Written by Louie Fecou
David Lynch and Mark Frost’s incredible 18 hour odyssey has came to an end, and We Have A Hulk felt it had to be addressed, even though we mentioned very little on the subject over the Summer. The problem with The Return was context.
It would have been difficult to review the series without a complete understanding of Twin Peaks season 1 and 2, and possibly more importantly, the movie Fire walk With Me, that provided more clues to what was going on than some originally thought.
The Return promised long term fans answers and resolutions to the many questions that Twin Peaks originally offered, however, in true Lynch style, we were both rewarded and punished at the same time.
As I watched The Return, I often wondered what new viewers would be thinking of the show. It must have seemed like a nightmare wrapped in plastic for the uninitiated, and yet for veterans of Twin Peaks, there were truly some punch the air moments.
Twin Peaks, you see, has a fan base that has lasted for over 25 years, and let’s face it, just seeing the return of so many well loved characters was worth the price of admission alone. Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Dale Cooper, is as iconic to some people as Doctor Who or Jon Snow, and the wait to finally see him awakened in episode 16 was like torture, so you can imagine the emotion felt by fans when he did resurface from a self induced coma as the FBI agent we longed to see. It was like a visit from a long lost friend, one we had always loved but somehow lost.
The emotional roller coaster continued as we saw Laura Palmer, The Log Lady, The Giant (The Fireman), George Cole, Andy, Lucy, the list goes on, and die hard fans must have felt, much like Agent Cooper, torn between The White and The Red Lodge.
The Return reveled in moments of outright horror, and incredible comedy. and episode eight was probably the most ambitious and outrageous hour of television ever screened. But the question that needs to be addressed is, were we satisfied with what we got? To begin to look at this, you should know that the Twin Peaks mythos is so immersive, that the only option is to interpret it the way you see it. Sure the basics are there, but it’s how we watch it as individuals that shows the genius of the show.
Did we find out who Judy is?
No not really.
Did Dale save Laura ?
No not really.
Do we know where Dale and Diane went?
What happened to Sarah Palmer?
We still don’t know.
And the questions continue.
What was the moth frog creature and who’s mouth did it crawl into? Where is Audrey Horne? Did Laura really die?
Frost and Lynch left us with as many problems as they solved, and you know, I think that was the idea.
The battle between good and evil seems likely to continue, and at this point it seems unlikely we will get to witness it. However, Twin Peaks fans are good at waiting, it took 25 years to get us here, and as far as I can gather, nobody is complaining.
As far as a piece of television is concerned, The Return was compelling, mesmerizing, disturbing, gripping and frustrating, but the one thing i think every reviewer will agree on, is that it’s effect on the genre will be wide ranging, and it will be debated for years to come in forums everywhere. It was an epic journey, an opus magnus, a dream like audio and visual experience that we will probably never see the likes of again.
I’m sure it will be poured over and dissected, appraised and re-watched forever by fans, creators and reviewers. It’s undoubtedly a master piece, a ground breaking event that has left a mark like no other show before it, surely that’s enough?
For my 2 cents, Agent Cooper travels back in time to the moment before Laura’s murder and saves her from that ordeal, evil incarnate Judy intervenes and sends Laura to an alternate timeline where she lives as Carrie Page (missing Page from the diary?) Cooper and Diane cross over to the alternate time line as Richard and Linda, Coop finds alternate Laura and tries to make her remember her life as Laura, who is the only one that defeat the entities of The Black Lodge. Eventually she does remember at her old house, when Coop asks “What year is this?” As Laura screams the house flickers to darkness and we finish on a still of Laura whispering the still unknown message to Coop. That’s all I’ve got folks, feel free to post your own theory’s below in the comments, see you at the curtain call.