Twin Peaks finale 2

Laura’s disappearance seems to launch Cooper back into the Lodge, repeating scenes we’ve seen before, until he meets up with Diane and exits the Lodge. The pair drive exactly 430 miles away, and they talk about how things could be different once they “cross” into wherever they’re going. They traverse an unseen boundary, crossing from day into night, and things are indeed different on the other side. They enter a motel, Diane sees a doppelganger of herself, she and Cooper have weird sex (Diane covers Cooper’s face with her hands, possibly to avoid remembering when DoppelCooper raped her?), and then Cooper wakes up alone in the morning to discover a note referring to a “Richard” and “Linda,” and when he leaves the motel, it’s an entirely different building than the one he entered. I’m sure there’s purposeful symbolism there, but again, two episodes of this show back-to-back is A LOT, so I’m going to need a few more minutes to sort out what that could be.

Later, Cooper stops by a diner called “Judy’s,” and thwarts a couple of creeps who are harassing a waitress; he steals their guns, kicks one of them in the balls, and shoots another in the foot. Standing up for the downtrodden is in Cooper’s DNA, but shooting one of those guys in the foot struck me as a bit beyond what such a straight-laced, by-the-book character would do in that scenario. Not to mention he’s waving his gun around willy-nilly, and dropping the other guys’ guns into the fryer seems unnecessarily dangerous. This didn’t seem like normal Cooper behavior to me, and even the way he spoke to the waitress he helped seemed a little off. Maybe all those years in the Lodge have had more of an impact than we’ve previously seen, or maybe there’s something else going on here on a whole different level that I’m not even tapping into yet.

The Best Scene of the Finale

The encounter at Judy’s leads Cooper to a house in Odessa, Texas, where he finds a woman who looks just like Laura Palmer. She claims to be named Carrie Page, but when Cooper asks to take her to Twin Peaks to reunite with Sarah Palmer (something he calls “very important”), she takes a look at the dead guy in her house and agrees to come along. Clearly, Laura/Carrie has her own set of troubles she’s looking to escape.

But when they finally arrive, “Carrie” says she doesn’t recognize the house, and Sarah isn’t home – someone named Alice Tremond answers the door, and says her family purchased the home from a woman named Mrs. Chalfont. As someone who’s only watched all of the Twin Peaks episodes and FWWM one time, I recognized the latter name as the same one taken by the creepy grandmother and her grandson who clearly have ties to the supernatural realm. But when I looked up that character, it turns out she also went by the last name of Tremond…and yet again, I find myself in a position in which I’m not quite equipped to understand exactly what that means. Cooper wonders aloud what year it is, but when his road trip companion takes one look back at the house and screams – a moment that gave me chills – it confirmed to me that this is the real Laura, someone who’s spent her whole life repressing traumatic childhood memories of being raped in that house by her father/Bob when she was in high school. It’s a dark ending, and one that also leaves us with a lot of questions about how else the world has changed if Laura didn’t die all those years ago.

As with much of Lynch’s filmography, it’s up to us to do the heavy lifting and figure out what the work means to us. Not every loose end is wrapped up (pour one out for the Audrey Horne storyline), I’m on record as despising almost all of the Dougie Jones subplot, and there were plenty of moments in which I doubted whether this was anything other than a vanity project for Lynch, but having seen it through to the end, it was all totally worth it. There are images from The Return seared into my brain that I’ll remember forever, and even if the show never comes back for a fourth season (and considering how low the ratings were this season, season 4 seems unlikely), Sheryl Lee’s final, haunting scream will pierce my thoughts for years to come.

What did you think? Did The Return live up to your expectations?

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