Twin Peaks S03E08: “Gotta light?” (26/6/17)

At a certain point in The Return, David Lynch was always going to have to address the cosmology of Twin Peaks, along with the question of how and where to ground it in American history. While the second season might have dealt with this angle fairly inadequately, it still offered some tantalising leads, with Major Briggs, in particular, hinting at a lineage leading as far back as the Cold War and Project Blue Book. Similarly, the quaint opening of Fire Walk With Me, with its picaresque cockpit shots and mid-century drawl, seemed to suggest a wider historical canvas, while there have also been hints in The Return of an even broader twentieth-century narrative, from the massive photograph of the atomic bomb on Gordon Cole’s wall to the sheer proliferation of timelines present in the series’ new geographic scope. Even our first reintroduction to Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield, which occurred in the midst of a discussion about how to exonerate a corrupt senior official – a rare moment of political satire for Lynch – seemed to suggest that this third season would be more embedded in history than ever before. At the same time, however, this has also been the most cosmic season of Twin Peaks, as Lynch has elaborated the zone between the Black Lodge and the rest of the world in more detail than would ever have been possible in the original series, especially during the third episode, “Case files,” where we saw Major Briggs’ face superimposed over a vision of the entire universe that was redolent of the darkest and most obscure moments in Eraserhead.

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That convergence of cosmic and historical co-ordinates comes to a head in the eighth episode, “Gotta light?” With the exception of an opening sequence between Evil Cooper and his sidekick Ray, this could almost function as a standalone film, as Lynch starts to provide some hints as to how and why both BOB and Laura Palmer were originally sent into this world, along with the possible genesis of both the Black and White Lodges. So far the third season has seemed to mine all of Lynch’s feature films at one point or another, but this is the first episode where you can really feel him reaching for the more experimental fringes of his filmography, resulting in the most abstract and metaphysical instalment so far, and a pointed corrective to last week’s more narrative-driven, procedural episode. Here, we have a hallucinatory fever dream that will surely prompt infinite efforts to parse its secrets in years to come, and the best indication yet of just how keen Lynch is to keep us estranged from everything we thought we knew about Twin Peaks. After all, that estrangement, and the longing to traverse it, is what gives The Return such an incredible serial momentum in what is quickly coming to feel like a post-serial era.

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In lieu of any more conceptual approach, I think that the best way to discuss “Gotta light?” is simply to move through it sequentially – the order of events is critical to its atmosphere and ambience – starting with the most “realistic” scene, in which Evil Cooper and Ray continue their escape from the high security prison in Sioux City. At first, this seems to continue the procedural focus of the previous episode, with the two ex-cons talking about their next plan of attack. It turns out that Ray has some information that Evil Cooper needs and is prepared to bribe him for it, leading to a standoff on the side of a dirt road that sees Evil Cooper shot in the chest, an event that sets the rest of the episode in motion. More on that in a moment, however, since it’s first worth mentioning that this is by far the darkest, noirest sequence in the third season so far. As the action proceeds, it’s impossible to see much beyond the roughest contours of the two characters, recalling the tactile, almost audible darkness you could apprehend in Eraserhead and in pockets of Lost Highway (although “Gotta light?” exceeds even those two films in its inky textures). For almost the first time in The Return, it appears to be safe for music to bloom in a conventionally atmospheric way, if only because the sheer opacity of Lynch’s mise-en-scene is sufficient to render it immune to musical explication or clarification.

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By the time Evil Cooper is shot, then, the sense of obscurity is at fever pitch, and Lynch only compounds it with an eerie sequence in which a series of ghostly figures arrive on the scene and start to pull his body apart, as Ray flees in horror. This sequence continues for some time, as Lynch juxtaposes two visual planes that never fully fuse, coexisting for a while before inexorably fading into a series of slow-motion smoke shots that recall the opening scenes of both Wild at Heart and Mulholland Drive in their brooding obscurity. The first of these visual planes focuses on the ghostly figures, who are presented in a series of overlapping superimpositions that never quite allow us to differentiate the foreground and background, or to distinguish between what is superimposition and what is the “original” image. The resulting disorientation is only enhanced by the second visual plane – the same flickering strobe light that we saw periodically in the Black Lodge. Unlike in the Lodge, however, this stuttering strobe doesn’t sharpen the space here, but instead evokes an entirely separate space that remains incommensurate with both the shadowy figures and the “real” world, especially once the smoke creeps in to gradually muddle everything even further.

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Throughout The Return, Lynch and Frost have not only refrained from quality television tropes, but from what might be called quality television effects, frequently reverting to images and spectacles that are almost analog in their awkwardness, and yet too enmeshed in the camera’s digital address to ever quite feel like analog pastiches either. That approach crystallises in this extraordinary sequence, which refuses to ever settle into either a seamless naturalism or a seamless CGI naturalism effect, creating a mounting discomfort and anxiety – a visual schism – that only intensifies over the remainder of the episode. During these moments, I found myself wondering whether the datedness of the second season – especially the special effects – prompted Lynch and Frost to change their approach a bit this time around, incorporating awkwardness into their special effects from the very beginning in order to render them more enduring in the long run. However you explain it, the failure of these special effects to quite meet contemporary expectations goes a long way towards ensuring that The Return itself never affirms a continuity with the past that is too blithe, simplistic, or, indeed, continuous.

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Once the fog has started to clear and the ghostly figures have done their work, Lynch cuts to the Bang Bang Bar – the only part of Twin Peaks we see during this episode – where Nine Inch Nails (or “the Nine Inch Nails,” as they are introduced and credited) perform the entirety of “She’s Gone Away,” from Not The Actual Events EP, released in 2016 for what now feels like a part of the sprawling soundtrack event that has gradually constellated around The Return. This cut is itself one of the most startling elements of the episode so far, as we move from the strobe-lit vagaries of Evil Cooper’s blood-soaked body to a pellucid shot of the band tuning their guitars and adjusting their amplifiers. Throughout the third season, Lynch has taken this kind of subliminal juxtaposition to a new high in his career – the whole meaning of the series subsists, in some sense, in the cuts from scene to scene – and the effects here are astonishing, as the murmurs of ambient noise that have accompanied Evil Cooper’s apparent disembowelment turn out to have been the warm-up noises on stage in Twin Peaks, hundreds of miles away. More than ever, then, the Bang Bang Bar feels like the unconscious of the series as a whole – the space that, more than any other, has preserved all the wounds and traces of Laura’s passage, which is perhaps why one of Lynch’s main goals in The Return seems to have been to utterly eviscerate all our residual attachment to it.

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While Lynch may have kicked off The Return with dream pop artists in the vein of Julee Cruise, then, the Bang Bang Bar has gradually accrued a more brutalist atmosphere over the last few episodes, and that culminates with this corrosive and damaging set from Trent Reznor and his band. Over the last decade, Reznor has become equally renowned as a soundtrack artist, with his dark ambience working particularly well alongside directors like David Fincher who have been keen to allegorise the emergence of digital cinematography, and the emergent atmosphere of digital cinematography. What makes his performance of “She’s Gone Away” so powerful here, however, is the way in which it splits the difference between his Nine Inch Nails work and his soundtrack work – or between early and late Nine Inch Nails, depending upon how you look at it – fusing industrial and dark ambient cues into a propulsive force that seems to take us to the very epicentre of The Return. After all, Lynch apparently first got into Nine Inch Nails during the production of Lost Highway – the midpoint between these two poles in Reznor’s career – and that’s evident in the way he directs the band here, alternatively subsuming them into the atmosphere of the Bang Bang Bar and celebrating their steadfast and abrasive refusal to be subsumed or repressed into anything resembling conventional cinematic atmosphere.

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Among other things, that makes you realise how brilliantly Lynch could direct a concert film if he chose, since the only part of his body of work that really comes close to this extraordinary vision is Industrial Symphony No. 1, which feels like a precursor to many of the visions on display here. In that sense, the third season – and this episode in particular – is as much an evolution of Lynch’s recent album work as his filmography – it’s no coincidence that he is credited as the sole sound designer – with many of the motifs and sounds recalling those to be found on both Crazy Clown Time and The Big Dream, both of which now feel like pre-emptive soundtracks to the third season. In particular, I find myself going back again and again to “Are You Sure?,” the beautiful final track on The Big Dream, and one of the most gorgeous pieces of music Lynch has ever composed. When I first heard this back in 2013 it sounded to me a bit like Twin Peaks viewed from the detachment of Lynch’s newfound interest in transcendental meditation and yet – as the title might suggest – with just the slightest reservation and even regret about that critical distance as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was during the composition of this song that Lynch decided that The Return was necessary, since its plaintive, haunted echoes of his collaborations with Angelo Badalamenti and Julee Cruise are the closest approximation I’ve heard to the plangent, muted, muffled soundtrack that has accompanied this third season.

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For all those reasons, it feels as if we are somehow coming closer to the heart of Twin Peaks as Nine Inch Nails churn up the ambience, and that whatever revision Lynch is performing centres in some crucial way on the Bang Bang Bar. Sure enough, when the song ends, we abruptly cut to Evil Cooper, who wakes up, apparently rejuvenated in some way by the ghostly figures who have been tearing up his insides, as well as by the performance taking place all the way back in Washington State. It’s an incredible convergence and yet, from this point onwards, “Gotta light?” starts to take an even more avant-garde and experimental turn. In one of the most magnificent transitions of his career, Lynch takes us from t Evil Cooper to a long shot of White Sands, in 1945, at 5:29 AM (the credits occur sequentially), for a long, slow pan into the detonation of the first atomic bomb, followed by a series of abstract sequences that recall both the conclusion to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the creation interlude in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Before the episode even tries to situate these two extraordinary sequences, we are confronted with their visceral visual impact, which lasts for about seven minutes from start to finish. As pontificating as it might sound to say it, this commences what has to be the most experimental imagery that I have ever seen on television, and so it’s worth trying to evoke and describe the impact of these images before moving on to the subsequent sequence, which provides – some – hint at what they might possibly or provisionally mean.

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The opening shot of the bomb is stranger than might first sound, and not simply because of its incongruity at this particular point in the episode. In particular, the juxtaposition of the explosive outwards movement of the bomb and the steady inwards pan of the camera creates a dreamlike sense of motion that encapsulates everything uncanny about the pace of the third season so far. In essence, it’s a bit like seeing an atomic bomb from the perspective of a drone camera, which would be strange enough in itself, were it not also clear from the outset that this is an entirely digital recreation. Yet the thing about drone cameras – so critical to this third season – is that their seamless, disembodied movement already seems to digitise and derealise what is unfolding beneath them. Adopting a drone aesthetic in an already digitised composition is therefore a bit of an oddity, which you might compare to adding an additional layer of unreality to an already unreal spectacle, except that unreality isn’t exactly the hallmark of digital cinematography, even when it is trafficking in CGI as explicitly as it is here. Instead, digital images subsist on an intensified reality, or hyper-reality, perpetually situating themselves in an uncanny valley that is almost too real – unbearably or untenably real – in comparison with the “real” world they ostensibly depict. For Lynch to “drone-ify” a digitally composited spectacle is therefore to intensify an already intensified reality, evoking one of the most pervasive formal questions of The Return – how to intensify reality in an era in which digital media has already done so much to intensify it – with Lynch here falling back upon black and white cinematography as a possible solution.

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At a general level, the movement towards black and white makes sense, since the opening scene was so noirish that is already felt as if all but the starkest hues had been evacuated from Lynch’s mise-en-scene. Formally, however, black and white digital cinematography tends to be capable of achieving an even greater verisimilitude of texture, surface and nuance than colour digital cinematography – or to at least render that verisimilitude more apparent to the naked eye – even as the lack of a realistic colour palette leaves no doubt as to the digital composition of the image either. As a result, black and white digital cinematography both seems to be filtered through a more rigorous reality criterion than anything we can appreciate with the unaided eye, but to also remove even the most residual notion that we are still in the realm of anything resembling a conventional cinematic filter or transparently cinematic mode of mediation. Given that black and white images are themselves typically used as a cipher for nostalgic cinematic “authenticity,” then, there’s something profoundly uncanny about Lynch’s approach here. Not only do his perfectly composited black and white tableaux present the “cinematic” itself as a digital effect, but as an effect that was somehow digital all along. Far from digital cinema detracting from the realism of analog cinema, then, “Gotta light?” charts an odd timeline whereby digital media has simply continued cinema’s progression towards a horizon of realism that exceeds human agency, which is perhaps why the bomb exploding here seems to be so indifferent and independent of the digital camera that initially seems to call it into existence.

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As we move closer to the mushroom cloud – so redolent of the “evolution of the arm” – the bomb collapses into a series of perfectly rendered textures and surfaces, giving way to several minutes of pure abstraction that recall some of Lynch’s strangest and most marginal works, along with the static-laden moments in Fire Walk With Me during which the Black Lodge emerged as an aberration or distortion of the first two seasons. Like the Nine Inch Nails sequence – as abstract, in its own way – this plays first and foremost as a kind of palette cleansing, a moment of representative freefall as Lynch continues his ceaseless search for images that will prove as surreal and unexpected here as Cooper’s first dream of the Black Lodge proved to be in the original series. After all, the Black Lodge iconography has almost become a pastiche of itself – not only is it front and centre in the opening credits but it has inspired virtually every Instgram and Pinterest-worthy Twin Peaks tribute that has gathered around this new season, much of which has been celebrated and curated by Kyle MacLachlan himself on his Twitter account. Only the austerity of the Black Lodge of The Return – and Lynch’s insistence on inhabiting and elaborating it for extended periods, rather than treating it as a fringe flourish – has prevented the third season from succumbing to that pastiche as well, producing an odd and growing disconnect between The Return and all the fan art it has already generated, as well as between MacLachlan’s deliberately distantiating performances of Evil Cooper and Dougie, and the warm, Cooperesque register of his Twitter sensibility and engagement with online fans.

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Yet this abstract segment isn’t just about providing a palette cleanser, but the nature of the footage itself. Insofar as it “resembles” anything, this concatenation of light, colour and static takes us right inside the heart of the atomic explosion, reiterated and replicated here in ways that feel both molecular and cosmic, like so much of this third season. Convulsively beautiful, and accompanied by the jagged notes of Krzysztof Penderlecki’s “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima,” some of the images look digitally generated, while some of them appear to stem from old fashioned film stock that is in the process of being warped, degraded and melted by the application of extreme heat, pressure and radioactive intensity. As these two registers fuse and coalesce, it feels as if Lynch is trying to find a way to corrode digital film “stock” in the same way that Fire Walk With Me once used digital aberration to corrode analog film stock, drawing upon the mortality of analog film stock as a way of reaching for something beyond the digital that will permit him to render his own digital cinematography as compromised, mortal and self-immolating as that of the original series in turn.

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The first shot after this abstract sequence functions as a kind of thought experiment in how this self-effacing digiscape might look, as we cut to a convenience store populated by the same shadowy figures we last saw poring over Evil Cooper’s body. By this stage, it feels as if Lynch is operating completely independently of Frost (whose hand was clearly visible in the previous episode), as we’re treated to a spectacle that’s closer to one of the vignettes from INLAND EMPIRE than anything recognisably related to a primetime television series. Not surprisingly, then, it’s quite hard to tell what’s happening in this extended shot – the figures gather, disperse, a fire seems to be lit, then go out – partly because Lynch opts for a stuttered, staccato time lapse that is a bit like watching the irregular strobe lighting of the Black Lodge translated directly into internal montage, making for a series of images that are clearly digitally augmented but that can’t – or won’t – conform to the streamlined striations of digital cinematography. If anything, this single shot makes you realise how streamlined digital glitch has itself become over the last decade, as Lynch presents us with a schism that is so abrasive and distressing to watch after the first couple of seconds that it feels as if it might scratch or burn its way into the laptop screen or flatscreen television if permitted to go on for too long.

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Of course, as Twin Peaks fans will know, the reference to “convenience store” makes it clear that we are being shown something about the origins of MIKE, the origins of the other entities that emerged from the Black Lodge, and possibly something about the origin of the Black Lodge itself. It makes sense, then, that Lynch now moves into what amounts to a two-part account of the origin of both BOB and Laura Palmer, providing some of the answers – or possible answers – that devotees of the series have been awaiting over the last quarter century. The first of these takes place in what appears to be the White Lodge, a space that we never saw in the original series, but which is apparently where Cooper was taken on the way back to the real world in “Call for help.” This time around, however, we see much more of the White Lodge, thanks to a beautiful tracking-shot – if can you even call it a tracking-shot in a digitally generated world – that takes us across a vast purple ocean to finally arrive at a towering island topped by a quasi-modernist edifice. From there, the shot takes us through a window and inside, where we find ourselves in a more elaborate and placid version of the space that we saw in the third episode, now expanded out to an uncanny mid-century lounge bar occupied by the Giant and another, unknown woman, who both recline and promenade in languorous poses as early twentieth century music plays on the gramophone that we first saw in the opening scene of this third season.

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If there were a music video released for the experimental sound collages of The Caretaker (or any of Leyland Kirby’s other musical projects), it would probably resemble this space, which particularly recalls An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, the 2011 album in which Kirby curated and compiled a series of pre-war parlour room recordings. Unlike musical hauntologists such as William Basinski, to whom he is often compared, Kirby’s innovation doesn’t lie in overt digital disruption, distortion or degradation, but in the sheer fact of digital dissemination, as the old 78s on Empty Bliss take on a strange new life via the very process of being stored, assembled and distributed by way of digital technology. A similar thing occurs here, as Lynch outlines a space that – with the exception of a few surreal fixtures – wouldn’t be out of place in a classical Hollywood film, were it not for the crystalline black-and-white cinematography, too digital in its precision to leave even the most residual illusion of a traditionally cinematic address. Here, as throughout the third season, Lynch prioritises textures and surfaces that split the difference between realism and digital composition, especially the ashen floors, so different to the sharply etched diagonal lines of the Black Lodge, whose smoky surfaces could easily be “in” the scene but could just as easily be a post-production flourish, leaving the Giant and the woman to float above them, in a strange, notional space that is not quite physical and yet not quite virtual either.

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At the same time, the White Lodge draws upon the hauntological trend in open-world gaming, with the initial tracking shot directly quoting the opening “shot” of Bioshock, both in its vision of a vast tower emerging across the waves, as well as in its whole remediation and accommodation of the very idea of a tracking-shot to this entirely digital environment. More generally, this whole sequence draws upon the steampunk edge of gaming – the fixation with lost futures – more successfully than any series I have ever seen, in an utter riposte to early claims that television might have somehow “caught up” with Lynch, or that Twin Peaks might somehow find itself dated by its “quality” descendants. We’re not even halfway through the third season, and yet it already seems absurd to think that shows like Broadchurch, Wayward Pines or Stranger Things might ever have been placed in the same category as The Return, which, if anything, suggests just how anti-experimental some of the most lauded eccentric television of the last decade has turned out to be. As incredible as it might sound, this third season is already as experimental now as Twin Peaks was in its original run – probably more so – and with this episode Lynch takes things to a completely new level, almost seeming to envisage some new experimental medium in the process.

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Key to that process is the evolution of this particular scene, with the action now moving to a space further within the White Lodge – it looks a bit like an old ballroom – where the Giant watches the footage of the bomb and subsequent abstractions that we have just seen, before starting to float up into the air. From there, the woman enters, calling up an image of Laura Palmer’s face onto a golden globe, which she then collapses back into the screen in turn, with the help of a mechanical, steampunky device hanging from the ceiling, as golden sparks start to emit from the Giant’s face. Obviously, it’s a bit of a mug’s game to try to comprehensively “explain” such an elliptical sequence, as staggering in its beauty and surreal mastery as the concluding sequence of Mulholland Drive, or Jimmy Scott’s rendition of “Sycamore Trees” in “Beyond Life and Death.” Nevertheless, a couple of big points seem at least plausible: that BOB (and all the other entities) were brought into the world with the detonation of the atomic bomb, that Laura was envisaged by the White Lodge as a corrective to BOB decades before her birth, and that the conflict between Laura and BOB (and between Laura and Leland) is still the propulsive force behind the series, even if all three of those characters appear to have been relegated to the Black Lodge indefinitely.

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In a season that has already been so suffused with secrets and surprises, those revelations are tantamount to a twist. Indeed, while the sheer fact of getting anything resembling an explanation is a kind of twist in itself, the specific conclusions to be drawn here are quite fascinating, even if it’s only possible to be conjectural at this early stage. For one thing, it’s interesting to discover that BOB may have emerged out of this act of cosmic degradation of the American landscape and, by extension, the original inhabitants of that landscape. As I mentioned in a previous review, there’s been more and more attention drawn to the depiction of American Indians in Twin Peaks – including a brilliant article by Geoff Bil – and I’ve found myself wondering whether this myth of origins will form part of the way in which The Return will come to terms with that legacy. On another front, it’s amazing to discover that Laura Palmer was always predestined to fight BOB, or to be a corrective to BOB. Not only does this expand the ramifications of the series out even further – and contextualise the strange time-lapses and wormholes of Fire Walk With Me – but it’s yet another indication that Lynch doesn’t intend to treat Laura as mere collateral damage in Leland’s agon with BOB, as occurred towards the end of the second season, and that The Return is more concerned than ever to mediate Twin Peaks through her lingering absence from it.

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Above and beyond these plot points, however, there’s something extraordinary – and uncanny – about watching the Giant and the woman replicate our own viewing experience from the distance of the White Lodge, as the bomb and all its abstractions dance before them. Whether the imagery is being passively relayed to them or produced as it is projected is unclear, but in either case it seems as if the White Lodge has become a provisional space from which Lynch can distort and degrade his digital apparatus in much the same way that that digital apparatus originally formed the point from which to distort and degrade the analog insularity of the original series in Fire Walk With Me. In that sense, the White Lodge isn’t exactly an analog space, nor a digital space, but a space that seems to defy being dated in the way that the analog spaces of the original series have become dated, if only because it already contains the seed of its own imminent remediation, although what that medium is remains to be outlined by the series itself. In that sense, The Return doesn’t merely feel like a new season, or a new series, but a way of gesturing towards a new medium, as we watch the images we have just seen on our laptops or televisions projected onto the cinematic screen at the heart of the White Lodge, only to remove us even further from our most residual notions of cinematic reality.

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It makes sense, then, that the final part of “Gotta light” takes place in a world that seems both closer to and more ineffably remote from our own, in the form of a second sequence set in White Sands, but this time in 1956, ten years after the detonation of the bomb. Three major incidents anchor this episode, the first of which involves an egg hatching in the desert to reveal a creature that appears to be half frog, half beetle. It’s one of the most grotesque, visceral images in the series so far, partly because of the sheer awkwardness of its movements – part hopping, part flying – which seem to defy even the most elegant CGI to capture its lumbering gait, in what often feels like an objective correlative for the cumbersome and clunky compromise between analog and digital registers that makes this episode so resonant as a whole. Following this creature, the ghostly figures that we saw reviving Evil Cooper (and clustering around the convenience store) start to emerge from the desert, skulking into the nearest town, where their ringleader makes his way from person to person, asking them “Gotta light?” before reciting a cryptic passage and slowly crushing their skulls with his hand. Finally, amidst all this surrealism, we’re presented with a young girl who takes a romantic walk with her beau through the town at night before she goes home and gets into bed, only for the frog-beetle to climb through her window and crawl into her sleeping mouth, bringing all its awkward and ungainly momentum to bear upon working its way around her lips and down her throat.

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As might be expected, this final sequence has already spurred a fair number of theories, with some of the most compelling commentators observing that the frog-beetle is likely some representative of BOB, and that the young girl may be Sarah Palmer. For now, however, I’d like to conclude by focusing on the unique atmosphere of this incredible final sequence, which plays like an episode of The Twilight Zone distorted and deflected through the uncanny atmospherics of The Return as a whole. If the original two seasons of Twin Peaks were preoccupied with how the 1950s resided, uncannily, in the address of the analog camera, then here it feels as if Lynch is considering how that decade might still reside in the address of the digital camera. In other words, the 50s are still Lynch’s point of reference and dark fantasia of choice, but that fantasia has itself been remediated, as if the lingering afterlife of the decade had taken on a new iteration – or revealed its presence and prescience in a new way – some twenty-five years after Twin Peaks first aired. As we move through a series of 50s motifs – diner, disc jockey, jukeboxes, going steady – the effect is of seeing an episode of The Twilight Zone that has been left to decay and ramify in the decades since it first aired, generating waves of feedback that denature everything in their path, not unlike the flashes of static that flare out across the town when the disc jockey is killed by the ghostly ringleader, causing everyone tuned into the radio to fall to the ground in a sudden faint.

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Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if all art were consigned to the year it was produced and, conversely, how it might feel to encounter a text from a particular era after not having experienced it (and after nobody having experienced it) since that era. In some ways, that’s what this final sequence of “Gotta light” does, giving us a taste of how it might feel to see an episode of The Twilight Zone that hadn’t itself been viewed since the 50s – or, alternatively, how it might feel to watch an episode of The Twilight Zone if the series itself had been consigned to the 50s and never brought to light again until the present day. I imagine that the episode in question would be almost obscured by all the historical accretions and accumulations that had interposed between that decade and the present day. Certainly, it’s those coatings and reverberations that Lynch focuses upon here, which is perhaps why the 50s feel both more immediate and more obscured in this short concluding sequence than in the entire original series, shedding some momentary light on some of the deepest mysteries of Twin Peaks while just rendering it, and Laura Palmer, even more suffused with secrets than before.

About Billy Stevenson (246 Articles)
Massive NRL fan, passionate Wests Tigers supporter with a soft spot for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and a big follower of US sports as well.

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