The Curtain Call And Other Thoughts On Twin Peaks Parts 17 And 18

Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see. One chance out between two worlds … well, you know the rest. Twin Peaks ends as it began, with mysteries and secrets. And just as before, it leaves us with a final haunting image with no promise that it will ever be resolved. But maybe that is how it should be.

The Case

Bad Cooper finally made his way to the coordinates. It appeared to be the same vortex as the one near Jack Rabbit’s Palace, but the denizens of the place that may or may not be the White Lodge quickly moved Bad Coop to the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station. His appearance made Naido freak out and inspired dumb Chad to escape. It didn’t go so good for the latter as Freddy used his power fist to open his jail cell and knock Chad out.

Upstairs, Frank greeted Bad Coop with some of the kindness Harry might have, but was quickly alerted by Cooper not to trust him. It was almost lights out for Frank except Lucy had the drop on Bad Coop and shot him. Hooray for Lucy!

When Coop finally arrived, all assembled — Frank, Bobby, Andy, Lucy, and the Mitchums — saw the Woodsmen release BOB from Bad Coop. He attacked Cooper, but was soon fighting for his existence against Freddy and his power fist. After a number of punches, BOB disintegrated and disappeared into the ceiling.

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Coop sent his doppelgänger back to the Black Lodge, where he will burn for all eternity. He also took a look at Naido and revealed her as the real Diane Evans.

The Updates

There will be no more updates. Instead, let’s discuss where Cooper went once he remembered being a dreamer within a dream. As part of the plan that he, Major Briggs and Gordon cooked up, his Great Northern room key ended up in Sheriff Truman’s possession.

Now, this is where the trail gets strange.

Coop dreamed his way to the power station James and Freddy were guarding. He also dreamed Gordon and Diane there with him. Upon opening the lock, he left them behind to enter what I can only call that One Chance Out Between Two Worlds. Mike was there to escort him to Phillip Jeffries motel room where Jeffries was able to determine Judy’s location in time: February 23rd, 1989.

And before we go any further, it’s important to point out that both Mike and Jeffries spoke with normal voices. Take from that what you will.

Coop traveled back to 1989 where Laura Palmer spots him immediately. Or, at least, she spotted something as her scream interrupted her attempt to break up with James. She also helpfully reminded us of the time Bobby killed a man. Coop watched a little more of her last night before plucking her out of time and seemingly preventing the murder.

Oh, there is one thing to update: they found Jerry in Wyoming; naked and ranting about his binoculars killing someone.

Judy

At long last, we know about Judy. She — or it — is the Ju Dae (at least, that’s how I’m spelling it. But written as “jiao dai” yields an interesting punchline). A malevolent force in the Chance Out Between Two Worlds. She is likely Mom. She’s fond of her creamed corn, but her real aim is incomprehensible to us. She is also tied to the events around Laura’s murder.

To be honest, it’s more than I ever expected to know about Judy. It may even be more than I ever wanted to know about Judy. And thus, I’ll never talk about Judy again. Like Twin Peaks itself, we’re going to leave her out of this.

As soon as Judy almost seemed within reach, Cooper was transported to an alternate Twin Peaks. Pete never found the body. Cooper never came to town. But he nonetheless emerged from the Black Lodge to see Diane waiting for him. Or maybe she was Linda. Traveling to the spot the Fireman indicated to him back in Part 1, they jumped tracks to another reality where Linda and Coop (or Richard) were traveling to Odessa, Texas to have sex.

Linda (or Diane) left the motel room in the wee hours, but Coop found breakfast at Judy’s Restaurant (last time I’ll talk about her, I swear). He also learned the home address of a second waitress who works there: one Karen Page — sorry, Carrie Page. After handing some local cowboys their asses, he found Carrie at home. Her life is just as bad as Laura’s; which makes sense as she looks almost exactly like her.

Returning to Twin Peaks, Coop discovers there was no Sarah Palmer. An Alice Tremond lives there and she bought the house from a Mrs. Chalfont. And if you don’t remember those names, the last moments of Twin Peaks will baffle you.

The Final Questions

  1. Is Cooper still inside the dream? All of this looks so familiar. Waitresses with assumed identities, lost highways and people escaping their guilt by passing into other lives. Is he living out every dream David Lynch ever had?
  2. Is Cooper in another reality? Though he is still an agent, is he Richard in this world where Laura never died?
  3. What year is this? His car looked pretty modern, but it is so hard to tell sometimes.
  4. Was Cooper always in love with Diane? It seemed so out of place, especially when you consider Cooper’s seemingly sincere love for Annie Blackburn. And since his notion of love is strangely innocent, their kiss in the station seemed odd.
  5. Was Diane always in love with Cooper? I suppose there is more evidence for this, but her sudden affection for him also seemed out of place.
  6. Will Janey-E love her new Dougie?
  7. Where is Audrey? You knew this one was coming. The complete lack of resolution there was stunning.
  8. How’s Annie?

The Curtain Call

I cannot decide if a more definitive ending would’ve been more of a mindwhomp than what David Lynch and Mark Frost gave us tonight. Nearly everything raised by the season two finale of Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and the earlier parts of this current series were answered. Coop’s doppelgänger was defeated after twenty-five years. Jeffries saw the real Coop again and BOB lived his last.

But we are left with a completely new mystery. Cooper may be in another reality, or he may have discovered that the power of dreams will be the only way to save Laura Palmer. Then again, we’re left with him trapped in a nightmare courtesy of Mrs. Tremond and Mrs. Chalfont — women we know to be one and the same. I wonder if Mrs. Chalfont’s first name was Judy.

No, seriously. I’m not going to talk about Judy ever again.

Instead, I’m left to believe that the show will happen again. Twin Peaks still has life in it. It also has more garmonbozia to delight us with. And even as the current series encompassed every strange idea Lynch has wanted to realize since Inland Empire, it’s revealed how much people still want to see these characters. It even revealed how much Lynch and Frost know we want to see them. We will see them again.

But then, I can’t help but think of that conversation between Major Briggs and Douglas Milford in The Secret History of Twin Peaks. Mysteries live and breathe because they are mysterious. They have a spirit and magic that mere secrets can never obtain. Secrets can be learned and possessed. True mysteries are never truly tangible.

Maybe that’s why we come back again and again to Twin Peaks. Maybe that was the real return.

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Erik Amayahttp://thesatelliteshow.com
Host of Tread Perilously and a writer at Monkeys Fighting Robots. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds and former host of The Satellite Show. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.