Boy oh boy. Not sure what to make of this yet, but I certainly felt a lot, from the sweeping emotions of Cooper saving Laura in episode 17 (that drew tears), to the creeping dread of Cooper's superimposed face and the increasingly bleak disorientation of the finale.
The final episode may contain the single most uncomfortable sex scene I've ever witnessed, and that's saying something.
Judy as a mundane name for the idea of all cosmic evil (a la Bob before her/begat by her for all personal evil; one and the same) tracks both with the show thematically and with the allusions in Fire Walk With Me. In a really satisfying way, actually, even if it's a retroactive application.
So ... what happened? Obviously on one level the supernatural events of Twin Peaks always have the propensity to be literal; world-hopping, time-traveling, time-altering, etc. are all shades of that. I think everything that happened, happened.
We get Cooper and Laura driving together at night, which feels inevitable, in retrospect.
But unlike the similar ending we got with the two characters at the end of Fire Walk With Me, full of both catharsis and comfort, here there was none to be found. As ever, Cooper is puzzling over a mystery too big for his worldview; Laura is screaming because something's intuitively wrong.
And of course, there are hints both that the world Cooper arrives in is "real" and not. Cooper's personality is less exaggerated than either his good or bad selves, showing shades of both the one we knew and the doppelganger (caring, but cold; good-hearted but aloof and demanding). The owner of the house, as revealed on reddit, owns the property in real life. Real brands, a la the gas station Cooper and Laura stop at, begin showing up.
And yet there's Judy's diner, the white horse statue, allusions to Tremond and Chalfront. And this world is the one whose synapses snap out upon revelation.
Is Laura the dreamer? Is that what she whispers to Cooper? Judy as the symbol for evil, the white horse, etc., are these all reality creeping into a dream? Did a character from her visions (Cooper) manifest only to remind her of a long-forgotten nightmare?
That would answer some things, but I don't know how well it tracks, either emotionally or logically. Has Cooper once again simply bit off more than he can chew, assumed he could stop evils that were simply the nature of things?
And Audrey ... Audrey's a dreamer too, right? What Twin Peaks does she imagine herself in, and which does she awake in? My initial thought was that her role was still an unanswered mystery by the end, but I think ... maybe at the expense of her character (not sure on that) ... she figures well enough into the ending to offer a signpost in reading the real story -- Laura's and Cooper's, as it's always been. There's something to be made of the fact that The Arm shares her line at the end, though I haven't parsed this yet (and this seems like a rare, very genuine instance of Lynch inviting the viewers to breadcrumb for clues).
All season long, the themes of duality from the original run had been replaced with themes of tripling or more, and in the end we're left with the idea of substantially more than two worlds too.
I'm not sure what to make of this yet, and not sure whether this is a better ending for its two central characters than Fire Walk With Me. Does it privilege horror over honesty, as I've occasionally accused The Return of doing, even as it succeeds in other ways? I'm not sure if it's best read as a finale to the work that began with season 1, or as a self-contained response. But there's a lot to think about, and feel.
EDIT -- Either way, I'm far more moved by this than Mulholland Drive, which I've always felt was one of Lynch's weaker works. Though not as much as by Inland Empire, Eraserhead, or Fire Walk With Me on its own. At least as a first reaction.
Last edited by Cipher
on Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.