The Twin Peaks messageboards are alight with ideas, here are the wildest.
There are those commentators out there who are growing tired of the incessant fan theories swirling around Twin Peaks: The Return. They argue that the show is supposed to be impenetrable, that any search for answers will ultimately be fruitless and that we should simply let the new season flow over us and bask in its fundamental incomprehensibility.
At these people we bellow a hearty cry of “but Laura Palmer is an angel!” There’s nothing more fun than chucking random theories at the wall of David Lynch’s new head-scratcher, believing you – and you alone - have cracked his most complex televisual puzzle box ever, then having to rethink it completely when the golden shovels start coming alive and killing people in episode seven (or something). For those noble cultists among us who feel that Twin Peaks is more about the act of dissecting the clues rather than the narrative ever making any sense, here are some of the most out-there theories on the new season yet.
The glass box is a massive TV
At the more sober end of the latest theories, Emily L Stephens at AV Club posits the concept that the huge glass box that Sam is tasked with watching is a metaphor for our own blank and brainless viewing habits. “The ostentatious presence of the cameras in this desolate room,” she writes, “and the young couple’s (initially) patient, vacant stares at them are obviously a remark upon the creation and the consumption of television and film.” Does that mean our TV wants to kill us for having sex?
It’s all about a search for the original series
Taking the comment-on-culture concept several steps further, Vulture’s Jeff Wilser is of the opinion that the entire show is purposefully dislocated from the original run in order to stir up desire for something more traditionally Twin Peaks. “The theory involves us, the viewers,” he claims, “it pivots on our reaction to the show. While the critics have tepidly gushed, a more common reaction seems to be, Okay, this is … “interesting” … but where’s the Twin Peaks I know and love? Where are the donuts, cherry pie, and a damn fine cup of coffee? That’s the crucial question: Where’s Twin Peaks? Showtime would never use it as a tagline, but in some ways the question of “Where’s Twin Peaks?” has replaced the original question of “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” My premise: Lynch is fully aware of our hunger for the show’s original charm, and he is leveraging our appetite as the season’s dramatic engine. And over the course of 18 hours he will gradually, bit by bit, sprinkle in the whimsy and the magic.”
Dougie Coop is a dream
Onto the fan forums, where some rather more outlandish ideas run free. Several fans are convinced that the entire storyline involving Dougie is one big dream sequence disconnected from the real-world events. “No one notices his odd behaviors,” says Audrey Horne on welcometotwinpeaks.com, “not even his wife, and she admitted last episode that these have been going on for some time. Yet somehow Dougie is able to having a stable career, family, etc. Ever since they showed Dougie Coop I always thought that he must've been trapped in a world like The Truman Show. Too good to be true for real. Thus, I think the real Cooper has been in a comatose stage ever since the events of S2 finale and MIKE's calling him to "wake up...Don't die" (like speaking to a comatose patient) seems to reinforce this as well.”
Janey-E is an inhuman ‘plant’
Many theory-chasers have focused on Naomi Watts’ erratic performance as Dougie’s wife as a sign that she’s not all she seems. “She is a ‘plant’ or an employee/handler of sorts,” suggests Brandy Fisher online. “I hate to refer to another show, but if anyone has ever seen Orphan Black, all the clones had watchers, placed in their lives to, well, watch them. There was a point when Dougie and Janey were sitting at the table and Naomi Watts acting suddenly went to a weird level. It got strangely dramatic and seemed like she was overacting. It was really odd… Additionally, she didn't seem all that upset that her husband had been with a prostitute or that loan sharks are calling the house. She played dutifully upset, but this was also part of that strange performance. Then she's just kind of over it and kisses him on the head and cleans up the dishes. It's like Janey-E was putting on a show.”
Twin Peaks is Blue Velvet’s doppleganger
At the far end of plausibility, Stwallskull makes the argument that Twin Peaks: The Return is essentially a doppleganger of Lynch’s previous film Blue Velvet. “They seem to be playing with the idea of twins in the casting of the new show,” he writes on welcometotwinpeaks.com. “Jim Belushi is largely famous as being the brother of John Belushi. I never watched Wild Palms, but it was always noted as being heavily influenced by Twin Peaks... like a doppleganger of the show. Now Jim Belushi and Ernie Hudson have shown up on Twin Peaks, both of whom were apparently on that show… I'm really starting to buy into the idea that many of Lynch's movies have taken place in the same world (or dream world) as Twin Peaks. With the brilliant new episodes, I'm starting to see Twin Peaks more as a part of a larger artwork that likely includes Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire and Eraserhead. Could Dale Cooper and Diane Evans literally be Jeffrey Beaumont and Sandy Williams from Blue Velvet?” Mind. Blown.
For more Twin Peaks: The Return theories, check out our earlier blog.