Mr. Reindeer wrote:The cut from Dougie saying “home” to Dale leading Laura “home” is a nice contrast, and goes back to what I was saying in the Part 16 thread about how Cooper might have done more good by staying with the family that loved him and not trying to change the world (literally).
I continue to believe that Cooper acts weird in this Part because he gave up the joyful part of himself to stay with the Joneses as Dougie. I also wonder if perhaps overconfidence in his newfound “Magician” abilities (i.e., moving the Red Room curtain with a wave of his hand) leads to the attitude change/more domineering nature. Cooper seems pretty off the second he comes out of the Red Room, but then in the “430” scene with Diane in the car, he seems much more human. He doesn’t necessarily seem like himself, but when he says, “Once we cross, it could all be different,” he seems really sad. It’s after they “cross” that he seems to become almost soulless.
What do we make of the fact that when Dale comes out of the motel to find himself in Texas, he finds Mr. C’s Lincoln Town Car from Part 2/3 waiting for him in the parking lot? As far as talismans go, that certainly doesn’t bode well for “our” Cooper. I’ve encountered, and toyed with, the notion that when the Doppel is destroyed at the top of this hour, he is reintegrated into Cooper Prime, explaining why Cooper’s demeanor seems more dour, his delivery slower, and his behavior occasionally borderline-sinister. Maybe it’s a combination of all the things I’ve mentioned (giving up part of himself to make a Dougie tulpa, having the doppel reintegrated, and becoming overly prideful with his advanced connection to the spirit world) that lead to the perfect storm of a Cooper ill-suited to carry out this task. It definitely doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Lynch starts the hour with the doppel’s destruction and the tulpa’s creation, before settling in with the “real” Cooper for the rest of the Part. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions...
I also find the idea of Dale sacrificing a cheerful part of himself compelling, compelling enough that I think I came up with that idea on my own, before reading it anywhere else. I had never explicitly connected the opening scenes of Part 18, though. Great catch regarding the destruction and the creation. That said, I had implicitly felt that, as we have many times talked about how "Richard" is essentially all sides of Cooper reintegrated into the "real" version, as you say.
What do we make of the other Diane she sees lurking at the motel? I’m inclined to think it’s her doppelganger stalking her. On an abstract level, it feels to me like the trauma of her past following her. She’s trying to be there for Cooper and enact the plan they made together at some ambiguous point in the past (possibly involving sex magick), but the events that went down with Cooper’s doppelganger are never far away. Interesting that the DoppelDiane (or whatever it is) vanishes as soon as Cooper comes back out the door. Maybe this is “Linda,” waiting to take over once the trauma becomes too overwhelming?
I had some pretty strong revelations about Part 18 on my most recent viewing, and Diane's encounter with herself was one of them. It's a simple revelation, but one that makes sense: Perhaps Diane seeing her double signifies that they are indeed in a lodge realm at that point. Except for the Mr. C/Dougie tulpa loophole, we are specifically told that one cannot cohabit the real world with one's doppelganger. Therefore, this may signify that they do indeed cross over into a lodge realm since that is the only place one can cohabit with their doppel.
That is such a disturbing sex scene. This version of Cooper doesn’t seem to take joy out of anything. That scene is a nice study in contrasts with the Janey-E sex scene in Part 10. Diane and Janey-E are sisters (however literally you want to take that), and both scenes involve writhing female backs, but Cooper’s reactions are night and day. The Cooper we see in Part 18 seems almost as comatose as our beloved DougieCoop, but instead of arm-flopping joy, he just sits there stone-faced (it sort of makes me laugh in a dark way that he’s playing with her breast completely joylessly). I also think back on his warmth and tenderness in the love scene with Annie in Episode 28 as another contrast. The Cooper we get here is pretty chilling.
I'm glad you brought this up, because I would have forgotten again. What's with that nipple fondle anyway? That's another of the most fascinating mini-moments for me. Why does Lynch cut to that, a totally separate shot, for such a short amount of time? I'm not interested in an "Old man Lynch is a gratuitous pervert" take on the scene, obviously, and that's certainly not my view of it. I really want to know if there's something to the editing and film language because it really stands out.
It’s really unclear how many levels of unreality deep we go in this Part. It’s ambiguous what universe we’re in when Cooper emerges from the Red Room (original universe? Altered continuity “Laura disappeared” universe? Somewhere else entirely?). Cooper and Diane then cross over to somewhere else when they pass the 430 mark, and of course Cooper once again seems to end up somewhere else entirely after the sex scene.
I’m not sure what the deal is with Richard and Linda, although I’m in good company, since Mark Frost also isn’t sure! I’d do a lot of things I’m not proud of to see just the portion of the script relating to this Part, to see how much was changed/added. The Fireman references Richard and Linda in Part 1, yet Cooper seems confused here, despite him remembering 430.
The name Richard obviously evokes the spawn of the doppel’s other rape, again indicating the importance of Audrey in all this. The “will they or won’t they, but also, she’s in high school” nature of the Cooper/Audrey dynamic on the original series is one of the most fun, charming, controversial, confusing, polarizing, fascinating and gossipy elements of the series’ legacy. It feels appropriate that, in some abstract sense, Cooper’s guilt over his feelings for Audrey, and what they led to when the doppel got out, seems to play into things here, with him being given a name that links him to the doppel’s sin.
This is all great. As far as Cooper not remembering Richard, I always thought that was kind of the point. They cross into this realm and it seems that the slippery nature of it means that they run the risk of forgetting why they are even there, who they even are, perhaps even changing into someone else, etc. He remembers 430 because that takes place before they cross over.
Another thing I never noticed before: when Dale first sees Eat at Judy’s from his car, there is a white horse out front! It’s one of those children’s coin-activated riding horses you see at tacky rest stops (see 26:28). Damn!
A detail I don’t recall seeing mentioned (perhaps further demonstrating the breakdown of reality, or maybe just a continuity error): after Cooper’s confrontation with the cowboys, he only picks up two guns (the second cowboy appears to reach for a gun in his rear waistband right before Dale shoots him in the foot, but Cooper never takes that gun off him). Then, when he gets behind the counter, Dale magically has a third gun (not counting his own), a revolver he wasn’t carrying a second earlier.
Carrie’s first question when she opens the door is, “Did you find him?” I never made this connection before, but might she be referring to Billy?
I never specifically logged the white horse, or made the Billy connection, but I have mentioned the two guns thing, and have wondered the same thing regarding the breakdown of multiple realities. I could be wrong, but I thought we could trace where both the 2nd and 3rd cowboys' guns are on the floor. If that is the case, it would be very strange if it were a continuity error since the sequence would likely be shot chronologically. That said, it's strange because I looked for all this on my recent viewing and I didn't notice the two guns thing for the first time since I first noticed it, and I thought I might have somehow been wrong this whole time!
I still really don’t know what to make of Tommy the loan shark from Part 6 seemingly being dead on Carrie’s couch. For awhile I thought that was a Bob-orb popping out of his chest, but now I’m not entirely sure. He definitely has a really distinctive bulge going on there, but the coloring of the material sticking out of his shirt looks more like a mixture of creamed corn and motor oil, like when Mr. C vomited or when the Bob-orb got punched through the floor. Upon closer inspection, he also has creamed corn pouring out the back of his head from the gunshot wound! Assuming it is an orb, I guess the idea is that Bob is still pursuing Laura across time and space to obtain her as a host? I’d watch a spinoff of Carrie Page just blasting Bob-host after Bob-host, Ash/‘Evil Dead’-style.
It still looks like a Bob orb to me, hardened, frozen there.
I know much has been made of the presence of Mary Reber (or a Tremond who looks like her), and the idea that Dale and Carrie may have stumbled into our “reality.” However, Lynch deliberately shows that the diner still has the “RR” sign up, indicating that Twin Peaks is still Twin Peaks to at least some degree.
True, but isn't it also true that the "To Go" portion of the sign, newly invented for The Return, is not there? So, that certainly has to mean something as well.
Sarah is an interesting presence/non-presence in this Part. Carrie doesn’t have any reaction to her own real name or Leland’s, but when Dale says her mother’s name is Sarah, she seems disturbed. And it’s ultimately Sarah’s voice calling for her in the Pilot (which she never got to hear in real life) that seems to trigger her. Lynch has reused that scene/audio of Sarah calling Laura’s name multiple times throughout the series. It works so well on an intuitive level, but it’s tough to put into words what it means.
I still get goosebumps when all the lights surge and then suddenly go out in the house, even though I know it’s coming. It’s really an electric moment, pun intended.
I've seen Part 18 a total of thirteen times, and every single time I've gotten massive, full body shock chills at the end. They begin for me in the moments before she gears up to scream. There's something about that atmosphere that I believe Lynch lucked into on the perfect night, and simply went with it. The way the wind subtly shifts through Sheryl Lee's hair. The effect is unprecedented and uncanny.
Sarah's "Laura" is certainly a plausible reason to think either that the series is A. a loop that is now ready to begin again or B. that Laura is indeed alive, asleep in her bed, hearing her mother call to her. I'm not saying I would bet money on either of those interpretations being correct, just that both interpretations are at least valid in light of the soundbite.
Speaking of which, I have an interpretation, and it's one that I don't believe I've yet explicitly encountered anywhere else, and after it came to me it's been hard to shake. Many have pondered that the Odessa-verse is a possibly Judy-manipulated pocket of the Lodge; my basic interpretation of the two Dianes supports that, along with all the iconography littered throughout Part 18, and the general wrongness of it all. Others (me) have said that Dale crosses over into the real world, our reality, as evidenced by a mounting series of events in the series and culminating in the emergence of the "real" Cooper and the real owners of the Palmer house, lending disorientation to a final hour that somehow feels more dryly realistic than any previous; obviously, I've always subscribed to the real world theory, and I find it to be evident even in the matter-of-fact display of the gun-toting Texans. But what didn't strike me until this viewing is that it's actually both at once. It is both the hitherto unseen Black Lodge and the real world, the ultimate and extremely scary implication being that the Black Lodge IS the real world that we're currently inhabiting, that this real world of ours is so thoroughly upside down that it is no more or less than a shadow, a place of dark forces, a world of nightmares. This ties back to the idea of whether Bob is real or just a metaphoric stand-in for the evil that men do and which is more comforting and whether they're one and the same, it fits with Lynch's comments about the Iron Age/Golden Age, and it certainly fits with the general decay depicted in the "fictional" town of Twin Peaks in The Return. So, that's my revelation about the finale: it is indeed our real world, but the real world is in fact the Black Lodge. They cross over into the Black Lodge, but it just so happens to be our world. It's a very dark thought.