This is one of my ten short essays about Twin Peaks Season 3. Click this link to read my introduction to the series.
The seventh episode of Twin Peaks 3 ends with a long, static shot of the Double R Diner. The place is buzzing, full of customers. We watch Shelly and Heidi serve them, as they have presumably been doing, day in day out, for the 25 years since we saw them last. We don’t know who these people are. We can’t catch their conversations. All we can do is sit in the corner and watch.
This significant scene—and, to a lesser extent, analogous shots in Big Ed’s garage and the Roadhouse after hours—encapsulates one of the key effects of the rupture in time on which the show is constructed: the gentrification of Twin Peaks. As I wrote in the previous post, Twin Peaks (and Twin Peaks, the franchise) has been set adrift within a wider world, its inside and its outside both subsumed within the amorphous sprawl of Lynch’s USA. But the world has also entered Twin Peaks. Just look at the crowd of faceless hipsters congregating at the Roadhouse for its nightly Angelo Badalamenti tribute hour. Who are these people? We are teased with names, faces, snatches of dialogue, fragments of lives filled with drama and intrigue, but we are never allowed to know these people.
(“Has anyone seen Billy?” No. And we never will.)