Twin Peaks: The Return – A Tale of Two Finales

The return of David Lynch’s cult series hasn’t been the easiest show to watch. It’s been slow, confusing, frustrating, and at times the eject button looked pretty damn tempting.

However, there’s been one thing that’s kept those of us who are watching the series week in, and week out (or at least DVR-ing it) — faith in David Lynch.

The man is a genius. He was able to create a series 25 years ago, on network television no less, that captivated the world with some of the most unusual characters, and bizarre storylines of all-time. Not only that, he was able to resurrect the show 25+ years later to insane fanfare. Oh, and let’s not forget his mind-blowing cinematic catalog.

It’s trust in Lynch that has kept us coming back even when things didn’t seem to make sense (and some still don’t), or look like they were going to have a pay off.

In the past two weeks, Lynch has hit home run after home run with massive pay-offs to long-simmering storylines — Diane (Laura Dern) being a tupla, the real Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) awakening, and the bizarre case of Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn).

This week’s two-part finale is the perfect summation of “The Return” — beautifully satisfying, and wildly frustrating. It was actually a tale of two finales — one to make the fans super happy, and the other to see out Lynch’s artistic vision.

Part one of the finale, while still inherently weird, and puzzling, was the more enjoyable of the two episodes. We finally got to see a comeuppance for the Cooperganger (from the most unexpected character). We got to see Cooper, and Diane embrace for the first time onscreen, and we got everyone back together for one really weird, but fun family reunion.

This episode moved with the same sense of urgency of the previous two weeks. Like its two preceding episodes, this was filled with strong characters, humor, and intensity — all spiked with than inherent Lynchian quality fans love.

Part two of the finale, was the exact opposite. It was a slow, quiet, and obtuse episode that bent time, space, and reality. It often made you want to scream “What’s happening!” multiple times throughout the hour It was an open-ended episode that took what seemed like days to get to, an expected non-conclusive finish.

So this begs the question — what is that ending all about?

Speaking with a good friend, he theorized that the ending proved that Dale Cooper did in fact save Twin Peaks from the travesty that occurred in the 25 years since the murder of Laura Palmer, yet he could not save Laura from a terrible fate (as proved by the end scream).

My own theory is that it’s quite possible that Cooper is in some sort of infinite loop, doomed to repeat the same fate over, and over — he can never leave the lodge, and neither can Laura.

Or maybe, just maybe…this ending was the open door for a fourth season….or maybe it’s the series end.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites