Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Discussion of each of the 18 parts of Twin Peaks the Return

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BHell
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby BHell » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:47 am

N. Needleman wrote:I see theories which are all very compelling, but I just don't see any substantive evidence that Cooper erased the original timeline. I think people who do that are assuming Lynch/Frost are taking a very conventional approach to time travel and changing history - that once it's done everything snaps into place in the future, like in a million other TV shows and movies.

But Lynch and Frost clearly do not do that in 18: After Cooper saves Laura he still meets Diane in Glastonberry Grove, just as they'd planned to do before he changed the past. How could any of that have happened to see to it that he and Diane meet there if the original timeline does not exist, and is not waiting for him to return to with part of his mission complete?

With that plus the subsequent sequence of events (Janey-E and Sonny Jim, etc.), the road voyage across the barrier, I think it is very very clear that Cooper and Diane go from one world (the original timeline) to another (the changed timeline). The other is warped and strange, and Cooper does not find what he expects to (i.e. Laura alive and whole, Sarah in the house).

The answer here is simple and messy: Lynch and Frost do not treat the effects of time travel the same as other shows, and thus not with perfect logic. In their story Cooper and Diane have to literally drive through the border to cross into a new timeline. That's how they wanted to do it. Done.


Seconded. As I have written before, I don't see why Laura being saved by Cooper (thus surviving and being "abducted" to the Richard-Linda-Carrie-Judy-Zone) would necessitate her not dying (thus "starting" the original plotline). In a lynchean narrative, both can be true.

And others have noted that the freshly created Dougie-Tulpa is sent to the original "timeline" (I'm still not inclined to call it that) after it would have been erased/overwritten, according to those theories.

Furthermore, I dispute the time travel theorem altogether: When Cooper enters the FWWM-scene, he enters from above the convenience store (logde space, where time is "slippery") into a point in a looping time (as implied by the closed "8" symbol); he does not go "back" in the same sense Marty McFly does, but merely steps in and out of the lodges.

That being said, I do enjoy reading elaborate theories. And as long as they help their authors and some of their readers understand the ending a bit better, they do what they're supposed to do.
It's just that for every Lynch film, I have had more success in my pursuit of understanding them by taking a straightforward, less elaborate approach. And with The Return's part 18, it appears to be the same.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Robin Davies » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:20 am

Has Sabrina Sutherland's interview been mentioned yet?
https://www.reddit.com/r/twinpeaks/comm ... h=b08cd135
She's firm about overlaying episodes 17 and 18.
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LateReg
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby LateReg » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:51 pm

FlyingSquirrel wrote:
BigEd wrote:As this sinks in, I'm getting a strong MD feel. The "dream" has a happy ending (Bob is shattered, Mr. C is sent back to the lodge, Janey-E and Sonny Jim get the husband/dad they want, plenty of sandwiches for everybody, Laura is saved, etc.). Then we see an ugly real world. Idiots with guns harassing a hard working waitress (at "Judy's diner" no less), reborn Laura in serious trouble and perhaps some of the darkness we've seen in TP like Steven/Becky, zombie girl, etc. I think Laura screamed for all of us at the end.


It did kind of feel like another Lost Highway/Mulholland Drive-style identity-flip by the end. I'm just not sure that works in the context of a relatively literal real-world -but-with-supernatural-elements narrative like Twin Peaks. Plus, in both LH and MD, what we saw reflected the character flaws and myopia of Fred/Pete and Betty/Diane in a metaphorical way that made psychological sense if not literal sense. What character point is being explored here? Is Cooper *still* overconfident in how he handles all this supernatural strangeness even after his previous failure in the Red Room? Even that would be an okay concept, but I'm not sure it merits 18 episodes and there wasn't much build-up to it.


I stayed off the boards all week so I could rewatch, so I'm sure someone has addressed this, but I felt the entire season was in large part an exploration of Cooper's identity. So to see a new version of Coop (as Richard, apparently, who seems to have merged the traits of both Good and Evil Coop) in the end as Cooper struggles to hang on to his identity one last time fit perfectly for me.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby LateReg » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:59 pm

Wally Brando wrote:
richsmith wrote:
Wally Brando wrote:I can certainly remember being shellshocked by the original ending, and bring elated when the film was announced / outraged when it was announced it was a prequel.

This time around I found the final episode absolutely perfect.

The one criticism I do agree with is that the last 2 parts rendered a lot of the previous 16 episodes irrelevant. As entertaining as it almost all was, unless there is another season, I'm not sure how much I'll care about a lot of it, as parts 8 and 18 to me were just so much better than everything else. Just watched 18 again, and it's captivating and chilling at the same time, phenomenal.

I agree that parts 8 and 18 were the stand-outs, but I disagree with the rest of your post. Even the seemingly lesser episodes had moments or scenes that would count as high points in most directors' entire filmographies. And I don't believe that the ending makes the first 17 episodes irrelevant. As with Mulholland Drive and other Lynch projects that delve into dream logic and identity confusion, the reveals are never so simple as to invalidate what went before.

Don't get me wrong, I loved almost everything about this series, it's just that as 18 takes the entire as TP universe in a new direction and I'm less interested in how we got there right now, it's where we go from here (which is probably nowhere unless by some miracle we do get a season 4) that's captured my imagination.

I'm sure there will be plenty to pick out on further rewatches for years to come but at the same time you could make a convincing case for a fan edit that consisted almost entirely of the lodge scenes, a tiny bit of Dougie, and then everything from Cooper waking up. The dozen or so other plot lines that were left unresolved don't really matter anymore if Cooper and Laura don't get back to Twin Peaks proper, so they seem less crucial to the 'main' plot than ever before imo.

(It's almost dawn here and I reserve the right to change my mind entirely after a few hours sleep).


The way I see it the whole thing was a study in identity, in the nature of returning, in whether you can go back home again, in whether a person/town can move on from trauma. So in the end, Part 18 means nothing without everything that came before it. For about ten minutes I wondered where we would go next and if Lynch had something planned. Then I realized how much closure was in this cliffhanger of sorts...deep, terrifying closure. I think everything builds to this finale. And I say that as someone who agrees that Parts 8 and 18 are the two best...but closely followed by the other greatest parts. And you may be right that the dozen or so other plot lines that were left unresolved don't matter if Cooper and Laura don't get back to Twin Peaks proper, but in my opinion they absolutely do matter to how they got to wherever they are in Part 18. Everything in The Return was like paint on a canvas, lending impressions and creating feelings that melded together to form big ideas that the finale centered on and upended.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Ashok » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:29 pm

N. Needleman wrote:I see theories which are all very compelling, but I just don't see any substantive evidence that Cooper erased the original timeline. I think people who do that are assuming Lynch/Frost are taking a very conventional approach to time travel and changing history - that once it's done everything snaps into place in the future, like in a million other TV shows and movies.

But Lynch and Frost clearly do not do that in 18: After Cooper saves Laura he still meets Diane in Glastonberry Grove, just as they'd planned to do before he changed the past. How could any of that have happened to see to it that he and Diane meet there if the original timeline does not exist, and is not waiting for him to return to with part of his mission complete?

With that plus the subsequent sequence of events (Janey-E and Sonny Jim, etc.), the road voyage across the barrier, I think it is very very clear that Cooper and Diane go from one world (the original timeline) to another (the changed timeline). The other is warped and strange, and Cooper does not find what he expects to (i.e. Laura alive and whole, Sarah in the house).

The answer here is simple and messy: Lynch and Frost do not treat the effects of time travel the same as other shows, and thus not with perfect logic. In their story Cooper and Diane have to literally drive through the border to cross into a new timeline. That's how they wanted to do it. Done.


Wow, I really like this theory. I had assumed Coop and Diane drove from one altered timeline into a 2nd altered timeline (via the Fireman or Judy?). But that's somewhat over-complicated and it makes a bit more sense if the changed timeline is something you just "drive into". Dunno if anyone here ever played Chrono Cross on the PlayStation but timetravel worked somewhat similarly in that game where altered timelines existed inside of "pockets" of time/space that you could literally just travel to over land if you knew the exact coordinates.
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Cappy
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Cappy » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:06 pm

I feel like there is a kind of contrast between Dougie's joyous return home and Laura's amnesiac-to-waking-nightmare return home. The episode begins and ends with these moments of homecoming. I don't know what it means per se, but maybe someone else has a take on this.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby douglasb » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:56 pm

Didn't you hear, TR is a "parable about never being able to go home."
BHell
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby BHell » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:15 am

Cappy wrote:I feel like there is a kind of contrast between Dougie's joyous return home and Laura's amnesiac-to-waking-nightmare return home. The episode begins and ends with these moments of homecoming. I don't know what it means per se, but maybe someone else has a take on this.


Great observation! Let's try to develop it:

- Dougie is a tulpa, his joy in "returning home" is naive and somewhat superficial. The home he returns to is the real deal and reacts postitively to his homecoming.
- Laura is the original, her pain and sorrow in "returning home" go deep. The home she returns to is twisted and unreal, not really a home per se. It reacts negatively to her homecoming, going even crazier the moment she awakens.

Yet I also see parallels:

- Dougie returning home is initiated by Dale Cooper, helped by a logde spirit (Mike). His return is not for Dougie's own benefit or for Cooper's, but for the sake of someone else (Janey-E and Sonny Jim). It has to happen the way it happens, because Cooper had to enter the Carrie-Richard-Linda-Judy-World; he can't go back to Janey-E himself, at least not yet.
- Laura returning home is initiated by Dale Cooper, helped by a logde spirit (Fireman). Her return is not for Laura's own benefit or for Cooper's, but for the sake of someone else (the "forces of good" and maybe Sarah). It has to happen the way it happens, because Cooper had to enter the Carrie-Richard-Linda-Judy-World; Laura is stuck there and can't go back to Sarah, at least not yet.

So, what does it mean? No idea. But you might be on to something.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:55 am

I don't think it's a coincidence that Dale's machismo antihero moment at Judy's occurs in the presence of Clint Eastwood's daughter. DKL isn't above metatext. He struck me as very Man with No Name in that scene.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Novalis » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:29 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I don't think it's a coincidence that Dale's machismo antihero moment at Judy's occurs in the presence of Clint Eastwood's daughter. DKL isn't above metatext. He struck me as very Man with No Name in that scene.


Yes, this very much tied into the somewhat 'western' feel of this sequence, with the cowboys and all. It's interesting that it requires a bit of background knowledge / googling to get to that. I think DKL's metatext-fu is strong, but he's no Tarantino (thankfully). It's more subtle.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
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Cappy
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Cappy » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:00 am

BHell wrote:- Dougie is a tulpa, his joy in "returning home" is naive and somewhat superficial. The home he returns to is the real deal and reacts postitively to his homecoming.
- Laura is the original, her pain and sorrow in "returning home" go deep. The home she returns to is twisted and unreal, not really a home per se. It reacts negatively to her homecoming, going even crazier the moment she awakens.


I think Dougie's homecoming might be a subconscious wish or desire on Coop's part. Dale Cooper is sincerely in love with the idea of 1950's picket fence Norman Rockwell America, and he is unable or unwilling to acknowledge the darkness lurking under the illusion. Even after he exposes Leland/BOB as Laura's killer, he is still in love with the idea of Twin Peaks as this quirky, warm place, and contemplates buying a home there. In order to see past the illusion, he has to get past himself and shift into the Richard identity, which allows him to love at the American landscape with a fresh perspective. Maybe becoming something not-Cooper will give him the ability to see Laura's pain without any filters or preconceived notions.

Cooper expresses a love for the big dreamy myths of America, but also a dark curiosity for what lurks just beneath that. His journey in episode 18 (and perhaps the whole series) might be viewed as symbolic of David Lynch's own struggles as an artist. A lot of Lynch's work wrestles with that tension between this sort of idealized Norman Rockwell version of American life and a kind of industrial/cultural decay. If Cooper is able to reconcile the two by the end of The Return, I wonder what that would spell for Lynch's own path as an artist.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Cipher » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:37 am

Re: Western homages: It isn't just the Judy's Diner scene. If this season borrows from one genre other than mystery, it's the Western. Black hat, white hat, a town's morality on the line, a lone hero's journey.

It's strange and fractured as anything, but that's definitely one of the recognized narratives giving the season its shape. And if it was too subtle at any point, it's brought out overtly by the Lissie song.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Saturn's child » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:06 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I don't think it's a coincidence that Dale's machismo antihero moment at Judy's occurs in the presence of Clint Eastwood's daughter. DKL isn't above metatext. He struck me as very Man with No Name in that scene.


I remember hearing a story about Clint (possibly from a special feature off the Dirty Harry DVD), how back in the day he punched/beat-up a guy in a diner who was being rude or somesuch to a girl... Can't remember the exact details, but -- now that I think about it -- the Judy diner scene reminds me of that story.
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby Saturn's child » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:10 am

Cipher wrote:Re: Western homages: It isn't just the Judy's Diner scene. If this season borrows from one genre other than mystery, it's the Western. Black hat, white hat, a town's morality on the line, a lone hero's journey.


I very much agree with you. Calling back to Reindeer's post, Cooper is an interesting variation on the Man with No Name -- is he Dale? Dougie? DroolCoop? Mr C? Richard?
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Re: Part 18 - What is your name? (SPOILERS)

Postby BHell » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:27 am

Cappy wrote:Cooper expresses a love for the big dreamy myths of America, but also a dark curiosity for what lurks just beneath that. His journey in episode 18 (and perhaps the whole series) might be viewed as symbolic of David Lynch's own struggles as an artist. A lot of Lynch's work wrestles with that tension between this sort of idealized Norman Rockwell version of American life and a kind of industrial/cultural decay. If Cooper is able to reconcile the two by the end of The Return, I wonder what that would spell for Lynch's own path as an artist.


Yes, I can definitely see some "Blue Velvet" in Twin Peaks. The Return's episode 16 (the accountant) makes it really obvious and quite literal. I'm not sure part 18 acts as a reconciliation of the opposing sides (peaceful surface vs. underlying darkness) or that they need to be reconciled at all - but you are right in that Dougie and Laura in some capacity represent those two extremes.

From Coop's perspective, there seems to be a conflict of duty and desire. One could say he gives up his desire (living Dougie's life) to follow his duty (combating Judy). Solving this conflict by accepting the reality of Laura's suffering and recognizing how both extremes go hand in hand is an interesting thought.

Lynch's perspective is an artistic one: a more distanced and reflected view. His narratives certainly reflect his own struggles and journeys, but I think they present us with an "intellectualized", abstract version. So, at best, we can deduce where Lynch is coming from. Where he stands right now can only be seen in his future works. But I don't think that's important - aside from hoping he is, right now, at a point where he can see himself producing more output in the future.

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