03/14/2012 04:05 am ET Updated May 13, 2012

'The River': The Search For Emmet Cole Comes To An End, With More Danger Than Ever (VIDEO)

After several episodes where the team did little more than fight the Amazon River equivalent of the "monster of the week," suddenly "The River" (Tue., 9 p.m. ET on ABC) took a right turn into dense continuity, huge stakes and dramatic twists with each episode. They saved the biggest shock so far for this week.

Most viewers were probably anticipating the crew would find Emmet Cole in next week's season finale, but they pulled out the rug in an action-packed penultimate installment. There was so much going on, it felt like a two-hour episode. While the first portion felt like a modern-day zombie film, with the people at the research facility coming awake randomly like the "zombies" of "28 Days Later."

That could have easily consumed the hour, but instead they were dispatched rather quickly by Kurt. In a shocking revelation about his past, it was revealed that he had proposed to a woman not so long ago, and she had played a simliar security role to the one he's playing for this team at the research facility. As such, she was infected -- and may well have caused the outbreak. Kurt also revealed that he was intending to kill Dr. Cole, though he said it in his own language, so A.J. didn't understand it.

That didn't stop Kurt from protecting the crew when his fiancee and another infected person jumped on board the boat. Kurt dispatched the first one, but it was Dr. Cole himself who took out the second. He'd been found inexplicably in a coccoon atop the research facility, where he'd apparently been left alone. How he got there, what his state is now and what this means for the future saga of the series remain to be seen. His first concern after shooting the infected person was to ask how his funeral was.

"The River wraps its first -- and only? -- season next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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