But the biggest tantalizing ambiguity we're left with is how many major characters died in the finale?
Debra, alas, yes. Ryan and Mike just don't get there quite in time, and although Debra's head hasn't been blown off - the surest sign of death in a TV drama - she looked pretty lifeless as Ryan tried in vain to revive her.
Next, we have Joe himself. He's blown to smithereens, but we don't see his body. Remains are recovered in the water, but another guy also died in the explosion, and though the dental records and preliminary DNA say it's Joe, I'm thinking that's not quite a definitive ID. I give Joe a 50/50 chance of showing up alive next season.
Of course, even if Joe is dead, all of his followers are not. We see Emma near the end in Alabama, and the woman who has been sleeping with Ryan on and off, but is a follower, shows up as Ryan and Claire are about to have dinner, and badly stabs them both.
Ryan looks to be a little less wounded than Claire, and, let's face it, killing him would end the series, which is returning next season.
What about Claire? The series could definitely go on without her, with Ryan grimly hunting Joe or his surviving followers if Joe is dead, but I'm thinking Claire has a chance of pulling through.
So, where does that leave us? We'll definitely see Ryan alive and kicking next season, and I'm thinking Claire will pull through, and, you know what, I bet we'll see Joe afoot at some point next season, too - though whether he'll be the major villain as he was this year, it's hard to say.
Ok, enough speculating. I'm going back to writing - doing - not teaching. The spring semester is almost over.