up All Night to him, a song that Cookie knew a long time ago, and Lucious disliked. Jamal plays the song and adds his own twist to it, and the flashbacks take place between Cookie and Lucious.

Cookie is eager to let Jamal perform the song during Lucious's dinner. Meanwhile, Detective Walker approaches Ol' Salty once more, interrogating him about the murder. Ol' Salty describes a "lion in the streets" which metaphorically describes Lucious. Walker shows a picture of Lucious to Ol' Salty, agreeing that he is the person who he witnessed during the murder. 

At Lucious's gathering, everyone including Tiana, Rhonda, and Michael are invited. When Cookie decides to say grace, she makes an indirect remark towards Anika for appointing a private  

detective to spy on her. Jamal performs Up All Night to his family, which shocks Lucious and continues his flashback. Instead of praising Jamal for the song, he thinks that he could give it to another singer, and not Jamal. Jamal decides to confront him over the song, most specifically about how he couldn't make the song work, He decides to leave with Michael. 

Cookie makes the family stop eating so that she can say grace.

Andre teases Hakeem for being Lucious' favorite out of all of his sons, assuming that he'd be chosen to run the company. Hakeem refuses to believe that, but he thinks that he'd be chosen for being the most talented. Cookie warns Anika, insisting that she watches her back, but Anika, a daughter of a doctor and a debutante, claims her protection. After Cookie discovers Lucious attempting to open his prescription pills, Cookie believes that Lucious may have something to hide, and she will be determined to find out.

Hakeem shares a passionate encounter with Camilla, who believes that he will inherit the Empire Entertainment company. As it is revealed that they have had an affair for a year, it is difficult due to their age difference (most implied).

Jamal moves out on his own, breaks free from his father’s’ financial support, and vows to be head of Empire.

At the end of the episode, Lucious arrives at Jamal's loft, with much disappointment from Jamal, who felt hurt by Lucious at the dinner. Jamal and Lucious's rocky relationship is described, based on Jamal's childhood, he was beaten by Lucious not to "toughen him up," but because Lucious hated him for who he was. Jamal doesn't want anything to do with Lucious anymore, and voluntarily moves with Michael out of the loft Lucious bought for him. Jamal is eager to take the Empire company away from Lucious.


Main Cast

Guest Cast

Recurring Cast


Song Title Performer(s)
Bad Girl Tiana Brown and Veronica
Up All Night Jamal Lyon

Unreleased Songs

  • Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. Traditional. Performed by Gladys Knight.


  • This is the second episode to increase in ratings from the previous one, garnering 11.96 million viewers.
  • The episode title is taken from a line in Act 1, Scene 3 of The Merchant of Venice, a comedy play by William Shakespeare: "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."


Michael: You sure you wanna give everything up?
Jamal: I'm not giving up anything. I'm going after his empire. I'mma take it.

Cookie: Something's got you shook, Lucious. Like it's chasing you and you don't want it to catch you. Now I don't know if it has anything to do with Jamal, but whatever it is, you're trying to hide it. You can't hide it from me. You can't hide it from me, Lucious. Baby.

Jamal [to Lucious]: She told me back in the day, you couldn't make the song work. I mean, how does it feel that you're little girl can do something you couldn't? You washed up. And the songs I'm writing will only further prove that I'm you but on steroids.

Agent Carter: Is there a bathroom around here?
Cookie: Yeah, straight down the hall to the right. Then jump out the window and straight down.

Lucious: And we know about tough love. And I feel responsible for my friend's death. Because he came to me and told me he needed my help. And I told him he gotta stand on his own. And I'm gonna regret that the rest of my life.

Cookie: If it wasn't for Bunkie, none of us would have made it out of here.
Lucious: He was loyal. I wish I could say the same thing about you.

Cookie: Okay, look I know I've been out of the game for a while but I've still got my instincts. And you've got to trust me. Hakeem is good but you are more talented---
Jamal: Would you stop pitting him against me? He's my brother.
Cookie: I will talk about him any way I want.

Cookie: You better be glad I don't feel like no scene today, cuz I shut it down.
Lucious: You look nice.



Season One
Pilot The Outspoken King The Devil Quotes Scripture False Imposition Dangerous Bonds Out, Damned Spot Our Dancing Days The Lyon's Roar Unto the Breach Sins of the Father Die But Once Who I Am
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