It feels like the ’90s all over again, almost as if the ending of Season 2 and the public reaction to Fire Walk With Me merged. I told myself I wasn’t going to look at social media before I started writing, but when those ending credits rolled, my curiosity got the best of me. My gut reaction was right—people are confused, angry, their expectations weren’t met, and they wanted closure. I get that. People are calling it a set up for a fourth season. I get that too. That being said, I don’t agree with any of those sentiments.
Twin Peaks: The Return is going to take years to unpack, in particularly the final two hours. Right now, I can’t tell you what it all means. To speculate would be depriving myself the journey I’m so excited to take to try and wrap my mind around it over time. Mulholland Drive is one of my favorite films, and it took me three complete viewings to even begin to understand the final 30 minutes. Hell, I still don’t wholly understand Eraserhead yet I love the film because it dares me to dream. I don’t think Twin Peaks: The Return ended on some big elaborate plea for another season. I don’t think Frost and Lynch were doing what they did in the season finale of the first season when they literally scripted every subplot to end in a cliffhanger. There is a story that was told in The Return, a complete story that it’s up to us who choose to do so to examine, study and dream about for years to come. It’s televised art and to assume that it would provide the closure that other shows do is wrong. Nothing about Twin Peaks is like other shows and that’s what we love about it. Why should we expect the ending to be any different?
Will there be a fourth season? Your guess is as good as mine. I can assume that Showtime wants there to be based on the numbers they and their parent company CBS have reported and not based on the outdated ratings that so many subpar journalists report on. Do Lynch and Frost want to revisit this world and tell more stories? I have no idea. Speaking as someone who is well versed in the works of David Lynch, I’m quite confident that the ending of Part 18 was the ending that he and Mark Frost wanted to tell. Both Frost and Lynch have said numerous times over the past 25 years how unhappy they were with not being able to end Twin Peaks the way they wanted to. They were given the gift of a lifetime by being able to revisit this material 20 plus years later. I can’t even begin to imagine a scenario where they would end the story here anyway except the way they wanted to. Again, the ending is here; we just have to understand what it is.
I will not be going in depth as I said into what we saw. My head is spinning, just like most of yours probably is. I am one great big ball of emotions right now: happy, excited, sad that it could be over, exhausted, confused. That is what art does to us though. I’m glad that I’m not smiling ear to ear because Shelly and Bobby got back together, Cooper ate a bunch of donuts and asked Lucy about married life and everything got tied up with a nice pretty bow. Is Cooper caught in some loop where he’s always trying to save Laura and fails? Did he actually course correct her death? What’s the significance of the names “Chalfont” and “Tremond” being used in the final scene? What are we supposed to take away from that? Why did Cooper wake up in a different hotel room? Was that actually Cooper even? It seemed like him up until him and Diane drive through that portal or whatever that was. After that, his voice, his demeanor, really everything was different except for brief moments when he seemed Cooper-ish. I’m starting to feel like I watched Mulholland Drive for the first time again. Who is Diane Selwyn again?
To anyone reading this that might have had a negative reaction to what we saw tonight, your feelings are entirely valid. If you are interested, here on this site, we will be continuing to dive into what we saw for a while to come. We will theorize, speculate and try to determine what exactly Lynch and Frost were trying to tell us. We’re not going anywhere. I hope you stick around too because just like with the original show and film, I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot more enjoyable after some time has past and the shock has worn off. Until next time, thanks for reading.