CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

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Harry Yallrite
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CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby Harry Yallrite » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:06 am

Love it or hate it, we KNEW the finale would do two things:
1. Not close the book entirely on the story of Twin Peaks
2. Allow plenty of room (perhaps too much) for us to draw our own conclusions and be left with more questions

There were obviously a lot of story lines & twists that had me scratching my head, new characters I felt were unnecessary and a lot of loose ends left dangling. But after giving it a couple of days to sink in, there were some significant resolutions on a superficial level that satisfied me: Bobby Briggs turned his life around and fulfilled his father's vision of him; Big Ed & Norma are getting married; Nadine found some success with her drapes and appears to be relatively happy; Jacoby is still nuts and happy to be that way; The Log Lady maintained a strong spiritual connection with Hawk for his companionship to the end, while passing along her pearls of wisdom and insight; Ben Horne still runs the Great Northern and seems to have found a sense of responsibility & decency in his old age; Jerry is dealing with the results of a life of excess (and who cares about Jerry, really?); Carl Rodd is special and is shown to have a good heart; Gordon & Albert still work for the FBI and we now know a lot more about their involvement with Blue Rose; Major Briggs faked his death and was in hiding in the lodge until BOB took him away and decapitated him (but now he's with the Fireman); Andy & Lucy are happily married and as cute as ever - and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Mike Nelson is a car salesman who hates poorly written resumes.

This was a lot of resolution for me as it turns out, though I didn't realize it because I didn't know what to expect as the season was unfolding. There were unfortunate & unavoidable disappointments (No Michael Ontkean or David Bowie - RIP) and frankly, I didn't have much invested in the new characters like Janey-E, Mullins or the Mitchums. Good characters, served their purposes - just no emotional investment or need for final resolution.

Which leaves five characters that I NEEDED closure on - or at least some answers - to feel as if a chapter (if not the entire book) had been closed. Here are some of my takeaways on what happened regarding these five characters & the most important elements of THE RETURN (I'll attempt to discuss them in order of the events as presented in the final two parts) :


1. AUDREY:
Audrey was not in a "coma" per se, but a fugue state induced by BOB following the rape in the hospital. BOB's intention was to procreate and have a lineage; Audrey Horne would be the LAST person he'd want to deal with while their offspring was alive. Because BOB was responsible for inducing this coma/state, Audrey experienced her own version of an alternate timeline - wild dreams of being in a world still connected to Twin Peaks - but a world out of her reach (hence she couldn't cross the "threshold" to snap out of it) - and was her OWN version of an alternate life (a la Odessa Texas for Dale & Laura). Different names for familiar people (like Carrie instead of Laura, Richard instead of Dale). In Audrey's world, Billy, Tina, etc. are people from Twin Peaks we all know - but only Audrey knows which names are attached to which people. When Richard Horne was zapped by Mr. C, the spell was broken - Audrey was then allowed to wake up from her fugue state / alternate reality because she no longer posed a threat to Mr. C.
The white room, brightness, lack of makeup and "sterile" feel of her surroundings leads me to infer she was in a hospital or institution, and had no idea what she had been doing all this time.


2. SARAH PALMER:
- Sarah was the girl inhabited by the frog-moth creature back in 1956
- The frog-moth was a primitive, less advanced offspring of "MOTHER", and that offspring of "MOTHER" has lived inside of Sarah ever since
- It took decades for this primitive offspring of "Mother" to develop & mature, so Sarah Palmer changed and became more evil & more powerful as the "offspring" matured
- The reason Leland (BOB) had to keep Sarah drugged all the time was because he KNEW Sarah was inhabited by MOTHER'S offspring - and did not want it to interfere with his evil doings
- In a nutshell, MOTHER'S son (BOB/Leland) was married to MOTHER'S daughter (Sarah) in a quasi-incestuous relationship - and brother kept sister in the dark through intoxication and drugging.

As for the end of THE RETURN, "Sister" is finally mature and ready to wreak havoc on the world. Sensing something had been altered when Cooper went back in time and saved Laura from death. "Sister" came to the realization that everything she'd been through in her life was for nothing - the drugging, the intoxication, having to wait until she was ready for "her turn", the effort to "put on a face" as it were for the "human world". I don't think she was disturbed by Cooper's action in saving Laura from death at the hands of her "brother" - instead, I think "sister" was disturbed that her bother BOB had his chance and she doesn't - and in the end, she's wasted her life waiting for a moment that will never come.


3. THE FIREMAN:
This message was delivered to Cooper JUST BEFORE HE WAKES UP from his coma in the Hospital
"Listen to the sounds" - this is what you'll hear when you're at the JUDY threshold...
"It is in our house now" - JUDY is now accessible to Dale, and it' will be a part of Dale's/the Fireman's bigger plans going forward.
"It cannot all be said aloud now" - Dale will need to find out for himself what JUDY is.
"Remember... 430... Richard & Linda... two birds with one stone" - The Fireman is asking Dale to REMEMBER (1) how to get to JUDY, (2) who he and Diane will become once they reach JUDY, and (3) what he told Gordon Cole 25 years earlier about "doing whatever it takes to find him" - because Cooper must change that request and tell Gordon NOT TO FIND HIM (which he does as he opens the basement door at the Great Northern).


4. DALE COOPER:
"Richard & Linda"
I believe that OUR Dale Cooper left Diane in the car and walked into the Motel office - but it was not our Dale who walked back out and beckoned Diane to enter room 7. It was "Richard".
Diane was Diane while having sex with "Richard". Diane began to feel it wasn't Dale, which is why she was so uncomfortable with him in bed and began covering his face. It may have been memories of the rape by Mr. C 20+ years earlier, but more a realization that she too would be changing, and began to understand why she saw "herself" standing outside of the Motel office. She saw herself as this other person - "Linda" - waiting outside for "Richard". She couldn't face this reality and left during the night.

By crossing over to this new dimension (which I believe is JUDY) he's now part Dale, part Mr. C and part Dougie. All of the different iterations of his "being" and existence are with him, and if Cooper continues to travel through different dimensions/alternate realities he will continue to take those characteristics with him (while probably gaining new ones). This is why he could be a cold, calculated bad-ass at the Judy Diner (like Mr. C), seem completely distant and in his own world while driving to Twin Peaks w/ Carrie (Dougie) and still have the sense of duty to reunite Laura with her mother (Dale) all at the same time.

Cooper's intuition, strong existential nature and philosophical mind made the transition to "Richard" more complex - it allowed him to retain and experience prior iterations of his existence, which is why he hadn't fully embraced being "Richard" by the final scene. He was essentially "fighting off" becoming this new identity of Richard without even realizing it.


5. LAURA PALMER:
Laura has already experienced the same thing as Dale, having been pulled from Twin Peaks and escaping death 25 years earlier - and has been living in her new alternate reality as "Carrie" for that amount of time. As time has passed, her memory of & identity with "Laura" has faded away. "Carrie" is the identity she embodies; she's not as intuitive or strong-minded as Dale, and she's psychologically distanced herself from the horrible experiences & memories of being Laura (she WANTED to forget - Cooper DOESN'T want to forget).


THE FINAL SCENE:
When Dale arrives with Carrie at the Palmer's house, he's asking direct questions (like Cooper would) but can't understand the answers he's getting (like Dougie would) and has this innate feeling that the confusion & evil he's sensing is both proper and right (like Mr. C would). As we see moments before the final curtain, he's still able to figure out something's wrong, but is pulled in different directions and cannot lock in on the answer. Even the home owners names of "Tremond/Chalfont" should have raised a red flag for the old Cooper, but now...

It's Carrie who has no clue who she really is or what she's feeling - but thanks to the presence of the Mrs. Tremond/Chalfont (who has always been sort of the "guide" pushing Laura in the direction she wanted her to head) - she hears the voice of Sarah calling out for her - then it all comes rushing back in a terrifying memory of her true self.

Well, glad I got that off my chest & thanks for reading (if you made it this far!) - I'd love to read what your take is on this.
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby Panapaok » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:50 am

Really solid stuff, thanks for sharing.
This is - excuse me - a damn fine cup of coffee.
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby carson123 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:00 am

Brilliant read, thanks for sharing!
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby gfh110 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:17 pm

My conclusions are that The Return is telling stories on many different levels. There isn't a grand unified theory of everything that can explain what we saw. I'll probably do a couple posts explaining my thoughts, though this will be the longest.

As a narrative continuation of the original show
To look at the show at only a literal level, strictly linear, with the purpose of continuing Cooper's story is pretty simple. Remember this concerns only the very literal surface-level interpretation of events. Here's the super-condensed version:

Cooper, speaking to the Fireman, is given a series of cryptic clues and told to remember: 430, Richard and Linda, Two birds with one stone.

Before Cooper's doppelganger, Mr. C, left Twin Peaks at the end of season 2 he met with Major Briggs and burnt down his listening post, assuming he died in the fire. He also raped a comatose Audrey Horne who later gave birth to a son named Richard, who was a real piece of work. For 25 years he traveled around committing illicit activities including killing an FBI asset in Colombia, assaulting Diane and creating a "tulpa" of her, creating Dougie Jones, and eventually partnering with Philip Jeffries. His goal in the series to find a set of coordinates which ultimately lead to the golden portal on Blue Pine Mountain. His reason for wanting to enter that realm is unclear, but as a result of doing so he is transported to the Twin Peaks sheriff's station where he meets his end at Lucy's hand. The spirit of BOB which has resided with him all these years escapes and is defeated by Freddie Sykes just as the real Agent Cooper arrives (having escaped the Black Lodge and spending much of his time back on earth trapped in the near-vegetative Dougie Jones persona).

A mute, blind woman called Naido who was discovered near the golden portal only a day or two prior and kept protected in a cell at the sheriff's station is in the crowd. Cooper recognizes her as the same woman who apparently sacrificed herself to help him on his journey out of the Black Lodge. It's then revealed that through some unknown process Naido is actually the real Diane Evans. Cooper reunites with her then says goodbye to everyone as he enters a door in the boiler room of the Great Northern Hotel. Apparently following through with a plan he, Major Briggs, and Gordon Cole devised years ago to combat an extreme negative force called "Judy", Cooper visits Philip Jeffries who allows him to travel back in time to the night of Laura Palmer's murder. Cooper intercepts Laura in the woods and she recognizes him from her dreams. He leads her toward the golden portal, but she disappears only a few steps away from it. Nevertheless, we see her murder is prevented. It's unclear whether in this new timeline Laura has simply disappeared, or if she is removed from ever having existed at all.

After another visit to the Red Room where he converses with MIKE and The Arm again, Cooper exits the Lodge at the same place he entered 25 years ago in Glastonbury Grove. Diane is waiting for him and together they drive to a point 430 miles away from Twin Peaks. They cross through an electrical barrier which deposits them in another reality where their personalities are markedly different. They stay at a motel and have sex, but in the morning Diane is gone and she's left a note addressed to "Richard" and signed "Linda." Cooper is confused and doesn't recognize the name Richard. He exits the motel, which is different from the one they entered the night before, and gets into a different car than the one they were driving. He seems distracted by this, but drives on to find a diner called Judy's where after some gunplay, he asks the waitress for an address.

Following the address he arrives at the home of Carrie Page, another waitress from the diner, and one who looks exactly like Laura Palmer. Cooper asks if she is Laura, but she doesn't recognize the name. Nevertheless she agrees to accompany Cooper back to what he believes is her childhood home in Twin Peaks. (It should be noted there was a dead man in her home whom she had apparently shot in the head.) The pair drive through Twin Peaks, but Carrie doesn't recognize the town. They arrive at the Palmer house to find it occupied by a woman named Alice Tremond, who had purchased the home from the Chalfont family some years ago. Cooper and Carrie apologize for the intrusion and walk back out into the street. Cooper, visibly concerned and unsure of what to do asks "What year is this?" Carrie looks up at the house, hears the voice of Sarah Palmer calling from seemingly far away, and lets out a piercing scream.


As far as narrative conclusion, I'd say it's pretty open-ended. There is room to tell more story like, for instance, what happens next? How did the prevention of Laura's murder affect the town of Twin Peaks? Is James still cool?

Now, how does what happened over the course of the show affect certain characters?

Cooper - When he crosses over the "430 threshold" into Carrie's reality he stops being the Cooper we know. If he is actually changed into a new person named Richard is unclear, but his personality is different. Others have commented that he seems like a combination of the original "good" Cooper and Mr. C. I think what we're seeing here is what Cooper would have become if he never went to Twin Peaks, which he wouldn't have if Laura Palmer was never killed. When Cooper fully emerges in episode 16, he's still the same gung-ho pie-and-coffee Coop we knew from the original series. 25 years in cosmic limbo has aged his body, but his soul remained the same. "Richard" is the result of a Cooper who never found the "decency, honor, and dignity" in the little town where "life has meaning." He spent the next 25 years believing that way of living had "vanished from the earth." 25 years at the bureau witnessing all sorts of human atrocities and being beaten down by the evils of society. At his core he's still noble and devoted, but he's also hardened and become colder. Mr. C rejected the offer of coffee; he doesn't need anything. Agent Cooper loves coffee; the simple joys of life. Richard drinks coffee, but doesn't react; the simple joy has become a simple routine.

Laura - The main question with Laura is who or what pulled her out of Twin Peaks and deposited her as Carrie Page in Odessa. The prevailing theory is that it's the extreme negative force known as Judy, but I don't really think it matters. Obviously she's lived a different life in this reality, but Cooper thinks that beneath it all she's still Laura Palmer. He thinks she's just forgotten and that returning her to her home and her family will set things right. Unfortunately we find that, no matter what reality you're in, you can't go home again. She hears Sarah calling her name and something causes her to snap. Is she remembering her life as Laura and all the pain she suffered? Personally I like the explanation that appeared on 4chan: Laura is the dreamer. She hears her mother calling from outside the dream, waking her up. The scream is one of despair, not at remembering who she really is, but that this world is about to be replaced by the real one where her father is abusing her and in 24 hours she's going to die.

Audrey - This one is tough because everything with Audrey and Charlie feels so disconnected. The theory is that Audrey is either dreaming or hallucinating in a mental institution. When she snaps "awake" the white walls, apparent hospital gown, and her non-made-up appearance seem to support this. However, if she were in an institution it's doubtful she would have a mirror. Mental hospitals tend to have strict rules about metal, glass, and things that could potentially become sharp objects. Since there's no resolution here I believe that what we're seeing is Audrey being jolted from one reality to another. In the first reality she's the same Audrey Horne from the original series. She's had a rough life in the last 25 years mothering a monster like Richard, living in an apparent marriage of convenience, and having to come to grips with the fact that the man she idolized as a teenager raped her in her sleep. But the music is still "too dreamy" and she can still get lost in it. When she suddenly wakes up, though, what we're seeing is Audrey in the new timeline created when Cooper prevents Laura's murder. Her panicked reaction could just be one of momentary disorientation.

Diane - We know that the Diane we had through most of the series was a tulpa created by Mr. C. From what we know of making tulpas it requires a "seed", some DNA for which hair seems a good source, and a jolt or two of electricity. It seems reasonable that after creating the tulpa the doppelganger would have just killed the original Diane, but she seems to have survived somehow with the help of / in the form of Naido. It's a really weird scene in the sheriff's station when Cooper touches her hand and Naido's face becomes an opening to the Red Room. What we're seeing here could be some form of rebirth with the disembodied spirit of Diane literally being downloaded into a new body. Or perhaps she was in a "zone" similar to Major Briggs all these years and Naido was somehow the pathway for her to return. When she crosses over and becomes Linda we're seeing a similar reaction that her tulpa had after she met Mr. C in prison. She knows something is off with Cooper. He's not the same man anymore and this version of Diane chooses to leave him.

Janey-E and Sonny Jim - Okay, time for some timey-wimey stuff. Since Cooper succeeded in preventing Laura's murder that sets up a bunch of causality issues in the timeline of the show. If there's no murder, Cooper never goes to Twin Peaks. If so, he never enters the Black Lodge, the doppelganger never comes out, he never creates the tulpa of Dougie Jones, Sonny Jim is presumably never born, and Cooper never asks MIKE to make another Dougie. However, since tulpas are related to the Lodge and they seem to operate outside of normal space and time, maybe causality isn't as big of an issue. Or at the very least there is one version of reality out there where that didn't happen. I think at this point there are three distinct timelines anyway:

1. "Original" Twin Peaks timeline - This version ends at the point where Cooper travels back in time to save Laura.
2. "New" Twin Peaks timeline - In this version Laura Palmer's murder never occurred. This is the timeline that Cooper enters when he exits the Lodge the second time and Diane is waiting for him. We see very little of the ripple effect of what would have happened if Laura hadn't been killed.
3. "Carrie Page" timeline - This is a completely separate reality in which Laura Palmer never existed and Cooper and Diane are different people known as Richard and Linda.

Sarah - I don't really know what to make of the Sarah Palmer stuff honestly. I think the theory that she's the girl who inhaled the New Mexico frog-bug is pretty solid, but I also think most of episode 8 isn't meant to be taken literally. (More on this when I write my conclusions about the symbolism and themes of the show.) The fact that she and Laura can both play face-off is significant, but I don't think that means they're both supernatural beings from opposing sides of good & evil. If there is basic chronological time inside the Red Room then this whole season happens after Fire Walk With Me. At the end of that film Laura had achieved some form of spiritual peace. Behind her face is glowing white purity. Behind Sarah's face is a seething black void representing over 30 years of trauma, loss, and guilt. She's an alcoholic widow, shut off from the world and tormented by darkness. What we're seeing with Sarah in her final scene is that even if Laura hadn't been killed, she still apparently disappeared (as evidenced by the existence of the prom photo) and Sarah's life would have played out in much the same fashion. Her apparently supernatural abilities can be explained by the fact that she was always prone to having visions. 25 years of darkness clawing away at her has made her even more attuned to those dark forces.

The Spirits & The Lodges - It seems in some way that the new season has kind of done a stealth retcon of the White Lodge / Black Lodge duality. It seems like the Fireman exists in the White Lodge and that The Experiment, BOB, and the doppelgangers are all associated with the Black Lodge, but the locations are never named. It's completely possible that the Fireman exists in a different realm altogether, although the appearance of Major Briggs, and the gold portal (the mirror opposite of the black portal in Glastonbury Grove) leading to the Fireman's realm seem to support this as being the White Lodge. That leaves the red "waiting" room as sort of neutral territory where MIKE and The Arm (to a lesser extent) seem to want to help Cooper, but don't appear to "work" for the Fireman. If like Hawk said these really are the spirits that rule man and nature, they have a pretty convoluted way of going about it. About the only thing that's clear is that they use electricity to create, travel, and destroy.

The Woodsmen - These deadly hobos certainly seem to be associated with the Black Lodge since we only ever see them crushing skulls and "helping" Mr. C when he takes a bullet, but their exact nature and purpose is never fully explained. They seem to be just agents of evil directed by an unknown force. As for their soot-covered appearance, I assume that's what you look like when you spend all your time fire-walking (traveling via electricity). As Hawk says, the fire on his map represents something like "modern electricity."

Aaaaaaand I think that's quite enough for now. If I have thoughts on any other characters I'll add them later. Need to gather my thoughts for what it all means symbolically...
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Harry Yallrite
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby Harry Yallrite » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:22 pm

@ gfh110

That's some great stuff there - really enjoyed reading your analysis and making the comparisons to mine, which I appreciate. Much like Twin Peaks itself - and its creative force of Frost & Lynch - it proves once again that some things are never meant to be understood, because that's the way life is.

And the fact that you're a WHO fan is just the whipped cream on the cherry pie. So this lyric is for you:

"You were under the impression
That when you were walking forwards
You'd end up further onward
But things ain't quite that simple

You got altered information
You were told to not take chances
You missed out on new dances
Now you're losing all your dimples
"
"...I'm not above feeling a little sympathy for the stalwart and the dull. ."
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby starmand » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:45 pm

Some great stuff in this thread so far.

Like most of us (I would imagine) I've been struggling to make sense of what we saw Sunday night. I haven't written anything down yet, but I have many thoughts... excuse the rambling nature of what follows, and the potential inaccuracies; I don't yet feel up for a rewatch, so I'm analyzing things as I remember them, not necessarily the way they happened.

I believe Cooper became enlightened, or close to it, at some point during the 25 years he spent in the Red Room. His appearance in the first scene in what we may believe to be the White Lodge seems to prove that if he has not fully passed through the trials of the Black Lodge, he is close to achieving a higher level of understanding. It is relevant, I think, that Coop falls from the Red Room when he comes out. That he is descending to a lower plane of existence. He stands high above the Doppelganger on the road below when he peers out through those red curtains. He literally falls to Earth, falls into outer space, before emerging as Dougie. Dougie, too, seems like a being with some degree of "enlightenment."

Dougie seems like the perfect channel for Cooper's higher self. The body is but a vessel from which shines the golden "seed." Gold, important in alchemy... "The alchemists often talk about ‘living gold’. The ‘living gold of the philosophers’ is the pure fire that is in the philosopher’s stone, or in quicksilver, or in the root humidity of nature which is completely penetrated by the fire. The living gold is the fixated seed that vivifies the philosopher’s quicksilver and the matter of the stone, that is the root humidity of metals. It is a light that is clothed by a perfect, pure ethereal body. It all sounds mystifying, but read it again and know that the living gold is actually pure consciousness, or pure awareness."

So Cooper-as-Dougie is living in that pure awareness. Perhaps he was not prevented from "waking up," but chose to experience the world in his pure consciousness for a while. Because he knows that as soon as he "wakes up" (which by now I see is really a kind of going to sleep, a descending from pure awareness into the base physical world, a world of coffee, pie, sex, etc) he will have sacrificed the awareness he has worked so hard to achieve. But he is jolted to action by the mention of Gordon Cole, perhaps remembering a long-ago promise, or realizing that his own enlightenment has come at a heavy cost, his doppelganger loosed upon the world.

But Cooper can not exist in this plane of reality for very long. He comes out at exactly 2:53 in Las Vegas, and time holds still for him at 2:53 in Twin Peaks, as his higher self re-emerges, the giant face superimposed upon the screen, "We live inside a dream." A fracturing. A choice to return to his higher state or to give in to the physical world, the pleasure of Diane's kiss... But he can not stay for long. He has to descend the ladder of existence once more. Unless I am mistaken, the only two instances of a character going between two worlds that is represented by a physically downward motion are Coop falling from the Red Room, and Coop descending into the bowels of the furnace-room at the Great Northern. All the other characters look up into portals, get snatched upward--physically--into another plane of existence that they cannot comprehend. But Coop's journey now takes him down, he goes down and arrives at the Dutchman's, a place "above the convenience store." He must have been above the above.

What brings him down through these levels of existence? Perhaps his nature--he is a detective, a seeker. He desires knowledge. In some ways Cooper's fall from the Red Room back to earth is a re-enactment of the first sin, eating the apple of knowledge. "In Jewish tradition, the Tree of Knowledge and the eating of its fruit represents the beginning of the mixture of good and evil together. Before that time, the two were separate, and evil had only a nebulous existence in potential."

In another way he is a bit like Eurydice, being drawn from the profoundness of his death by rules he can not control. I think of Rilke's interpretation of the myth, that Eurydice does not even recognize Orpheus, that she never wanted to come back at all. And in that way Coop is Orpheus as well, pulling Laura Palmer, Eurydice, through the dark woods, "The so-beloved, that out of one lyre/more grief came than from all grieving women:/so that a world of grief arose[...]and that around this grief-world, just as/around the other earth, a sun/and a silent star-filled heaven turned,/a grief-heaven with distorted stars –/she was so-loved." "The stars turn, and a time presents itself..."

His search for knowledge, truth, justice, keeps dragging him through different levels of himself, further and further from his pure consciousness, a reverse alchemy of gold into lead.

But is the answer to never pursue knowledge? I think Lynch is more complicated than that. I believe there is a deeply personal conflict at the root of this story, and it has to do with the desire of telling a story, the desire for mysteries, the desire to set people out on that search and to search yourself; and in contradiction, the awareness that knowledge will not save you. Sometimes knowledge can destroy you. The original sin of the fruit of knowledge is reinterpolated as the atom bomb; the ultimate example of destructive knowledge. Bad intentioned fire.

But Lynch, too, is a seeker; a dreamer and detective. The finale exists in the contradiction of the meditator: how to empty your mind without intending to empty your mind. How to be receptive but not passive; ductile. (Calls to mind Whitman's "noiseless, patient spider," who spins filament after filament into the air, searching for something to hold onto, "till the ductile anchor hold." Sounds a bit like catching a big fish...)

And what knowledge does art seek? I think it seeks the knowledge that is truly unknowable, the search for what these things we call human beings are. We are more inscrutable than the universe; indeed we are all each universes, vast constellations that can never truly be known or understood, least of all by ourselves. And yet we are drawn to meaning... to "make sense of it." We could be Judy. (Hell, we probably are.) We could be Cooper, and Laura, and Bob, and Diane and Cole all at once. We can search and search ourselves but we never find our meaning, it finds us. We think we want explanations but explanations are obliteration. They're the resolving of the paradox into the thuddingly literal explanation that this is all there is. Our explanations stalk us and eventually kill us. Perhaps that is Judy. "Drink full, and descend..."

Perhaps enlightenment is as boring as it seems. Lynch has said again and again that he wants to give the audience room to dream. The enlightened Cooper of parts 16 and 17 is seeing the world through the eyes of a man who knows exactly what will happen and when. "You're Freddie!" "You'll have the room key from the Great Northern." Is there anything more tedious than hyper-competence? Lynch wants us to be detectives. As he might say, "it's a beautiful thing."

There is some hope and joy in this finale, I think, along with all the darkness. The joy of mystery. The allure of the fact that we may not be enlightened, but we are searchers, dreamers, detectives and seekers, and perhaps that's worth something. Someone on this forum a while back quoted T.S. Eliot's "The Four Quartets" (a book featured on the shelves in Audrey's "home"): "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby ThumbsUp » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:57 pm

(EDIT: Oh, whoops, I think I did this thread wrong; I was just responding to Harry's theories. I'll post more of my original thoughts later. ;))

Great post!

Audrey - One of my faves whose subplot I came to love. I also think the randos are actually people we know. I think she's definitely in the Convenience Store or Lodge though (the electricity, backwards-playing Roadhouse band, mentioning the same story the Arm does, her parallels to Diane).

Sarah - love your interpretation re: the drugging based off what we now know. The whole Palmer clan is endlessly horrifying to me. Also, Grace Zabriskie's scenes are among the season's best acted by far. She is wonderful.

Fireman - I'm still coming to terms with the fact that the Fireman's assignment to Cooper ends up robbing Laura of her peaceful resolution we saw in FWWM.

Coop - Yup.

Laura - Her situation as Carrie seems to be similar to Audrey's (Black Lodge in nature, talking about grabbing coats and leaving, talking about waiting for the phone to ring while Carrie's rings in the background, not fully knowing oneself, etc.)

The final scene - Totally bleak in my opinion (I don't buy Laura being the dreamer and waking up from everything only to still be alive on February 27 at all). Coop and Laura seem to be in samsara-like cycles of pain and suffering, especially Coop as his strong desire to save women and be a hero figure is his Achilles' heel that screws both he AND Laura in the end.
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby snusmumrik » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:06 pm

If we toss all speculation aside:

- Audrey is irrelevant to the overall plot (so is her son - he was there just as another victim of Cooper's Doppel - and the cruelest one, since he's his own son), they are just closing her plotline (might be some meta-commentary as well, but I'm not fond of that kind of reading of Lynch's work. From what I've seen of the man, I get the impression he just puts whatever feels intuitively appropriate to him in his films).

- The girl that swallowed the toad-bug is a character of her own. She (the actress) is partially Native American, and the boy that kisses her (again, the actor) is Hispanic, and I think this is an intentional choice, it's supposed to give us a clue they're not just young versions of (the blatantly "white") Sarah and Leland. I believe this scene only represents the way the Experiment's spawn entered the body of the first human it inhabited.
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby tmrbhtt » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:32 am

Fantastic posts... Im going to save them for when I'm at work :wink: finally this message board is getting back on track like before... Good theories to digest and lots cooper like enthusiasm. :D :D :D
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Re: CONCLUSIONS... What are yours? (SPOILERS)

Postby ThumbsUp » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:36 pm

snusmumrik wrote:If we toss all speculation aside:

- Audrey is irrelevant to the overall plot (so is her son - he was there just as another victim of Cooper's Doppel - and the cruelest one, since he's his own son), they are just closing her plotline (might be some meta-commentary as well, but I'm not fond of that kind of reading of Lynch's work. From what I've seen of the man, I get the impression he just puts whatever feels intuitively appropriate to him in his films).

- The girl that swallowed the toad-bug is a character of her own. She (the actress) is partially Native American, and the boy that kisses her (again, the actor) is Hispanic, and I think this is an intentional choice, it's supposed to give us a clue they're not just young versions of (the blatantly "white") Sarah and Leland. I believe this scene only represents the way the Experiment's spawn entered the body of the first human it inhabited.


i'd argue the Audrey thing. Her situation is the closest thing in the series we can compare the goings-on in part 18 to: Parallel universes and existential angst on loop, in a thematic sense. In a literal story sense, I think Audrey was taken to the Convenience Store by Mr. C as Diane was and Audrey ended up being Carrie Page'd (whom she also shares parallels with: grabbing a coat, phone ringing, Black Lodge electric sounds, different personas).

Agree about the frog-bug girl; I never thought the little girl looked anything remotely similar to Sarah even on a basic ethnicity level. But who knows.

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