Twin Peaks Finale Recap: “The Return Parts 17 And 18”


Twin Peaks caps off its run with a finale that one will find either infuriating or brilliant. In true-to-form David Lynch, “The Return Parts 17 And 18,” end without answering a lot of questions the series posed but closes the door on the Evil Cooper chapter of this story.

Like the majority of this revival, the finale doesn’t spend a lot of time focusing on a solution but showing how the series could continue on without spending time on the original lore or the show. While both Lynch and Showtime have been coy with whether Twin Peaks will continue, this finale felt more like a setup for future seasons to come rather than an ending to the revival.

Like many television shows nowadays, Twin Peaks wraps up its story in the first hour which allows the second to focus on the fallout as well as a new story. “The Return Parts 17 And 18,” sees the final battle culminate within the Sheriff’s Station early on and subverting the initial idea that Lynch was going to wrap up the revival with any kind of conventional story telling. In the first half of the finale, Evil Cooper finally makes his way back to the small town in Washington much to the excitement of his former friends.

Dana Ashbrook, Miguel Ferrer, David Lynch, Chrysta Bell, Robert Knepper, Jim Belushi, Kimmy Robertson and Harry Goaz in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Andy and Lucy are more than happy to welcome him back with open arms that they choose to ignore the weird circumstance surrounding his return. However, Andy at least seems a little suspicious once he refuses a cup of coffee, but nevertheless, he heads down to the jail in search of Hawk. While the deputy gets downstairs in the nick of time to stop Chad, with the assistance of Freddie, Lucy is the one who gets to save the day. Answering a phone call from the real Agent Cooper, she busts into Sheriff Truman’s office at just the right time to prevent the evil doppelgänger from claiming more lives.

Gordon Cole, Albert, and Tammy also make their way back to the town once they realize that Dougie Jones has been their lost friend all along. “The Return Parts 17 And 18,” finally sees the old friends reunite back in the town which started it, just before the demonic vagabonds descend on the place. With the cell occupants (James, Freddie, Naido, and drunk man), the police, Agent Cooper, the Mitchum Brothers, and the FBI all in the room, they get to witness the attempts to heal BOB.

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  • However, this is the catalyst for Freddie to finally embrace his destiny with his super-powered gardening glove once he defeats a literal ball of evil by blasting it into pieces. And just like that, the BOB chapter of Twin Peaks is closed and Agent Cooper manages to get Diane back before once again saying goodbye to his friends.

    Just like that, “The Return Parts 17 And 18,” bring Cooper on a new journey for the remaining hour. He travels with Diane to a motel where the two have an elongated sex scene which ultimately culminates with her leaving before he wakes up. However, they’re no longer Cooper or Diane but instead called Richard and Linda.

    In this parallel universe, “Richard,” goes to a nearby diner to get some coffee and inquire about the whereabouts of the other waitress. Interrupted by a group of misogynistic cowboys who are harassing the young lady, he easily subdues them and gets the coordinates to the other waitress’ location. Hitting the road, he gets to her house when none other than Laura Palmer answers the door! Confused? It turns out this woman isn’t actually Laura but instead someone named Carrie Page who has gotten herself into a bit of trouble.

    Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern and David Lynch in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

    With black and white flashbacks of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Cooper now invades those scenes with the intent of saving Laura, which he seems to successfully do. Leading her out of the woods, it seems like he manages to save her life before she ever has to meet up with Leland or Leo. It seems from that point onwards, he is now living in an alternate reality where Laura never died or even existed, and now he’s become an FBI Agent named Richard. Agreeing to road trip with him back to Twin Peaks, Carrie gets in the car with Cooper who hopes to jog her memory. Driving through the town, she claims nothing looks familiar, not even the house she once grew up in.

    Seen earlier in the “The Return Parts 17 And 18” having a breakdown while she smashes Laura’s photo, Sarah Palmer seems to have moved out of town. Upon knocking on the door, Cooper and Carrie meet someone named Alice Tremond, who bought the house from someone named Mrs. Tremond. It’s an important detail considering the mysterious women from the original movie.

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    Suddenly unsure of himself, Cooper asks Carrie what year it is while he wonders what has happened. While many theories circulating think that he has either traveled farther into the future or the past have gained traction, their stop at a modern day Valero gas station make it more likely that this is an alternate reality. With Gordon introducing a new evil entity named, Judy, in the first half of “The Return Parts 17 And 18,” it’s possible this could be her doing in order to keep him isolated from his team once again.

    However, before Carrie can answer his question she is all of sudden haunted by the sound of someone calling “Laura,” before Sheryl Lee emits her heart-stopping scream which turns out all the lights in the Palmer house.

    There will be many conflicting viewpoints from fans regarding, “The Return Parts 17 And 18,” especially if this is truly the series finale for the show. While one can always admire David Lynch for his unconventional story-telling, it feels disappointing to see the lack of resolution involving a lot of the loose plot lines.

    Next: Twin Peaks Recap: “The Return Part 16”

    The original series drove people crazy due to the massive cliffhanger that the show ended with, and once again it does the same here. Fans of Lynch’s work know that he isn’t a fan of offering up simple endings, but with a series finale, it would have been nice for him to check in with the beloved characters rather than letting viewers wonder for the next twenty-five years what has happened to them.