I woke up Monday, September 4th and felt as though I lost a little piece of my heart. I realized that there was to be no more Twin Peaks Sundays to come. The two part finale that was Part 17/18 has played and with Carrie/Laura’s finale scream, Palmer House blackout, and Laura whispering into Cooper’s ear, that was it. The End. Or was it? This is where the real question comes into view. Are we still the dreamers? Is this our dream?
If you’re looking for this piece to tell you a play by play of what I thought the finale meant, you may be disappointed (just like some of you were about the finale itself); because the finale meant many things to many people. This is the greatest part and most brilliant thing about Twin Peaks. It makes you aware of so many things, your humanity, your dreams, what you feel, and what questions you still have left to ask. There are so many questions, some that we are very aware of and some that are just beginning to come to the surface.
This finale was extremely polarizing. Some fans have called it genius. Some have immediately started theorizing what it meant. Some more still cannot bring themselves to re-watch the finale because they really do not know how to feel yet. Some absolutely thought this was the wrong ending. Even our fearless (or maybe not so much anymore) Agent Dale Cooper, Kyle MacLachlan himself has said he is still reeling and really does not know how to interpret the ending. Again, this is what Twin Peaks has always been about, the mystery. The dreams, the journey, the ending and then we start again. We re-watch, we analyze, we re-enjoy. The message of the Return itself gives us a clue, “It’s Happening Again.” It will continue to happen, because when you create something as “living” as Twin Peaks, it will always continue. In your mind, in your heart, and in many different ways or realities, it is not a question of right or wrong, or good or bad; it will always leave you with a question. It is our own questions. It is made for us to come up with our own answers. Occasionally, we do not like those answers, even within ourselves. We also may not like the open endedness that the creators have given us either. Is this an end or is this a beginning? Phillip did show Cooper the infinity symbol. In mathematical terms, the infinity symbol means an infinite number of terms. Does this mean that Cooper always trying to be the hero, the white knight, the savior, will constantly fail an infinite number of times? Well that very much could be, but that is just one interpretation. Does this mean he will remain in the purgatory that is the Red Room for eternity? There are an infinite number of possibilities of how to feel and internalize the finale, because we all do not dream the same. We all do not hold Twin Peaks and what it means to each of us the same. If we are indeed the dreamers, who live inside the dream, then those dreams are going to all be dissimilar. No one dream is going to be the same as the other.
The biggest example to convey this train of thought is how one listens to a piece of music or song. One of my all-time favorite songs is Halcyon On and On by Orbital. It is beautifully melodic and entrancing. Its lyrics, though never sung, were written with a message in mind. What is that message to you?
I need a place where I can go,
Where I can whisper what I know,
Where I can whisper who I like
And where I go to see them.
I need a place where I can hide,
Where no one sees my life inside,
Where I can make my plans, and write them down
So I can read them.
A place where I can bid my heart be still
And it will mind me.
A place where I can go when I am lost,
And there I’ll find me.
I need a place to spend the day,
Where no one says to go or stay,
Where I can take my pen and draw
The girl I mean to be.
I love these lyrics. This song takes me somewhere. It fills me with hope. It makes me want to create and write, and choreograph and dance. It also helps me get out of my head. The meaning this song was also supposed to portray is about Phil and Paul Hartnoll’s (Orbital band members) mother who was addicted to the tranquilizer Halcion. So you can see art, music, and even Twin Peaks, is going to be internalized and thought about differently. By the creators, by the players, by the voyeurs, everyone will have their own thoughts and desires toward the endgame.
For those who care to know, I thought the finale was hauntingly beautiful, but also made me sad. I was heartbroken for our Special Agent. Our white knight with his bravado and brilliance, and large heart, his desire to do the right thing, all traits which have now lead to his ultimate undoing. Will he continue to be tormented for all eternity with the reality that he is unable to save Laura? Is he now in a infinite permanent loop and will travel even farther down the Rabbit hole than Jeffries? These are questions I have that might never be answered. I am okay with that, because my dream was attached so fully to trust and have faith in David Lynch and Mark Frost’s vision. Are there more stories to be told? Could be depending on what Lynch and Frost feel there is to tell. We do have the Final Dossier coming out in October. Maybe this will help give some closure with the story-lines left in Twin Peaks that some fans want answers too. Maybe not. Remember we may still be the dreamers, but we did not create the original dream. We can just help it grow and flourish in our minds, and that may have to be enough.
I still plan on being one of the dreamers. Twin Peaks is and will continue to be a Dance of the Dream Man to me. Maybe we should take heed of Lynch’s quote; I think it quite nicely sums up how to view the finale and the dream of what we know is Twin Peaks;
“It makes me uncomfortable to talk about meanings and things. It’s better not to know so much about what things mean. Because the meaning, it’s a very personal thing, and the meaning for me is different than the meaning for somebody else.”