Sunday, July 23, 2017

Twin Peaks: Episode 10: Harbinger

"The light is almost gone"

"Laura is the one"

"No Stars"

Bad things are on the way. In the work of David Lynch Rebekah Del Rio is something of a harbinger. In Mulholland Drive the sheer elegance and grace of her voice cracks open the entire world and fractures the movie with a moment of such pure beauty that the only way to balance the forces of Earth is through a dissemination of futility. She appeared last week on Twin Peaks, and once again it feels as if her voice has foretold viewers that the darkness that always creeps within David Lynch's world would overflow once more.

Episode 10 of Twin Peaks is perhaps the most violent in the revival to date featuring numerous scenes where men abuse & in some cases murder women. David Lynch has always reckoned with violence against women, and I'm not entirely sure it's always artistically justified, but there was something altogether different about the violence on episode 10 & it is that the spectre of Laura Palmer's tragedy ruptures the tone of the events in a way that feels as if doom hangs around the corner. Frequently, the phrase "This has happened before and it will happen again" is used throughout Twin Peaks & situations involving characters like Becky Burnett's (Amanda Seyfried) troubles with drug abuse & an abusive boyfriend feel like a retelling of past horrors.

There are three indicators that we are about to tread in the deep waters of Twin Peaks' true horrors. This is merely speculation on my part, but my gut tells me things are about to get very bad, very quickly. The first of these scenes shows Laura Palmer confronting (begging?) Gordon Cole for help. Gordon opens a door and superimposed on the image is Laura Palmer's face from Fire Walk With Me racked with pain and grief at discovering her father was the man who had been sexually abusing her all throughout her life. Gordon looks perplexed and leaves us wondering if Laura is coming to him for help or if she too haunts Gordon for being involved in these events in some way we do not yet know. Laura is also a harbinger. She is a figure of pureness in the world of Twin Peaks & her tragedy still exists in the blood of everyone who was there 25 years ago. In episode 8 of Twin Peaks we see an ethereal figure casting Laura as the Angel to fight the evil of humanities' atomic evil, bob. If she is the light and the Log Lady is the truthsayer then Laura's presence has nearly vanished. Was it the only thing keeping bob at bay? Is it what keeps Twin Peaks from being swallowed by the evil that lurks in the woods and now walks freely throughout the world? We don't have answers to these are questions yet, but Laura's appearance, Log Lady's prophecy and Rebekah Del Rio's divine voice foretell a Twin Peaks without much hope or possibility to exist if drastic measures are not taken. 

In David Lynch's world there's always the possibility that light can pierce the shadow of darkness. He believes humanity is capable of both great and terrible things. In his films this is present & these two qualities rest beside one another, but I'm worried. I'm nervous about where we're heading. It feels as if we're about to be shoved off of a cliff, with no way of knowing if we'll recover after the fall. I trust Lynch insomuch that I believe he wouldn't theoretically destroy us as viewers, but I've never seen him this angry, bleak or distrustful of humanity & given the climate of the world right now who could blame him?  There are no stars if there is no light.

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