TPTR and the concept of Time

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TPTR and the concept of Time

Postby Louisahoo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:02 am

Like many of you, I am still searching through my thoughts after last nights finale. I've also been reading some very impressive theories from many of you, especially those dealing with dreams, dreamers, and how we could potentially interpret what we have seen on the screen. I suspect these conversations and the various viewpoints will be shared, created, parsed, and debated for years to come.

I wanted to throw something out there, because I hadn't seen it discussed yet, although I admittedly have not read through every post on every thread. And that is this: I think to a large extent, TPTR is on many levels, both literally and figuratively, about the concept and process of time and how we react to that in our lives.

As you may recall, there have been various interviews with Kyle, David Lynch, and perhaps others where they commented about the passage of time, and how that would factor into this new iteration of Twin Peaks. At a very basic level, 25 years have passed, meaning that the actors and their characters are 25 years older. Mini critical characters, to be honest, or an alive anymore; and this clearly impacted the storytelling and Lynch is vision. Bob, major Briggs, Pete, Jeffries - oh what could've been! But just like all things Lynch, I think there's much more to it than that.

As far as plot goes, we have a very interesting paradox when it comes to the lodges. We have all postulated for some years now that time as we understand it, does not function in the lodges and in other worlds the same way it does in our own. We've known this from early in the first season of Twin Peaks when Cooper has his first dream. The first time we hear the words "is it future or is it past? "Is in fire walk with me. The little man from another place is saying this to Cooper as they stare at the black altar with the ring on it. At this point we are under the assumption that we are inside a dream which Laura is having a few days before death. This still holds true after last night, because in the woods Laura says to Cooper something to the effect that "I saw you in my dream ".

The next time we hear the words "is it future or is it past" is from Mike sitting across from Cooper in episode two of the return. It is the first words spoken to him in the first lodge scene of the return. Laura then sits down next to Cooper, removes her face, speaks with Cooper, comes and whispers in his ear again, and get sucked away. And then what happens? Immediately we are right back to looking at Mike, and he asks Cooper, yet again, that same question, "is it future, or is it past?"

Finally, we see the quote again during the two-part finale last night. And once again it is Mike asking Cooper that question. This is the only line of its kind that I can think of off the top of my head which has been repeated so many times in various episodes or iterations of Twin Peaks. That clearly means something and is very important to our overall understanding of what we are viewing.

Diverging for just a second here, let me add that I have been in the process of planning a 25 year reunion over the past few months for a championship football team that I was a member of in 1992. I've been asking myself as the date draws closer to the reunion, How will everyone have changed in 25 years? Will people be as I remember them in my memories? Have I idealized things in my mind over time, and will this hopefully happy occasion also serve as a reminder of the passage of Time? Will people enjoy it or not?

Throughout Twin Peaks, the idealized character in my mind has always been Dale Cooper. The main character that is almost too perfect. Audrey even tells Dale in season one I believe, "there's only one problem with you, you're perfect". Dale Cooper upon awakening from his Douglas Jones state, even utters the word "perfect" while munching on a sandwich.

But just like Laura Palmer, the owls are not what they seem. Dale Cooper is not perfect, even the good version of him.
He has flaws, some of them tragic. One was on full display last night: his inability to let go, and his insatiable desire to fix things and right the wrongs of the world, even wrongs that occurred in the past - which brings us right back to the concept of time.

Cooper even tells everyone at the sheriff station in the penultimate episode "the past dictates the future". He clearly understands this on an intellectual level. But on an emotional level, he can't fight his urge to try to go to the other side one final time, and try to save Laura, or otherwise correct the events that Have gone tragically wrong.

Then we get into the whole discussion of time loop. This also takes us right back to Mike's quotation to Cooper about future or past. Has Cooper made this decision before? Do the same tragic events have to play out one way or the other, regardless of cooper's ability to travel between the worlds and try to correct them? I think for David Lynch the answer is there is nothing he or any of us can do to change things.

And getting back to that quote for one final point: "is it future, or is it past?" Ignores one state of being as far as the passage of time: the present. What exactly have we been watching all season, and even going back to seasons one and two and the movie? Have we been watching the present, the past, or the future? Do we have any way of really knowing what the present is? By the time I hit submit on this post, the point at which I began composing this drivel will be my past.

Lynch has created a universe where gifted individuals can cross between worlds. They can cheat the linear passage of time, to an extent, hence major Briggs youth/ age, etc. But, we can't change destiny. We can only try to alter it, but the universe has a way of coarse correcting. Maybe that's all the Giants/fireman really is : A physical manifestation of the universe course correcting itself at various points in her history. Mankind is brought into being and exists. And through the passage of time, evil is Spawned anew from even more ancient evils.

But that's not the end of the story. Good is created to counteract evil, but it is not A given. It's a process. Laura's life, her suffering, her death, and redemption was a process; a very painful process, that she had to endure. Cooper, the other characters in the Twin Peaks universe, and all of us are living out that process every day that we have another day to live on this earth, or perhaps, depending on one's beliefs, elsewhere. I have many more thoughts that I'm sure I will kick around for days, weeks and perhaps years to come. But these are just a few that were on my mind the day after, so to speak. What a ride it's been!

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