Farewell, Dale Cooper?

I’m just not ready for the experience that has been Twin Peaks: The Return to end. Admittedly, I had to be led like any horse to the water that is Twin Peaks, and boy did I resist at first. The quirkiness of the original seasons really grew on me, though at times I felt like the narrative just plugged along. The newest series is finishing up tonight, and it has been a masterpiece of cinema. Where the original had the Laura Palmer case driving the narrative (I didn’t really like it after that), this has kept us in suspense week after week, following each character’s arc. David Lynch deserves his reputation. It’s not uncommon to laugh, get a sinking feeling in your stomach, and feel physically uncomfortable about what’s happening on screen, all in the same episode. “This is the water, and this is the well…”

I thought I would grow tired of Dougie Jones, but his adorable automaton with a glimmer of hope behind the eyes really became a highlight of each episode. Kyle MacLachlan’s portrayal of real Dougie, Dougie Coop, and Mr. C have been incredible. Every flinch, every gesture. I’ve spent 90% of the series waiting for the return of Agent Coop, and like any good showman (or partner), Lynch really made us wait. And wait. And wait. And then BANG: payoff! But we’ll miss Dougie.

This particular run is noteworthy because the second season ended 26 years ago with a cliffhanger, saying “I’ll see you in 25 years.” Holy crap, what a follow up. But the actors have aged, the showrunners have aged. It’s a dynamic we don’t see often, basically just due to biology: a show went on hiatus for a quarter century and came back with an incredible next chapter. You only get so many attempts at that feat.

I expect tonight will be a Lynch and Frost masterpiece unto itself. Or it might not be. Lord only knows.