TWIN PEAKS THE RETURN: BRACE YOURSELF FOR IMPACT.

6:42:00 AM


‘Do you think if you would fall into space, you would slow down after a while or go faster and faster?’
‘ Faster and faster. For a long time, you wouldn’t feel anything and then you burst into fire. Forever. And the angels wouldn’t help you. Because they have all gone away.’


With six episodes to go we are approaching the Karman Line, not knowing if we will go faster and faster and burst into fire, or if angels will wait there to finally give us relief. With only six episodes of The Return to go, what kind of ending are we going to get?
Twentyfive years ago I took it at face value when Laura Palmer promised she would be back. I was sure the Black Lodge would open. I kept counting off, ten, nine, eight…
Blastoff.

Lynch and Frost, but especially Lynch, left us devastated. The Twin Peaks finale was the best and meanest finale of a TV show ever. Don’t come to me with the screen turning to black. That is child’s play. The good and awesome Dale turned evil, Audrey and Pete blew up, Annie died? The gentle Doc Hayward seemed to kill Ben, Nadine woke up and screwed up Norma and  Big Ed's chance for a normal relationship, and that is not even counting in all the Black Lodge horror. 
But of course the loss of Dale, our anchor, our way in into this world, was the cruelest trick. 
Whith Fire walk with me our hope was rekindled but soon afterward it was announced it would be a prequel. The resulting backlash was not based on the movie at all, which is very good. It is just difficult to make peace with frustration.
That is lesson number one in the Lynch universe. Make peace with life’s frustration. You will never be happy, if you don’t accept life can be horrific, and you have no control. 
As Lynch says sorrow can be beautiful in a story. 
Even if we knew what would happen the ending of TPFWWM hit us hard again. Laura in the lodge staring at the angel, she didn’t think existed, was heartbreaking.


Of course it all could have gone differently, the original ending of Twin Peaks was meant to persuade ABC to add a third season but  instead resulted in the cancellation. the executives felt provoked. The animosity seemed reciprocal, seeing that Lynch started TPFWWM with an axe going through a television. 
On cable television it can be impossible for show runners and directors to craft the satisfying ending the public demands. I was listening to Damon Lindelof Nerdist interview this week and he was telling the story how he and Cuse wanted to end Lost after four season, but ABC  ( again) wanted nine season. They compromised on six. Even now, hearing Lindelof retell that story, there was so much anger leaking out, not wanting to be held accountable for that final season, and the unresolved issues in Lost. 
The delicate balance, executive against makers, can result in some big fuck offs, and fuck ups.

At least we don't have to worry about that. Lynch and Frost battled, even walking away, for carte blanche, and control, so this time, we get the ending they both intended.
So what to expect?


What have we gotten so far? 
Eraserhead: He kills the baby. Not a happy one.
I’ll skip Dune. I still haven’t seen it.
Elephant Man: Mr. Merrick pulls his head on the pillow and dies, ambiguous, was it a suicide or an attempt to be like normal people? Anyway, an inescapable sad ending.
Blue Velvet: Sandy and Jeffrey make it out of Frank’s awful world, they are in love, and a robin the symbol of love comes to the windowsill, a bug squirming in his beak. Dorothy Vallens is free, clutching her child. Off course the robin looks weird ( see the story) Glorious happy ending with lots of menace underneath.



Wild at Heart; I love this ending. Sailor runs over the hoods of lots of cars to get to Lula and his son and then sings Love me tender. You couldn’t get a happier ending.
Twin peaks: Well damn!
Fire walk with me: Laura Palmer is killed horrifically, is found, wrapped in plastic, ends up in the black Lodge with Dale, looking so sad, till she sees an angel and starts to cry and laughing. Heartbreaking. ( Sheryl Lee is so good in this movie.)
Lost highway: Fred whispers Dick Laurent is dead, gets chased on the highway and starts violently change into other characters. A great WTF ending. 
Mulholland drive: Diane, after a horrific hallucination, plagued by crippling guilt over the hit she took out on her lover, commits suicide. As dark as they come. And seeing the Return keeps referencing dreams, Mulholland Drive may be an indicator about where we are heading. Time doubling up on itself, a part of what we are seeing not real, but a fantasy?
Inland empire: Chrysta Bell sings Something is happening as the polish woman reunites with her husband and child and Sue/Nikki sees a innocent version of herself at peace. In all the weirdness it recalls the ending of Blue Velvet, that stillness, that inner peace.

So here we are.

A lot of the possible outcomes I read are leaning towards a positive ending. Wishful thinking?

Obviously a grand theme throughout the Return and all of Lynch work is violence against women, and now even children. When Blue Velvet came out the violence by Frank Booth against Dorothy was discussed, but with Twin Peaks it wasn't questioned that much at first. We are presented with the horrific story of a bright, vivacious, and complicated girl losing a battle against demons, against rape and abuse, destroying herself,  punishing herself for dragging people she loves into her misery. Audience nowadays are finally more sensitive to what is an accurate portrait of incest. It is hard to take, and blaming it all on Bob, how scary and thrilling he can be, is the cop out that relieves humans of accountability. 
Things have changed in entertainment, in most prestige TV shows women are not longer the victims, they take up arms, use their wits, fight and kill, organize, plot, they are the villains, are sexual, speak their truths, are messy and don't get punished for it.
So, the expectation for the Return are also based on our collective entertainment experiences and where society is at. As politics have takes a step back, society keeps going forward.
One of the theories I read predicts that Laura Palmer once sucked out of the Black Lodge starts roaming as a vengeful spirit. Looking to take revenge for all the battered women of Twin Peaks.
This is Wonder woman summer, Maggie has become the leader, Games of Thrones handed over the rein to his female protagonists, Charlize is kicking ass left and right, so we are expecting something in a similar vein. But we are not in our world, we are in David Lynch universe. Where themes return, again and again, were things don’t as much progress but get deeper. As  Kyle MacLachlan promised,  what we are seeing goes deeper than we think.
Where did Laura go? What is that light inside her? She is dead, and yet alive. And is time looping back on itself? 
Another proof of our preconceived notions is the bafflement of Audrey’s return. Audrey was seen as the one most likely to succeed. Willful, playful, Dale's rightful partner, the girl everybody fell in love with.
The reaction to her return: What is this, why is she married to this dude, why is she fucking that other dude, why doesn't she move, wtf is going on!! We don't want Audrey stuck in this weird limbo.
The introduction scene went on for too long,  the characters named all unknown, but the frustration we felt started with disappointment with where Audrey ended up. Did we somehow forget that Lynch left us for 25 years with Audrey, our Audrey, blown up? Did we really expected her to walk around all sexy and strong, awesome as always?
(My take is that Audrey is still in a coma, hearing snippets of conversation, and weaving it all in a strange dream.) 
 Even knowing the Lynchian universe we very naively put a lot of expectation on Audrey, desperate to have one of the female characters take the reins, have agency of her self instead. 
But all is not well in Twin Peaks, things got worse, look at Shelly who refused Bobby once he straighten himself out and is now hanging out with even worse boys, setting an awful example for her daughter. 

Laura is coming back, but as a vengeful spirit, I highly doubt that.



One Reddit post predicted that time would snap back in the finale, to 25 years ago, and our Coop would come out the Black lodge young and untouched, and Harry would be there and young Laura. 
That would slay everybody.
We want revenge and justice for Laura.
We want Dale back.
We want Audrey to be happy.
We want to see Bowie and Chris Isaak.
And Harry please beat this thing.
And we know Lynch can weave a wonderful happy ending. But he also knows how to rip your heart out. 
So don’t count on that.

But what then?

The Return through all the weirdness ad violence and atoms bombs, and flyfrogs, has a much more gentle undercurrent than other Lynch movies, it is full of soulful attention to mortality, Look at Ben and Doc, softened by life, infused by tenderness. The Return st is a meditation on time moving on…Moving faster and faster.
Meanwhile Gordon Cole himself is looking at us, while enjoying his wine and his company, seeing us getting all worked up, scared we won't get what we want. He grabs us by the shoulder and says: 'I sometimes worry about you.'
Because there is a light behind Laura’s face and cherry pie, and Janey-E's red bag, hitting Ike the Spike, and Carl and his whistle, and Bushnell Mullins’ loyalty, Mr Jackpot saving peoples life, The Mitchum brothers' matching robes, and Hawk and Margaret phone calls, and computers that rise from desks, and awesome cars, and jackets, and Kyle MacLachlan reunited with Laura Dern, Bobby Briggs all grown up, and A.l.b.e.r.t.! finding a soul mate.  And so much more.

We have suffered long enough, we waited 25 years, for a happy ending.
And we got it.

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