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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