I understand why it had to be this way.
After watching the finale last night I felt angry, disgusted, betrayed...heartbroken! I was ready to call it quits and just put Twin Peaks out of my mind. I felt stupid for being so wrapped up in the Twin Peaks story for the last 3-4 years. My husband tried to remind me that it was Lynch/Frost's art and it wouldn't be TP without it and I actually said, "I don't give a f*** about his art right now!"
In typical TP fashion though, the story crept into my idle thoughts. Things seem much clearer (to me) from a distance. If 17 had been the end and if Dale had been able to reunite with all of his friends in TP, it really would NOT have been a happy ending. Bad Coop terrorized the people closest to Coop for 25 years. It's safe to say he raped Audrey...he murdered people...and with Bad Coop gone, there is no way Dale would not have been on the hook for Bob's quarter century of mayhem. I thought about it and I would not have wanted Dale to reunite with Audrey if what we saw was her current condition. Not only that, Coop spent 25 years of his life trapped in the black lodge. That's really really sad. There really isn't a good ending if the story had progressed in a linear way. The alternate reality ending IS actually the kinder ending.
I don't understand everything, especially the Richard/Linda thing, but I think he was able to go back and save Laura. I think Laura was dreaming in 1989 as many others have said. You could hear Sara calling for her that morning just like she did in the pilot. I'm 99% sure the scream was Laura waking up the morning she was supposed to die. Notice in the lodge the speech was normal, too. Now if this is true and is actually how it all plays out, Dale might never have ended up in Twin Peaks. I still believe he would've made his way there somehow though. Even if he didn't, knowing that he (and other TP residents) might have had the chance to have a good life and find happiness would be nice too.
If that is really what I am supposed to take away from it, I'm cool with that. If they wanted to tell the story of what would've happened if Laura didn't die...sign me up. The hook is officially back in my mouth, lol. Makes me wonder about what will be in the book in October, too.
Nicely stated process. I am in a similar, although not the same boat. I haven't reached the "acceptance" stage yet. But you give me hope.
I hope you find some peace with it...in the 12 hours I had away from it, the world seemed like a grayer place somehow if that makes sense. Even if I'm angry and confused inside the story, I think I prefer it to being outside.