The final two episodes of Twin Peaks were shunted into an unappealing Saturday night timeslot on June 10, 1991 by the ABC network, following a gap of nearly two months since the previous episode was aired. Tumbling ratings were to blame for the dismal way the resurgent show was treated, marking a sharp change in fortune for a series that once attracted almost 35 million viewers and garnered a staggering 14 Emmy nominations as well as scooped three Golden Globes in its first year.
As for the story itself, Cooper had entered the mysterious realms of the Black Lodge in a bid to track down his murderous nemesis Windom Earl, who had kidnapped his beloved Annie Blackburn (a young Heather Graham). The Lodge, which Cooper entered through a clearing in the forest and appears to exist in another dimension, was packed full of mazy floors and red drape-adorned rooms in which he encountered various deceased folks like Laura and Leland Palmer.
After entering a room of doppelgangers, Cooper finds Earle and surrenders his soul in return for Annie's life. Once the brutal transaction is complete, Killer Bob suddenly appears and absorbs his slave Windom's soul - and thus collects Cooper's too. The FBI Agent now has an evil doppelganger inhabited by Bob's spirit, while Good Cooper is chased around the labyrinth of the Lodge. But only one emerges on the outside world...
In the woods at the location of the invisible Lodge, Sheriff Truman notices Cooper's body lying beside a comatose and bloody Annie.
Next, Cooper is seen recuperating in bed with Doctor Hayward and Truman. "How's Annie?" he drowsily asks. He learns that she should be okay, but seems more interested in his dental hygiene than the status of his girlfriend's condition.
Cue the final ever end credits and a very fitting still shot of a good old cup of Joe. Our beloved Special Agent may now be in the clutches of a sadistic, rapist serial killer, but at least the coffee is as damn fine as ever.
A massive amount of discursive debate still takes place over the meaning of the final scene and the unresolved cliffhanger. The general view is that Evil Coop is on the outside world while Good Coop lingers in the Black Lodge. David Lynch's subsequent prequel movie Fire Walk With Me may have dealt primarily with events before the television show, but a couple of moments undoubtedly took place after Evil Coop emerged.
Apart from a blood-soaked Annie making a brief appearance in Laura's bed, the main instance occurs at the very end in the Black Lodge when the courage of Good Coop enables Laura to escape the hellish purgatory and transcend to Heaven (presumably the White Lodge) along with an angel.
Also of note is a brief exchange in the television series shortly before Cooper lost his soul - while in the Black Lodge, Laura Palmer said to him: "I'll see you again in 25 years." So perhaps all hope is not lost for more adventures in some form. Then again, she was speaking backwards at the time. Plus, she's kind of dead...
Watch the final scene
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