TWIN PEAKS and The Point Of No Return
"Welcome to Twin Peaks. My name is Margaret Lanterman. I live in Twin Peaks. I am known as the Log Lady. There is a story behind that. There are many stories in Twin Peaks. Some of them are sad, some funny. Some of them are stories of madness, of violence. Some are ordinary. Yet they all have about them a sense of mystery – the mystery of life. Sometimes, the mystery of death. The mystery of the woods. The woods surrounding Twin Peaks. To introduce this story, let me just say it encompasses the all – it is beyond the "fire", though few would know that meaning. It is a story of many, but begins with one – and I knew her. The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one." -Margaret Lanterman (Log Lady Intro to Episode One: Northwest Passage)
The original Twin Peaks run occurred from 1990-1992, from the airing of its pilot in April ‘90, (originally entitled Northwest Passage, the premiere occurred at the 1989 Telluride Film Festival) to the spring/summer ‘92 theatrical release of the prequel, Fire Walk With Me. This shouldn’t even be disputed, yet I’ve found that there still exists a large component of fans, likely due to the exaggerated quality-dip in the mid-late second season, who have somehow seen the show without bothering to watch the concluding film. If the original series was a question of intrigue, the film was its bleak matter of fact answer. Some viewers mistook the question for, “Who killed Laura Palmer?”, so when that particular question was superficially wrapped up in S2E7: Lonely Souls, a somewhat satisfied component of the viewership left, wholly uninterested in the greater mysteries of “why did a soul as bright as Laura have to suffer so needlessly?” and “what does her inhumane murder say about society?”.
For these questions, it is my belief that David Lynch has very spiritual answers. As a visionary artist, Lynch also has the propensity to impress these beliefs expressionistically upon his audience, time and again, and in 2017, in a year that has reunited so many old gangs riding the safety train of nostalgia, Lynch has again joined forces with Frost to bring us the antithesis of the redundant reunion project. In The Return, Lynch and Frost revisit these timeless metaphorical mysteries while asking a slew of new questions, shrouding the answers in beautifully encrypted dreams that will resonate differently for each unique viewer... That is, when it isn’t busy being the most delightfully tickling content to hit any screen this year. Yes, I am suggesting there are answers, but as many fans have enjoyed discussing, the Mandarin word ‘jiao dai’ - which in Peaks lore is the name given to an ancient malignant evil - is in English translated as ‘to explain, to confess, to hand over…”.
Lynch and Frost would never commit such an evil act - that would amount to killing the golden goose - but it is my pleasure to offer my personal interpretation and appreciation as a tribute to a work, which I think I can safely say, is the greatest of my lifetime. That the Twin Peaks gang have been able ‘to go home again’, while simultaneously meditating on the futility of such an act in a fashion worthy of the multifaceted vision they embarked on long ago, is a miracle of content, no matter what the medium. That said, few works have transcended their mediums quite as intrepidly as, first the ‘better than television’ show, and then its next-level-cinema prequel. So before I delve into The Return, allow me to first ‘jiao dai’ a few words on why I’ve always considered Twin Peaks to be the holy grail of, not television or film, but television and film.
It’s funny that Twin Peaks is still raising the television vs film debate considering its identity as an anomaly. Anyone already familiar with Lynch in 1989, prior to Twin Peaks, was flabbergasted at the news of an artist like Lynch, one who works in dark corridors of the mind in inaccessibly abstract fashions, would be hitting the boob tube. If Twin Peaks was the proto-show that paved the way for the modern TV landscape cinema-worthy quality, it is because it single-handedly moved it up in class ten fold, demonstrating what the medium could be capable of if trusted, or perhaps duped into, the right hands. Thus the brilliance of Twin Peaks on TV was the playfully satirical engagement with its medium.
Wearing TV like a costume, Twin Peaks evokes the soaps it pretends to play alongside, even going as far as to bring us the soap within a soap, 'Invitation To Love', while simultaneously excelling in the melodrama it satires, lending it stakes with far more gravity than its medium would ever otherwise explore. Underscored by Angelo Badalamenti’s own reflexive interpretation of the sadness of violence played out on a soap scale, not only does Twin Peaks mock the format, it lovingly takes it to new heights, honouring the real drama of its central mystery - to the tune of grizzly unspeakable crime - with soap tropes that effectively, but never shamelessly, tug at our heartstrings, opening our eyes to the horrors of domestic tragedy in the process.
Like the twin peaks of Blue Pine and White Tail mountains, within the quiet logging town, Lynch and Frost built a universe containing the full spectrum of human experience, wherein polar opposites coexist in zen-like balance as the the world spins; from soap mockery to soap brilliance, rich comedy to inexplicable violence, purity of light to nightmares of darkness. The very existence of Twin Peaks seems like one phenomenal joke on the TV watching public, not in the sense that Lynch is “trolling you” as some have today suggested, but that it tricked a mainstream TV studio, with its murder mystery disguise, into telling a far deeper mystery than a simple whodunnit.
Twin Peaks asked cutting questions about the nature of the soul in a fashion that few, if any, artists are capable. Baited by the question of ‘Who killed Laura Palmer”, much of the water cooler audience contingent hung on with bated breath, never grasping that their favorite show was a mystery asking questions on a far deeper plane. These are questions that have long since concerned Lynch to the core of his being, and Twin Peaks is but one more meditation into the deep-seated heart of man in a string of uniting works with the audacity to unlock the mystery of human consciousness. I would argue that Fire Walk With Me opens a new form of communication that Lynch would continue to explore throughout his entire career. In a word, these are Lynch’s Inland films, that continue to ask that poetically simple question posed by Sandy Williams in Blue Velvet, “Why are there people like Frank?”.
"I carry a log, yes. Is it funny to you? It is not to me. Behind all things are reasons. Reasons can even explain the absurd. Do we have the time to learn the reasons behind human beings' varied behavior? I think not. Some take the time. Are they called detectives? Watch, and see what life teaches." -Margaret Lanterman (Log Lady Intro to Episode Two: Traces to Nowhere)
Fire Walk With Me completes the original Twin Peaks portrait of a fallen angel in a cathartic cinematic fashion, while also introducing a new cinematic language, or subconscious playing field, that points onwards to the inland nature of Lynch’s future undertakings; namely, what I consider to be the psychological trilogy of Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire. In this respect, it is also a farewell to Lynch’s previous explorations of good and evil played out in picaresque Sirkian extremes. In this sense, Twin Peaks: The Return is also a full-circle retrospective, where territory long-since ventured, is deconstructed with a timeless toolbox, where Lynch’s entire body of work co-exists like time and space in the Red Room.
How can we understand Cooper in light of our knowledge of Lynch’s Lost Highway method of investigation? What does Mulholland Drive tell us about the ways one should approach an understanding of Twin Peaks figurative presentation of reality? Most excitingly, we’re also asked, how should we view S3: Part 8: and its majestic astral 30s Room in light of imagery crafted in Eraserhead. How is Lynch STILL frightening us with a student’s enthusiasm in experimental stop motion craft? But for the purpose of this stage of discussion, let’s settle on a question posed by The Log lady in the intro of S1E1, “Do we have the time to learn the reasons behind human beings' varied behavior? I think not. Some take the time. Are they called detectives?”
So who is the detective? Is it Dale Cooper, FBI; the man who dares take on the case of the tangible ball of evil? Yes, but, more to the point, the detective has always been Mr. Lynch, the man who find ways into understanding the intangible; entry points, like parted curtains, from which to delve into a glimpse into the blackest night. Laura Palmer is a girl who’s lived many, many dark nights. What young Laura has had to psychologically endure and normalize to function as the average prom queen she desperately wished she could embody is enough to shatter the blackest of hearts, excluding the no-hearts. The demons that lurk in the shadows feeding off of the victimization of innocence and fetishizing power over the neophyte.
In Fire Walk With Me, what is played in the show for PG soap family drama is revealed for all its unwatchably ugly nakedness. The mystery the watercooler public latched onto with a casual TV viewer’s voyeurism reveals its straight-faced horrified heart concerning the perpetual rape and brutal murder of a community's most beloved teenage dream and now you’re going to see what that looks like in all its new medium’s Restricted, TV-unfriendly abjection. Unshackled from the censors of its medium, Twin Peaks is now here to disgust you, because that’s exactly what its subject necessitates.
After 33 minutes spent exploring the similarly tragic Teresa Banks murder in a town that is the trailer trash mirror to sunny Twin Peaks, we are finally dropped into our favorite town with the cathartic soap theme of Angelo Badalamenti at long last scoring our first glimpse of the living, breathing Laura Palmer walking to school alive. It’s enough to evoke the Vertigo effect, when Jimmy Stewart first sees a living, breathing Kim Novak, back from the dead... or perhaps, the Laura effect.
This Fire highlight is one of the great moments in film history and yet it’s almost topped moments later by an image that so perfectly introduces the X-rated aspects of the unpalatable truth behind Laura's final week, it sends shivers down the spine... Badalamenti’s “Laura's Theme” crescendos to its most dramatic peak, thus far reserved for more mundane drama by comparison, but now carried over to a haunted Laura, hiding in a girl’s room stall, desperately snorting cocaine, allowing us front row access to new levels of high school torment; pain, suffering - garmonbozia. Like the young Laura Palmer first jolted away from her normalcy, the viewer is familiar with the cinematic world of Twin Peaks, but also recognizes a distinct elephant - something is missing... a safety net.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Marilyn Monroe and the abandoned project that first united David Lynch and Mark Frost - the two were apparently interested in co-adapting Anthony Summers’ expose, Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe. While this is absolute conjecture, I can’t help but wonder if the two minds, who’d bonded over their interest in detailing the story of a fallen goddess - adored by all, but understood by few, who’s shadow ultimately overcame her angel - felt that the exploring Monroe when she was still Norma Jeane wouldn't be the more effective way to detail the all-too-common American tragedy of a bright young woman succumbing to purveyors of darkness.
Laura Palmer is nothing if not a high-school Marilyn Monroe - a magnetic soul who draws no shortage of desire from, not only the hottest boy in school, but many of the town’s adults, like the local psychedelic psychologist or the wealthy hotel tycoon. One might say she brought out the best or worst in people, depending on their innermost natures. Laura, a supreme beacon of light, in addition to attracting love of the purest kind also attracted fire, and for her sins of merely existing, from a young age she was met with dark temptations as old as the ghostwood forest, like so many generations of distressed damsels and lads before and after her.
Take her father, for example. When Leland Palmer was just a boy, he had a neighbour with a proposition: ‘Would you like to play with fire?’ It’s a question many of us are faced with in our youths and a necessary part of being alive that one must reckon with in their developmental stages. As a boy, Leland encountered the force of evil incarnate and for one reason or another, something inside him took to it. “Behind all things are reasons.”, quoth the log lady. Like a sickness, Leland caught the bug; one that would take root in his soul and influence him to infect onwards. One day, possessed by evil forces, he’d inflict his sickness upon his own daughter. And just like that, as in the infected Dorothy Valentine of Blue Velvet, who in a haze of trauma helplessly cried, “He put his disease in me.”, Laura was corrupted.
By the last day of Laura's life, she has pushed everyone away. Revolted by the angelic reflection in the eyes of James Hurley, Laura has lost sight of her inner angel. Plagued by evil in her home, with the help of devils and drugs, Laura lives the life she feels she’s brought upon herself; one she deserves - that of a literal coke-whore. Unable to push away Donna, who represents the innocence she’s lost - the path she’s strayed from - all Laura can do to feel a semblance of the power she’s fallen victim to is to pay it forward to her childhood bff - to try to crush her innocence one seedy Canadian night. The final act of Fire Walk With Me is among the most potently hard-hitting I’ve ever seen. Following a series heavy with blood-curdling screams, in the train car that occupied so much turf in the viewer’s imagination, for the first time, we have the most defined damsels of the 20th century mustering the strength to harness her screaming torment and direct it against the disease of her oppressor, freeing herself by committing the ultimate sacrifice. Exercising the ultimate use of Dr. Jacoby's proverbial golden shovel, Laura penetrates her fear with great fortitude and invites the grave consequences of wearing the deadly ring, killing her body to save her soul.
In the end, Laura finds herself in the lodge, or perhaps the waiting room. Relieved to be free from the ghastly train car, she nevertheless wears the forlorn face of the damned. We have thus far only ever seen Laura appear to Cooper in this Red Room dream as a symbolic representation of clues; pieces of an evasive whole that scratch at a deeply hidden truth. Now in one of Lynch’s many great reversals, Cooper appears to Laura, accompanied by a freeing sense of clairvoyant love powerful enough to pierce through her veil of darkness and lift her burden, revealing the buried angel Laura feared dead and gone.
Not only has she not been abandoned, Cooper, a soul who emanates goodness incarnate, who’s never viewed Laura with anything less than empathetic understanding, who, as a skilled detective has unpacked her unspeakable secrets, becomes synonymous with her guardian angel, a floating redeemer at long last offering Laura the peace of perspective. Having long since lost sight of herself, Laura arrives through the other end of the fire, and comes to see her shackles for what they were; a blinding force set out to swallow her soul. Laura is not her abuse. Freed from her garmonbozia, her light is free to shine again.
"Sometimes ideas, like men, jump up and say, 'Hello!' They introduce themselves, these ideas, with words – are they words? These ideas speak so strangely. All that we see in this world is based on someone's ideas. Some ideas are destructive, some are constructive. Some ideas can arrive in the form of a dream. I can say it again: Some ideas arrive in the form of a dream." -Margaret Lanterman (Log Lady Intro to Episode Three: Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer)
Meanwhile… Season Three profoundly picks up where Fire Walk With Me left off with 25 years of distance and a pacing befitting of the modern times. For a town once brimming with the excitement of reckless youth, things have taken on a serene quiet. Nobody talks anymore about the long ago time their town’s most beloved prom queen was brutally raped and murdered. Or of the befuddling disappearance of the true-blue detective who sought to crack the case. Things have changed, but have they? These are the same woods that Deputy Hawk has long since known contained a lingering force of negativity - the same force that, according to Mark Frost’s “Secret History of Twin Peaks” - one of two companion ‘casefiles’ released in conjunction with The Return - was detected by Lewis and Clark when they first explored this region long ago. The current high school teens are still faced with the same beckoning age-old darkness that intruded Laura’s being in another lifetime. There are still people like Frank Booth and Leo Johnson and the Renault brothers lurking in the shadows, preying on the susceptible; the danger seekers; the damaged, as damage begets damage. To the great sadness of all, Audrey Horne’s son is one of the worst offenders on the teenage beat.
The Return, which feels so significant given Laura's long ago prophecy that she’d see us again in 25 years, is not a sequel, but a meditation on time, suggesting the irrelevance of the date/year. Part 8 proposes a genesis of evil, coinciding with the international point of no return that was the nuclear bomb: a distinct line crossed in humanity for which the capacity of evil was spread on a mass scale like a virus. Frost’s Secret History tells us it’s an evil that has always festered in the depths of nature. Major Brigg’s and his blue operatives had detected the unidentified entity in their own rights, and in the original run of Twin Peaks, we learn that The Red Room is essentially timeless.
So what are we to make of Coop and Laura’s Red Room meeting ground? How should we interpret Laura’s eventual return to her childhood home - the scene of the crime - only to find her family hasn’t necessarily moved in yet? What about The Fireman? Where does he and the opera singer dwell? The clue to this last question comes in Part 8’s credits with a song entitled ‘30s Room’. Considering this while watching its inhabitants watching the world go by on their screen, from the events of nuclear travesty to present-day (for now) Twin Peaks, one deduces a communication between periods, and let’s certainly not disclude the early 90s. The Fireman has always been a guide for Cooper; a somber giant who recognizes the horror, but powerless to stop it, can only spiritually guide the path of good.
The year it seems, is entirely irrelevant when crossing the parallel themes of time. These are issues that have always existed and yet 2017 is a shockingly fitting year for Lynch to unleash his (swan?) song of defiance, in the series’ unforgettable final moments. It’s a vital plea for power for the disenfranchised that lies at the heart of the entire endeavor, and it is as relevant today as it was at the dawn of man. Yet today there exists a beautiful call to arms to victims everywhere, many of whom, with unimaginable bravery have successfully achieved a societal purging of countless evil forces lurking in the shadows of culture, behind the curtains of insidious mechanisms.
When Laura, who is presumably buried deep in the identity of ‘Carrie’ - like Cooper is buried in Dougie? - returns to her house, we discover that it is owned by a Ms. Tremond who bought it from a Ms. Chalfont. Peaks-heads will remember the same Ms. Tremond aka Ms. Chalfont, who swapped trailers with Teresa Banks at Fat Trout Trailer Park, thereby occupying the homestead of another fallen victim. In other words, these are locations where evil lives. As Margaret Lanterman tells us, Laura is the key to the many, and for a work that has thus far concerned itself with the many obsessed with the one, The Return expands its world outward to, at last, address the many on a realer scale. Yes, the original run was full of the soap plights, while still touching on serious subjects like domestic violence (Shelly and Leo) as well as teenage prostitution (One Eyed Jacks), but at the end of the day, Laura was the bearer of the great brunt of darkness. She was the survivor, who faced routine sexual abuse and coped any way she could, losing herself in the veils that blinded her from her better angels. By comparison, Donna Hayward’s boy troubles were minimal. But The Return, which really only involves Laura at the beginning and end, instead branches its discussion of trauma outward to the surrounding universe. In Season Three, we learn of two other victims of rape and how their mental infection tainted their futures.
Part 8 paints evil as a malignant disease, which, prompted by a prime movement - a species’ irreversible sin - infested a convenience store like a hive, then infected its surrounding society and corrupted its innocent like a broadcast, spreading ever wider with time and advances in the communication of ‘destructive ideas’.
The Cooper that left the black lodge 25 years ago was a walking disease, who henceforth infected the lives of everyone he encountered, as Bob did/does. Assuming we can trust a tulpa, we learn that Diane, Coop’s loyal secretary, experienced a dark night that changed the course of her life, turning her to a chain-smoking, joyless shadow of her former self, which is presumably exactly what happened to poor Audrey Horne, another beacon of intrigue who only ever wanted to impress Cooper, but instead wound up learning dark lessons through a heroin kidnapping at the bordello. That was, of course, fantastical drama, the type that played on the material’s marvellously juggled twin-tones. When Twin Peaks was funny, nothing was funnier. When it was/is serious, few works were/are capable of expressing its subject matter with more dire wisdom and grave understanding.
Part 16 is among the profoundly saddest of the lot in its final dance of Audrey Horne. Of the living victims in Twin Peaks, few fates are sadder than Audrey’s, who I believe, has become trapped in her head. In the words of Eddie Vedder, Audrey is “Out of Sand”. Finally returning to the roadhouse, a stranger in her former haunt, Vedder, sings,”I stare at my reflection to the bone, blurred eyes look back at me, full of blame and sympathy, right roads not taken, the future's forsaken, dropped like a fossil or stone…” The rape of Audrey interrupted her trajectory, crushing her spirit, and rendering her own reflection unrecognizable. Then, for a fleeting glimpse, with the creeping bass line of Badalamenti’s very selectively utilized score, the buried Audrey emerges, and just for a second, she can lay claim to her old theme, “Audrey’s Dance” and soar. Then violence again interrupts and Audrey is jolted back to her present day psychosis, trapped in anxious paranoia. And Vedder’s chorus goes, “Now it's gone, gone, and I am, who I am, who I was, I will never be again…”. Just like the girl down the lane who told James that long-ago starry night, “Your Laura is gone now…”
Many Season Three fans have rightly quoted the great Thomas Wolfe in saying, “You can’t go home again”, fore in Lynch’s The Return, three people have the audacity to try. The first is Diane, who once freed from the tulpa, dares to revisit her relationship with Cooper, after all that’s transpired. In Part 18, perhaps the most fascinating of the lot, Lynch flexes his methods of displacement, a favourite tool from his ‘inland trilogy’ that reframes Dale and Diane as Richard and Linda. Together they attempt to reclaim their passion, but the spark of recognition behind the eyes tells a sad story. From some events, there is no going back. And yet Cooper is on a quest to do just that. Headed to the obscure town of Odessa, Texas, Cooper is determined to ride the Möbius Strip, find Laura, remove her trauma, and save her from her profoundly unfair life of undeserved garmonbozia. Twin Peaks has thus far explored so many areas of human nature, through so many townsfolk, with psychological expressionist poetry, but in Season Three, Lynch is at his finest with his foray into the inland world of Dale Cooper.
I see Parts 17 & 18 as two halves of the same coin. 17 is the crowd pleaser many 1990 TV viewers wished the show was - funny, flamboyant, mysterious, and most importantly, resolving. Few could stomach the truth that, for all of these very real attributes, the other side of the coin was just as integral to the abstract material’s twin truths; a fact nicely represented by the indignant backlash of Part 18. 17 brings out our innermost desires for closure, delivered in an cathartically entertaining fashion. 17 is the fiction - the big green glove that bust’s the bad evil ball right in its kisser and suggests that maybe, just maybe, it isn't too late to save the ultimate damsel in distress. Like the final act of Mulholland Drive, Part 18 is the profoundly bleak reality check.
I can’t say if David Lynch is a fan of crime novelist, James Ellroy, or if Ellroy’s career-making 1987 historical crime fiction novel, The Black Dahlia had any influence on the 1989 Twin Peaks pilot, but suffice it to say, the two tales are spiritually similar in their themes of obsession over the unjustly fallen and the righteous path of the detective destined to avenge, whether unlawfully or by the book. In reality, nobody ever did solve the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, the starlet who moved to Hollywood to make it big, but instead found herself the gruesome victim of a sadistic killer in the same year Marilyn Monroe made her onscreen debut.
Ellroy’s connection to the brutal murder of Betty Short comes from a tragic firsthand awareness of similar victimhood. In 1958, at 10 years old, Ellroy’s, single-mother was post-coitally murdered and disposed of in a schoolyard for the neighbourhood to discover, leaving a crime scene of horror matched only by Ms. Short. Perhaps Ellroy’s fictitious attempt to solve ‘The Black Dahlia murders’ as the press labeled her scoop, was a desperate attempt at closure. If so, this was just the beginning.
I bring all of this up, because a paragraph from Ellroy’s most unbelievable piece of writing has been weighing heavy on my mind since The Return’s heart-stopping finale. After the success of The Black Dahlia, Ellroy would undergo the most ambitious crime writing project that I can comprehend. The 1996, autobiography, My Dark Places, tells the true story of Ellroy’s attempt to re-open a forcefully repressed chapter in his brain, and attempt to solve the open case of his own murdered mother from over 30 years ago. To do so, he teams up with an old-school cop assigned to open cases, and grows familiar with his beat. Ellroy, describes something he refers to as, 'The Laura Syndrome':
“Homicide detectives loved the movie Laura. A cop gets obsessed with a murder victim and finds out she's still alive. She's beautiful and mysterious. She falls in love with the cop. Most homicide cops were romantics. They blasted through lives devastated by murder and dispensed comfort and counsel. They nursed entire families. They met the sisters and female friends of their victims and succumbed to sexual tension hardwired to bereavement. They blew their marriages off behind situational drama.”
While Cooper’s intent is nothing short of pure - he doesn’t go mad or destroy havok on families in his own search for Laura - he is nevertheless driving down a long, impossible road. Deluded by hope, Cooper the desperate white knight, follows his leads into fantasy; a fiction. The clues lead Cooper back into his old room at The Great Northern, where he first dreamed that integral clue, the one that could wait until morning. In the final haunting images of The Return, we return to that dream from 25 years ago - have we ever left? - where Laura comes to him with a sobering message, which she whispers into a saddened face that grows sullenly concerned by a grave understanding. No matter how cruel, no matter how sad, you can’t change the past. Part 17 asks the question of ‘what if it never happened?’ Part 18 answers it – there is no ‘what if’. It happened. The world spins.
Lastly, there’s the return of Laura, who after 17 hours away from Season Three’s Part 1, will soon be be headed home after 25 years… only now Laura is Carrie. And Carrie has apparently spent this time away in a place called, Odessa, which is ostensibly a land where a girl named Laura Palmer was never murdered. It’s a land where we don’t talk about the glaring elephants in the room, like the dead man on the sofa. This is where Cooper will hopefully whisk away Laura and return her to the land of happy endings; where trauma is preventable, where flowers bloom and firemen wave and all is right with the world. We know where this journey leads Cooper, but what of Laura’s homecoming? What happens to Carrie when she’s faced with the looming Palmer household, brimming with the e-lec-tri-city of demons?
“Listen to the sounds”, says The Fireman, in some of The Return’s first lines of dialogue. In the end, we’re left with two trademark, instantly recognizable sounds. First, the distant cry of Sarah Palmer from long ago - or far in the future? Or does it matter?? A cry to an empty house that once echoed in the halls, looking for a daughter no longer of this earth. Did Sarah know?... It’s an oft echoed cry throughout the original work and one that sparks in Carrie a repulsion that shudders her to her core and shrieks her out of her skin. Using her truly powerful scream, the one that’s been curdling our blood for years, for the first time not as the cry of a victim, but as the weapon of a warrior, Laura shuts down the power of her oppressing energy. This is what shutting down Bob or Judy or Fear looks like... not a punch that goes ‘boing’.
It’s the scream of defiant acknowledgement, that this evil, this power over her, that has victimized her for almost her entire life, not only exists, but will not end unless it is overcome by personal power. And for the first time in Twin Peaks history, the oppressing power is eliminated. In the end, The Return, like so many other works of Lynch, is about looking into your darkness and giving your shit the golden shovel. No matter what brings a person down, be it violent drama of a devastating nature, or more casual heartbreak, as is the case of so many sweet but heartbroken souls roaming the town of Twin Peaks, one cannot overcome trauma by running from it, or distorting it with drugs and false hope. Maybe you can’t ever return, not really, but with the right tools - like a flashlight - you can try. Therefor, in the end, Twin Peaks is perhaps less about garmonbozia than it is the aftermath of pain and suffering. In a world wrought with wicked intent and nefarious darkness intent to inflict harm, Twin Peaks is about healing. It may seem a dream, but make no mistake, David Lynch wishes only for the friends of his world to wake up.
In closing, I return once more to the word of Margaret Lanterman, The Log Lady, only this time, the source is Mark Frost’s “The Final Dossier.” According to its pages, the day before Ms. Lanterman died, she passed a note onto Deputy Hawk and I include the text here: