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‘Twin Peaks’ Finale Made Women Far More Than Just Victims, but Soldiers in the Bigger Battle

Theories on how Judy, Laura Palmer, Diane, Audrey, Sarah Palmer and more fit into the fight of good vs. evil.

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

Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

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The Diane (Laura Dern) viewers first met who turned out to be a tulpa was only the first of many Dianes the show introduces. In the finale, it’s revealed that the blind Naido (Nae Yuuki) is actually Diane trapped in that body/reality. Only by touching Cooper’s hand is she released from that eerie prison.

But then after supposedly meeting the real Diane, there’s the Diane that Cooper meets in the Black Lodge later. And then there’s the Diane standing outside the motel in the Odessa dimension. And then there’s Linda, whose name is also one letter off from Diane (just like Naido’s name was). The letter that Cooper wakes up to in the hotel reads, “Dear Richard, When you read this, I’ll be gone. Please don’t try to find me. I don’t recognize you anymore. Whatever we had together is over. – Linda.”

If Diane is also Linda in this dimension, that’s yet another play on identities. It’s also something that the Fireman had foretold, so at least that provides some assurance that Diane has a part to play. What that is remains unclear, but since Evil Cooper had targeted the original Diane, and she still survived in some form, that indicates she’s also an active member in this ongoing fight. Maybe there’s a Diane out there with a black wig who’s truly a force to be reckoned with.

Audrey Horne

Sherilyn Fenn, "Twin Peaks"

The curious case of Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is that she appeared in so little of this season and without interacting with any of the major characters. This disconnect at first made it seem like she wasn’t linked to any of the main story, but more clues dropped in the finale reveal links that run deep.

In “Part 13,” Audrey tells Charlie (Clark Middleton), “I feel like I’m somewhere else and like I’m somebody else. I’m not sure who I am, but I’m not me.” Although this could be read as if she were a tulpa, one of the doubles created on the show, this sounds far more like the reality that is seen with Laura Palmer or Diane. In the other dimension, Laura Palmer is somewhere else (Odessa) and is somebody else (Carrie Page). In the case of Diane, she was somewhere else (the sheriff’s station) as somebody else (Naido). Audrey therefore might not just be trapped somewhere, like in a coma or a psych ward, but in a completely different time, dimension or body.

It certainly seems like her story is a very tightly constructed reality. When Audrey is fighting with Charlie, he threatens, “Are you going to stop playing games or do I have to end your story too?” That’s when she says, “Is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?” This is the same line that the Evolution of the Arm repeats to Cooper in the finale.

That line could mean many things: that the Arm is merely repeating an important clue to Cooper, that the little girl who lived down the lane (maybe the one who ate the bug?) is important, or maybe even that Audrey is stuck in the Arm, which doesn’t seem plausible. But hey, this is “Twin Peaks.” What is clear, though, is that same line gives her story far more significance than was previously implied.

Sherilyn Fenn and Clark Middleton in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Audrey’s story also revolves around the intention to go to the Roadhouse or stay, but that also seems to be tied to a mixed-up identity. She tells Charlie, “I want to stay and I want to go. I want to do both. Which will it be, Charlie? Which one would you be?” Yep, that’s “be” not “do” or “choose,” which is a curious but no doubt deliberate turn of phrase.

The readiness to leave is also represented by whether or not she or Charlie have their coats on. In the finale, Carrie Page is about to leave, decides to get her coat and comes back within a minute. She has picked how her story will play out, she has escaped her fate for a short while. Similarly, Audrey has shown signs that she is about to escape. In “Part 16,” she does make it to the Roadhouse finally, although this appears to be yet another dream existence. At the very end of her dance though, she runs over to Charlie and demands he get her out of there, whereupon she immediately “wakes up” in a white room looking into a mirror. Even if this is yet another plane of existence, she’s at least been able to make it out of the first two traps. Audrey is fighting in her own way, and by the looks of things, making some incremental progress.

Lucy Brennan

Kimmy Robertson, "Twin Peaks"

Lucy’s (Kimmy Robertson) ability to understand how cell phones work finally kicks in at the crucial moment after she greets Evil Cooper thinking he’s the real one, and then a second later receives a phone call from the actual Agent Cooper. Suddenly, she realizes these are two different men, and she not only has the presence of mind to patch Cooper in with Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster), but ends up saving the day by pulling a gun on Evil Cooper and taking him out in the nick of time.

Her heroism had been foretold though in the Fireman’s screen in which Andy (Harry Goaz) saw a series of images that outlined events that were going to go down at the sheriff’s station. Twin Peaks may have lost the wise Log Lady recently, but the town isn’t lacking for women who can still fight the good fight in her own way, whether it’s with donuts or bullets.

“Twin Peaks” may never return, but if it does in some form, the increased role of strong female figures – both good and evil – would be exciting to watch.

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