Twin Peaks the Return finale: We can see clearly now ( and how not to interpret the finale)

Twin Peaks finale explained, the best theories.

* scroll down if you want to go to the theory about Twin Peaks and skip the rest.

Let's take a little breather here. More than a week has passed since the finale of Twin Peaks the Return has aired and it seems we are spinning out of control. There's a battle on Reddit, synchronization pro and cons, people watching the last two episodes next to each other, even overlaid if I understood it correctly. There have been so many theories, lots of Youtubers, everyone of them certain they have landed on the right explanation, certainly doing a better job than most journalists, apart from the ones on Vulture and the EW Podcast, who seem forced to write something, only to rehash trite philosophical interpretations.
Not that I don't think Twin Peaks couldn't be explained with philosophical questions about death, existence, love. But the meaning we impose on a piece of art and entertainment, says more about us, the public, then about the work itself. The only thing it says about the works is, that it inspires the public to come up with a philosophical interpretation.
Art is not philosophy. Art and also entertainment, stems from creativity. Creativity is unleashed when the artist is free, free of preconceptions, free of judgment, he/she has his eyes wide open, experiencing the world bright and new. An artist with an philosophical agenda, mostly, makes bad art.
Artists are people and they are influenced by their life, the life around them, society and other works of art, so ideas sprout from all that. Inspiration blooms on that fertile ground. But Lynch and Frost don't start their Skype chat,  with: " let's make something about our existence, let's say something about death." That's not how most artists work. Lynch has explained it more than once, he goes fishing, comes up with a piece of the puzzle, an image, something and keeps fishing till he is handed the whole puzzle.
That image is not a philosophical concept. It could be lipstick and a car driving at night, as he once explained one of his ideas.
There is is a difference between putting an interpretation onto a piece of work, originating from your own brain, or trying to decipher what an artist meant.

That second quest is a difficult one, because most artists will tell you they don't know what it meant. It is just something they need to make, their passion, obsession, their subconscious, coming from well where ideas swim, maybe it was autobiographical, who knows?

Frost and Lunch are masters of the narrative. They know exactly how to move you, manipulate you, and keep you in suspense. That is done on purpose, and being this deliberate with the storytelling tools,  can confuse the audience into thinking the themes, the philosophy of Twin Peaks is also deliberate.

A lot of artists, writers especially turn a belief they have in their personal life, upside down in their stories. Not all of them, Oliver Stone is as straight forward as they come. But Lynch and Frost are not. Is you follow Frost on Twitter you see that he is quite outspoken about politics. There has always been an ecological theme in Twin Peaks, and you could talk about the destruction of our the planet, Mother, the experiment, the atom bombs, the hypocracy of Ben Horne wanting to run for Senate, etc.
But when they blow up the bank where Audrey is, protesting the Ghost Wood project, or end one of Dr Amp rants with the consumerist gag of selling his golden shuffles, they subvert their own beliefs. Two examples to understand that writers, not always will give you their personal bias, straight. It is much more fun to create a dynamic story, chaos even.

When writing and creating you fall in love with characters, but that doesn't mean you will protect them, or give them what they want. Because they story is always stronger, the story is like Judy, she a bitch and will kill everybody that comes in her way.

Maybe this doesn't makes a lot of sense. What I am trying to say that it is difficult to interpret a piece of art, or entertainment. You can say, this is what it makes me think about. It made me reflect on my own life, my own ideas, my own philosophy. But you can't say: it is about life, death, and this philosophy. Till the maker of it will tell you explicitly what it is about, you are just making something up to justify your own reaction.

Now, you can analyze Twin Peaks in a cold, measured analytical matter, putting all your own emotions aside, just following plot lines. When Lynch says that he hates explanations, I don't think he hates people putting the puzzle together, he just hates explaining what it all meant in a deeper context. And I cam imagine that, it is awful having to put something so boring onto something that is so alive with possibilities.
I don't think you should go as far as synchronizing, but you could absolutely pull this thing apart, in an almost mathematical matter.
Lynch and Frost gave us a ton of clues. And they gave us structure. They gave us our own puzzle, to put together.
It is that it is a puzzle. The narrative structure is presented as such.
First we got the scene with the Fireman. It took ages till we got the rest.
Here are some of the clues we've got:

-The FBI pin on Dale Cooper lapel.
-Diane recall of the rape by bad Coop. The rape of Audrey Horne. But horrible and both the catalysis of a shifty narrative where we don't know where these two women were exactly. What happened to them right after? Are they linked somehow, who they are now?
-Major Briggs' note with the two dates. Leading up to Jack Rabbit's place where Naido came out. And the moment Naido became Diane. And time stood still.
-Dougie's ring in Major Briggs stomach. ???
-The diner splitting when Billy's name was called out.
-Audrey looking for Billy.
-Billy being seen by Tina's daughter, bleeding from nose and mouth.
-The guy in the prison bleeding/leaking from nose and mouth.

If we have been witnessing two dimensions in Twin Peaks, the old one and the one from the Richard/ Linda dimension, we have to find out which one is which. If the one where Billy is discussed, and Tina also, takes place in the Linda and Richard dimension, then Audrey is there too. Because she and Charlie mentioned the same people. So Billy disappeared from their dimension? Did he land as Cooper did into another life, and has not able to communicate, like Cooper couldn't? Was Billy placed into another being, like Diane was?

-Laura disappearing from the Lodge screaming. There are two theories about the Richard and Linda dimension, well three is you consider the 'it's all a dream' one, and I do not. One is that it was created by Judy, it's an evil dimension, and two it was created by the Fireman. If the dimension was created by the Fireman, why did Laura get taken from the lodge in such a violent matter? Is that the dead Laura? Once Dale saves her, she disappears from the Lodge. Could be. Most people theorize that once she slips from Dale's hand, out in the woods in 1989, she is placed into this other dimension. But it's not absolutely clear that is the case. One clue we have to solve this problem is: why does Laura disappear from the Lodge? It could be that dead Laura simply ceases to exist. That could be a good explanation. It could also be that that is the moment she is placed into the other dimension. That would mean the dimension is evil.

-For me the biggest clue of the whole season is Coop and Diane's kiss at the sheriff's station. This is no peck on the cheek. And if you remember old Dale Cooper before he went into the lodge, he wasn't kissing women left and right. even Annie first got a chaste kiss, before they got it on. Diane, the tulpa, said that in the past, there have been a kiss, but it lead to nowhere. And we know that Dale, in the past, had been in love with Windom Earl's Caroline.  So he and Diane didn't have a relationship. not before Dale went into the lodge. Now it could be that Diane was in the lodge after Bad Coop raped her and the relationship developed there, I have seen this theory. But it doesn't sound right. That is what people do in the Lodge? No, don't buy it.
The kiss is the key. They kiss indicates that they have a relationship. Before Diane becomes Naido she and Dale developed a relationship. And Major Briggs somewhere knew that she would come back as Naido, exactly where and that she would become Diane exactly at 2.53. It is when the new timeline catches up with the old. Where Old Coop meets the new one. I don't think Diane became Naido after bad Coop's rape. It simply doesn't give time for Dale Cooper and her to come together. They probably came together after Dale saved Laura, and erased his Twin Peaks history, never went into the Lodge, that time, never came out as Dougie.
Coop still did this, getting together with Diane, BEFORE the other timeline. Because he had to defeat the Doppelgänger, in order to go into the Lodge and be able to come out. Bob is no longer there, Bad Coop is no longer there, Coop can go in and out as he pleases.
He, Gordon Cole and Jeffries had a plan to find and defeat Judy. Gordon doesn't know if this plan is  proceeding as planned, another clue, something WAS planned. Cooper is aware what is happening at 2.53. He knows the Twin Peaks timeline will be altered. He retains that memory in the new timeline where Laura wasn't killed. This after Bob was. So Bob killed, Laura saved, Diane and Coop fall in love.
Diane is important because she and Dale have a relationship. Nobody kisses like that, when you are just friends. They love each other. She is the one, that Dale had a relationship with when he didn't come to Twin Peaks, and didn't get into the lodge.
I haven't seen this mentioned, but when Coop and Diane drive up to the 430 point Diane seems younger, younger than her Tulpa for sure.
Even if Dale changes Twin Peaks history he goes into the Lodge somehow.
He knows where Jeffries is and knows to enter the room in the Great Northern.
We assume somehow the information came to him, by meeting the Fireman.
But the question remains; When did he meet the Fireman? We don't know.
How does he know to enter the Great Northern basement? We don't know.
How is he able to get out of the Lodge easily? We don't know.
And how did he get back there anyway? We don't know.
All this we don't know, because it all happened in this alternative timeline, after Dale saved Laura from being killed, never went to Twin peaks, but still had lived through the timeline where Bob and Bad Coop were defeated. And together with Jeffries, Cole, Briggs and the Fireman somehow arrived at the conclusion that in order to defeat Judy he had to go to the alternative time line.

Lynch and Frost have done it before, giving just a piece of the puzzle. In Fire walk with me , Judy was mentioned for the first time. By Bowie and a monkey. Nobody thought that Judy was an extremely negative entity. Why, because they kept it from us for 25 years. So it is safe to assume that we haven't gotten big chunks of the narrative here.
When you interpret the ending of Twin Peaks the Return as a depressing loop, where Laura and Dale are lost in an alternative dimension, you assume you have gotten all the pieces of the puzzle. I don't think we did. But we got a lot. It is certain that time splits. That Twin Peaks as we know changes. That Dale life changes with it. That Laura was saved from Bob. But Laura has a greater force to face, after her father she has to defeat her mother. Coop had a plan to do it. The Fireman is helping. Audrey is not in the regular Twin Peaks, Charlie is an expression of Audrey, see the mirror, she is talking to herself. Twin Peaks has two dimensions. We have to find out which is which.
But we miss a large chunk of the story. The new story.
Maybe if we think long enough another puzzle piece with come up.
Like Pete we can happily can go fishing for it.