Twin Peaks: The Return is over. I didn’t think it could affect me like it used to. I thought I was older and more grounded now, and that’s still all true, but I won’t lie: the ending left me profoundly unsettled. My mind is whirling and I’m actually reticent to go to sleep tonight for fear of what I might dream.
The horror of Twin Peaks is its power to meticulously dismantle every norm, to deconstruct reality and turn things literally backwards until you are left wondering what is real; if anything is real at all. And not in a cool Matrix-ey way but in a horrible, “Oh my god the shattered pieces of my mind are crumbling through my fingers” kind of way.
The show’s final episode forces you to ask, “Is he real?” “Is this really happening?” and “Are they actually there?” until you abandon your demands for a rational reality, just digging in your fingernails and hanging on for dear life. It’s a precarious state to enter, and you can’t just turn it off when the show ends.
For the last 25 years Dale Cooper’s doppelgänger’s last question (“How’s Annie?”) has haunted me. For the next 25, the last question of Dale Cooper himself may very well do the same.
Well played, Mr. Lynch. Well played indeed.