Rev., May 21, 2018.
Note: This is the sixth and final part of a six-part analysis of the dream structure of Twin Peaks: The Return (2017).
We now have brought “Dale Cooper” but actually Mr. C all the way back to Twin Peaks.
and then they all greet him, joyously, as Dale Cooper, but, of course, he is a counterfeit
there are few loose ends that might get in the way of the finale not working out so James and his English friend, who earlier, in a long interview, confessed to also having been visited or had an encounter with these forces, which left him with a powerful fist for punching, we have to get them out, then Chad has got to be put under control, and so it goes
then, weirdly, it is almost as if everyone has to assemble in the office, to welcome back Cooper
but, then, the real Dale Cooper shows up, that is, formerly Dougie Jones half, and the room goes black, like in the woods when he was shot by Ray, Mr C is knocked back
once again the supernatural Watchers or Homeless Men or Gas Station men come to tend to him and take him off
and, then, once again, as before, in the woods, the Evil Bob bubble comes out of him, that entity of his alter ego, and floats menacingly in the office
and then it would appear that the random English bloke has the fist to get this thing, so there is a fight
and it shakes everything up
it catches fire, then descends, apparently, depleted, into the floor, perhaps the Jowdah defeated
at this point, everybody, including the Mitchums and Candy and, everyone, are like wtf
but then Cooper removes the green ring, another green ring, I guess, from Mr C
and Mr. C at last fades away into the carpet
and the stone or gem that represents his “soul” or his motor drops down to the floor in the Red Curtained Chamber
and that’s that, Dale Cooper is back, he explains that Briggs told him that Sheriff Truman would have the key, though I do not exactly see how that worked out, except by way of Hawk
everything should be done (oh, I forgot to mention that it was Lucy who got to take the shot that prevented Mr C from killing the sheriff)
Candie and the girls even serve sandwiches and drinks, it’s a party
Cooper says farewell to some of those who helped him get back, including the lady without eyes
she then dissolves, her face becomes as the room in the Red Curtained Chamber, poof, gone
I suppose she, or someone, turns into this, meaning she was the nymphlike expression of the voice in the oracular tree?
then, somehow, what appears to be the REAL Diane, not the counterfeit tulpa, is there, for a reunion
all is good–in a Shakespearian play, this would be the end. All’s well that ends well. It has been a long return, the whole of the Return dealt with the return of Dale Cooper from 25 years of unjustified exile for having worked hard to solve a case he did not solve, and this involved an elaborate cosmology where his fate was ruled over by the zones outlying this world where robots and tulpas and doppelgangers are made to interfere with human life, sent here to corrupt mankind either by Judy, or by Bob (according to one interpretation), and in order to get back the half of him stuck on earth in the form of Mr C had to be compromised so they sent him back but because Mr C was already there his path was deflected into Dougie Jones so now we have to segway into those two bifurcated courses of his halves slowly coming together by a series of good fortune and hard criminality and finally when the coordinates are learned and the time 2:53 is used to get the information Mr C is brought in, and then brought down, and Dougie Jones survives to at last be undone, for then Cooper to reemerge through him to come up to Twin Peaks to clean up that last loose end and rid the world of Mr C so he can be entirely and completely himself in this world once again, even though, like a prisoner unjustly imprisoned a generation ago, he has lost a lot of time. One would not be faulted for thinking, that’s that, we’re done, to rest easy on those laurels.
But, there is a problem, and, I concede, I was so set on this previous reading of how things went up to just then that I was rather nonplussed when it…kept going. For the first bad sign was that all those scenes of reuniting and resolution were seen through a screen of a close up of DC’s face, what this means in movies is that it is all in his mind, or even memory
it suggests, the doubleness of the above shot, that something is still not entirely put together. It also suggests that these scenes might be happening, but they are not doing it for DC, even when Candie comes to him, she has an odd look of something not being right, looking at him (remember, she is a bit of a chorus soothsayer)
and, then, even worse, the fact that, like his first entry back into this realm by way of the floating castle, as told him by the blind nymph, and like the sheriff and Bobby and crew having to meet up with the nymph at 253 in the woods on a certain day, and as Mr C also found out the importance of 2:53, and even Cole figured it out, it is, again, at this moment, 2:53
and, so, rather surprisingly, and a surprise to all involved, who now leave the stage of the series for good, he announces that he and Diane still have work to do. Really? What work could that be?
Well, they have to go off to a certain room in the Twin Peaks hotel, DC’s room, though that room now seems to be in a basement corridor, which is strange, maybe this is where the vibration heard by the boss and secretary was emitted from (and still notice this is all happening with a face over of DC)
he opens the door, but it is NOT the room in the hotel
the one armed man has come down into this realm, or into a crawlspace of this realm, a room off a basement, but now, he, not the sooty men, lead him up THOSE STAIRS, which we saw in Cole’s vision in Episode 11, and in Mr C’s visit to that phantom gas station transference to the entoptic dream state, and now we are back, and, where is it?
this approach is much more vertiginous, and shaken
and meeting up again with the bell-like container with the voice, so an oracle, of sorts, he is told that he can find judy, or jow dah, back at February 23, 1989
and so he is sent back, right back into the original series
now, at this point, the series runs back the entire scene when Laura runs off in the woods, into the Black Lodge down there, where she dies, no, this is not the series, this is in Fire Walk With Me, and I do not think DC was in that, in this scene, this is not the original actress (Sheryl Lee) portrayed as young, but simply a clip from the old show
but then she screams when she sees DC
we go right back to the origin of the whole mythos, the body of Laura Palmer in its plastic wrapping on the shore
we relive the today of its finding, we even get Joan Chen back
and the fisherman heads out, to find the body
at this point, I was thinking, of course, DC might have come back together, but he could not let rest an unsolved case, nor could he have peace if he did not go back in time and erase the event which caused all the trouble and chaos in the world of Twin Peaks since, the original sin, as it were, of that mythological universe. This also is an old trope, to erase the original crime, deeply retrogressive, it does, in fact, seem like that is where this is going, but, I wonder, did it? We now get a somewhat less positive appraisal of all the time that was been “wasted” grieving this girl, as the mother, back in her house, in present time, one imagines, takes a knife at last to the picture of the saint she has idolized because killed all these years, an act of iconoclasm which I think she thinks will release her from the spell of it all (one good reading on it says that sitting around for years she had begun to harbor alibi theories whereby Laura seduced Leland, rather than being raped by Leland, or the more extreme idea that if Laura had never been born, she and Leland would still be together, and she not so lonely, both good points—and both, by the way, rationalizations of a dissociating sort which the same reader reads as evil, the influence of judy, splitting people off from loving)
but then there is a broad sentient scream that wafts through the woods
and now, in the final episode, we seem to have more reckoning to do, Mr. C is now getting his treatment up in the Red Curtained Chamber
and he gives up his “soul”
but then, wait a tick, so is DC as Dougie up there?
and somehow, maybe the scriptwriters thought it was too cruel to let DC abandon his family as Dougie entirely so they took what was given up by Mr. C and put it back into Dougie and sent him back to earth in the form of a better Dougie to complete the circle, it was a twist rather too tight for me, I think I might have preferred this door left closed
then the part of DC former Dougie still up in the Red Curtained room, this gets confusing, like I said, still has to get some instructions from the one-armed man
and more insight from the tree, somehow the one armed man says he is the tree, and this is the story of the little girl who lived down the lane, or something like that
then Laura shows up to whisper a few more things, tell him he’s still on earth
she then once again screams off
then when he wanders back through the curtain maze he as it were meets up in reverse with the first encounter with the curtains that Hawk had in the woods and this brings him back into the woods
where he meets up with Diane again (or one of the Dianes)
and now it seems they have a mission, to drive 430 miles to a spot
and this entails them staying in a motel and they even make love
but Diane’s troubles, it seems, will never end, as when she should be smiling, at orgasm, the tristus comes too soon
and she grabs his face, which is a very odd way to express orgasmic excitement
even to efface him, wondering, perhaps, who exactly he is
and next morning he wakes up alone, with a Dear John note at the side of his bed, she is gone, but the note is from Linda to Richard
now, I confess, I know Richard and Linda have been mentioned a few times, but not that much, in fact, they have played a rather minor part, and I do not understand where this has all gone at this point. Why would this not be Dale Cooper and be a guy named Richard? I don’t know. In any case, he continues on his mission, which is to find in this Texas town a woman, whom he thinks is Laura Palmer, but has another name, and after an incident at a coffee shop, and some information, he finds her, she happens to have a murdered body in the house, so is like, sure, if you want me to be her, I’ll be her, let’s go, to get out of town, so ANOTHER long cross country drive, from Texas to Twin Peaks
and so they show up at Laura Palmer’s house, I guess, Richard is thinking, let’s reunite her with her family, but at the door is a stranger, and they do not know any LP, and when he asks who lived here before them, that is not the name either, so, he is deeply confused
and has one last stumble, asking, What year is this?
and she screams, so she IS Laura, because we have heard the screen-wiping screen before
there are a few ways to read these final passages. Maybe the DC who emerged from Dougie Jones was not the complete one either, and he made a mistake in the working out of the sequence of events he required to get back to being whole. Maybe the point of that would be that once as a person you are taken apart by the world, you can’t be put back together again. Another idea would be that it being 253 he has to pass over into still another world, in this universe, a part of the world we have not seen, and that part is not Twin Peaks America, but the America at large lying outside the twinfire world of Twin Peaks, that is, present America, where no one is who they once were, and all lives have moved on, and so on, and in that Richard and Linda are just two generic names like John and Jane Doe to speak to the smallness of life and average people who settle for being who they end up with and no one is the destiny of the meant to be it is all incidental and circumstantial and that’s that (all of this relating the dissociative impulse of Judy to my critique of exploitation and rationalization). Or one might flip that and maybe Lynch has swung it round back in time to a time BEFORE the events of the series occurred. Maybe the woman at the door of LP’s house is the person who lived in the house BEFORE when the Palmers moved in, or even before that, the house is the kind of house that I saw in my neigborhood when I lived in a similar house in the 1960s, the events of Twin Peaks did not happen til 1990, the heyday of the world of those houses was suburbia of the 1960s, they set down the template, and the lifestyle, and generations since are just living in reproductions of those lives, so maybe they overshot the mark on his return and went back to a preexistent state, even to 1956, and basically they got lost in time. I confess to being stumped, it does not seem like, in the logic of the telling, this last epilogue which casts doubt on all the resolving tropes of most dramas, where everything is wrapped up, is warranted by the text, or the momentum of the mis en scene. This “world” at the end, is a world of Twin Peaks which has imploded in a way, where does it exist?
In my way of thinking, systems theory wise, there is the elan, or center of life, where the mind is alive, one lives in the present, and things move and are creative, it is the fire of life, and it spirals up and down, this is where agency is, and where, in Twin Peaks The Return, the intuitive trails that are spread out through the 18 weeks are. Then, there are, if I make use of this same graph to map out the phases of hypnagogy, charactetrized by five stages, entoptic, glass onion, lattice, whoosh and deep REM dream sleep, as you spin down, hypnagogic states now preferred as more conducive to intuitive thinking, in an era where waking life is so polluted by rationalization (the Trojan Horse syndrome of social media where so many formerly personal communications have now been materialized and mediated into symbolic-mechamically-reproduced forms). But, then, on each level, there are also adjunct spaces, and I have worked out the horizontal splicings of that space too, but not here. But, then, back up in either vigilogogic space, waking but just waking, or in waking life, there are the workings of Civilization, many good, but many, in the proliferations of ways of deceit, by rationalization and exploitation, bad, I mapped this out at the beginning of this exegesis, as I thought that Lynch began things by commenting on how it was so diffuclt to make contact with any of the intuitive part of the universe, to get through the thicket of exploitation in modern culture, I repost that first graph here again
My guess then is that he ends as he begins, he laid out the plot of reunion, and the coming together of some serious doppelganger problems in Twin Peaks (and I have done this whole preliminary reading without wanting to delve back into the tv series, I have already written of an aspect of Fire Walks with Me), but then, at the end, pulls back again, to let us know that as we depart it, so Cooper will get stuck, it is hard to get to these places, thus, I have mapped out the dream space of Twin Peaks the Return. I have navigated its whooshes and its many zig zags in adjunct dream space, I have found that, in fact, Lynch’s imagination seems to dwell on the incoming all-over Ambient nature of fears, and for that does a lot of circling and whooshing, and so I have located the Red Curtained Chamber, not in a supernatural place, but in an Ambient zone located in the brain just outside the adjunct space of the entoptic level of hypnagogy, got to by that route; then I have located the scenarios presented in the broader cosmology as also mainly taking place in the Ambient Zone, the Floating Castle, where Cooper had to fall from the Red Curtained Chamber, floats by my reckoning over the Ambient sea, far out from mere hypnagogy, more toward the unconscious, and at the level of the lattice; and then down in deep REM dream space, that was mapped out in Episode Eight, the Ambient Sea is found to in fact be on the far sie of the Ambient Desert, this world is entered into by way of the Ambient Desert Gas Station, which will then now and then in compositing of dreaming be transferred back into the hypnagogic event zone, and then the village there too, and, surprisingly, the Theater Lighthouse structure where so much processing takes place, this is located, since it seems to invite in Sentient spinning forces, some of which are dangerous and scary, that is Judy or Bob, at the borderline between the Ambient and the Sentient. Again, hypnagogy talks about the nature of the various phases of light dreams, it characterizes the nature of those states of dreams. Ambients are those thought patterns in waking or dreaming states in which one feels things are circulating, but not in the way of the whoosh, downward, but by a sense that the world is encircling you and closing in on you, negatively, most commonly represented in movies by the shot of a circle of people standing over one looking down, that is, this is another class of fears, I think emit at present from the cingulate or the membrane that holds it; and then Sentients are those figures that are the equivilant of tinnitus in the brain and if they do get too intense they can and do cause people to go crazy, they spin wide but very hard in upon you, and their spin can also have bite, and kill, as in psalliction, and we did see, early on, in this whole saga, some tearing apart situations. The plot is moved forward in Twin Peaks the Return by waking people surrendering their certainty in the rational world, letting intuition guide them down into a vigilogogic zone thence to hypnagogy, where they open up locked mysteries. Those who got killed or caught got caught up in the rationalizations and exploitations of the cruel world, or by the action of Judy or Bob’s forces against them. Twin Peaks The Return is therefore an allegory of how to get back to dream, and wisdom, to follow one’s intuition, to put oneself back together in a way that does not let the world tear you apart. But, then, it also does end on a note of caution, that in the end even those who think they do it, can fail at it, and get lost in the struggle, it happens. So, at the end, after travelling through this universe, even DC gets caught up in the world, and the traps of rationalization and exploitation, until he does not know where he is
Overall, when I watched Twin Peaks, the Return, I was still only working with a simple hypnagogic model. Only after November, 2017, but, I think, inspired by the spinnings in the scenarios, did I begin in earnest to explore in more detail the working of Ambient forces circling round the hypnagogic zones in the head, and, then, only quite recently, in 2018, did I also realize that horror movies were also spending a lot of time trying to visualize wide harsh spinning but invisibly destroying forces, and that these abstract, nonfigurative spinning forces can only be represented by a further outlying spin, the Sentients, and, it is true, there ARE Ambient and Sentient forces in the dream visualizations of Twin Peaks the Return. Does my reading have anything to do with what was on the mind of David Lynch when he thought all this through? I do not know, I have not looked into it, I have not even delved into the whole “solve the mystery”of it caper aspect of online reports and other theories, I have not linked this yet to the series, I am not, in that way, a groupie or in want of being an expert to “figure it all out,” all I wanted to record was a more extensive reading of what about the series so excited me, and that was its mastery of hypnagogic space, for I believe Lynch has a pagan dream theory imagination, its wisdom in positing that you can only get to the answers in life by way of intuion, not reason, all of its funny situational and circumstational and even genre scenes evoking America in chaos right now, but most of all because for 18 weeks its entirely absorbing realism, its warmth, its agency, describing a place where real people live life, however horrible, was very, very different from what we too often get from TV series, cardboard and poster people representing “issues”and doing all sorts of fantasy posturing to make the viewer only feel better, not more human. Twin Peaks: The Return exists, if nowhere else discernible, though I have tried to place it, on a whole other level.