Jacques Lacan, Walk with Me: On the Letter
Why was there no third season of Twin Peaks? Among the possible responses to this vexing question (the dwindling audience, or the impasse of “creative differences” between David Lynch and Mark Frost), the most plausible one—for the formalist, at least—is that the story had arrived at its logical and inevitable conclusion. In the horrific finale at the Great Northern Hotel, Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) smashes his head against the bathroom mirror and, with ironic glee, gazes upon “his” reflection in its crazed, bloodied surface: the crazed, ugly face of BOB (Frank Silva). If the narrative economy of Twin Pe aks — specifically, its temporal unfolding or the seriality of events—is largely predicated on doubling, and thus falls under the auspices of what Lacan conceptualizes as the “repetition automatism” (11), then Cooper’s ultimate convergence with his polar opposite, his gothic Other, is precisely and conclusively uncanny. For in the logical circuits of repetition and return, it is hardly coincidental that we have already witnessed the co-incidence, mediated by the mirror image, of Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) and BOB (episode 14). As the host who carried what Dexter Morgan of the Showtime TV series might call the “dark passenger” of BOB until his pitiful death, Leland Palmer is at once the narrative precursor of Cooper’s destiny as a split subject and, as the original embodiment of BOB’s agency, the cog that sets the narrative machinery in motion.
KeywordsSymbolic Order Yellow Stripe Twin Peak Primal Scene Scarlet Letter
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