For 25 years, fans waited for David Lynch to return to the unsettling world he created with his short-lived ABC show Twin Peaks and its movie prequel, Fire Walk With Me. Now, after Showtime finally revived the series, it feels like it's already come and gone in the blink of an eye. Will Twin Peaks: The Return return for Season 2? Or will the Sept. 3 finale be the last trip viewers take to the Double R Diner?
I've got good and bad news for you, so let's get the bad news out of the way first: the upcoming two-hour finale is almost certainly the end of the road for Twin Peaks. But every cloud has a silver lining, and the good news here is... that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"A lot of people are speculating," Showtime CEO David Nevins told Deadline at the Television Critics Association press tour in early August. "But there's been zero contemplation [about a second season], zero discussions other than fans asking me about it." But Nevins was quick to dispel the notion that the choice to not continue Twin Peaks had anything to do with The Return's poor ratings performance. Even though relatively few people watch the show live, the show "has had a very palpable effect on our subscriber levels for multiple months now," Nevins told IndieWire, also at the TCA in August. "It kind of did its job, for being such an unusual show for us."
Rather, the choice to end Twin Peaks now was entirely up to co-creator David Lynch, and it would be up to him if he did end up deciding he wanted to revisit the spooky Washington township sometime in the future. "It was always intended to be one season," Nevins confirmed to Deadline in the article previously referenced. But "the door's always open to David Lynch," should he want to pursue a second season, Showtime programming president Gary Levine teased.
For now, Lynch seems content to let The Return stand alone and speak for itself — especially given the amount of work involved in resurrecting a cult classic series 26 years after it went off the air. "This was a Herculean effort," Levine told Deadline. "I'm not sure if any director has ever done 18 hours in a row of a series. It's remarkable what he achieved, fans are liking it, and for me that's what's satisfying."
To be fair, while some fans are indeed liking Lynch's even-more-surreal-than-expected return to Twin Peaks, others are not enjoying it nearly as much. For every critic who has hailed The Return as "glorious" (like Slate's Laura Miller), there's another who felt "utterly duped" by the "indulgent, incomprehensible, taxing" revival (like TVLine's Michael Ausiello). But whether you loved the new Twin Peaks, or loved to hate it, it will be sad to see such a refreshingly bizarre cultural touchstone come to an end.
Unless, of course, Lynch decides he needs to return to Twin Peaks again in another 26 years…