I have some thoughts on how TWIN PEAKS: The Return — in fact, how David Lynch and Mark Frost’s entire three-season and feature film saga — will (and perhaps should) end.
Now, sure…I’m just another dime-a-dozen genre writer, game dude, and digital nomad type that has an enduring hard-on for smart and supernatural ‘puzzle-box’ TV. BUT…I also have an unabashed passion for all things Peaksian.
Don’t believe me?
You’re looking at a dude who ain’t shy proclaiming that he has watched the original Twin Peaks pilot (incl the Euro epilogue) and the two seasons on ABC through at least 12 times. TWIN PEAKS: Fire Walk With Me 42 times. Each and every goddamn cast and creator interview, making-of, Missing Piece, Log Lady Intro, SNL skit, Georgia Coffee commercial, and ‘Previous On Twin Peaks’ clip in existence. And don’t even get me started on the ‘companion pieces’ – Laura’s Diary, Cooper’s Tapes, the official Twin Peaks town guide, Wrapped in Plastic, and all the amazing stuff that was ‘transmedia’ before transmedia spoke its godforsaken name.
Still not sold? How about a ‘Lodge homage’ from my series, Broken Saints?
Suffice to say, I think I’ve earned a moment of indulgence — so try to humour an old yarn-spinner in some wild and wooly prognostications as we fall through space, faster and faster, towards what is sure to be the consciousness-altering conclusion of TWIN PEAKS: The Return*!
(*NOTE — Updated after viewing ‘Laura is the One’ — EP 10)
1) Major Briggs sent a message…from the FUTURE.
Thanks to Bobby’s Jackrabbit childhood and paternal military influence, we now have a pair of 25yr-old messages from the Major. The first looks like it’s giving us coordinates to the Lodge entrance(s), as well as a time for their opening/closing.
But it’s the second message that caught my eye. Fellow oldschoolers surely flashed back with me to this haunting moment from Season 2, in the ep entitled ‘Coma’:
The snippet of the original ‘radio rubbish’ printout that Hawk and Truman inspect is seen now as a hint of ‘Two Coopers’. But that was less interesting to me than what I believe to be a chronology paradox – another confirmation that time itself works differently in lodges, and dimensions, and ‘zones‘, oh my.
Bill Hastings confirmed that he met The Major in hibernation – hiding in a pocket universe, probably akin a Black Lodge ‘waiting room’, for 25 years until THIS moment. And then, after the requested coordinates were retrieved? The Major rose up in the air, spoke ‘Cooper, Cooper…’, and then his head exploded with light.
Remember what Briggs told Coop’ in the above vid about his job? Monitors aimed at galaxies beyond our own. But remember the moment later in the series, after Briggs disappeared, when his superior came to town? He corrected that bit of information:
The monitors were aimed at the woods surrounding the town.
THEORY: What if the message that the Major received from his listening station — the one he shared with Cooper in Season 2— was from himself, hiding in the Lodge, 25 Years in the future? What if he needed to sacrifice himself to set these events in motion? What if he dutifully played his role as an ‘agent’ of the White Lodge, however heartbreaking, to put all the pieces in place for the closure of the gateway to the darkness that the Trinity test first opened?
Briggs has been shown to travel through time in Twin Peaks once before:
Annie’s cameo in Laura’s FWWM dream reinforces the chronal freakiness.
Is it Future…or is it Past?
2) Coop and Doppelganger Coop will reconcile/fuse
This isn’t Highlander, people.
Sure – MIKE may have implied that ‘there can be only one’, but a binary clash of Good vs Evil just isn’t Lynch’s jam anymore. He is a creator who, when all is said and done about his penchant for the absurd and the surreal, is totally down with TM. One of my fav ‘Behind the Scenes’ (for INLAND EMPIRE) even has him loosely quoting the Upanishads.
Just take a look at his post-Peaks work:
- In TWIN PEAKS: FWWM, Laura’s in the Black Lodge…but watched over by an Angel.
- In Lost Highway, Fred changes his identity to become an ‘innocent’ in the hopes of avoiding the consequences of his crime of passion…but is trapped in a looping Hell/purgatory.
- Mulholland Drive is a’fractured self’ dealing with the extremes of goodness/evil, and the (dare I say) ‘spiritual’ repercussions of unbridled Desire.
- Laura Dern in INLAND EMPIRE? Another purgatory loop, where the horrors that the protagonist must confront are all reflections the Self, before the finale’s (All Whores Go To) Heaven reprieve.
None of this is accidental.
Lynch continues to explore this primary theme because the spiritual components resonate with him. There is NO escaping the Self in the end, no matter how broken it becomes — Union is inevitable, as all things are reflections of the One, which is pure Consciousness.
This is why I’m also willing to wager that neither DougieCoop nor DoppelCoop will ultimately be destroyed. Because our darkest aspects are still essential parts of what makes us us.
Just look at the Cooper ‘state of the union’ — DougieCoop has been neutered and wiped clean in almost every way, except for his near-supernatural Intuition, along with a nature that seems inclined towards ‘right action’. From his Mr Jackpots windfall to his insurance form sketches to his protective ‘cobra strike meets evil imp palm removal’ — Dougiecoop is only reacting, seemingly for the greater Good, but with no real ‘plan’ beyond the present moment.
Doppelcoop, on the other hand? I believe that he is NOT simply ‘evil’.
Sure, he’s done some nasty, terrible things, unforgivable things — likely driven by BOB:
But Bob is a parasite. And one that can only exist in our plane when attached to a host. And I believe the host we’re speaking of here — this doppeganger created near the end of the original series — is the manifestation of Cooper’s darker drives.
His wants. His Desires. His AGENCY.
So…if we’re ever to see Coop back as hinted/promised to vanquish his true foe(s)?
It will only happen through Oneness — Lynchian, TM-inspired UNION. Bank on it.
3) Laura will defeat BOB…w/ Philip Jeffries as host.
Gonna go with my gut on this one. Don’t have any ‘proof’ yet, mind you — but maybe these shots will provide a compass for my vector of thinking:
4) Beloved characters will fight (and die) VS the Woodsmen
After the White Lodge prologue, with UberCoop being sent ‘down’ on his mission, Season 3 begins in the forest. With Dr Jacobi. Receiving a shipment…of shovels.
No matter you might believe, thanks to the Dr Amp misdirection, this is NOT a throwaway.
In Lynch’s world, souls are GOLD.
Twin Peaks residents watch Jacobi’s show to ‘dig themselves out of the shit’, right?
And all signs point to some real shit on its way…
THEORY: What EP 8 set up with the Woodsmen after the nuke ‘birth’ will come full-circle in Twin Peaks itself, after the Woodsmen are somehow freed (perhaps due to Bobby/Hawk/Truman?) from the Black Lodge entrance near Jackrabbit Palace. The ep’s black and white horror throwback wasn’t just a nice piece of 50’s cinema styling — it was FORESHADOWING — especially with the general consensus that Leland and Sarah Palmer were the young couple featured at the heart of these events.
Could this be the Golden Shovel Moment? The reason why this thread was featured right at the top of the series? The ‘gold’ of the soul as our weapon against the shit/Darkness all around us??
Some classic characters are gonna bite the dust. Especially the unbelievers and (I hope) the corrupted. But I at least expect Nadine and Jerry Horne to confront the Woodsmen somewhere in Twin Peaks, as Lynch/Frost made sure to feature their positive reactions to Jacobi’s broadcast.
(UPDATE — seeing a golden shovel featured hovering ominously in Nadine’s Run Silent, Run Drapes shop window in the latest ep only strengthens this for me).
5) The Experiment/MOTHER will kill The Giant and Senorita Dido.
It is in Our House now.
MOTHER is coming.
The Giant is shown in EP8 to be old and infirmed.
But MOTHER is shown primal and terrifying.
THEORY: When the doors are open – to the Black and to the White Lodge – the MOTHER/Experiment will finally gain access to her nemesis’ plane, lay waste to it, and claim a temporary victory.
But She/it is too late. Because the Giant has been playing a seriously long game:
- He ‘created’ and positioned Laura Palmer.
- He sent ‘Unified Coop’ down to Earth in the Prologue.
- He provided Coop with essential clues in the original series to put him in place.
- He (I believe) provided Major Briggs with a ‘hiding place’ until his Message could be delivered.
But when MOTHER finally breaks in, I foresee the Giant and his ‘wife’, Senorita Dido, being destroyed by this manifestation of ‘The Evil That Men Do…’
But that’s when, I believe, two overwhelmingly positive expressions of Humanity — Unified Cooper and Super-Laura — will be there to fulfill their duty…
6) Cooper and Laura Become the New White Lodge Keepers
Lynch loves his (admittedly non-linear) symmetry. Laura has always needed Cooper, and Cooper has always needed Laura. From the original series to FWWM, they have helped each other across time and space a number of times. And it’s all been leading to this.
Laura was ripped UP from the Lodge to re-enter the world in the premiere, while Coop has been sent back DOWN through the levels of (non) existence in order to scuffle with his darker half, and ‘reclaim’ it.
THEORY: I predict that when Cooper and Laura reach the critical moment near the end of the new series where they achieve their ‘transcendent Selves’? They will combine forces to lock The Mother of All Evil away — as well as all the denizens of the Black Lodge — forever….
Or…at least until the great Wheel turns again. Because, according to Vedic Scripture, Tibetan Buddhism, TM, and all else that Lynch and Frost hold spiritually dear..?
Good and Evil will exist side-by-side until there is only One again.
But at least we’ll have a powerful force for Good watching over us from Beyond.
7) Diane is Doomed
Let’s face it – people are gonna die before this is all over. Lots of people. Some of them ‘important’ people. Some old friends…and some new ones that we have grown to love.
Fuck you, Diane.
Why is Cooper’s old assistant, Evil Coop victim, and potential turncoat at the top of this list?
- WHITE HAIR – Leland reference.
- ADDICTION – booze and smokes and profanity. Addicts in the Lynchverse tend to meet the nastiest fates.
- PROMISCUITY – she was apparently ‘tainted’ by DoppelCoop and deeply traumatized by the experience. But then we see her dismissing a young lover from her apartment as Gordon and Albert arrive. And in the latest ep, Albert refers to her many ‘paramours’.
- BETRAYAL — again, in the latest ep, it’s clear that Albert and Gordon smell a rat. Gordon ‘knew it when she hugged me’…and he said this right after his vision of Laura, weeping in the doorway.
8) Bobby will be injured battling RED to save Shelley and Becky
Okay…this one is based on rumours, so a big SPOILER alert from hereon in:
Apparently — there were shots (quickly removed from the usual suspects) of Shelley sneaking out of the Roadhouse to fool around with Balthazar Getty’s drug dealer, RED.
Some interesting symmetry and ‘reoccurrence’ happening here, from Shelley’s (and Bobby’s?) daughter’s drug use – RED’s custom ‘sparkle’ from Canada, no less – to Shelley cheating on her man with an exciting new one which then leads to the suffering of her old one.
Bobby 2.0…meet Leo 2.0…meet same old Shelley. Welcome to TWIN PEAKS, indeed.
Red’s clearly a ‘villain’, though probably not a major one. Still, he does seem to have hints of supernatural ‘flair’ (tied to the drugs somehow?) and a ‘between worlds’ kinda vibe:
So…RED has been touched, perhaps through narcotics, by the Black Lodge.
And…it looks like BOBBY is about to experience an entirely new reality, which may involve the entrance to the place that his father disappeared into all those years ago. And I think it’s going to fuck him up.
Plus…Shelley’s fate — and the well-being of her daughter — hangs in the balance.
Can you say Season 1 Mill fire, anyone..?
9) The show will end with a MASSIVE funeral in Twin Peaks
Place your bets, folks:
- Sheriff Truman (the original)
- At least one Horne (Richard, please)
- At least one TP deputy (Chad, PLEASE)
- And, though I am loathe to say it, most likely Cooper, too. Since The Return seems to be dealing with themes of rebirth, death, time, karma, and Union, Cooper must atone for the actions of his Evil self.
But hey…maybe there’s some small comfort in the knowledge that no matter how nasty you may have been, or how tear-jerking and somber your exit was from the show..?
Nobody is every really dead in Lynchland.
10) Lynch/Frost admit to stretching the SHIT out of S3.
I’m calling it, people.
Many years from now — perhaps long after Lynch is in the ground, and Frost or maybe Lynch’s daughter have been plied with enough vino and cash and decide to let us all in on the joke..?
We will learn the truth.
Lynch originally walked away from negotiations with Showtime over the TWIN PEAKS budget, as well as home video and streaming revenues. I’m kinda savvy on how these deals work, and am willing to wager that Showtime looked at the 400pg script — approx 9 hours of typical programming — and said, ‘Sorry buddy…but we need at least TWO seasons’ worth to commit to a budget/streaming deal of that magnitude. If you could magically double the content..?’
THEORY: Lynch and Frost worked in secret to PAD the ever loving shit outta the show — sweeping and smoking and shovels, oh my!!! — in order to fulfill a ‘two season request’ (18hrs total) from Showtime.
Not only did this ensure Lynch’s streaming and budget demands were met, but there was no way in HELL Showtime was going to air just half of this surreal (and, if we’re being completely honest, maddeningly belaboured) journey, and then make people wait a fucking year for a rest.
There would’ve been a…wait for it…LYNCHING.
Upon seeing the finished eps, Showtime’s programming execs must’ve pooped themselves. With Lynch’s final cut chiseled in stone as one of the first deal points, there was NO way they could do anything but surrender, and air it all over the summer season as a single, extended, ‘limited series event’.
I honestly believe that the truth will come out someday.
But, in the end, as with all things TWIM PEAKS…does it really matter how, what, or why?