I’ve had to stay off the thread as you guys have been watching at a quicker pace than I have.
I finished it tonight and I’m blown away.
I’m still digesting things. I think I need to watch the 18 episodes again.
This was a unparalleled viewing experience and pleasure.
I’m going to miss the characters, many of the new additions I took to more even more the originals.
I loved the ending. Ive read that it’s polarising. I don’t know how anyone who has ever watched Twin Peaks can be upset about things not being wrapped up in a nice neat bow.
I do feel lynch gave us closure on a lot of stuff and we also got some happy ‘endings’ for some of the characters.
I do want more though. I understand why others don’t - but I’d love another round with this wonderful cast, writers and directors. Everything from the sheer audacity of the ideas and visuals to amazing music and presentation of it was simply mind blowing.
I am completely lost though, it’s not an easy show to figure out. I have so many questions I don’t even know where to start. I think I’m happy to have a loose and playful grasp on it though.
I think I’ve been able to ‘feel’ my way through it rather than rationalise or get my theories straight.
I think that’s the ultimate compliment I can pay them.
That superimposed face needs to take up the whole frame
I had a thought about Audrey and how her story connects to the final episode. She is caught in a meta-fictional environment, even dancing to her own theme from the original series. I think Charlie also threatens to end “her story” and she asks “is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane” (which is also repeated by The Arm). She gets upset and demands to be taken away if I remember correctly, right before she wakes up in that white room looking in a mirror. I think this is meant to imply that Audrey could be someone who is aware, in a kind of way, that Twin Peaks is a fiction. Maybe one of Charlie’s stories. Take it away, take the story away, the dream that we live in, and all there is left is whiteness, emptiness.
Laura’s story is just that, a story for the consumption of the viewer. It is a tragedy and she dies as her redemption. Her death is necessary for the viewer, it gives the story life, take that away like Dale did when he prevented her death, and the story becomes “non-existent”. The story of the little girl who lived down the lane suddenly stops making sense. Therefore it is doomed to fail. After Laura is whisked away when she is walking with Cooper through the woods, she is given a new story, in a new, troubled alternative reality.
The elements are all remixed; first I thought the new reality “Richard and Linda” find themselves in is our world, the real world, but rather I now think that the elements were remixed because this is a new story, a new tragedy. Because the story needs to go on, like an endless loop. Laura gets resurrected to fight evil anew, like an endless Mobius strip. This is also symbolized by Jeffries transforming the owl symbol into an infinity symbol. And it explains why we don’t get a neat ending, nothing ever ends after all. The story of good vs evil must go on forever.
That also makes you wonder if “Judy” is ultimately the viewer. Or the dreamer who lives inside the dream.
Nah, Judy is the sleeper who must AWAKEN!
Been waiting 5 weeks to do that.
Is this a reference or do you think she’s the dreamer?
It’s a reference
But now I realize that Lynch has had these ideas since the 80’s
Ah shit! I need to read/watch Dune again!
I really enjoyed this theory on the finale, and on The Return as a whole:
Huh, that’s the first positive theory that isn’t just positive for positive’s sakes and makes some lick of sense. Neat.
I don’t know, young Laura disappears before she and Cooper reach the White Lodge portal. Andy and Bad Coop disappeared into the White Lodge as they were standing right next to the golden oil pool and the sycamore tree. I also take the bug-like sound from the gramophone to be the Fireman’s evidence that “it is in our house now.” I think the sound is related to evil, probably the Experiment.
To me, Dale’s disturbed reaction to whatever Laura whispered to him in the Black Lodge is key. Laura is ripped from the Lodge right after he digests whatever she tells him. Since by the end of the show we can surmise her moment of transcendence from the end of FWWM has been taken away from her, I think Dale couldn’t handle whatever it was she told him and tried to solve things in a way he understood, a way he hoped would also erase the evil deeds of his doppelganger. Laura didn’t need him to save her, she needed him to listen.
I saw someone on Twitter joke “Dougie would’ve won.” I think that’s the purpose of all the Dougie scenes. Dougie is like a newborn, totally receptive to the world, and in return the world opens itself up to him. He’s egoless and most importantly, he listens. He doesn’t merely repeat what’s said to him; each time he does so, he’s slowly (very slowly) piecing together a meaning for each word and concept. He’s Dale’s highest self–the self from season 1 that let the universe guide him–and if Dale had been tapping into that side of himself when formulating his plan he might have succeeded.
Laura let out of terrifying scream when she was whisked away, so I kinda doubt she was taken to the white lodge as that is supposed to be a pleasant place. I think it is where she is yanked out of one story and placed in the new story where she again has to face the evil of Judy. Maybe the thing she whispered to Coop is “this never ends” or something along those lines.
Warren Ellis’s take from the latest Orbital Operations newsletter:
Is a Chinese verb meaning, broadly. “to explain.” David Lynch just told you to your face that explanations are evil. Explanation is the devil. To explain is an extreme negative force.
“Well now. I’m not gonna talk about Judy. In fact, we’re not gonna talk about Judy at all, we’re gonna keep her out of it.”
That teenage girl in 1956 was almost certainly Sarah Palmer, who has had visions of white horses in TWIN PEAKS. “The horse is the white of the eyes and the dark within.” Grace Zabriskie is 76 and would have been 15 in 1956.
I saw someone say that episode 17 was Mark Frost’s finale and episode 18 was David Lynch’s finale.
It’s not a perfect show. Sometimes it’s not even a good show. There are choices that I feel severely damaged it. I suspect a lot of connective tissue was either cut out or immediately dismissed, to its detriment. The push-pull between Frost and Lynch always has a power imbalance. I found the way it treated women particularly poor (Lynch-as-Cole: “I’m old school, Denise”), even within the rules of the show.
A good friend of mine hated episode 8. I still say it’s the high point of the series - a completely surprising, rule-breaking fugue.
But there are moments. My god, moments that make it worthwhile. Deputy Andy, looking like a dead Stan Laurel that’d been left out in the rain for a week, somehow made functional by an experience with the numinous, even as Lucy has her shocking moment by suddenly, finally, getting one foot down on the ground of the real world.
I still stand by my sense that the entire series has, on Lynch’s side, been a long ave atque vale to Lynch’s career. So many of his films have been evoked during the series - including, at the end, I feel, LOST HIGHWAY.
Wikiquote has been on point with the show:
Jerry Horne’s foot: I am not your foot.
Jerry Horne, by the way, has been running through portals this whole time, so that’s how he walked from Washington to Wyoming. Probably helps to be high as all shit.
If you turn up the sound right at the end, you can hear Sarah Palmer calling Laura’s name. I know people who missed it. The owner of the house, and the previous owner, share names with Lodge entities named in FIRE WALK WITH ME. The electricity in the house goes out, but you can hear that electric sound. They use electricity. It’s been suggested that this is a dream. Perhaps even Laura Palmer’s dream before she wakes up, back in 1989 in that house, because Cooper changed the past and saved her.
I don’t think he saved her. I don’t think he will ever save her. He can’t solve Laura Palmer. This is not a world in which a classical hero has agency. That big heroic surge in episode 17 has to be checked by the true nature of the world.
(Note: I didn’t hear that call the first time, either. it was too low in the mix. Big mistake.)
There’s a theory that episodes 17 and 18 are supposed to be watched literally side-by-side, in sync, and that that provides a happy ending. Dreamers gonna dream.
The mini-movies, though: those long scenes that were just one-act fragments, dropped into the show as short films all their own. That was actually a bigger thing than it looks - being able to disconnect from “plot” and just do a complete bit.
The spherical seeds from which the tulpas are manufactured are gold. So was the golden globe in which Laura Palmer apparently existed and was sent into the world by the Fireman. She was therefore placed inside Sarah Palmer, just as BOB exists inside Mr. C. (As BOB lived inside Leland Palmer.) But Sarah was already carrying Judy and so Laura was doomed. So was Sarah.
That’s what this show does to you. You start inventing the connective tissue out of “clues” that really aren’t clues at all, just fish-hooks for the imagination. Exquisitely flawed, dead inside and jagged as hell.
I’m probably going to rewatch it all in a month or two.
As in most of Lynch’s work, there was some sexualization of women that ran counter to the show’s themes. Mostly in the early episodes with Tracey and Jade. It’s frustrating when he does it. I mean, the actresses are beautiful, I’m not gonna pretend like it doesn’t do anything for me–but it damages what the work is about to a degree.
Even so, I think the ending recasts the whole season as being about men and women. This is true of most of Lynch’s work, which is typically about men who try to possess or exert their will over women in some way. FWWM and Inland Empire are told from the woman’s perspective. Mulholland Drive is about two women, but that same possessive sexuality is there.
It can’t be forgotten that Bad Coop raped Audrey and Diane, two women Dale Cooper loved dearly. The last episode underlines that the doppelganger does indeed represent something that always existed inside of Cooper. Dale can’t leave the Black Lodge via the Glastonbury Grove portal until the doppelganger is reabsorbed by the Lodge (remember, he tried to leave that way in episode 2 but was blocked). He takes on the mannerisms of the doppelganger when he leaves, implying the doppelganger has returned to him. He talks slower, and in the scene where he rescues the waitress from the cowboys he’s waving his gun indiscriminately around the restaurant, to the point where I was legitimately worried he might hurt someone innocent. When he tells Diane to “come over here” so they can have sex, it’s an echo of the doppelganger’s order to Chantal when they were in a motel together. The way Dale says it to Diane is similarly commanding, and a little unnerving.
But Dale isn’t overwhelmed by his darkness. Unlike Leland, he’s able to keep it in check. We’re just seeing it because Dale is at his lowest point ever in the series, having failed to rescue Laura from the past, having lost Diane.
I think there’s always been an element in Dale that feels old-school chivalrous toward women, that views them as vessels he must use to prove his righteousness. I think part of his inability to listen to Laura is that he can’t accept a world in which he can’t save the girl. Dale used/uses the women he feels he must protect to reinforce his noble self-image. It’s this using that the doppelganger, free of any morality or principle, turned into rape.
Oh, that’s very nice