‘Twin Peaks’ Season 3 Finale: The Curtain Call

It would also maybe explain why Cooper can’t fix everything by changing the past. We see a repeat of a few key scenes from the “Twin Peaks” pilot, altered so that Laura’s body is no longer “wrapped in plastic” by the lake. But despite these alterations, Laura’s old house still seems possessed by evil spirits, and her parallel universe life as Carrie Page isn’t much better than one she left behind. (In fact, when Cooper/Richard drops by Laura/Carrie’s apartment, there’s a freshly killed man on a chair in her living room.) “What year is it?” Cooper asks at the end, as if that’s going to make a difference — as if some miseries aren’t just threaded into the fabric of whatever universe he lands in.

There’s a lot more to deconstruct here, including multiple moments where characters seem to be waking up to the possibility that they’re actually fictional constructs. Cooper says goodbye to his FBI colleagues with a resolute, “See you at the curtain call,” like they’re all actors, preparing for their final scene. And at one point, he gets jarred out of his gung-ho persona for a second and a still shot of his stunned face remains faintly superimposed over the screen — as though Coop were standing back and watching himself play out a made-up TV story.

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All of this though raises a big question: Was this a satisfying way to end three months of television, with a sprinkling of metafiction and a hefty dollop of existential despair?


Kyle MacLachlan in “Twin Peaks: The Return.”


Personally, I loved it. There are plenty of moments in these last two episodes aimed at fans of the show: like Cooper calling the Twin Peaks police station to ask if the coffee’s on, or Lucy shooting Mr. C (then saying, adorably, “I understand cellular phones now!”), or the return of Julee Cruise to the roadhouse stage or the reprise/reimagining of scenes from the pilot and from “Fire Walk with Me.”

The best moments throughout “Twin Peaks: The Return” though could be enjoyed as pure televisual poetry, regardless of their larger…

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