On This Day: ‘Twin Peaks’ Airs its Final Episode in 1991

by Matthew Wilson

Get that coffee and cherry pie ready. Because today, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the cult classic “Twin Peaks” going off the air.

Many considered Episode 29 or “Beyond Life and Death” to be one of the most infuriating cliffhangers in all of television. It’s only helped a little by the fact that viewers finally got some resolution 26 years later when the series returned. But one should never expect concrete answers when watching “Twin Peaks” (More on that later).

“Twin Peaks” garnered a following in the years after it went off the air despite only airing two seasons. The show revolved around the mysterious death of Laura Palmer. Eccentric FBI agent Dale Cooper arrived in the Washington town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder. But for much of the show, “Twin Peaks” was happier to focus on its odd and colorful townfolks. The show wallowed in the odd and the strange.

Soon, it became apparent that Cooper was dealing with forces from beyond this world. Who can forget the sinister BOB, an interdimensional being from another plane of reality? Pressured by the studio, creator David Lynch finally wrapped up the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer in Season Two. Afterward, the show felt directionless and lost ratings as a result. With cancelation looming, Lynch in a stroke of brilliance decided to create one of the most frustrating hours of television ever.

‘Twin Peaks’ Returned in 2017

In the series finale, Cooper enters the Black Lodge to rescue his girlfriend Annie. The Black Lodge is an alternate place of reality full of evil. But in the final minutes of the episode, Cooper gets trapped in this alternate plane. In his place, an evil doppelganger emerges looking exactly like Cooper. “Twin Peaks” ends on an ominous note with the Evil Cooper smashing his face into the mirror over and over.

That’s all fans had for 26 years. But the show returned in 2017 for one last hurray. “Twin Peaks: The Return” picked up almost three decades later. Much had changed over the years, and fans found the show refusing to retread old ground. The new “Twin Peaks” reckoned with nostalgia and how one can’t really go back after all of these years.

And in true “Twin Peaks” fashion, it didn’t care to answer the viewers’ questions. Dale Cooper finally escaped the Black Lodge after all these years. But in the final episode, he attempts to rewrite reality and stop Laura Palmer from dying to begin with. Everyone’s favorite agent finds himself somewhere even more unexplainable and terrifying. But that’s “Twin Peaks” for you.