The final episode of The Fall left fans guessing if star Jamie Dornan will return to the small screen for a third time as the second series ended in a cliffhanger.
The tense finale of the serial killer thriller aired on Thursday night, attracting more than 2.5 million viewers.
But the episode divided critical opinion after Dornan's character - psychopath Paul Spector - was shot.
The viewers, however, did not see Dornan's character actually die, leaving a possibility Spector could return.
During the 90-minute episode Spector came face to face with investigating officer DSI Stella Gibson.
But it was when the loyalist thug Jimmy Tyler tracked him down to a forest - believing his estranged wife had an affair with Spector - that propelled the drama into a major stand-off.
The action-packed final scenes ended in a hail of bullets with Gillian Anderson's character Gibson shouting "we're losing him" as she held him, trying to stem the blood from a gunshot wound in his stomach delivered by Tyler - leading viewers to think he was going to die. But the question of whether he survived remains unanswered.
On social media fans responded, some voicing frustration, with @rachaelniruis tweeting: "No, no it can't end like that. Don't die Paul and Jimmy, don't die."
And Ann Allan posted; "What sort of an ending was that? Did Spector die?"
While @melmickeyjay said: "I did guess the hooligan would get to him. There can't be a third series, can there?"
However, it did spark praise for the six-part drama centring on Spector, who targeted and murdered young professional women in Belfast.
Alistair Canlin wrote: "Totally mesmerising. Totally enthralling. Superbly acted. Brilliantly written. An evil joy to behold. Well done all!" The official Twitter account for the programme teased fans, posting: "Keep your eyes peeled for news about future series!"
Speaking ahead of the second series, Anderson had hinted a third - written by Allan Cubitt - was in the pipeline. When asked if the show would return, the actress said: "I think there'll be a third series."
But Dornan suggested at the time that he may not be involved "for story reasons".
The ending of the first series, which achieved BBC2's highest ratings for almost a decade, also sparked controversy.
Some described its finale as an anti-climax when Spector was seen leaving the province with his family after speaking to Gibson on the phone.
The Fall has faced criticism for glamorising "extreme, even lethal" violence against women.
David Wilson, a professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, described the hit series as nothing more than "an extended rape fantasy".
But its creator Cubitt hit back at critics who labelled the series as misogynistic.
He argued the programme "sets out to explore a complex and difficult subject".
Dornan, a Methodist College Belfast old boy from Holywood, Co Down, has previously said winning his part in The Fall had changed everything.
"Landing the role totally transformed my professional horizons and life," he said.
He will star in the big screen adaptation of S&M thriller 50 Shades Of Grey, which will be released in the new year.
Elliot Gonzalez tweeted: "Paul Spector and Stella Gibson on screen together is brilliant! Been a long time coming". Alistair Canlin tweeted: "Totally mesmerising. Totally enthralling. Superbly acted. Brilliantly written. An evil joy to behold. Roseanna Arroyo tweeted: "Twitter doesn't allow enough characters to express how good @JamieDornan performance was."