With only five more episodes left for “Twin Peaks,” viewers are starting to prepare themselves for the end, which could be their final visit to that quirky, bloody world. In a recent press day for Showtime, network president and CEO David Nevins said he would wait for the auteur himself to call about any sort of follow-ups, but it looked unlikely.
While saying goodbye to the beloved series will be bittersweet, the experience could possibly be more painful if it ends on a cliffhanger. Season 2’s open-ended “How’s Annie?” conclusion alternately confounded, angered or delighted fans. With the “The Return,” many assumed that at long last answers from that suspenseful finale would come.
And they have, to a certain extent. The series has revealed what’s happened to favorite characters 25 years later, in particular leading man Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). But this does not mean that the show will wrap up every storyline or every mystery once the credits on Episode 18 roll.
Here’s a look at why viewers had better brace themselves for a cliffhanger ending:
1. David Lynch Does Not Provide Easy Answers
Mr. Lynch has never followed any of the expected rules of narrative storytelling. Since when has he tied up anything in a neat little bow? Both of the season finales for the original run of “Twin Peaks” left major storylines open-ended, and Lynch himself has said that he never even wanted to reveal who Laura Palmer’s murderer was in the first place, blaming that for the show losing its footing.
“What killed ‘Twin Peaks’ originally — ‘Who killed Laura Palmer?’ was a question that we never really wanted to answer,” he said at the Television Critics Association press tour in January. “That Laura Palmer mystery was the goose that laid the little golden eggs. We were told that we had to wrap that up. We never got going again after that.”
2. The Show Is Still Presenting New Mysteries
The past two episodes have brought Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) back, but her presence has actually prompted more questions: Who are these people she and her husband Charlie are talking about? Where is she? Are her scenes in a different realm? Is she still in a coma?
Also, when it comes to Becky (Amanda Seyfried), the daughter of Shelly (Madchen Amick), her story only started to get deeper. The foreshadowing of what’s to come is only now being felt. In fact, with so many storylines being serviced, the show has shown very little movement at all, but instead feels more poised to come to a climax.
3. Dougie Is Still Going Strong
“The Return” reached and then passed its halfway mark, but Agent Cooper is still in his Dougie state, with no amount of coffee or cherry pie appearing to have any magical reviving effect. This mental state is a good indicator of the story’s progression so far, and as of now, Dougie is still firmly in Las Vegas, with no signs of heading to Twin Peaks or anywhere near Evil Cooper for the showdown that viewers seem to crave.
4. The Show Is Due for More Avant-Garde Goodness
Episode 3 gave viewers a taste of Lynch’s genius, but Episode 8 delivered a full-blown smorgasbord of delicious visual and aural imagery. With only five episodes to go and the narrative climax on the horizon, David Lynch will not be contained. That would also mean, however, that the main linear story could go by the wayside though. The stellar Episode 8, while stimulating and illuminating, delved into the past and therefore did not advance the story forward.
5. Lynch Has Never Said the Show Will Reach a True Conclusion
Never in any interview has Lynch mentioned anything about closure or real answers. He’s only discussed “Twin Peaks” as a way to return to his favorite characters, and in an interview before the season started, he said that he still dreams of the characters “not every night, but quite often.”
Fans who are caught up in the plot of the show may be projecting their desires onto what the ending should be, which is still up in the air, and looking more and more uncertain with each passing week. This home stretch of episodes will still likely frustrate those viewers, but hopefully entertain as well. “Twin Peaks,” plot or not plot, has been an experience that can’t replicated.
“Twin Peaks” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Showtime.