Film Review: A Dog’s Way Home (dir by Charles Martin Smith)


I’ll admit it right now.  I’ve never really been a dog person.

That’s the way it’s been my entire life.  According to my sisters, I was bitten by a dog when I was two years old.  Needless to say, I don’t remember that happening but that still might explain why, when I was growing up, I was scared to death of dogs.  Seriously, if I was outside and I heard a dog barking or if I saw a dog running around loose (or even on a leash), I would immediately start shaking.  It didn’t help that, for some reason, I always seemed to run into the big dogs that wanted to jump and slobber all over me.  (“Don’t be scared,” one dog owner shouted at 10 year-old me, “that’ll just make him more wild,” as if it was somehow my responsibility to keep his dog under control.)

As I grew up, I become less scared of dogs but they still definitely make me nervous.  I still cringe when listening to the barking and I still reflexively step back whenever I see a big dog anywhere near me.  Now that I know more about dogs, I have to admit that I feel a little bit guilty about not liking them more.  Knowing that dogs actually blame themselves for me not liking them is kind of heart-breaking and I have been making more of an effort to be, if nothing else, at least polite to the canines who lives in the neighborhood.  That said, I’m a cat person and I’ll always be cat person.  Cats don’t care if you like them or not nor do they blame themselves if you’re in a bad mood, which is lot less of an emotional responsibility to deal with.

With all that in mind, I have to say that I still enjoyed A Dog’s Way Home.  It’s a family film that was released last January, dealing with an adorable dog named Bella.  Bella (whose thoughts are heard courtesy of a Bryce Dallas Howard voice-over) is raised underneath an abandoned building by a cat.  (“Mother cat!” Bella shouts as the audiences goes, “Awwwwwww!”)  When the building is demolished by an unscrupulous businessman, Bella is adopted by Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King).  Lucas works at the VA and Bella is soon a hit with everyone from the patients to Lucas’s mom (Ashley Judd).  In fact, the only people who don’t love Bella are the corrupt animal control people.  They not only declare Bella to be a pit bull but they also say that it’s illegal for her to live in Denver.

In order to keep the city of Denver from putting Bella down, Lucas and his mom make plans to move to a suburb.  However, until they can move, they arrange for Bella to stay at friend’s house, 400 miles away.  Bella doesn’t understand what’s happening.  She just wants to get back home to Lucas.  And, when she hears someone utter the words “go home,” this leads to Bella attempting to do just that.  Escaping from her temporary home, Bella spends the next two years making her way to her real home.

Along the way, of course, Bella has adventures.  For instance, she discovers that humans really suck sometimes.  When a cougar is killed by hunters, Bella adopts and raises the cougar’s child.  (Bella calls her “Little Kitten” and then, after a few months pass, “Big Kitten.”)  She also discovers that sometimes, humans can be okay, like when she’s temporarily adopted by a couple who love her but who just aren’t Lucas.  And, when she’s temporarily the property of a homeless man, Bella learns about the comfort that a pet can bring to someone in need….

There’s nothing surprising about the film but it’s well-done and, like Bella itself, blessed with a genuinely sweet nature.  (I started crying about five minutes into the film and I teared up several times afterwards.)  Though the corrupt animal control officers seem like they stepped out of a bad Disney film from the 60s, the rest of the cast does a pretty good job of bringing some needed sincerity to even the most sentimental of scenes and it’s impossible not to be touched by Bella’s determination to return to Lucas.  It’s a sweet movie, one that can be enjoyed even by someone who isn’t much of a dog person.

6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 1990s


Continuing our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 1990s.

Dazed and Confused (1993, dir by Richard Linklater)

 An ensemble cast that was full of future stars, including future Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck.  A killer soundtrack.  A script full of quotable lines.  Dazed and Confused seemed like it had everything necessary to score a Best Picture nomination and perhaps it would have if the film had been set in Los Angeles instead of the suburbs of Atlanta.  Unfortunately, Richard Linklater’s classic was overlooked.

Casino (1995, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Martin Scorsese’s epic gangster film had all the glitz of Vegas and Joe Pesci to boot!  Despite being one Scorsese’s best, the Academy largely overlooked it, giving a nomination to Sharon Stone and otherwise ignoring the film.

Normal Life (1996, dir by John McNaughton)

Life, love, crime, and death in the suburbs!  John McNaughton’s sadly overlooked film featured award-worthy performances from both Ashley Judd and Luke Perry and it definitely deserves to be better-known.  Unfortunately, the Academy overlooked this poignant true crime masterpiece.

Boogie Nights (1997, dir by Paul Thomas Anderson)

Paul Thomas Anderson first made a splash with this look at the porn industry in the 70s and 80s.  Along the way, he made Mark Wahlberg a star and briefly rejuvenated the career of Burt Reynolds.  Though both Reynolds and Julianne Moore received nominations, the film itself went unnominated.  Oh well.  At least Dirk Diggler got to keep his award for best newcomer.

Rushmore (1998, dir by Wes Anderson)

Though the film was nominated for its screenplay, the Wes Anderson classic missed out on best picture  Even more surprisingly, Bill Murray was not nominated for his funny yet sad performance.  Murray would have to wait until 2003’s Lost In Translation to receive his first nomination.  Meanwhile, a Wes Anderson film would not be nominated for best picture until Grand Budapest Hotel achieved the honor in 2015.  (That same year, Boyhood became the first Richard Linklater film to be nominated.)

10 Things I Hate About You (1999, dir by Gil Junger)

This wonderful take on Shakespeare not only introduced the world to Heath Ledger but it also proved that a teen comedy need not be stupid or misogynistic.  Because it was viewed as being a genre film (and a comedy to boot!), it didn’t get any love from the Academy but it continues to be loved by film watchers like me!

Up next, in an hour or so, the 2000s!

6 Actresses Who Will Soon Hopefully Win Their First Oscar


As of right now, it seems like there’s a very good chance that Glenn Close will win the Academy Award for Best Actress tonight.  In a film career that started 19 years ago and which has seen Close nominated for seven Academy Awards, tonight would be her first win.

That’s the way it goes with the Oscars.  Some performers win an Oscar for their first film.  Some don’t win until they’ve got several decades of work behind them.  Others, sadly enough, go through their entire life getting nominated but never actually winning.  Some come out of nowhere, win an Oscar, and then promptly vanish.  Others, like Meryl Streep, are given nominations largely just for showing up.  One of the biggest Oscar traditions has been the beloved artist who, after years of distinguished work, finally picks up for her first award.

The cliché, of course, is that every performer just needs the right role.  So, with that in mind, here are 6 previously unrewarded actresses who I hope get the right role sometime in the near future:

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd was one of the best actresses working the 90s and the early 21st Century but her career was deliberately sabotaged by a monster named Harvey Weinstein.  In Twin Peaks: The Return, Judd proved that she’s still more than capable of playing intriguing and unpredictable characters.  If anyone is both owed a great role and has repeatedly shown herself to have the talent to handle one, it’s Ashley Judd.

Jennifer Jason Leigh

It’s hard to believe that her nomination for The Hateful Eight was Jennifer Jason Leigh’s first.  While Leigh was undeniably good in the film, the nomination was also a recognition of the fact that, since the 1980s, Leigh’s been one of the best and bravest actresses around.  Hopefully, The Hateful Eight will not be her only nomination.

Saoirse Ronan

When is Saorise Ronan going to win an Oscar?  One gets the feeling that she came close with Lady Bird and Brooklyn but, both times, the Oscar went to another.  Ronan seems like one of those performers that’s destined to win sometime.

Zoe Kazan

Zoe Kazan has been Oscar-worthy in two films, Ruby Sparks and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.  One could also argue that she deserved some consideration for her performance in The Big Sick.  Based on the scripts for Ruby Sparks and Wildfire, Kazan could just easily win an Oscar for writing as for acting,

Scarlett Johansson

It still continues to amaze me that, with credits like Lost In Translation and Under the Skin on her resume, Scarlett Johansson has yet to even be nominated for an Academy Award.  As of late, Johansson has been best known for playing Natasha in a countless MCU films.  So, how about an award-worthy Black Widow stand-alone film?  Get to it, Marvel!

Carey Mulligan

Ever since I first saw An Education, Carey Mulligan’s been one of my favorite actresses.  Mulligan is such a good actress that I think there’s a tendency to take her for granted.  That she was nominated for neither Mudbound nor Shame is …. well, a shame.

 

2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)


“Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die.” — John Merrick’s Mother, quoting Tennyson, at the end of The Elephant Man (1980)

Was Twin Peaks: The Return a movie or a TV show?

As I sit here on January 9th, 2018, that’s a question that’s still on my mind.  There are many critics who insist that Twin Peaks: The Return should be viewed as being a 16-hour movie.  It’s a claim that I, myself, have made several times.  In order to support this argument, we point out that David Lynch and Mark Frost didn’t sit down and write 16 different scripts.  Instead, they wrote one 900-page script which they then filmed and subsequently divided into 16 different “chapters.”  It’s really not that much different from what Quentin Tarantino did with Kill Bill or what Peter Jackson did with both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  As well, Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental artistic achievement that calling it a TV show just seems somehow diminishing.

And yet, the fact of the matter is that Twin Peaks: The Return did air on television.  It aired in 16 different episodes, which were aired on a weekly basis.  To many, that fact alone makes Twin Peaks: The Return a television show.

It may all seem like a silly question to some readers.  However, for those of us who like to make best-of lists at the start of the new year, it is a legitimate issue.  Should I include Twin Peaks: The Return at the top of my list of the best 26 films of 2017 or should I rave about it in my list of good things I saw on television in 2017?

My solution is to do neither.  Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental achievement that it deserves a best-of entry of its very own.

(Of course, not everyone is going to agree.  For everyone who loved Twin Peaks: The Return, there was someone else who hated it with just as much of a passion.)

Months after the show ended, Twin Peaks: The Return continues to haunt many viewers.  As the Man From Another Place once told Agent Cooper, “She is full of secrets.”  When the show ended, many of the show’s mysteries were left unsolved.  Really, we shouldn’t have been surprised.  As a filmmaker, David Lynch has always been most interested in mysteries than solutions.  What happened to Audrey?  Why did Laura/Carrie scream?  At the end of the show, was Dale trapped in another world or another time?  Was BOB really destroyed?

Interestingly, David Lynch actually provided viewers with two endings.  The first ending, which occurred halfway through Part 17, was an ending that would have been perfect for a television show.  Dale Cooper, back to normal, defeated the bad guys and was reunited with all of his friends.  The second ending — also known as Part 18— was a much more Lynchian ending as two strangers took a road trip to nowhere.  Part 17 gave us hope for the future.  Part 18 ended with a dark reminder that the past cannot be changed, no matter how much we obsess over it.  For me, Part 18 was the most important chapter of Twin Peaks: The Return.  Part 8, of course, is the chapter that got and continues to get all the attention.  And Part 8 was probably one of the greatest stand-alone episodes in television history.  But, when considering the reoccurring themes of Twin Peaks: The Return and all of Lynch’s work, Part 18 was far more important.

What’s interesting is that, while the show ended on a dark note, Twin Peaks: The Return was often Lynch at his most optimistic.  For all the terrible things that happened, the show also featured a reoccurring theme of redemption.  Two of the original show’s most villainous characters — Dana Ashbrook’s Bobby Briggs and Richard Beymer’s Ben Horne — were reintroduced as two of the most sympathetic characters to be found in The Return.  Agent Cooper finally escaped from the Black Lodge and not only got a chance to redeem himself by destroying Bob but he also destroyed his evil Double.  He even got a chance to turn Dougie Jones into a good husband, father, and employee.

In the end, it would appear that Cooper’s only mistake was thinking that he could change the past.  He may have saved Laura but, in doing so, he just transformed her into Carrie, an unbalanced woman living in a house with a dead body on the couch.  As her final scream confirmed, he could save her life but he couldn’t erase her pain.  The past is the past but the future can always be better.

Of course, it wasn’t just the characters on the show who won redemption.  The cast of Twin Peaks: The Return was truly amazing and, by the time the show ended, my opinion of several performers had changed forever.  Who would ever have guessed that Jim Belushi would end up being one of my favorite characters?  Or that Michael Cera would turn Wally Brando into a minor cult hero?   Or that David Lynch would prove to be as good an actor as he is a director?  Or that Balthazar Getty would get a chane to redeem his less than impressive work in Lost Highway with a chilling performance as the newest face of Twin Peaks corruption?  Even the returnees from the original show — Dana Ashbrook, Wendy Robie, Sheryl Lee, Harry Goaz, Kimmy Robertson, Russ Tamblyn, Everett McGill, Peggy Lipton, Grace Zabriskie, James Marshall, Madchen Amick, and others — were given a chance to reveal new depths of character.  Veterans like Robert Forster, Ashley Judd, Laura Dern, Don Murray, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Naomi Watts and Tim Roth shared the stage with newcomers like Chrysta Bell and Eamon Farren and they all came together to create an unforgettable world.

You could even argue that Twin Peaks: The Return was a comeback of sorts for Kyle MacLachlan.  Hollywood has never seemed to really understand how to best use this appealing but quirky actor.  Twin Peaks: The Return provided him with a chance to show what he can do, giving him not just one but three characters to play.

 

Twin Peaks: The Return gave us one final chance to appreciate some talented people who are no longer with us.  Harry Dean Stanton was the face of old-fashioned decency.  Miguel Ferrer provided snarky commentary, letting the audience know that the show understood how strange it was.  Warren Frost returned briefly, still as reliable as ever as Doc Hayward.  And Catherine E. Coulson, who was so often Lynch’s muse, got to play the role one more time.

(Jack Nance, Don S. Davis, Frank Silva, and David Bowie all made appearances as well, a reminder that they may no longer be with us but they will never be gone.)

In the end, it seems appropriate to end this post with a picture of Ed and Norma, finally together.  The world of Twin Peaks: The Return was frequently a dark one but sometimes, love won.

Tomorrow, my look back at 2017 continues with my picks for my favorite songs of 2017.

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch)


Do you realize that there are only 6 episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return left?

Normally, this is when most limited series would start working towards a climax.  If this was any other show, Cooper would no longer be trapped in Dougie’s body, everyone would already be back in Twin Peaks, and … well, things would be a lot different.

But the fact of the matter is that Twin Peaks is different.  That’s why we watch.  That’s what makes it exciting.  David Lynch has repeatedly shown that he has no interest in slavishly following the traditional rules of television.  In fact, to call Twin Peaks a television series is incorrect.  It’s an 18-hour movie, one that’s been directed by America’s premiere surrealist.  In many ways, this show requires the viewer to take a leap of faith.  “Trust me,” Lynch is saying, “You might not understand it all but you’ll never forget it.”  I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next month but, as always, I’m looking forward to finding out.

Part 12 opens in an office, with Albert (Miguel Ferrer) telling Tammy (Chrysta Bell) to ignore the strange man.  The man in question is Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and while Gordon may be eccentric, Albert is just showing off his famous wit.  Albert, Gordon, and Tammy drink a toast to the bureau and then Tammy is invited to join the Blue Rose.  Albert explains that the Blue Rose is a secret task force that was set up to investigate that strange cases that Project Blue Book could not solve.  The Blue Rose was originally made up of Albert, Philip Jeffries, Dale Cooper, and Chet Desmond.

“Perhaps you have noticed,” Albert says, “that I’m the only one of that group who hasn’t vanished without explanation.”

Despite the dangers, Tammy agrees to join the task force.  Yay, Tammy!

Diane (Laura Dern) then enters the office.  Gordon and Albert offer to deputize her into the Blue Rose.  Diane at first seems hesitant but suddenly, after a sudden burst of dramatic music, she says, “Let’s rock!”  And, of course, true fans of the show will immediately remember the first time that Cooper met the Man From Another Place during the first season of Twin Peaks.  Coincidence?  I don’t know if anything in Twin Peaks is ever a coincidence.

(I loved this scene.  It was nicely acted by all involved, including the underrated Chrysta Bell, and Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting music was used to wonderful effect.)

Back in Twin Peaks, Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) finally comes running out of the woods.

Meanwhile, in a grocery store, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie, who is absolutely brilliant in this episode) wanders down the liquor aisle.  After filling up her shopping cart with liquor, she goes to the check out and also gets a carton of Salems.  While the cashier rings her up, Sarah stares at a display of beef jerky.  She appears to be disturbed by it and I don’t blame her.  Beef jerky is nasty.

Anyway, Sarah’s liquor and cigarette bill comes to $133.70.  However, she is more concerned about the beef jerky display.  It wasn’t there before, she says.  She asks if the beef jerky is smoked.  The cashier says that it’s the same beef jerky except that its turkey.

“Were you here when they brought it in?” Sarah asks.  Then, “Your room seems different … AND MEN ARE COMING!  I am trying to tell you that you have to watch out!  Things can happen!  Something happened to me!  I don’t feel good, I don’t feel good!  Sarah … Sarah, stop doing this.  Okay.  Leave this place.”

Leaving behind her liquor and cigarettes, Sarah leaves the store.

At the trailer park, Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) talks to one of his residents, an old man who walks with a cane.  Carl finds out that the man has been selling his blood for money.  Yet, he mows people’s lawns and puts in propane tanks for free.  Carl gives the man $50 and tells him not to worry about paying that month’s rent.  Carl says he doesn’t like the idea of people selling their blood.

In Las Vegas, Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) and his son play catch in the back yard.  Or, to be honest, his son tries to play catch.  Dougie just stands there while the baseball bounces off his head.  Here’s what Kyle MacLachlan had to say on twitter after someone asked him how he felt after filming this scene:

Back in Twin Peaks, Hawk (Michael Horse) walks up to the Palmer House, to check on Sarah’s well-being.  As he approaches, we see the infamous ceiling fan through a window.  In the original series, any shot of that ceiling fan was usually followed by an appearance by Killer BOB.

Sarah tells Hawk that she doesn’t know what came over her in the grocery store.  Sarah says she’s fine now but she refuses to open the door wide enough for Hawk to get a good view inside the house.  Hawk asks if there’s someone in the house.  “No,” Sarah says, “just something in the kitchen.”

“You’re okay, then?” Hawk asks.

“It’s a goddamn bad story, isn’t it, Hawk?” Sarah suddenly snarls.

Hawk says that if she needs help, she can call him anytime.  Sarah shuts the door in his face.

Cut to Twin Peaks Hospital, where a badly beaten Miriam (Sarah Jean Long) lies in bed.

At the hotel bar, Diane gets a text, asking if they’ve asked about Las Vegas yet.

At the Great Northern, Truman (Robert Forster) meets with Ben (Richard Beymer).  Truman tells Ben that they know that his grandson, Richard, was behind the wheel in the hit and run that killed the little boy.  Truman also says that Richard tried to kill Miriam.  Miriam is a teacher without insurance and now, she’s in intensive care and is going to need an operation.  Truman suggests that Ben should pay for her medical treatment.  Ben agrees and then says that something has always been wrong with Richard.

After talking about Richard being on the run, Ben holds up Cooper’s old room key, the one that he received in the mail a few episodes ago.  He gives it to Truman and asks him to give it to Harry.

After Truman leaves, Ben tells Beverly (Ashley Judd) about Richard.  Richard never had a father, Ben says.  (Perhaps because his father was Doppelganger Cooper.)

Back in South Dakota, Gordon has a mysterious French woman (Bérénice Marlohe) in his hotel room.  He’s telling her an old FBI story when they’re interrupted by Albert.  Albert asks the woman to wait downstairs.  Though it takes her a while to get her shoes back on (we’ve all been there), she finally does leave.  Gordon explains that the woman is visiting a friend who owns a turnip farm.  The friend’s daughter has disappeared.

“I told her the daughter would turn up eventually,” Gordon explains, before adding, “She didn’t get it either.”  What’s funny is that I can imagine David Lynch telling that exact same joke in real life.

Anyway, Albert is more concerned about the text message that Diane received, the one asking about Las Vegas.

Gordon says they’ll figure it out but, first, he’d like to get back to his wine.

“What kind is it?” Albert asks.

Gordon looks at his watch.  “11:05,” he announces.

When Albert stares at him without responding, Gordon says, “Albert, sometimes I really worry about you.”

Meanwhile, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) use a sniper rifle to assassinate the warden (James Morrison) as he walks up to his house.  The warden’s young son comes outside and sees his father dead on the porch.  “Daddy!” he shouts.  It could have been worse.  Hutch wanted to kidnap and torture the warden but Chantel was hungry and wanted to get something to eat.

Back in Twin Peaks, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) rants about the government and sells his golden shovels.  In her shop, Nadine (Wendy Robie) listens approvingly.  Apparently, Dr. Jacoby is now known as Dr. Amp and, just from the way he rants, I bet he’s on twitter and he probably does the whole numbered tweet threading thing.

Meanwhile, Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is talking to her husband Charlie (Clark Middleton) and — OH MY GOD!  AUDREY’S BACK!  Audrey and Charlie are arguing.  Audrey wants to go out and find someone named Billy.  Charlie says he has a lot of paperwork to do and that there’s no point in going at night.  Audrey is emotional and Charlie … well, Charlie most definitely is not.  Charlie is calm to the point of being creepy.

“What kind of shit are you?” Audrey asks, “You are nothing but a fucking no-balls loser.”

You tell him, Audrey!  I don’t know Charlie but if Audrey says he’s a loser…

Charlie gets peeved and asks Audrey not to talk to him like that but Audrey has no use for him or his hurt feelings.  “You have no balls,” she tells him, “that’s why I am in love with Billy.   That’s why I am fucking Billy.  And Tina … I got to find Tina.  She was the last person who fucking saw Billy and I can’t stand being in the same room as her!”

Audrey demands that Charlie sign some papers that she gave him.  Charlie says he’s not singing anything until he runs them by his lawyer.  Apparently, their marriage involves a contract and, by demanding a divorce, Audrey is reneging on a contract.  Charlie is shocked but Audrey doesn’t care.

Charlie finally agrees to go with Audrey to Roadhouse so they can look for Billy.  But first, Charlie suggests that he should call Tina and talk to her.  Audrey repeats that Tina was the last one to see Billy but then she says that “Chuck is certifiable so we can’t count on anything from him.”

“Did you know,” Charlie asks, “that Chuck stole Billy’s truck last week?”

Charlie goes on to say that the police eventually found Billy’s truck and that Billy dropped all charges.  Audrey seems both confused and fascinated by this story.  Myself, I’m wondering if Billy, Chuck, and Tina actually exist.  (Chuck and Charlie, of course, are both nicknames for Charles.)

I guess Tina is real because Charlie does call her, or at least he claims that he’s called and is talking to Tina.  (We only hear Charlie’s side of the conversation.  And everything that Charles says seems to be intentionally vague.)  After hanging up the phone, Charlie refuses to reveal what Tina said.

In South Dakota, Diane sits in the hotel bar and looks up the coordinates that were written on Ruth Davenport’s arm.  Not surprisingly, they’re the coordinates for Twin Peaks.

Meanwhile, at the Road House, Chromatics are playing once again.  In a booth, two women, Abbie (Elizabeth Anweis) and Natalie (Ana de la Reguera), gossip about a guy named Clark, who is apparently cheating on his girlfriend, Angela, with someone named Mary.  Apparently, Angela is off her meds now.  They also note that Angela’s having a rough time but they’re not surprised.  “Losing her mom like that!” they say.

Suddenly, they’re joined by a hyperactive man named Trick (Scott Coffey, who also played the mysterious Cowboy in Mulholland Drive) who is upset because, on his way to the roadhouse, another vehicle ran him off the road. Trick says he wishes he could kill whoever the other driver was.  When Trick goes to get a beer, Abbie and Natalie discuss that Trick was under house arrest but he’s free now.

To quote something that I said in my initial thoughts post for this episode:

In Dario Argento’s Inferno, there’s a random shot of a woman who we’ve never seen before hanging herself.  She’s never mentioned or seen again.  Argento has said that he included that random shot to show that the world was out of balance.  I think, to a large extent, that’s what Lynch is doing with several of the more random aspects of Twin Peaks.

And, with that in mind, the end credits roll and we only have six more episodes to go.

Twin Peaks on TSL:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  29. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  30. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.21 “Miss Twin Peaks” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Leonard Wilson
  31. TV Review: Twin Peaks 22.2 “Beyond Life and Death” (directed by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  32. Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  33. Here’s The Latest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  34. Here’s The Newest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  35. 12 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two by Lisa Marie Bowman
  36. This Week’s Peaks: Parts One and Two by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  37. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  38. 4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition by Lisa Marie Bowman
  39. This Week’s Peaks: Parts Three and Four by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  40. 14 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Three by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  42. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman 
  43. 18 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  44. This Week’s Peaks: Part Five by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  45. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  46. 14 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  47. This Week’s Peaks: Part Six by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  48. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  51. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  52. Ten Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  53. This Week’s Peaks: Part Eight by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  54. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  55. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  56. This Week’s Peaks: Part Nine by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  57. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  58. 20 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  59. This Week’s Peaks: Part 10 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  60. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  61. 16 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  62. This Week’s Peaks: Part 11 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  63. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  64. 20 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  65. This Weeks Peaks: Part 12 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch)


As I watched Part 9 of Twin Peaks on Showtime tonight, it occurred to me that there really are only two types of people in the world.

There are people who love Twin Peaks.

And there are people who hate Twin Peaks and therefore, really don’t matter.

The problem is that, despite not being that important, that second group of people tends to be very vocal.  They really want you to know how much they hate Twin Peaks.  It’s funny to listen to them because you can tell that they think they’re being truth tellers.  They think that they — and they alone — have the guts to admit the truth about Twin Peaks.

They remind me of this idiot who was in a Literature class that I took at the University of North Texas.  Not only did she loudly announce that she would not be reading Lolita but she also said, “Would anyone actually read this book if this class didn’t force them to!?”

(She really seemed to think she was the first person to ever ask that very simple-minded question.)

Seriously, some people are so fucking stupid.  Fortunately, for the rest of us, there was a new episode of Twin Peaks tonight!  Here’s what happened!

Things open in the present day.  We are no longer in 1956 and, I have to admit, I was kind of relieved to see that.  As much as I loved and was intrigued by Part 8, there was also a part of me that was worried that Lynch would spent the next 4 episodes following the Woodsman around as he asked random people, “Got a light?”

(Make no mistake.  If Lynch had gone in that direction, I would have happily watched all four of those episodes.  Though I may not always understand his intentions, I have total faith in Lynch as an artist.)

Doppelganger Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) walks down a country road, still covered in blood.  He spots a red bandana sitting on a fence post and, with a look of disgust on his face, snatches it.

Above South Dakota, Gordon (David Lynch), Tammy (Chrysta Bell), Albert (Miguel Ferrer), and Diane (Laura Dern) sit on a plane.  Albert and Diane sleep.  Gordon talks on the phone with Colonel Davis, while Tammy listens.  Davis tells Gordon that the body (if not the head) of Major Garland Briggs has been found in Buckhorn.

“I don’t appreciate your language at all!” Gordon shouts back.

No, Gordon — BUCKhorn!

(It’s a corny joke, to be honest.  But, as an actor, David Lynch sells the Hell out of it.  There’s something undeniably charming about how much fun Lynch seems to be having in the role of Gordon Cole.)

Back on the ground, Doppelganger Cooper meets two of his associates, Chantel (Jennifer Jason Leigh, returning for the first time since Part Two) and Gary “Hutch” Hutchens (Tim Roth!).  They have apparently commandeered a farm.  Gary tells Doppelganger Cooper that the farm’s owners are “out back.  Sleepin’.”

Meanwhile, back on the plane, Gordon tells Diane that they’re making a stop in Buckhorn, South Dakota.  “Fuck you!” Diane replies, “I want to go home.”  However, Gordon reveals that it’s a blue rose case.

While Gordon is explaining to the pilot that they’ll be making an unscheduled stop, he gets a call from Warden Murphy (James Morrison.)

“Cooper flew the coop!” Gordon announces and, again, Lynch delivers it with such unapologetic gusto that you can’t help but love both the director and the character.

Back at the farm, Chantel and Doppelganger Cooper walk around back and we see an old couple laying dead on the ground.  As Chantel watches, Doppelganger puts in a call to Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) in Las Vegas.  He asks if Dougie is dead.  When Todd replies, “Not yet,” Doppelganger tells him, “It better be done the next time I call.”

Hutch brings the Doppelganger a rifle and a box of bullets.  The Doppelganger tells Hutch that he wants the Warden dead within the next two days and then he has a “double header for you in Las Vegas.”  Hutch then tells Chantel, who is apparently his wife, to “give the bossman a wet one.”  Doppelganger and Chantel share a passionate kiss.

(What’s interesting is that the Doppelganger actually seems to sincerely like both Hutch and Chantel.  He even calls Chantel “sweetheart.”)

This is actually from Part 6 but it’s the Fuscos!

At the Las Vegas Police Department, my favorite detectives — the Fuscos (Eric Edelstein, Dave Koechner, and Larry Clarke) — are asking Bushnell (the wonderfully distinguished Don Murray) if he can think of anyone who would want to harm either Dougie or Janey-E (Naomi Watts).  Bushnell says no, though tempers do run high in the insurance business.  He also mentions that Dougie has been working for him for 12 years and that he can occasionally seem slow because of the lingering effects of a car accident.

My favorite Fusco — Smiley Fusco — starts to giggle.

Out in the hallway, Dougie and Janey-E sit on a bench and wait,  Bushnell approaches and tells the blank-faced Dougie/Cooper that he can take the rest of the day off.  Janey-E says that’s great.  She needs to get him to a doctor, anyway.  Meanwhile, Dougie/Cooper stares, entranced first by an American flag and then on a random secretary who is wearing the same type of red high heels that Audrey Horne used to wear.  Finally, he stares at an electrical socket and we’re reminded that the residents of the Black Lodge often travel through electrical currents.

Meanwhile, in their office, the Fuscos discuss the fact that there is no legal record of Dougie Jones even existing before 1997.  Could he be in witness protection?  D. Fusco has a friend at the Justice Department that he says he can call.  The Fuscos then start to talk about broken taillights, which leads to Smiley Fusco giggling.  Soon, all the Fuscos are laughing!  Good times!

But it’s not all fun and games.  D. Fusco also takes Dougie/Cooper a cup of coffee, the better to get his finger prints and his DNA.

Speaking of fingerprints, another officer announces that the prints off that gun have come back!  It belonged to Ike the Spike ( Christophe Zajac-Denek), who has apparently been tracked down to a cheap motel.  The Fuscos rush to the motel to “join the fun.”  The police catch Ike just as he’s leaving his motel room.  Smiley Fusco starts to giggle.

At the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy (Harry Goaz) shop for furniture online.  Lucy wants a beige chair.  Andy wants a red chair.  Andy says that they can get the beige chair so Lucy orders the red chair.  They’re so cute!

At the Horne House, Johnny Horne (Eric Rondell, who I guess is replacing Robert Bauer in the role) slams his head into a wall, crashing to the floor and leaving a bloody hole in the plaster.  Sylvia Horne (Jan D’Arcy) cries over Johnny’s body.

Deputy Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) drops in on his mother (Charlotte Stewart), the wife of the late Garland Briggs.  Bobby, however, does not come alone.  He has brought Truman (Robert Forster) and Hawk (Michael Horse) with him.  They ask her about Cooper’s final visit with Major Briggs, the visit that occurred the day before Briggs’s mysterious death.

Mrs. Briggs says that she’s not surprised.  Before his death, Major Briggs told her that, one day, Truman, Hawk, and Bobby would ask her about Special Agent Dale Cooper.  Mrs. Briggs says that the Major told her to give them something when they asked, a black tube that she has apparently been hiding in a chair for over 25 years.

What follows is a truly brilliant piece of acting from Charlotte Stewart, who previously starred in Lynch’s very first film, Eraserhead.  Mrs. Briggs’s monologue, with it’s unapologetic mix of melodrama and sentiment, feels like a throw back to the old Twin Peaks.  she explains that Major Briggs somehow always knew that Bobby would grow up to be a better man then he was at the time of the Major’s death.

At the Bucktorn morgue, Gordon, Tammy, Diane, and Albert meet with Knox (Adele Rene) and Macklay (Brent Briscoe).  When Diane lights a cigarette, she deals with Macklay’s objections by pointing out that “It’s a fucking morgue!”  After everyone else leaves to look at the Major’s headless body, Diane looks at a message on her phone: “AROUND THE DINNER TABLE.  THE CONVERSATION IS LIVELY.”

Meanwhile, Macklay gets Gordon, Tammy, and Albert up to date on what’s been happening in the Bill Hasting case.  Apparently, his lawyer — George — was arrested for the murder of Bill’s wife.  (We, of course, know she was actually killed by the Doppelganger.)  The day after, Bill’s secretary was killed by a car bomb.

“What’s happening in season 2?” Albert asks, a cheerful acknowledgement of the fact that Twin Peaks started out as a deliberately over the top nighttime soap opera.

As they stand over the Major’s headless body, Macklay goes on to explain that Bill and Ruth Davenport were working on “some strange little blog about an alternate dimension.”  Apparently, in his final post, Bill wrote, “Today we entered the Zone and we met the Major…”  Meanwhile, the coroner (Jane Adams) shows them the ring that she found in the Major’s stomach.  She reads the inscription, “To Dougie, Love Janey-E.”

In Twin Peaks, Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) is still stoned and lost in the wilderness.  He looks down at his shoes and hears a voice: “I am not your foot.”  Is Jerry just really high or has his foot been possessed by something from the Black Lodge?

At the Sheriff’s Department, everyone is on their lunch break.  Everyone but Truman, Bobby, and Hawk.  They’re too busy trying to open that black tube.  Fortunately, Bobby knows how to do it.  (It basically involves throwing it down on the ground several times.)  Inside the tube are two small pieces of paper.  The first features a drawing of the two mountains (the literal twin peaks) and the following directions: “253 yards, east of Jack Rabbit’s Palace.  Before leaving Jack Rabbit’s Palace, put some soil from that area in your pocket.”  There are also two dates (10/1 and 10/2) and a time (2:53).  Truman says that’s two days from now.

Bobby laughs, saying his father has apparently set all of this up so that he can be the hero.  Apparently, Bobby knows exactly where Jack Rabbit’s Palace is because his father used to take him there when he was a little kid.  It’s a place in the wilderness where they went to “make up stories.”  Bobby was even the one who named the place Jack Rabbit’s Palace.

“He saw all this,” Truman says, “whatever this is.”

On the second piece of paper are a series of numbers and two words: “Cooper/Cooper.”

“Two Coopers,” Hawk says.

Back in South Dakota, Diane is joined outside by Gordon and Tammy.  They watch Diane smoke.  Gordon takes a puff off the cigarette.  It’s a classic Lynch scene, one that turns social awkwardness into an art form.

Later, as Gordon, Albert, Diane, and Macklay watch, Tammy talks to Bill Hasting (Matthew Lillard).  Bill does not appear to be adjusting well to prison.  He will not stop sobbing.  Tammy asks him about his blog, “Search for the Zone.”  Bill explains that Ruth was very good at discovering hidden records.  She could pinpoint the exact time and the exact place where they would be able to enter another dimension.  Bill says that he and Ruth met the Major in another dimension.  The Major was “hibernating” but he wanted to go to a different place and he asked Bill and Ruth to get him the “coordinates” of a secret military base.  Bill says that they got the numbers but then “something terrible happened.”  Others entered the dimension and attacked the Major and demanded to know the name of his Bill’s wife.

Tammy interrupts to show Bill six pictures and she asks him to identify the Major.  Bill points to a picture of Garland Briggs.  Bill then says that, after they gave him the coordinates, the Major floated up in the air and said two words: “Cooper, Cooper…”  It was beautiful, Bill says.  And then Ruth was dead and then suddenly, Bill woke up in his own house.

“I want to go scuba diving,” Bill wails.

Watching the scene, Albert says, “Fruitcake, anyone?”

That night, at the Great Northern, Ben (Richard Beymer) and Beverly (Ashley Judd) are still listening to the strange humming in his office.  (Ben doesn’t seem to be too concerned about Johnny smashing his head into a wall earlier that day.)  Then, in a totally surprising turn of events, Ben tells Beverly that he can’t have an affair with her.

“You’re a good man, Ben,” Beverly replies, reminding us that she’s still relatively new to town.

At the Roadhouse, two apparent meth heads have a conversation.  One complains that she has a “wicked rash” under her arm pit.

And our episode ends with another haunting musical performance, this time from Au Revoir, Simone.

Obviously, this episode will not get as much attention as Part 8.  This is a much more straight forward episode, or at least as straight forward as Twin Peaks is ever going to get.  That said, after the high of Part 8, I was happy to get this rather normal episode.  Not only did it reintroduce us to some characters and actors who I thought we may never see again (like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Matthew Lillard) but it also linked up several of the storylines that have been developing since Twin Peaks: The Return began.  With this episode, David Lynch assured us that he does have a destination in mind.

I can’t wait to see where he’s taking us.

Twin Peaks on TSL:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  29. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  30. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.21 “Miss Twin Peaks” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Leonard Wilson
  31. TV Review: Twin Peaks 22.2 “Beyond Life and Death” (directed by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  32. Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  33. Here’s The Latest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  34. Here’s The Newest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  35. 12 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two by Lisa Marie Bowman
  36. This Week’s Peaks: Parts One and Two by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  37. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  38. 4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition by Lisa Marie Bowman
  39. This Week’s Peaks: Parts Three and Four by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  40. 14 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Three by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  42. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman 
  43. 18 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  44. This Week’s Peaks: Part Five by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  45. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  46. 14 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  47. This Week’s Peaks: Part Six by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  48. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  51. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  52. Ten Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  53. This Week’s Peaks: Part Eight by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  54. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  55. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  56. This Week’s Peaks: Part Nine by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) (SPOILERS)


As I sit here typing this, I just noticed that Vox has a new analysis of the show.  The headline reads: “Twin Peaks Brings New Meaning To The Idea of an 18-hour movie.”  Hey, Vox!  I said that three weeks ago!  I know you guys claim to be the smartest people in the world but you need to give credit where credit is due!  Anyway … Welcome back to Twin Peaks!

Before even getting into recapping tonight’s episode, I’m just going to say it.  I absolutely loved this episode.  While I’m not going to claim that it’s the best of the season so far (it’ll take a lot to beat any of the first four episodes), I think it can be argued that Part 7 is perhaps the most entertaining.  Without sacrificing any of Lynch’s signature style, this episode moved the story forward and served to prove — regardless of what some naysayers may claim — that there is a method behind the madness.  Even though we’re not sure where, Lynch is taking us someplace.  We just have to be willing to keep the faith until we reach our destination.

We open, as so many episodes have, in the woods.  Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) stares at the trees, totally stoned.  He calls Ben (Richard Beymer) at the Great Northern and announces that someone has stolen his car.  Ben, not being fluent in the language of marijuana, is of little help.

At the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Hawk (Michael Horse) shows Frank (Robert Forster) the pages that he previously found in the bathroom stall.  It turns out that they are pages from Laura’s diary, in which she writes about a dream she had in which a woman named Annie appeared and told her that she had been with Dale and that the “good Dale was trapped in the Black Lodge and could not come out.”

Hawk explains that the diary was found, years ago, in Harold Smith’s house.  Hawk also shows Frank that, on one of the pages, Laura had written that she knew who BOB was.  Hawk suggests that maybe her father, Leland, hid the pages in the stall before he died.  Hawk also mentions that Leland also killed Jacques Renault, an important reminded since, later in this episode, we’re going to meet yet another Renault brother.

Frank goes to his office and places a call to Harry, who is apparently in a hospital somewhere.  From the tone of the conversation, it becomes apparent that Harry is terminally ill.  (As always, the shadow of death hangs over Twin Peaks.)  Frank doesn’t ask Harry about Cooper.  “Beat this thing,” Frank tells his brother.

After talking to Harry, Frank skypes with old Doc Hayward (Warren Frost, who passed away shortly after filming his scenes and to whom this episode was dedicated).  Frank asks Doc Hayward about the night that Cooper returned from the Black Lodge.  Doc Hayward says that he can’t remember what he ate for breakfast but he’ll never forget that night.  Hayward retells the story of the second season finale.  Other than revealing that Audrey was in a coma after the bombing at the bank, it’s nothing that we don’t already know but it’s still good to see both Doc Hayward and Warren Frost again.

Out in a field, Andy (Harry Goaz) has found the truck that Richard was driving when he ran over the little boy during the last episode.  Andy talks to the truck’s owner, who is not Richard and who is also obviously very afraid to talk about his truck.  Andy agrees to meet with the man in two hours in a safer, more secluded location.

In South Dakota, Lt. Knox (Adele Rene) meets with Detective Macklay (Brent Briscoe).  Knox asks about the finger prints that Macklay submitted.  He takes Knox to see the headless corpse that was found in Ruth Davenport’s bed.  Knox is shocked to hear that the dead man — who possesses Garland Briggs’s fingerprints — was in his late forties and, when discovered, had only been dead for five to six days.  Briggs supposedly died 24 years ago in a fire and, even if he had survived, he would have been much older than just his late 40s.  Stepping out into a hallway, Knox calls Col. Davis (Ernie Hudson) and lets him know that 1) they have a body, 2) the head is missing, and 3) the body is the wrong age.  Davis says that he’ll have to make “the other call.”

While Knox speaks to Davis, a shadowy figure walks down the hallway behind her.  Knox barely glances at it as she steps back into the morgue and tells Macklay that she doesn’t think this is going to be his investigation for too much longer.  The shadowy figure walks past the room as they speak.

At the FBI HQ, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) whistles in his office until Albert (Miguel Ferrer) enters and tells him that Diane’s response to the prospect of seeing Cooper was “No fucking way.”

Gordon and Albert go to Diane’s apartment, where Gordon talks Diane (Laura Dern) into going with them to see Cooper in prison.  For years, fans of the show have wondered what Diane was really like and Laura Dern does not disappoint.  Dern plays the role like a tough film noir femme fatale.  One of Diane’s defining traits is that she tells everyone that she sees to fuck off.  Nobody handles profanity with quite the skill of Laura Dern.

On the plane to South Dakota, Albert’s sarcastic, Diane drinks, and Gordon flirts with Tammy (Chrysta Bell).  Bleh.  No offense to Tammy (who I sympathize with because we both get car sick) but everyone knows that Gordon’s soulmate was Shelley Johnson.  We also learn that, over the past 25 years, the only know photograph of Cooper (actually Cooper’s Doppelganger) was of Cooper outside of a house in Rio.  In the picture, Cooper looks like a drug lord from a cheap 80s crime show.

At the prison, Diane reacts to kind words from Tammy by saying, “Fuck you, Tammy!” and then she has her meeting with Evil Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).  Evil Cooper is still speaking slowly and without emotion.  Diane sees through him almost immediately.  She traps him by asking him if he remembers the last night they saw each other.

“I’ll always remember that night,” Evil Cooper drones.

“Who are you!?” Diane hisses.

“I don’t know what you mean, Diane,” the dead-voiced Evil Cooper responds.

Diane storms out of the meeting room.  Outside of the prison, in a beautifully acted scene, an emotional Diane tells Gordon that Evil Cooper is not the “Dale Cooper that I knew.”  Diane says that Evil Cooper, whoever he is, is missing something inside.

Evil Cooper is returned to his cell.  He tells the guard that he wants to see Warden Murphy.  “We need to speak about a strawberry,” Evil Cooper says.

In Twin Peaks, Andy stands on the side of the road and waits for the owner of the truck.  The owner never shows up.

Back at the prison, Evil Cooper is escorted into the office of Warden Murphy (James Morrison).  Murphy sends the guards out of the office, tells Evil Cooper that the security cameras have been turned off so that they can speak freely, and then pulls out a gun.

“The dog’s leg,” Evil Cooper says, “That dog had four legs.  One you found in my trunk.  The other three went out with the information that you’re thinking about right now.”

When Murphy asks why he should believe that Evil Cooper knows what he’s talking about, Evil Cooper replies, “Joe McCluskey.”  Warden Murphy gets a panicked look on his face and Evil Cooper explains that he wants a car for himself and Ray Monroe.  He wants a gun in the glove compartment.  And he wants to leave the jail at one in the morning.

In Las Vegas, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) waits impatiently for Dougie/Cooper to get off work.  However, Dougie/Cooper is busy sitting in his office, drawing stuff and ignoring his former friend, Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore).  Both Janey-E and the police — led by Detective Fusco (David Koechner) — enter the office at nearly the same time.

Fusco wants to know about Dougie’s car.  As usual, Dougie/Cooper has little to say, though he is fascinated by the officer’s badges.  (“Badge,” he says as he reaches forward.)  When Janey-E asks if Dougie’s car was stolen, Dougie replies, “Stolen.”  The police all get their notebooks out and start taking notes.  Janey-E demands to know what’s happening and Fusco reveals that Dougie’s car was blown up.  Fortunately, Janey-E is there to do the talking.

(And let me just say that I totally and absolutely loved this scene, everything from the performances to the fact that, after all this time, absolutely no one seems to realize that Dougie/Cooper is acting strangely.  Another thing that I liked is that all three of the detectives were named Fusco — according to the credits they were E. Fusco, D. Fusco, and “Smiley” Fusco.)

As Janey-E and Dougie leave the office building, they are attacked by Ike the Spike (Christophe Zajac-Denek).  Fortunately, Ike bent his spike during the previous episode and is forced to come at Dougie with a gun.  However, Dougie/Cooper suddenly comes to life (perhaps Cooper’s FBI training somehow managed to kick in) and, along with Janey-E, they kick Ike’s homicidal ass.  While Dougie/Cooper is grabbing Ike’s gun, the mutated “arm” suddenly appears and orders, “Squeeze his hand off!  Squeeze his hand off!”  Dougie/Cooper gets the gun out of Ike’s hands and Ike runs off to parts unknown.

The police and the media arrive.  As Dougie/Cooper blankly stares forward (a bit like Chance the Gardner in Being There, to be honest), a very animated Janey-E tells the story of how Dougie took down the assassin.  Other onlookers — some of whom look traumatized by the whole thing — also tell what they saw.  One woman proudly announces that Dougie Jones is not a victim.  “He moves like a Cobra!”

At the Great Northern, Ben and Beverly (Ashley Judd) are in his office.  Beverly has been hearing a strange hum in the office.  Pervy old Ben walks around the office with her, searching for the source of the buzz.  As they do so, Beverly shows him that an old room key came in the mail.  Ben looks at it and, after mentioning that the Great Northern switched for keys to cards over twenty years ago, he notices that it’s from 315.  Ben says that he thinks that was the room where Agent Cooper was shot.

“Who is Agent Cooper?” Beverly asks.

“He was here 25 years ago,” Ben explains, “investigating the murder of Laura Palmer.”

“Who’s Laura Palmer?” Beverly asks.

“That, my dear, is a long story,” Ben says.

The buzzing continues as Lynch’s camera glides across the office, finally focusing on one of the wooden walls.

Beverly returns home, where her sickly husband, Tom (Hugh Dillon) is waiting and angry.  He wants to know why Beverly was late.  Beverly says some things came up at work.  When Tom says that he doesn’t want his dinner, Beverly snaps.  “I know you’re sick and in pain,” she tells him, “but do not use that to fuck with me!”  Tom stares at her as she asks if he realizes how lucky she is to have gotten her job.  “Do not fuck this up for me, Tom!” she yells.

At the roadhouse, we spend two minutes watching an anonymous janitor sweep the place up while Jean-Michel Renault (Walter Olkewicz) cleans up behind the bar.  Jean-Michel gets a call and, judging from the conversation, Jean-Michel is just as bad as his brothers.  He talks about sending someone two blondes.  As I rewatched the episode for this review, I heard something that I somehow missed the first time I watched it.  Jean-Michel says that the Renault family has owned the roadhouse for over fifty years.  That explains why there’s always a Renault working there, despite the fact that the family has, in some way, been involved with every bad thing that has ever happened in Twin Peaks.

At the prison in South Dakota, Evil Cooper and Ray Monroe (George Griffith) are allowed to leave their cells and the prison.  Outside, a car and a gun are waiting for them.  Murphy watches as they drive off.

From this sordid and menacing scene, we return to Twin Peaks.  This episode ends at the diner, where Shelley (Madchen Amick) is pouring coffee and Norma (Peggy Lipton) is looking over the bills.  A man ducks into the diner.  “Hey,” he yells, “has anyone seen Bing!?” After being told no, the man leaves.

And life goes on as the end credits role…

Twin Peaks on TSL:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  29. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  30. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.21 “Miss Twin Peaks” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Leonard Wilson
  31. TV Review: Twin Peaks 22.2 “Beyond Life and Death” (directed by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  32. Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  33. Here’s The Latest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  34. Here’s The Newest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  35. 12 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two by Lisa Marie Bowman
  36. This Week’s Peaks: Parts One and Two by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  37. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  38. 4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition by Lisa Marie Bowman
  39. This Week’s Peaks: Parts Three and Four by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  40. 14 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Three by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  42. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman 
  43. 18 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  44. This Week’s Peaks: Part Five by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  45. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  46. 14 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  47. This Week’s Peaks: Part Six by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  48. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)