Twin Peaks: The Return (2017), the finale

After 18 episodes David Lynch's revival of his 1990's hit show, Twin Peaks has come to an end. An end is an appropriate thing to say, as the way the series ends doesn't feel like the end, something that would have wrapped up the bizarre universe that is Twin Peaks and the Black Lodge, filled with evil, good and doppelgangers.

I previously wrote about the revival after the first 4 episodes, which were interesting, to say the least, and provided very little on where the series itself was heading. And this was how the rest of the 14 episodes are as well, seeded with scenes of brilliance and with a certain unique worldview of Lynch. but still, there always was the question of where this all is really heading? What was the purpose of that? Why did that happen? Who is that really? There were original Twin Peaks is a piece of at times comfortable oddity, the revival dives in the deep end and never really gets to the surface, as the waters are covered with icebergs with gargantuan bases, which prevent the top to be reached.

There's one thing I can say about the revival as a certain fact: if you are only a fan of the original TV-series, there's a good possibility you won't like the new series. The two aren't very similar at all and in fact, the revival is closer to Lynch's own Fire Walk With Me movie. Unlike many other revivals, Twin Peaks: The Return is almost void of nostalgia. I'm not saying there isn't any, but it definitely isn't trying to ride on the coattails of what was. Twin Peaks has moved on,  not stayed in the vacuum, unchanging. Times and places change, despite people might stay the same.

But what is Twin Peaks: the Return really about? It's not about the comfy feeling seeing special agent Cooper sitting in the RR Cafe, sipping a cup and eating cherry pie. We do see familiar faces and familiar places, but at the same time there's no escaping the fact, that time has moved on. Things that used to look new, have now decayed a bit, people have gotten older, but in many cases, the people have changed very little. Andy and Lucy are still simple people, Hawk still is a good cop and Norma runs RR while Ed Hurley pines after her.  Those all are things, that could be nostalgic, but aren't really, because of how Lynch handles them.



One huge thing that is different is Cooper, as he has been locked away in the Black Lodge for over two decades. Trapped in the twilight zone with giants and midgets and tricky time, he finally gets out but is almost catatonic, functioning almost on muscle memory alone, like he's in some sort of dream state. At the same time, Cooper's evil doppelganger wreaks havoc, but he must be returned back from where he came. There are two returns right there, Cooper coming back to his senses and the evil doppelganger getting back hence he came from. That's one important part what this revival is about, but it's not the whole picture.

There's the important question of evil and its nature as well as how the Black Lodge manifests itself on Earth and how it affects things all around. The deeper the rabbit hole goes, the clearer it becomes that there is more than one evil being loose. There are those soot-faced Woodsmen, who seem to be minions of the Lodge or at least some of the demons who've come from there. But the Lodge itself is not all about evil, as some inhabitants, like the Fireman or the Giant, seem to be willing to help people to defeat the evil beings.   There's a nature of duality about the Black Lodge, it inhabits both evil and good spirits, but it is a place that works in dream logic, showing visions and possibilities that are either portrayals of things to come or veiled hints.



A question you might ask about the Black Lodge is, what is its endgame? Why does it exist and what does it in reality of Twin Peaks really represent. Is it some sort of purgatory or a hallway between life and death? Or is it neither or some other transdimensional habitat for things older than time itself. What we do know is, that the beings who live there are old, probably immortal, some moral, some immoral, depending on what's your concept of said things. They can possess people, make them do their bidding, like what Bob did with Leland Palmer.

But again, it's obvious that the good spirits, or at least neutral ones, know what the evil spirits do. At times they do try to stop them, but not always. Not everything the evil ones do is important enough to warrant meddling with. Some things are, however, like Laura Palmer, who despite her short screen time, still seems to be the key piece. Her murder triggered something, perhaps something that should not have been triggered, so that needs fixing. And Cooper is the one who's doing the fixing.

The way Twin Peaks: The Return ends leaves us hanging in many ways. It leaves threads open, deliberately. We did see things, like the awakening of Audrey, but where did she return to and from where? And where did Cooper really end up with Diane? Did he manage to fix things up, or did he make a bigger mess of them on the way, despite the kid with a green glove managed to stop Bob and the doppelganger of Cooper's was put down as well by Lucy.



There were some things resolved, like Cooper's return back to the real world from the Black Lodge and him getting his mind back, albeit he changed a bit. There are doors left open though and at some point, I do think David Lynch and Mark Frost might be doing another series, perhaps titles the Return 2, or maybe they'll just pen up a movie, which ties up the threads left hanging here.

However, it might end up though, Twin Peaks: The Return isn't made to be something that is easily digested. It's meant to be a puzzle that requires some thinking and even then only people who know the whole picture, or at least have an inkling of it, are Lynch and Frost. Depending on how financially viable the Return was, we might see something soon, if not later.

I just hope, that if there's a later, it won't take yet another 25 years.


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