Discuss Twin Peaks

The more I learn the more this new series really seems to be a continuation of Lynch’s dreams within dreams obsession, where a character escapes reality by jumping into pleasing fantasy worlds, ultimately to their peril.

Mulholland Drive was a fairly straightforward example of this, but Inland Empire kept the identity of the dreamer ambiguous - we only saw worlds within worlds, with no idea which one was the anchoring reality, if any.

Now with this new season of Twin Peaks, Lynch seems to be including the viewer as a potential dreamer, and involving real people like Monica Bellucci as themselves. He’s not really interested in the lives of our favourite characters, and in a way punishes us for getting so attached to them. The penultimate episode, I’m now convinced, is like an idiot’s ending - with a silly superhero kid who need only punch a floating Bob orb to ‘win’ - it turns out to be a false ending, a fantasy, with episode 18 as the true ending - something far more cynical, painful and strange.

Cooper, who always seemed so capable and enlightened, once again seems beaten by the dark spiritual forces he takes on. It’s as if he is punished for wanting to make things right. Like us, he is punished for seeking closure.

Reading Frost’s Final Dossier, it seems characters whose fates were unknown have suffered hugely. Annie is catatonic in a mental home, and so is Audrey, after having been raped by evil Coop and given birth to a monster. Twin Peaks seems to have spiralled into a crazy town, where Officer Bobby is confounded by the growing dysfunctional weirdos around him. The youth particularly seem deeply deranged and detached.

Lynch was always gutted that the studio made him and Frost reveal who killed Laura Palmer. He wanted that core mystery to be a central tree from which new mysteries could branch off. Well here he seems to have fixed that by creating an alternate timeline where we no longer know who killed Laura Palmer, or if she’s even dead.

I’m still trying to understand what Twin Peaks is really about, why has Lynch created this story? Is it another cautionary tale about delusional fantasists, with some digs at America thrown in (nuclear testing and gun ownership get a bad rap), is his Transcendental Meditation fanaticism finding its way into his work? Are all attempts to end the inherent suffering in life fruitless and counter-productive, and instead must we simply sit and accept what IS?

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I can see why Lynch would say Mulholland and Inland are about the film industry, not dreams, but that’s not to say that dreams and dreamers aren’t major elements of those stories.

Similarly, one could argue Rocky is actually about self-belief, not boxing, though boxing and a boxer are major elements in the film.

Now I’ll try to follow your Inland explanation...

OK I’ve read it, seems to add up. Got some questions - if it’s about this Scrooge-like cautionary vision of the future for actress-Dern then what is the significance of:

The rabbits.

Southern Dern and her grizzly confessions to the fat guy.

The Lost Girl (who many theorise to be the dreamer).

Jeremy Irons shouting ‘what’s going on!?’ as if his movie set is fusing with reality.

The bizarro end credits sequence which seems like another dream fusing multiple worlds.

If YESTERDAY was TOMORROW, wouldn’t NOW be two days ago?


I like those thoughts on the new series. I do get the vibe that Lynch is punishing the audience for nostalgia, and a desire for closure.

The trouble with this kind of postmodern deconstruction is that it offers no useful alternative. Once Lynch has torn down the things he hates, what does he have to offer in their place? Any adolescent can whine about the modern world while offering no useful solutions.

Turning our hero Cooper into a fool (as the Wachowskis did with Morpheus in the Matrix sequels) is an admirable move, but having no enlightenment following the disillusionment is just pointlessly nihilistic. Cooper embodies many great values - is his enormous act of self sacrifice and years in hell in order to save Annie and Laura just a big mistake that he should never have made?

I was interested to discover that the Tremond lady at the end is played by the real-life owner of the Palmer house. Has Cooper arrived in our Monica Bellucci reality..? If so, wasn’t Tremond a black lodge spirit?


Can you explain these things given your theory:

The men ‘morphing’ into rabbits.

The guy with the lightbulb in his gob.

The scary slo-mo clownface Dern.

The Lost Girl reuniting with... Dern’s husband, and the fact that he was Dern’s husband in two ‘realities’.


That’s an interesting alternative theory but I’m sticking with the ‘Hey pretty girl, time to wake up’ dream theory. It holds water.

Adam is portrayed as easily pushed around, so Diane can justify to herself that she lost the part due to evil forces bullying a weak director, not because she’s insufficiently talented/pretty as is likely the case in reality.

The hitman is portrayed as inept so Diane can believe he probably never succeeded in killing Camilla as she paid for - the dark secret which manifests as the man behind Winkie’s.

Lost Highway, however, is less clear. I’m leaning toward the dream (or more precisely psychosis) theory, but the business at the end where Fred appears to be doing a ‘job’ for Mystery Man by collecting Dick Laurent has me wondering if it’s more of a supernatural story - one where Fred and Pete swap places to avoid the law after each committing a murder, arranged by the Devil/Mystery Man in exchange for you becoming an employee. Be interested to get your thoughts (perhaps on the LH board..?)

The more I think about it, the more I feel that Twin Peaks is the dream of someone who is dying. I'm not concerned as to whether or not it is Laura Palmer, Richard & Judy, or Cooper himself.

It's a disjointed dream that is taking place while somebody is slowly dying and trying to make sense of what's happening to themselves. It's almost a fight to try and bring oneself back to reality and back into life. Maybe Laura's most likely, delirious and dreaming that someone can come and save her etc.

I had a pretty bad panic attack last year that made me feel that I was trapped inside of my body and pretty much made me confront my mortality for the first time. Then I came across this...


That's the only way I can explain the end of Twin Peaks and it's own personal meaning to me - despite what the creators think and what their intentions were. A good piece of art strikes up an individual conversation with a person, and that's the conversation that I have with Twin Peaks.

@Invidia said:

Thanks for the link.

Sorry to hear about your panic attack. My sister also had one of them but never had another one again since then. Do you know what caused it? Do you recall what you were doing that may have caused it?

And have you ever seen a film called STAY?


It stars NAOMI WATTS, Ewan McGregor, and Ryan Gosling, and you might also like it because it also deals with the kind of a situation that you've described.

The film opens with a car crash on the Brooklyn Bridge, and introduces Henry Letham (Ryan Gosling), a survivor of the crash, sitting, unharmed, next to a burning car on the bridge.

Psychiatrist Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor) and his girlfriend (and former patient), Lila (Naomi Watts) are then introduced in a new scene. Sam discusses his patient, Henry, a college student and aspiring artist whom he describes as depressed and paranoid, with feelings of guilt and remorse over having 'set fire to' his car at the beginning of the film. Henry mentions that he sometimes hears voices, and seems able to predict future events. Henry is also suspicious of Sam because he had suddenly been called to stand in for his regular psychiatrist, Beth Levy (Janeane Garofalo). Henry has told Sam of his plans to kill himself that Saturday at midnight. Lila, who has survived a past suicide attempt, offers to help to dissuade Henry from killing himself.

What follows are several SURREAL scenes that are just as confusing as what happens in LH, and at the end of the story you also have a moment like the one where DORTHY WAKES UP in the WIZZARD of OZ (except for the MAIN CHARACTER also doesn't WAKE UP like DORTHY does).

Anyhow, if you don't mind being SPOILED, the ENTIRE PLOT SUMMARY is also available to read there at the WIKI link.

And it also explains something that you may also find interesting due to the theory you've put forth.

When watching the film I'd also wished I'd read a PLOT SUMMARY of it beforehand, because it was also pretty confusing when you had NO IDEA WTF was suppose to be going on in it. One also wishes one had first read a PLOT SUMMARY of LH before one watched it as well. But one also regretted having read a PLOT SUMMARY of MD beforehand, because it also described what was happening as being the dream of someone (when one also doesn't think that's the case at all now).

In other words, a PLOT SUMMARY can also be a SWORD that can swing BOTH ways:

  • either in a way that HELPS YOU

    • or in a way that isn't HELPFUL to you at all

It's a disjointed dream that is taking place while somebody is slowly dying and trying to make sense of what's happening to themselves. It's almost a fight to try and bring oneself back to reality and back into life. Maybe Laura's most likely, delirious and dreaming that someone can come and save her etc.

Perhaps it would also help to describe it in another different way than by calling it a DISJOINTED DREAM???

Because IF you are SLOWLY DYING, then you're also not really in an UNCONSCIOUS STATE of MIND like you are when you DREAM.

Because you're also STILL kind of SEMI AWAKE at the time and SEMI CONSCIOUS of things going on around you???

So maybe calling it a DISJOINTED STATE of CONSCIOUSNESS would also be a more accurate way to describe it than by calling it a DISJOINTED DREAM???

Someone else also suggests the character was being ELECTROCUTED at the END of LH because he'd killed his wife.

So perhaps the rest of that film could also be his DISJOINTED STATE of CONSCIOUSNESS leading up to that point???

And that may also explain the reason why we see the MYSTERY MAN DEVIL (as the other poster puts it) that he made the BARGAIN with fighting to EXIT from his BODY at that point???

Remember how he shakes his head back and forth in the car as we see the face of the MYSTERY MAN then his face interchanged several times???

Anyway, if your theory is right, my guess it would probably also be AGENT COOPER (not LAURA) who is in the DISJOINTED STATE of CONSCIOUSNESS.

Because we also see him CHANGING from DOUGIE (who was wearing the YELLOW JACKET) into the COOP (who wears the DARK SUIT) after he PUKES on the floor while the prostitute takes a shower.

So it would probably also be at that point where the DISJOINTED STATE of CONSIOUSNESS begins???

Because we also see THE DARK SUIT COOP arrive there in the room through the ELECTRICAL WALL SOCKET???

And we also see the other COOP inside of the LODGE setting (the AFTER LIFE place) floating through the WALL SOCKET before the DARK SUIT COOP arrives in VEGAS???

And then we also see the CONSCIOUSNESS of the DARK SUIT COOP come back into the body of DOUGIE who wears the GREEN SUIT after he sticks the fork into the ELECTRICAL SOCKET???

And that's also when the other ADVENTURE begins where he and DIANE drive out onto the HIGHWAY where they turn into other characters called RICHARD and LINDA after they reach a certain point???

And that's also when COOP tries to RESCUE LAURA and takes her back to TWIN PEAKS???

And that also happens AFTER he's also gone to a DINER where he also RESCUES the other WAITRESS (who was being BULLIED and ATTACKED by the 3 RED NECKS)???

So for those reasons it also seems MORE LIKELY that this would probably be the DISJOINTED STATE of COOP** instead of LAURA???

Because the CONSCIOUSNESS of COOP would probably also try to COMPENSATE for not having been able to SAVE or RESCUE LAURA from the FATE that awaits COOP himself???

Because LAURA also never let's the DEVIL called BOB take possession of her, whereas BOB was able to TAKE POSESSION of COOP???

Because we also see COOP looking into the BATHROOM MIRROR where we see the IMAGE of BOB looking back at him at the end of SEASON 2 of TWIN PEAKS???

So perhaps in his DISJOINTED STATE of MIND the effort to try to RESCUE and SAVE LAURA at the END of THE RETURN was also COOP's effort to try and save himself???


Whatever the case may be, your theory is also a pretty good one ninja.

And here's an ARTICLE that you might also find interesting:


due to the way it says this:

The Return seemed to commune with the dead and resurrect the souls of those who seemed lost

And this:

charged with extra-dramatic awareness of illness and death

Lynch is no spring chicken, of course. He turned 71 this year

The passage of time dims the sting of loss, but never entirely subsumes it. The clearest illustration of this is the moment when Bobby, now 25 years older and a respected, well-adjusted cop, spots Laura’s prom photo on a table full of evidence and bursts into tears. Sarah is still shattered by Laura’s death, chain-smoking and drinking her way through the days, fixating on footage of lionesses killing a water buffalo.

The destruction of the buffalo’s face echoes the white demon’s mutilation of the couple in the New York lab. Could Judy, the most powerful monster in the Lynch-Frost universe, be the Grim Reaper with a different name

... screwball Lynchian death-meditation

Eraserhead is ‘about’ Lynch’s rough time in Philadelphia as a struggling new husband and father, even though he’s never confirmed this. Springing off that I’ve been reading the Dougie Jones sections of Twin Peaks as perhaps Lynch’s commentary on aging. You wake up one day, completely disoriented, surrounded by people you don’t really know, walking around the locations of your life in a sustained daze, moved by objects from your past you only half remember, indefinable tokens blazing through the ominous quotidian.” The scenes of Janey-E helping her husband struggle with ordinary tasks like eating, dressing, and going to the bathroom are less reminiscent of Being There or Forrest Gump than scenes playing out all over the world right now between elderly people and their younger loved ones or caretakers

This remark is a reference to how Lynch also married his current wife when she was still in her 20's and he was in his 60's.

Unfortunately though, LYNCH will probably also NEVER CONFIRM for us one way or the other whether or not any of our theories are valid one's or not.

But THE RETURN as a MEDITATION on DEATH definitely seems to MAKE SENSE.


Thanks for your reply, I love that Twin Peaks is one of those things that everybody can take something away from it. Defo gonna check out that movie Stay...

This show was the first of its kind for a network production.

Because it preceded the www it was THE next day topic around the water-cooler. Great times citizens of all ages discussing all the twist and turns with the quirky characters.

I suppose if I had to summarize it for todays new viewers I'd start by describing it as a precursor to 'Supernatural'.

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