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The explosive inaugural season of Fox’s blockbuster hip-hop family drama “Empire” broke all the recent rules and records of television with a continual increase in viewership since its Jan. 7 debut on the way to becoming the No. 1 show on television.

The Taraji P. Henson- and Terrence Howard-fueled series just completed its rollercoaster, whirlwind of a season finale and it packed a lot into those 120 minutes as the issues of race, sexuality, succession, betrayal and class came to a fiery climax.

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With endings both literal and figurative and new beginnings, two overriding plotlines were resolved: Terrence Howard’s Lucious Lyon discovering he wasn’t actually dying of ALS and middle son Jamal, played by Jussie Smollett, anointed heir to the empire over his two seething brothers Andre and Hakeem, played by Trai Byers and Bryshere Y. Gray; With Mario Van Peebles directing the first hour and Debbie Allen helming the second, the season’s 12th episode also had fist fights and hair pulling; the murder of cousin Bunkie by Lucious was revealed to Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie; another member of the inner circle was seemingly killed; and the season-long prepared IPO of the company went off – with a behind-bars hitch.

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As its throngs of fans contemplate how they’re going to cope with their “Empire” withdrawals the next several Wednesdays, we now take a look at the most hilarious memes inspired by the runaway hit show of 2015.

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