Twin Peaks goes out with apt almost perfect two-part finale

Written By Michael Richter, A&E Editor

Twenty-six years after the original series left the “Twin Peaks” pure, boy scout-esque protagonist Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) possessed by the show’s ultimate evil Bob, the third season finale (possibly series finale) managed to raise even more questions. In fact, “Twin Peaks: The Return” finale is likely to be discussed, dissected and debated for years to come, which is why the show is among the greatest of all-time.

The penultimate episode is the conventional way to end season three of “Twin Peaks.” The whole gang got back together at the sheriff’s station, Freddie with his super-strong fist destroyed Bob, the true Diane revealed herself and our hero Special Agent Dale Cooper finally made it to the town of Twin Peaks. But all of that happened during the first half-hour of episode 17. Then immediately following the nostalgic trip, director David Lynch took the viewers on the most convoluted, surreal trip of his career. For people who thought that once the beloved Coop was back in Twin Peaks, he’d sit around yap it up with his pals from 25 years, you were sorely mistaken and naive.

Once Bob was taken care of, Cooper sets his sights on Judy, which is revealed to be the ultimate evil in the Twin Peaks universe. Shortly thereafter, Cooper travels back in time to prevent Laura Palmer from being murdered. At first, it appears Cooper may have succeeded in doing so, as we see Laura’s corpse disappear in from the early moments of the series’ pilot episode. However, that seems to be a dream that does not become true.

Subsequently, Cooper crosses into what is likely another dimension, and he ends up in Odessa, Texas. He finds a woman named Carrie, who resembles Laura Palmer; she, of course, is played by Sheryl Lee. Cooper takes the woman to the Palmer household in Twin Peaks, where a woman with the last name Tremond now resides. Confused by the revelation, Cooper asks the woman several times about who owned the house prior to her. Eventually, Cooper and Carrie walk away from the house.

Then, Cooper asks the question as he looks hopeless, “What year is this?” While Cooper failed to rid the world of evil, he’ll never stop. Moreover, “Twin Peaks” has always been an allegory for the eternal struggle of good versus evil, which is demonstrated during Cooper’s attempts to go back in time and save Laura.

But it’s still difficult to put all the pieces of the story together, which makes an even better experience. During the final scene of the final episode, goosebumps and chills took over my body. That episode is a thrill ride unlike any other episode in television history.

This season of “Twin Peaks” is the crowning jewel of Lynch’s career. And it felt as though Lynch went full Lynchian in the final part of “Twin Peaks.” The final episode of “Twin Peaks” season three was a fitting end to a confusing, cinematic and ecstasy-filled series. While it is very likely I’ll never completely understand what occurred in the final episode, I enjoyed it wholeheartedly. And I doubt I will ever experience anything like it ever again. I also doubt another piece of art will make me feel the way it did.  

It was wonderful, bewildering, infuriating and blissful all at once. It elicited a wide array of emotions. Dammit, I wish more art were like Twin Peaks. I doubt there will ever be another piece of art that moves me the way this show does. It’s so beautiful. I broke down and cried.