Twin Peaks Review by John Keegan

Twin Peaks 3.16: The Return: Part XVI

Twin Peaks 3.16: The Return: Part XVI

Written By:
Mark Frost and David Lynch
Directed By:
David Lynch

With only a handful of episodes left of the wonderful and strange saga of Twin Peaks, it’s gratifying to see the real Dale Cooper finally before our eyes.  One may quibble over whether or not it should have taken so long for Coop to come to his senses, and whether or not it was simply a plot convenience to have him “off the board” so long, but who can deny that it was great to hear him exclaim, “I AM the FBI”?

 


 

My argument would be that it took this long because his actions as Dougie Jones needed to bring other characters to the point where they would realistically help him because of their sense of his innate goodness and intent.  He brings out the best in people, and even goes to great lengths after all this time to make arrangements for those who he came to care for in his befuddled state.  That’s the Cooper we all remember, and the one that will bring this story to its conclusion.

 

Meanwhile, even as Cooper makes his way towards Twin Peaks, other characters are driving towards their own conclusions.  Richard Horne’s parentage is apparently confirmed in this episode, right after Dark Cooper uses him to test the safety of the coordinates he had been given.  If Dark Cooper was Richard’s father, then in one singular line, the writers manage to pack a lot of horrific implications.  Indeed, matched with the later story given by “Diane”, it seems to confirm that Audrey was raped while in  a coma in the hospital, giving birth to Richard.

 

Hutch and Chantel go out in typically bizarre Lynchian fashion.  Who saw them dying in a hail of bullets from an apparently well-armed accountant?  It’s pretty clear there’s more to that guy’s story, but it would actually be a shame if any more time was spent on him.  Instead, it seems to put the final nail on the story of everyone coming after Dougie Jones, whether on Dark Cooper’s behalf or not.

 


 

I doubt we’ve seen the last of Janey-E or Sonny Jim, but I would expect it to be a relatively short appearance towards the end of the story, when either Cooper returns to them (leaving a new Cooper in Twin Peaks or the FBI), or another Dougie emerges to take care of them.  Either way, there were too many hints that their story would end well, with plenty of people supporting them.  And if the real Diane manages to come back at some point, it would be quite the “family reunion”.

 

When it comes to the question of Diane, it was quite the bombshell that the Diane we’ve seen all along was actually a manufactured copy (“tulpa”), rather than the actual Diane.  It might explain a few things about her behavior, of course, but the fact that her nature came as a surprise to the Blue Rose team suggests that Diane wasn’t acting completely untrue to her personality. 

 


 

That said, it now seems that the real Diane holds importance, and given the clues, my bet is that the real Diane is “Naido”, the eyeless woman currently in a holding cell in Twin Peaks.  It sounds like Dark Cooper raped Diane, took her to the place above the “convenience store”, and she has been in the otherworldly realm of the Lodges ever since.  It would explain the strange way that “Naido” was interacting with Cooper earlier in the season as well.

 

Audrey finally makes it to the Roadhouse, and while it all seems normal enough at first, things take a decidedly strange turn as soon as Eddie Vedder is done with his song.  Audrey does a reprise of her infamous dance from the first season of the series, which only adds to the sense that something is very unreal about the situation.  And sure enough, it seems that at least Audrey’s experiences are all within her head.  Where she actually is, of course, is a huge question.  Is she still in the coma, or is she like so many others, trapped in one of the Lodges?  Or is it something else entirely?

 


 

One implication (and fan theory) is that a great deal of what has happened this season is actually taking place in Audrey’s head.  Personally, while I recognize that it would explain some of the fragmented aspects of the storytelling as well as some of the continuity discrepancies that have come up now and then, it would be enormously unsatisfying.  It also wouldn’t particularly hang together very well, since there are events and details that Audrey could never have known about to incorporate into a mental landscape.

 

That suggests instead that only certain elements are connected to Audrey’s perception of reality, and one can probably confine them to her scenes only or perhaps the events at the Roadhouse.  But that is a big question (among many) that the final two episodes will need to address.

 



Our Grade:
A
The Good:
  • Cooper is back! That’s the biggest positive of them all!
  • At least Audrey’s scenes seem a lot more important now
The Bad:
  • How is this going to get wrapped up in just two more episodes???

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Twin Peaks by - 8/29/2017 9:19 AM47 views

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