Crack the code, solve the Crime –
My philosophical take on Twin Peaks, Seasons 1- 3 ©
(A Work in Progress) by Victoria L. Meyers (follow me on Twitter: @beinloveart )
27 February 2018
In this essay, I have two main points (no pun intended), and those are (1) The Ghostwood Forest Estate is well and alive today and you may be living in one; and (2) the coffee-stained coloured homeless people treading the pavements in Season 3 of Twin Peaks are a reflection of society today (again, it is you and I, the 98 per cent time-straped people, drained of vitality, already half-dead, the working poor). Our lives are fuelled by money, we drive cars that run on oil and what we create in this hustle is ironically ruining our ecosystems. The information age we now live in, dominated by technology and gadgets, is zapping the one thing that makes human beings have quality lives: meaningful connections and time spent truly engaged in a conversation with our full attention given to each other. Today, people think that a mobile phone adds to a conversation… how on earth has this happened and what does this have to do with Season 3 of Twin Peaks? Read on, and I will discuss my observations, which are merely my take on it all.
To play the last episode of Twin Peaks Season 2, you will see Cooper enter the circle and disappear. I ascertain that the circle is a metaphor for the World Wide Web. In the beginning of the Internet, you were able to enter chat rooms, and able to create an identity that was not real (a doppleganger). Not just one conversation, but many. Fast forward 25 years and we have Tinder where not only are we chatting, but people are giving themselves away for free through an app and lessening their value. There is so much competition, it makes women vulnerable and it allows men to use this vulnerability for evil purposes.
At the time of writing Twin Peaks, the desktop computer was born in California, and was set to revolutionise society. My assumption here is that Lynch and Frost had uncanny gifts of being able to see into the future of how this information revolution would play out in regards to our relationships, our work days, and our mental health. Season 3 sees one of the doppleganger of Cooper Mr C on a rampage, and Dougie Jones, a manufactured version of Cooper, dead inside and unable to connect, a host of sorts. It was a way for Lynch and Frost to show the different lives and choices available to us because of freewill. The ending showed Diane and the real Cooper is the most authentic way possible, two people knowing the truth, on their own, driving together down a highway. That is all that this life can give, the freedom is akin to Andy and Lucy’s offspring, younger, but also driving, a motorcylce, and realising that this was way better than anything accomplished from behind a computer. At the end of Season 2, we see Audrey Horne demanding the old man who worked at the bank to call the editor of the local newspaper, and tell them she was practising “civil disobedience” in a bid to find out why the savings and loans bank was funnelling money into the Ghostwood Forest Estate. The Ghostwood Forest Estate, represents all of the cookie-cutter manufactured estates popping up all over the western world landscapes, inhabited by the 98 per cent, filled with one child and a lot of Ikea furniture. Does it make people happy to accumulate a lot of stuff, and go to a job as an insurance man, like Dougie Jones? I think personally, Dougie Jones, didn’t feel anything much. He felt sad for Sonny-Jim, that he was missing out on a lot of things that somewhere deep inside, Cooper knew about. Dougie however, first seen paying a black prostitute was having his private fantasies met the only way he knew how. Meanwhile, in the house opposite a girl is smoking, drinking and taking a large painkiller, while we hear her scream 9 1 1 backwards, and a child fades in and out of the scene, elluding to perhaps the fact that there was a child and a happiness with a partner, somewhere, but certainly not right now. So all in all, The Ghostwood Forest Estate needed to be stopped, as Audrey tried to do. And in the scenes to come, we see the bank blow up, and blowing in the wind, onto the branches of those Douglas Firs, is you guessed it, the answer to 99 out of 199 questions, money. It might be a dream they are selling us, a 25 year loan, your own patch of grass, a child or two, a happy life, a 25 year mortgage, but maybe it has made a lot of people unhappy. It was genius to call this housing property development Ghostwood because what Lynch and Frost predicted back in 1985 was that with technology, the days of the nuclear family, with the father as the sole bread winner, living in a house with a white picket fence was going to be riddled with boredom, and a sort of manufacturing of people were to result, hence the dead-pan Dougie, who Cooper inhabited for a while. These land and house packages, are in fact boxes where sometimes people do horrible things to one another, and no one is able to escape. Highlighting the problem here, we saw Audrey protest in Civil Disobedience to protest the banks connection with the Ghostwood project. She requested the Twin Peak Gazette editor to cover the story, and she asked the old bank manager to call the Sheriffs office, she was raising the alarms and was trying to save this project from going ahead. This made her the ultimate heroine of Twin Peaks Seasons 1 and 2. She tried more than anyone to be create a discussion about the future of the environment, and “specifically the effects of the the effect of the Ghostwood Forest Estate on it“. She felt that there would be bad societal changes and felt that the driving force behind all of these estates – to be filled with “ghosts” – would be funded by the banks – who gave out 25 year loans so that young people could “live the dream” and buy a house and have children. As they come to “the end of the long road”, a bomb goes off and money flies onto the branches of the trees, that are blowing in the wind. That’s the answer my friend, to Bob Dylan’s song, it’s money. And it’s Symbolism at its best.
It’s been nearly one year since Twin Peaks Season 3 was released. I watched the first episode on my iPad in 2017 when I was staying in a beautiful seaside hotel in St. Austell in Cornwall, England. I had come from the lovely Stonehouse Court Hotel in Stroud (fireplace in the dining room pictured above). I was waiting for The Return of Twin Peaks with bated breath, and it had already been delayed one year. I had high hopes for a continuation of the storyline, and I didn’t want to admit to myself what I knew deep down: it could no longer be the same because of time. It was intriguing, just as in its very essence it is undefined. This waiting made you want it even more. It held space in my subconscious because of the music and the imagery. I longed to revisit the place, the characters and the feeling! I wanted to know what Audrey’s life turned out like. I knew everyone had aged, and I knew that new actors had been cast, so I contemplated how it would run. Little did I know that this new offering, would make me look at The Original two seasons differently, and make me look at the world around me in a brand new light.
I have to note that I only watched The Return once. Unlike the first two seasons, season three was void of music and soft edges. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t revisit it, I just let it sit.
In the Missing Pieces, (Blu-Ray disk 9) the actor Ray Wise, who plays Leyland Palmer, is interviewed, and he says “Twin Peaks was like a shooting star that burst onto television” – and it made a huge mark on TV and its impact was big enough to change American Culture. It was true for audiences in Australia and all across Europe, too. He also recommends paying close attention to episodes 6 to 9 of the original Twin Peaks series.
The first question that was asked when Twin Peaks first aired back in 1990 was “who killed Laura Palmer” and now, 25 years later, we have the question of “Who is Judy?” circulating in our pop culture. Judy is the character associated with David Bowie’s character, Phillip Jeffries. Jeffries appears in Twin Peaks at 10:10am on February 23, right on schedule, and Gordon Cole announces this moments before we see Phillip Jeffries burst through the door and he points to Cooper and says “Who do you think that is there?” … well in the Missing Pieces there is more of Jeffries and we see him burnt as if zapped with electricity and standing on some stairs. Stairs remarkably like those in the Palmer home. Bowie is clearly playing a character who has a loose hold on reality and doesn’t quite know how to articulate to Gordon, Albert and Cooper where he has been. My take on the Phillip Jeffries story is that for two years he had entered some sort of dark passage in time. Perhaps he entered into the circle like Annie and Dale did in the last two episodes of Season 2.
My “big reveal” for today, 27/2/18 at 3.41pm, is my theory is that Phillip Jeffries knows that Cooper is not Cooper, and that scene where we see him ask Gordon that question – in Season 2 – is actually a scene that should be played after Cooper cracks the mirror at the end of series 2, when he is inhabited by Bob. In other words, we all thought that the original Twin Peaks was played to us in a linear format, but perhaps it wasn’t?
You may wonder why Phillip Jeffries comes storming in and says “we are not going to talk about Judy” well, Mark Frost and David Lynch chose David Bowie to play Jeffries because Bowie has the persona of both female and male, he understood both sides of the equation. His “erratic” behaviour in the original was similar to the many women in Season Three who seemed to be on edge about a variety of things, mainly things that needed to be attended to, that were overlooked, and it made them steam with anger. I also feel as though this understanding of a person from both a male and female perspective, is what leads society to advance. For it is not until we are able to put ourselves into the shoes of another person, male or female, that we are able to try to contemplate the problems from their point of view. Until we “walk a mile” in someone else’s shoes, we do not begin to properly understand that person, is a known colloquial saying. This is the progress we need our politicians to understand, the law makers, and the citizens, to truly progress. Because of the conscience we all have, what we do to others comes back to bite us ourselves, so it is of the gravest importance to put ourselves into the shoes of those around us. Both in a family unit, we need to do this, and, as a community, and, as a city, a state, a country and as a world, Mother Earth. Mother Earth is crying out for her citizens to use their empathy to treat the Earth and its bearings – the oceans, the tress, the soil, the people, the plants, the wild life and animals, everything that lives and breathes, needs kindness and love showered down on it.
David Bowie, who passed away in 2016, was the embodiment of change and of vision. He made music that was ahead of its time and he was able to create Ziggy Stardust, an identity different to himself but still himself, and “go there” in his mind to enter into a different consciousness. To be able to do this, requires an openness that is not fear based, but based on love. The ability to do this on an individual level, will lead us all into an age of advancement that is based on humility, generosity, and relating to each other on a deeper level. Ultimately it will cause us to get in touch with what we spend our money on, and whether we use our money to support good or evil in this world. As consumers, we have money to spend, and that is our power, so therefore if enough of us use each cent to support good products, then massive changes will occur globally, because on a small grassroots level we have done what we have been called to do.
To come back as a steam engine in Season 3, Phillip Jeffries signifies progress. The steam engine was created centuries ago to carry trade and goods within countries, and to manufacture things, in an efficient way. I believe that Frost and Lynch have creatively used the steam engine to show us a symbol for progress, and to heed a warning that not all progress is good. Some of it is evil. The blind woman feeling her way is Asian, and many of our products are coming from Asian countries, causing much pollution. In the domestic sphere we buy products from China to fill our homes. This is traditionally a female role, to be the one who organises the household goods and services within the home. The traditional role is for men to go and be the bread winners. Traditional roles have been over turned so that now women are expected to do it all. It is really difficult to do it all, and still have time to be the charming feminine woman, such as the French woman listening to Gordon Cole’s long story. And yet, this is where women essentially want to be, we want to be free of the slavery of choosing the right products to keep our house tidy, and making sure the dinner is ready for our spouses. We want to revel in our own beauty again. We want to stand tall and straight like a tree in a forest. We want all of our female friends to do the same and to enjoy life. When did all of this consumerism around the home enter into our lives? Well, it was with the television. We had the image of the girl walking in black and white with her boyfriend, and it seemed as though the landscape was eerie and barren, and then she went to sleep and a monster crept into her mouth. This black and white image in The Return, I signify that it is television and radio – it deadened the stories and conversations between men and women. It reduced people to falling in love with a dream, not being present in our day to day lives with true soul connections. It gave us a false conversation to listen to. It removed the ability to even know or feel this true soul connection, making us behave as if an emotional chip was missing. People began to feel isolated and lonely because of this and ironically, the TV and one bedroom apartments are now the most sought after real estate in all of the cities. The “interior landscape” that Annie Blackburn describes in her Miss Twin Peaks pageant speech has been scorched, and everything is black.
Black as midnight on a moonless night – Dale Cooper
In the 1950s we started watching the television, and the long stories told by older people to younger people stopped. We started drinking coca-cola and sitting on the couch. Now in the computer age, which started in 1981 approximately in Silicon Valley, about ten years before Twin Peaks arrived on our screens. The desk top computer, well, it doubled-down on the TV and put a screen right in front of us for up to ten hours a day in the private world (7.25 hours if you work for the Queensland Government in Australia).
I believe the answer lies to being aware of what we do, physically, with our bodies while we are at work. I also believe that staring at a computer screen for ten hours a day has a detrimental effect on our sense of sight. The senses are very important to us thinking clearly. Especially the eyes. In the computer age, now that we all carry a smart phone, access to pornography is free. In an age where courtship is almost dead, because it costs less for a man to access a “courtship” online in the privacy of his own home than to make the effort to spend money to get to know a real person?
“Step into the circle,” says Wyndham Earl. Annie is pulled in, and is then under hypnosis. I am proposing that the Internet around us all day, consuming us, is akin to the monster who entered silently through the mouth, in Season Three of Twin Peaks, it was like eating a pill that we didn’t know the contents of what was in it. We thought it was revolutionary, but what has it done now that we are 68 years on from 1950? In 2018, we have so many statistics to back up some of the evil that happens as a result of the hand held computer. I am not proclaiming that cellular phones should not be used; I am simply saying the situation has got out of hand.
Is it future or is it past?
What this means for us viewers at home is that The Original Twin Peaks we loved and enjoyed can now be seen in a different light. What was once comforting and known, isn’t at all what we thought. I feel as though it is now more mysterious than ever.
That all this coincided with last months Blue Blood Moon January 28 is of no surprise to me. Coincidences are real, and as Twin Peak’s creators David Lynch and Mark Frost wrote:
“when two things occur pertaining to the same matter of enquiry, we must pay strict attention.”
What once made sense (partially, never fully) is now able to be revisited as, in my eyes, it now is as big a part of the jigsaw puzzle than ever before.
I feel like all of the scenes in all Seasons 1, 2, 3 are parts of a puzzle. We thought the past was a linear story, but was it? Perhaps to go forward in life, sometimes we need to analyse the past. I love in ‘The Missing Pieces” where Angelo Badalamenti talks about how he invented the theme tune to Twin Peaks by sitting with David Lynch beside the piano and playing what Lynch described. It was this beautiful, haunting and luring score that hooked us, as did all of the scores written for Twin Peaks (seasons 1 and 2).
Soundtracks by Angelo Badalamenti https://www.amazon.com/Angelo-Badalamenti/e/B000APFOOM/ref=dp_byline_cont_music_1
Just like the FBI Director, Denise, played by David Duchcovny, has become 25 years later the top dog – a transgender man dressed as a woman, calling the shots, The Return has a feel to it that is a little more modern than where we are culturally right now (in our day to day lives). The Original Season 1 and 2 had a 1950s style but were also modern, as was Fire Walk With Me, the film that was released after the first two seasons, that detailed the last seven years of Laura Palmer’s life. Between the 1950s and the future where a transgender woman could be the head of the FBI is where we are located. And to know where you are situated in time and place, well, that is an important bit of information to know.
The Black Lodge:
I feel as though Phillip Jeffries could be a Phillipa aka Judy, and he may have had to use this disguise as part of his work in the Black Lodge. I think Phillip returns from the Black Lodge – just as the coffee-stained homeless people lined up on the stairs are waiting to go into the Black Lodge are also “the dwellers on the threshold”. I have a theory on what and where the Black Lodge is, too. I want to tell you, but it is important to see for yourself. And remember, it’s not actually the destination that matters. It’s the journey. So make sure you enjoy the ride.
To enjoy the ride is to give in to something that doesn’t need to make sense, and it needs to be felt. Kyle MacLachlan suggests in this interview, which also has footage of a scene with one of my favourite lines (below). This line demonstrates how funny Twin Peaks is, as well as being a highly creative and dark journey that is still going with rumours of a Season 4.
Cooper, you remind me today of a small Mexican Chi-wow-wow – Gordon Cole
Diane and the “Fuck You” expression is the dead-pan reply symbolic of a straightforward answer in direct contrast to the 1950s smile and “always be nice” attitude that led to women not standing up to sexual harassment, and halted progression. This progression, the “Me Too” movement, has only just begun. There were many strong women cast in Season 3 of Twin Peaks, including Norma, who would not back down on accepting more money if she agreed to cut corners on the food she served to people. She had the pride to keep the original and organic cherries and ingredients that made her original diner the best.
I would like to take a brief diversion from Twin Peaks just for a moment to talk about Diane played by Laura Dern. SHe is the modern woman who is on the exterior saying harsh words but on the inside is really hurt by what Cooper’s evil doppleganger, Mr C, did to her, thus the “Fuck You” expressions. She trusted him, she was his personal secretary. Yet after entering into The Black Lodge, he was no longer Dale Cooper. It shows that The Black Lodge changed him. Dale Cooper was also Audrey’s special agent, and as we learnt, after coming back from The Black Lodge, Mr C paid a visit to both Audrey, and made her pregnant. He also visited Diane, and she has never got over it. He messed with their heads, and their bodies, and he left, which is today called ‘ghosting’. I would like to propose that The Black Lodge, with its glamorous red curtains, full of rooms, at the end of Season 2, is a metaphor for the Internet. When Lynch and Frost began writing the TV series, the Internet and personal computers were in their infancy. This meant that Lynch and Frost were able to contemplate how would this technology revolutionise humanity? How could it be used for both good and evil? Good and evil is a running theme of the series. The BoB demon entered Leyland and had the effect that he didn’t even know when he was inside of him. That is scary. Laura had an image to keep up at school, and kept the damaged part of her a secret, blocking it out with drugs, with prostitution, and with keeping up the act that everyone wanted and expected her to play. The white picket fences could not deal with this sort of evil, especially from a member of society who practiced law and worked for Benjamin Horne, he himself a well-respected businessman with many secrets of his own, including a love for Laura. It is such a lonely place to be when you think of how Laura could not even admit it to herself, or to her diary, to her mother (who was drugged by Leyland), it is the ultimate soul-destroying act that someone can do. This soul-connection was irreversibly damaged. Leyland let the evil in and then he inflicted pain on his daughter, sexually abusing Laura to the point where she could no longer go on, but wanted to simply die. In The Return, we see a different ending, where Laura has managed to meet Dale in the woods and not be killed. She moved away from the abuse, but it didn’t stop her from being angry at men, hence the killing of the man just as Cooper find her at the end of the series. I’m wondering if she, returning home, finds herself. Sees a young woman there, just like herself. We don’t yet know for sure what she sees, but what we do know is that there was another ending where she did not die. She got away, and was effected badly but she didn’t die.
I believe that the last episode of Season 2, Dale Cooper enters the ring of sycamores near the oil patch and this ring, this circle is a metaphor for the world wide web. Harry Truman watches his best friend enter and sits watching the (like someone on a computer at work) for about ten hours. Andy asks him over and over what he would like to eat, and he gives very familiar replies, like when we are wanting to get someone’s full attention but are competing with that person who is involved in a task engaged with their smart phone, it is half-heard because their mind is caught in two places. The person who is asking feels left out. This is key to understanding how technology can break down a relationship. Even the body language of Harry Truman is like someone sitting at a computer for ten hours straight. I also want to point out that Harry does not come back in The Return, we learn he is sick. I wonder why, could it be that seeing someone change so much and then disappear after entering Glastonbury Grove, have an effect so badly on someone that they become sick with worry? How plausible is it that our sight senses are numbed because we are constantly exposes to images on the internet over a long period of time (and as we know 10 hours per day can be spent on the desk top computer)… it is highly possible that true ‘soul connections’ aren’t true anymore. They’re dulled at the very least. People are sadly replacing their precious real relationships with quick fixes way too often, especially in 2018. Unless they practice technological hygiene.
Why do images of people viewed on screens distort or lessen the true relationships we have in our lives? If something goes wrong even in a minor way in an authentic relationship, there is an instant option right in front of us, with a few swipes to the right, we know we can enter into a new world. I’m referring to dating sites, Tinder especially.
In front of our very eyes, we have daily exchanges in demands between ourselves and our spouse, and as many books, I reference Alain de Botton’s ‘The Course of Love‘ here, point out, the feeling of ‘being trapped’ does appear after some time, the monotony of the schedules, the order that things need to take to run the ship, can become entirely a bore. That is why we have so many people posting on the internet, using apps such as Instagram reminding them to “be grateful” and “be present”. The internet apps such as Tinder have further mucked things up for us, and are a tool not only used by single men and women, and are certainly not used by all people with the intention of a meaningful relationship. Ironically, many people still use the apps such as Tinder with the hope that something might eventuate or grow, after an initial “connection” has been made. There is a direct correlation to being “ghosted” after a date and the deterioration in a persons self-esteem. You might swipe right on a narcissist who looks great, reads perfectly well, and has a lot of charm when you meet in the flesh. You may fall for this person hook, line and sinker only to find out that you are just one of the many people he or she can use as a one-night-stand.
The “me too” movement has enabled women to come forward and tell the truth about sexual abuse, and misconduct in a professional realm. With leading Hollywood actresses speaking out about how they have suffered, it has given strength to women without the glamorous career to see how their story of abuse is similar and not right. By hearing a Hollywood actor speak out, women and men are given the language to use to be able to call it out in their own situations. It can be hard to understand abuse, especially when dealing with a narcissistic person with control issues. The silent treatment is a micro-agression that is used to inflict pain on a woman, making her question her own behaviour, and left to offer more just for this weirdness to end. But the real issue is that the person giving the silent treatment is getting off on the control of knowing that what they are doing by not responding to messages and questions, or not being perfectly straightforward is a bullying technique to get the person to beg what have I done to deserve this? It is infantile behaviour, and the same Harvey Weinstein, who made actresses watch him take a shower. It’s awkward, and it doesn’t feel right. The reason some women have put up with it for so long, is that there is often times a hell of a lot at stake. It could mean feeling connected to an opportunity that advances the overall financial situation for a woman, be that in a romantic or professional situation.
It is time for women to be paid equally because we do the same amount of tasks for the same duration and we also need to carry babies, rear children, and look our best all the while being judged by society. It’s too much pressure, so my guess is that the result will be that women will stop having children and stop getting married. It is now for me personally, not an aspiration to be tied down to a man who is just wanting me to rear his children, cook his dinner, accompany him to action films, and joke along with him just for the mere sake of saying I have a partner, and we share bills, so that means that I am sorted. I have carved out a life where I am financially independent and I think that needs to be the priority of women in general and that is why the gender pay equality issue is of the utmost importance. Money means freedom to choose. It will allow man and woman to sit across from each other at a table and have a real eye-to-eye discussion about their lives. There won’t be any put downs, or if there is a woman will recognise it, call it out and end it right then and there. The Me Too movement is just the start of relationships becoming completely real, where each one of us who wants to find love transcends “just for the sake of being in a partnership” into knowledge and understanding of who is this person I’m dating, and what sort of person are they. It doesn’t mean to say that pay levels need to be equal, but it needs to be acknowledged where someone is at, and why.
THIS ESSAY IS COPYRIGHT 2018 VICKI LOUISE MEYERS FOR WWW.HELLOMARGOT.ME