Angels, as we all know, are an important theme throughout Fire Walk With Me, and it is a theme that is recurring gently through The Return.
We are encountering angels in all forms, including the helpers in life, the protectors and the kind-hearted.
The entire story of Twin Peaks has a strong basis in spirituality. We can see a fine line between good souls and bad, and they are pitted against each other often. But there is always the underlying promise of hope.
‘Do you think that if you were falling in space, that you would slow down after a while, or go faster and faster?’ – Donna
‘Faster and faster, and for a long time you wouldn’t feel anything, and then you’d burst into fire forever. And the angels wouldn’t help you, because they’ve all gone away’ – Laura
Laura’s angel does go away, fading quietly and without warning, taking with it her last vestige of hope. She knew then that she was on her own.
Ronette’s faith, on the other hand, was still strong, and it saved her.
In the traincar, Ronette prayed to die rather than go through the trauma she is experiencing.
‘Father, let me die now. Please kill me. See me. Look at me.’
At that moment, Laura is looking at Ronette with regret and sorrow, but then reacts to her sudden calm. It’s interesting to note that Laura never looks at the angel. It’s Ronette’s angel, and no-one else can see her, even though Laura feels that something has changed. She knows in that moment that she is lost.
It is the same with the Voice of Love scene in the Black Lodge. Although Coop follows Laura’s gaze across the room for a moment, he never looks up at the angel. He mainly keeps his eyes on Laura and calmly watches her reaction, but only she can really see her angel.
The Return began with Laura showing us the light of the White Lodge inside her.
Is Laura now an angel, and if so, who is she to save? Sarah? Dale? Herself? Are Laura and Ronette’s angels the souls of murdered girls before them? Does your angel have experience with your own particular struggles, having overcome them themselves? Are they celestial, or just the ‘helpers’ in the world, gone on to a different fate after falling in the real world?
In part 14, Andy sees the whole story of Twin Peaks laid out for him. He also sees a beautifully framed Laura with two angels. Are the two angels of any significance? Like the doppelgängers, is one good and one bad? Is the bad angel inside Sarah, and does that bring us back to Laura’s doppelgänger?
Find Laura. Laura is the one.
The one who will save the town? Or the one who will destroy it? Has Laura been here throughout the season in plain sight? Has Laura been the Experiment all along?
No matter what happens, no matter what we see, I always come back to that final angel scene in Fire Walk With Me. To me, that has always been the end of the story.
Laura earlier tells Dale that she will see him again in 25 years. After that, he only ever encounters the screaming doppelgänger. This has always led me to believe that the final FWWM scene happened 25 years later, when Laura and Dale are together again, and Laura earns her angel and ascends to the White Lodge.
This also implies, if Hawk’s story is true, that Laura must have faced her shadow self, and must have won. She faced her dweller on the threshold with perfect courage. But when did this happen?
We may be watching it right now.