ThumbsUp wrote:Novalis wrote:Cipher wrote:Both of the above are closest to my take. Within the season, her story is a signpost for the slippery realities and stories of Cooper and Laura, if not the entire town. That doesn't mean there couldn't be something supernatural and plot-related in her background, but ... that's how the show (and all decent magical realism and surrealism) always work -- the impossibilities of the plot are narratively literal, but are included because they function as communicators of real thoughts and feelings.
It's not an ending for the character that I love, but if this was the route they had to go down, it's not unfitting for the only person in the original run who demonstrated an ability to both hear and control the series' non-diegetic soundtrack.
This has been my destination too, after a lot of wavering. Being able to be aware (in whatever state doesn't really matter, ironically enough) of one of the official soundtrack's titles, and to hear it literally announced by the Roadhouse compère, placed Audrey as a character on the utmost outer limit or threshold of diegetic consistency. Her request to 'get me out' and the sudden awakening in a blank, unfurnished environment can comfortably be read as signalling her transition to an extra-diegetic situation (or at least, to a diegetic representation of the extra-diegetic).
I get the feeling this hadn't been her intended arc from the beginning, and was maybe affected by the late signing on of Fenn, but for me it works as a kind of epilogue: a way of suggesting that Audrey maybe died sometime before the events of this season. I like to think that Audrey's spirit was strong enough to survive her death for a while on its own, create its own story where it could enjoy some kind of minimal level of narrative subsistence, always plagued and nagged by the reality-principle Charlie, before collapsing in the realisation that it didn't exist as a Twin Peaks character any more. It's a bit of a ghost story.
Like you, this is not the way I would have liked Audrey's story to go, but I feel it's the most satisfying and well-supported reading available of the material we've got so far. I'm entirely open to being surprised, of course.
Hmm, I don't think Audrey is dead or in a mental hospital or Fenn in a movie trailer (though the latter is interesting when you consider the fourth wall-breaking and metafictional elements of part 18). Of course I think they intended Audrey's story to be abstract (and I do think Fenn's late arrival influenced this), but I think her story is more relevant and urgent and constrained to the Twin Peaks universe and Cooper's reality-skimming journey.
Again, I have to assume that the electricity sounds and backwards-playing band are extremely explicit indicators that Audrey's fate and situation is Lodge-related, plus the fact that she and The Arm say literally the exact same line about the girl on the lane.
I think the function of Audrey's thread is to to give us another example of another character trapped in a Buddhist-like cycle of resets and alternate realities of pain and sorrow. Throw in the Audrey-Carrie similarities (coats, phones, male sidekicks - maybe Audrey wanted to put a bullet through Charlie's head?) and it suggests to me that Audrey is another case study within the show of parallel universes, different timelines, etc., and she was probably put in that situation by Mr. C taking her to the Convenience Store. Why else would they go to the trouble of drawing parallels between Audrey and Diane?
I posted this elsewhere but I think it applies here too, and it might help clarify what I was trying to say above:
Novalis wrote:It is a dark road to go down, but it's possible to see the Diane character, who is suddenly real in this season after being a dictaphone for so long (ambiguous deleted scenes notwithstanding), as a kind of fig-leaf or shoe-in for Audrey.
Their stories are, after all, similar: both raped by the doppelganger of the man they adored.
Knowing Lynch as we do, one can image a first draft, quickly vetoed by members of production, in which it was Audrey, and not Diane, that was imprisoned in the Naido form and subsequently sleeps with Cooper in the motel. This would no doubt have been flagged as tasteless and insane. Like I said, a dark road to go down. In this dark fantasy/hypothesis I'm having right now (and which I apologise for) over changed storylines, someone probably pointed back to the age difference and Cooper's reactions to naked Audrey in the original series, and the idea wasn't so much scrapped as saved by bringing in the new character of Diane.
I'm not saying this is what happened, but when you weigh up external factors -- Fenn's delay in signing on, the extraneous and inessential nature of the character Diane as Diane -- then this horrible suspicion gains some traction.
It would also explain why Audrey's actual character then has nowhere to go in the script, and why she is side-lined into her sidebar plot. She has a short story, trapped in a kind of narrative limbo fighting herself and not really knowing who she is or if she is. This can't be sustained for more than a few episodes obviously. In the end she starts to suspect she's not a real person at all, and her hallucinatory world becomes so unstable that it even breaks the fourth wall in calling out the name of a musical piece from the Twin Peaks soundtrack in our world: 'Audrey's Dance'. She goes with it for a short while -- why not, there's nothing else happening for her -- but a sudden eruption of violence regarding relationships with people terrifies her and she pleads with Charlie (who in my mind is the reality principle that keeps resisting her attempts to make the hallucinatory bubble consistent and whole) for release. In doing so, she is pleading for 'an end' to this crazy, pocket narrative, this story that doesn't go anywhere but bends back into metafiction. Then we cut to Sherilyn/Audrey in a blank environment, astonished to see herself in a mirror. This blank unfurnished environment is exactly what you get after a story ends: blank pages. We're either offered a metaphysical glimpse of what happens to characters in Meinong's Jungle when their day is up or this is Sherilyn Fenn in some kind of representation of a non-diegetic dressing room. She's expelled from the story of Twin Peaks and finds herself on our side of the screen, so to speak (or, let us say, more precisely, an onscreen representation of our side of the screen -- which is necessarily blank and unknowable). Her face in the mirror lacks her characteristic Audrey make-up, and made to appear a lot less made-up, a 'naturalistic' look.
I'm so-so about all this. I'm not saying it's what I 100% believe is going on here; maybe 50-50; in fact I'm convinced that there is no one 'correct' version of events. I'm just throwing it out there as another bone to gnaw on.