Twin Peaks Does Not Need a Fourth Season

With Twin Peaks again ending on a spectacularly uncertain note, the already polarized fandom wanted to know if there was yet another story left to tell. David Lynch confirmed that there were no talks about another run of episodes, and that Twin Peaks: The Return was meant to end the series on Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost’s terms. However, due to the open-ended nature of the series and its stories, he did not rule out the idea of yet another run. It’s not particularly likely for many reasons and largely unnecessary. The answers are in Twin Peaks’ unending cyclicality.

The original series initially ended on a question mark. The subsequent feature film Fire Walk With Me refused to answer any lingering questions and only created new mysteries. Finally, The Return resolved the story by reiterating the thesis of Twin Peaks: it’s never over. No, we don’t need another season of Twin Peaks because it will simply scald us again in attempt to teach us that it’s an unending story of loops, trauma, and good and evil. It is not Lynch and Frost dangling a carrot in front of us, it’s the fandom itself. There will be no answers, just repetition on the same themes; Lynch and Frost know this and proselytized about it throughout The Return. Time loops, repeated subplots from the original series and complete wrap-arounds to footage of the same establishing shots or scenes from Fire Walk With Me—it’s all there.

Lynch and Frost originally intended on never revealing who killed Laura Palmer. The show was about the town, the ever-changing face of evil, and the endless battle against it. Many of its mysteries were never meant to be solved, though the lack of conclusion sometimes also indicates that we already know the outcome. That’s the case with Bobby Briggs’ story in The Return. Despite being a murderous drug dealer in his youth, he lived up to his father’s expectations; he turned his life around and became a model citizen and trusted deputy in the Sheriff’s Department. And yet, as the theme goes, certain things looped around again. His daughter Becky is the perfect sum of her parents’ worst attributes. Like Bobby, she was addicted to cocaine and was a thief with a penchant for blind-firing at people. Like Shelly, Becky was into bad boys and was stuck in a violent relationship.

We do not receive any clear resolution to this plot line. By the end of Part 18, there’s no indication that Bobby or Shelly are aware of what happened to Becky, which allows us to fill in the gaps based on what we’ve already seen. Becky’s husband Steven killed her and then himself while he was high on cocaine. Both her parents were aware of the problems the couple had, but were careful in how they handled it. If they pushed too hard for Becky to leave Steven, it might only bring the pair closer together. (Indeed, Shelly’s more active overture resulted in a stolen car and some scrapes.) The townspeople—particularly at the Fat Trout and the Roadhouse—knew there was trouble. Carl Rodd did his best to intervene, but, in the end, this was the story of Laura Palmer: everybody knew something was wrong but did nothing about it.

At Laura’s funeral 25 years earlier, Bobby caused a scene, indicting the town and himself in their wilful ignorance of Laura’s frankly obvious downward spiral. While Becky didn’t purposefully court death the way Laura did, the signs were still more than apparent. Again, now, with Becky, people simply tried to ignore it, and the results were the same. Bobby went on a mission to stop the drugs that he once peddled, but although he was successful, he couldn’t stop the influx from Canada sent by Red - who was now also dating Bobby’s ex, Shelly, who couldn’t break her own cycle of being attracted to bad men. Either by way of karmic recompense or tragic irony, the town remained silent and the parents couldn’t save their child. Of course, this is all just from what’s inferred. The threadbare nature of answers and conclusive endings are a hallmark of Twin Peaks, and to keep expecting answers from a series that has repeatedly told you that they are never coming is a kind of masochistic Stockholm Syndrome.

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