Ah, sunlight, how I’ve missed you. Hello everyone. I haven’t been at tvDownload for a while. As some of you might remember at one time I attempted to recap the entirety of Twin Peaks, but somewhere around episode 11 of the terrible, horrible, no good very bad second season I…well I just needed to stop and go away for a while. It was too much. One could say I hopped on my proverbial motorcycle and James’d right out of town. But now I’m back, and I have some questions.
First off, who has been writing under my name since April??
But secondly, and far more importantly, I want to know how Twin Peaks ended. So jumping straight from episode 11 to the season 2 finale, I’m gonna’ dive right into this thing. How much could I really have missed in 11 episodes? Besides, by now I like to think I’m something of a Twin Peaks exp–WTF DALE IS BOB NOW OH MY GOD EVERYONE HAS BLUE EYES ARE THEY WHITE WALKERS–sorry, sorry. Let’s slow it down. Take it easy. Things are looking up already. Here’s a helpful map.
Let’s attempt to catch up. Windom Earle went from being Cooper’s long-distance chess partner to that guy that goes to small-town beauty pageants for fun (they exist) and he’s kidnapped Heather Graham. In other news, Heather Graham was on Twin Peaks. That I did not know. That is traumatizing. That is the kind of stuff that makes you go to Vegas to become a stripper.
Meanwhile, Pete is convinced the Log Lady stole his truck. But wait! It wasn’t the Log Lady. It was Windom Earle, says Cooper. How does he know? Well, look at the map up there. Duh. Try and keep up, people.
After traumatizing Ronnette Pulowski once more with some oil, and maybe even hinting that King Arthur was buried in Twin Peaks (??), Cooper deduces that Windom Earle is at Glastonbury Grove out in the woods. We see Coop is correct, and Windom and Heather Graham are headed there now: “We have an appointment at the end of the world,” Windom says. Oh, okay. Yeah this is starting to make sense. Good thing I have that map.
Real quick, we check in on Nadine, who is looking well.
Well, she’s looked worse. Good news, she no longer thinks she’s in high school. Is she still super strong? I like to think she’s still super strong. Although she didn’t throw Big Ed through the ceiling when she found out her drape runners were missing, but I don’t know if that’s because she lost her super strength or because Big Ed is just so darn big.
So, Ben Horne is Donna’s dad? It sure looks like it, based on context clues. And by context clues, I mean Donna screaming “YOU’RE MY REAL DADDY” repeatedly at Doc Hayward. Honestly, after the confuse-athon that this first half has been, the scene where Doc Hayward threw Ben into the fireplace was the classic, comforting Twin Peaks I know and love: Just constant screaming and crying and me, sort of uncomfortably laughing to myself.
So, I guess we just jump right into the Red Room stuff, right? Or the Black Lodge? Or the darkest corners of my nightmares, where only backwards-talking giants and screaming Laura Palmers dwell? Whatever you’d like to call it is fine by me.
You know at first the Black Lodge actually seems like a pretty swanky place. No worse than most jazz clubs in New York. This guy actually has a very pretty voice. Good for you, guy. I could do without the flashing lights, though. And the screaming. And the crying. And all that screaming okay nevermind, nevermind this is terrifying.
The little dancing guy is back. Remember him? If not, here ya’ go. His laughter from this episode will genuinely haunt my nightmares for years to come. But I also kind of want it as my ringtone. Is that wrong? To want that?
“THIS IS THE WAITING ROOM,” the little guy says to Cooper, which can’t be true because I see zero issues of US Weekly.
Ah, and here’s Laura Palmer to join the party. You’re dead, Laura Palmer. Go home, Laura Palmer. “I’ll see you in 25 years,” she says to Coop, and OH MY GOD SHE WASN’T KIDDING. Was this planned? Was this always planned?
Some more friends show up. There’s that old dude from the Great Northern. “Coffee, coffee, coffee” he drones on, adding a lot to the conversation. And here’s the Giant! He was great. “One and the same,” the giant says to Cooper. Lol wtf are you talking about you eight foot tall weirdo.
Anything to add to all this, little dancing guy?
Ah, okay then.
It’s worth noting that everyone at this point is just screaming, loudly, and has blue eyes, which makes this the most horrifying prequel to Hardhome I’ve ever seen.
Windom Earle shows up in the Red Room and he’s like, about to eat Heather Graham’s soul. Cooper tells Windom to eat HIS soul in exchange for Heather Graham’s soul, and everyone has blue eyes at this point, including Cooper. Fucking BOB shows up, oh hey BOB, can’t say I missed you, and BOB is pissed because only he gets to eat souls. Some fire comes out of Windom Earle’s head and that’s all she wrote for Windom Earle. Cooper chases a doppelganger of himself (ohhhhhhh) around the Red Room, or maybe it’s the Doppelganger chasing him, they bump into a blue-eyed Leland, who is a character that is most definitely dead, before Cooper finally gets out of the Black Lodge. Doppelgangers Leland and Cooper share a hearty laugh over the whole thing.
I firmly believe I could have had a stroke on top of my keyboard and produced that last paragraph, verbatim.
To close out Twin Peaks for good, Cooper wakes up in bed while being checked on by Harry and Doc Hayward. All seems right with the world, until Cooper goes to brush his teeth and WASTES ALL THE TOOTHPASTE. Oh, also he’s possessed by BOB now.
I can honestly see why some people were mad, or disappointed by this cliffhanger going unanswered for years. But someone slamming their head against a wall, while BOB laughs and laughs in the background? Sounds like a pretty apt metaphor for watching Twin Peaks to me.
I think I might have some questions.
VERY IMPORTANT: Where is James? Is James okay? Should I just go ahead and assume James rode his motorcycle into a wall? At least then died doing what he loved, which was riding motorcycles into walls.
Stop asking the wrong questions, Vinnie. It’s not “Where is James?” It’s “WHEN did James become someone who actually looks like he’d ride a badass motorcycle?”
Honest question here, Drew…Why is Twin Peaks so famous? Why do people still talk about it, like it deserves to come back for some reason? Is it just because of who David Lynch is? Honestly, first 8 episodes aside, there is no excuse for season 2. Barring like two episodes, Season 2 was a very bad show with very bad ratings that deserved to be cancelled. And that’t not even highly contested! What could anyone possibly want out of this show after we learn who killed Laura Palmer?
Well let’s work backwards here: the fact is, no one wanted this show after they revealed Laura Palmer’s killer. That’s just a fact, and one that David Lynch was adamant about not doing, but ABC forced his hand. What they were thinking–people were getting fed up being strung along, the ratings were already dipping and this would be a boost–proved to be entirely incorrect, and the show didn’t have anywhere to go after that.
Honestly, looking back at this show through your eyes, I’m not really sure why I was so obsessed with Twin Peaks. Certainly it’s weird and kooky and sometimes scary, but this time around, I also saw how clunky it was. It was sort of a primetime spoof on soap operas, but was in fact, an hour long soap opera. Every character needed to have a plot line in every episode, which seems redundant and forced. No one ever really died (with the exception of 2/3rds of the Palmer family), so it didn’t have the highest stakes in the world.
I think the answer is that even though it seems totally goofy and antiquated now, what you have to understand is that in the 90s there was no Adult Swim yet. There was no Tim and Eric, no Unedited Footage of a Bear…hell, there was no Wayward Pines, even! There was MTV, but that was marketed to a teen audience, and was more about punk and anti-establishment and music videos (LOL) than it was about pushing the boundaries of conventional scripted television.
Twin Peaks was this totally new thing, and it’s very “off-ness” inspired the anti-comedy movement as Andy Kaufman ever did. (Note: I almost wrote Charlie Kaufman, but then realized that was someone else. Which raises another totally valid question: Where the FUCK has Charlie Kaufman been recently? Did he get lost on the set of Synecdoche, or John Malkovich’s brain? Please come back, Charlie Kaufman.)
The other thing about Twin Peaks was that it was a MAINSTREAM SHOW. Can you imagine a show like that being on ABC today? Of course you can, because since then, basic cable has been able to produce supernatural/mystery shows like Lost, X-Files, Hannibal, American Horror Story, Buffy and the aforementioned Wayward Pines. Twin Peaks paved the way for Weird TV the way that shitty Apple Newton paved the way for the iPad. No, it wasn’t perfect, but at the time it was just mind-blowing and unlike anything else people had seen on television. Which just made the disappointment of the second season all the more acute: here we were, thinking we were watching something original, only to have it slide back into the hackneyed and mundane tropes that it originally mocked.
Until that final episode.
I won’t say that David Lynch returning to the last episode “redeemed” Twin Peaks. But when you think of the show, you don’t remember the shitty parts. You don’t remember Windom Earle or Billy Zane or even the time Ben Horne tried to rape his own kid accidentally and it was NEVER DISCUSSED, EVER AGAIN. Everything anyone remembers about Twin Peaks takes place in that Black Lodge/Red Room, besides maybe Dale Cooper just generally being a goofball and asking for coffee a lot in the pilot, and Audrey tying a cherry stem with her tongue. No one thinks about Josie or Bobby or Pete. (Well, maybe the fish in the percolator.) The best thing Twin Peaks gave us, in the end, was the permission to transcend its own mundanity and exist in those few minutes of pure horror.
Like that David Foster Wallace quote I’ve used before: “(Lynchian) refers to a particular kind of irony where the very macabre and the very mundane combine in such a way as to reveal the former’s perpetual containment within the latter.”
Now: who is ready for some Fire Walk With Me?!