We want to know as well, we were just starting to watch this series, in fact just ordered HBO to catch up with it, and after we watched episode one, we went back and the listings started at episode 4. then we watched that one and all of them were gone! guess we made a bad decision subscribing to HBO?
Subscribing to HBO is indeed a bad decision. I kept it only for BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Once it ended, I cancelled HBO.
As for the VOD episodes, it is usually HBO (and not Verizon) that supplies content.. Perhaps BE was dropped to make room for something else. Or perhaps it was contractual (possibly to provide incentive for consumers to purchase the series on video whenever it is released?)
If you signed up for HBO, you can go online and sign-up free for HBO GO. You just need to make up a password and you can watch all episodes of Empire from the beginning of season 1. I have watched the first six episodes this way.