In my previous post on Twin Peaks-The Return, I reflected on the individual episodes 1-10. This time round, I want to share my thoughts on the remaining episodes as a whole. Much of what I’m feeling about the show right now is heavily influenced by the excellent Hanging With Agent Cooper podcast and episode 24 of the Counter Esperanto podcast. I’m going to assume that readers of the post have watched the entire show. I’m keen to get your thoughts about 2017 Twin Peaks so please leave a comment so when can get a lively conversation going.
Inspired by the 25YL Twin Peaks rewatch and the above mentioned podcasts, I decided to rewatch the show a second time. Ever since episode 18 aired last year, I found myself pining for the show. Even though I watch lots of TV and I love shows like Stranger Things and Discovery, I never felt or thought about them like I think about Twin Peaks, only Breaking Bad comes to mind as a show I still think about. After the rewatch, I felt as if I had flushed it out of my system so to speak but I was wrong. More than ever I find myself reflecting on the fan theories whereas before I was happy to go along for the ride. I think I am subconciously searching for a doorway to future iterations of Peaks. I have even attempted some fan fiction but I realise at the same time that this is not what the show is about. What I feel I am starting to understand is that Lynch & Frost gave me what I wanted without me realising I wanted it
Some of the most powerful moments in Twin Peaks come in these final episodes. Moments like the passing of the log lady, Gordon Coles dream , Cooper waking up and bidding farewell to Janey E and Sonny Jim and the events of episodes 17 and 18.
The realisation of the finale of Twin Peaks took some time to sink in. We didn’t get a resolute ending. We didn’t get the equivalent of Walter White getting his redemption or Norman Bates running to his mother in the afterlife. I thought that I wanted closure. I wanted a simple story of Cooper overcoming his doppelganger and reuniting with the good folks of Twin Peaks. I thought I wanted this but I was wrong because what I got was so much better.
The final moments of Laura Palmer screaming and the lights going out in the Palmer house may be confounding but it left us with a room to dream. I ask myself how do we got the closure we so wanted, would we even still be talking about Twin Peaks right now?
Just like the end of season 2, we are left with questions. We are left wanting more. Ever since the credits rolled last September, fans have been busy with theories. Books are being written, new thought pieces appear almost every week attempting to break down and interpret what happened in those closing moments.
Was it all a dream? At this time, my mind seems settled on this idea. David Lynch often talks about different realities have the idea of exploring different Worlds. Perhaps there was always more than one Twin Peaks and what we saw in season 3 is the alternate Twin Peaks. This was the town we love affected by the annals of time, by changing circumstances and the ill effects of change.
We watch the journey of Cooper and we pined for the character we grew to love so much in the original series. We collectively willed Dale to wake from the slumber that was Dougie. I myself reflected on this a lot and I thought about how much we as individuals go through so many changes in life. It’s almost as if we are times, different people. We may not change completely but we don’t stay the same. We age, we are affected by our circumstances and and we consciously try to change throughout our lives. We like to think of good times in our lives. We recall childhood and happier times in our lives but we can’t get them back. For many of us, Twin Peaks is a happy memory, a piece of nostalgia that we like to Dwell upon. But would be really have been happy if all we got was nostalgia and fan service?
The real question for me is not whether or not I enjoyed season 3 because I know I did. The question is will we ever get to see more of this show we love so much? Or should will be happy with what we got and celebrate what I believe to be one of the greatest shows ever, not without its flaws but nothing is after all.
I will always appreciate being able to observe the journey of the doppelganger and those connected to him. I stand by the fact Kyle MacLachlan should have got awards for his acting in The Return. There were so many stand-out performances in the show. Actors like Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, the late Miguel Ferrer, Matthew lillard and Lynch himself all gave outstanding on-screen performances in my opinion.
As for my favourite scenes, it really is a question of where to start. In the latter episodes, I enjoyed the Twin Peaks sheriff department meeting the fireman or rather Deputy Brennan meeting with the mysterious giant. For pure surrealism, I can’t get enough of the ‘who is Judy’ scene with Mr C and Phillip Jeffries and final two episodes, as confusing as they are, are nonetheless brilliant and intriguing.
It was nice of Lynch to pay respects to some of the original cast in the closing episodes from season 3. We got to see Jack Nance and some of the absent or long gone cast members from the original show. I can’t help thinking that had Don S Davies and David Bowie been alive to take part in a season 3, they would have been even more prominent in it.
Those last two episodes really felt like a Mulholland Drive moment. The narrative completely switched and took a fascinating left turn that none of us could ever have seen coming. One of my favourite scenes is from the very last episode where Cooper dispatches a very nasty bunch of cowboys! For me, Cooper is still the Hero, not a deluded ‘white Knight’ as some suggest. Good guys make mistakes, maybe things didn’t work out this time for our hero but that’s all part of the Hero’s Journey, right?
I feel like there’s more to tell in this story. Maybe it’s my selfishness but I want to see more Twin Peaks. Even the Breaking Bad universe scenario could work. I would love to see spin off shows about Bobby Briggs and the Twin Peaks sheriff department. Bobby seems like a logical character to follow on with given his father’s standing in the narrative.
Even if Mark Frost alone directed this ‘better call Bobby Briggs’ show, I would be happy. The surrealism could be toned down a bit in favour of a more police procedural style.
If there was to be a fourth season of Twin Peaks, it would be nice if Chrysta Bell took some time to take acting classes and become the agent Tammy Preston of the Mark Frost books. It was a shame the agent Preston character did so little in season 3. My idea would be that Gordon Cole goes into retirement and Tammy becomes the director of the blue rose task force. I would bring back Kiefer Sutherland as Agent Stanley. Perhaps after all these years, Agent Stanley it’s still motivated by the disappearance of his partner and being shut out of the task force by Cooper. What if Phillip Jeffries was of English descent. His Father just happened to be a secret agent played by Sir Patrick Stewart. The father, sad over the loss of his son, wants to save Cooper from a similar fate. He knows about the black lodge and in the twilight of his years, he wants to help the blue rose task force locate Cooper and bring him back. I think there’s potential for a great story there.
Maybe perfect is not the right word, but season 3 was compelling, memorable and a joy to experience. It would be a shame if we didn’t get any more but at the same time, I’m grateful for what we got.