Friday, September 15, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 3x17 Recap: "Part 17: The Past Dictates The Future" (Will The Real Cooper Please Stand Up?) [Contributor: Erin Allen]


"Part 17: The Past Dictates The Future"
Original Airdate: September 3, 2017

I’ve been avoiding writing my final recaps because it really means it’s over, but who am I kidding? It’s never over with Twin Peaks, and David Lynch makes sure of that with this two-part finale. The owl cave symbol turns into an infinity symbol, so that pretty much sums it up. I’ve been thinking about the original run for 15 years and I suspect I will be thinking about The Return for the next 30.

The identity of Judy is revealed...sort of. Cooper goes back in time to save Laura... we think. All the characters converge in Twin Peaks and it’s the last time we see the town and its inhabitants as we’ve come to know them. It is bittersweet. We get footage of Fire Walk With Me as well as the pilot which brings back characters we haven’t seen in The Return like Josie, Catherine, and Pete. (Part 17 is in memory of Jack Nance.)

I’ll do a brief rundown of the events that take place, but I’m not going to even try to explain the time-traveling bit because A) I don’t really understand it and B) there are hundreds of theories online to keep you occupied for... well, ever.

Gordon explains to Albert and Tammy what Judy is. It is an “extreme negative force,” once known as Jiao Dai, that Briggs, Cooper, Phillip, and Gordon have been searching for. Cooper had a plan in the event that he were to go missing. Gordon says, “I don’t know if this plan is unfolding properly.” Upon the conclusion of Part 18, I wonder this, as well.

Mr. C uses the White Lodge to teleport to Twin Peaks which is really cool imagery. When he arrives in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s station, he says, “What is this?” I’m not sure if he is even aware of the overall evil plan. He is just a tool in the grand scheme of things. And who would’ve thought that the one to stop him from executing whatever mission he was on would be Lucy Brennan. “Andy, I understand cellular phones now!”

Freddie realizes his destiny which is to destroy the BOB rock that comes out of the dead Mr. C. This is an intense battle, and filmed and edited in such a way that only Lynch could offer. Freddie came to be such a cool Twin Peaks character — literally a superhero.

The next scene happens with Cooper’s face superimposed over it. “Some things will change. The past dictates the future.” Naido turns into Diane like we suspected. She has the same chic bob, but it is neon red and awesome. The superimposed Coop says, “We live inside a dream,” Cooper bids his friends farewell, and he leaves with Diane and Gordon as the room goes dark.

The Great Northern room key opens up a door that leads Cooper to the Dutchman’s where the Phillip Jeffries teapot is. He tells Diane and Gordon, “I’ll see you the curtain call.” Cooper appears out of darkness which gave me chills because it was one of the few promo shots we got of The Return, and then MIKE says the Fire Walk With Me poem. More chills!

Teapot Jeffries gives us some really cryptic clues, among them the owl cave symbol morphing into an 8. Also, that it’s slippery in there. Er, what? Phillip Jeffries is still out there being a total enigma. I love it.

Cooper transports back to February 23rd, 1989 in the woods with Laura and James. Laura saw something that night and screamed. This shows us that it was Cooper. After Laura leaves James (I LOVE YOU, JAAAMES!) and runs back into the woods, Cooper intervenes, preventing her murder from happening. The pilot episode begins, but Laura Palmer’s body wrapped in plastic blinks away and the day proceeds without the life-changing discovery.

Cooper tells the young Laura (played by present day Sheryl Lee, who looks phenomenal) that he’s going to take her home. And just when you’re thinking, wow, Cooper really went back and saved her, we cut to the Palmer house where Sarah is moaning grotesquely off screen. She enters the frame and attacks the prom photo of Laura, but it is impenetrable. Cooper looks back and finds that Laura is gone and we hear that infamous scream. Did she go back to contend with Sarah/Judy?

The episode ends, fittingly, with a Roadhouse performance by the incomparable Julee Cruise singing “The World Spins,” music by Angelo Badalamenti and lyrics by David Lynch.

Stray Observations:

  • Bushnell Mullins is like a doppelganger of Gordon Cole. “I’m Dougie’s boss.” “That makes two of us.” 
  • Jerry was all the way in Wyoming! “He said his binoculars killed somebody.”  
  • “Just entering Twin Peaks city limits. Is the coffee on?”
  • If The Return had changed your mind on James being cool, the FWWM footage should have set you straight again. 


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