I'm gonna get blasphemous here. I call shenanigans on the resolution to the new TWIN PEAKS. I love Lynch. I am used to Lynch. I am used to abstruse and like it. And if everything had been properly resolved I guess it wouldn't feel like Lynch so there's really no way to win. But do NOT respond to this with a "you just don't get Lynch"--oh yes I fucking do. He's a foundation stone of inspiration for my own work. Nor say "you must be used to Hollywood plotting"--I fucking hate Hollywood plotting. I avoid most mainstream product. I have watched Lynch since I was 12 and the Elephant Man came out. I'm in the cult, of the cult. But.
If every single character is a plot device, why did we even pretend there was a plot? Literally this is the case. Whether they were overtly "manufactured for a purpose," or like the Green Glove, whose whole personality was his backstory of why he ended up there with that glove, we are left with this idea that all of reality distorted itself just to protect Cooper in time for him to... What? To do what? To even fail to do what, and why? Except when he does movies, this is clearer. We don't have a bunch of dumb TV plot stuff thrown in(which was far worse in the old show) that starts necessitating resolution. And there is resolution. But it's mostly of a "done with this now" quality. It's "we're at 17 hours, it's time to kill BadCoop." A lot of the resolutions are so sudden and pat that they make you wonder why you cared about that story till then--and the thing is, you had. And I won't even go into how little I liked seeing the "go back in time and fix everything" trope show up for the umpteenth time on TV in the last few years, a concept I already got tired of when THE FLASH abused it to death. Then again, none of us like the world we're in; it makes sense we keep returning to that wish. But it has led to plots having no stakes and a feeling you never have to be invested in the end, that nothing really has to touch or change you. And this one most of all. Was I unsatisfied till now? NO. He had me engaged. And then it's like he throws away everything he engaged me with. What happened with Audrey for instance, was just cruel. I also think in the end that having Lynch himself as a main character was a detriment. Distracting. It's like watching someone else play a video game, including when they go away to the bathroom. And sometimes in those long pauses, the characters have been said to seem to hang unnaturally, like avatars, especially Chrysta Bell. Much of the plotting would make sense in a video game context. Levels, things to acquire and unlock, characters getting touched by something and generating evil doubles...the dim reflection of Cooper's face over everything in the 17th episode... Maybe...
If you have cherry pie, you acquire the gangsters, who will become good. If you touch the rock at these coordinates you will be fried. You have ruined your spike. I could name many more examples that sound like this. But it's just a thought, nothing firm. I feel like I did after INLAND EMPIRE, a feeling that Lynch was just coasting and fucking around. And then, later, more of a feeling of looking at something brilliant in scenes, but broken overall. Of course I want Lynch to do what Lynch does. And I want to like this. And perhaps over time I'll see something I'm not now. (Then again, I still don't like INLAND EMPIRE even after giving it more than ten tries) But right now, I see a lovely mess. And a lot of interesting things reduced to meaningless in the end. 16 hours I loved. And a final two hours I'm...admittedly still not sure about. This is a hot take.
So my question is, does Lynch subvert plot, or does he just mask a bunch of elements he can't make cohere with a veneer of ambiguity? I don't like writing this. I'm sure I'll change my mind as this settles and I watch a few more times. Except that would mean sitting through the Dougie plot again... ___________________
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson