I don't get this mean-spirited vibe from season 3 at all. I will concede that the ending is a little bleaker than I anticipated it would be, but in a way Lynch gives us two endings: one that is all dandy and one that isn't (roughly corresponding to part 17 and 18). If you want to see the series as a spiritual climb up the mountain, well this mountain has twin peaks. One is blue pine and the other is white tail; one is dominated by the hideous moon-and-owl symbol that can't be broken down, and one isn't.
Just because one comes after the other in terms of release date, it doesn't erase the earlier episodes, just as events in season 3 don't have to be read at retconning classic Twin Peaks. Remember Lynch saying something to the effect that it doesn't matter that much which order these parts are viewed in. German audiences got to view some parts in a different order as it was -- something I find strangely fitting to this attitude.
What I will also concede is that there are mean-spirited characters in this run. Richard Horne for one, Mr. C for another. The former flees the hit and run incident where an infant is mowed down and justifies it by blaming the kid, he later beats down on an elderly woman member of his family; the latter has an impenetrable, obsidian mean-ness to him, to the point he can shrug off the murder of his own estranged son or dispassionately inform Darya he is about to kill her in her underwear. Let's not forget the malicious indifference with which Gary Hutchens completely ignores the pleas of Warden Murphy's own child, who he has just dispatched, or Chantal's libidinous obsession with torture.
But then, we have always had bastards in Twin Peaks, e.g. Leo Johnson, Jacques and Jean Renault. Look at what they did: beat, raped and abandoned high school girls, trafficked and prostituted them, forcing them into drug addiction.
Granted, there haven't been as many warm and goofy slices of life mixed in with these things in the new season, which probably makes it somewhat less palatable than the old series and FWWM. But I don't think it's a radically more bleak show.
In general I think this story has been much less mean-spirited than all those more popular shows people rave about -- Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Wire, which have their high points but which I have to confess leave me pretty much cold, unfeeling and indifferent as to their content. And GoT sometimes feels like a sociopathic fantasy world born of Tarantino buggering Tolkien while the audience of Spartacus: The Dirty One with Lucy Lawless ogled and dribbled.
What seems to be lingering right now is the pitch-black night of the finale ending, which is truly a hovering blackness ('black as midnight on a moonless night') and reminds me of the ace-of-spades playing card symbol. Winged bleakness, which, trust me, we don't want to know about.
Any attempt to understand that dead end is almost like a way out, a comfort. You can go full on epileptic-trees and theorise Judy-Jowday as some interstellar Ogdru Jahad creature Briggs had discovered or you can think of it any way you like but the Tremond's house lights going out and leaving us with the floating (i.e. empty) signifier of Laura whispering into Cooper's ear is perfect in itself for where it leaves us.
But again, the end is not really by itself the important thing. The end is just the end. Holding this ending in tension with what led there, the lives of the characters and the life of the story, without seeing any contradiction, is something we maybe have to learn to do. I admit it's a struggle but I think its far from impossible.
Unless there's more to tell. Personally I'm not sold on that idea.
Last edited by Novalis
on Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:29 am, edited 4 times in total.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?