Twin Peaks: The Return – Part 8 (Gotta light? – David Lynch, Showtime, 2017)

tpeng801You reap what you sow. The power of destruction capable of crushing the atom, and which is always accompanied by the most powerful fire, is able to slash practically a layer of the terrestrial biosphere, a curtain of the reality. Unconscious rituals caused unwanted invocations. Fire calls to fire. It calls to Death, the destroyer of worlds. To the dark.

The eighth episode, more than the previous ones, has seemed to me to have resulted from a symbiosis between Mark Frost and David Lynch as rarely seen before, perhaps since the 1990’s pilot. Frost has been able to recapitulate and make use of all that mythology built to a large extent in the last chapters of the original series, re-elaborated, it would seem that greatly expanded and adapted for the occasion, and Lynch has been able to interpret what cannot be really narrated since it has no human equivalence, with its usual talent for dreaming of very, very distant spaces and being able to capture them in the camera as if it were a canvas. The librarian and the painter. In addition, they have collected enough discarded material from the past -due to lack of time to show it, mainly-, they have refreshed it and have given a new aspect to it. It’s so new that they have frightened some of the faithful fans of the program of the 90’s, but let’s give them time; after the initial impression I bet they will come back. Such is the spell. They have also embraced, definitely, the field of science fiction and certain spiritual aspects that until now they had sounded out, and without any fear. I suspect that both of them, being already in a certain age of their lives, no longer feel the need to avoid certain topics or to disguise their belief systems.

As always, let’s indicate that this is not a classic review, but a collection of notes, feelings, memories and theories caused by the hour-episode, supported by feedback among friends and colleagues through social networks (especially the groups Twin Peaks España, La Logia Blanca, The Bookhouse Boys or at the Universo David Lynch forum), at a bar table between beers or by cosmic and inter-dimensional messaging. The game is afoot!

tpeng802Twin Peaks, book of Genesis – And finally the day came, long after we saw Bob leaning in the corner of Laura Palmer’s bedroom in a vision of his mother Sarah, after a very elegant Giant appeared to a dying Cooper who was shot in order to receive three clues to know the way to go, or after we saw one of their meetings on the top floor of the convenience store where the mysterious «Woodsmen» were showed in the first place, in which Twin Peaks offered answers about the origin of their most abstract characters. As Andrew told Pete in the last episode of the original series… We got to the end of a long road. We already have it. Five lustrums of theories and questions thrown into the air have been answered in, I do not know if the best, but surely the riskiest hour of modern television of this century that will be remembered in the future. The episode has gone back in time and has tried to explain to the viewer -opening up a multitude of new more mysteries- the beginning of the discord. And it has also certified -something that was already quite clear anyway- that the events that take place on one level have an effect on the other one. But this also implies that mankind is unconsciously governed by inter-dimensional forces that maintain their own conflicts, that have their own interests and in many cases some of these humans have the path of their own destiny marked and established before being born. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me strongly demands a reinterpretation and must be seen almost as an equivalent to a canonization ceremony. The spirit of Laura, although luminous, had to fight with all its strength to avoid being sucked by the parasite: this retcon towards the figure of the character, which goes beyond before she was born and that surely will be showed to us again beyond death, implies that her task, being part of a master plan to stop Bob, is not over yet.

And the conflict was always there. When we will watch again the original series, we will ask ourselves if the low passions that moved some characters were reflecting what was happening in a different level, or if on the other hand, the simplest of earthly movements, such as a declaration of love from Ed to Norma or from Bobby to Shelley had equivalent in that level. If the Sparkwood 21 traffic light always involved connection -as we saw in the sixth installment- and a subsequent influence from the other world on this, if the original series spoke of people being possessed, perhaps now, from a certain perspective, it shows us a universe possessed by another one. Or at least, under its spell.

tpeng803The Corn Planet – In the early versions of the draft of the Fire, Walk With Me script David Lynch, with the help of Bob Engels -scriptwriter of that one, Mark Frost preferred to stay outside the prequel- already worked in the past of Bob and Mike, and the memories of Engels on the subject can be seen like a proto-version of Gotta Light? As it was read in the section of letters of the legendary magazine Wrapped in Plastic in its number 10 (August 1994), after a projection in 1992 of the film in a Minneapolis cinema academy, the scriptwriter explained that the origin of Bob and Mike came from a “planet made of creamed corn” or a «Corn Planet». Both of them fell on Earth, together, on December the 31st, 1951, when Bob «stole» a can of corn from Mike. Engels made these comments asking not to be recorded. He further indicated that Bob was unable to understand human feelings, only reveling in carnality and carnage … Years later, when he was able to be interviewed by the editors John Thorne and Craig Miller (N. 58, April 2002), he qualified some aspects, such as referring to the place as a «planet»: Well, David would call it a «place». Or an «area». Or that it belongs to a dream. So if you think of it as a planet, it’s a planet. But the corn is real: there are waves of corn and cream of corn: so you have to imagine it. David is honest with this, he does not pretend to be ironic or funny. In the last publication of the magazine (n. 75, September 2005) they still managed to stretch their language a bit more on the subject: Everything was part of a kind of dream. The «garmonbozia» meant «corn», I think. These beings came from a planet that was made of cream of corn, and the return trip was a «pain and suffering» one. Does this make any sense? It is a certain type of connection. You could say that the Corn world is a world of pain and suffering. Everything goes about fertilizing it in order to grow more, and so corn becomes pain and suffering.

While there has been a change of dates, which makes think in the motives (now the portal’s opening is situated on July 1945 with the first test of the atomic bomb in White Sands, while Bob’s descent, now without Mike –at least what we know- has moved from 1951 to 1956), there are some aspects in Engels’ comments that makes us to stop for a moment and think about them. Although he did not expressed very clearly and it’s clear that in the last interviews for WiP he began to forget many things, the aspect of the «Corn planet» and its true meaning is at least disturbing: the production of garmonbozia in terrestrial terms is based on the agony -as we saw at the end of FWWM when Bob «extracted» it from Leland and turned it into a plate of good food that the Dwarf ate- ergo that «Corn planet» would become, in our terms, what we would know as a «hellish dimension». Not for these creatures, who seem to not care at all about moral or ethical aspects of humanity (though they may be educated or… domesticated, like Mike «seeing the face of God»), but from our point of view. Of course that version was discarded, but it would not be strange at all if they kept aspects like this one…

tpeng804When we look at the hole between dimensions, a beautiful scene reminiscent of the final journey of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) by Stanley Kubrick but with a recognizable Lynchian plastic, we managed to capture a few seconds on the other side. What we see, more than ever, responds to the filter of its director, since it cannot be literally narrated. Therefore, we first contemplate a kind of «call up» of an army of Woodsmen, who seem to be the «soldiers» at Bob’s service and that they meet in a convenience store already mentioned in different occasions both in the series and the film, a place still replete of mystery that we will see again for sure, and that resembles to «reverberate» in the terrestrial dimension, and in Twin Peaks specifically, in the form of Ed’s Gas Station. And then we see the creature we presumably saw in the first two chapters inside the glass box, «vomiting» and giving birth to Bob (at the end Lynch and Frost have managed to «keep alive» Frank Silva’s image in a very particular way) and helping him to pass through the door. That creature, perhaps, is Hawk’s the Dweller on the Threshold that Hawk mentioned when he explained to Cooper the Legend of the Lodges in the style of his native people and that it has its source in the Theosophical Society.

At the time, the scene of FWWM in the «Convenience store» seemed to me the beginning of the story, and I wonder if Bob’s embryo floating in space could be an interpretation and the scene of the film that included Bob, the Dwarf, the three woodsmen, the Tremonds and the Jumping man is the other side of the same coin shown in a different way, this second one perhaps passed through the mental filter of Phillips Jeffries (David Bowie), who was the one who seemed to remember it. That scene looked like an inverted seance, in which it was the specters who «called» humans to be possessed, and we finally saw Bob and the Dwarf / Mike passing through the portal, and beginning the descent in search of new emotions in the form of animal life, as one of the woodsmen said in the extended version of the scene in the Missing Pieces: that is, possessing a human form.

tpeng805The White Lodge – When the first atomic bomb explodes, «the alarms are trigged» by those who are interested in a certain cosmic order and who seem to be disturbed by the intrusion of beings from one level into another. They live in a space surrounded by a purple sea, probably the same space that Cooper visited in the third part after passing through the glass box. The specific place is situated on the top of a cliff in the middle of the sea, a sort of retro-futuristic white palace that would seem to have arisen from a narrative by William Hope Hodgson. And it also recalls the Lynch which the author feels less proud of, the planet Caladan of Dune. The place is built with fantastic proportions, since the camera is introduced through what from the distance is hardly a stain and when we approach to it we discover that it is a window. Then we came to a room. In it, Miss Dido (Jay Nash) is seated, in peace, listening to a record. The room has a Celtic style, and it has at its side twelve strands of DNA hanging. A life-giving space? Soon the Giant (Carel Struycken), who stops the huge turbine that has made sound the alarm in 65 occasions, appears on the scene. If she is Dido, Queen of Carthage, perhaps the real name of the Giant, now renamed simply as ????, is Aeneas?

The Giant leaves the room and, after climbing 13 steps, he enters into a large room, surrounded by the sound of an organ that makes the room have a more transcendent atmosphere, less gentle than the disk that Miss Dido was listening to. He contemplates on a screen the disaster produced by men (by a very specific one that proclaimed himself as «destroyer of worlds». Later we come back to it). And the release of Bob’s embryo creature and a bunch of other egg-parasites to our world through the portal that has been opened. He makes a decision. He creates light from within. A catalyst to stop parasites. He levitates and expels light by focusing upwards, raising the birth, unlike Bob’s mother, who vomited the eggs curved downwards. That light remains inside the golden orb. Inside it lives the soul of Laura Palmer. Miss Dido throws it into space, in the direction of Earth. Has he designed it, has she given life to it, is it the symbiosis between mind and heart? The plan continues its course.

But the Giant’s plan is not an invasive one, unlike the parasites that are going to feed on the pleasures and suffering of humans. And unlike Bob’s mother, who throws a large number of eggs to Earth, the Giant only throws an orb. Just a probability. That orb will be a single soul and will have to face a fatal destiny. But it is probably necessary to lure Bob, hungry for light creatures. It may even be that Laura is only a decoy, part of a larger plan to draw attention to humans about the existence of the monster. Since her death the Giant himself will show himself on Earth and he will help Cooper to follow the clues to discover… Bob. Now it does not seem anymore that the Giant helps him in order to catch the killer, but what he wants is Cooper discovering the true nature of Bob. Two of the three clues he gave him were going in that direction. The sacrifice of Laura Palmer was a necessary and very cruel evil, but also based on free will: she could have accepted to be possessed, or she could have committed suicide: the Giant’s plan involves the people’s power of will.

tpeng806Why am I so convinced that we have seen the White Lodge? Let’s remember the vision that Major Briggs (Don Davis) told his son Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) in the premiere of the second season:

In my vision, I was on the veranda of a vast estate, a palazzo of some fantastic proportion. There seemed to emanate from it a light from within, this gleaming, radiant marble. I’d known this place. I had in fact been born and raised there. This was my first return. A reunion with the deepest well-springs of my being. Wandering about, I noticed happily that the house had been immaculately maintained. There’d been added a number of additional rooms, but in a way that blended so seamlessly with the original construction, one would never detect any difference. Returning to the house’s grand foyer, there came a knock at the door. My son was standing there.

Curiously, the dialogue suggests that perhaps Briggs was also a creature of light, the birth of his soul did not occur on Earth like the great majority of humanity, presumably, but with the light of some of the creatures from the White Lodge so that they could enlighten: his role in the second season is a great guide, and Mister C seemed to be very interested in getting him out of the way as soon as he left the Black Lodge. In addition, after that scene with her son, Garland would be abducted and presumably taken to this place, from where he returned with the symbols of the Owl Cave tattooed on her neck and where he probably received instructions that his mind was unable to process, but surely were made to to be followed through intuitions in a similar way to those of Agent Cooper. With the heart, not with the mind. That reunion with Bobby, on the other hand, seems to happen beyond life. Hm, I hope we do not lose the other Briggs on this season…

tpeng807The woodsmen are not what they seem – In the old and distant days of Fire Walk With Me the most common speculation about the woodsmen that appeared in the scene of the Convenience store in the film, in the vision or memory of Agent Jeffries, was that these had been inhabitants of Twin Peaks, who had «officially» died in a fire and that one of them (the one played by Jurgen Prochnow, I suppose because of being the most famous) had been Log Lady’s husband. But the appearance of the first one we saw in the new series in the first installment in Buckhorn Prison, near to the imprisoned Hastings, evoked with much more strength the beggar from Mulholland Drive, which it is not yet possible to discard that it is happening in a universe very close. Covered with what looks like ashes, as if he had been exposed for a long time to a fire. But as «Jordi LaFleur» told me on facebook, maybe it is battered in that black liquid with a burned engine oil smell which allows to open the portals and what would indicate the reasons why they can be transported «floating in the air» -apparently- willingly.

If we had seen an episode of the common series (as common as this series may be), the highlight would have been the healing ritual of the woodsmen with Mr. C. As what came later I would not have predicted it in a million years, I would not give now a recognition to it, but it still seems to me a moment of terrifying perfection, an overwhelming terror of black magic that has connected very deeply with a certain type of spectators, causing an unsettling discomfort. Woodsman’s meaning might be «men of the woods» or even «wooden-men»: the sound of wood crawling is what you hear when you see them moving. That which in the original series was called the evil spirit in the woods.

When in the last minutes the action is moved to 1956 and the narrative adopts the strange tone of a science fiction film, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (interestingly, also of 1956) but with a disturbingly satanic atmosphere, these woodsmen that walk among the living but are not alive and are seeking desperately to receive light -right now I think that is in order to «deliver» it to their captain- through one of them (played by Robert Broski, Abraham Lincoln’s habitual impersonator because of his great physical resemblance; by the way, the coin the young lady finds has the face of the President on it), serve the newborn Bob reciting a litany through the radio waves that numb the small local population and allow the parasite to find its first shelter that will work as the original food. Incidentally, if you have the Twin Peaks Access Guide, go to page 14: that mixture between frog and lobster -which if they arrived like a herd it would be the plague among all the plaguesalready appeared in the old legends of the tribe of Chinhook who inhabited the place in the nineteenth century; they spoke of a house that floated in the middle of the lake. In that house lived a woman: her knees, breasts, eyebrows and the palms of her hands were covered with «flying frogs». Since that time the Flying Frog has been seen as a special crest or crown type.

Would you say that the woodsmen are a new element in the Twinpeaksian mythology? Do you think of the original series and do not locate these wood-men, do you think it was a mere retcon and that in the old days Bob worked alone? I do not think so: the spirit of evil in the woods already existed in Twin Peaks, the series, and they were already Bob’s eyes and ears all over Ghostwood. They simply did not have the appearance of a woodsmen: in that environment they were revealed as owls. The Giant’s only clue about which Cooper never found a definitive answer.

Trent Reznor in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

A final note on the healing ritual. It has nothing to do with figuring out if woodsmen take Bob’s embryo out of Mr. C’s body or if what they do is a sort of urgent bewitched surgery to get him back where he was: I do not know. I have just told you in previous posts that nothing that happens in Twin Peaks is casual and that several levels and various temporalities seem to be happening «at the same time». Quantum Peaks. I say this because I do not believe the interpretation of Nine Inch Nails is a random event at all: on the contrary, they are part of the magic ritual, even if it is not voluntary. The lyrics of the song, moreover, seems to speak of someone very specifically…

You dig in places till your fingers bleed
Spread the infection, where you spill your seed
I can’t remember what she came here for
I can’t remember much of anything anymore
She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away
She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away

A little mouth opened up inside
Yeah, I was watching on the day she died
We keep licking while the skin turns black
Cut along the length, but you can’t get the feeling back

She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away
She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away
She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away
She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone away

(Are you still here?)

A door that was opened must be closed now – This is a simple feeling, but maybe this is where everything is driving at: if Bob cannot be killed, perhaps returning him to his own level is what has to be done. There are questions, of course. If Bob was thrown by «The Dweller on the Threshold» taking advantage of a break in the dimensional tissue, what is the purpose of portals like Glastonbury Grove? Was not there a direct path between that dark dimension and ours? The «legal» way of traveling between spaces is passing through that nexus between dimensions that seems to be the Red Room and the other is an intrusion, which allows the «incarnation»? Obviously neither you nor I still have an answer for this, we can but speculate…

The rest are small clues that we can start collecting; the Mike’s interrogation in chapter 14 of the first series has become especially important in revealing details that have been proven as accurate: Bob is a parasite that feeds on pleasure and pain, living in our level since «almost 40 years ago» and his face can only be seen by the enlightened and the condemned. I do not dare to affirm surely who is that girl inside who the parasite enters through at the end of the episode. Dale’s date of birth in the official books is 1954, but in the not filmed original script of the original series -which curiously showed a final confrontation between Laura and Bob culminating in a great flash of light– changed it to 1956. But I do not find much sense in the idea of her being his mother, except for an unexpected turn of events. Neither Sarah Palmer nor Dog Lady… if I had to work on a theory, that one would be that the girl will soon be Leland’s babysitter, who, as was revealed in the 10th chapter in the 90’s series, after seeing the face of Bob in one of the police posters, knew Bob since it was his neighbor in the house of its grandfather in Pearl Lakes. From that point, we would go to that game of throwing matches to the poor kid, with all the symbolism that would be in that. But it’s still too soon, this is just playing for the pure pleasure of playing.

tpeng809And yes, as I read the idea of Tim Lucas (creator of the legendary magazine Video Watchdog  and a personal influence) that Bob has adopted that name because the creator of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer, in a way is his earthly «father», it makes sense. When Cooper pieced things together after Leland’s arrest, he remembered that the gray-haired neighbor of his house in Pearl Lakes was called Robertson, «son of Robert.»

And now, something completely different – On November the 5th of last year I had the honor of being one of the guests in the 3a Audiència Catòdica dedicated to Twin Peaks by Els reis catòdics  («The Cathode Kings») in the city of Vic (Barcelona). The day was memorable for several reasons, one for the wonderful presentation of Daniel Ausente dedicated to the phenomenon that meant the series in Spain, and another for the chat where I participated moderated by Jordi Ararà between Ausente and the writer and expert in occultism Francisco Jota-Pérez: this last one, the author of among others Pasaje a las dehesas de invierno (Esdrújula, 2015), Polybius (Antipersona, 2016) or the important Homo tenius (GasMask, 2016) –reviewed in this site recently– presented a theory about the Archons, which is now gaining an unusual validity due to the revelations of the last episode.

Broadly speaking, and according to the codex II of Nag Hammadi in the text The Hypostasis of the Archons, these are creatures that defied God believing themselves possessors of equal divinity. Now they would be a kind of energetic parasites, interdimensional forces that seek to stimulate terrestrial low-vibration frequency energies, which are the ones that they consume. Yes, basically, pleaseure, pain and suffering, as the garmonbozia. They are able to dominate the human soul through different incarnations -which might explain Leland Palmer’s penitence inside the Black Lodge, or Josie’s trapped in the ghostly wood-. They can exist as an independent non-terrestrial species or as a presence within the mind. They usually inhabit the corners (like those early appearances of Bob in Sarah’s visions). According to David Icke, the Gnostics understood that these archons need to simulate and copy the reality by creating a false mirror and their triumph is definitive when they deceive human beings at the moment we choose the false copy before the original. It gives a new meaning to Coop’s doppelgänger … The archons have no intention (and that would be similar to Bob Engels’ comments narrated above) and they envy humanity since we do have a purpose. One of the things that connects them directly with what has been seen this week is that they can traverse the atmosphere in an embryonic form, the same as Bob being thrown by his mother. The body of the primordial archons, by the way, is a woman with beast-like attributes

tpeng810Reading a few about the subject on the recommendation of Jota-Perez, it is easy to find many similarities between the creatures on the other side and the myths of the Archons: and while it is not, like no other, one hundred percent sure, it feels like (especially) Mark Frost soaked up knowledge about these myths. Being one who acknowledges that in his youth the readings of Dion Fortune and Alice Bailey had a great influence on him it’s not at all strange, and although the starting point of the Twin Peaks myths are based on concepts developed by HP Blavatsky (The Lodges, the Dweller on the Threshold), Nag Hammadi’s codex II also seems to have been a source of inspiration… and it still is. I do not include Lynch in this because, given his laconicism, it is difficult to know if he is aware of these myths -Frost is always the one that carries the fame of being the esoteric one- but it would not be so strange. The final twelve hours of the original Twin Peaks mix theosophy, ufology, Indian folklore and even concepts about the dugpas drawn directly from the pulp novel The Devil’s Guard by Talbot Mundy. But some theories, like this one of the Archons, happens to be in many aspects especially connected to what we have seen and perhaps a revealing one.

Next week there will be no series… but there will be an article here in El pájaro, recapitulating and recovering issues and aspects that have been left out. Good timing to make the break in this eighth part. As David Lynch said about The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer… «It’s like sex. And it takes time. «

Javier J. Valencia (with special thanks to Pere Nolasc Deu for his esoteric advice and his review when finishing the article)

Translation: Xavier Torrents Valdeiglesias

Twin Peaks: The Return in El pájaro burlón:
Twin Peaks: The Return – Partes 1 a 4 (My log has a message for you / The stars turn and a time presents itself / Call for help / …brings back some memories – David Lynch, Showtime, 2017)
Twin Peaks: The Return – Parte 5 (Case Files – David Lynch, Showtime, 2017)
Twin Peaks: The Return – Parte 6 (Don’t die – David Lynch, Showtime, 2017)
Twin Peaks: The Return – Parte 7 (There’s a body all right – David Lynch, Showtime, 2017)

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