‘Twin Peaks’ offers few answers

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 at 4:42 PM
‘Twin Peaks’ offers few answers by Britton Rozzelle

Note: Exceedingly light spoilers within.

If you were anywhere around Edinboro’s campus Sunday you likely heard me screaming about the “Twin Peaks” finale. If not, consider yourself lucky. 

After 15 weeks of hour long installments to the revival, it was over in a two-part finale that ultimately did nothing but make fans new and old question why exactly this series even occurred other than to drive up Showtime subscriptions and provide a creative outlet for the semi-retired David Lynch. 

Throughout the series, we’re constantly faced with questions of morality and humanity and what’s best for these characters. What will help Kyle MacLachlan’s Special Agent Dale Cooper solve the mystery of “who killed Laura Palmer?” It’s no secret that there is an answer, and in season two we did all learn who did the deed, and why. However, it also left off on a cliffhanger and avid fans were never really sure if it would be answered, or in the very least continued after very apparent declining viewership and mindshare in early ‘90s pop culture. 

27 years later, “Twin Peaks: The Return” started on Showtime, an event many looked forward to for answers and a conclusion to the cult series that had once been so revered. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t get that.

David Lynch is one of my favorite directors. I find his work creatively inspiring and oft times the ambiguity of his work is refreshing and interesting. However, given the nature of Twin Peaks, being somewhat inspired by soap operas, not having any sort of satisfying ending for these characters is fundamentally frustrating, especially after the wait between seasons. 

While the content was maybe not satisfying, or what fans expected, it was an incredible journey. The series, and thusly the finale, was 100 percent bonafide Lynch. He, despite it all, pulled out all the stops for this ending.

It had elements that no other director could actually put into practice, mixing the editing and composition of “Mullholand Drive” with effects and ideas put into practice in his wide array of short films. It’s absolutely the culmination of all his work thus far, and despite the context, it was an inspiring look into his vision and creative process. 

All of this obviously begs the question of if there will ever be more. It makes fans wonder if there will ever be a solid, finite conclusion to the story of Cooper, Palmer and the sleepy town of Twin Peaks, Washington. It has been noted that Lynch apparently had a great time creating this season and working with the actors again, and that if fans liked this one maybe there would be more. While I personally wouldn’t be opposed to getting more, it doesn’t make this season any less important in the works of Lynch.

Much like other abstract works of his, the unknown is what’s always the most interesting and frustrating. As someone who doesn’t like to define themes or ideas in works like “Eraserhead” or “Lost Highway,” Lynch is a master of this kind of thing. It both gets people talking about something, while also allowing them to check their expectations in the future, which I believe just makes people more likely to critically think about the art they consume. 

In no uncertain terms, “Twin Peaks: The Return” is a work of art (just like every other work by Lynch), and art, by nature, isn’t always agreed upon as beautiful, interesting or valid. I’m interested, at time of writing, in learning what history and the fans will remember it by: a beautiful piece, or a disappointing one. Like most things though, only time will tell. 

See you in 25 years, I guess.

Britton Rozzelle is the Executive Editor of The Spectator. He can be reached at ae.spectator@ gmail.com.

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