Fading 'Twin Peaks' Threads Hanging at Season's End

From Associated Press

When the smoke cleared, FBI agent Dale Cooper had been shot three times. A prime suspect in Laura Palmer's slaying had been killed by her father. A lowlife had shot and possibly killed another prime suspect.

And if that's not trouble enough in the Pacific Northwest logging town of Twin Peaks, a mysterious assailant beat mad Dr. Jacoby, Laura's psychiatrist and furtive sex partner. Jacoby, hiding at night near a gazebo, had just seen a woman he thought was Laura.

Then Jacoby, considered a leading suspect by students of doings in the fictional TV town, suffered a heart attack.

But unanswered went the show's central question: who killed Laura Palmer?

So it went Wednesday night in the season-ending episode of ABC's "Twin Peaks," the surreal, darkly comic David Lynch series that has become TV's most talked-about low-rated show this year.

The finale won its time period in the 24-city overnight ratings, but didn't come close to the numbers of its much-publicized April 8 premiere, A. C. Nielsen Co. audience estimates showed today.

The two-hour premiere got a rating of 21.7 and a 33 share. But its Nielsens started sliding immediately, and last week hit a low of 10.6. Each point represents 921,000 homes.

Wednesday's episode-ending shooting of FBI agent Cooper in his hotel room--only the gunman's gloved hand was seen--was only one of many closing-episode twists that will have "Twin Peaks" fans speculating who did what to whom until next fall, when the series resumes on Saturday nights.

The finale left the series with more questions raised than answered. It had been kept under tight wraps by ABC, which had refused to provide TV writers with advance tapes of the show, lest what proved its non-endings leak out.

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