SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the Twin Peaks: The Return finale.
The buzz from the season finale of Twin Peaks: The Return is still fresh and fans are dissecting, defending and praising the ending of the revival of David Lynch’s cult series that changed the landscape of television when it first aired in 1990. The new season, which was dubbed a limited series, took viewers on a wild ride with returning cast members and what seemed like a bottomless pit of cameos. Lynch certainly out-Lynched himself as the series took his brand of bizarre to another level — and at the center of it all is Kyle MacLachlan, who reprised his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Dale Cooper, the FBI agent who was brought on to investigate the death of Laura Palmer, which penetrated the zeitgeist of pop culture in the ’90s. Nearly 27 years later, Lynch, through the eyes of Agent Cooper, still seems to be obsessed with the Laura Palmer, an obsession that MacLachlan understands.
“I think he feels that there is unfinished business and knowing and understanding the character of Cooper, he’s not someone who lets that happen,” says MacLachlan of Cooper’s fascination with Laura. “He gets his man — or his evil spirit. I think that’s why he’s still wanting to right something that is in the wrong and he will stay with it as long as it takes.”
This new divisive season brought plenty of twists, turns, and head-spinning/scratching moments. One of the main ones being evil Dale Cooper and Dougie Jones, which required MacLachlan to play two distinctly different characters. He says they were sketched out very differently and considering Twin Peaks is a coveted Lynch property, MacLachlan thought that viewers would go with the doppelganger storyline even if it was a bit of a stretch and, at times, confusing for some. “I just assumed that people would go on that journey with them,” he says. “I was helped tremendously by David so that there was no bleeding between the two characters.”
But the biggest question that has been polarizing audiences is that season finale is: “Wait, what?!” Some are relishing all of Lynch’s enigmatic craziness while others have huge, frustrated question marks hovering over their heads. There was somewhat of a cliffhanger in the last episode regarding whether or not Laura Palmer was still alive, leading us to believe that another season is on the horizon — but don’t hold your breath. “Well, I know for a fact there are no discussions for more Twin Peaks,” assures MacLachlan. “That’s where that is.” As for the finale, MacLachlan is “still processing” the last couple of episodes — specifically that finale.
“I don’t know — I’m very moved by it. It was a traumatic moment at the end, obviously,” he says. “How to interpret that is open to so many possibilities, I feel. I’m not even sure where I am on that. We filmed it very early and coming back to it now, it’s incredibly powerful — particularly with Sheryl Lee and that fantastic blood-curdling scream in the middle of the night in a small neighborhood in Seattle.”
Lynch is known for his groundbreaking, yet unconventional and eyebrow-raising methods of storytelling, but it’s become second nature MacLachlan since working with him on the original. He points out that it was “massively different” working on the ABC series versus the Showtime series because the latter was meant to be an experienced as an 18-hour film that harkened back to the original pilot and Fire Walk With Me. Even so, his relationship with Lynch hasn’t changed.
“When I first started working with David, I had a lot of questions (laughs), but over the years I learned that as long as I have an idea of what I am doing, that’s all I need,” he says. “If it’s off, David will tell me, but more often than not I’m pretty close. There’s an amazing symbiotic relationship that David and I have where ideas flow back and forth and I seem to interpret them. There’s not a lot of explaining. I just intuitively know what he needs and what’s coming.”