Actually, the last episode of Twin Peaks bothered me a lot less than the one that concluded this terrific, obsession-inspiring show’s third season.

thirtysomething has always been agreeably open-ended, full of rambling, shaggy-yuppie stories that never conclude decisively. That’s what drives some viewers up the wall, and entrances others.

That’s also what made the show’s final episode so frustrating. The season had built to a showdown between eternally ambivalent adman hero Michael and his mean, rotten, nasty, smug, wonderfully satisfying boss, Miles.

At stake, it seemed, was the fate of the ad agency: Would Michael collaborate in a hostile takeover and replace Miles? If Michael failed, wouldn’t he join the recently fired Elliot on the unemployment line? If Michael won, did this mean Miles would have to be written out of the show?

As it oh-so-annoyingly turned out, nothing of the sort was at stake. Miles sorta won (he kept control of the agency) but Michael sorta won, too (Miles kept him on, and rehired Elliot in the nonbargain).

So that subplot turned out to be a bust, and the show’s other subplots — most prominently the health of cancer-stricken Nancy, and Gary and Susannah’s eternal quest to get their new baby to sleep through the night — were left hanging.

Still, being petulant about thirtysomething is one of the show’s perpetual charms, and the wait until new episodes start up agaan in the fall already seems unendurable. A

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