Nearly a week later, and I'm still in a total daze.
Special Agent Dale Cooper is back.
I just find myself giddy saying that.
Special Agent Dale Cooper is back.
But before this, we must also soundly clock all the amazing moments that preceded, and followed this most anticipated event. First we catch up with Mr.C, and Richard Horne, driving deep past the woods, and into a clearing where a large rock watches over the several acres. Having been given three sets of coordinates throughout the series, and only two matching, C hands Richard a tracking app to home in on the source of a beep. This is all while the eternally lost Jerry Horne watches from a distance through inverted binoculars. C, seemingly unfazed by what happens next, once and for all eliminates Richard from this mortal plane, and seals it that Mr C, has absolutely no care in the world for the human shields he creates and unleashes into the world, even his own seed. They are all simply means to an end.
Next, we are shown that Cooper has been rendered into a coma in the wake of his antics last week with an electrical outlet and a fork. And this is strangely fortuitous as Chantal & Hutch, have at last arrived in a van waiting outside of the Jones' home. From the still searching feds, to a pesky Russian agency man, our oddly charming fast food duo at last meet a simultaneously blazing, and tragicomic end. All while the also just arrived Mitchum Bros. look on with jaws agape.
"What the fuck kind of neighborhood is this?"
Rest In Peace, Chantal & Hutch. Somehow, I never found myself capable of utterly disliking this pair. Even in the moments before it all blasted apart, their passion for greasy food, polyamory, and regret thinking about past debts, made them into somewhat likable marks. They too, game pieces working for a cold, calculating king in black leather.
Not only does the subtitle of this new season at last come to full clarity, it also defines the very arduous and challenging road it took to get here. And it doesn't skimp on allowing viewers to feel just how difficult it was to allow the stars to align in such a satisfying way. In an hour that now seems far more deliberate than previously wondered, we are at last capable of looking back at the Chaplin-esque adventures of a half-aware Cooper, living the life of a construct. The episode inevitably lets us in on that fact. Cooper, has always been here. He was here every step of the way, while inability hindered his body long enough for him to live the life of a seemingly simple man. The scene where he at last awakens as Janey and Sonny Jim are out, and he confirms the score with the One Armed Man, now back at 100%, so much emotion began wracking my body. The calm efficiency in which our favorite Fed gives out orders, and in such a soothing manner, reminds me of why so many of us wanted to follow him in the first place. As he gets Bushnell to help, and soon hops into a car with "Wife and Child" in a car, tearing through a sunny freeway as "Falling" plays loudly as emotional compliment, the show has at last fulfilled one of its great promises.
Now able to obtain help from the ever sweet Mitchum Boys, Cooper now has access to a flight to Spokane. But first, his goodbyes to the family he had for a time called his own, becomes one of Lynch's most classically human moments. When he still cannot properly explain what has happened, and what has happened to their Dougie. Sonny Jim's cries of him being his father hit like a brick to the chest. Still short on time, Coop has to reaffirm to them that one way or another, he will return. Aware that not everything is wholly clear, Janey's last kiss and passing words, "Whoever you are..Thank you." All while our hero races against time to put an end to everything, it is probably this moment that has hit me the hardest throughout this new series. Ordinary people, caught in a maelstrom of something beyond comprehension, being torn away by embers of truth that have at last come in from the edges, is a powerful story move if done with care. And Lynch completely sends it home.
This is where it must be said, I absolutely adore the work that both MacLachlan and Watts have done throughout this Twin Peaks experience. I'll admit to not being sure about Watts initially, but once it came clear to me what kind of person would be so tough, yet so vulnerable to such a lug as Dougie, she soon became one of my favorite Lynch characters. And the work MacLachlan displays here in various roles, and often within the same hour, between edits, the end result is nothing short of magic. There is no hyperbole when I say that their work must be recognized come awards season. Like everything else that works here in Twin Peaks, it all comes together because of this sense of family, something both these performers carry with them beyond their past roles for the director. They understand the world they are in, and have no compunctions about making these roles theirs.
But what comes immediately after this spat of euphoria, brings with it some new jolts of their own. Especially in the form of Diane, who's receipt of Mr. C's cryptic post Richard fry text of...
";-) ALL" With expressions that range from hypnotic to panicked, to resolute, she at last steps from the bar, seemingly ready to kill her Blue Rose comrades with a gun neatly packed away in her purse. But what follows, offers not only a stunning bit of performance on Dern’s part, but also grants us a window into our worst fears regarding Mr.C, and ultimately, who (or what) Diane truly has become. A climactic moment ensues, leaving us with naturally greater questions, but also deep implications as to what has happened to the real Diane. Could she be split into multiple tupla? Is she gone forever? And what’s her connection to Naido; the blind woman now at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station. If she wasn’t her, then what has happened?
And then, there’s the Roadhouse finale, serenaded by none other than Eddie Vedder, and an acoustic track that underlies one of the show’s great questions regarding one of Lynch’s greatest obsessions; identity.
I stare at my reflection to the bone
Blurred eyes look back at me
Full of blame and sympathy
So, so close
Right roads not taken, the future's forsaken
Dropped like a fossil or stone
All while Audrey and Charlie at last enter the venue. The very heart of the series, this location, and possibly the unheralded heart of the series itself. Still seeking Billy, the two reach the bar. And it isn’t long before the announcer follows up Eddie’s prophetic song by introducing a familiar musical interlude. Only, the jukebox of the RR is but a memory, and even the song, Audrey’s Dance, a truly meta moment among a project awash in meta ideas and crossovers, is met with applause as the jazz ensemble hits a familiar slinky rhythm. Spotlight dawns over Audrey, with her in an almost Pavlovian response, beginning her dazed movements as the song fills us with memories of a precocious teen we once knew. One might also not be blamed for expecting credits to roll at this moment, but we linger with Ms. Horne, until she overhears more drama from near the bar. And in a panic, she bolts over to Charlie, imploring that he gets her out of here-
FLASH. Light. Light, everywhere. And a less kempt, breathless version of her is seen gasping into a circular mirror.
We’ve all be taken for a ride. Not unlike last hour’s moment with Charline Yi, The Roadhouse is a conduit of sorts for so much of Peaks’ people and their individual pockets of distress, drama, and despair. A cross-section of people, still living in a Shadow of loss many current patrons have little to no care about. And yet, we’re here. Many truths on the cusp of being revealed. Something terrifying about the real that keeps us enraptured by the dream.
“But who is the dreamer?”
We may at last know who it is. But does this also mean the same for everyone? And what of the viewer? Lynch & Frost’s special alchemy, has long been that of being true to the notion that film is little more than a series of expressed dreams, with its viewers as paying dreamers. Where do we go, when we at last wake up? It’s something I often think about when watching, talking about, and writing about the film experience. That we ourselves are continuing the process by allowing these dreams to pass through us. And said process does not end the moment we leave the darkened theater, or favorite chair at home. The gift that Twin Peaks The Return offers to us, is the chance to delve further into why we watch the things we do, and consider what it is we are truly seeking, vicariously living through the lives of fictional characters, concepts, and environments. It has been a strange, beautiful, eerie, and funny ride being able to experience this. And something tells me that it will be years before we are ever granted anything quite like this again.
Not since Fury Road, have I felt such a cathartic connection with a filmed work. But unlike many, I do not lament its passing. Like all wonderful things, it is not meant to stay. And as such, I’m very grateful that we even had a chance.