'Army Wives': Was that the bitter end?

This archive photo of Lifetime's "Army Wives." Pictured from left, Catherine Bell, Kim Delaney, Brigid Brannagh and Sally Pressman.

If, like me, you tuned in to Lifetime’s “Army Wives” Sunday for the first time in a while to catch the episode the network had been promoting as the end, you might be a little confused by how it actually concluded: With a plane carrying a good chunk of the remaining cast members that appeared to be experiencing turbulence and Gen. Michael Holden (Brian McNamara) responding to a phone call that apparently brought bad news.

So what was up (or down) with that cliffhanger?

According to a Lifetime spokeswoman, promos or not, no decision has yet been reached about a seventh season for the show, which TVSeriesFinale.com reports has recently been averaging about 3 million viewers per episode. (Zap2it.com reports that Sunday’s show averaged just under 3.3 million.)

The stars of “Army Wives” include Roxborough’s Kim Delaney — whose character, Claudia Joy Holden, wasn't in the episode  — Wendy Davis (whose character was on that plane) and Catherine Bell, who, as TVSeriesFinale.com noted, was on Twitter earlier this week suggesting that the cliffhanger was “kind of a good sign” for the show. (Apparently, an alternate ending was also filmed.)

I’m not a believer in keeping shows on forever — someday, my great-grandchildren will grapple with the loss of “The Simpsons,” and I’m OK with that — but when a series that’s done everything it could to bond with its audience over the years leaves that audience hanging, it can’t help but feel like a slap in the face to the people who’ve come to love those characters.

The result: A reluctance to commit the next time.

Here’s hoping Lifetime figures out a way to bring this one in for a safer landing than some of us saw Sunday.