After a full week had passed since The Return’s finale, some pods were able to expand upon their initial insights, while others grew more confused. Many of the pods who had trouble with the finale were finally able to respond to Parts Seventeen and Eighteen for the first time. A few of the pods put up the shutters but pretty much all of them let their listeners know their future plans, which there definitely were. Twin Peaks isn’t over just because the show is.
Onto the pods:
EW’s A Twin Peaks Podcast posted an interview with Laura Dern as well as a comprehensive final episode titled One More Cup Of Coffee. In the Laura Dern Interview, Dern says getting a role from Lynch doesn’t start with “we’d like you to be involved,” instead it’s “here’s what we’re doing.” She worships Diane’s dialog, and she began the process of figuring out Diane by hearing him describe her as how she feels rather than what she looks like or her mannerisms. And after that Lynch worked hard on getting her color scheme right, even mixing her lipstick personally for the exact red he wanted. She shared some of the do-it-yourself nature of Inland Empire’s production, the importance of Lynch’s breaking down of boundaries, and the complete bliss that was working with Lynch and Kyle MacLachlan now. She says the ambiguity in Twin Peaks allows it to be your own. She credits Lynch as brave for showing slow pace, the waiting, and the repetitions, and gives that value because it leaves room for the viewer to take it all in and reflect. It open us up for thought. She ends by saying she’ll NEVER say no to David Lynch or Diane. In their One More Cup Of Coffee episode, the hosts think the Return is the way one person remembers how his experiences went, and suggest this could be David Lynch have a chance to exorcise his trauma with Twin Peaks FROM Twin Peaks. The Palmer house is seemingly benign but could be the actual black lodge, and perhaps the RR is the white lodge? The hosts ask if Cooper should be comfortable with his alliance with the red room, and who WAS that voice pretending to be Jeffries calling DoppelCooper? “That was MIKE.” They ask if Vegas is the future of what the lodge will become, and if Bob is the source of garmonbozia for the lodge, as unsharing as he wants to be. They posit MIKE benefits from Cooper saving Laura because BOB wouldn’t be obliterated later on by Freddie. The hosts suggest DoppelCooper was set up, betrayed, by cosmic powers while Dale was duped by MIKE and the rest. The Coopers could be pawns in a big lodge game. They discuss when the Black and White Cooper/Fireman scene happened in continuity (the last chronological scene of the show?) and ask if the Fireman’s clues were SUPPOSED to take Cooper through Twin Peaks but that plan was waylaid by DoppelCooper, forcing the Fireman to re-route the plan through Vegas and deputize others because Cooper couldn’t be there to achieve the steps. And the timeline collapsed. After this the hosts wrap up their show by going through a superlative list of bests, followed by a round of congratulations and goodbyes to Jeff Jensen as he leaves EW for different pastures. This was a solid episode with lots of solid theory to be had, and also the best edition of their podcast so they went out as high as they could go.
The Brad Dukes Show’s new episode ran his interview with Stewart Strauss, who played the first Woodsman we ever saw. He’s an original fan but wasn’t a die-hard, and when Lynch said “keep an eye out for that guy” he was elated because that meant he knew his scenes weren’t cut. He found the gig from a casting note about a character type, and made a short video to say hi to David Lynch. That’s all he knew. His scenes were usually the four woodsmen together, he shook David’s hand, and had no idea what any of the scenes were about. It took longer to get out of the makeup than in it, and all his work was in LA. He didn’t get star struck for long because it was all about respect and what the actors need to do in their scenes, and he was thrilled Michael Horse sent out a selfie with him in it. He talked a bit about the actors on set with him, and was excited to meet Richard Beymer which was a big moment for him as he’s a big West Side Story fan. He watched the show alone week to week and followed fan theories (did he read ours?), talked to the host about music used in film, thought the Wally Brando scene was hysterical, and felt the mass consciousness from the fandom thinking about Twin Peaks all at once. He just went with it for the finale. Saw cooper’s vulnerability, just got quiet and experienced the final part. He notes some fan art involving his floating head bouncing through a ton of different kind of scenes. On his second day of shooting he was told “you’re part of the twin peaks family now.”
Chopping Wood Inside put out an episode titled Part One Rewind. They began with a Harry Dean Stanton sendoff. They note how in The Return all the youths are in their 20s rather than in high school. They discuss when they think the Part One Giant/Cooper scene takes place (not at the end but sometime within Parts Three and Seventeen). They think the Dr. Jacoby scene is teaching us how to experience the show, and ask if Tracy in New York is a sleeper agent. They note how cigars are back for Ben, and call out his guest from New York and the insurance agent talking to Lucy are both red herrings. DoppelCooper initially made the hosts laugh but won them over by the end. They don’t understand why he needed Darya and Ray for his plan, and they mention how Mark Frost had said in previous interviews that The Return had a strong narrative core but the hosts think this is no longer the case. About Tracy and Sam, they note how Experiment was feasting on the pleasures, and about the Buckhorn scenes they ask why not have those in Twin Peaks instead? They discuss how Lynch feels like Kafka could be his brother and how the Return is very much in Kafka’s style. They discuss how Bill Hastings does and doesn’t remember things, ask if Phyllis is a tulpa, and how the hosts themselves were looking forward to moving onto the next Part due to it being so different from their initial expectations.
Counter Esperanto put out an episode titled the 13 Secret, covering their initial final reactions. Karl watched all 16 previous parts right before the finale and appreciated both ways of viewing: binging and the forced delayed gratification, choosing neither as the better option, just different. They talked about the tension felt on their initial viewing, how The Return is a series of sense impressions decompressed so we can experience all of it, the discordance of not fitting the 3-act storytelling structure, and how Orpheus & Eurydice has been all over Twin Peaks since season one. They suggest lodge denizens are seeing us at multiple levels/times/realities all at once, and that events are completely unpredictable yet never random. The hosts make the supposition that Diane and Coop are real in their car ride and that they’ve been working together for years. The hosts believe the Giant’s list to Cooper from the first scene is a pneumonic to remind Cooper that he is inside a dream and he can then proceed in his mission, and that the driving time is actually compressed rather than extended. They phrase the central theme of Twin Peaks as this: a magical-realistic approach to sexual violence, and the lingering trauma, and how it can echo through every part of your life. “Trauma permeates through dimensions, and Bob can follow it anywhere. Freddy is a mockery of the easy fix, there are thoughts on the superhero thing in our movies these days, and the final scene indicates multiple realities are in play at least since Fire Walk With Me. They discuss the theory that it is a happy ending because Laura wakes up in the end, that the Jow Day explanation caught weird fiction fans’ attention, and that knowing or explaining removes the magic/power/wonder. We got the showdown we were expecting and then pulled back the curtain and were shown the real horror. They wrap up by discussing the value of Tammy, the literally lost generation of missing teenagers, the killed or traumatized children, and the hosts’ intention to take some time off to reflect before they go into their exploration of topics such as psychic detectives.
Drink Full and Descend put out an episode titled Epilogue One, beginning with the thought of multiple worlds existing and how in dreams you may be able to connect to other parts of and different versions of yourself. The hosts are trying to avoid the conclusion that the events of The Return are all happening in someone’s head, because if all others are dreams that means this is a dream too, and then it’s still real but what’s the reality of a dream? They wonder if the sex scene is the break between us seeing Coop and Diane’s first attempt and then us watching Cooper’s final attempt later on. They discus negative electrical polarity, higher and lower frequencies, and when that conversation between Briggs, Cole and Cooper could have taken place. Diane and Cooper must have been in contact during Cooper’s lodge time. The ending creates/fractures spacetime, but does NOT erase the history of Twin Peaks we know. Cooper may be naïve and doesn’t understand what he could do to time. They think the full combined Cooper is in Judy’s diner, and they feel like realities are being jumped between constantly. They ask how Cooper knew to go to Texas, if he knew Carrie’s name, and if Cooper Quantum Leaps into other hims. The hosts talk about energy and mass, and how even the tiniest mass has so much energy if you split it, tying back to the splitting of the atom. They describe Drunk as Chad’s shitty thought energy tulpa, and also something possibly on its way to becoming a woodsman. They talk about how forests sometimes need a controlled fire, the cycle of life, death and rebirth, and how industrialization has messed with the homeostasis, and share the thought you can create a new future but you can’t fix the past. They mention King Arthur and Back to the Future allusions that Lynch and Frost are quoting and sampling, and how it fits into Lynch’s work rather than just being there for color. More topics, like Buddhism are on the horizon. This show will be back.
Endgame Podcasts put out a full-season discussion episode with guest Jenny On The Job, and they start out discussing the Gordon/Briggs/Cooper two birds with one stone plan before talking about the superimposed Cooper head scenes. They note the ladies touch Cooper’s face like they were touching prison glass. They think multiple endings (ranging from happy to disheartening) are presented to us: the Dougie one, at the sheriff’s department, and with Laura. They go into a character analysis of Janey-E (who’s clearly in it for the money though she’s happy in the end getting her dopey guy and Mitchum benefactors), ask if Audrey was the dreamer, and if Audrey was possibly the Diane roll before Laura Dern came on board. They discuss the cage theory, described as Laura being bait to bring Judy to a fake universe and set off a bomb to blow up Judy, and figure that weaponizing Laura is a problem. They talk about Sarah and ask if she IS possessed by Judy when did that happen? Chantal and Hutch are the happiest marriage in The Return, they hosts are happy with the new characters but closure on the old ones would’ve been welcome. And about Dern calling Cooper and Diane a love story? They didn’t see it either.
Laura Palmer Is Dead wraps up their run showing putting both their strengths and weaknesses well on display. They start by saying if you took away the Judy stuff it’d make for a more concrete ending. As we got though, the mythology is up, characters are down, and we have less interested hosts. Gordon’s buckhorn scene is tone deaf after just losing tulpa Diane. The juxtaposition between the sheriff’s office and DoppelCooper driving is good. The hosts ask if Diane came from Jackrabbits Palace and if she is DoppelCooper’s quest, then decide no, Dale is his primary motivator. Diane being the Gal Friday before now is a noir trope that proves what kind of importance she is to Cooper. Andy seems okay with DoppelCooper until he sees Lucy then realizes it’s the doppelganger. The hosts love that Lucy comes out the hero and they recommend never to underestimate her because she always surprises. The sheriff’s department scene is likened to an Agatha Christie play, but the know-it-all main host credits Bob’s deathbag line to FWWM. They call out Freddy (rather than Cooper) besting Bob as a weird choice, and instead of any Asian-to-White Diane issues the main host calls her out as a ginger (an odd thing to be derogatory about but she consistently is). They mention the Orpheus Eurydice parallels, and don’t believe Cooper knows what DoppelCooper had been doing because they can’t accept Cooper’d leave Audrey and Diane high and dry over their rapes. They think Chance and Chants are both in play with Gerard’s Fire Walk With Me poem, and they don’t think Jeffries can ever recognize which Coop he’s talking to. Laura is Judy (and therefore the origin to her own suffering), and “James you don’t even know me” is also the theme of Diane and Audrey with “I don’t even know myself.” They ask is Laura the dreamer and Coop is stuck in her dream? The kind of answer the hosts would be okay with is if the disappearance of Laura’s body and the sad lives of Pete & Catherine etc could be the point of view that one person’s death effects a town. Life has meaning to every death. And the Return could pack it up and be done. But then there’s the next Part. The hosts suggest Sarah’s smashing the Laura picture in the past in a way for her to say “this isn’t happening”, because if you’re a parent who’s lost a child part of you blames that child for dying. This didn’t feel to the hosts like Laura was just missing. The look at the rest of the Twin Peaks cast to ask if Laura didn’t die who would have better and worse lives? They think there’s more redemptive stories if she does die. They say you can skip Parts 2 through 16 without missing any major points of the bookends, and if there’s a Season Four they suggest it can be called Visiting Twin Peaks. The girl who lived down the lane could be Sarah, Richard is a gray coop with DoppelCooper mannerisms, and Dougie was delivered to Janey-E because Our Coop delivers what he says. If Coop had come back a few episodes earlier Part Eighteen wouldn’t have been as hard to deal with. Carrie saying “I’m not her” means somewhere in there she knows about the Laura part of herself. The unseen Tremond husband could be Pierre Tremond, “what year is this” breaks the cracks, and the Laura-whispers-to-Cooper scene keeps happening over multiple universes (probably saying “you’ll never save me”). They mention the Talking Heads song Found A Job, but doesn’t mention the EW podcast’s mention of the song so it’s hard to tell if the hosts knew this on their own or aren’t siting sources. The hosts go over their perceptions at the beginning of their podcast vs now, call the Return the conclusion of the Bob story, mention how other editing voices would have helped with the scaling back of things, liked how people who have aged naturally is a welcome thing to see in television, talked favorite show moments, noted how character entrances were always nailed, and declare there’s either zero or SMALL moments of closure. The old Twin Peaks was about friendships, and the new Twin Peaks is about cosmic stuff.
The Lodgers put out a final episode declaring The Return a masterpiece. They had on guest Adam Nayman. There was more exposition than the hosts were expecting, and they got a tight ending that was almost too good to be true and then it was immediately undone. They discussed the ultimate negative emotion being Explanation, then talked about Cooper splitting in two (as he stays in the sheriff’s department and superimposes) and sees the woman his doppelganger (he) has raped. “This is not to be taken as a straightforward resolution.” The hosts note how Dougie achieves everything as a passive entity and Dale’s back in full force and accomplishes nothing. They also discuss the elliptical nature of the storytelling. The truncated Julee Cruise song allows for yet another lack of catharsis or closure, and why is going home ever going to be a good thing for Laura Palmer? Once the bomb is exploded (in Part Eight) you can’t undo it. Cooper ends up taking on the role of abuser and destroyer from Leland, as the fixer and hero also takes away the agency equally. The sex scene is Diane’s relationship with her rapist, all upsetting, and she’s trying to regain control. Our (the viewer’s) want to see Cooper fix everything puts us into the role of abuser as well, and our relationship to the original crime is voyeuristic. The alterations to Fire Walk With Me would’ve been a disingenuous ending but it can’t deny how much Lynch (and us too) want it. The hosts say something felt wrong before the body was revealed in Carrie’s living room, and it looks like she has agency there. Lynch’s staging of shots (sich as the black hat waiting for Cooper in the Judy’s diner scene) proves a competence of craft that goes beyond just genius and presence or lack thereof of meaning. The hosts suggest Cooper’s always trying to find the answers but it’s Laura who always has the mastery, the answers. They field thoughts on sex magic invoking Experiment, but settle that it’s about that but not ONLY abut that. Bigger themes are included too. The hosts say “I feel like I understand less than I did before starting this podcast” and have enjoyed the journey. They ended the podcast with thoughts sent in by their previous guests.
Mr. Podcast covered Part Seventeen for 12 and a half hours and per usual they dug into every inch of the show’s hour in an entertaining but needs-to-be-planned-for marathon. They start out saying they’re shell-shocked by how different Twin Peaks gets from that show they used to know, and they’re surprised by the fact no one in the show talked about Cooper’s actual goal the whole time which was saving Laura. The hosts also don’t know if Cooper’s hubris of messing with stuff he doesn’t understand invalidates previous Twin Peaks or not. Did Cooper blip into a new world after that Part Eighteen sex scene, and did he become someone else? The universe didn’t have what Cooper needed to achieve his goals and it probably could never have worked no matter what he tries. The woodsmen seem like a neutral force, and that car ride between Cooper and Diane seem like one they’ve been on before. Is that hotel a nexus junction of Coopers and Dianes working the same/different plan(s)? The only thing the hosts are sure of is Cooper is experiencing things off camera and there are a number of secret stories happening concurrently with the Return. Coop fails his big task here just like an expanded version of the season two ending. One of the hosts says “my heart should understand what’s going on, but I don’t think it does.” Diane didn’t offer much personality in these episodes…her tulpa was definitely more of a character, and our hero and our villain had no idea what was going on nor did they have a proper confrontation. The hosts were hoping to get an explanation of where lodge Laura went when she flew off, and they also want to know what everyone’s planning to do when they find Judy, as no one says. They don’t buy that Cooper was always on Judy’s trail in the original Twin Peaks. And anyway, you learn of a negative force and you WANT to find it actively? Why? “Because dreams” was a running JOKE on this podcast, not supposed to be an actual explanation. Why doesn’t Cooper recognize Naido until she approaches him? And the Fire Walk With Me poem seems more like a prophecy now that Cooper appears to be a full-on magician. If Odessa scenes are happening back in time, they may happen right after Part Eight, and the “it is in our” house is probably the Palmer House? That’s the only line from that Giant scene not referenced in the Final episodes. They mention Kyle MacLachlan credits “Richard” Cooper as a new Cooper, and they mention Mr. C traits as well as Dougie body language creeping into the role. They note how Andy saw the Odessa telephone pole in his White Lodge clips show vision, and his saying “very important” means he knows Our Coop is going to call Lucy next. The coordinates tulpa Diane sent DoppelCooper are verified to be the ones on Ruth Davenport’s arm, and the biggest shocker of the episode is the early death of DoppelCooper. They talk about the multiple 2:53s we see in the Return, talk about things that amounted to nothing like Diane and Janey-E’s connection and the wedding ring in Briggs’ stomach. Gordon’s dirty old man thing is discussed as well. They talk about the Part Two red room scenes versus the ones in Part Eighteen (they’re mostly the same but reversed), except Laura’s not there in the last version, probably removed from the lodge when Cooper removed her from Fire Walk With Me. They ask if saving Laura is digging the show out of the shit? I love how the hosts say Naido turns into a black cherry Danish and assume the choice of hiding Diane in an Asian actress is intended to just be a double-misdirect in that the actress doesn’t look like Diane and also she looks like the rumor of Judy, which was she’s Josie’s twin sister, meaning the blatant race issue was accidentally backed into. The hosts talk about the popular understanding that every scene at the end should feel important yet we get purely functional with the Ben/Jerry phone call scene. They also debate whether there’s a new sycamore tree in the jackrabbits palace shot (it’s not, but I thought maybe it was too). The white lodge scene has the Fireman (a middleman in this situation) diverting Mr. C’s progress from the Palmer house to the Sheriff’s station. Mr. C doesn’t know he’s been tricked and seems to act like “I’ll know what to do when I see it.” The hosts talk about the New York glass box and why it may have caught Cooper from non-existence, and ask if the woodsmen are protecting/hiding Bob from Judy. The recovery of Bob is another secret story in the background. And technically so is Andy’s Rolex, while the hosts wonder why he (and the rest of the sheriff’s department staff) wasn’t suspicious of DoppelCooper. Chad officially does nothing in the show, Cooper’s reunion with everyone is too brief, and when Sarah’s destroying the Laura picture is she destroying the stuff from this timeline (is THIS why Carrie can’t remember her past)? It’s hard to know if Coop finds significance with the names Tremond and Chalfont, Sarah could be Judy but so could Laura, and are DoppelCooper’s coordinates to Judy herself? Cooper not surprised by woodsmen and knowing the danger isn’t over is one more proof there’s more happening than what’s shown on screen. Are the woodsmen the workers/facilitators of the dream? It looks like Bill and Ruth met Briggs on the Dutchman and there’s at least three ways to get to those stairs. The hosts discuss how the Owl Ring is more of a curse in FWWM and here more a source of transportation (they should read my article on it). They also discuss garmonbozia as a fuel and a maguffin, and its minimal unnamed roll in the Return. They’re disappointed by the Hawk’s being completely unplugged from the supernatural side after his strong early showing up through his living map, and also by the Log Lady’s clues going nowhere. They also compare the Owl Cave map with David Lynch’s own drawn map for a while. Bob’s (probably not final) end was very Nightmare on Elm Street filled with carbon characters and dreamlike ridiculousness. Bob wasn’t ever part of the Twin Peaks Goofy side, so why end him there? They search for the name of a clue that doesn’t lead you anywhere, because Audrey wasn’t a red herring as much as a dead end. The “we live inside a dream” voice is the same filter as the prison interrogation room voice. The hosts think Cooper is the Magician in the poem now, and when Coop leaves for the Dutchman that’s where reality ends. Cooper wills the blackness into existence in order to get to MIKE. The hosts talk about the two 2:53s , that both relate to Naido, and note how strobe and spotlight isn’t used in the lodge in the Return. They ask why Cooper never says much in the lodge (does it transfix?), and if Jeffries is a time travel expert as well as also a magician? Possibly, Dale realizes that taking Laura home is also where Judy is and therefore we have two birds with one stone? And something had to have gone wrong but what exactly was it? An explanation for Jeffries’ story and motivations is what all other answers and explanations hinge on. And the inclusion of Buenos Ares is baffling. In the Fire Walk With Me scene, Laura screaming at Cooper is the best retcon ever. They see the same Jackrabbits Palace sycamore near the exit point, and the hosts figure out (based on the tv) that the Sarah scene is in present day. They think she’s reacting specifically to Cooper taking Laura. Is Judy’s plan to make Laura disappear? Where did Laura go, and are there many interventions of Judy’s plan and all we see are the effects of those interventions to keep Laura alive? “It’s in our house now” officially doesn’t mean anything except in a secret story.
There Will Be Drinking Recaps Twin Peaks began their coverage of Part Seventeen by lamenting how there’s only two episodes left to cover. Then they got a bit disgusted about the David Lynch dick joke. They get into Cooper’s message to Gordon and figure the 10 (number of completion) and go through how many people are in the Sheriff’s office in the climactic scene, then note how Cooper’s slept with two sisters over a period of a couple days. They also Naido chirp and do an I am Your Foot impression just for fun. They dug the scene with the floating Briggs head and called out the Giant for swiping away the Palmer house to give Poopy Coopy the sheriff station instead. And Harry needed to be there for Bromance purposes. Andy’s “very important” signaled Cooper’s incoming call for Lucy, and there was so much fun nonsense here. Bob attacks Freddy the same way Experiment attacked Sam and Tracy, electricity surged before Cooper met with Jeffries (who is a man INSIDE the teapot?) and the jump into Fire Walk With Me was pretty great. The hosts say this episode had the most fan service but it was so heart wrenching, and they came ready for nothing to happen, not all of this. They’re ready to admit the story is about mood rather than plot, and their sweeping proclamation is two-fold: You can’t go home again, and you can’t fix a murder. And Donna, since she didn’t have Laura, is now a housewife in Twin Peaks with four kids.
Twin Peaks Peeks covered Parts Seventeen and Eighteen and led with how the finale immediately left them with negative reactions, describing The Return as TV made by a movie guy that throws caution entirely to the wind. The first hour feels like LOST and the second hour feels like Mad Men (which similarly fails characters and plotlines but is thematically sound). The hosts wonder if things they went lenient on earlier in the podcast would still be treated the same way now that they DO know where the end is. Why was Tammy written in such an underserved way? Was Mr. C looking for Sarah, and why does he just go along with things after he was redirected to the Sheriff’s station? He goes from driven to directionless. The Lucy thing is a genuine payoff, which they assert to the creators is a nice thing to do, really. They call the Bob ball ridiculous, and the lack of characters’ lines at the end give everyone in the room missing beats, so great characters endure misfires at the end. The Diane/Cooper meeting is unearned, and Naido is just shy of being the Return’s Mr. Tojimura while turning an Asian actress into Laura Dern is a misstep. During the 30 seconds where they make out, the hosts missed where we’re supposed to care. They are disappointed by the choice of action during the time travel (though Laura reminds us that James ISN’T cool), merely removing Laura rather than, say, shooting Leland in the car, etc. They ask why Cooper would listen to Leland in the first place (“Find Laura”), and verify they liked how the Dougie storyline resolved happily, as a payoff should. They discuss how Sherilyn Fenn was underused or misused, and Audrey and her fanbase was misserved. It shouldn’t take theorycrafting to justify Audrey being in the show. Previous incarnations of Shelly and Audrey (and even tulpa Diane) was more interesting than anything we got in the show…where’s their agency, and are female characters not allowed to be interesting? The sex scene is with a Diane that has no discernible personality, and it centers on Cooper and one more thing he’s fucked up. Bleak. The message seems to be “you can’t fix this.” RichardCooper is a new character, the missing diary “Carrie” page is meta, “are they in the real world” is discussed, and they go through a list of things left up in the air while asking “how are we supposed to invest?” Ashley may have tapped out before the ending because she could see it was going somewhere she didn’t want. The hosts wanted this to be satisfying but it wasn’t. The Return wasn’t just a date with nostalgia, it grappled with how we’re all stuck in time and we’ll all die. If the pacing would’ve happened differently, had more setup-payoff, it would’ve been better executed and more satisfying. They thought the first half hour and even the last half hour worked well, it was the Diane part that was alienating. They’re more forgiving of Coop’s failure, but the show misserves the character and makes Cooper’s hubris a problem. A bleak ending, but is fitting well enough. Maybe the hosts will do another episode on internet theories or a commentary track, but not for some time.
Twin Peaks The Return put out a Roundtable episode with returning guests Thambi, Bismuth and Jess, plus an interview with set dresser Damian Lund. Host Andy Hazel describes his feelings toward the Return as a slow burn emotion-free gut punch that needlessly sacrificed stuff. It gets an anger reaction, then retraumatization, and it comes back to Cooper and Laura. The hosts want the other character situations to be resolved because how they were handled seemed careless and they want the characters to have weight. As it is they had a promised richness yet come out one dimensional (though you could use that to prove for a manufactured reality. Coherent narrative isn’t necessary when about a return to identity and confronting spiritual ill. They discuss trauma in relation to places, how The Return was edited for mood, and Lynch was having fun making it rather than serving all the characters. They could have been folded in there better but Lynch needs to be interest in telling that rather than the story that he’s decided to tell. The hosts bring up The Secret History of Twin Peaks and say none of it mattered to The Return (which I beg to differ on), call it fun and lore and a dispelling of the alien stuff, but do credit it with encouraging us to be curious. They dissect what the Giant meant by “Our house”, are pro multiple realities, don’t think the ending scene is the last chronologically occurring scene, and they note how every season ends with Cooper failing. To the viewers who asked “where’s the ending,” Thambi says “welcome to trauma.” The hosts say Carrie is both willing and willful so much as she won’t let her past be taken away from her, and they point out the VHS copy of the Twin Peaks Pilot laying near the machine gun in her house. They talk of patriarchy and male violence not needing Bob to be in Twin Peaks, and think RichardCoop could be a dream version of Dale. The sex scene could be an intent to repair that which cannot be repaired. They wonder if Part Eighteen is a message from Lynch and Frost showing us just how impossible Cooper actually is. The hosts think Coop’s stepping into Laura’s dream to get her out of it, as he wants to be what people need. He gives himself to Diane so she can confront her trauma, and after that he’s all purpose all the time. Hogarth gives a theory here about how the grief won’t let Carrie leave to become Laura again, which is good stuff. The hosts ask if there will be a Season 4, and they agree by saying they hope not. They think Audrey gets what she wants: she worked out the levels of reality and how it works, and she steps out of the dream in the end. Maybe she, Diane and Laura all wake up in their own ways. The interview with Damian Lund follows, where we find out he was an original fan who went through great lengths to get on the crew for The Return, a story I respected for sure. He also explains the scenes he was filmed in: eating pie in the “anybody seen Billy” diner scene, and he was one of the bikers who removed Ruby from her Roadhouse booth. He talked about his final sendoff from Lynch at the end, and gave a good picture of what it was like working on The Return.
Twin Peaks Rewatch put out a Wrap Up Mailbag episode where the hosts talk about theories and details brought to their attention by the people who contact them in their forum, over twitter, and email. They get philosophic about how they’re going to experience things differently on a rewatch when they can experience the little not-recurring character moments as vignettes, important because they happen rather than build into greater importance tying into the plot. Some of the details they share from listeners are how Odessa is a real life jackrabbits palace, the theory that Laura is a garmonbozia bomb sent to blow up Judy, and the parts 17 & 18 side-by-side viewing experience, which sends the hosts off on the way juxtaposed scenes and images change the experience of everything if changed around. They are asked if the ending feels like a downer, does it really matter if there is a victory or failure at the end? They also like the comparisons between the conclusion and the Orpheus/Eurydice myth, and Kyle MacLachlan’s performance of Richard being compared to the Rabbit/Duck illusion. They express curiosity to (and the potential danger of) the material between seasons two and three that will be covered in the Final Dossier, and they guess while the Return won’t have as big a cultural stamp as the original Twin Peaks, the smaller audience of viewers will embrace The Return as an undoubtedly important part of Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks Unwrapped interviewed producer Sabrina Sutherland this week. She started on Twin Peaks in Season Two, where she credits Peyton as showrunner and Frost as an overseer, then worked on On The Air and Lost Highway. She catalogued things for the production of the Missing Pieces and started planning for Season Three back in 2012 and location scouted in 2014. She used a LOT of notepads to stay organized, and kept her eye on the goal: translating David’s vision to make sure it comes to screen. She was a policeman about the script but the best part was working with the people. She says Showtime labeled the show The Return, to her and the staff it’s just Twin Peaks. And she has “the script right here” and there’s not even a cover page. She says Lynch worked harder on this than anyone, and she sounds to me like a joy to work with. Sabrina has a humility even though she just helped pull off an entire summer of Twin Peaks surprises. After the interview the hosts talk about the fan community and thanks their listeners for keeping TPU in the iTunes top 200 podcasts through the entire run of the Return.
We’re Not Gonna Talk About Judy (a subheading of Another Kind of Distance Podcast) is the true bickering couple of Twin Peaks podcasting…they did a final (for now) overall look at The Return and things got quite heated in there. Made me a bit uncomfortable as they went after each other’s theories but they never seemed to take it so far that they were genuinely mad at the other. The hosts say Lucy is Andy’s chess piece and Andy is the Fireman’s chess piece, DoppelCooper seems to know less than Dale, and the Bob attack is both silly and horrifying at once while recalling Maddy’s murder. The Bob battle “not being the point” appears to be the meta message. They discuss the symbols that happen as they turn into Jeffries’ time loop 8. Is the 8 symbol where Jeffries lives? They discuss Inland Empire where something evil is found within a story, a cursed story, and Laura Dern ends the curse but is stuck in the story. Does the same go for Coop here? Has he entered the story of Fire Walk With Me (alternate shots used therefore an alternate universe)? Is Sarah destroying the specter of Laura when stabbing the picture or is Judy using sympathetic magic to keep Laura away from her? The hosts talk sci-fi constructions of new universes, whether Odessa is an unstable mental creation, if new Dougie is the pure essence of Cooper’s enthusiasm, feeling good about Janey-E and Sonny Jim’s state of real, and if Annie had been supplanted by Diane in this new reality. The Part Eighteen Red Room scenes are the same except it’s missing the Arm’s doppelganger, Dale in the sex scene is more hollow that Mr. C, the Coop in Fire Walk With Me seems like Richard, and The Return is a different story meant to be a counterpoint to original Twin Peaks rather than a continuation. Twin Peaks is now a story like Inland Empire rather than the original story, one story happening in a whole. It’s become a statement on evil, how you process, or avoid, or come to terms with evil. That previous story is over the second Cooper’s superimposed head appears. The hosts think Cooper is being rejected by the new reality he’s gone into to wipe away Judy’s evil, and they think Audrey’s horror is that she’s not in the story. Lynch is trapped in the story too, and no matter what he tries to do he can’t get Laura out of this narrative and her situation. They mention how Joel Bocko’s likened Laura and Diane together as central forces that happen to be absences. They end trying to sum up Cooper’s dilemma: you can’t resist wanting to help people but it might just make things worse.
Wrapped In Podcast covered Part Seventeen this week over two podcasts. In Part Seventeen (Part 1), the hosts enjoyed Part Seventeen greatly the first time, but saw the cracks upon rewatching. They take the show into its parts and try to see what makes it tick. They wonder how Mr. C could NOT be on Cole’s radar if Ray Monroe was an informant, but guess he didn’t turn informant until they were both in the prison together. The hosts think the show starts to get meta at the end with Cole explaining Jefferies’ state of being real or not, doesn’t think the monologue holds up to scrutiny, and they also notice the FBI have been doing nothing in that hotel most of the show. They touch on the Jow Day means “to explain” (answers are the enemy) theory, and then they list twelve characters in the show and vote on whether they could be Judy. They also bring up the old Mike Hammer movies and note how he never did anything and he’d stumble into answers too. The put Jerry officially onto the list of characters (along with Naido and Dorothy Vallens) who show up nude in the woods, and consider it official that all the coordinates were traps for Mr. C. They discuss if DoppelCooper’s smile for Andy and Lucy was genuine, and note after Lucy shoots him he lands impossibly in a dream logic way. Also the Woodsmen seem to dim the sun as well as just the room upon their arrival. The frustration really kicks in for the hosts when they realize all the clues they’ve been gathering all season got pitched out for a Dragon Ball Z boss fight against Bob rather than a Coop vs Coop confrontation. Instead of bringing Freddy into it, the hosts suggest it should’ve been Nadine, which would give characters more importance, more streamlining, and the plan could’ve been set in motion by three female characters. They note how Bob is the evil that men do, and Judy is just evil, so Bob becomes a sideshow. They also mention how since the White Lodge seems to have everything under control the hosts posit there could be a message not unlike let go and let god. In Part Seventeen (Part Two), they start out by saying Sheriff Truman is “understanding the silverware”, which means he’s gone with everything including the Bob ball and his moment of disbelief is “you knew about the room key?” The hosts talk about how the superimposed Dale head goes away during the Naido/Diane change and reunion, noting how Diane’s cosplaying the red room. Gordon is late and Cooper is on time, and how is Hawk not prepared to say anything? The superimposed Cooper is probably later in time or outside of it, just like the Giant/Cooper scene from Part One. Is the final point in actual time when things go dark in the sheriff’s station? The hosts don’t think the boiler room scene is actually happening in the boiler room but the Dutchman. The hosts were still waiting for a detective murder mystery closing with some explanations, a typical wrap-up. And they think Chance made more sense than Chants in this iteration of the Fire Walk With Me poem in regards to Coop thought Chants works fine for Gerard’s perspective. The hosts noted the different route to Jeffries than the one DoppelCooper took, and they think Jeffries didn’t take DoppelCooper seriously whereas with this Coop all the impossible geometry came out. They ask if the orb is Jeffries and the teapot is keeping him hydrated, then ask if Cooper’s confidence is misplaced. They say if you’re doing narrative art, serialized TV, there is a certain good faith you need to keep with your audience. All a Dream, going back in time to make things so they never happened, these are a betrayal, bad faith. They ask if Season One and Two ever happened. They note how losing control of the show in 1990 was traumatic to Lynch and this could be him trying to wipe out the part of the show that got away from him. They note how time is moving forward and backward in the Sarah scene breaking the picture frame, and how she can’t hurt the picture, can’t proceed through it. Was Sarah trying to stop Cooper from doing what he did? They discuss how pissed Julee Cruise was about her truncated performance, note the symmetry of repetitions happening, and ask if Naido is actually Judy, providing the beginnings of what would turn into this stellar article. It’s a hell of a way to sign off for the week.