There were a lot of listener feedback episodes this week as Twin Peaks: The Return took the week off, but not the dedicated podcasters! In the podcast sphere there was just as much heavy hitting coverage as ever, and a ton to appreciate, even a crossover event.
I wasn’t able to get to Lodgers’ listener questions episode or Mr. Podcast’s coverage of Part Eight. But I got everything else checked off. I’ll catch up with those two next week.
Twin Peaks Revival did a reactcast for Part Eight and started out seeing visual connections between the New York glass box kill and the woodsmen going after DoppelCooper. They think the best reason for the c-section is Bob wanted out of DoppelCooper, found the sound design throughout amazing, but wondered why make the convenience store into a miniature. They wonder if the Giant/Dido location is the White or Black lodge or neither, and say the good forces are now as over the top as the evil forces. They make connections to Secret History of Twin Peaks with the Sky People descending and the frogspawn of eggs from Experiment/Mother, and make connections to the big three troublesome marks of America: slavery (the Abe Lincoln Woodsman), treatment of Native Americans (the Nez Perce’s reservation being a dumping ground for radiation waste) and the atom bomb itself. The hosts wonder if Girl’s mom and dad are the two people killed at the radio station, and they make quite a case for a cycle happening again: Everyone fell asleep to Leland’s treatment of Laura. In this town everyone falls asleep before the frog bug invades the girl. Boy could be rapey, could’ve come back and assaulted Girl, and the whole town falls asleep as a coping mechanism, a masking memory. Laura all over again. Her parents could be dead and this is why no one came in to help her. Did the abuse begin here and travel up to Twin Peaks? I understand this is a bit of a reach, but there’s a ton of things that ring true in this assessment (and after Frost basically implies Meriwether Lewis died in similar rituatlistic way to Laura Palmer I would not be shocked if Lynch and Frost wanted to imply a repeated cycle). After this thunderbolt, the hosts talk about analysis itself, how you can subjectively enjoy things and objectively see it’s not good, etc. They look into imdb reviews of the show thus far and basically recommend people be open to different interpretations. They also cover the Lynch style and how some actors fit into it better than others, and how the soap opera element would help the audience love the newer characters rather than the way we’re being jerked around from plot to plot.
The Gifted and The Damned put together a listener feedback episode full of smart hot takes from listeners through social media and emails. They bring up some of the fandom that said “if you don’t like Part Eight you’re not a true Twin Peaks fan” as ludicrous and call out Brad Dukes, author of Reflections (an eye-opening book you NEED if you want to deep-dive into the show), didn’t care for Part Eight. There is no reason for purity tests, I completely agree. Things are subjective to everyone. They did a good job of getting to the heart of the feedback they received and separated it into categories. My favorite feedback was the one that the lodge denizens could possibly come from a black hole.
Twin Peaks Unwrapped took the week off by putting out two interview episodes, both a half hour each (the work ethic on these guys is stunning). The episode interviewing Deer Meadow Radio’s Mark Givens was a check-in with all the predictions they made in TPU’s 100th episode. I love that these three guys are recalibrating already, and that they were having fun with how wrong they were on some things, as well as their joy in getting some things pretty right. Mark also gave us a preview of some of the next Deer Meadow Radio’s subject matter by teasing a prediction for Naido, the eyeless purple room denizen. The episode interviewing lostinthemovies.com’s Joel Bocko started with a discussion on sound design and Kubrick references. Joel revealed himself to be on the Dougie train, looking at the goal here being a completely integrated Cooper by the end. He also suggests the vibe of this show may be what if Mulholland Drive really was a TV show. They talk about Amy Shiels’ heavy presence before The Return and her basic lack of scenes since, the pros and cons of the music act interludes, and that there’s only one majorly spoiled scene left that hasn’t aired yet. Beyond that it’s all mystery (or is it secrets).
Dishin’ The Percolator began their coverage of Part Eight by celebrating that the Presbyterians lost their takeover bid against the podcast and that Dishin’ is officially past their technical problems and back on iTunes! Congratulations, guys, you survived the experience. Dallas began by saying how visually compelling Part Eight was but never seemed overly lost (and was positive through the whole show so I think he liked it well enough). Since NIN did it, the hosts went through a list of great ways you can include a Pearl Jam music video within Twin Peaks. They talk about what Twin Peaks fans really want (answers that ask more questions, etc) and how that’s got to be fairly frustrating to the rest of the viewers. They wondered if Bob was sent back in time (during the music video) to the moment of the bomb, say Boy could be Leland, connect the poem line “white of the eyes” to doppelganger eyes, and think it would be great if Laura could finally save the day after everything she’s been put through. They also ask if the bomb changed things so the previous Twin Peaks isn’t the same anymore, and if Lynch is using all his unused ideas in this show. And they ask what if at the end of this thing Laura Palmer says “I’ll see you again in five months” and then everybody just freaks out in happiness and there’s a dance party in the black lodge (I’d probably cry, that’s one answer for you).
Twin Peaks Rewatch began their listener feedback episode with the clip from Inland Empire special features where Lynch tells the story about frog moths that proves Lynch doesn’t forget much. The hosts explain why they think The Return adds to Twin Peaks’ legacy and will likely be seen as vital rather than something like the Crystal Skull that will drop off from the legacy as if it never happened. They mention how Frost is felt here more than you’d think, talk about clips of Lynch on set with actors and how he feeds them the emotion he’s looking for them to portray, and talk about birth energy touched on with the Golden Laura Egg and the frog moth and Girl. They have a section on callbacks where they bring up how the Episode 29 original script is looking pretty close to how the lodge worlds are being portrayed now. One listener wonders if the woodsmen could be the owls from Seasons one and two, and another listener mentions the same thing my beautiful smarty wife told me weeks ago: that the show intro begins with the Laura egg’s descent from above into Twin Peaks.
How’s Annie began their coverage of Part Eight thinking DoppelCooper was being dragged back to the lodge but shifted quick into wondering who DoppelCooper will “be” after the change, and what that’ll mean for Dougie. They make a connection from the dancing woodsmen to Ring Around the Rosie, the childlike take on plague and cremation. All the plots seem to relate one way or another to Major Briggs. The hosts talk about the amazing sound design and ask us to ponder what the Maddie scene would’ve been like on Showtime. They wonder if Laura’s face in the Golden egg is purely a symbol for the good we can do rather than a literal representation of Laura, and they also discuss if she’s the doppelganger of the glass box demon and also how much of a Christ figure she may or may not be. They’re not going to judge any of this until they see where Lynch and Frost are going with this. Any other director trying to do this would be too pretentious but Lynch made it enjoyable. The figure it must be the heart he puts at its center.
Chopping Wood Inside is a new podcast I just found, and their bread and butter is developing theories and dissecting the popular ones out and about in social media. Conjecture, connecting dots that may or may not be there…all the stuff I call catnip. I don’t recommend if you only like a straightforward episode recap, but if you like exploring Twin Peaks and you regularly fold it and poke at it to see how it ticks, you’ll like this show quite a bit. They also put out episodes as frequently as they want. They put out three episodes just relating to Part Eight, and a pre-Part Nine episode yesterday. All at right about an hour long each. The hosts posit in their Part Eight coverage that the woodmen are Dugpas, the Log Lady’s “Laura is the One” is still massively important, that the host/parasite dynamic is now more physical rather than historically metaphorical, and that Dido may have been IN that Part One scene just off camera between Cooper and the Giant. They wonder if the golden egg is an immaculate conception and discuss at length the Christ imagery. They bring up the golden orb the giant gives Cooper in Season Two after he says “you forgot something”, and note Leland’s stomach wound in the Red Room at the end of FWWM. The Part Nine-related episode has the hosts thinking The Chair will relate to Mickey’s friend Linda’s wheelchair, that Jeffries is the anti-Briggs time traveler, that Ray Monroe may be FBI, Becky Burnett may more so be calling back to Teresa Banks, and there should be a Ruth Davenport murder scene that includes the woodsmen, Bill Hastings, and a ton of zero context that makes us ask what the hell is going on there. They think Audrey doesn’t live in Twin Peaks anymore and will come back for a small but pertinent plot-related reason (but probably not in Part Nine). And they think the Dougie portion of the show is more a dream than a reality construct of some sort. They also bring up the Count of St Germain as a likely source (via Frost) that likely figured into things like Dougie.
The Ghostwood hosts give the best advice I’ve heard for your only job when watching Twin Peaks: “Be observant, and remember what you see.” This is how they begin their coverage of Part Eight. They equate the Experiment’s spewing of eggs with garmonbozia. They also LOVE Senorita Dido’s old school Hollywood vibe, and Xan had this to say: “Everyone thinks Gloria Swanson’s overacting in Sunset Boulevard until you turn the sound down. Then she’s the only one you can understand.” They wonder if the FWWM angel scene in the red room made Laura laugh like that because Laura finally realized what she IS, and the hosts also wonder if she’s a white blood cell against the infection called Bob. They think the frog locust is just one of the eggs, not Bob or Laura. They also think Girl is probably Sarah Palmer.
Counter.Esperanto checked in with some quick solidly esoteric thoughts on Parts Five through Eight in their episode titled The 11th Secret. The hosts believe unity of time is not present in The Return, in that some things are happening much too fast and simultaneously much too slow. They think Laura is more of a catalyst than a Christ figure, and Karl mentioned how a winged frog on a Great Northern totem pole, when looked at head-on, resembles an owl. They discus cosmic weird horror and how it’s all traditionally a metaphor for things we don’t understand. And they give a proper look into how time breaks down and Lovecraft monsters. They cover less of Twin Peaks and more of the palate of things that circle the themes of the show, and they are phenomenal at it. They fit the mood of Twin Peaks better than most.
Laura Palmer is Dead covered Parts Seven and Eight in one podcast. General concensus? They loved Seven, and Eight was weird. They think Ben Horne has a great story in the Return, and they finally get around to bringing up the Audrey/DoppelCooper/Richard Horne theory. They love Dern’s portrayal of Diane, think DoppelCooper was VACANT in that scene, no one likes Tammy Preston, and the main host still hasn’t warmed up to Janey-E. They give credit to the woodsmen possibly being Dugpas and wonder if this was their moment of creation. They feel that every time a number, time or date comes up they have to explore the significance, which is actually a good-but-exhaustive instinct, and they’re on team Sarah Palmer for who Girl is.
Bookhouse Podcast had on guest Linda Ward, who was okay enough with the treatment of women on the show so far (she knows what to expect with Lynch work by now, and it was better than in the past). One host generally think the show isn’t grounded enough, needs a main focused mystery and kooky characters. They wonder if the farm is connected to Dead Dog Farm, if the sound the Giant told Cooper to pay attention to signifies the White Lodge, if Bob is still inside DoppelCooper, and when DoppelCooper and CooperDougie will meet. They discuss favorite characters, and hypothesize how all the plot lines will start connecting together.
Sparkwood & 21 covered Part Eight themselves last week and released their Feedback Episode this week, and it was pretty glorious. The way the hosts discuss the feedback as they’re reading it really makes you feel like part of a conversation. You get a good sense of the writers as well as the hosts and I recommend you subscribe to this one as soon as possible. Subjects dealt with are: Is OG Twin Peaks an alternate universe after Part Eight’s events? Is Laura pulled into the gold egg after the ending of Fire Walk With Me like a super hero to save the day? With numerology etc, do you think future Parts will wipe away everything we’ve seen so far and Twin Peaks starts over? This was not the birth of evil. One feedback independantly and poetically described what is essentially my timequake theory which I’ll always appreciate. A feedbacker named George wondered if Ray is undercover FBI, which makes me wonder if that was Ray’s actor writing in with a scoop…. The hosts discus alternate realities, how the Giant’s “listen to the sound” could be equated to the locust/frogs, and where MIKE was in the Experiment barf (has different origins from BOB and the rest)? Solid stuff as ever, this show always gets my brain firing on all cylinders.
Endgame Podcasts covers multiple TV shows (similar to Boob Tube Buddies), and the great team they have on Twin Peaks really gets how to look into the show for maximium results. Part Eight had guest JennyOnTheJob, and they list the segments they’ll be covering up front like audio chapter headings. Previously they’ve been reffering to DoppelCooper as Bob but they were really good with changing their terms when presented with new information, a great trait to have as a Twin Peaks fan (the thing that impressed me the most), and they discuss probabilities of seeing David Bowie, belief in DoppelCooper definitely raping Audrey and Diane, and brought up Trinitium and how things CHANGE. “Got a Light” is definitely the Chief Woodsman, and the hosts think the woodsmen in general are a riff on Walking Dead. They discuss the Red Room vs being part of the black lodge, think the woodsmen work for Mother/Experiment and/or Bob, note how the woodsman goes to Mass Media (an evil?) to deliver his message and hypnotizes everyone. Their Brand Schtick is pretty minor, and their thoughtfulness is fairly up there. They like to jump to conclusions for simplicity but are great with changing their minds when presented with new info. Thumbs up for this one.
Damn Fine Podcast basically came back and re-covered Part Eight with some hindsight in their thought processes, and had guests Dave Brodbeck and Mallory O’Meara on to help. They went from bewilderment to amazement. They think the Dougie stuff will pay off in time, and liked how (rather than getting straight exposition) we get to participate in interpreting the events of Part Eight. They discuss how Twin Peaks isn’t pie and coffee anymore, that there’s so much Twin Peaks left we still haven’t seen people like Bridgette Fonda and an actor who usually plays practical effects monsters. They wonder if the woodsmen are the loggers who died in the Twin Peaks fire of 1902 mentioned in Secret History or if they’re the homeless people who conspiracy theories say were actually shipped in (in our reality) to test how humans would do under a nuclear blast. They think Janey-E and Sonny Jim are created characters, woodsmen seem like vultures, and that the Dougie news report will bring the Dougie storyline into the other plots.
Formica Table covered Part Eight and think DoppelCooper’s goofy app technology fits right in with old Twin Peaks. The biggest shock of the episode was Ray getting the drop on DoppelCooper. The woodsmen/Bob scene properly creeped out everyone, and the low tech approach to the special effects added to the creepy. Two hosts didn’t like the NIN at all but one host liked it, and they all wonder if the woodmen just gave DoppelCoop an oil change or if they removed Bob. They vote Tim Roth for playing Jeffries, note the love Kubrick and Lynch had for each other, and thought the purple place implied Project Bluebook. They debate Flash Gordon vs Dune, think Dido is a symbol of active goodness and fertilized the golden egg with a kiss of spiritual blessing, and the quinoa special feature on Inland Empire about the frog moth. They think Girl is shown as a virgin and therefore an immaculate conception is implied. Possible identities: Girl may be Sarah Palmer, or Boy may have been Gordon.
Time For Cherry Pie and Coffee (a subheading of the Time For Cakes and Ales podcast) released part one of Listening Post Alpha, a crossover event with Bickering Peaks, and in this half the two podcast teams covered all things leaning White Lodge. They note how the disorientation of The Return is purposeful, discuss the half-answer of how Cooper left the lodge, and expect a full-on tone flip in the series. They think the Gold Laura Ball is less about her creation and more of a mark on her, and they don’t think this will take away Laura’s free will. They think possibly this could be a marker of a moment in time, and they wonder if the Giant and Dido are moving bakwards through time River Song-style, and no one thinks the frog/locust is Laura, merely thematically connected. Lynch has historically always understood what makes Laura heroic and wouldn’t undermine it now. Is the gold ball a NEW iteration of Laura at a different point in time, more like a promotion after her FWWM experience than marking her as a chosen one? They think the woods will be what brings Cooper back to Twin Peaks, think Hawk scenes are being deliberately shown out of sequence, and by the end we’ll have just the right amount of Good Coop that we need. They think as it’s called the Return, this is a grand return home after a trial through the underworld, and he’s an Arthurian return figure. They discuss the influence of Frost as a writer and how it equals Lynch’s painterly influences. Dangling plot threads seem to be included to add to unease. And someone in the government must know about Listening Post Alpha. There is optimism here about the next ten Parts. And the show travels onto Bickering Peaks.
Bickering Peaks covers part two of the crossover event Listening Post Alpha with Time For Cherry Pie and Coffee, and cover all things leaning black lodge. They ponder where DoppelCooper will go from here minus Bob, and what DC’s particular kind of evil will be (how much of his actions were motivated by Bob’s appetite?). The hosts think we WILL see Phillip Jeffries in some form, and think he could be (working with) Phillip Gerard. They discuss if the woodsmen are harvesters, harbingers, foot soldiers of the coming spirits, miners who died in the nuclear blast, or the loggers who died in the 1902 Twin Peaks fire from Secret History. And do they feast on Bobs? And is Bob back in DoppelCooper after the operation? They posit the woodsmen may even a different existence altogether than the lodge denizens. Possibly there’s more than one Mother/Experiment but likely it’s the only one. Were Briggs and Ray working together to capture evil spirits? Were the coordinates where Laura’s been returned to? is Red a new Lodge spirit, or human like Leland, Leo and Hank? They wonder how Cooper will interact with those wronged by DoppelCooper, and they discuss the Owl Cave ring and its possible powers (and how it’s not explicitely connected to transportation). They think Windom Earle should conceptually appear sometime before the end of the Return. The two podcasts did a nice job transitioning between crossover parts using Green Onions and ending this part on Sleep Walk. Style points aplenty and a really excellent use of three hours that I would recommend to anyone. Major thumbs up, and a nice benchmark for how Twin Peaks Podcasts should form Voltron later on as The Return puts a bow on itself.
Red Room Podcast posted a conversation between Scott Ryan and Josh Eisenstadt where they look into the first eight Parts and hypothesize on the future of The Return, and it is well worth your time if you’re into theorizing. Josh thinks series Leland was not a doppelganger because Leland let Bob in rather than how Cooper went into the lodge and confronted his doppelganger. This is an excellent distinction I may have to think about as I’ve been assuming otherwise. They think Bob has been released to be with the caller DoppelCooper called Phillip, and that Bob may go into that caller. Laura may have whispered to Cooper how he could beat his Doppelganger which is something she shouldn’t say and is yanked away because of it. Scott thinks the ending of the Return should be exactly the same as the ending in Fire Walk With Me, with further understanding, seeing this cycle again with further understanding and context. I ADORE THIS THOUGHT AND STRONGLY WISH IT TRUE. They think Experiment is spewing garmonbozia, think Audrey is much more important to viewers than Lynch and Frost, wonder if the found diary pages were actually given from Laura to the Log Lady who in turn gave to Major Briggs, and note how the pages look different from the other diary pages. They think they can see the Laura Orb in the actual atom bomb explosion scene, note Girl could’ve been abducted like Margaret (her knees are a clue), think the bomb may have burnt the woodsmen, and that the FWWM scene in the convenience store may be chronologically before 1945.
Mr. Podcast covered Part Seven in an EIGHT HOUR monster of a podcast. It’s very Lynchean how they turn over every stone in their conversation but you need to be open to the experience. They wonder if Josie in the walls will lead to Harry’s return, that Hawk could easily be wrong about how the pages got into that stall door, and discuss when Laura actually wrote those diary pages in the first place. They talk around the reversed DoppelCooper fingerprint in a Who’s On First way, bring up that awkward Cooper Flirting With Diane scene in the missing pieces, think DoppelCooper would make a good Space Ghost Coast To Coast style host, and brings up Faraday Cages. They talk tangentially through John Thorne’s FWWM dream theory, and about Dougie scenes wonder if the Ike defensive measures were a sign of progress or if it’s only a faint sense that Coop is still in there. SO many mysteries are out there for us and now they have to wonder if Andy’s on the take? This show deals well with all the permutations of every scene and I like these guys quite a bit, even if I think they might be trying to kill me with their episode lengths (I mostly kid).
AND IF YOU ONLY LISTEN TO ONE SHOW THIS WEEK IT SHOULD BE:
Twin Peaks The Return posted an interview Andy had with Mark Frost, recorded months before The Return began airing. Frost said he and Lynch wanted to give the fans something new and tie up unfinished business, not looking for a cash-in or nostalgia. And they worked at it first before proceeding, siting an old boy scout motto “be sure you’re right then go ahead.” About the title change from Secret Lives to Secret History, Frost said he changed the title for semantics. He also didn’t connect that the Final Dossier will be released concurrent to the Kennedy assassination files set for being released to public record. They discuss how society is supposed to function if truth is fungible, and talk about Milford’s role in the book: to investigate things that defy logic and rationality, and analyze it for level of threat. Frost spoke of the era he was breathing, mentioning the Kennedy assassination as well as the Beatles “Paul is Dead” theory, followed by Watergate. As he was in his youth, he knows fans want to be engaged and put into active service and he made Secret History with this purpose. He’s drawn to open-ended things and intends to get people to ask the right questions. Frost was on set about 40% of the time though was mostly focused on writing the book. I nearly cry every time I hear Frost speak about storytelling. The man is thoughtful, purposeful, well-spoken and quite a role model for storytellers. As good as everything else was this week, I can’t help but call this one my Show of the Week.
Not on the list but you released a podcast last week? Leave a comment here so I can add you into my listening schedule. The Twin Peaks community needs to know about you!