TV: Twin Peaks: The Return

4 Sep

Tonight, Showtime aired the penultimate and final chapters of David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, marking the end of the polarizing twenty-five years later follow-up to the polarizing cult favorite, TWIN PEAKS.

While a number of fans bailed out over the course of the 18 episodes, I stuck with it, figuring that, after all this time, there would be some payoff, some resolution, some reason to keep with it.

And my reaction, upon viewing the whole thing?

Meh. Like the entire “Return” series, these last two episodes contained some good moments and a lot of stuff that seemed to be weird for weird’s sake. And it ended on a pretty good but pretty predictable cliffhanger.

There was some resolution to what most people would consider the main storylines, Agent Dale Cooper’s return from the Black Lodge and his confrontation with his evil Doppleganger (a.k.a. DoppleCooper). And some of the characters who appeared to be digressive or “weird for weird’s sake” did play their parts, or have their parts revealed, but too much remained unexplained or never tied in to the main narrative.

It wouldn’t surprise me if, in post mortem interview, Lynch fessed up and said “The actual story was only 4 hours long. We just wanted to see how much sh!+ people would sit through.”

I think this series is a good example of both the good and the bad that comes of letting an auteur have free rein. There were some moments of beauty and straight narrative payoff, some moments of challenging, though-provoking imagery, and way too much of the aforementioned weirdness for weirdness’ sake. With a firm hand keeping Lynch coloring within the lines, however Daliesque or Escherian those lines might be, the series might have been transformative or, at least, satisfying. It might have reminded us of the good parts of waiting for each new episode of the first season of the original Twin Peaks. Instead, it reminded us of the frustrations of the second.

I’ll give it 4CB

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