Sep. 6th, 2017

“What?”

Sep. 6th, 2017 08:03 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
Kestrell and I have watched the end of Twin Peaks: The Return. The above was my initial reaction; I gather it was a typical one. Kes and I have spent a few hours talking about it and I’ve spent a further few hours reading various online writing about it, and I am little closer to a definitive understanding than I was at that first “What?”

Which is, of course, only to be expected from David Lynch. And this was undoubtedly a David Lynch story. The leavening of Mark Frost’s contributions made it far CLOSER to comprehensibility then solo Lynch, but it was still resolutely irresolute. A few online writers seem to think that things were deliberately left open for a season four, but I think they were fooling themselves. One of the frequent themes of this season was the infinity of overlapping stories, none of which makes sense in isolation from all the others, and therefore none of which can ever truly have closure.

The penultimate episode contains a significant amount of closure, as if to demonstrate clearly that the creators understand what closure is, and are capable of achieving it when they want. And then the final hour quite deliberately goes somewhere new and different and strange in a manner different from all the previous strangeness in the season.

This season has a huge and complex cast, only about half of which we knew from the original show – all of whom are, of course, distressingly older. Most episodes end with an “in memory of” credit. The very first scenes that Lynch shot were with Catherine Coulson (The Log Lady), mere weeks before her death of cancer. Both actress and character were on the verge of death and knew it. By the end, almost everyone from the original show has had at least a cameo, although in some cases only via stock footage.

Special notice should be given to Kyle MacLachlan. He deservedly has star billing, though there are a few episodes in which he almost doesn’t appear. Despite his being the actor with the most screen time, the character of Dale Cooper is but rarely seen, and that very late in the day. Instead, Lynch has MacLachlan playing a significant number of OTHER characters, albeit all ones who are connected with Cooper in one way or another (I counted five, but the point could be argued).

A few friends who have not been watching all along have asked me if this new season was “worth watching”. That is not a question with a simple answer, as it turns out. If you were interested in nostalgically revisiting characters and situations that you once loved, The Return contains some of that, but not very much. If you wanted to know “where the plot was going”, again, there is some of that, but it is a distinctly minor element. If, however, what you loved about Twin Peaks and want more of now was the sense of wonder, the bizarre mixture of tones, the feeling that absolutely anything might happen at any moment (or conversely, that nothing at all might happen for a lengthy scene), then The Return has what you want in spades.

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Alexx Kay

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