Thursday, September 21, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 3x18 Recap: "Part 18: What Is Your Name?" (Road Trip!) [Contributor: Erin Allen]


"Part 18: What Is Your Name?"
Original Airdate: September 3, 2017

The final part of the 2-part finale and the 18-part film is nothing like I imagined it to be. It ties up some loose ends while leaving others painfully wide open (Audrey, where are you, girl?) It ends on a cliffhanger similar to the Season 2 finale, with a question that leads to a thousand other questions that you can spend a lifetime (or several lifetimes) pondering. “What year is this?” is the new “How’s Annie?” I can tell you one thing: if Dale Cooper, time-traveling, world-jumping, White Lodge space hunk, doesn’t know, then I, for sure, don’t know.

The last part begins with a flaming Mr. C in the Black Lodge, and MIKE creating a new Dougie out of a seed. We get a little reunion between Dougie and his family. It was so sweet of Cooper to arrange for that. He had a lot to do, and the fact that it was one of his first concerns is heartwarming and characteristic of the Cooper we first met in Season 1.

There is an overlap of the end of Part 17 where Cooper loses Laura in the woods. He ends up in the Black Lodge where moments from Part 2 are interspersed. Once again MIKE asks that dreaded question, “Is it future or is it past?” The arm tree also asks an unnerving question, “Is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?” Last time we heard that was from Audrey. This tease really made me stick to my expectation of seeing Audrey again, which, sadly, we do not. But, you know what? That’s on me for expecting anything when I know full well with Lynch I’m only to expect the unexpected, which is exactly what I got.

Laura whispers to Cooper and gets hurtled into oblivion, and Leland tells him to find Laura. Seeing these repetitive bits from Part 2 takes on a whole other context with what we’ve seen now. How it relates to the multiple timelines, I don’t know, but it gives you more to think about and different things to think about than the last time we saw them. “Is it future or is it past?” Indeed.

Cooper exits the Red Room to find Diane waiting for him in Glastonbury Grove. They assure each other that it is really themselves, and begin the first road trip of Part 18. Diane seems wary of whatever they are set out to accomplish. They crossover (from where/when to where/when is up for debate) at one point, and end up at a motel. Cooper goes in to get a room, and Diane sees a tulpa or doppelganger of herself. Then they go into Room 7, and fan fiction ensues. Not really, but kind of? It is a bizarre sex scene (set to The Platters’ “My Prayer”) that seems to be some sort of ritual with what purpose or goal, I do not know. This is one of those points that is of hot contention and has many, many theories flying around it.

The next morning, Diane is gone. She leaves a note to Richard and signs it ‘Linda.’ Cooper and Diane are Richard and Linda. I don’t even know where to begin to sort this out in my brain, but there it is. Cooper leaves the motel, but it is a completely different motel than the one they entered the previous night. That was some wild sex to alter the whole space/time continuum like that.

Cooper goes in search of Laura Palmer with a pit stop at Judy’s Coffee Shop where he deep fries some rude cowboys’ guns. He finds her in Odessa, Texas, living in a house with a crackling telephone pole labeled #6 outside of it. Only it’s not Laura. Well, it is, but she seems to think she is Carrie Page. He convinces her, quite easily, to drive with him to Twin Peaks to her mother’s home. There is a dead guy in her living room and a small white horse on her mantel.

The two embark on the second road trip. There are long, quiet moments with very little dialogue. There is a bathroom break at a gas station. Not much happens in these scenes, but there is something profoundly beautiful in seeing Cooper and Laura together like this. And Sheryl Lee gives a wonderful performance.  

They arrive in Twin Peaks. Laura/Carrie does not recognize anything — not the Double R or the Palmer residence. They encounter an unfamiliar face at the door. The woman whose name is Alice Tremond who bought the house from a Mrs. Chalfont. This is enough to make your head explode and prompts the very appropriate question from Cooper: “What year is this?” Laura hears Sarah/Judy’s voice call out for her from the house, Laura screams, the lights go out in the house, and we cut to black. Shocking. Absolutely shocking. The credits roll over that enigmatic image of Laura whispering into Cooper’s ear.

It is amazing that David Lynch and Mark Frost can give us something that can be taken a million different ways, and make different sense to different people’s theories. That really is true art.

“What matters is what you believe happened.” -David Lynch

Stray Observations:
  • There is a lot of face massaging on this season.
  • “In those days I was too young to know any better.” 
  • Sheryl Lee’s Laura Palmer scream is one of my favorite screams of all time.
  • The Lynch/Frost logo at the end was silent which might be the most terrifying thing of all. 


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