Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 18   First Watch 
September 3, 2017 7:19 PM - Season 3, Episode 18 - Subscribe

What is your name? (description from Showtime)
posted by infinitewindow (230 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH WTF AAAAAAHHHHHH!

I feel like when I finished reading Infinite Jest, where as enjoyable as the experience of living with the book was, there was a whole other book's worth of explaining to do and I had to go digging online to find someone who'd pieced it together for me.
posted by dnash at 7:22 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


That was kinda bullshit, but I think maybe in the soap opera universe of Twin Peaks any ending other than a cliffhanger is physically impossible.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:24 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


we all just grumbled resigned expletives at the end.
posted by sibboleth at 7:25 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


oh man my thoughts are in backwards order so ep 18 first

1. I WAS RIGHT all along that evil cooper wasn't some simple copy, he was the little bit of evil that was in Dale Cooper, excised and given its own body and nurtured and fostered along by Bob and then let free to sort of do his own thing after he had 25 years to grow larger. and when they were reintegrated, which IS what happened, because David Lynch doesn't need to spell everything out through Gordon Cole EXPOSITING except for when he feels like it, Dale's sweet innocence had some nasty ballast anchoring it down that it did not used to have. it WAS him, but part of his sweetness is gone off to animate the Dougolem, and the rest remains but it is no longer all that there is of him.

I worried so much for Diane when she asked if it was him and he said yes in that terrifying baritone, which vocal instrument and its implications I do not believe Kyle MacLachlan is capable of having less than perfect control over. and I was frankly horrified at how dominant and...commanding? he was to her. first I thought, oh he must somehow not know what his copy did to her, to talk to her like this with such peremptory demands and such unshadowed pleasure and expectation of happy compliance. and then I thought, but he can't possibly not know. and then I thought, but even if he didn't know, even if I didn't know, I would still feel queasy and uneasy because this manner is not all right.

but it wasn't a fake-out and it wasn't a trick. it wasn't the other one in disguise. this is who he is now. the best things can be spoiled. this was always one moral of Twin Peaks. even when they are good and deserve no harm to come to them, harm will come. he is still himself but time passes. Carl alone and only Carl grows more pure and kind with every year that goes by. everyone else sags and sinks down to one degree or another.

2. except also LUCY. LUCY ALONE AND ONLY LUCY RECONCILES ME TO THE ENGLISH PUNCH BOY. it was HER who took him out. English only helped a little. Lynch is not Joss Whedon for which now more than ever we must all be thankful, but there was never really any chance he would have awarded the punch glove to Audrey or Laura or Becky or anybody like that, so I suppose it is better that it went to a rando than to Ed or Andy or something horrific like that. but whatever. sucks to your destiny and your gardening gloves, fred, it was all LUCY

3. ha ha james is such a dingdong forever.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:25 PM on September 3 [13 favorites]


GRRARRRRRRRRRRRR

I didn't watch the original run, but this is totally what it felt like to get that cliffhanger. I also jumped at that final snap of electricity when Sheryl Lee screamed and the lights went out. It's past 3am here in the UK...

So we know there's multiple timelines and Coop is in one of them, but.... no, nothing makes sense.
posted by the_wintry_mizzenmast at 7:26 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I felt my soul clawing from behind my eyeballs when Laura screamed and shivers ran all up and down my forearms. I don't care how attached to narrative logic a person is, surely they must have felt it. that was an ending I believe in
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:26 PM on September 3 [6 favorites]


Audrey!?!! What's with Audrey after that ep. 16 final shot? Is the whole damn thing potentially her dreaming?
posted by dnash at 7:26 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


All I can say is I'm so glad I had twenty or so years to digest the last Twin Peaks finale because... this is gonna take a while. And I fully expect to be Lynch + Frost'd. But maybe not... quite to this point.

There's a point with the happy reunion in the sheriff's station that I mentally bookmarked my personal ending and until the scholars have assembled their The Return treaties that's probably going to be my coping mechanism... Just as long as I don't think about Audrey. Because that leads to some table flipping just saying.

Now I really wonder what's in Frost's The Final Dossier out next month...
posted by harujion at 7:28 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


Also yes! I screamed LUCYYYYY so loudly I worried I'd woken the neighbors in the next house over. Lucy OMG YESSSSSSSS.
posted by harujion at 7:31 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


I think I sort of get it, although I can't piece everything together. Coop is told something by Laura at the start of this season and we don't, and possibly will never, know what it is, but he reacts poorly to it. He is able to go back in time to witness Laura break up with James on the last night of her life. He intercedes and tries to take her home, and she gets pulled away... somewhere. This is shown to effect the main timeline of the show. Pete goes fishing without consequence instead of finding Laura's body. Coop has sex with Diane at the motel, and he awakes to a new reality. In this reality he and Diane have different names, and everything else is changed. He drives towards Judy's (referencing the deity level evil, probably the horned woman from the first two episodes), and does some Coop level heroics (robotically) to figure out where Laura is. Laura is someone else, and is eager to go with Coop to Twin Peaks (where the RR is shuttered) to escape her life in Odessa. They get there, and the Palmers are gone - someone else owns the house. Coop and Laura both have breakdowns.

However, I don't think this is an alternate timeline - I think it's a nightmare trap like Audrey was in. Dancing is what brought Audrey out of that, and seeing the house is what brings Laura out of hers. The Tremaine name really gives it away - the Tremaines are associated with the lodges (and the masked-faced adult / child Tremaine seem to be a major entity of that cosmology). I'm not sure we'll ever get an answer, but it seems like Coop (in trying to save Laura) actually did something very bad. That's why he looks horrified at whatever Laura tells him in the lodge. I have absolutely no idea what happens once Laura's trap is broken. We never really got evidence of the similar situation with Audrey, other than seeing her wake up in that white room.

So... I dunno, I love it. Episode 17 wraps everything up, for most of the folks on the show. Episode 18 is a sort of prologue that indicates there is no escaping the lodges. It's a sad, but sweet way to end the show: Coop and Laura don't get happy endings, but the others do.
posted by codacorolla at 7:33 PM on September 3 [8 favorites]


Cooper asking his question is, for 20th century masculinity, the equivalent of Carrie's terrified scream.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:34 PM on September 3


Ok, I just had a thought. The implication is that Judy/Sarah did something to make Laura disappear when she's in the forest with Coop, when you see Sarah stabbing Laura's picture. Buuuut what about:
  • Coop takes Laura to the portal, and she disappears.
  • It's the Fireman pulling Laura out. And here's the scene we already saw when he manifests that Laura orb and sends her back to the world. This time, to Odessa (possibly back in time). Because he's been moving pieces around like crazy and Coop was a pawn in his plan to stop Judy.
  • With Laura plucked out of time, the original Twin Peaks timeline is all messed up but Judy is written out, too.
  • Until Coop kinda fucks up and brings Carrie/Laura to the house, making her remember and unleashing Judy again in the final seconds. But maybe it's not a fuckup and is another part of the Fireman's plan? Because the Fireman warned about the Richard and Linda thing and that requires Coop to be in Odessa in this new timeline.
Also, "We live in a dream" is totally a reference to the dead original timeline!

I really really need a season four.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:36 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


I felt my soul clawing from behind my eyeballs when Laura screamed and shivers ran all up and down my forearms. I don't care how attached to narrative logic a person is, surely they must have felt it. that was an ending I believe in

It's a fantastic moment and a great ending to an episode, but it's not much of an ending for the series.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:36 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


However, I don't think this is an alternate timeline - I think it's a nightmare trap like Audrey was in.

I do like this, because it makes the Judy's Diner thing feel like something more than a coincidence. Familiar things scattered around the dream, like the white horse on Carrie's mantel.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:40 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


I guess one problem with my theory is that it's not complete - it would require another season to figure out who or what is keeping Audrey and Laura in these dream-states. I honestly cannot see anyone ever giving David Lynch money again, unfortunately. So I think all we're left with is what we have...
posted by codacorolla at 7:45 PM on September 3


It is a perfectly unsatisfying open ending to a season full of purposefully unsatisfying open-ended scenarios. This is what happens to characters who are written off, whether between seasons or on-screen. Coop becomes a stranger in a strange land like Chuck Cunningham, while Carrie ceases to exist in a sudden burst of confusing terror like Lara Flynn Boyle in Las Vegas.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:47 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I honestly cannot see anyone ever giving David Lynch money again, unfortunately.

Showtime is allergic to canceling anything and would probably be happy to let Lynch make Twin Peaks for the rest of his life. The question is really whether Lynch wants to keep doing it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:49 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]



It's a fantastic moment and a great ending to an episode, but it's not much of an ending for the series.


aw but the ending is he saves her, after all and after everything and all the pain and suffering, he saves her. there was never any explanation of her cosmic mission and her vital importance to the universe because there was none, except that she was an innocent child who died before her time and tried her best to be good but couldn't escape her father.

and episode 18 is not the ending but the coda to the ending, part A of which is that David Lynch, whom I love more than my own cat so I don't mean this in a very mean way, but he cannot seem to imagine any job for an adult woman to do that is not waitressing, so he shows what I imagine he imagines to be an almost bittersweet future -- if Laura had lived, if this great tragedy had been averted, she would have been a tired middle-aged woman living in a shithole working for tips and avoiding or not avoiding creeps, just like Shelly, all her youthful glowing hope blown away like dust. If this woman were murdered now, it would be terrible but who would make a show all about it? what FBI agent would be captivated by what might have been, for 25 years? Who would care for her fate much more than anybody but Hawk cares what's happening to Sarah Palmer?

but then the other half of the coda is, so you save her, you go back and reach out your hand and lead her through the woods away from the French Canadians and her monster father and that dingdong James, and deliver her where? He didn't mean for her to slip away into the land of screams and he didn't mean for her to end up in Odessa with a fake accent and a bloated corpse, but what was to become of her? Dale does not have the firmest grasp on the idea that trauma does not necessarily burst out of your abdomen like a big old fetid ball of hellsmoke and drift away, leaving you good as new with your old wig on and ready to go to bed with an old friend. sometimes it has lingering effects, when it's real bad.

anyway so Laura either is a new person with new memories or has been pretending to be ever since she was led through the woods, and Dale took no thought of what he might be doing to her by leading her back to that hell-house. he did it to get at what's in Sarah, but he didn't seem to weigh the value of that against what it would do to Laura.

and that's why the ending was the way it was. he fucked it up. if he hadn't fucked it up, it would still have been very terrible. but I think he didn't think until it was too late, because his brain was rusty and his empathy is fatally diminished from see previous comment.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:50 PM on September 3 [16 favorites]


and I don't know what to say about the called-back head-popping song set to the nightmare sex scene except that it really is a beautiful song without the Twin Peaks context and I hope the Platters don't mind how terrifying their entire catalog has become. but I think you have to go back and watch the first scene with that song in it to understand the second one. but fuck if I'm going to do it, no head crushing for me thank you. I didn't even keep my eyes open the first time.

the horse is the white of the eye, et cetera.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:54 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


jesus
posted by postcommunism at 7:54 PM on September 3


WHAT.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:56 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Wow I'm loving that analysis, queenofbithynia! (It's 4am here so reading words is hard and thinking harder but it gets me in THE FEELS which I still have plenty of.)
posted by harujion at 7:56 PM on September 3


As much as I've enjoyed this season, I've complained that it's just not as strange as the first run. This ending was all strange horror. Or horrific strangeness. The hair on my arms stood up.
posted by postcommunism at 7:58 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Earlier episode posited that Laura was a spirit sent to Earth as a balance against Bob/Judy (since apparently they're the same entity?).

With Bob/Judy vanquished, Cooper tried to un-do Laura's murder. On one hand perhaps this was a step too far? But on the other if she's this important entity - the Log Lady said she's "the one" - then maybe saving her is important?

Or, on yet another hand, if Bob/Judy is out of the picture now, then maybe Laura doesn't need to be there anymore? So, wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey, Coop awakens to a world without either Bob or Laura?

Audrey, though. Earlier episode her husband said something about ending her story and she said "what story is that? Is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?" Which is what the one armed man says here. So........ (shrug emoji.)
posted by dnash at 7:58 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


There's a point with the happy reunion in the sheriff's station that I mentally bookmarked my personal ending

I'm pretty sure that was the intention, fwiw. We got our happy ending, we just got more stuff afterwards.
posted by Gerald Bostock at 8:00 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


I don't know what to say about the called-back head-popping song set to the nightmare sex scene

I don't think that was a nightmare sex scene, though. It was the reverse of the rape the tulpa-diane described. SHE was on top, she was in charge, she covered up his face. I really feel this was them attempting to un-do the damage of Bob/Bad-Cooper.... except that they ended up in another timeline/another world, where it wasn't even them anymore?
posted by dnash at 8:01 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Showtime is allergic to canceling anything and would probably be happy to let Lynch make Twin Peaks for the rest of his life. The question is really whether Lynch wants to keep doing it.

I could see a couple movies. Didn't he originally want to do more than just FWWM for Twin Peaks movies? My big worry is just time. He's going to have to sprint or lose more actors to the ravages of time. If we get more, we're already getting it without Albert, which I can't even imagine after this season.

More than the ending, though, what makes me think he wants to do more is that he left Audrey's story just hanging like that. Most of the Twin Peaks residents, really. And you know he has genuine affection for their stories and their actors, but he gave so much time this season to the story of Cooper and Lodge mythology that they were all given really short shrift - and I wouldn't be surprised if this was a budget thing, you can have these actors for longer, or you can go all in on the Cooper story, what do you do? But that whole side of the story feels unfinished and I don't get the feeling Lynch wanted to leave it that way.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:02 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Okay when the first of the two episodes aired I was like oh hey, he really is going to tie this up into a tidy bow, bless his heart.

And then as it got closer and closer to the end and all of the extraneous bits got tied up but Sheryl Lee kept screaming and screaming I knew it was going to end up exactly how I feared...
posted by elsietheeel at 8:03 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


The entire episode(s) I was thinking about how lucky we were to have Miguel Ferrer during the entire run.

But ultimately I don't think I care about Albert and Gordon (which is amazing considering that it was Albert and Gordon that kept me going through the first two seasons), but I DO want to know what happens to all of the denizens of Twin Peaks (like, Janey-E and Sonny Jim got a happy ending, but what about everyone else?) as well as Cooper and Diane.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:08 PM on September 3


my head is a-buzz with electricity. I hated ep 18 all the way through until the scream and then within 30 seconds I decided I loved it

most of all I think I love that all the apparent 100 percent recovery of Agent Cooper, which I know was deeply satisfying and sentimental and I loved it in the moment but-- can't, CANNOT be right, he can't be that fine that fast and I really think not ever -- was, like the owls, not what it seemed. that seems very right to me. on the one hand I need at least five more plot-packed episodes full of equal shocks and confusion but on the other hand I feel really good about this. more and more so every second.

and I think that I also love how Audrey and Johnny and Cooper are all alternates of each other, this season, all trapped in liminal spaces. I love amnesia and comas and soap opera devices of all types and I love the cosmic terror you get when you take soap tropes seriously, so it does not bother me at all that there is a certain Audrey's-dream implication to it all. because why?

because never forget Audrey blamed herself for Johnny's condition. that never stops mattering. and because if Audrey's Dream were seriously a possible interpretation for some or a lot of the season, look at it, Audrey tried to dream:

- that if you fall out of the world for 25 years, you'll pop back good as new when the time is right. Everyone will remember you and everyone will be so glad to see you. you'll know just what to do in every situation and everyone will be happy to trust you. Nobody forgets you, nobody moves on.

(Meanwhile, Ben is taking grumbly but unquestioning responsibility for every single member of his family or random person harmed by his family, everybody who calls him about a feckless relative gets money wired right over, of course he'll take care of it. Except for his daughter. Audrey? Who's Audrey? Visit her? what are you talking about?)

- that you can erase rape trauma with a new wig and a little psychic surgery. It wasn't really him! It wasn't him at all! Good kisses drive out bad kisses! It's fine!

(except it is not fine and it is so unendurable you see yourself outside yourself, warning yourself, right before you go into the hotel room, and then you pop right out of your identity because you were very wrong and you cannot go on in your old one)

and so on. anyway, I like that it is not spelled out so it can be ignored by everybody who hates the idea, which is probably everybody, but if you want it, it has a lot of depth.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:09 PM on September 3 [10 favorites]


As it's sinking it, the final episode was less the strangeness of the original run and more the awfulness of Fire Walk With Me.

I'm also starting to think that it was really good.
posted by postcommunism at 8:09 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


(Also that Chalfont/Tremond thing. What/where/who is Sarah Palmer??)
posted by elsietheeel at 8:10 PM on September 3


aw but the ending is he saves her, after all and after everything and all the pain and suffering, he saves her. there was never any explanation of her cosmic mission and her vital importance to the universe because there was none, except that she was an innocent child who died before her time and tried her best to be good but couldn't escape her father.

And I love your entire comment and I think this is all very true. But as The Arm asked Cooper, "Is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?" Twin Peaks certainly is that story, at least in part, but the story we've been watching is the one that began when the little girl died. We know that story is continuing somewhere because we saw Cooper's tulpa come home to Janey-E and Sonny Jim. And that story has a lot of moving parts, few of which were resolved in any kind of satisfactory way. I mean, there's Audrey, for one thing. I feel like that's a big enough thing all by itself.

So whether Twin Peaks returns (again) or it doesn't, I don't think this is really meant to be a definitive statement. I think Twin Peaks is a soap opera; and soap operas don't end, they get cancelled. The conditions of this world are such that if the next season had Cooper and Laura trapped in an alternate universe, Audrey might wake up in our universe and, like, merge with Judy and cosmically blend the timelines and everyone would be happy but then somehow Annie would pop out of the Black Lodge in the last twenty minutes of the episode and pull Laura into some hellworld or maybe just Gordon Cole would pull up in front of the sheriff's station but then we get close and realize his eyes are jet black and it's Gordon's doppelganger (!!!) and he pulls a gun and -- !
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:11 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


So. Much. Judy.

It blows my mind that a weirdo throwaway comment from FWWM turned out to be such a lynch (ha) pin.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:12 PM on September 3


Also, if you're owl spotting, there was one over Sherrif Truman 2's (Sherrif 2man?) shoulder for the entire scene in the Sheriff Station.
posted by codacorolla at 8:14 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


Showtime cancels shows all the time. Happyish, Roadies, Masters of Sex, The Borgias, Dice, and those are just the ones since 2012 that didn't have a deniable "characters have told their stories" line from the show runners.

Showtime is desperately looking for another Dexter or Game of Thrones, but they would have taken another True Detective season 1. Twin Peaks is/was the closest thing to that. I'm pleased for many, many reasons that the stars turned and a time presented itself. But this show probably hurt the network and its leadership, even as it pushed the boundaries of the medium.

But it will move units on home video, because Twin Peaks fans buy everything that's official Twin Peaks.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:14 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Out of everything else, the thing that's really sticking in my mind and feels important but unexplainable is that long stretch in Truman's office after Coop looks at Naido where his face is superimposed over the happy reunion feel good stuff for an uncomfortably long time. A lot of possibilities for the significance of that, and they all really change the lens through which you view the back half of the episode.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:15 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


This was episode 118. Which means if we actually do get a season 4, the first episode will be 119...which is what that lady kept screaming before Dougie'car blew up.

As for everything else...good lord, I have no finger nails left.
posted by floweredfish at 8:16 PM on September 3 [7 favorites]


- that you can erase rape trauma with a new wig and a little psychic surgery. It wasn't really him! It wasn't him at all! Good kisses drive out bad kisses! It's fine!

(except it is not fine and it is so unendurable you see yourself outside yourself, warning yourself, right before you go into the hotel room, and then you pop right out of your identity because you were very wrong and you cannot go on in your old one)


Oh man, the way that she was covering his face with her hands the whole time. Laura Dern was perfect.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:18 PM on September 3 [6 favorites]



So whether Twin Peaks returns (again) or it doesn't, I don't think this is really meant to be a definitive statement. I think Twin Peaks is a soap opera; and soap operas don't end, they get cancelled.


this is true. and really I hate the kind of ending that resolves all the plots because it feels like a death. there used to be a kind of book that would have an epilogue after the real ending where they told you who married who and how many children they had and when everybody died, and of what. that extra chapter always filled me with such despair, I am glad it is out of fashion. I prefer cosmic terror to understanding what is really going on with life and death, mostly.

this is a little embarrassing but when I was a teen or something, I saw some book of collected pop-culture essays on soap operas and it was called "Neverending Stories" or some such cute allusive title and it BLEW MY MIND, the title did. because they are exactly that. and the structural bizarreries of soap operas, like of romance novels, are such commonplaces that they don't blow people's minds as much as they ought to.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:21 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I feel like I've seen headlines to the effect that Showtime has already said they're ready for another season if Lynch/Frost want to, so the ball's really in their court.
posted by dnash at 8:23 PM on September 3


Episode 17 was the end of this season. Episode 18 starts a new mystery, a new possible season, with Coop displaced due to having semi-saved Laura, either now existing in another year or another reality altogether.
posted by maxsparber at 8:24 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


Moving the mystery to a new set of characters would be an amazing way to give freshness to the plot. As much as I loved seeing Twin Peaks regulars, I also felt like some of that was (not wearing thin, but) at the end of its rope. Coop and Laura in alternate universe would be very interesting.
posted by codacorolla at 8:28 PM on September 3


this is true. and really I hate the kind of ending that resolves all the plots because it feels like a death.

This is touching something along the lines of an interpretation I can't shake of the CooperFaceVision in Truman's office. That scene really did feel like that kind of sappy ending, tying everything up neat with a bow. To Lynch, the touchstone was probably Dorothy waking from the dream at the end of The Wizard of Oz, and it really did feel like that. Evil was defeated! And all your friends are here!

But Cooper didn't really do much to defeat that evil, really. He was all action but pretty passive. Lucy killed Mr. C. Freddie defeated BOB (and just how did Coop know who Freddie was?). Coop just put the ring on Mr. C's finger, like the heroic prince swooping in at the end of a fairy tale that the princess really did all the heavy lifting in. And then, Cooper sees things for what they are, he knows they aren't right. His face hovering over the screen, fixating on something in his mind while he goes through the motion of the happy ending with old friends and new. You're 25 years older and you're not the hero you thought you were in your youth. The world is more complicated than that, and no amount of trying will bend it to your will. But then he seems to give in to the fantasy, and suddenly Naido is Diane and they're kissing and Coop is off to, well... your comment above really summed that up excellently.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:30 PM on September 3 [10 favorites]


Other thought I forgot to add to a post I made above... So having vanquished Bob/Judy, Coop tries to go a step further and undo Laura's murder.... but this world can never be unbalanced in either direction, i.e., you can't have THAT happy an ending. So everything has to shift instead to compensate.

(Audrey, though. The lack of anything in the last two eps explaining Audrey in the white room is going to stick in my craw forever.)
posted by dnash at 8:32 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


Alternate ending:

Unbroken 10-minute shot of Dale Cooper and Not Laura driving to Twin Peaks at night. No conversation. At one point (4 minutes in?) Cooper coughs and Not Laura looks at him, then slowly faces forward again. Several more minutes pass.

Suddenly, and without warning, a woodsman pops up from the back seat, gruffly asking "GOT A LIGHT?" in a staticky voice. Cooper and Not Laura scream. Freeze frame. Laugh track. Roll credits.
posted by duffell at 8:32 PM on September 3 [7 favorites]


Another point towards thinking Lynch might want another season: he really took his time showcasing Sheryl Lee's acting in this. He could never get enough of having her on screen and actually wanted to bring her back as another character, a redheaded Laura, in the original series. And now he has the pieces in place for a story that's all Laura, the whole time, finally caught up to Coop so they can push the story forward together.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:36 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


To be honest, I'm really excited by the idea of a new season exploring the alternate lives of the Twin Peaks folk as they might have unfolded without Laura's murder. It'd be kind of a David Lynch version of Flashpoint, but hopefully much better, because it's Twin Peaks and not The Flash, which does try, you know. (We haven't really talked about how Freddy seems to be a meta-commentary on the superhero shows and movies that have become such a phenomenon in the years since the original show, but I'm not sure there's anything to say about BOB being punched to death by a Hulk Hand.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:36 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


But Diane had red hair. :(
posted by elsietheeel at 8:37 PM on September 3


I'm not sure there's anything to say about BOB being punched to death by a Hulk Hand.

We could say BOB was an evil bowling ball. That's maybe a thing to say about it. Other than that I got nothin'.
posted by duffell at 8:41 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


oh the other reason I don't think Audrey's Dreamtime is total garbage nonsense is because Audrey was always Laura's mirror. Audrey's dream is and isn't Laura's dream.

I went on about this forever somewhere else so I won't do it again, but the Hornes used to be just one tiny Black Lodge push away from becoming the Palmers. the line between public face and private dysfunction for them was an infinite chasm for the Palmers. but also, the scene of scenes from the first season was Audrey in the brothel bed holding her mask on so desperately, terrified that her father will figure out it's her in bed with him, and what would happen then? she's more afraid of what might happen if he did figure it out than if he didn't, which makes sense in a way she would probably never express to anybody ever. and then the conceit of him not recognizing her just because of a simple mask is its own kind of primal terror, too.

They are two different people, but I think Audrey was always smart enough to see that Laura was one might-have-been for her. so I am not going to try to logic it out because I can't, but Audrey is the only dreamer that makes sense, other than Laura, for anything that is a dream.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:41 PM on September 3 [11 favorites]


Also Freddie essentially punching BOB in the sparring robot from Dune (but also Star Wars) was grand. At first I thought oh he's there to protect Naido, but then he punched open the cell door and took out Chad (uhm, WTF took you so long hidden-keyus ex maChadina)...but THEN he punched BOB too!
posted by elsietheeel at 8:41 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


from the other thread:

> [from the beginning of the season, the story was] changed so that Laura never came home and her body never was found

holy shit, it works out. Gordon never mentions Laura Palmer. In this season, Cooper went to Twin-Peaks twenty five years ago in search of Major Briggs, not to investigate a murder. The "Palmer case" is about an unsolved disappearance; a local cold case. We see Sarah Palmer living with the weight not of a family murder but of an unresolved absence. Coop and the audience are the only ones who remember -- until that last scream.
posted by postcommunism at 8:42 PM on September 3 [37 favorites]


WTF.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:43 PM on September 3


postcommunism and queenofbithynia have blown my mind.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:46 PM on September 3


I like that theory, but there seems to be too much stuff from the murder investigation... Maybe now that I'm thinking about it, it could be possible. Bobby never mentions the murder - it also makes his first scene make sense, where he sees Laura and is awe struck... It explains why we don't see Leo, maaaaybe explains why Jacques still tends bar at the roadhouse... huh, I need to rewatch, but that's a really interesting idea.
posted by codacorolla at 8:48 PM on September 3


Gaahhh and another thought on that interpretation of the story after Truman's office, look at how Coop got to go off into this cruise control life as Dougie Jones, where people did everything for him and women threw themselves at him and luck made him untouchable, just autopiloting on privilege. The man who had it so easy, with delusions of being a Great Man who moves the world with his actions, catching a glimpse of the truth when he sees that he's not the prime mover, before deciding the delusion is easier and bringing trauma back into Diane and Laura's lives in his self-centered quest to be the one who decides everything for everyone.

And yet of course, this is just one of many layers of interpretation and I'm sure Lynch thought of and intended more than any one of us will think of. This show, seriously you guys.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:52 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


We see Sarah Palmer living with the weight not of a family murder but of an unknown.

and like...the polarity of the resentment reversed. instead of Sarah being unable to protect Laura from Leland (well--I guess that would be the same in any world) -- so not instead of that but in addition to that, in consequence of that, Laura apparently ran away, leaving her alone with the monster. just the two of them in the house together. no third parties to distract them from one another.

so the picture stabbing I could read as just impotent fury at wasting her life wondering what happened and never knowing, giving all these years to what's only a picture, nothing real, never knowing if she died, OR personal hatred towards her once-beloved daughter for escaping and leaving her behind. even though she could never have rationally expected a rescue to come from that direction. but if she thinks Laura got away, but Sarah never did. and that would, I think, explain how the thing behind her face eventually made its home there. I believe there would have had to be some precipitating event, and the frogbug entry was the knock on the door, but Laura leaving is when she opened it.

Her eating Leland in this notional universe is much too neat and kind of stupid, but I don't hate it because I am a simple woman of simple pleasures
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:53 PM on September 3 [6 favorites]


and like...the polarity of the resentment reversed. instead of Sarah being unable to protect Laura from Leland (well--I guess that would be the same in any world) -- so not instead of that but in addition to that, in consequence of that, Laura apparently ran away, leaving her alone with the monster. just the two of them in the house together. no third parties to distract them from one another.

Oooh, and if Laura, somewhere and somewhen, knows this, she would probably do whatever it took to stop it. Especially since she didn't really run away but was taken by Coop's intervention. So now you have a very unexpected possibility for the voice that said "I will be with BOB again" - Laura, wanting her original ending. The one where she chose death instead of letting BOB in and furthering the cycle of abuse, the one that led to Leland being caught and her mother living in grief but not in a nightmare, the one where she was greeted by angels. Not wanting to "be with BOB again" in the sense of stealing him from Mr. C, but perhaps to stop Mr. C and put him back in the Lodge and leave Coop in Dougie's life and prevent Coop from trying to keep her away from BOB the night of her murder.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:07 PM on September 3


all right I'm going to bed and shutting up. but last thing is just that I never ever bought that Bob in Leland wasn't two-thirds metaphor or that Leland weepily claiming to not be responsible for everything BOB did except for the sin of letting him in and being weak wasn't at least three-quarters metaphor. just because all the characters acted like it was literally true, because Agent Cooper was too innocent to fathom that it could be not true, doesn't make it true. the characters are IN the text, what do they know about it!

so that last thing I have to say is that when Laura "sees" BOB and then later "sees" her father exit the house and only then knows who BOB is, this apparent literal and not just psychological inability to recognize what she is staring right at because they are, visually, two different people to her until the revelation? you remember all that, how it was symbolically so powerful and wrenching but basically unbelievable except symbolically? so what exactly do you think she means when she says "NO" to "do you recognize anything" and "NO" once more to "do you recognize this house?" Agent Dale Cooper of the FBI, I am talking to you!

I mean that there is a precedent for her looking right at someone or something she knows very well, with eyes open and physically not seeing it. and this should have been right at the forefront of Dale's mind same way it was at mine. that agent isn't right.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:11 PM on September 3 [7 favorites]


Wait, there was a scene...it's Josie's face and then Catherine and then Pete goes out to fish and it shows the log and Laura's body isn't there.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:19 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


If Laura's body was never found then Pete going out to fish uninterrupted makes complete sense.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:21 PM on September 3


I'm intrigued by the idea that the whole season took place in the world where Laura simply vanished, but I'd have to watch the show again to see if it checks out. It seems like a lot of things would have had to continue more or less as before, which bothers me. And of course a lot of things seemed to have changed in Twin Peaks since Cooper and Diane did their thing. I guess if somehow Cooper were in the near future and not another timeline...look, Steven Moffat really turned me off on stuff like this, I won't lie and say I like it, but yeah, it could be.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:23 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


all right I'm going to bed and shutting up. but last thing is just that I never ever bought that Bob in Leland wasn't two-thirds metaphor or that Leland weepily claiming to not be responsible for everything BOB did except for the sin of letting him in and being weak wasn't at least three-quarters metaphor.

It was always the most on-the-nose, anthropomorphizing sin as if sin wasn't your own choice kind of thing, and I'm so glad that FWWM put it all so squarely on Leland's shoulders. And even taking the text as read and granting that BOB is a real entity in the world of the show, BOB came to Leland because of the kind of person Leland was... it wasn't like it was ever in the cards that BOB could just pop on in to Andy's head, because BOB needed a monster. BOB and the whole Lodge gang are ultimately kind of half in the reality of the show and half metaphor anyways, but Leland was 100% responsible for everything he did.

Which is something that kind of rubbed me the wrong way about Richard, because the show didn't do anything to sidestep the notion that Richard was evil because he was born evil, like it's all BOB and Mr. C's doing. But I suppose we just didn't have time to get into Richard's life, and the Richard Show would have been a real uncomfortable show that I'm glad I didn't have to watch.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:26 PM on September 3


I don't know if I'm suggesting that the entire season happened in a world where Laura vanished, just that at some point the discovery of Laura's body was retconned. I need to watch again, as well as consider the timeline weirdnesses and temporal glitches.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:27 PM on September 3


I think it works both ways! I am not married to the split universe theory but I do like the idea that you can't just fix the past and stick around being the only person who remember something that never happened. or, for that matter, forget it and be happy in your ignorance. you have to go somewhere awful with your bad knowledge and never come back.

but I also like the idea that it all went terribly wrong and wherever/whenever Laura and Dale are at the very end, it isn't real and nothing is fixed.

but him taking her hand and leading her through the forest is the most beautiful thing so I hardly even care even though I love all my theories like precious children

edit: the first time I watched the original show I couldn't get it out of my head that Laura's death was faked somehow and this was related to the difficulties Albert had in getting permission for the autopsy, and Maddie WAS Laura, come back to investigate her own "murder" in safe disguise, and the absolute tragedy of it was she got killed by her dad anyway and nobody ever knew because they thought she was already dead.

and yes, I know this never made any sense and was never possible in any way. god damn it. but I do love my stupid paradox stories where you bring about your own terrible fate by trying to avert it.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:32 PM on September 3 [6 favorites]


A thought I had at the start of the season was that The Red Room / Black Lodge has so many showbusiness metaphors and images. The White Lodge does too - it seems to be an art deco styled movie theater. The idea of garmonbozia and the lodge spirits, fitting into this, would make them... an audience? One who relishes pain and suffering? Like the audience of any serialized TV show?
posted by codacorolla at 9:33 PM on September 3 [8 favorites]


The B&W scene with Laura and James - is this previously released footage (maybe from AFWWM)? Or is this footage filmed contemporaneously with the "I'll see you again in 25 years" and held on... for 25 years?
posted by porpoise at 9:34 PM on September 3


I think that was all from FWWM.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:35 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I like how the creepy deteriorating drunk mimic in the jail was just a creepy deteriorating drunk mimic in jail and not some Lodge thing. He was just there to make Chad suffer and I am a thousand percent on board with that.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:36 PM on September 3 [12 favorites]


porpoise, it's mostly from FWWM, with the long shots CGd or something. (They did cut one of my favorite exchanges, when James says "They say you always hurt the ones you love," and Laura shoots back "You mean the ones you pity.")
posted by infinitewindow at 9:37 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I like that theory, but there seems to be too much stuff from the murder investigation... Maybe now that I'm thinking about it, it could be possible. Bobby never mentions the murder - it also makes his first scene make sense, where he sees Laura and is awe struck... It explains why we don't see Leo, maaaaybe explains why Jacques still tends bar at the roadhouse... huh, I need to rewatch, but that's a really interesting idea.

I am still so stuck on this theory, I love it so much and need to do a rewatch ASAP - I know Leland was brought into the station and hid Laura's diary pages, but thinking back I think they might have referenced him being brought in because of the Jacques murder? And at first I thought, well, that pokes a hole in the theory because why would Leland murder Jacques unless Jacques was a suspect in Laura's murder? But that could still totally hold up, actually, because they'd still suspect foul play in her disappearance and sleazy Jacques who had a history with Laura would still be suspected. Like, a lot of things about Coop's initial investigation could still play out vaguely the same if she disappeared instead of being murdered. And maybe poor Ronette Pulaski was still there that night and MIKE still threw that ring into the train car but Ronette was the only one there and took it and was killed, and that's why she showed up earlier this season when Coop was falling through non-existence?

Still really curious about the Secret History inconsistencies, on the one hand hey, there's possible timeline weirdness so anything's on the table, on the other hand the changes in Norma's family and Ed and Nadine's courtship all happened before Laura's murder, so maybe there's a lot more that was changed than just Laura's murder.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:04 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


huh so I guess love is not enough
posted by speicus at 10:04 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I have waited until the end of this year's run of Twin Peaks before making any comments or rendering a judgment about what I like/dislike. I have hardly read any third party analysis, and I have only watched each episode once. I'm not a hard-core Lynch fan but I have seen sme of his work. I also loooove the original Twin Peaks: It's my comfort show when I'm really sick.

The positive:
  • Kyle MacLachlan's acting is simply superb. He can still the Good Dale just like I remember, while differentiating Bob-Dale very well.
  • Lynch is an excellent visual artist with the medium of film. The strange, unsettling editing, weird creatures, and beautiful shots really work to evoke feelings in a way that few other directors can match.
  • The scenes with the Lodgers in their weird otherworld were super cool looking.
  • I loved the shots of North Bend, WA and the surrounding area. I've sat in the booths at the Double R where a bunch of the action has taken place, so all that wa s a real treat.
  • The acknowledgment of characters in the first incarnation, but who for whatever reason couldn't be there. It would have been ridiculous to have glossed over the sheriff not being Harry Truman. Similarly, towards the end of episode 17, we had a lovely reminder of Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, and Jack Nance (RIP).
  • I was really glad that Miguel Ferrer, Catherine Coulson, and Warren Frost were able to be a part of this effort, even though they didn't make it to see the broadcast.
  • It was awesome to meet Diane.
  • The Mitchum brothers basically cracked me up.
The not so positive:
  • I really wanted to spend more time with the original characters. I really wanted to see Good Dale interact with them more.
  • Audry Horne was my favorite character in the first run, and she was hardly present. I loved that she was trying to figure out what was going on and was intrigued about possibly being a woman FBI Agent. She seemed ambitious and going places. I was really hoping for more of an examination of the intervening 25 years, rather than...well seems like Audry has just been kicking it in a psychiatric hospital. Cool.
  • The Norma/Ed/Nadine thing. My reading of all that has changed a lot since I first got invested in it. I did not like that Nadine "frees" ed up to go pursue Norma. Ed never had to take any responsibility for his feelings or desires. Glad Nadine got out of that relationship, though.
  • The ending. Meh.
While there're are some amusing, disturbing, and beautiful moments, the journey just wasn't that engaging. Over the entire run, I did not ultimately feel drawn into the world or a story. I feel pretty...meh about the whole thing, not really a strong dislike or like.

I guess some might say I am not a good or attentive viewer of cinema.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:05 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


Gordon's brief lecture on the reason for the name Judy was so COME ON I wiped it out of my memory even as it was happening. but I really feel like much of the season since Freddy was a setup for a Punch and Judy joke that never really came off.

but I also think that if Judy is the Mother and the Mother is in Sarah, it is an honest-to-god Punch and Judy reference that makes my blood run cold. not that that is difficult to do. but the bare-bones plotline of the Punch and Judy show, as I understand it, is that Judy leaves the baby with Punch. Look after the baby, she says. Then Punch kills his child because looking after a baby isn't any fun, not compared to killing. Then Judy comes home and screams and shouts and carries on, so he beats and/or kills her too because she's such a bitch and a buzzkill. always wanting him to look out for his children and not kill them and whatnot. then he kills some other people. "That's the way to do it!" he says.

and in the end, they hang him, or the devil comes to get him.

the Palmers! seriously though.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:15 PM on September 3 [11 favorites]


huh so I guess love is not enough

TOO SOON
posted by duffell at 10:15 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


"Fuck you for watching!" - David Lynch
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:22 PM on September 3 [6 favorites]


Well, I guess you can't go home again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:35 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


Richard and Linda got a mention again and for some reason I thought about this song instead of Vincent Black Lightning 1952.

I was under the Calvary Cross
The pale-faced lady she said to me
I've watched you with my one green eye
And I'll hurt you 'till you need me
You scuff your heels and you spit on your shoes
You do nothing with reason
One day you catch a train
Never leaves the station

Everything you do
Everything you do
You do for me

Now you can make believe on your tin whistle
And you can be my broom-boy
Scrub me 'till I shine in the dark
I'll be your light 'till doomsday
Oh it's a black cat cross your path
And why don't you follow
My claw's in you and my lights in you
This is your first day of sorrow

Everything you do
Everything you do
You do for me


And of course I'm projecting my own feelers onto ridiculousness, but...does Nadine have green eyes?
posted by elsietheeel at 10:57 PM on September 3


Plural?
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:00 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Holy fuck Punch and Judy though.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:01 PM on September 3


I'm sorry, I was assuming that if she had one green eye then she'd originally have had two and that was incorrect.

The pale-faced lady she said to me
I've watched you with my one green eye

posted by elsietheeel at 11:03 PM on September 3


You got to admit, "Let's un-murder Laura Palmer" is a ballsy pitch in the writers room. I mean, shit, right? It got pretty Dr Who up in there.
posted by Rinku at 11:05 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


oh shit Beverly Paige also too. Beverly Paige and Carrie Page. Paige not Page but what was Beverly Paige even DOING in the show except for showing up Ben for a lousy father who is only interested in women his daughter's age if they are not his daughter?

I hate the idea that snippets of overheard names inform Audrey's dream creativity unless there is more to it than that. and I love that Lynch just duplicates and triplicates common names in the same confusing meaningless way that real life does, so that there were two Mikes and two Bobs and two Phillips from the get-go and also three Richards, because Linda is apparently not Richard Tremayne's beloved unseen wife after all. but I want this to mean something, spelling mismatch and all.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:09 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Also, the moment that opened the show, of Dale Cooper speaking to the fireman, seems to still float outside of all the various timelines and events of the show. Did that get fit in somewhere that I missed, or is it part of a longer story, potentially? I get that Richard and Linda and 4-3-0 were referenced, but in that Fireman scene Coop looks like he understands what's being mentioned, too. I don't know.
posted by Rinku at 11:11 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


holy shit, it works out. Gordon never mentions Laura Palmer. In this season, Cooper went to Twin-Peaks twenty five years ago in search of Major Briggs, not to investigate a murder. The "Palmer case" is about an unsolved disappearance; a local cold case. We see Sarah Palmer living with the weight not of a family murder but of an unresolved absence. Coop and the audience are the only ones who remember -- until that last scream.

Ben Horne refers to "the murder of Laura Palmer" in conversation with Beverly in episode seven.
posted by kenko at 11:23 PM on September 3 [9 favorites]


After all that business in the police station and the nicely tided up plot, it seems like Coop and Laura's destiny is to ascend together to the white lodge to be another Fireman / Signorina Dido pair, working to fight evil from beyond time, but on their journey towards heaven through the dreamtime, the goddess of death, acting through with the suffering and darkness of Laura's Mother upon Laura's removal from the world, stole Laura from Coop. So coop went back to the real world, reabsorbing on his way back down the darkness of his own personality, searched for the goddess of death, had metaphysical sex with his secretary at a drive in motel, upon which he arrives the next morning in a new universe where he uses his magical knowledge of the old universe to find Laura, but she's a new Laura who also has Laura's darkness. Coop tries to get her to remember that she's also the old Laura, and therefore also cosmic Laura, so they can ascend together into the lodge. As it's coming back to her(?), freaky shit happens, and Coop remembers something Laura's spirit once told him when they were in the dreamtime.

Is that... about right?

Not being sarcastic. Thought this was beyond amazing. So great.
posted by Rinku at 11:26 PM on September 3 [6 favorites]


Also, the moment that opened the show, of Dale Cooper speaking to the fireman, seems to still float outside of all the various timelines and events of the show. Did that get fit in somewhere that I missed, or is it part of a longer story, potentially? I get that Richard and Linda and 4-3-0 were referenced, but in that Fireman scene Coop looks like he understands what's being mentioned, too. I don't know.

I still think that this took place between the Fireman and Coop's consciousness during the time Coop's body was doing the whole Dougie thing, before the mind and body reunited when he stuck a fork in that outlet. Coop woke up knowing these things, like knowing that 430 (miles) was important, so it seems like it has to take place before he woke up, but it was never made explicit that there was a mind/body split like I'm thinking. I still think that there's a shot right before Coop goes bodily into that big outlet and into Dougie's life where you see it happen, though, he gets an initial zap and then goes blank-faced like DougieCoop.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:44 PM on September 3


Things that I would really like an account of include:

(in 17)
- Cooper's extremely worried, disconcerted expression on seeing Naido, following which his face is superimposed on the proceedings for a long time;
- wtf is that moldy testicle we see after Naido's face turns into black smoke and in which we see Diane's visage / is Naido actually Diane / I assumed something more sinister;
- sup with the clock in the sheriff's station, immediately following which we see/hear the superimposed Coop face say "we live inside a dream", everything goes black, the superimposed face takes on solidity, and then Coop and Diane and Gordon go to the hum under the hotel etc.?
- How come Mike's talking forward now?
- is the fade from the forest to the closing song just an effect or how should we take it?

Like people above are saying "welp, 17 sure wrapped everything up", whereas to me it kind of did not.

(in 18)
- How come Cooper (and Diane?) are back in the Lodge? What's different between this time through and that in the opening of the season? (The evolution of the arm speaks differently; what else?)
- Hasn't there already been a 1516 address? (I thought it was the address that Gordon visits but maybe not.)
- Diane and Cooper seem to be crossing the very point at which Boop barfed up his garmonbozia way back when, and ever refer to it as a crossing, and something momentous which they can't take back—so, like, what's up with that?
- How did Richard and Linda end up being two birds with one stone?

Seems like some folks above are identifying Bob and Judy and others Sarah and Judy?

It also seems as if everyone else is just generally much more certain what happened!
posted by kenko at 11:54 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


"I just finished watching the new Twin Peaks."

"Oh, I've never seen any of that. What's it about?

"A prom queen is murdered, and a quirky FBI agent investigates in Twin Peaks, a weird town full of oddballs. Eventually he prevents her murder. There's, you know, some demons. It's a weird town."
posted by Rinku at 12:07 AM on September 4 [7 favorites]


It also seems as if everyone else is just generally much more certain what happened!

That's how you're sure of getting at least a B- on the paper.

; - ) ALL
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:08 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]



wtf is that moldy testicle we see after Naido's face turns into black smoke and in which we see Diane's visage / is Naido actually Diane / I assumed something more sinister;


I think it is Cooper's hubris or ignorance that makes him believe that just as Bob was separable from Leland (because Leland said so!), you can likewise physically separate a woman's trauma history and pain and suffering from the essential her, the identity that has nothing to do with her history or memories. you can externalize all the agony and remove it. he thinks this because it's how it worked for him: the blank-minded Dougie was really him all along, with all the bad parts conveniently relocated to another body. or WERE they and WAS he? but he thinks so. Or other people think so and he lets it be.

so he seems to really believe that awful-eye woman holds all the pain his other self inflicted on her, and once Naido removes her ugliness to somewhere else and she poofs back to good old Diane with the hair and nails he fondly remembers, all the pain is gone with the gross physical carrier. so he can exuberantly say "Kiss me!" and all the rest of it. but that moment you mention, with the superimposed face and the sadness, and the long gaze, that is the moment of knowledge that he later pretends not to have. but he does have it.

He makes the same mistake with Laura, if it is a mistake. he thinks he can take what happened to a woman and peel it off her like the shell off a boiled egg. there is more to his goodness than this, and he really is good. but it is alarming how many people think this very quality is the essence of his heroism. I would argue that it is not. at all. before the season 2 finale and this season I would have called it naivete and a tragic flaw but I am not 100 percent certain anymore it is not something more sinister. just a little bit sinister, maybe.
posted by queenofbithynia at 12:12 AM on September 4 [8 favorites]


basically dimwitted me doesn't know how to get back from the exegetical assertions in this thread to the bits of the series that lead people to make them and I want to know why.
posted by kenko at 12:17 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


But previous Diane (shot by Tammy and Albert) had white hair (like Leland Palmer?) whereas this Diane had red hair (and black and white finger nails).
posted by elsietheeel at 12:19 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


How did Richard and Linda end up being two birds with one stone?

I thought they were separate things, and "two birds with one stone" was Coop's plan to deal with Judy (I think this was in Cole's exposition dump in 17?) and it was referring to his idea to save Laura and somehow that stops Judy... I guess?

I'm still not 100% on how, if the Judy entity is what's in Sarah, stopping Laura's murder does anything but force Judy to pick someone other than Sarah to attach to. There's a whole big world out there and according to Cole this Judy thing has been around for ages.

Also it's kind of weird that Gordon Cole and Major Briggs are kinda demon hunters now that I think about it for a sec (and it does slightly rob the story of some of its ability to deftly dance around between metaphor and really real spooky goings-on if there's some specific demon entity with this long history) but the whole Blue Rose thing was weird from the jump - how did they ever put that woman from the first doppelganger case on trial for murdering her double if the body disappeared?
posted by jason_steakums at 12:21 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Why would any of what Cooper believes about any of that mean cause Diane's actual appearance? Everyone else saw her too, no? (I also don't understand how we learned that you were right that Boop "he was the little bit of evil that was in Dale Cooper" and not a doppelgänger. The arm refers to him as Cooper's doppelgänger.)

so he seems to really believe that awful-eye woman holds all the pain his other self inflicted on her, and once Naido removes her ugliness to somewhere else and she poofs back to good old Diane with the hair and nails he fondly remembers, all the pain is gone with the gross physical carrier. so he can exuberantly say "Kiss me!" and all the rest of it.

Ok, but is Naido really Diane? What was the deal with the moldy black testicle? Was it something sinister cooking up a Diane-fake (in 18, he asks Diane "is it really you?" or something of that nature)? Why is it when he looks at Naido that we get the superimposition of this face? No amount of psychoanalysis of Cooper's character, well or ill founded, seems apt to answer those questions.

But previous Diane (shot by Tammy and Albert) had white hair (like Leland Palmer?) whereas this Diane had red hair (and black and white finger nails).

Yeah, and Dougie was fat. I mean she can change her wig, right?
posted by kenko at 12:22 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


I thought they were separate things, and "two birds with one stone" was Coop's plan to deal with Judy (I think this was in Cole's exposition dump in 17?)

Yeah it is in the exposition, but they seem very much like linked things in the Fireman's speech in ep 1.

(Remember how everyone thought "Richard and Linda" had something to do with Richard Horne and Linda in the trailer park? Good times.)

stopping Laura's murder does anything but force Judy to pick someone other than Sarah to attach to.

Also, do we now know what the deal with the centrality of Laura as communicated by the Log Lady was? If Judy was in Sarah, from when? (All along?)

I forgot—in 17, as everything goes black after the clock wobbles and CooperFace talks about dreams, Gordon calls out to him, apparently able to tell that something's up.
posted by kenko at 12:27 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


No amount of psychoanalysis of Cooper's character, well or ill founded, seems apt to answer those questions.

I guess it doesn't but the story is playing on both of those levels and they're both important. One of the things I really loved about this season was that it played in metaphor and dream logic and played with meta expectations and crazy artistic risks while also really strongly, unabashedly committing to being Big Premium Cable Event TV and it played by those rules too, though subverting them for effect.

As far as I can tell in the nuts and bolts plot explanation of Naido/Diane, the real Diane was imprisoned in this other body, or just made to look unrecognizable, in that non-existent place Coop went, for some reason. Maybe Mr. C meant to keep her around to make more tulpas with, but keep her extremely well hidden? And surely being blinded and unable to communicate was important somehow. The why was unanswered, as was why original Diane was important to all of this from a plot perspective. And maybe that gross decaying organic thing that appeared when she went back to looking like Diane was the visualization of whatever awful Lodge magic Mr. C used to cause her to take on the Naido appearance, like the gross decaying orb that came out of original Dougie.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:36 AM on September 4


Audrey!?!! What's with Audrey after that ep. 16 final shot? Is the whole damn thing potentially her dreaming?

I think the implication is that she'd been trapped in some sort of dream/coma, but that she'd finally woken up (maybe because Cooper came back?).
posted by straight at 12:51 AM on September 4


So much delicious ambiguity.
posted by pantufla_milagrosa at 1:08 AM on September 4


Don't like Asian-themed clothes = Asian body
posted by armacy at 5:39 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


You know, this is probably just me talking as a man old enough that he watched Twin Peaks as it first aired (I was in high school), but it dawns on me that -- if this is the end -- the show seems to warn a little about the dangers of romanticizing the past vs. living in the present. Janey-E and Sonny Jim aren't literally Cooper's family, but they kind of are. They're a family he could be happy with, and who need him. They might all be very good for each other. But instead Cooper makes a doll out of his heart and steps once more unto the breach to save Laura, and...welp.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:45 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


shit, it is morning and the missionary zeal to evangelize about twin peaks has not left me yet

ok, this is also very important. when Audrey dances in the Roadhouse all by herself, everybody clears a space for her and watches in what is respectful understanding or horror confusion, that's not reminiscent of her younger self. oh no. Audrey was never like that in her youth, how could the superficiality of the same music deceive anyone to think that. that's a tracing of LELAND PALMER cry-dancing in the original run, in the greatest comic-horror scene from the show. him in his own breakdown prison of the mind and everyone else tactfully, or cruelly, as you may interpret it, pretending nothing is strange and best to ignore it.

what does that mean? well, who is the dreamer. and I don't mean Audrey, necessarily. in fact maybe not at all. this morning I think the show is not a dream other than as life is a dream. but you are still supposed to wonder who the dreamer is, and the best place to start with that is: whose nightmares are these? Whose wishes are best fulfilled? Who loved the people who end happily? whose stories have endless variations, as if someone is trying to find a happy ending for a terrible thing, like trying the same dress on a hundred different paper dolls to find the right one? I said I thought DIane's tulpa's story sounded like she was telling Audrey's story, not her own, and I still say that. What did Audrey know about Diane, anyway? what would she imagine her to be like? how little did the real Diane have to say for herself, once "recovered?" just like Janey-E when all her fight and moxie went out of her because her life was going OK suddenly?

but the dance thing really gets me because it is a fearful memory scene whether or not she wakes up at the end of it.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:40 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I think perhaps the 'real' Dale Cooper went to Vegas. The newest Cooperdopple was sent to deal with Laura.

It'd explain a lot.
posted by Windigo at 7:53 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I'm also curious the importance of Diane being dressed like a personification of The Red Room. The black top, the black and white nail polish, the curtain-red hair.
posted by Windigo at 7:59 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


Red hair + black and white nails = Diane is styled like the Red Room

that's all I've got

And I was beaten to the punch (and Judy, ha ha ha)
posted by Lucinda at 8:03 AM on September 4


BOMBSHELL from the NY Times:
Which brings us to the show’s final minutes, where we find out that the Palmer home’s new owner (played by Mary Reber, who actually owns the real property) is named Alice Tremond, and that she bought the house from a Mrs. Chalfont.
posted by kenko at 9:09 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


And maybe that gross decaying organic thing that appeared when she went back to looking like Diane was the visualization of whatever awful Lodge magic Mr. C used to cause her to take on the Naido appearance, like the gross decaying orb that came out of original Dougie.

I'd buy that.
posted by kenko at 9:10 AM on September 4


You got to admit, "Let's un-murder Laura Palmer" is a ballsy pitch in the writers room...

This is the key.

Dale Cooper is a character in a television show. The 'base reality" we're all watching—where all the characters live—is a soap opera called Twin Peaks. Yes, Cooper literally lives in a dream, and wonders who the dreamer is. The Lodges and the parts of the spirit world that look like industrial infrastructure are the subconscious of the filmmakers. When Cooper becomes whole again, he gains the ability to enter the spirit world of the Lodges and use its power to create new characters (New Replacement Dougie), just like the writers of the show he's on. From his perspective, he has achieved the powers of the gods.

Stories always start with an inciting incident that unbalances the world, the setting, where they occur. In the case of Twin Peaks, it's the murder of Laura Palmer. For Cooper, the character in Twin Peaks, the ultimate expression of rebalancing the world is to prevent the inciting incident from ever happening in the first place. He uses Lodge magic—which is to say, the power of the writer, of human creation—to travel back in "time" and lead Laura Palmer to safety before she can be killed by Bob. The inciting incident is the night 25 years ago when Laura Palmer never came home, so he intends to take her home. He thinks its his purpose, because rebalancing the world after Laura Palmer was removed from it has been his character's motivation all this time. Dale Cooper wants to negate his creator, to gain the power of the writer, to be a real boy. He knows he's in a dream, and he wants to leave the dream and see what "reality" looks like.

But he can never do that, because he's a fictional character. So instead of saving Laura Palmer and ending up in the "real world", he finds himself trapped in another story with another version of Laura Palmer.

Twin Peaks is meta-fiction, and it always has been.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:11 AM on September 4 [29 favorites]


I think perhaps the 'real' Dale Cooper went to Vegas. The newest Cooperdopple was sent to deal with Laura.

It'd explain a lot.


The more I think about it the more I think this might really be right. The only reason we think we know which Cooper was the tulpa and which was not is the order of the scenes -- we see MIKE make the tulpa after Cooper has saved Laura -- but we already know we've seen many events take place out of sequence. We can be (relatively) assured neither Cooper is Mr. C: he's burning in hell. But we don't really know for sure which Agent Cooper left Vegas.

The ghostly Cooper we see observing the events at the sheriff's station could be our Cooper, watching from some extra-dimensional remove, or even psychically sharing the experiences of the tulpa. There would be a sadness and a resignation in not being there to see his old friends. More, there would be a sadness and resignation in seeing the tulpa take on the role of Agent Cooper in his stead.

But as I think about it, it makes sense that Agent Cooper would create the tulpa for this task, and not to become Dougie. I keep coming back to Sonny Jim's horrified realization that his "dad" is about to leave. I think that Cooper would know better than anyone how important the role of responsible family man -- the kind that Leland Palmer was not -- really is. You could build a supernatural RoboCop version of Dale Cooper to fight jerks and demons and save Laura, but could you entrust that little boy to an automaton? Which role requires a complete person?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:19 AM on September 4 [3 favorites]


This is probably a little dumb, but --

So, the fireman sent Laura Palmer's soul to earth when he saw "Judy" spilling evil into the world in the form of BOB. Right?

But Laura doesn't kill BOB. One Punch Kid does, a different and much less powerful and complicated project of the Fireman. Laura isn't physically or even magically present at that event. Laura's divine purpose on earth is something else.

Coop saves the day in Twin Peaks and heads into the spirit realm and saves Laura, who had been dead. Coop tries to take Laura with him to the White Lodge, out of the universe. He's capable of entering, because the challenges he's gone through have purified him. But she still has darkness inside her, and she gets sucked away by Judy. Coop follows her and arrives in a new universe.

If there was a season four, I think it would be about this new, living Laura working through the darkness inside herself, while helping Coop solve a mystery from her past. Some old characters return as Majora's Mask versions of themselves. Will Laura's soul achieve its destiny on earth? Will she achieve purification and ascend to heaven, or will the forces of darkness be too strong? Find out next season, on... Twin Peaks.
posted by Rinku at 9:36 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Does Cooper's pin keep changing color between white and black or does it just reflect light weirdly?
posted by speicus at 10:23 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Interview with Laura Dern from May:

Sadly, the only concrete detail we get about Dern’s character is that “she talks about birds, at least once.” “Kyle and I had several scenes, particularly in the car, when we’re talking about the robins,” Dern told Variety. “There’s this very beautiful, hopeful poetry amidst this hellish world they’ve entered.”

Diane and Cooper never talked about birds!! I think, more than a season 4, I want to see a More Things That Happened/Missing Pieces-style compilation of deleted scenes from this season.
posted by speicus at 10:34 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


How...how could they cut that out? I'm horrified. It's a pretty clear call back to Blue Velvet.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:37 AM on September 4


But as I think about it, it makes sense that Agent Cooper would create the tulpa for this task, and not to become Dougie.

he straight up says he'll be back, they'll see him again. not, you'll get your husband back good as new or some plausibly literal but misleading thing. either he lies heartlessly or he tells the truth, and he usually tells the truth.

but then again, if he goes back, he chooses a lie for a life, and leaves an artificial construct to deal with the truth. so the ultimate responsible party for how he/"he" deals with Diane and Laura is still the real him, either way. Diane keeps asking, Is it you? even after the reunion. how awful for her if she can tell it's not Mr. C, it's not the wrong one, but it's not the right one either, and she doesn't know what is wrong, what is missing, is it him, is it her. (Does the real Diane know about tulpas, even, or that there was one of her? what if she can tell one of them isn't real but she's afraid it's her, again?)

but I still think it all depends on whose dream it is. That little boy doesn't give a fuck whether he has Dougie whole or Cooper damaged or a tulpa; he seems to like the awake Cooper best, what with the driving, but he loved him all along, he doesn't distinguish. He wants a father-shaped object with the right face on it, and an empty shell seemed to suit him very well when that was what he seemed to have. that is what this boy, whose idea of play is floating alone through his gym set in absolute peace, who doesn't mind teaching his father the basics of manual dexterity, seems to need: just a presence with a suit and a smile. Janey-E knows better and cares more but she, also, will accept whoever comes through the door if it has Cooper's face on. that is on the one hand horrifying and on the other hand the kind of crude sketch of nuclear family life you would draw if you had never been in one, only seen it in pictures. or dreamed it. and believe that you are imagining perfect happiness.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:17 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


But Laura doesn't kill BOB. One Punch Kid does, a different and much less powerful and complicated project of the Fireman. Laura isn't physically or even magically present at that event. Laura's divine purpose on earth is something else.

The bug-bird thing, which could be a larval stage of Judy, entered young Sarah Palmer, and if we're thinking that the timeline of the show is one where Laura has disappeared, but not been murdered, then perhaps her purpose on Earth was to somehow mitigate that presence in her mother. As we see, there is definitely something living in Sarah Palmer. So perhaps that was Laura's purpose, and Coop (in his attempt to be a hero, and also with the guidance of a spirit from the Black Lodge - Mike) fouls everything up.
posted by codacorolla at 11:24 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


he straight up says he'll be back, they'll see him again.

He straight up says Dougie will be back and corrects himself, presumably for the excellent reason that he doesn't want to tell them the whole story.

the timeline of the show is one where Laura has disappeared, but not been murdered

Someone forgot to tell Ben Horne that.
posted by kenko at 12:40 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


The Cooper that shows up at Janey-E's red door is probably the closest thing to "the Cooper we know and love," the character who looks at the world with childlike wonder and enjoys coffee and pie, and I think it's tempting to believe that this is the real Cooper (just as it would be nice to believe that the all the trauma caused by Bob could just be punched into oblivion by a superhero).

But I think this finale is clearly trying to show that the real Cooper is more complicated than that, that he contains some of the darkness that we see in Mr. C. Something never sat quite right to me about the return of Cooper and how he suddenly and completely returned to his former self. If nothing else, wouldn't being in the Black Lodge for 25 years take some kind of toll on his psyche? I keep thinking about the scene where he says the Mitchum brothers have "hearts of gold," and while it's a great line beautifully delivered, does it (should it) erase decades of criminal and murderous activity? And the scene continues past this moment into an awkward silence, as if giving us space to have this thought.

It's disconcerting for sure to see the earnestness and compassion of Cooper combined with the robotic, humorless mannerisms of Mr. C. The joyless way he sips his coffee in the Odessa diner.
posted by speicus at 12:48 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


I just realized the brilliance of having STARRING KYLE MACLACHLAN in the credits means it never tells you who he's playing
posted by speicus at 1:19 PM on September 4 [15 favorites]


Though Lynch is clear about Kafka's influence I realized how much of Philip K. Dick's sensibility is in the (now complete?) Twin Peaks. Not only in the jarring dislocation of what is dream, what is real, and who is the dreamer, but in Dick's pulp fiction convention of upending the plot every 15 pages.

Episode 18 was surprising to me in the way it introduced new scenes, developments, and characters "in the last reel"... Carrie Page, either the runaway Laura Palmer, her reincarnation, or her metempsychosis... The episode had, at the same time, a tired burnt-out feel (the way the car behind them lingered with its lights shining in, the car seeming to float through dark space like the "nonexistent" vessel in the opening episodes), a feeling something was out of place, and a feeling of settling down.

It's odd the way we're pulled to solve rationally the "puzzles" the show gives us. "Richard and Linda", "Two birds with one stone"--these are given a lot of attention, but a lot less attention is given to "Listen to the sounds", which the Fireman also tells us.

When Cooper loses hold of Laura Palmer, we hear the same clicking sounds the Fireman played for him in the waiting room (which always sounded to me like "can't communicate"). What did the humming sound in the Great Northern turn out to be? Did that sound come back as Cooper's face was superimposed with the frozen clock? Laura's scream is the sound that we're left with.

Also I saw a parallel between Cooper and James's relations with Laura. Too much when fans think of James it's just: no, he's NOT cool! But like Cooper in those scenes from Fire: Walk With Me, James is earnest and trying to save Laura; she holds with her though something that's beyond that earnest desire to save.

I like speicus's idea above that Dougie-Cooper ends with some of Cooper's playful spirit whereas the "real" Cooper unifies his earnest goodness with the commanding edge of Mr. C. Also, the origin of the new Dougie-Cooper, from the gold ball and the clip of hair, reminded me a bit of the end of Spielberg-Kubrick's "A.I.", itself based on a Philip K. Dick story.
posted by Schmucko at 2:12 PM on September 4


Cooper puts three guns into the fryer: two pistols and a revolver. He got the pistols from the cowboys, but I don't know where the revolver came from, unless he brought Bushnell's snub-nose with him across space and time.

(Yeah, I realize it's ridiculous to point out a continuity error when everything is dream by an unknown dreamer.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 2:19 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


That was some trip
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:42 PM on September 4


So I read on the internet that the lady in the final scene is the actual owner of the Palmer house in 'our' reality...make of that what you will.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:52 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Is Twin Peaks the greatest television series ever...? Hard to say tbh because it's like comparing a Picasso to room full of Bob Ross
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:30 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


So Boop never had a chance -- the second set of coordinates, the one that wasn't the trap that would have exploded him, put him right in the Fireman's pocket. The fireman puts him at the Sheriff's station, where all the puzzle pieces fall into place and Good Coop triumphs.

What's interesting to me about that scene is the Fireman watching the facade of Laura's house. Is he watching the house Sarah Palmer is in, or has he seen forward to the new universe Coop's saving of Laura creates? Is he going to himself, now that all this two Coops stuff is wrapping up and BOB is about to be destroyed, onto the next phase of the plan?

Also, would that Frank Silva were around to get punched instead of evil asteroid. Though if he were still alive, I imagine BOB wouldn't have been written out as completely as he was, at the end.
posted by Rinku at 3:32 PM on September 4


I'm completely blown away by that. Nothing intelligent to add other than my usual saw about Lynch essentially being a surrealist - his focus is the liminal space between dreams and waking life. A world of night, full of darkened buildings is definitely the world that a lot of my dreams take place in, and an inexplicable terror punctuated by a scream is how I would expect a dream to end.

This isn't a linear narrative - I never thought we'd get a solution at the end (well, perhaps I thought that for a while, but I'm very glad I'm wrong), but I suspect I'll get more from it by teasing out the connections between things. It seems to work far more on the emotional level rather than the intellectual, and that's also fine by me.

That last sequence was absolutely terrifying, but I don't know why. I just know that it was.
posted by Grangousier at 4:32 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


MetaFiler It seems to work far more on the emotional level rather than the intellectual
posted by hippybear at 4:53 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]



That last sequence was absolutely terrifying, but I don't know why. I just know that it was.


wasn't it though! Alice Tremond conferring with someone behind the door who either wasn't real or was more terrible than we can imagine, just like Sarah Palmer stonewalling Hawk about what's in the kitchen. I am thiiiiiiis close to saying there is no other timeline and there is no other world. Twin Peaks is about choosing what you perceive in a way that we cannot choose so completely in reality, and the tragedy of that terrible power. Laura couldn't see her father's face. Leland didn't know what he'd done. Ben couldn't see his daughter (in one way back then; in another way now.) Gordon couldn't hear, except when Shelly spoke to him; now, he can hear except for when he doesn't want to.

all of episode 18 is the more terrifying because all through it we are looking at what Cooper and Laura see because they are afraid to see and hear what is really there. whatever that is.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:40 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Twin Peaks is about choosing what you perceive in a way that we cannot choose so completely in reality

This is one of the reasons that I've come to believe that the "Black Lodge" and "White Lodge" formulations are after-the-fact rationalizations created by the rational minds of characters who have experienced something distinctly less dualistic.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:44 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


How...how could they cut that out? I'm horrified. It's a pretty clear call back to Blue Velvet.

This is how history gets re-written, by fucking Vulture. The original article from Variety conflated what Dern said about the scene with the robins from Blue Velvet with filming on The Return. The original article has now been corrected (in fact, edited to remove this mistake), but because Vulture has quoted the Variety article, the mistake is perpetuated.

The only reason I know this is because I tweeted at Variety to correct its original story.
posted by crossoverman at 6:27 PM on September 4 [8 favorites]


I think that Lynch/Frost did not have a lot of great ideas for Twin Peaks plots; they had a lot of great ideas for Twin Peaks scenes, and decided those were worth filming even if they had nowhere to go with them.

For instance, if Lynch came to me and described the scenes he had planned for Audrey Horn and said, "But I have no good ideas where to go with that; whether she's in a coma or a dream or a spirit realm--none of those ideas seem to lead anywhere interesting." I would say, just go ahead and film what you've got, because that final scene at the road house is incredible.

The resolution to Bad Coop can be seen as Lynch saying, "Look, I could try to resolve everything I left dangling, but it wouldn't be any good. Wouldn't you rather I just move on to the ideas I have for scenes that I think will be good?"

And that's the nature of soap operas. They never end. They're always dangling new plots, so no matter where you stop, you're left with lots of things unresolved. If you don't enjoy the journey for its own sake, you might as well skip it.
posted by straight at 6:51 PM on September 4 [5 favorites]


I've been thinking about it all day, and honestly any defense of this as the series finale doesn't really hold up for me. I don't actually think anyone is a rube or an asshole for expecting a story to come to a reasonable conclusion. If that makes me lowbrow, so be it; I have some pretty pretentious tastes but I also love superhero comics and low budget horror movies, and I'm okay with that. To me, saying Lynch isn't interested in narrative is a little like saying an actor isn't interested in learning lines. I mean, fair enough, but I'm probably going to be comparing you to actors who are, and they've probably got a slight edge.

There's a lot of great stuff in this series, but it reaches a dead end where countless storylines either lead nowhere or lead to resolutions so pointless it's hard to see why the creators couldn't come up with anything better. They always say the journey is the point, but it's not the point, or people would still be talking about Lost or BSG or any number of other shows that crashed and burned at the end. A lot of what makes the journey exciting is the sense that we're going to the fireworks factory, in Simpsons-speak. If the fireworks factory burned down, or when we get there it's closed and there's a dude saying, "...So, I know you were hoping to see fireworks," that's not subverting viewer expectations, that's crap.

This is a fine place to end an episode. Hell, it's a great place to end an episode. If ending it here was all an elaborate ruse to get Showtime to pony up the cash for eighteen more hours, I can accept it. But if this is really all they've got, then the show is basically just a shoebox of cool stuff surrounding a sitcom about a marked-for-death Forrest Gump and a noir about a demon with a plan that never makes sense and eventually gets him killed for no apparent reason. It was fun, but come on.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:18 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I could have done without the Adaptation-style metacommentary on wanting to wrap everything up neatly in a series finale (Lucy: "I understand cellphones now!"), especially Freddie the Fist vs. Bouncing Bob. It's one of the few times I've felt Lynch/Frost actually show contempt for the audience. Everything after that was gold (hearts of gold, logs of gold, tuplas of gold).
posted by speicus at 7:22 PM on September 4


I sort of trust that Lynch/Frost made deliberate choices about how they wanted the series to wrap up. I won't say that I agree with all those choices, but in the end, the last hour somehow felt like it paid off.
posted by hippybear at 7:27 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


To me, saying Lynch isn't interested in narrative is a little like saying an actor isn't interested in learning lines. I mean, fair enough, but I'm probably going to be comparing you to actors who are, and they've probably got a slight edge.

Fair enough. But show me any other TV show committed to narrative closure* that has scenes as compelling and striking and weird as Twin Peaks.

(*most of which nevertheless also have disappointing endings)
posted by straight at 7:28 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I think what pisses me off is that narrative closure feels like it should be the easy part.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:30 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Twin Peaks takes place inside a snow globe depicting an autistic boy holding a snow globe depicting a hospital.
posted by hippybear at 7:31 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


narrative closure feels like it should be the easy part.

I'd like to hear more about this theory of yours, especially how to not have narrative closure feel cheap and easy or unearned or any of the many many other complaints addressed across the generations of narrative criticism.
posted by hippybear at 7:33 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I'd like to hear more about this theory of yours, especially how to not have narrative closure feel cheap and easy or unearned or any of the many many other complaints addressed across the generations of narrative criticism.

My theory is that something like Part 8 seems to require a lot more ingenuity than saying, "So, we've spent...like...three hours on the dead Major Briggs subplot...and there's Audrey...and I guess Ben wants to sleep with Ashley Judd? Were we going to, like, do absolutely anything at all with these storylines, or...nothing? Like, we just...don't do anything...like, you think people won't care? Sure, okay...hey, did you see Netflix just put up some new Marvel shows? Cool, okay, more later," or whatever. It's like, they can do this impossible, unbelievable Kubrick shit, but can't pay off a simple plotline. I don't think this is a sign of genius, I think it's a sign that the scripts weren't finished.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:41 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I woke up and thought I hated both episodes. Rewatched just now without the expectations that things could be clarified (some things, maybe some character, audrey billy whoever, would be clear-er), and I actually really enjoyed both episodes. Letting go of the characters (and what I think of as the "good" Coop personality) helped. (at some point in season 1 (and definitely in season 2), it was clear that cooper was just BAD at his job, and remembering this cooper helped)

(And the constant numerology throughout this season made me think of Lost (119! 119! and all the other numbers shown and not verbalized)

But I "went" back to Twin Peaks because I was interested in the characters, not in Mulholland Drive 3.0, so I'm still a bit frustrated. But I would totally watch a season 4 focused on Audrey.
posted by armacy at 7:45 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I don't actually think anyone is a rube or an asshole for expecting a story to come to a reasonable conclusion.

I don't think the main plot can come to a reasonable conclusion. It can only be cliffhangers all the way down, by the nature of the material; wrapping everything up would, I think, inevitably be pat, or disenchanting (oh, it was old man so-and-so all along!, or it would be a crazy mythodump).

I guess Ben wants to sleep with Ashley Judd? Were we going to, like, absolutely anything at all with these storylines, or...nothing?

Like what do you want though, a little "where are they now" with every character that passed through? Ben had a role to play in the main Cooper-Booper narrative (relaying the room key, also sort of highlighting the hum); I think it's to Lynch and Frost's credit that we also saw him in scenes that didn't further that specific narrative. There was some extra stuff around the periphery; it wasn't just a straight shot. Not all of that came to a resolution (what would a resolution even be? that he sleeps with her, or definitively rejects the prospect, or what? we can't even say that much because it was just Ben Horne Vignettes, not a developed plot charting a course of action); so what? To me all the extra random bits that don't get revisited just help situate the whole.

Yeah, I could have done without the Adaptation-style metacommentary on wanting to wrap everything up neatly in a series finale (Lucy: "I understand cellphones now!"), especially Freddie the Fist vs. Bouncing Bob.

I didn't get the sense that any of that was "metacommentary" or like Adaptation at all.
posted by kenko at 7:53 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Also, I've seen the fire walk with poem/speech misquoted so many times in every recap...
posted by armacy at 7:54 PM on September 4


(I don't want to say that Lynch isn't interested in narrative; I don't think that's true. I just think this is a totally reasonable approach to narrative.)
posted by kenko at 7:55 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


To me all the extra random bits that don't get revisited just help situate the whole.

I can roll with this scene-setting concept for the Roadhouse vignettes -- even though, ultimately, we're setting a scene for...what? -- but we spend enough time with the Horne brothers and Ashley Judd that it's not crazy to expect this story to have a purpose...or, if not a purpose, at least an actual ending. It really seems like either lazy writing or Lynch just not feeling whatever Frost wrote, so he didn't shoot it or he shot it and then cut it. Perhaps unlimited creative freedom has a downside. Who knew?

As for Audrey's plotline, and whatever is supposed to be happening with Matthew Lillard's character and Major Briggs...I mean, if anyone reading this feels satisfied with the resolution of those plotlines, I guess I can only marvel at your Zen mastery, because what the hell was any of that about.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:07 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


In conclusion, I'm angry IRL at the end of Twin Peaks but I am letting go of it in my heart and learning to love again, namaste
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:16 PM on September 4 [5 favorites]


I found a lot of that unsatisfying too. But I think if Lynch had a really good idea for resolving some of those dangling threads, he would have filmed it. And if he didn't have an idea that he was excited about, I probably don't want to see him film something he's not actually interested in doing.

Would I want Lynch to have cut that scene of Steven and Gersten cowering together on the edge of violent death, with that amazing shot of them nestled in the roots of a gigantic tree, just because Lynch didn't have any interesting ideas about what exactly Steven had done to get them there? No way.
posted by straight at 8:21 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


I get what you're saying, but they didn't have any trouble finding interesting ways to resolve the threads when they wanted to. Case in point: the Polish accountant. They were building up to a huge confrontation at Janey-E's house between Chantal & Hutch and everyone else, and they found an amazing totally unexpected out-of-left-field way to deal with that. Likewise with Dougie vs. the Mitchums. Failing that, a few subtle hints is all it would have taken to explain what the deal was with the glass box, or who the fake Philip Jeffries was that Bad Coop talked to after killing Darya.

I don't think they denied us that because they weren't interested or the scripts weren't finished or whatever. The guy who made Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire gives us narrative incoherence because he wants to. I think it's totally fair to be frustrated by that. This wasn't the ending I wanted either. But I think I like this better than the ending I wanted. It's certainly more interesting.
posted by Gerald Bostock at 8:54 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about it all day, and honestly any defense of this as the series finale doesn't really hold up for me. I don't actually think anyone is a rube or an asshole for expecting a story to come to a reasonable conclusion. If that makes me lowbrow, so be it; I have some pretty pretentious tastes but I also love superhero comics and low budget horror movies, and I'm okay with that.

I liked this season and these last two episodes quite a lot, but I just want to say yes, absolutely, to hell with the "you just don't get Lynch" type responses because they're endemic, hurt discussion and also take a pretty narrow view of what Lynch does. Metafilter is a lot better than most discussion sites about this actually, but I run into it everywhere, and it's frustrating, because this show has always been a synthesis of experimental storytelling and outright reveling in being the whole big watercooler TV show thing and those two halves are of equal importance. A lot of the Serious Lynch fans are quick to lean on the soap opera parody aspect of the original, but it's a very loose parody to the point where it may as well not be parody at all but a genuine attempt. Not to dismiss the Frost contribution, it's a huge part of all this, but it's worth noting that a lot of what's typically thought of as Frost's domain is also Lynch stuff, they're collaborators because they're both into a shared vision. Frost is seen as Plot Guy and a lot of sins get laid at his feet but Lynch loves a good traditional story and playing with the trappings of Big Hollywood. I mean the guy loves The Wizard of Oz with all his heart, and it's not like The Straight Story was done ironically. And as much as he critiques American myth, especially the idolatry of a false 1950s, he also has deep affection for it. Traditional, square storytelling, from structure all the way to a sentimental schmaltz has also been very important to him, and honestly it's where his biggest failures do show up in Twin Peaks and that totally is worth discussing. He knocks the other stuff out of the park, but the traditional TV series stuff finds his reach exceeding his grasp sometimes but he is absolutely still reaching for it. TBH I really don't buy that mid season two would have been all that different if he was heavily involved. It probably just would have nailed the tone a bit better with few major changes. (Also there's a whole rant I've got queued up about the temptation to oversell Lynch on the whole thematic, metaphorical, dream logic stuff which isn't actually that complicated and esoteric and his strength there is largely in grounding it in interesting and innovative and emotional ways but I've already written too much)

For this series, though, I think the root of a lot of the story issues was in feeling that everything Twin Peaks had to make an appearance, that there was a weight of expectation on seeing fan favorite (and personal favorite, for Lynch!) characters, and in the end it was overstuffed. It's a hard problem, though. I think ultimately this wasn't a story that needed Norma and Ed and Nadine and Jacoby and a subplot with Shelly and her daughter, and there were probably better ways to incorporate them (like maybe make whatever vague drug fuelled evil there was in the town actually text instead of background, I could have done with learning more about what the hell was up with Red and the other characters could intersect with it and it could still be used to put Richard into position), but also I'm glad we got to at least see those characters, so... that aspect of the show is its weak point, imo, but it's complicated by my affection for those characters so it's easier to overlook. Still, it's interesting to think of the lean machine of a hypothetical season three without a lot of the town of Twin Peaks plot. I think it would lose a lot of good things that way, but it would still hang together.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:56 PM on September 4


For this series, though, I think the root of a lot of the story issues was in feeling that everything Twin Peaks had to make an appearance, that there was a weight of expectation on seeing fan favorite.

I agree, though I found the shaggy dog structure worked for the story they were telling.

I think Lynch and Frost agree with you, though. I don't think they were setting the finale up for a sequel, necessarily, but they arrived at a place where if they chose to continue they could start with a nearly blank slate. Some new form of Laura Palmer is still in trouble. Some new form of Agent Cooper is on the case. Twin Peaks is still there too, in some form, but whatever story begins from where this finale ended -- even if it's only a thing we imagine to ourselves -- can be as new as it wants to be.
posted by Rinku at 9:32 PM on September 4


It explains why we don't see Leo, maaaaybe explains why Jacques still tends bar at the roadhouse
I'm way late to the party, but that wasn't Jacques, it was (I believe heretofore unmentioned) Jean-Michel.
posted by Cogito at 10:39 PM on September 4


As for Audrey's plotline, and whatever is supposed to be happening with Matthew Lillard's character and Major Briggs...I mean, if anyone reading this feels satisfied with the resolution of those plotlines, I guess I can only marvel at your Zen mastery, because what the hell was any of that about.

and

"you just don't get Lynch" type responses because they're endemic, hurt discussion and also take a pretty narrow view of what Lynch does


I am too smart to ever phrase it like that but for all I know I say stuff that comes across like that. but if David Lynch ever taught me anything it is that I know nothing about what hides in the human heart, so I don't say that anybody does or doesn't understand anything. what would I know about that. I only say that I am bewildered as a Mitchum at a sheriff's station at these reactions because they sound like if a little robin built a nest in your heart and laid an egg and it hatched and the little bird fed on your heart until it grew strong enough to peck its way out through your ribs, and then it grew into a full-grown man with the face of your true love and you looked into his eyes and saw infinity and death, and there was a fanfare thread about him, and when you went to recount your feelings you said "well, this man is definitely a spirit of mystery and power whom I will love until the end of time but his pores are too big and his eyebrows are too close together."

like I can't tell you you're wrong to have that reaction, just because I personally think his eyebrows are perfect. but I do not have to work at having any of the ecstatic euphoric reactions I do have. just as nobody is a rube or an artless lout just because they are cranky and unsatisfied, nobody is a zen master or a Lynch snob just because they are overcome and unable to find as many complaints about this season as I usually have about everything else in the world. I am just in love. though I guess that is the most annoying condition of all to have to witness.

(except for Ed and Ed-related products and services, I am not in love with those and I would like a refund for all minutes spent watching him. that's a special exception.)
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:01 PM on September 4 [15 favorites]


Oh no I'm not talking about your reactions when I talk about the "you don't get David Lynch" crowd, queenofbithynia. Like I said, Metafilter is better than most places about the kind of thing I mean... there's a lot of this elsewhere though, to the extent that even though I loved this season so much, I totally get the preemptive defensiveness about offering criticism. There is a loooot of "mehh you're just a square, did Lynch just blow your fragile little mind too much?" out there on the big wide web if you voice any criticism about even minor things, and it sucks, and it misses that 1) Lynch is waaayyy more soft and sentimental and traditional than it seems at first glance, even episode 8 was rooted in our affections for the characters and desire for their well-being and how that gave the nightmare imagery a grounding in our need to pore over it to figure out what it means for poor sweet Dale and the residents of Twin Peaks, he's not an edgelord nihilist and it's not shock for the sake of shock, and 2) there are intentional choices that seem like missteps for effect (some of the visual effects and acting, the disjointed presentation of scene order and continuity) and some genuine missteps, and it's totally legit to talk about which is which and not reflexively lump everything into the former category, he's an all time great director but nobody is perfect. And I think that's all really interesting stuff! To me the duality of Lynch's tone and the tricks he can pull where you don't know what is intentional (and how that can work in his favor when he does seem to slip up because the framework of the Twin Peaks world has room and ambiguity for it!) are some of his best qualities, and his work invites critical takes.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:51 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


I just want to say yes, absolutely, to hell with the "you just don't get Lynch" type responses because they're endemic, hurt discussion and also take a pretty narrow view of what Lynch does.

jason_steakums, I totally get why you're tired of being met with condescending you-just-don't-get-it-maaaaan remarks...I've had one directed at me in a discussion of an earlier episode and it's super annoying. I'm never going to tell someone that they don't get Lynch. I will, however, always be a little at loss about criticisms that amount to just identifying perceived defects of the plot structure in his movies.

Given the precedents of (at a bare minimum) "Mulholland Drive" and "Lost Highway", I think any attempt to critique his work based on fractured plot structure has to acknowledge that he's absolutely doing it on purpose. Maybe what he's "doing" is to just ignore discrepancies that other screenwriters/directors would attempt to iron out while revising the first draft, but even if so, that's a deliberate creative choice.

The distinction between missteps for effect on the one hand and genuine missteps on the other may not be a meaningful one. Lynch is known to be painstakingly in control of his work. I don't think it's at all unlikely that he makes mistakes, genuine by accident mistakes, and then upon noticing them leaves them in, on purpose. Or even that he fails to notice them because he's decided in advance that broken plots are in keeping with his aesthetic and has therefore stopped incorporating a search for errors into his production process for some films. If your approach to film making is decidedly intuitive rather than analytical, throwing out the analytic state of mind in which structural problems are uncovered is probably just a side effect.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:01 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


As I consider the flurry of bizarre last-minute exposition and twists and turns of the finale, I remind myself today of a small Mexican Chihuahua Pete Martell shouting exasperatedly, "KING ARTHUR IS BURIED IN ENGLAND."

But then I read some of the fascinating theories posited above and I hedge a little and think "...last I heard, anyway."
posted by duffell at 7:36 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


The distinction between missteps for effect on the one hand and genuine missteps on the other may not be a meaningful one. Lynch is known to be painstakingly in control of his work. I don't think it's at all unlikely that he makes mistakes, genuine by accident mistakes, and then upon noticing them leaves them in, on purpose. Or even that he fails to notice them because he's decided in advance that broken plots are in keeping with his aesthetic and has therefore stopped incorporating a search for errors into his production process for some films. If your approach to film making is decidedly intuitive rather than analytical, throwing out the analytic state of mind in which structural problems are uncovered is probably just a side effect.

Come on, dude. This is just critic-proofing. "Sometimes I make mistakes...but those are on purpose!" I should be able to go to Hot Topic and find this on a t-shirt next to "I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am" and "No ragrets."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:04 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


"I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am"

what a missed opportunity this season for gordon to wear such a t-shirt.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:58 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


This is just critic-proofing.

Saying that I think Lynch does this on purpose is in no way equivalent to saying that the finished product is immune from criticism. I'm not arguing for "Sometimes I make mistakes...but those are on purpose!" but rather "Sometimes I make mistakes. I'm not that interesting in cleaning them up, though. In fact, I like it better with a few loose ends."

I mean, the guy doesn't blink at having Bill Pullman go to sleep in a jail cell that Balthazar Getty wakes up in the next morning. Is it so unlikely that he'd be willing to mine actual no-kidding mistakes for effect as well? I think that's considerably more likely than that the entire production was completed and broadcast without anyone noticing these structural cracks.

In any case, I don't fault people for being annoyed by the technique, but it's very on-brand for David Lynch at this point, and complaining about it is like objecting to the use of symmetry in a Wes Anderson movie. At the very least, I'd like to hear some explanation, from those citing the inconsistencies as a defect, for how Lynch is able to extract such intense emotional power from such "faulty" material.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:00 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


I care very little about Lynch's own intentions or decisions except when it comes to being sad that I cannot be the woman half his age who captivates and marries him because that role has already been taken, maybe a couple times. but as regards the art I honestly feel I understand it because he makes art the same way I think about art. though I do it to much less success. I mean that although I am capable of making a linear argument, when I get really excited about something and feel I must SHOW someone something I do it with a list: HERE, I say, there is THIS and THIS and THAT and THAT. look at the similarities! look at the differences! look at the sequence! isn't that INCREDIBLE. on the one hand it looks like making everybody else do the work of drawing the connections but on the other hand I am sincere in wanting them not to be convinced but to SEE.

which, when I do it, is more than half trying to sound more profound than I have fully worked out in a way I can articulate (which I do not accuse Lynch of) but also half just wanting to show what will be a different thing if I change or explain it at all. it is a stupid art cliche that you do whatever it is you do, make films let's say, because you cannot convey the same material in any other medium. if you could say what the film says in an expository essay or a summary, you would just make those instead. that is truer for some artists than others, and I think the amount of pure telling that Lynch does is always sort of lost because the showing is more spectacular, and because telling or showing, people take the thing itself for the promise of more. I know i always do.

like Sarah taking her face off, that was a reveal and an answer, not a setup for a payoff. it was the payoff. to her whole life. but I at least cannot always tell at the time which is which, and other shows do things like that as a beginning and not an ending. the answer to "whatever happened to" is -- I think -- usually -- exactly what you saw that made you want to know, that is what happened. just at the time it seemed like something was early in the story when it was actually very late. it isn't incomplete, it's just so full of meaning in such a short space that it takes a long time to really sink in.

in particular with the showing and with the long lists to compare and contrast, the only way to explain something sometimes is to say it over and over again with minute differences so that you can see exactly what changes, what variables are responsible for what. so the endless repetition of traumatized women, of beautiful teenagers who grow up to be weary waitresses with incredibly good tousled hair, does not ever seem to me like simple fetishistic repetition of a couple sexy images Lynch likes plus a failure of imagination when it comes to live women versus dead girls. it easily could! but I don't see that, I see that I must look very very very closely at Shelly and Carrie Page and even Donna and Becky and then Audrey and see what is happening here, who comes closest, what is this thing that is trying to escape and how is it thwarted, other than the very obvious. in particular I do think that the characters' ignoring of Audrey is a statement, and not just a reflection or an excuse for Lynch ignoring her. Leland dead in hell remembers his daughter; Ben alive and reformed has wiped his out of his mind. only Richard before he dies ever says the name "Audrey Horne" through the whole series, that I remember. I do believe that if I watch the whole thing again I will know exactly what it means. already I have feelings.

anyway there's some bullshit special pleading if anybody wants any. but it's how I feel!
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:23 AM on September 5 [6 favorites]


Come on, dude. This is just critic-proofing. "Sometimes I make mistakes...but those are on purpose!"

The whole Frank Silva as BOB thing was the upshot of a mistake, initially, but one that was fit into the overall show. If someone wants to claim "even the mistakes are on purpose!" (a facially absurd claim!) the onus is on them to show how this thing, which is apparently a mistake, actually does fit into a coherent overall interpretation. It's a copout to just say "oh, well, it's a misstep for effect". What was the misstep, how was it put into context, what's the effect, how does it work? And if you say "well, he just left the mistake in, on purpose"—something he has been known to do even aside from BOB (I wish I could remember the example I read about recently, something he hadn't noticed that he decided he liked so sure, leave it in)—that doesn't mean it's not a mistake, or was a good decision! Just because Lynch liked it and decided to leave it in—that doesn't mean it doesn't warrant criticism! Lynch can make not only first-order mistakes but also second-order mistakes about which first-order mistakes should remain in the finished product.

Saying something like "he left it in on purpose" isn't even critic-proofing. It's nothing. Ok, he left it in. So what? He's not god. He can leave stuff in that it would have been better to omit.
posted by kenko at 9:24 AM on September 5


To me, the S2 finale was unsatisfying not because of the cliffhanger, but because Cooper failed. The S3 finale was ultimately satisfying to me because... Cooper failed. The audience expected this grand redemption but the Black Lodge won again. I think this is true.

The last episode also left a lot of unanswered questions that maybe could have been answered had we not watched so much silent driving. And the ending is obvious sequel bait. I think this is also true.

Also, when you hear Sarah call for Laura and Sheryl Lee does her impeccable scream, I don't think I've ever felt so physically unsettled while watching this show. It's not like it's the most disturbing scene in the series, hell, it wasn't even even the most disturbing scene in that episode. But it poked something in my lizard brain and left me feeling spooked and off-kilter for the rest of the night.
posted by Ruki at 9:52 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


Yeah, what is it about that final scene? I woke up this morning thinking of it and more spooked than when I first watched it. It sticks with you.

Also I had a dream where this combined Coop/Mr. C version of Dale was actively being hunted by an alternate, merciless Lucy and now I really want an Odessa reality season four with altered characters. Fresh start, bring the same actors back but go nuts remixing and reinventing the characters.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:05 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Oh man, there's nothing I want less. I'd like a bit clearer picture of what Coop and Diane thought they were up to, but what we saw of that final reality felt like a complete statement to me. Fleshing it out would be like providing backstory for Club Silencio or the thing behind the dumpster. The dread that makes Sheryl Lee scream at the end is because there is no explanation, reality is suddenly operating on nightmare rules.
posted by Gerald Bostock at 10:28 AM on September 5 [5 favorites]


(Which is not to say you're wrong to want more or whatever, just ... it works best as it is for me.)
posted by Gerald Bostock at 10:29 AM on September 5


The Tom & Lorenzo post on the finale was pretty good!
posted by kenko at 10:33 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm like, when I saw Raiders the first time, I was all, why doesn't this end with the Nazis making Indiana Jones kiss Hitler's butt? That'd be, like, real, dude. *Vapes* Hey, check my sweet tat of Heath Ledger as the Joker quoting Fight Club

I don't feel like the last scene of the series works as anything other than a nihilistic statement that runs contrary to almost everything we just watched. Which, again, is why I think it's a great cliffhanger but a disastrous ending for the series as a whole. I'm getting over it because I'm increasingly skeptical that the series is actually over.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:46 AM on September 5


Yeah, I'm like, when I saw Raiders the first time, I was all, why doesn't this end with the Nazis making Indiana Jones kiss Hitler's butt? That'd be, like, real, dude. *Vapes* Hey, check my sweet tat of Heath Ledger as the Joker quoting Fight Club

*eyeroll*
posted by Gerald Bostock at 10:52 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


If there was another "season", I wonder if it would return to Twin Peaks at all.

(also, the Palmer house is located in Seattle, not in the Snoqualmie area, so there must be So Much Footage of Kyle Maclachlan driving and driving and driving. Bonus: See the rooms of the Palmer House from when it sold in 2014)
posted by armacy at 10:56 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


...But if another season means Cooper starts dressing like a lumberjack to fight his nemesis, Pistachio Disguisey, while James gets involved in some bad crime movie pastiche and someone is turned into a doorknob, then fine, weirdass all is lost A Wrinkle in Time ending it is, I guess
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:57 AM on September 5


Blade Runner -- bear with me -- is one of my favorite movies (problematic, though it is).

They are making a sequel with some really amazing talent, people I'm a huge fan of almost across the board.

I really wish they weren't.

The ambiguities of Blade Runner are a huge part of what makes it so captivating. I don't want to know what happened next.

With Twin Peaks, I thought I did want to know what happened next. And maybe it would have been fun to find out, but now we have 18 hours worth of new mysteries to ponder over and explore and discuss and debate. That is a pretty good deal for me.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:16 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


[watching a show that navigated the death of a critical actor by recasting him as an oversized kettle] I hope we get conventional resolution
posted by kenko at 11:20 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


I'm fine with the ending. I think it's intended to be a cliffhanger for a new season, but, if not, that's okay.

There is a lot Coop doesn't know. He wasn't there at the end with Laura; he doesn't know that her dying was her choice, because she was already feeling Bob's influence and was afraid of it. She wasn't some naive girl who needed saving, she was the victim of a lifetime of abuse who sometimes duplicated that abuse toward the ones she loved and was increasingly acting out in self-destructive ways.

Coop didn't save her by taking her away from her rendezvous with Leland/Bob; in fact, he undermined her own decision not to take part in it. And since it seems possible that The Fireman actually sent Laura to earth in order to break that chain, not only has Coop failed to save her, but he's actually undermined a lot. Since Laura is created at the same moment as Bob as an antagonist to Bob, one assumes that she has the same powers as Bob (and is why she can resist him), but you don't want those powers misused.

So we get two endings: Episode 17, which is an ambiguously happy ending in which our beloved Coop finally returns and actually manages to undo Twin Peaks itself, and episode 18, in which he discovers that Laura Palmer may now be unmoored in time and location and seems like she might have a trail of bodies of her own, and he's left unsure as to what is happening as she gets a brief glimpse of the world he took her from and screams in terror.

The whole show has been an exercise in undermining expectations, sometimes delightfully, sometimes maddeningly. And so that's what we get, and it is perfectly consistent with the rest of the show. You've been waiting for Coop? You think he's going to save the day?

Green glove guy saves the day. Lucy saves the day. Andy saves the day. They've all been in Twin Peaks, all waiting for this moment. Coop is incidental to it.

The first series ended by showing us that Coop was out of his depth. He paid for it by spending 25 years in limbo, his doppleganger unleashing untold evil on the world. Now he's supposed to come back and fix everything?

He's a good man, but a flawed hero. We end as we did last time, with Coop having fucked up.
posted by maxsparber at 11:21 AM on September 5 [9 favorites]


Is a non-happy or ambiguous ending necessarily "nihilistic"?
posted by speicus at 11:25 AM on September 5 [5 favorites]


There is a lot Coop doesn't know. He wasn't there at the end with Laura; he doesn't know that her dying was her choice, because she was already feeling Bob's influence and was afraid of it.

Heh, I just remembered that FWWM dream where he told her not to take the ring. What in the world did he have to go on to tell her that? That's how you get a BOB possessed Laura, Coop.

Also, Gordon Cole says the last thing Coop said to him was that he had a plan to deal with Judy, two birds with one stone. What possible information could Dale have had at the time of his last meeting with Cole that prepared him for an undertaking like that?

He really is winging it all over the place.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:31 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


It's weird to be discussing "Twin Peaks" and get told one week that I can't possibly understand Picasso or Charlie Parker, and on another week to learn that I'm a vaping, Hot-Topic-shopping-at Fight-Club-quoting edgelord, all for making essentially the same argument.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:34 AM on September 5


I've seen this is couple other forums -- can anyone in this thread tell if it's legit?
Jiao dai translated from mandarin chinese: "to explain"
This would be pretty cute if true, naming explanation as the ultimate evil.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:36 AM on September 5 [7 favorites]


It's weird to be discussing "Twin Peaks" and get told one week that I can't possibly understand Picasso or Charlie Parker, and on another week to learn that I'm a vaping, Hot-Topic-shopping-at Fight-Club-quoting edgelord, all for making essentially the same argument.

...So I wasn't referring to your argument and I'm not sure what it is, but I have to be honest, it sounds like it may benefit from some re-evaluation.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:41 AM on September 5


Jiao dai translated from mandarin chinese: "to explain"

Seems Legit
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:44 AM on September 5 [2 favorites]


For the record, the closed captions for that scene only say "jowday" but that is not definitive in my book. Nor would it be if that was how it was written in the script.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 12:11 PM on September 5


What did the humming sound in the Great Northern turn out to be? Did that sound come back as Cooper's face was superimposed with the frozen clock?

That was the same sound that led Bushnell out of the hospital room so that Coop could snap back to consciousness and debrief with Mike.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:51 PM on September 5


That was the same sound that led Bushnell out of the hospital room so that Coop could snap back to consciousness and debrief with Mike.

It was also the sound in the boiler room
posted by speicus at 2:33 PM on September 5


Watched through 16 and 17 again and I'm now about half an hour into 18 - Carrie Paige has just appeared. My reading this time round: The Cooper we see from after the repeat of the woods scene to the end of the episode is actually Mr C, and the Diane is a tulpa (created by Mike). MacLachlan is definitely playing more like Mr C - not quite so basso profundo, but definitely as sombre and the business with the cowboys in the diner is much more his modus operandi. He has his own modus operandi. The Diane is more the haunted character we knew up until Tammy and Albert shot her, rather than the character we met last episode.

There probably is a coherent schema for the whole shebang somewhere, if only because that seems to be Mark Frost's thing. It doesn't necessarily have to be easy to get to. I'll try and watch the whole thing soon, if only to see what it's like knowing where it all ends up.
posted by Grangousier at 3:01 PM on September 5


MacLachlan kind of enigmatically hints that Richard is "... different" in this interview, so that's interesting. I really like how all of these post-show interviews with him have him of all people being like "I'm still processing this ending and I don't really know what to think yet."
posted by jason_steakums at 3:15 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


It's very amusing to read it as Mr C's plan going badly awry.

I love the ambiguity. It's possible to watch assuming that Richard is Cooper, or Mr C, or another tulpa, or that Cooper is dreaming Richard, or that Richard dreamt Cooper. Or that Sarah is Judy and the frog/moth was the spirit of Jiao Dai. If there was too be too available an explanation, there wouldn't be all these different versions - it's like having lots of different series for the price of one, and I can move from interpretation to interpretation with a shifting of assumptions. And watching it becomes active engagement, almost a creative (though transitory) thing.

Generally, I have less and less use for "good" or "bad" when it comes to film and television. If it engages me, then I watch it, and work as hard as I need or wish to to enjoy it. If not, I just turn it off. I've done that a lot recently, and not just with films that are considered "bad" - I think I've seen less than ten minutes of Frozen. Not the movie for me.

The series has been full of incidental pleasures - for example, all the different ways in which actors do nothing at all for long stretches of time and the way you can see them thinking, and almost see what they're thinking. The more experienced actors are a lot better at it, but the variety is wonderful - Tammy's hyperactive twitching up against tulpa Diane's melancholy, or Janey-E in the police station, or Candie's ecstatic reverie, or whatever is going through Laura's mind on that long night drive. And then there's Mr C's cold dead stare.

The first time through, like anyone else, I was impatient for them to get from Odessa to Twin Peaks, but this time, knowing how long it would take, I could appreciate the way the slow pace ratcheted up the tension. It's so tense.

The series has seemed very much a recapitulation of Lynch's career, to me - every film is represented by an actor except Elephant Man (perhaps Freddie stands in for Freddies Jones and Francis). Every film is evoked in some way. Even Dune, perhaps, in the design of what might be called The Fire Station. An absolutely astonishing achievement.
posted by Grangousier at 3:56 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


[watching a show that navigated the death of a critical actor by recasting him as an oversized kettle] I hope we get conventional resolution

I hope someone does a Bowie style cover of "I'm a little teapot."
posted by leotrotsky at 4:10 PM on September 5 [3 favorites]


Has Showtime greenlit Freddie Sykes Adventures? Because the idea of a Lynch superhero-ish thing amuses me to no end.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:30 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


So whom did Carrie think RichardDale might have found?
posted by kenko at 6:38 PM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Oh hey another thought: this season loops preeetty well. Incoming plot wonkery, and a lot of it, but it also fits thematically.

Way back towards the beginning of the season, when Coop is running around in the Red Room, there's that stuff with the confused-seeming MIKE, the Evolution of the Arm talking about its doppelganger, Laura screaming and pulled away like she was in the forest "later" on in the story, Coop wandering around in the Red Room and seeing all new and different things, specifically the fuzzy shot of two Red Rooms overlaid on one another.

That second Red Room has the doppelganger of the Evolution of the Arm in it - we've seen this before, the Arm's doppelganger in the season two finale. In fact it's where all the Lodge doppelgangers cross over to "our" Red Room from. Things are slippery in here, running around through curtains and corridors people and doppelgangers can slip between the two Red Rooms. And Coop runs into DoppelArm in this second Red Room, who screams "NON-EXIST-ANT" before dropping Coop through the floor and into the starry void and purple area and eventually the world. Everybody's been referring to this starry void he falls into as the place the Arm doppelganger was calling NON-EXIST-ANT, but what if the DoppelArm means that the entire world he's going back into is nonexistent, having already been messed up by Coop's future timeline shenanigans.

Time doesn't mean anything to the Lodges, Coop screwing things up with his attempt to pull Laura out happened in 1989 but it not only messed up the original Twin Peaks reality (scenes happening out of order, glitches, vomiting zombie kids, magical drug dealers, inconsistent character backstories, the stars are turning and a time is presenting itself, Twin Peaks 2016 hasn't yet caught the full ripple effect of Coop preventing Laura's murder but it's actively breaking down) it also split the Red Room into two throughout time and always has, just like Lodge entities showed up on Earth during the Trinity test but have always been around. So Coop paradoxes a doppelganger reality into being that always has been when he messes up, the Odessa world. He killed the original reality, but death is just a change, not an end. The world splits off and changes into the Odessa world to survive the paradox, but the original Twin Peaks world from 1989 to 2016 is pretty much dead and doesn't know it and is kind of fluctuating between the two states as things ripple - we live inside a dream. Audrey, in a liminal state in her coma or drugged up in an institution, catches these ripples and the bleed between worlds severely. So do the kids on these new designer drugs. So do dreamers.

So at the end of the season, Coop messes with the past, causes a bigger screwup than just the fate of Laura but all he knows and cares about is Laura's fate at that moment, and he goes into the Odessa reality to keep trying to save Laura when his first attempt doesn't work because it's all he knows how to do and he vaguely remembers the Fireman telling him these enigmatic keys, 430, two birds with one stone, just words but his detective mind sees them as clues because that's how Lodge stuff works for him. In Odessa, Diane sees her doppelganger and somehow her identity starts to bleed into its identity, Coop doesn't see his (his is currently burning in a chair in the timeless prison of the Red Room) but he's also changing to be more like it. Maybe coming from a dead world, there's no anchor to keep them from losing themselves here, other than Cooper's memories and the fury of his own momentum. Diane's doppel is in this world (and probably ended up sucked into the Lodge at the next available electrical circuit because you can't have two), Laura's is there, there's a Twin Peaks with an RR diner without the RR2GO sign and a Palmer house that isn't a Palmer house, everything's copied but wrong, doppelgangers. At the Palmer house, that reality breaks in the last shot of the season, when Sarah's voice carries through and Laura remembers.

Then, back at the beginning, Coop finds himself talking to the Fireman in the opening scene. The Fireman rescued him in some way from the failed Odessa trip and sits him down for a chat in the White Lodge. The Fireman tries to warn him: remember, 430, Richard and Linda, two birds with one stone - that crap got us into this mess! Don't try that shit again you idiot, break the cycle! Listen to the sounds, the damn record is skipping, skip us out of the groove and break the paradox cycle with another paradox that requires you to just accept your happy ending in the Sheriff's office and go on with your life, you big doofus, how much clearer can I be?

"I understand." (Narrator: "He didn't.")

The Fireman also rescued Laura from the Odessa reality, and he and Dido put her right back where she started. Return to starting positions. Let's try this again.

Then the Fireman sets Coop back down in the mind of Coop sitting in the Red Room towards the end of his 25 year wait, without any memory of what happened (White Lodge encounters have done weird things to the memories of Briggs and the Sherrif's Dept crew, it seems this is something the Fireman can do) except for his warning. But right away, the Red Room is seeing the effects of Coop's future meddling, he's already locked on course to do it all again because Coop is Coop and saving Laura Palmer is what he does, even when she doesn't need saving, even when saving her will wreck everything.

Coop's face overlayed on that scene in the Sheriff's office is some part of his mind going "wait, was I supposed to do something here?" and totally getting ignored when he sees Diane again and snaps into Action Cooper mode and goes off to do what he does, the only thing he knows how to do.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:34 PM on September 5 [28 favorites]


That's beautiful, man.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:57 PM on September 5 [2 favorites]


I'm just stuck like a record skipping on lodged Leland saying "Find Laura" and Cooper going and DOING THAT THING. WHY would anybody who knows who Leland Palmer is, ever obey his instructions pertaining to Laura?

not only why would he do it, but who would ever believe him capable of being that unwise? except Laura herself, still full of unreasoning fear of her father and without the faith in Cooper everyone else has. which is why I think the obvious answer to Who is the dreamer? has some merit, in spite of everything else I ever said. this whole thing is her nightmare -- no escape, nobody ever believes her, Cooper comes and fetches her because her father said to, even though he knows what Leland is. this is Laura's ultimate fear and no one else's, not even Audrey's.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:16 PM on September 5 [4 favorites]


The more I think about the ending, the less I think the whole show can be sorted or sifted into a single story, even with time loops and alternate realities.

Coop/Richard in the final scenes seems like a mix of old Coop And Mr C, and he's taken on Mr C's mission (find Judy / ultimate evil). And there's the message from Linda -- don't find me, I don't recognize you. Laura is still Laura, but she's not Laura. Twin Peaks is Twin Peaks, but maybe not really.

A lot of the discussion here has been "where and how did Coop fuck it all up?"

I don't think that's the right question. I think there might not be a right question. One of the things I think you could take away from this season is there is no detective, no warrior, no FBI agent who is also a clairvoyant wizard, who can make the world whole again.

Coop does something powerful and real when he saves Laura and removes her from she night she died. But he can't heal her brokenness, and even the secret intuitive knowledge he uses to navigate the world can't encompass, foresee and navigate through the whole universe in all of its darkness and complexity.
posted by Rinku at 10:19 AM on September 6 [4 favorites]


Until Coop kinda fucks up and brings Carrie/Laura to the house, making her remember and unleashing Judy again in the final seconds.

What's interesting to me about that scene is the Fireman watching the facade of Laura's house. Is he watching the house Sarah Palmer is in, or has he seen forward to the new universe Coop's saving of Laura creates?

Also, when you hear Sarah call for Laura and Sheryl Lee does her impeccable scream,

What is up with Sarah calling for Laura, though? Is that a ghostly call audible to all? Is it a recollection on the part of Laura/Carrie? How come when she screams all that weird shit happens with the house (the lights flare and go dark, or something), occupied by noted Lodge folks the Tremonds and Chalfonts?

Coop's face overlayed on that scene in the Sheriff's office is some part of his mind going "wait, was I supposed to do something here?" and totally getting ignored when he sees Diane again

Anyone else note how when he's talking with Diane the face goes away, and then comes back when we see the clock not quite making it to 2:53?
posted by kenko at 10:38 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


The further I get from the ending the more it seems like a gift -- days later I'm still turning it over and over in my head, my brain making new connections and resonances within and outside the series. The bleakness of it was hard to take at first, but I love the way in which in enlarges and complicates the world of the show until it seems to bleed into our reality -- not really a fourth wall break but something more porous and strange.

Stray thoughts:
- Charlie = a manifestation of Judy? "Do I have to end your story too?" I like how open to interpretation this line is too. Either Audrey's story was ended (by waking up in the white room) or it wasn't ended (left conspicuously unresolved).
- At first I thought Cooper's FBI pin reappeared in the Red Room but it actually first appears earlier, when Cooper is in the boiler room with Gordon and Diane. I have no idea what this means.
posted by speicus at 11:00 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


When we got the shot of the back of BadCoop's head, when he was thwarted and redirected, wasn't Cooper's FBI pin being used to pin back his hair?
posted by Windigo at 11:06 AM on September 6


I really love that shot in the boiler room with Coop, Diane and Cole where the first thing you notice coming out of the shadows is Diane's fuzzy bright pink slippers. Lynch always has to be playful, it's great.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:07 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


I tried tracking the appearance of the pin as well, but gave up when I realized I couldn't tell if there was a black pin and a white pin, or just a pin that catches the light in different ways.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:32 AM on September 6


wasn't Cooper's FBI pin being used to pin back his hair?

No, it was just jewelry. When they finally zoomed in I took a close look because I'd seen several comments about it maybe being the FBI pin.

Although I guess it could have been the pin in other scenes.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:12 PM on September 6


What if just like there are people doppelgangers, and endless near-identical rooms in the Black Lodge, there are also universe doppelgangers, and every time Cooper gets spit out of the Lodge, it's not to "reality" but to another variation, another dream to live in.
posted by speicus at 12:35 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I still really don't like the ending as the Ending of the Show, but it's hard for me to shake as just an episode.

I don't know that Laura's redemption could only have come in death. I want to think that something...a therapist, an exorcist, a nice self-help book club that meets twice a week in a fun Brooklyn neighborhood where Laura manages a coffeeshop and is loved by all...I want to think something could have walked her back from the brink. It was curious to me that Lynch/Frost included Laura's line to James, "Bobby killed a guy," in the FWWM footage -- we don't even see Bobby again, so why remind us of that? It occurs to me now, though, that it really tells us how much Bobby has changed. The Log Lady thinks of him as a good man, which is proof enough for me. So if Bobby can come around, why not Laura? It's possible.

But it's probably not likely, at least not without committed intervention from someone who understands -- and who the hell could really understand? -- and knows how to heal a wounded person and is there to put in the work. Maybe Cooper intended to be that person, however ill-equipped he would have been for that. But he doesn't get the chance, and while it's heartbreaking and scary to see the disaster Laura has grown into, it seems depressingly predetermined.

I'm not sure I'll ever really buy Cooper being bit hard enough by the hubris bug to try and change the past. It doesn't seem very Zen, for one thing (although Cooper also seems a lot less Zen now). More problematically, it means Cooper has to, in pedestrian TV tropes parlance, carry the idiot ball. Cooper might be an eccentric weirdo, but he isn't an idiot. But he kinda has to be for the story to work. It shouldn't take much for Cooper to think through the implications of saving Laura -- if Leland doesn't kill Laura, the investigation never happens. Leland may still be alive. Leland may be president! And while this might constitute an improvement, the point is, he may have been murdering people for the last 25 years. Cooper is not too dumb to grasp that. So, I dunno, maybe his brain is still a little bit fried...I don't see quite how this can be a thing otherwise. It's whatever. Done is done.

At a certain point I concluded Diane's plotline was probably written for Audrey, and the whole thing feels much more powerful if I imagine it happening that way. Laura Dern is a wonderful actress and her Diane(s) are fantastic, but I don't feel like we ever really get comfortable with her, and we don't have a history with her. But we have a whole lot invested in Audrey. I have my depressing guesses about why Sherilyn Fenn was relegated to a few weird scenes and not given a larger role -- not given this role -- but certainly the last episode might have more impact if this were, at the end, Cooper and Audrey, instead of Cooper and someone who to us is basically a stranger. It still does have a lot of impact, obviously.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:14 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I don't know that Laura's redemption could only have come in death.

Yeah this is one of those things I wish was changed up, like how FWWM put the blame back on Leland after the show made it all BOB's fault. IDK, some of the stuff around Laura is complicated and kind of detrimental to the theme? And always has been, it's not just the new season. Like, Laura was a victim of abuse and was perpetuating that abuse to the people around her, and the former doesn't fully absolve the latter. Wiping the slate clean because of the abuse suffered is what they did with BOB and Leland in the original series, and it wasn't right, so it's weird to have Laura held up as The Embodiment of Good. What happened to Laura was horrifying and tragic and I'm sure she was good deep down but she chose to hurt others. It wouldn't be so easy to overlook if it was a child she took it out on instead of her peers. And there's something there about how the town saw her as good, that was a huge part of the original theme of the shiny happy town with dark secrets, but it's like at some point Laura The Golden Orb Of Pure Goodness internalized into the substance of the show, the whole show started believing it. To be honest I think it's just Lynch's affection for Lee as an actor showing through.

At a certain point I concluded Diane's plotline was probably written for Audrey

This feels right. I really like this.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:33 PM on September 6 [2 favorites]


I too like the Coop/Audrey line of thinking. I was happy with Diane up until she was the precious gift that Cooper rides off with (so I guess I prefer the fake version of her?). I've never seen Cooper with Diane and have zero feelings about them together.
posted by armacy at 6:21 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Laura Dern is a wonderful actress and her Diane(s) are fantastic, but I don't feel like we ever really get comfortable with her, and we don't have a history with her

I don't think we're meant to be comfortable with her. We don't really know her, or the new uncanny valley version of Cooper, and it's unsettling. Audrey would have been a familiar, comforting presence, and therefore completely wrong for those scenes.
posted by speicus at 12:23 AM on September 7 [2 favorites]


Don't know if this was linked before, but: Twin Peaks: Audrey, Billy, and living inside a dream
posted by Grangousier at 2:16 AM on September 7 [5 favorites]


Another theory. I don't buy it, but it's interesting, and it does try to account for what goes on with Coop and Diane in part 18.
posted by Gerald Bostock at 9:43 AM on September 7 [5 favorites]


The waggish article is good!
posted by kenko at 11:31 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Artforum has compiled a list of Sarah Nicole Prickett's recaps of/theories about the series (includes a nsfw image).
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:48 PM on September 9


...Wally Brando. Boy, does he (Michael Cera) live up to that choice. Showing up unannounced on a motorcycle, clad in a punk-ass black leather jacket, a white-and-navy ringer tee, and an oversize army beret, Wally has transcended the decades to embody at least a quarter-century of boy-teen rebellion. He has roamed the country, he has a strong sense of dharma, and his idiolect is a very fine whine.

Uhhh.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:26 PM on September 9


It stops at episode 16. I do hope the last two haven't put her off. She does remind us that Lynch's favourite film is Vertigo, whose female lead character is called Judy.
posted by Grangousier at 5:32 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


(Which is also about a supposedly supernatural doppelgänger.)
posted by Grangousier at 5:34 AM on September 10


What if Laura is closer to a Christ figure, not sent to do battle with Bob, but as a sacrifice? So, even the White Lodgers want/expect her to die, but Cooper keeps trying to save her. And then she is bait in the trap at the end, with Cooper stuck as collateral damage?
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:10 AM on September 10


It's an interesting interpretation, but I'm not sure it's Supported by the Text. I feel like the show is saying Judy eats Laura and Cooper at the end or whatever, but even that seems maddeningly vague to me. When Laura comes back to herself at the end -- and I'm astonished that Sheryl Lee is so good we know she's Laura just because of how her expression changes -- and the lights go out, that's classic horror movie speak for Bad Things. But it's also just a massive power surge -- like the one that "woke" Cooper out of his Dougie trance state (and perhaps woke Audrey from the Roadhouse). So were they ultimately sacrifices? I am not sure the show gives us enough to really know. It certainly seems like whatever happens next isn't anything very pleasant.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:03 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


That's an interesting idea if we combine it with the idea that "the real world" is one of the levels of reality that is in play. The massive power surge at the end wakes the audience up and ends the reality of the television show (or the
"Richard and Linda" reality.)
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 8:09 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


So bummed... I kept the Fanfare reminder in my calendar and showed up to create a post for episode 119.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:17 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


So bummed... I kept the Fanfare reminder in my calendar and showed up to create a post for episode 119.

I say create the thread and let's start discussing tonight's episode like it actually aired. I'll start...

So happy Annie and Sheriff Truman returned this week. Strange to have Chris Isaak at the Roadhouse; is he Agent Chet Desmond's tulpa?
posted by crossoverman at 9:15 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


I say create the thread and let's start discussing tonight's episode like it actually aired.

The Audrey scene still didn't make sense, but at least we got to see Ben and Audrey (and Jerry) together.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:21 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Weird, am I the only one seeing Cooper's face superimposed over this thread? I wonder what it could mean.
posted by speicus at 10:41 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


So happy Annie and Sheriff Truman returned this week. Strange to have Chris Isaak at the Roadhouse; is he Agent Chet Desmond's tulpa?
posted by crossoverman


MIKE: [whooshing noise] e-pony...sterical.
posted by duffell at 5:37 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]




The Man Behind the Glass: The Trouble with David Lynch's Brand of Weird

This is a very good article and nicely articulates a number of things I've been vaguely thinking about.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:37 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's not a new criticism, but it's disappointing that in 2017 it's still valid.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:51 PM on September 12


Was this not eligible for Emmies, or did it get stiffed?
posted by codacorolla at 12:45 PM on September 18


The Man Behind the Glass: The Trouble with David Lynch's Brand of Weird

Yes. My biggest problems with Twin Peaks are the narrowness of roles for women (in particular them being victims of violence and sexual assault) and the how often it seems to use any human body that deviates from healthy white middle-class & conventionally attractive as a marker for being weird, uncanny, wrong, or even evil.
posted by straight at 12:54 PM on September 18


Emmy eligibility appears to have a May 31st cut-off.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 12:55 PM on September 18


I did the synching eps 17 & 18 thing and... wow. It's not just Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon coincidences, they really were obviously designed so that they could be watched that way. In terms of meaning, I don't know whether anything is any clearer, but they feel like they make more sense that way. And it puts Julee Cruise in her rightful place at the end.
posted by Grangousier at 2:56 PM on September 18


Emmy eligibility appears to have a May 31st cut-off.

Also why Game Of Thrones wasn't part of this year's Emmys. TP and GoT will likely go against each other next year much to the chagrin of all other series.
posted by hippybear at 6:49 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]


Couple of general notes:

Criterion Collection edition of FWWM, including "The Missing Pieces" deleted scenes feature, arriving October 17, 2017. Which is good if, like me, you couldn't justify getting The Entire Mystery box set.

Season 3 on Blu-Ray/DVD will arrive 12/5/2017
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:55 AM on September 20




Best thing about that is that Lynch was planning to have in the kettle right from the start
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:35 AM on September 21


He says he wanted it to just be a machine, but then why was it actually a kettle on someone's stove in, like, episode 2 or something?
posted by hippybear at 7:15 PM on September 21


Everyone keeps calling it a tea kettle but I thought it was a percolator when I saw it. Like what you put fish into.
posted by phunniemee at 7:28 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


It’s like when you know what it can be and then you have to suffer that [dilution], and people see it on their computer or even, my god, on their phone—it’s like a nightmare. There’s so much fucking power in that scene, and in this world people would love to hear what’s there, but the machines [which we watch things through] aren’t there any more. It’s got to be full range and full loud.
So the day after episode 8 comes out, I take a friend of mine to the local Twin Peaks-themed restaurant because he's a big fan of the show. Turns out they're about to start a viewing of the new episode, which neither of us has seen yet. The restaurant is tiny, maybe 25 people, very crowded. They've got the show projected on the wall above the bar, weakly enough that it's hard to tell what's going on sometimes. The sound is adequate but there's lots of ambient restaurant noise, conversations and clinking glasses and stuff. It's better than watching it on your phone, but it's a long way from David Lynch's ideal viewing conditions.

Then that scene comes on, and the whole place goes real quiet. Nobody's eating, nobody's talking, everyone's just watching. Finally some guy wanders in off the street. He gets halfway to the bar, stops, looks around kinda fearfully at all the people staring very very quietly at the nuclear explosion on the screen, and says, "What the FUCK is going on?"

"Twin Peaks," the bartender says.

"Jesus Christ," the guy says, "fucking weird, man," and orders a drink.
posted by Gerald Bostock at 12:36 PM on September 22 [10 favorites]


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