[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for “Twin Peaks: The Return” up until the finale.]
With only two hours left in “Twin Peaks,” there are still a lot of questions to be answered. Of course, anyone who’s seen all 16 hours of “The Return” knows it’s a fool’s errand to expect explicit clarification on everything. Some events are random. Some illustrate a tonal shift. Some are purposefully ambiguous.
But there are a few pertinent tidbits which could benefit from further exploration. Below, IndieWire has collected a batch of questions we wouldn’t mind having David Lynch and Mark Frost address — via their expressionist ideals — in what everyone expects to be a damn good finale.
Why is Laura “the one”?
In one message for Hawk (Michael Horse), the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) said, “Watch and listen to the dream of time and space. It all comes out now, flowing like a river. That which is and is not. Hawk, Laura is the one.”
“That which is and is not” could refer to the tulpas or doubles that have been populating the season and than “die” in the Black Lodge, leaving a gold “seed” behind in their place.
The mystery of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) has been ongoing for over 25 years now and ranges far beyond her troubled teen years and violent death. In the brilliant “Part 8,” the Fireman and Senorita Dido (Joy Nash) release a gold orb with Laura’s face in it to Earth following the 1945 nuclear tests in Trinity. While it’s still not super clear what being “the one” means, it seems that she has a purpose here to combat the evil that had arisen — BOB, his minions, and the Woodsmen — from the nuclear tests.
But if she’s dead, how can she be “the one”? Perhaps the Log Lady revealed another clue. When she was about to die, she had told Hawk, “You know about death, that it’s just a change, not an end.” Therefore, Laura Palmer might be around, in some other form, somewhere in Twin Peaks still, ready to fulfill her destiny. It’s a tantalizing possibility that David Lynch and Mark Frost would finally reveal why she was so central to the series.
“Where” wasn’t the main question surrounding Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) until the very end of “Part 16.” A late arrival to “The Return,” Audrey’s biggest mystery centered around questions like, “Um, what happened to you?” “Who’s Billy?” “Why are you cheating on your husband?” and “Is that Clark Middleton, star of Hulu’s great drama, ‘The Path’“? (No? Just me on that last one? Fine.)
But when “Audrey’s Dance” is interrupted by a brawl, she looks to her husband and begs, “Get me out of here.” In an instant, everything changes: She’s in a white room, staring into a mirror. Her makeup is gone and her dress has been replaced with what looks like a white t-shirt. An electric rumbling can be heard, but then it cuts to black and “Audrey’s Dance” starts playing again — only this time, it’s backwards.
The backwards music is symbolic of The Lodge, meaning it’s likely Audrey is trapped there. That or — get this — The Roadhouse could be part of The Lodge or an extension of it, a la the gas station where Cooper met with the disembodied spirit of Phillip Jeffries. Still, who put her there and for what purpose remains a mystery. Considering Mr. C fathered a child with her, it seems likely he was involved, but why he’d lock her up and make her play out this strange marriage with Charlie is unknown.
Audrey is an important figure in “Twin Peaks,” so it’s reasonable to expect a significant resolution to her story. She may have shown up late in “The Return,” but there’s no way she’s a minor part of it.
Who is Linda?
In one of the very first scenes in “Part 1,” the Fireman (Carel Struycken) is sitting in the black-and-white music room with Cooper (Kyle MachLachlan) and tells him, “Remember 430. Richard and Linda. Two birds with one stone.” The identity of Linda has been mostly a mystery. In Part 6, Mickey (Jeremy Lindholm) from the Fat Trout Trailer Park had mentioned that his wife Linda, whom we’ve yet to meet, just got a new wheelchair from the government after waiting for six months.
In “Part 16,” Evil Cooper had confirmed that Richard (Eamon Farren) was his offspring with Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) when he took Richard with him to a set of coordinates. Telling the young man to check out a big rock in the distance, Mr. C watched as Richard climbed on top of it and was killed with electricity. “Goodbye, my son,” was the only acknowledgement of their bond. Cold, Mr. C.
One ongoing theory is that Linda is Richard’s twin sister, which could explain the two birds with one stone, meaning Mr. C’s sperm. The only problem with this is that fraternal twins are created with two eggs and two sperm. Not sure if biology really matters here though.
Or the “stone” could refer to the big rock that Richard was standing on where he was killed, and that would make sense to be able to kill another person there. Just send them coordinates. Why Linda, a person in a wheelchair we haven’t met yet, would have to die is still a mystery that will hopefully be resolved.
Who is Judy?
Judy is a mysterious offscreen character that has been talked about since “Fire Walk With Me,” and she’s been referenced by Philip Jeffries (David Bowie) the most. A monkey also says her name in the film, which is such a nice Lynchian touch. When Evil Cooper goes to see the teapot version of Jeffries in “Part 15,” he’s told that he’s already met Judy and is then given coordinates that appear to lead to Twin Peaks.
At this point, it’s anybody’s best guess as to Judy’s identity since she’s only been spoken about without any helpful specifics. If Judy is in Twin Peaks, she could be Naido, an idea that’s also mentioned in another theory. Since the monkey in “Fire Walk With Me” says “Judy” right before the film cuts to a close-up of dead Laura Palmer, there’s definitely a link. Judy could be Laura transformed (see above) or perhaps a tulpa of Laura. Or maybe she’s a Black Lodge spirit. Really, we don’t know, but we wanted to talk about Judy since Philip didn’t want to.
What’s up with Naido?
The mysterious Japanese woman (Nae Yuuki) with flesh-covered eye sockets first appeared in the Purple Room with Cooper and then was later found naked in the forest at Jack Rabbit’s Palace by the Bookhouse Boys. She’s currently locked up in a cell in the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Office for her own safety, which has inspired an intriguing theory linked to Diane, which you can check out on the next page.
At this point the door is open for almost any sort of interpretation for Naido. She could be the mysterious Judy that Jeffries didn’t want to talk about but that Mr. C has apparently already met. Since her speech is garbled, there’s no way of knowing what she’s saying. Or, with her vaguely Japanese name that doesn’t have an exact translation, Naido could represent a victim of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki nuclear bombs, which would link her to the Trinity testing in New Mexico.
What the F is up with Sarah Palmer?!
Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) has been popping up sporadically throughout “The Return.” First, she’s shown drinking, smoking, and watching violent TV shows about animals and boxing. That was all the way back in “Part 2,” and by “Part 13” she has a breakdown shopping for groceries, claiming men were coming and later, at her house, that a disturbance reported to Hawk was a “goddamn bad story.”
Was this peculiar? Yes. Alarming? Maybe a little, but not compared to her last appearance. Sitting at a bar, alone, Sarah is verbally accosted by a pushy patron. When he won’t let her be, she — obviously – pulls off her face and bites his neck off. As he bleeds out on the floor, she screams and claims he just fell over.
We haven’t seen Sarah since, but it’s safe to say we haven’t forgotten her either. Removing her face was reminiscent of Laura’s action in “Part 2,” except Sarah’s daughter unveiled a bright light while Sarah’s mask was guarding a black void. Some are speculating this means she’s the “Mother” figure, who appeared in “Part 3” inside the “switching station” with Naido. Mother is also presumed to be the evil black void that emerged from the glass cube and tore apart the two lovers in the premiere.
Is Sarah Palmer harboring an ancient evil? Is it in control of her? Is it more powerful than Mr. C, or one of his creations? This question feels like one that almost has to be addressed.