Cooper’s Odyssey. Departing Notes On Twin Peaks: The Return.
It’s odd, having the urge to say something about a subject or spectacle, while at the same time feeling utterly unqualified to do so. This is the state in which Twin Peaks: The Return has left me.
The 18-part revival of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s landmark show ended last night, on a note of unhinged chaos, the kind of which is synonymous with the work of Lynch in particular. I made mention in my halftime report on The Return than it felt like Lynch and Frost were actively rejecting any sense of the nostalgic, or of fan-service with their revisiting of the property, and that’s certainly the feeling that one is left with at the end of the whole thing.
Simply put, Lynch does not have time for your nostalgia. At all. What I like to refer to as Nostalgic Elements, characters like Andy and Lucy, are even utilised in the two-part finale for a misleading and ultimately withdrawn “happy ending”, while viewers emotions are played with on a similar scale with Audrey Horne and her Audrey’s Dance, in an earlier episode, before revealing that nothing was as it seemed in that particular strand of the story.
While measuring the work of an iconoclast like Lynch against other artists or filmmakers seems like a rather pointless task, one image from the historic pantheon of cinema stuck with me as Twin Peaks: The Return faded to black. Jacques Rivette’s Celine And Julie Go Boating is a film concerned with the real, the unreal, dreams and being, and the sight of Cooper and Palmer confusingly placed outside of the Palmer residence brought to mind the bewildered protagonists of Rivette’s movie leaving their own haunted house. In “What year is this?” Lynch and Frost have created the ultimate punchline to the most thrilling piece of American visual entertainment of our age, and I for one feel lucky to have been witness to it.