Months after finishing the entirety of Twin Peaks, I’m still fascinated by the widely-maligned second half of season two.
Anyone familiar with Peaks lore will already know the score; with ratings dwindling fast, the powers-that-be started meddling with the show’s creative masterminds, Mark Frost and David Lynch, and the results have long irked series faithful.
But allow this TV-hater to defend these later episodes as an example of how episodic storytelling can sustain these seemingly-inane diversions.
Twin Peaks‘ magic (or, *some* of its magic) is its ability to keep the audience engaged in striving to figure out what’s going on, all while having absolutely no idea what’s really going on. The latter half of season two’s oddities might feel too far afield from what came before, but the prior hours set up so many possible themes — left open to interpretation based on the mystery of “what the fuck is really happening in Twin Peaks,” because clearly something’s amiss in the town and amongst its residents — that we can come up with our own thematic connections as to how all of this bizarre shit is relevant to what the show’s trying to get at. I was so intrigued by this complete and completely-unknowable mystery that I was happy to devour whatever they dished out in hopes of more fully digesting each course of the meal, especially because it quickly becomes clear that explicating is not the name of Twin Peaks‘ game.
Such is the beauty of more abstract, non-plot oriented storytelling; they open themselves to endless explanatory theories, rooted on which storylines — and which components of the storylines — we deem important, and why. And since there are so many bizarre storylines to choose from, they can really support and/or inspire an infinite number of possible interpretations (granted, it’s a case of diminishing returns, and television writing too often stretches beyond the point of no returns).
OOOOOOR, you can just sit back and enjoy the kookiness, which probably would’ve been me without the Log Lady introductions that accompany each episode on my blu-ray, in which she elliptically outlines the themes in the episode to come that we should be focusing on to deepen our macro-understanding of the whole show.
Use them to piece together the puzzle, or enjoy each piece on its own; here in Twin Peaks, it’s a make-your-own adventure.