Twin Peaks Returns: What Year Is It? Twin Peaks Returns: What Year Is It?
And here we are at the clearing in the woods, so to speak. We’ve spent the entire summer together in another world, waiting for... Twin Peaks Returns: What Year Is It?

And here we are at the clearing in the woods, so to speak. We’ve spent the entire summer together in another world, waiting for the dreamer to awaken. Right now it’s 6:04 PM on Tuesday September 5th, two days after the final two episodes and I’m still thinking about it as if I had just finished watching them. As the Grateful Dead would say, what a long strange trip it’s been. An understatement to say the least. I will say this, while many people disliked the ending, I thought it was about as perfect as you could get, and probably more than we could have hoped from Lynch. I remember the final episode of season 2 and the pure anger I felt at the ending. The rage was so consuming I refused to see Fire Walk With Me for years. Did the final episodes wrap everything up? Of course not, nor did I expect it to, There were certain things I was hoping to see, but nothing that ruined the series for me.


Episode 17 opens up with Cole telling Albert and Tammy about Judy and who (or what) she really is. which is a one nasty, evil entity. Think of her as Bob’s Mother. We saw Judy in the first episode killing two people after breaking out of the glass cage, but we had no idea who it was.  Cole had been keeping this information from Albert for 25 years, and while he understood, Cole felt incredibly bad about it.

Bad Coop is in the woods, where Naido was found, and when he gets to a certain point, he disappears and ends up in the lodge(?), where we see a bunch of disembodied heads of Major Briggs. He’s then transported to the parking lot of the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Office. He sees Andy, and they go into the building together. He greets Lucy, and then goes into Truman’s office. When Andy offers him coffee, he declines. While Andy says nothing it sets off alarm bells.

There’s some tense back and forth when the phone rings with the real Dale Cooper on the other end. Bad Cooper sensing something wrong  reaches for his gun to kill Truman but is stopped by a bullet in his back from Lucy of all people. Andy meanwhile goes downstairs to get everyone out of the cells and upstairs. Why he does this isn’t clear, as I’d think they’d be safer. In the holding area Deputy Douchebag gets out of his cell, and as he makes his way to Andy, Freddie lands a punch, knocking him out, and they’re all hustled upstairs just in time to see Dale arrive followed quickly by Gordon and Albert.


And then shit gets weird. The lights go out, and the woodsmen come to finish off Bad Cooper. Dale places the ring on his doppelganger, whose stomach then splits open and a sphere with Bob inside pops out. Freddie draws its attention away Naido and they go sphere to green glove, with Freddie finally landing one final punch busting it into a million pieces that then disappear, as does the doppelgangers’ body.

Naido then goes to Dale, and she transforms into the real Diane. Or at the very least another tulpa of her. From the time the orb is demolished, Cooper’s face is superimposed over the action going on, and stays that way for a good while. He, Gordon and Diane go to the Great Northern, where he enters room 315, his old room and transported into the lodge. He talks with Phillip Jeffries the teapot and is then transported into the woods where he watches a teenage James and Laura. It’s a scene we’ve seen from Fire Walk With Me, only with Coop watching it this time. When Laura runs from James, Cooper attempts to rescue her.

We then see Pete Martell going off to fish the morning he had discovered Laura’s body, only her body disappears, and Pete simply goes fishing. The episode ends with Sarah Palmer screaming and stabbing Laura’s iconic picture.  It’s a jarring end, which certainly gives one a lot of food for thought. Which I’ll get to shortly.

The final episode opens with evil Cooper burning in the black lodge. Mike makes another tulpa of Dougie Jones who goes to be with Janey-E and Sonny Jim. It’s one of the few happy endings the series has this go round, and for me the one I cared about most. While I disliked Janey-E at the beginning, I realize her attitude was very much shaped by the real Dougie, and as she falls in love all over again with tulpa Dougie she becomes someone we care about, as well as their son.

Cooper appears in the red room again, and for a moment I thought there was going to be a repeat of the last 10 minutes of the season two finale where he spent that time running from one end to another. Fortunately that wasn’t the case. Mike takes him to see the tree that was once Mike’s arm, before he leaves. After exiting he runs into Diane. They drive for a very, very long time until they come to a motel, where they have the least erotic sex ever captured on film. I get it, it’s supposed to mirror the wild sex scene between Dougie and Janey-E, but it went on for a bit too long for my taste. When he wakes up, Diane is gone, but she left a note to “Richard from Linda”. Coop leaves stops at a diner, kicks the piss out of some guys harassing a waitress before getting the address of another waitress who works there.

Coop drives to the other waitresses house, and he believes it to be a grown Laura Palmer. He talks her into going with him to Twin Peaks. After another long, uneventful drive they pull up to the Palmer house only to find the Palmer’s don’t live there. Confused, Cooper asks Laura what year it is. Laura then hears her mother calling for her, she screams, and all the lights go out in the Palmer house. As do the lights on 18 hours of some of the most brilliant television I’m likely to see in my lifetime.

With thanks to I Am Better who I’ve been talking to every week after the show, he put things into perspective, and I’m adding in my own take as well. IAB and I both agree Bob was secondary to Judy in the food chain of evil spirits. It was Judy who escaped from the glass booth in the first episode and killed the two people.

The only way to defeat utter evil is with utter purity ie: Laura. To do that Cooper had to keep her from being killed, which he managed to do and he managed to make her remember (something I’m not sure she would appreciate). But at what cost? In my opinion, the ending is reminiscent of the final book in the Dark Tower series. We find Roland is doomed to repeat his life over and over until he gets things right. The series starts with the man in black being the villain (just as Bob is). AS we get further into the series it’s the Crimson King who is the real villain (just like Judy).  What this all means is Laura’s death was no accident. Judy used Leland, Leo, and Jaques to kill the only threat to her/its existence. Just as watching Fire Walk With Me, opened up the original series with new explanations and revelations, season 3 does the same for the series and movie. It’s utterly brilliant and typically Lynchian.

No, we didn’t get to see many threads tied up, but that’s life. Reality is never that neat either. Immediately after the  finale aired people were posting on Facebook and Twitter their dislike for the show, and feeling conned by Lynch and Frost. I liken their reaction to the story of the scorpion and the snake. Scorpion begs the snake to take him across the river, promises he won’t sting him. Snake agrees reluctantly and on the other side the scorpion stings him. When asked why, the scorpion says, “You knew what I was when you said yes.”

I for one liked the ending a lot, and feel it concludes the series in about the best way that it could.   Would I like to see more? Sure, but because I love Lynch, and anything from him is worth watching, but not for resolution. With him, it is definitely true when they say, “It’s the journey and not the destination that matters”. And when it comes to Twin Peaks I couldn’t agree more.

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Scott Colbert

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