The third full week after the Season Three finale aired brought a number of podcasts to a close, or at least the end of their season coverage before they shift into broader conversations down the road. Hosts’ initial reactions were beginning to settle down and broader theories began to be considered, and even interpreted.
Onto the Podcasts:
Bickering Peaks put out a final Parts Seventeen and Eighteen Theory Dive episode this week. The hosts have accepted we’ve been given something absolutely beautiful, and it’s this experience that’s more valuable. Aidan needed to decompress for a week and absorb it. About the fandom still paying attention to the show, they say the haters have dropped off, and most fans left are tempering and warming their responses. They note as Lynch fans can’t completely get behind the ending Twin Peaks is officially its own entity now. Lynch and Frost have left us an open sandbox (that we need rather than want) for us to play with. They discuss “it’s all (or in part) a dream” where they ask if Lynch is possibly exploring what happens to the dream after the dreamer wakes up. They discuss Cooper being a failed hero stuck in a loop, if Cooper is acting as a black lodge agent now, what DoppelCooper/Bob’s reasons are to find Judy, and if Judy is a concept rather than a person. They talk sex rituals and David Aurbach’s cage theory where Laura is bait for Judy and ask if Coop’s scarred enough from his lodge experience he’d use Laura as ends of that plan. They discuss the Parts Seventeen/Eighteen overlayed viewing, then ponder if Laura’s there to be fighting evil, that she’s a magician. Literal time travel is happening, and it CAN be explained magically but they think that’s unlikely. Aidan thinks Cooper succeeded in his mission and that Laura defeated Judy and Lindsay thinks Cooper’s a failed hero stuck in a loop of unsuccess, and I found it interesting that I used Aidan’s logic to arrive at Lindsay’s conclusions. They discuss Bob being the garmonbozia harvester for the lodge, Sarah’s involvement as always a supernatural force (and that she’s reacting to rather than removing Laura from the timeline), Jeffries and the Fireman issuing warnings to an unlistening Cooper (a bold storytelling move sullying the heroes), and the Palmer/Tremond house lights going out could be returning to starting positions. They discuss Lynch’s movies, Fire Walk With Me, how Twin Peaks feels Blue Velvet up to season two finale and The Return feels like a summation of everything Lynch needed to say in film and storytelling. The long breaks between plotlines feel better on a binge watch, and the experience of guessing and theorizing was necessary for their overall Peaks experience. They loved having that time. What will the changed speed etc. of viewing do to your experience of viewing The Return? They ask if season three was Cooper’s sacrifice for greater victory over evil, suggest it’s an allegory rather than a story continuation, and call the season a success for streaming reasons as well as a way to attract auteurs to Showtime. What was The Return about? An extension of death of the author, it’s the subjective experience, and they love how it didn’t hold your hand or prompt you, just activated its audience. Aidan said the ending is supposed to hurt, that the people who right away said they loved the ending didn’t feel the pain and therefore didn’t get the ending. If you didn’t have a hole from expectations (built from the last 16 and a half hours) being subverted and feel that pain, you kind of missed the point of what the ending was about. It was supposed to give you a hole in your chest that you’re supposed to come back and try and fill by watching the series again and do your theorizing. It’s a comment on trauma and we’ve been traumatized as part of the experience of watching this just like with season two and we have to grapple with that. It will be rewarding to watch with new experiences. They wrap up by nodding to season four possibilities, Harry Dean Stanton’s passing, and The Return as a fitting end.
Bookhouse Podcast did a Season Three Wrap-Up episode with guest Tyler, and an interview with John Pirruccello in the middle. The hosts discuss how Lynch revealed the December 5th home video release of Season Three but not Audrey’s fate, and season four is not off the table. The hosts figure if it happens it’ll be something different rather than what people want. Tyler thought Part Eight was a pretentious mess but the second half becomes more character driven. He was hyped for the finale, loved 17 a lot, and 18 is trickier. They don’t buy the “in the real world” theory but find it interesting. They’re emotionally wrecked by the finale. The interview with John Pirruccello happened next, and he sounds like a guy perfect for Twin Peaks, as well as a guy I could totally get along with. He dialed into Twin Peaks right away when it first aired. “Don’t know how this got on TV but we love it.” He rewatched when he knew the audition was happening. His actual audition was him telling Lynch about one of his dreams, and then a nightmare. He got the audition randomly because one of the casting assistants remembered him from a random project that never got made. He explained how the scripts on set worked (handed them back to Sabrina etc). He didn’t know why he was doing anything he was doing (no context given) nor even who he was talking to on phone call scenes. He explains Lynch’s style on set: if Lynch doesn’t say cut John just kept going and lynch would say something like “that was a pleasant surprise”. Lots of freedom was there to be had. He also thinks Chad gets what’s coming to him, and loved working with everyone, especially had good things to say about Kimmy. On the day it was announced that Catherine Coulson died, he had to do that scene where he calls her “that log woman”, which means he honored the Log Lady by dismissing her. Did a week to 10 days in Washington for filming, then had a huge gap of time before LA soundstage work. Thought maybe he’d been cut out but was pleasantly surprised as he watched. This show made him a better human being, and working with Forester and Horse etc. made him a better actor. Rather than the person who dissects the show like a watch, he looks at Twin Peaks like a painting: it’s interesting, meditates on it, and sits with it. He does not have to tinker with it or figure it out. He compares Twin Peaks to Loony Tunes in they there’s something in it for everyone, what you want to get out of it you can, as deep or shallow as you want. It’s endless. His memorable filming story: the call sheet listed Eamon Pirruccello, which is his son’s name. Threw him for a bit of a loop out of context like that. He had no interest in spoiling things for us but did have this to say about while shooting: He had a dream about Lynch asking him which scene he thinks they should shoot first, and when he got to set that day that’s exactly the first scene they shot. He didn’t rule out that Lynch maybe did meet him in an astral plane for that. Working on the show almost exorcised the Chad part of Pirruccello out of him. On twitter he tries to be like Kyle and just push forward positive energy. He ends by talking about future projects including Barry (an HBO Bill Hader project) as well as projects he worked on he was most proud of. After this, the hosts come back on with final overall remarks. They ask if violence towards women went down as the series went on, and how season three fared compared to other Twin Peaks and other contemporary television shows. They speak of how they experienced the show and podcasting on it. Two hosts don’t want more and one does want a Season Four. Show awards voted on by listeners happen next, for these categories: best new character, best returning character, favorite villain, favorite scene, favorite side plot/ mystery left unsolved, favorite episode and favorite Roadhouse performance. After that they speculate on what could happen if Laura doesn’t die, talk about the podcast’s origins, thank the listeners and share some future plans (they’ll take a break but will be back before the end of the year).
The Brad Dukes Show covered Part Seventeen with guest John Thorne, and Brad expresses ambivalence with the ending and has no comfortable solution yet. But he’s still searching. The Cole/Cooper Judy mission retcon is troublesome but the Bushnell/Gordon phone call was delightful. The Fireman is placing chess pieces in position and shunted Mr. C to the Sheriff’s station. They note no Cooper showdowns began (and is major disappointment for Brad) but John’s into it for Lucy’s shot. They ask if Cooper can only observe, note DoppelCooper’s motive was never established (and that all he officially did was amass money and rapes), Bob was ended overly simplistically whereas Bob’s being diminished in power by Laura in Fire Walk With Me was much more satisfying. It seems to the hosts like Bob is Coop’s ride-along, contained. They agree some aspect of this is a dream, and note Laura has re-became an object rather than a subject. Literally keeping Laura alive lets all of Twin Peaks fall into itself. How to rationalize both these stories is where the work is. The Julee Cruise song felt like an ending to John. He wonders if this is a reflection of the old Twin Peaks, and Brad cant’ validate the show yet because there aren’t enough dots to connect. They point out some closure points: Ed & Norma, how Shelly and Bobby will never come back together. Brad notes a serious lack of narrative, and that without Season One’s storytelling tightness Season Three has blown opportunities to make it better. John is immersed, but asks who is the audience? Season three depended on previous series knowledge while at the same time is saying “don’t depend on that knowledge.”
Chopping Wood Inside put out two podcasts this week, a Part Two Rewind, and a comprehensive one called Unified Lodge Theory. In the Part Two Rewind, they say Lynch not ruling out more Twin Peaks has these guys excited for more. They split their vote whether Phyllis is a tulpa or not, ask how she helped DoppelCooper, and guess that Ray’s an informant already but his information hasn’t made it up to Cole yet. Laura’s Cooper’s key (you can go out now) but she has very good reason she could be angry at him. When she’s sucked away she says it’s close to the way Diane left the FBI room but not quite. Is Cooper seeing the diner scene with Jack and Darya because it happened before he left the lodge? The hosts ask if the plan to off DoppelCooper was the show mocking its original mythology, note that the red room scenes are exactly opposite spatially to the scene from Part Eighteen. Is this whole red room the doppelganger of that lodge, and is it now non-existent? They ask if Sarah senses something as Cooper falls towards New York, and they don’t think Lynch and Frost have all the answers either. In their Unified Lodge Theory episode the hosts compare Cooper and Jeffries as both being unstuck in time, wonder if there’s a Cooper multiverse inside the lodge, and assume he never properly left the lodge. They make Slaughterhouse Five comparisons and correlations, think Jow Day and Judy are probably different (possibly an overseer of the black lodge), and they mix in Jack Parsons sex rituals and alchemy to explain Coop and Diane in the finale. The glass box monster is not necessarily Mother, we’ll never see a copy of the Season Three script, and Lynch possibly treats the script like a conductor would with intuitive moves. About Lodge Laura being sucked out of the lodge, it’s more interesting to ask why than who did it. The hosts guess Julee Cruise is in the lodge now, that the black lodge has multiple realities inside it, and talk about real life vertigo effects that apply. They ask if Coop is being steered around when he goes into Judy’s Diner or if he’s knowledgeably there on his own. The hosts mention Gersten, Stephen and Sparkle’s influence on the world as signs that evil is expanding. They compare Cooper’s failure rate to Don Quixote, and ask one more time about alternate lodge realities, asking is it that or reincarnation that we’re watching?
Dishin’ The Percolator put out there final episode, where Dallas begins by breaking up with the show in a fairly open-minded way. Jon was so bummed after watching and Sean said after season two he asked “what’s happening next” while this time he could only ask “what did we just watch?” They want to know where the Cooper/DoppelCooper showdown was, and Sean suggests rewatching everything with subtitles. Why is Becky included in the story if we don’t have time to learn Audrey’s fate, and Judy is reverse engineered into the story. From the superimposed Cooper head, they ask when does this happen? Sean’s plan now is figuring out the Fireman’s plan. The hosts thought they were going to get a Bob/DoppelCooper explanation, now we’re gonna learn the good stuff, but then oh Coop’s going to embark on a dangerous journey. They think when Coop sees Naido he has dejected look on his face like he forgot something or he screwed up. They suggest the portals are in the hum. MIKE’s motivation as a helper here is suspect because in Fire Walk With Me was selfish even as he was helping Laura. They ask if the Giant and Fireman are the same person, if Lynch uses Jumping Man as a signal, and if Jeffries’ location is different from the DoppelCooper visit. Is Laura speaking to Cooper as much as she is to James? The screams from Sarah are the same sounds as from the pilot, Janey-E gets a happy ending, and the lodge scenes are possibly re-filmed from different angles. They bring up the Little Girl Who Lived Down The Lane Jodie Foster movie, think the superimposed Cooper head comes from a scene when he’s talking to MIKE, and possibly the point is it’s all been a dream. Is Richard the new tulpa and Dale went to Vegas? As the ending continued, the show kept taking things away from the viewers. Cooper was taken back, then answers. The sex scene flashed back to the rape and Coop wasn’t helping Diane at all, and the second we hear Diane is Linda we never see her again. Cooper has a plan but he’s not in control, the sex scene possibly opened a portal, and Lynch uses sex scenes as character moments. Diane may not be real, the Carrie scenes feel rushed and sloppy, and the #6 pole seems like a stop on the lodge subway system. No one said anything about the dead guy so it felt dreamlike. They bring up the “in the real world” theory, and ask what stopping Laura’s death and bringing her back to her trauma location actually does. Cooper’s got to be following the Fireman blindly on faith. They suggest no one is who they are because Coop screwed up big time by going into the infinity loop. They ask why bring in a different universe, ask the point of Diane, and suggest possibly they conceived Carrie Paige (who is not a normal human being) in that hotel. Sarah is probably a possessed human like Leland. This was a fun metaphor: “Twin Peaks is a cloud; you can wrestle with it and there’s no right answer. We just got a continuation of what we’ve always had.” Lost Highway’s a mobius strip where you can’t tell where it begins and ends, and this season makes about as much sense. The show kept the mystery going. About the Roadhouse, they think the vibe of the music is better than the music, and it’s dramatic moments associated with songs that make the songs matter. Most of these new songs were unanchored to anything therefore they’re not really important. Lynch and Hurley tried music in the show and decided to go sparse, but the hosts think it would’ve felt more Twin Peaks with swishy drums. Is Experiment in the glass box and in Sarah, why was New York dropped, why the 119 mom, was Phyllis a tulpa, and what ABOUT Billy? The things that went nowhere will hold our imaginations forever. We don’t get to demand art, plenty is here to engage with, so they were glad Twin Peaks was back. “Keep searching for answers” is the point now. They end the show by explaining how the closing song came to be. I’m going to miss these guys. Even when they didn’t like something, they left the vitriol and just explored why they felt the way they did. More people need this attitude in their lives. Good job, fellas.
Ghostwood Podcast covered Part Sixteen, which is their favorite since Part Eight. They found DoppelCooper’s “You’re a bright boy line” patronizing, think Jerry may be upset because he Richard Horne and Cooper, and DoppelCooper’s line about “my son” confirms the parentage theory. They say Richard Horne goes up in SPARKS, go on an entertaining Jonathan Pryce tangent, love how there’s always something for the Pink Girls to do with the Mitchums (and they’re all hysterical), and the Polish Accountant has to be from the Polish Mafia of Inland Empire fame. Chantal sets her death in motion because she runs out of Cheetos, Gordon seems to expect something when Diane gets her ALL text (ALL meaning all your memories are coming back), and Cooper is back(!) so the hosts can just sit back and enjoy the ride. The “American Woman” song choice means DoppelCooper has a strong influence on Diane, and the smile she mentions from Cooper had to be a Bob smile. The gas station has to be the convenience store, and Diane knows she’s not herself so maybe that’s why she drinks. And maybe that’s why Sarah drinks as well. The hosts are interested in how Chantel and Hutch met, and say Janey gets to say thank you to her “guardian angel”. They were never huge Pearl Jam fans but thought the Vedder song was okay, compared Audrey’s path to the dance floor to Dale Arden, and wonder three things: is it a psychotic break, real life, or is Audrey the Dreamer?
How’s Annie covered Parts Seventeen and Eighteen with guests Mickey Ralph and Patrick Bonfrisco. They think the very end is great but in the middle none of the Twin Peaks characters mattered at all. They discuss the cage/trap theory that involves the sex magic to lure Judy etc, and they’re not entirely buying it. They think the sex scene can be punched to Hell and so can the Naido whitewashing. They suggested James be the imbued character instead of Freddy so that someone connected to Laura Palmer would fight Bob. The hosts also consider Stephen and Becky a misuse, are pissed about how Diane was used, and discuss Buddhism/reincarnation cycles. They think the ending’s cool and all but they’re not feeling good about it. Not everything needs to be explained but now NOTHING is. “I know less about Twin Peaks now than I did this time last year” was a regular response from this team, and they wonder if the show left the core audience behind. They bring up Warren Ellis’ response to the show (details are fishhooks of the imagination), but they think the show does need to exist on its own without the trap theories that fans will inevitably come up with. After DoppelCooper’s wrapped up, the hosts feel like it’s onto the next thing therefore nothing and no one else matters. Also discussed: what is Secret History supposed to be? They’re mad at Coop and they ask who wants to be mad at Coop, especially after being without him so long? They think Laura had an ending and Cooper took that away from her, and they thought the Fire Walk With Me flashback was so cool until they figured out what he was doing. What they like: the DoppelCooper/Andy scene’s intensity, Chad’s comeuppance. The actual ending inspired angry laughing, because the show’s already done this to us once, except now it’s How’s Cooper AND Laura AND Audrey and the list goes on and on. They discuss feedback questions, the Julee Cruise controversy, what they’d actually like to see (a new spin-off show with nothing but Twin Peaks characters), and then come back to the fact there’s no Shelly or Audrey in the finale. And they don’t expect satisfactory answers in Final Dossier either. Much like the show, they don’t know if the pod’s coming back, and their clear takeaway of hurt early feelings is summed up like this “You don’t have to give me everything, but you need to give me more than you did.”
There Will Be Drinking Recaps Twin Peaks covered Part Eighteen. They get stuck in the doldrums of the color brown for a while but come back to the show. In the lodge, Cooper’s looking for Laura in the empty chair but she’s not there this time. There are infinite realities and timelines now. But Laura’s back. The hosts wonder if Audrey dreamed reality this time, and when Cooper left the lodge they wanted Harry to be there with an “I can’t quit you.” They imagine the ensuing Cooper/Truman wedding all the way to buying out Ben Horne, living in room 315 and turning the Great Northern into a gay resort, then come back to the show. The road looks like the same one where DoppelCooper crashed early on, and they cross an electricity threshold. During the sex scene the hosts see both Dale and DoppelCooper twice each in MacLachlan’s performance, and about the scene they think it’s a take on dealing with abuse. In sunlight it is a different reality. Cooper at the diner is total Western stuff, and Carrie seems to get entranced by Cooper’s knowledge. Why weren’t they listening to music or podcasts on the car trip? They couldn’t listen to this podcast though or it’d make Cooper miss Harry. Carrie’s sigh is like “fine, I’ll just let this guy kidnap me.” The hosts like where the show ended, it felt right. Twin Peaks was a show about mood, and it explored the other stuff after the Part Seventeen resolutions. The hosts are okay with the parts where nothing happens because it’s like real life, and think there’s a place for portraying reality and this Part is more beautiful because of it. Because of Carrie’s lines like “where’s my coat” the hosts wonder if the world’s imagined by Audrey, and they do one last Where’s Donna segment, where they suggest she’s the new Blackie.
Twin Peaks The Return put out a second Roudtable episode with guests Eloise Ross, Bec Blakeney and Christian McCrea, followed by an interview with John Neff. After comparing the finale’s similarities to Mad Men’s (pushing the audience away and giving us what we need rather than what we want), the panel groups its topics by locations, first covering Las Vegas. We saw the “real” Vegas here. Weight was put into characters but it doesn’t “mean” anything. The hosts expected the Mitchums to turn back into thugs, mention Lynch’s take on all our fascination around included numbers (“it’s not a science laboratory”), and decide that Lynch is sloppy when it comes to directing Chrysta Bell (her movement thing seems deliberate but probably isn’t because she got minimal direction). They mention how detective office scenes in detective novels are plotty and in The Return are everywhere. They declare Albert a gentleman with Constance, compare how Lynch and Frost and the Coen Brothers have trading in pastiche in common, and think maybe a message is that nothing’s magic, it’s just existence. The story is ABLE to be abandoned and is fairly (though not entirely) satisfying at the end. Peter Deming implies there was less shooting available than necessary. Plots were probably dropped happenstantially rather than on purpose, nostalgia was thrown in our faces in Twin Peaks scenes, and it was satisfying seeing Andy and Lucy in big roles, though Hawk only getting to watch was disappointing. Bullets going through the RR is such a violation, it’s a shame there’s no more Audrey, and not capitalizing on Gerard as a shoe salesman seemed like a waste as well. In the John Neff interview, he describes the process of working with David Lynch “consuming.” They had a chance to go on a Rolling Stones world tour with their project but Lynch wanted to Create sound rather than Perform it. Using autotune on No Stars was a Lynch whim. And The Return to Twin Peaks is David Lynch’s unified field. Each of his films’ moods are made real into this new world. Neff is staying busy since the musical relationship with Lynch ended, and it seemed complicated but at peace now.
Twin Peaks Unwrapped had an interview with Harley Peyton, who is getting over expectations of what all the characters are doing today. There’s a grieving process for that as Frost and Lynch blew that up. It took Harley a while to get into the world Frost and Lynch brought us to. He thought Part Seventeen was amazing and that Part Eighteen didn’t quite land. He thought Kyle was amazing, is pro Ed & Norma, and noted how Season Three had more to do with Fire Walk With Me. Twin Peaks is beyond anything else on TV again, and it’s probably the last season. Cooper’s imperfect act of heroism is left open to interpretation, and besides Audrey he’s okay with anything else left dangling. He wanted Audrey/Cooper and Heather Graham. After Twin Peaks talk he talks about the newest Channel Zero starting as a haunted house story that changes from there. The Unwrapped guys talk on their own at the end about their plans to remain a weekly podcast, and share upcoming topics like soundtracks and checking in with Mark Givens before sharing some community feedback.
Wrapped In Podcast put out two podcasts for Part Eighteen this week. In their first episode, the hosts ask if Dougie was created on the same chair as Doppelcooper, and follow it up with possible ingredients for RichardCooper: seed, lock of Good Dale’s hair, DoppelCooper cremains. And while RichardCooper does bis mission, Dale could get the Vegas ending that he has earned. They ask if all the screams in Season Three were happening simultaneously (an idea I tentatively endorse), and discuss the nature of tulpas. The Cooper tulpa may not know he’s a tulpa but women tulpas seem to know what they are. Cooper and Diane are aware of what will happen to them, and rather than theirs being a love story Cooper is a sacrificial hero here. “Laura is the one” means her subtraction is the reason for end, or the explanation of Cooper’s fundamental mistake. Duality is not the answer anymore. They mention Pear Blossom could mean pear/pair and blossom/blue rose. The hosts note Diane’s lack of surprise seeing her double, and Coop’ mechanical and creepy nature from the sex scene on. The use of “my prayer” means nothing good can come from the scene. Sex ritual/Thelema magic seems likely, and the real problem with this Cooper is he doesn’t care about Diane whatsoever. After the completely new building and car, this Cooper is weary and uncertain. They mention hotels being liminal spaces in Twin Peaks (a most excellent concept), and then state how the Judy’s diner waitress interaction exactly negates the original Great Northern interaction. They ask if Lynch purposely tried to make two different endings before mentioning he likes to leave things in the abstract. The hosts agree, and say they wouldn’t want to be in the camp that’s right about the answer because they think it’s better not knowing. They give one more goodnight to Harry Dean Stanton before going on to the next episode. Their second episode begins with the Carrie/RichardCooper car scene, which they say has a deadpan humor the second time you watch it (the first time was interminable). Carrie has two coats (a duality), and it seems Cooper has failed but what actually IS Coop’s goal in bringing Laura to the Palmer house? In noting how little dialogue there is, they state how the unconscious communicates with pictures and body language rather than words. They think Carrie is talking about her early Laura life from age 12 or so. Carrie’s experience is what David Foster Wallace named the definition of fugue state. And the hosts note how “Richard” names himself Dale Cooper to Alice Tremond. The Parts 17/18 simultaneous sync is most uncanny here than anywhere else in the episode.