TV Review: Twin Peaks The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch)


The latest episode of Twin Peaks begins, appropriately enough, in Twin Peaks, with a group of kids tossing a baseball around outside of a trailer park.  When one of them misses a catch, he chases the ball out into the middle of the road.

Needless to say, this scared the Hell out of me.

Seriously, we all know what happens when you run out into the middle of the road in Twin Peaks.  Richard Horne appears out of nowhere, screaming about cocaine, and basically runs you down in a stolen pickup truck.  Needless to say, I was totally prepared for this kid to die but it didn’t happen.  Instead, he spotted a seriously injured Miriam (Sarah Jean Long) dragging herself out of the woods.  Apparently, she survived being attacked by Richard at the beginning of last week’s episode.

Speaking of trailer park drama, someone calls Becky Burnett (Amanda Seyfried) and informs her that her good-for-nothing husband, Steve (Caleb Landry Jones), is at an apartment with Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt).  Enraged, Becky screams that she doesn’t have a car.  However, she does have a mother, Shelley (Madchen Amick) and Shelley knows a little something about bad boys.  When Becky calls and says that she needs her mom’s car, Shelley runs from the diner and heads to the trailer park.

When Shelley arrives, she discovers that Becky 1) has a gun and 2) wants the car so that she can track down Steve and shoot him.  As Shelley gets out of the car, Becky jumps in and starts to drive off.  Shelley jumps onto the hood of the car but ends up flying off as Becky speeds out of the trailer park.  Fortunately, Shelley only ends up with a skinned knee.  Carl (Harry Dean Stanton), who has apparently seen his share of Becky and Steve’s drama, uses a flute to summon a VW microbus and soon, Carl and Shelley are on the road!

It turns out that Carl also knows Maggie (Jodi Thelen), the dispatcher at the sheriff’s office.  While sitting, with Shelley, in the back of the microbus, Carl calls Maggie and asks to be put through to Deputy Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook).  That’s right — Becky is Shelley and Bobby’s daughter!  (Okay, that’s actually not a huge shock but seriously, I’ve been wondering if the revival would ever acknowledge Bobby and Shelley’s relationship in the original series.)  Shelley tells Bobby that Becky has a gun and they’re not sure where she went.

“Oh God,” Carl says, in a tone of voice that suggests he’s not particularly shocked by any of this.

Meanwhile, at an apartment building, Becky bangs on the door to Room 208.  When the woman in the next room pops out her head and announces that “They just left,” Becky responds by shooting the door six times.  (And, literally everyone in Twin Peaks responds by calling the sheriff’s department.)

Meanwhile, in South Dakota, Gordon (David Lynch), Albert (Miguel Ferrer), Diane (Laura Dern), Tammy (Chrysta Bell), MacKlay (Brent Briscoe), and Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard) pull up in front of the deserted farm where Hastings claims he and Ruth Davenport found the portal that led them to Major Briggs.  Let’s see if I can keep straight what happened here:

  1. A fat little Woodsman kept appearing and then vanishing.  Gordon, Albert, and Diane all spotted the Woodsman.  None of them seemed to be particularly surprised.
  2. Gordon, and only Gordon, saw a swirling vortex, much like the one from Donnie Darko, appear in the sky.
  3. Gordon nearly got sucked into the vortex.  Before Albert pulled him back, Gordon saw what appeared to be three Woodsmen standing on a staircase.
  4. Gordon and Albert stumbled across the headless body of Ruth Davenport.
  5. Sitting in the backseat of MacKlay’s car Bill looked really concerned and I was briefly reminded of Lillard’s performance in 13 Ghosts.
  6. That fat little woodsman snuck up behind MacKlay’s car.  Diane saw the woodsman but said nothing.
  7. MacKlay glanced in the backseat and started to scream.
  8. Everyone else glanced into the car.
  9. Suddenly, Bill Hasting was missing the top half of his head.
  10. “He’s dead,” Gordon commented.  (Lynch delivered the line with perfect nonchalance.)

That night, at the Double R, Bobby sits in a booth with Becky and Shelley.  Becky says she wants a divorce but that she also still loves Steve.  Bobby tells her that Becky is going to have to pay for the door, which Becky is not at all happy to hear.  Bobby goes on to reveal that he’s convinced the Sheriff not to arrest Becky and that he’s through allowing Steve to get away with stuff.  From now on, if Steve breaks the law, Bobby’s not going to step in to protect him from the consequences.  When Bobby and Shelley offer to help her get away from Steve, Becky suddenly starts to defend her abusive husband.  It’s a touching and rather sad scene, a chance to see Bobby and Shelley as true adults.  However, it all ends when Red (Balathazar Getty) walks up to the diner.  Shelley’s face lights up as she runs outside to see him.  Meanwhile, Bobby and Becky exchange looks.  Just as Becky is blind to Steve’s true character, Shelley is blind to who Red is.

(Shelley went from Leo to Bobby — back when Bobby was still a drug dealer — to Red.  Shelley!  I like bad boys too but goddamn … you can do so much better!  Gordon Cole, for instance, was in love with you…)

As soon as Shelley reenters the Double R and sits back down with her daughter and ex-husband, gunshots ring out!  Oh my God, is Red trying to kill Bobby!?  Or is one of Red’s enemies (Richard maybe) trying to kill Shelley!?  Those were my first two thoughts but no — it turns out that a kid accidentally fired a gun that he happened to find in his parent’s SUV.  Bobby immediately brings order to the scene and it’s interesting to see just how much of a responsible adult and authority figure Bobby Briggs has actually become.

(Still, I always wonder if everyone’s forgotten that Bobby murdered a Canadian drug smuggler in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  Bobby shot off the top of his head, in much the same way that the fat little woodsman ripped off the top of Bill’s head.)

The scene ends on an odd (and rather grotesque) note when Bobby tells the woman in the car behind the SUV that she needs to stop honking her horn.  The woman shouts that she has to get home and that they have miles to go.  She also says that the passenger in the car with her is sick.  In the passenger’s seat, a zombiesh girl looks at Bobby and starts to spit something up.

At the Sheriff’s Department, Truman (Robert Forster) and Hawk (Michael Horse) look at a map, trying to pinpoint where Major Briggs’s note told them to go.  Actually, they have two maps.  Truman has Google Earth while Hawk has an old Indian map.  The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) calls and asks if Hawk has found something.  “My log is afraid of fire,” she explains, “There is fire where you are going.”

Back in South Dakota, Gordon is concerned because his hand is shaking.  (In the original series, a twitching arm or hand often indicated that BOB was entering our world from the Black Lodge.)  Albert shows Gordon a picture that he took of several numbers that were written on Ruth Davenport’s arm.  Albert believes that the numbers are coordinates.  Diane smokes.  Tammy and MacKlay come by with donuts and coffee.  “Ah!” Gordon shouts when he sees the donuts, “the policeman’s dream!”

In Las Vegas, everyone is still hilariously unaware that Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) is an empty shell who is mostly concerned with coffee and shiny badges.  Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray) tells Dougie that it’s obvious that Dougie’s “investigative work” has exposed a connection between police corruption, organized crime, and the insurance industry.  As Mullins praises Dougie for his hard work, Dougie blankly drinks his coffee.  Mullins says that, despite their fearsome reputation, the Mitchum Brothers are not involved in any of the corruption.

“It’s somebody else,” Mullins says.

“Somebody else,” Dougie repeats.

“That right,” Mullins agrees.

It turns out that the Mitchums want to have a personal meeting with Dougie about their claim.   (Of course, we know that the Mitchums want to kill Dougie because Tom Sizemore’s Anthony Sinclair framed Dougie for cheating them out of a claim.)  Mullins gives Dougie a $30 million claim check to the give to the Mitchums and then explains all of the weird technical stuff that will allow the firm to make money even as if it pays off a huge claim.  I couldn’t really follow it but Mullins was certainly proud of himself.

Mullins says that the Mitchums are sending a car to pick Dougie up for their meeting.  Does Mullins realize that the Mitchums are planning to kill Dougie?  And could that be the real reason that Mullins gave Dougie the check, as a way of convincing the Mitchums not to kill him?  I’m not sure.

Fortunately, while walking out to the waiting limo, Dougie sees MIKE (Al Strobel) beckoning him to enter a small pastry shop.  Dougie buys a cherry pie.  As we shall soon see, MIKE is still looking out for him.

Dougie is then driven out to the desert by the same limo driver (Jay Larson) who previously drove him home from the casino.  The Mitchums are waiting for him but it quickly turns out that neither Rodney (Robert Knepper) nor Bradley (Jim Belushi) is really that enthusiastic about killing Dougie.  Despite the fact that he’s been having dreams about murdering Dougie, Bradley is especially reluctant.  After all, Dougie took care of Ike the Spike for them.  Plus, there was more to Bradley’s dream then just killing Dougie.  Bradley just can’t remember what exactly.

They’re even more reluctant once they discover that 1) Dougie is carrying a pie with him (just as he was in Bradley’s dream) and 2) Dougie has a huge check for them.  So, instead of killing Dougie, they take him out to eat.  Dougie especially enjoys that pie.  The old woman from the casino happens to enter the restaurant and she tells “Mr. Jackpots” that, ever since he helped her win all that money, her life has been perfect!  Yay!  Everyone’s a winner!

All in all, this was a pretty good episode.  It was good to see that the story’s moving forward.  I’m really liking Bobby Briggs (and Dana Ashbrook) as the voice of moral responsibility and the Las Vegas story remains far more entertaining than it has any right to be.  And now that Gordon has seen the woodsmen, what will happen next?

I can’t wait to find out!

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)

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch)


I’m getting a late start on this recap and I imagine that, by the time I’m finished rewatching the latest episode of Twin Peaks and typing all this up, I’ll probably barely be able to keep my eyes open.  Dexedrine is a wonderful and helpful tool but it can only do so much.

(Don’t freak out, I take it for my ADD.  It helps me focus.  The endless energy is just a nice side benefit.)

So, I better not waste any time!  Let’s talk about Part 10 of Twin Peaks!

We open in Twin Peaks, at the trailer park to be exact.  Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) pulls up outside the trailer of Miriam (Sarah Jean Long), the poor woman who was unlucky enough to see him running down that little boy a few episodes ago.  As this episode will demonstrate, Richard is perhaps the most loathsome character to ever appear in a David Lynch film.  Even Blue Velvet‘s Frank Booth never ran down a child while driving around Lumberton.

From inside her trailer, Miriam yells at Richard that not only has she gone to the police but that she also wrote Sheriff Truman a letter, telling him that, if anything happens to her, Richard is the one responsible.  Richard responds by rushing into the trailer and beating Miriam to death.

As Richard walks away from the trailer, he calls his Deputy Chad (John Pirruccello) and orders him to intercept the letter and keep Truman from reading it.

Elsewhere in the trailer park. Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) sits in front of the manager’s office, plays his guitar, and sings.  The gentleness of Carl’s voice provides a stark contrast to the rest of the episode.

Carl’s song is interrupted by the sound of Steve (Caleb Landry Jones), in another trailer, yelling at Becky (Amanda Seyfried) and throwing stuff out the window.  Becky is not only Shelley’s daughter but apparently, she’s found herself married to a modern-day Leo Johnson as well.  Just like Leo, Steve is upset because he feels Becky isn’t keeping their home clean enough.

(Whatever happened to Leo?  I assume all those tarantulas eventually fell on his face and killed him.)

In Las Vegas, Candie (Amy Shiels) — wearing her iconic pink dress — attempts to kill a fly by hitting it with a remote.  Unfortunately, the fly happens to be on the face of Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper), which leads to him getting smacked.  Bradley (James Belushi) rushes into the room the make sure that Rodney is okay, while Candie screams and sobs. The fly, I believe, escaped unharmed.

Janey-E (Naomi Watts) and Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) visit with Dr. Ben (John Billingsley).  While Dougie continues to stare blankly forward, Janey-E explains that he’s been acting strangely for a few days.  Janey-E explains that Dougie has a drinking and gambling problem.  Dr. Ben is bemused by Dougie’s weight loss.  Janey-E agrees that Dougie has lost a lot of weight … “in a good way.”  Dr. Ben announces that Dougie appears to be in perfect health.  “Remarkable,” Janey-E says while looking at the shirtless Dougie.

Back the Mitchum place, Candie is still crying while Rodney assures her that he’s fine.  On the TV, Bradley and Rodney watch a news story about both Dougie and the arrest of Ike the Spike.

“Brad,” Rodney says, “remind me to call off that hit on Ike.”

“Saved us a wad of dough!” Bradley agrees, “Niiiiiiiice!”

Bradley recognizes Dougie from the news.  “That’s our Mr. Jackpots,” Bradley says.

At the Jones house, Janey-E watches Dougie eat cake.  She asks if he finds her attractive.  Dougie says nothing, entranced by the cake.  Janey-E tells him that she finds him attractive.  Dougie stares at her blankly.  Janey-E takes Dougie upstairs, where she rides him while he lays underneath her in a state of stunned euphoria.  (Dougie/Cooper, of course, is experiencing all of this for the first time.)  Afterward, she tells Dougie, “I love you.”  “Love you,” Dougie blankly repeats.

In Twin Peaks, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) rants on his podcast about pharmaceutical companies.  Nadine (Wendy Robie) listens approvingly.  We see that she’s sitting in her own store, Run Silent Run Drapes.  Yay!  Nadine finally perfected her drape runners!

It’s morning in Vegas.  As Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon), fresh from being traumatized by all the noise his parents made while he was trying to get some sleep, waits in the car, Janey-E tells Dougie that she can’t stop thinking about last night.  Dougie blankly nods.

In the wilderness outside Twin Peaks, Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) is still lost.  “You can’t fool me!” he yells, “I’ve been here before!”

At the Sheriff’s office, Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) wonders why Deputy Chad is hanging out in the lobby.  Of course, we know that Chad is waiting for the mail so that he can intercept Miriam’s letter.  Chad, however, just says that he’s appreciating the beauty of the day.  Chad sees the mailman pulling up so he runs outside to meet him.  Lucy is rightly suspicious, especially when Chad rather obviously stuffs Miriam’s letter under his shirt.

This is followed by a scene that literally left me queasy.  At the Horne House, a bruised and battered Johnny Horne (Eric Rondell) stares at a creepy toy that has the body of teddy bear and a head of glass.  Throughout the entire violent and brutal scene that will follow, the toy continues to ask — in a vaguely British accent — “Hello, Johnny.  How are you today?”

Johnny Horne (Richard’s uncle)

Richard bursts into the house and demands that Sylvia (Jan D’Arcy) give him money.  When she tells him to ask his grandfather, Richard grabs her by throat.  As Richard attacks her (and Farren is absolutely terrifying in this scene), Johnny falls out of the chair and groans on the floor.  It gets even worse when Johnny calls Sylvia “grandma.”

Sylvia, Richard’s grandmother

In other words, tonight, my greatest fear was confirmed.  Richard is Audrey’s son.  And judging from both his sociopathic personality and their shared affinity for leather jackets, it appears that Richard’s father is the Doppelganger.  A few episodes ago, Dr. Hayward revealed the, when Cooper last saw Audrey, she was still in a coma.

Richard Horne (son of Audrey and Cooper’s Doppelganger)

Richard gets the money.  He also calls his grandmother the C-word and steals her jewelry.  “Why do you have to make something so simple so fucking difficult!?” Richard snaps before leaving.

Seriously, this scene — more than anything else that we’ve seen so far in this series — left me truly shaken.  The performances of Farren and D’Arcy were so intense that, even though I knew it was coming and what would happen, I still had to take a break after rewatching this scene.

After that disturbing scene, we cut back to Las Vegas.  Roger (Joe Adler) tells Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) that it’s true that Ike has been captured by the police.  After Roger leaves, we see that Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) is in Duncan’s office.  Duncan tells Anthony that he’s to go to the Mitchum Brothers and that he’s to claim that Dougie cheated them out of an insurance claim.  Duncan believes that the Mitchums will respond by killing Dougie.  If the Mitchums don’t kill Dougie, Anthony will have to do it himself.

In South Dakota, love is in the air.  Albert (Miguel Ferrer) is on a date with coroner Constance Talbot (Jane Adams).  A bemused Gordon (David Lynch) watches them, with Tammy (Chrysta Bell) at his side.  But Gordon — you belong with Shelley!

Back in Vegas, Anthony goes to the casino and is spotted by the Mitchum brothers.  They tell Candie — who, like the other ladies in pink, is hanging out in their office — to bring Anthony to see them.  “You want me to bring him here?” Candie asks, somewhat vaguely, before heading to the casino floor.

As they watch Candie and Anthony on the surveillance footage, the Mitchum brothers realize that they may have made a mistake sending Candie.  Candie and Anthony start to have a long conversation.  Bradley is finally forced to tell the pit boss, Warrick (David Dastmalchian) to bring both Candie and Anthony back to the main office.

Before Rodney can complain, Bradley says, “If we fire her, she’s got no place to go.”  So, in case you were wondering which brother was the nice brother, apparently it’s Jim Belushi.

Anyway, Candie and Anthony finally arrive at the office.  The Mitchums demand to know what Candie and Anthony were talking about.  Candie thinks for a minute and then remembers that they were talking about how it was going to be hot and smoggy the next day.

Anthony finally gets his chance to tell the Mitchum brothers that Dougie handled their denied claim and that he has a personal vendetta against them.  Anthony is not exactly the best liar and the Mitchums tell Candie to show Anthony out of their office.

“You have an enemy in Douglas Jones!” Anthony shouts.

Later, Bradley and Rodney have a drink in their living room.  Despite Anthony not being the most convincing of storytellers, the Mitchum brothers appear to believe him and they both agree that Dougie has to die.  Rodney announces, “Now I know how Brando felt.”

(Wally Brando, maybe?)

Back in South Dakota, Gordon sits in his hotel room and draws a picture — one that resembles the cave drawings from the 2nd season of Twin Peaks — on a piece of paper.  Someone knocks on his door.  When Gordon answers it, he has a vision of Laura crying while hearing Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriksie) calling Laura’s name.

As the vision fades, Gordon sees that Albert is standing out in the hallway.  Albert enters the hotel room and reveals that, while they were in the morgue, Diane received a text on her phone: “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.”  Albert says that he and Tammy tracked the text as coming from Mexico.  Diane responded with a heavily encrypted message: “They have Hastings.  He’s going to take them to the site.”

“What should we do?” Albert asks.

“Keep her close,” Gordon replies.

Tammy then shows up at the room, revealing that she has new information concerning “the penthouse murders” in New York City.  (That would be the murder of poor Sam and Tracy in Part 1.)  She shows Gordon a picture of the Doppelganger in the penthouse, standing in front of the glass case.

At the Great Northern, Ben (Richard Beymer) takes a call from his now ex-wife, Sylvia.  Sylvia demands that Ben repay her all of the money that Richard stole from her.  Ben refuses.  Sadly, when Ben asks if Johnny’s okay, Sylvia snaps back, “No concern about me!”

Hanging up on his former wife, a frustrated Ben calls out, “Beverly, do you want to have dinner with me?”

At her lonely house, the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) calls Hawks (Michael Horse) and tell him that “Electricity is humming.  You can hear it in the mountains and rivers…in these days, the glow is dying?  What will be in the darkness that remains?”

(This scene is even more poignant when you consider it was probably the final thing that Coulson ever filmed before passing away last year.)

The Log Lady tells Hawk that the Truman brothers are “true men … they are your brothers … watch and lesson to the dream of time and space…Hawk…Laura is the one…”

At the Road House, Rebekah Del Rio performs, providing both this episode and the series as a whole with yet another link to Mulholland Drive.  (That’s not as crazy as it sounds.  Mulholland Drive was originally envisioned as being a spin-off of Twin Peaks, with Audrey moving to Hollywood.)

What to say about this episode?  It was, in many ways, deceptively simple.  All of the disparate elements of the show are finally coming together.  The appearances by Sizemore, Belushi, and Knepper served to remind us — just as Jennifer Jason Leigh did last week — that Twin Peaks is not just random David Lynch quirkiness.  Everything is connected.  A story is being told.  You just have to have the patience to look for the clues.

And finally, to those reviewers complaining that Twin Peaks: The Return is misogynistic, open your eyes.  Yes, many of the characters are misogynists.  Not a single one of them is, in anyway, portrayed sympathetically.  He may be a surrealist but David Lynch is one of the most humanistic filmmakers of all time.  If the world of Twin Peaks is sometimes ugly, so is the world outside your front door.

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)

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch)


Well, there’s one thing that you can definitely say for sure about not only Twin Peaks but also about every other film that David Lynch has ever made.  (And make no mistake — they may be calling this the third season of Twin Peaks but it’s obviously meant to be more of an 18-hour film than a traditional television series.)  Lynch moves at his own pace.  He knows where he’s going but, often, he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get there.

And, quite frankly, that can sometimes to be frustrating.  David Lynch requires patience on the part of the viewer and a willingness to have faith in his ability as an artist.  To a certain extent, the modern world almost seems to be set up to make things as difficult as possible for an artist like David Lynch.  We’re used to things being fast-paced.  We’re used to having immediate (if superficial) answers to any and all questions.  In a time when movies are dominated by hyperactive editing and overwhelming soundtracks, David Lynch has the courage to portray moments of silence and stillness.  It’s what sets him apart from other filmmakers.  It’s also the reason why this critically acclaimed director has always struggled to get his films made.  In 41 years, David Lynch has had ten films theatrically released.  Michael Bay directed his first film twenty years after the release of Eraserhead and he has gone to direct twelve more.

Part 5 of Twin Peaks is a perfect example of Lynch’s deliberate pace.  As I watched it, I found myself occasionally saying, “When is Cooper going to get normal again!?”  I mean, Kyle MacLachlan is doing great work as Dougie/Cooper but how many more times am I going to have to watch him get confused over the need to urinate?  That’s a joke that’s getting old.

Yes, I was frustrated.

But here’s the thing:

As frustrated as I may be by the whole Dougie/Cooper situation, I’m not going anywhere.  I trust David Lynch and, throughout Part 5, there were scenes that reminded me of why I trust David Lynch.  The man is a genius.  I’m thinking of the three women in pink nonchalantly watching as the casino pit boss got beaten.  I’m thinking of the close-up on Amanda Seyfried’s face after she snorted the cocaine.  I’m thinking of Russ Tamblyn ranting.

I will follow David Lynch anywhere.

As for Part 5, it opened with Lynch’s camera prowling through the streets of Las Vegas, a city that seems especially Lynchian.

Out at the Rancho Rosa Development, the two hitmen who were sent to kill Dougie are still sitting outside of the deserted house that Dougie used for his lost weekend with Jade.  They’re watching Dougie’s car.  One of them calls a woman and tells her that they still haven’t seen Dougie.  She does not take the news well.  She sends a message to Argentina, where it is apparently received by a black box sitting in a basin.

In South Dakota, the coroner has found something in the stomach of the body that was found underneath the head of Ruth Davenport.  It’s a gold ring, one that has an inscription: “To Destiny, With Love, James C.”  (I’ve listened to the line about the inscription about a dozen times and I’m pretty sure that’s what the coroner said.  If I’m wrong, please let me know.)

(CORRECTION: According to Dylan Lange, host of Dylan Knows, the inscription read: To Dougie With Love, Janey-E.  Thank you, Dylan! — LMB)

In his prison cell, Doppelganger Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) stares at himself in his cell’s tiny mirror.  He flashes back to the time he and Killer BOB shared a laugh in the Black Lodge.  He sees himself smashing his face into the mirror at the Great Northern.

In Twin Peaks, we are reintroduced to Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger), who was Bobby’s best friend and fellow drug dealer during the first two seasons of Twin Peaks.  (He eventually became Nadine’s boyfriend during the time that she had amnesia and thought she was 16.)  Mike is a grown-up, suit-wearing professional now, sitting in an office that is decorated with the mounted heads of dead deer.  Mike is conducting a job interview with Steve Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones), who appears to be a real loser.  Mike informs Steve that his resume is the worst resume that he’s ever seen and then kicks him out of the office.

At the Sheriff’s Department, Doris Truman (Candy Clark) comes by to yell at Frank (Robert Forster) about something.  Honestly, I kinda tuned out this scene and I hope that Doris doesn’t become a major character.  If anything, Frank is even more laconic than his brother.

Back in Las Vegas, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) finally gets Dougie/Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) out of the house.  She has to tie his necktie for him.  As she tells him everything that he needs to do, Dougie/Cooper stares at her with a blank look.  It’s interesting that, as frustrated as Janey-E gets with Dougie/Cooper, she still tries to rationalize his strange behavior.

At the Rancho Rosa development, Dougie’s car continues to sit there.  The two hitmen drive by again.  They are followed by five more guys, who are all in a black car and playing their music super loud.

Janey-E drops Dougie/Cooper off at his place of employment.  Apparently, Dougie worked for Lucky Seven Insurance.  However, Dougie/Cooper is less interested in his job and more fascinated by a statue of a cowboy pointing a gun.  In an oddly beautiful scene, he imitates the statue’s pose.  Finally, one of his co-workers wanders by and tells Dougie to “get the lead out” because they have a meeting.  That co-worker is carrying 8 cups of coffee so, of course, Dougie/Cooper follows after him.

At the meeting, which is full of vapid insurance people, Dougie/Cooper reveals that he can now tell when people are lying.  Apparently, whenever someone lies, a green light flashes across their face.  When Dougie/Cooper offends another agent (played by Tom Sizemore, no less) by calling him a liar, their boss, the wonderfully named Bushnell Mills (Don Murray), defuses the situation by giveing Dougie/Cooper several case files to take home with him.

Out in the hallway, Dougie/Cooper needs to pee but, like a panicking Sim, has no idea what to do.  Luckily, one of his co-workers, assuming that the men’s room must be locked, sneaks Dougie/Cooper into the ladies room.

At the Silver Mustang Casino, Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper) and Bradley Mitchum (Jim Belushi) demand to know how Cooper/Dougie could possibly have won 30 jackpots.  Rodney’s way of handling it is to beat up the pit boss (David Dastmalchian) while three women in pink stand in the corner of the room and nonchalantly watch.

Back at Rancho Rosa, Drugged-Out Mother (Hailey Gates) is passed out so her son leaves the house and walks across the street, intent on investigating Dougie’s bomb-laden car.  Fortunately, before the kid can set the bomb off, the black car pulls up.  The five men jump out of the car and tell the kid to “get the fuck outta here!”  They’re planning on stealing Dougie’s car for themselves.  Of course, as soon as the engine starts, the car explodes and takes three of the car thieves with it.  The kid runs back to his house, where the junkie mom is just now starting to come out of her stupor.

At a nearby carwash, Jade (Nafessa Williams) is getting her car washed when she comes across the key to Cooper’s room at the Great Northern.  She drops the key in a nearby mailbox.

At the Double R Diner — it’s Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Shelley (Madchen Amick)!  25 years have passed and they’re still exactly where we left them.  Except that Shelley now has a daughter named Becky (Amanda Seyfried) and Becky’s married to Steve.  Becky comes by the diner to borrow money from Shelley.  Then she goes outside and snorts cocaine with Steve.  Lynch’s camera gives us a close-up of Becky’s face as the drugs temporarily takes away all of her problems.  In this scene, not only does Becky look like Shelley’s daughter (Madchen Amick and Amanda Seyfried really do look like they could be related) but there’s also a disconcerting resemblance to Laura Palmer as well.

(Also, remember how Shelley used to say that she married Leo because of his car?  Well, Steve has a corvette of his own.)

Back in Vegas, Dougie/Cooper is still acting weird.  He doesn’t understand that, when riding an elevator, you’re supposed to get off when the doors open.  Some people get upset with him about that but Dougie/Cooper is more interested in going outside and staring at that statue.  Of course, Dougie/Cooper is still holding onto those case files.

At the Sheriff’s Department, Andy (Harry Goaz) and Hawk (Michael Horse) go through the Laura Palmer case files, searching for what’s missing.

In his trailer, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) goes live online, delivering a rant about globalist corporate conspiracies and selling his gold-painted shovels so that his listeners can “dig yourself out of the shit.”  Nadine (Wendy Robie) and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) listen appreciatively.

At the Pentagon, Col. Davis (Ernie Hudson) is informed that they’ve gotten another “database hit” on Garland Briggs’s fingerprints.  Apparently, in the years since his mysterious death, Briggs’s finger prints have shown up in 16 different locations.

At the Roadhouse, the kickass band Trouble is playing.  Meanwhile, a handsome but dangerous looking man (Eamon Farren) sits under a sign that says no smoking and smokes a cigarette.  When a Roadhouse employee tells him to put out his cigarette, the man hands over a pack of cigarettes.  Inside the pack are several hundred dollar bills.  So, apparently, the Roadhouse is still the center of the Twin Peaks drug trade.

When Charlotte (Grace Victoria Cox) tries to flirt with him, the man suddenly turns violent, grabbing her and taunting her with, “Do you want to fuck me, Charlotte?  Do you want to fuck?  I’m going to laugh when I fuck you, bitch!”  It’s a deeply unpleasant scene, as Lynch obviously meant for it to be.

The man’s name is not mentioned but, according to the end credits, he’s Richard Horne.  Presumably, he’s a member of the infamous Horne Family.  Is he a cousin?  Or maybe Jerry’s kid?  Or, even more intriguingly, Audrey’s son?  Whatever he is, Richard is bad news.

(And let’s not forget that, way back at the start of Part One, the Giant told Cooper to remember “Richard and Linda.”)

At FBI Headquarters, Tamara (Chrysta Bell) compares the finger prints of both Cooper and his Doppelganger.

At the South Dakota prison, Doppelganger Cooper finally gets his phone call.  The warden (James Morrison) thinks that they’ll be able to listen in on the call but Doppelganger Cooper has other plans.  After taunting everyone listening, Cooper pushes several keys on the phone, which somehow causes every alarm in the prison to go off.  While the warden tries to restore order, Doppelganger Cooper says, into the phone, “The cow’s jumped over the moon.”  As soon as Doppelganger Cooper hangs up, the alarms fall silent.

In Argentina, the black box changes into a small ring.

In Vegas, Dougie/Cooper continues to stare at the statue.

And so, the latest episode ends.  The story may be moving at its own pace but I can’t wait to see where else it leads.

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)

 

 

 

Film Review: War on Everyone (dir by John Michael McDonagh)


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War on Everyone opens with a question.

“If you hit a mime,” Detective Bob Bolano (Michael Pena) asks, “does he make a sound?”

“Now, you know,” Detective Terry Malone (Alexander Skarsgard) replies, as he drives his car over a mime.

For the record, the Mime was a cocaine dealer so the detectives did have a reason for chasing him.  Then again, the Mime was also on foot while the detectives were in a car.  And the Mime was attempting to surrender when the detectives ran him over.

That scene pretty much sets the tone for the rest of War on Everyone, the latest film from Irish filmmaker John Michael McDonagh.  McDonagh is best-known and rightfully acclaimed for his previous two films, The Guard and Calvary.  Those two films were both darkly comedic and often violent meditations on life, death, morality, guilt, and redemption.  While War on Everyone may not share either one of those films’ deeper concerns, it is definitely violent.  And the comedy is definitely dark.

Bob and Terry are two of the most corrupt cops in the history of cinematic police corruption.  Bob is a family man, who is full of useless trivia and usually seems to speaking a mile a minute.  Terry is single and not quite as talkative.  He views the world through permanently bloodshot eyes and always stands with an insolent slouch.  Terry is the type who, when he drives down a city street, intentionally bumps into every parked car.  When asked why he became a cop, Terry shrugs and replies that it was the only job available where he could shoot people without getting in trouble.  When Bob and Terry confront an informant, they both get so caught up in snorting the informant’s cocaine that they forget what they wanted to ask about.  Their lieutenant is constantly telling them to ease up on the corruption but, since he’s played by Paul Reiser, no one takes him seriously.

War on Everyone does have a plot but it’s debatable just how important it is.  Bob and Terry learn about an up-coming heist.  They decide to let the heist happen so that they can then bust the crooks and take the money for themselves.  However, because there’s nothing that Bob and Terry can’t screw up, they not only fail to stop the heist but end up spending the rest of the movie trying to track down the money.  Along the way, they bond with an orphan and Terry pursues a romance with a former stripper (Tessa Thompson, doing her best with an underwritten role).

The plot is really just an excuse for McDonagh to parody the conventions of the American cop film.  Much like Seven Psychopaths (which was directed by John Michael McDonagh’s older brother, Martin), War on Everyone is a film about tangents.  The point is to see how many weird directions the story can go in.  This is the type of film where, at one point, Terry and Bob fly to Iceland just because.

(Don’t get me wrong.  They have a reason for being in Iceland but still, you mostly come away with the feeling that McDonagh thought to himself, “What other New Mexico-set heist film features a trip to Iceland?”)

Particularly when compared to something like Calvary, War on Everyone doesn’t add up to much and yet that really is a part of the film’s charm.  At a time when so many films are trying way too hard to be something more than what they actually are, War on Everyone is content to be a thoroughly over-the-top action comedy.  It’s a bit like The Nice Guys, just with an even darker worldview.

What’s remarkable is how many critics have insisted in trying to find a deeper meaning where there clearly is none.  I hardly ever do this but I have to point out that the A.V. Club review — headlined, undoubtedly by an intern hoping to impress the bosses with the power of snark, Sorry War On Everyone, but it’s not the best time for a comedy about giddily corrupt cops — is remarkable in just how thoroughly it misses the point of the film.  If anything, it reads as if the reviewer couldn’t think of anything to say so he decided to engage in some preemptive political virtue signaling.

The review cited above makes the mistake of assuming that War on Everyone is supposed to be taking place in the real world.  Everything — from the over-the-top violence to the mix of crude humor with philosophical asides to the mix of 70s music with modern technology — indicates that War on Everyone is meant to take place in a reality other than our own.  It’s a dream-like world that was created by other cop movies and, ultimately, those other movies are the only thing that War on Everyone is attempting to critique.  In much the style of early Tarantino, War On Everyone is a movie about movies.

(Unlike Tarantino’s last few films, War on Everyone only lasts 98 minutes, which would seem to indicate that McDonagh is superior to Tarantino in one important regard: he knows how and when to edit himself.)

War on Everyone is not for … well, everyone.  It’s certainly not a masterpiece in the style of either The Guard or Calvary.  It’s lesser McDonagh but, when taken on its own terms, it’s an enjoyable ramble of a movie that’s distinguished by the perfect casting of Skarsgard, Pena, and Reiser.

Just don’t take it too seriously.

 

Horror Film Review: The Last Exorcism (dir by Daniel Stamm)


The_Last_Exorcism_Poster

First released in 2010, The Last Exorcism is one of the best films of the past 5 years.

I know that a lot of people are going to disagree with that statement.  When The Last Exorcism was released, a lot of people were so angered by the way the film ended that they dismissed the entire movie.  Add to that, The Last Exorcism is yet another found footage horror film and that genre has produced a lot of truly terrible movies.  Whether fairly or not, a lot of people have judged The Last Exorcism on the basis of the sins committed by films like The Devil Inside.  With all that taken into consideration, it’s perhaps not surprising that The Last Exorcism only has a rating of 5.6 on the IMDb.

However, those who casually dismiss The Last Exorcism are making a mistake.  The Last Exorcism is a hundred times better than it has any right to be.  If nothing else, it’s probably one of the best found footage horror films ever made.

Produced by Eli Roth and directed by Daniel Stamm, the film opens with footage of the Rev. Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) leading a revival meeting.  We quickly see that Marcus is a showman, a born actor who knows how to manipulate and control an audience.  In interviews with a mostly unseen film crew, Rev. Marcus also explains that he’s both a highly successful exorcist and a complete fraud.  As he explains it, he has lost his faith and is participating in a documentary to reveal how he and other evangelical exorcists con and exploit their followers.  He’s agreed to perform one last exorcism, specifically so he can reveal just how much of a fraud that he really is.

One of the more interesting aspect of this setup is that it’s based on an actual documentary.  Released in 1972, Marjoe followed a former child evangelist named Marjoe Gortner as he conducted his last revival tour.  Talking directly to the camera, Marjoe would explain the tricks that he and other preachers would use to cheat the faithful out of their money.  The documentary, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 1973, painted an intriguing picture of a con artist and The Last Exorcism does the same thing.

Marcus and the documentary film crew go out to a small rural community where farmer Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum) claims that his daughter, Nell (Ashley Bell) has been possessed by a demon.  Nell’s brother, Caleb (Caleb Landry Jones)  is openly hostile to both Marcus and the documentary film crew.  Marcus, meanwhile, is convinced that Nell is faking.

However, as both the film and the exorcism progress, we are given reasons to suspect that Nell might actually be possessed.  While a good deal of the film’s scares will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen a found footage horror film (there’s the usual loud noises in isolated parts of the house and the menacing shadows glimpsed in the corners), the question of whether or not Nell is possessed is given extra importance by what the answer means to Cotton Marcus.  If Nell is faking, then Marcus’s own loss of faith will be justified.  However, if it turns out that Nell actually is possessed than it will mean that Marcus hasn’t merely been a con artist for his entire life.  If Nell actually is possessed, it’ll prove the existence of a God that Marcus claims to no longer believe in.

Indeed, it’s the character of Cotton Marcus who elevates The Last Exorcism over other entries in the found footage horror genre.  Much like Father Karras (as played by Jason Miller) in the original Exorcist, Marcus is a conflicted protagonist, a former man of faith who isn’t quite as ready to give up on his belief as he originally seems.  As played by Patrick Fabian, Cotton Marcus is an intriguingly ambiguous hero.  At the beginning of the film, Fabian is spell-binding and believable as a fire-and-brimstone evangelist.  (In perhaps his best scene, he impishly sneaks a recipe for banana bread into his sermon.)  As the film progresses, Cotton Marcus goes from being an arrogant charlatan to being a very vulnerable and scared man and Fabian is both believable and compelling throughout the entire film.  Patrick Fabian elevates The Last Exorcism from being just an average (if effectively atmospheric) horror film to being a truly intriguing piece of pulp art.

As for the film’s ending, I may be in a minority but I think it works.  The most common complaint about the film’s final 15 minutes is that they tend to contradict everything that came before them.  I’m not sure that’s necessarily true.  You have to remember that we’ve only seen the film’s events through the perspective of the documentarians and we’ve only heard Marcus’s admittedly biased interpretation of what’s going on.  Perhaps the worst possible thing that you can really say about the ending is that it reveals that Marcus wasn’t as clever as we previously assumed him to be.

The Last Exorcism was followed by a far less successful sequel, which I reviewed here.

Review: X-Men: First Class (dir. by Matthew Vaughn)


The name Matthew Vaughn should be familiar with comic book fans everywhere. In 2005, Vaughn was introduced as the director to replace Bryan SInger for the third film in the X-Men franchise. The news was met with some cautious optimism. This was a filmmaker who had quite the loyal and growing following for his work on Stardust and Layer Cake. Months after he was picked my 20th Century Fox news came down that he was backing out of the project due to personal reasons and the film scrambled for a replacement which ended up being Brett Ratner. History was made that day as the beginning of the franchise’s decline began and steep plummet which recently reached it’s nadir with 2009’s Wolverine: Origins.

It’s has now been five years since X-Men: The Last Stand made it to the big-screen and now we have a new film in the franchise. X-Men: First Class has a familiar name behind the director’s seat and it looks like Matthew Vaughn stayed this time around (after directing a smaller superhero film in Kick-Ass for 2010) to craft what could become the best film in the X-Men/Wolverine film franchise. This film is a prequel/reboot of sorts (more on that later) and brings a fresh set of eyes and take on the origin story of this franchise.

X-Men: Last Stand actually begins the film exactly how the first X-Men film began with the 1944 World War II concentration camp setting where a young Erik Lensherr (later to become Magneto) finally manifests his power over magnetic fields as he watches his parents torn from his side. The first film ended that sequence once Erik was knocked out, but this time around it continues with a mysterious man named Schmidt (aka Sebastian Shaw and played with James Bond villainous-flair by Kevin Bacon) taking great interest in Erik and his ability which Erik could only use during bouts of pain and anger. The film continues this slight change in the series’ origins by switching over to Westchester County and into the expansive home of a young Charles Xavier who finds a certain young, blue-skinned shapeshifter named Raven who he invites to stay and become his friend once he realized he wasn’t the only one who was different and with abilities.

These two sequences continue to move the film forward as the we see these two “leaders in the making” adults and trying to find their place in the world of the free-swinging lifestyle and the Cold War culture of the 1960’s. Charles Xavier (played like a well-meaning cad and good-natured naivete about the world by James McAvoy) is a student working on his doctorate in Oxford on genetic theories while his “sister” Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) accompanies him. This is a Xavier who still hasn’t found the patient benevelonce of Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and uses his considerable telepathic abilities to help him pick up on beautiful coeds instead. It’s during such a scene where we see Raven show just a hint of jealousy as Xavier tries his lines and moves on a beautiful British lass. It would seem Raven’s feelings for her ‘brother” may go beyond sibling affection though Xavier doesn’t see her as anything other than a sister for him to protect.

Erik Lensherr’s time as an adult was shown as having become a life of obsession over his treatment at the hands of the Nazi’s and those of Schmidt’s as he travels the world in search of escaped Nazi war criminals. Erik takes him throughout South America as he finds the trail of Nazis hiding out in that region since the end of the war. We see this adult Erik hardened by his anger and single-minded need for revenge on Schmidt and those he worked for. He’s not above using his abilities to kill in order to get the information he requires and there’s a hint of satisfaction when he does kill those he sees as responsible for his tragic upbringing with his magnetic abilities. These two adult sequences continues the film’s theme of the ideological difference between Xavier and Erik being formed through nature and nurture as their lives moved down diverging paths from an early beginning until it convergence for a small, brief period around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The film’s second act begins with Moira McTaggart (Rose Byrne), now a covert CIA Agent, investigating a certain Col. Hendry who she suspects as having betrayed the nation to the Soviets, but instead finds out that the true nature of Hendry’s associations were much more insidious and dangerous. The iconic Hellfire Club of the comics finally make their appearance with Schmidt who actually happens to be Sebastian Shaw (whose powers grant him the ability to absorb all kinetic energy which he uses to keep himself young and can release with explosive results), Emma Frost (January Jones) who’s a telepath with the ability to turn body in a sort of diamond-form, Riptide who can create tornado-like abilities and finally the demonic-looking Azazel whose ability to teleport might give people not well-versed in the “X-Men Universe” a clue as to one-half of parents who may be responsible for Nightcrawler in the second film.

X-Men: First Class spends much of this second act like it was Ocean’s 11 as Xavier and Erik get recruited by the CIA to find other mutants and create their own mutant team to counter Sebastian Shaw’s Hellfire Club and his goal of initiating World War III between the US and the USSR and thus destroy all of humanity and leave the planet for the mutants to rule over. Yeah, it is this part of the film’s plot which may strain the suspension of disbelief for some audiences who never grew up reading the comics, but it shouldn’t. Ian Fleming’s James Bond series used scenarios just as ludicrous with villains just as Machiavellian in the form of SPECTRE so X-Men: First Class and it’s world domination plans shouldn’t be too farfetched to fans of that British superspy and his adventures.

This middle section of the film is where X-Men: First Class actually begins to lag after a strong first act. I don’t know if the sequences of the new recruits training, bonding and learning how to use their powers could’ve been written to move much faster without losing some of the character building scenes. From how this second act played it seemed to look like scenes were actually cut out to try and keep the film from being too long (it’s final cut being just a tad over two hours already upon release), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the DVD/Blu-Ray release actually has a director’s or uncut version that actually expands this middle section to really give life to it instead of having it play out like a perfunctory training montage with a dash of character beats.

The film hits it’s action-film stride with the third and final act as Xavier and Erik’s team of young mutants must now use their abilities to stop Shaw and his Hellfire Club and at the same time prevent World War III from beginning and not freaking out the humans who are still unaware of their existence as a whole. It’s this third section which we see too much of it in the trailers and tv spots that one might say we’ve seen it all before we even see the film as a whole, but it still kept back a lot from those ads to make the whole final twenty minutes of the film thrilling and action-packed.

All of this could just mean that X-Men: First Class was just your run-of-the-mill superhero action film that we get on a yearly basis come summertime, but it’s a testament to Matthew Vaughn’s direction and the strength of the script by Vaughn, longtime collaborator Jane Goldman and Thor scribes Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz that the film goes beyond being just an action film with all it’s sturm und drang coupled with fancy special effects. The previous films in the series always explored important cultural and moral themes that’s always been the bread-and-butter of the X-Men stories in the comic books. We just don’t see the film explore the ideological difference between Xavier’s peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants alike, but also we get more detail on why Magneto finally comes to the conclusion that war between humans and mutants was an inevitability and why his stance doesn’t fall under the aegis of being evil, but something that anyone could understand and even support whether one was human or mutant.

The story also doesn’t just pay lip-service to the idea of how mutants view themselves and how even within the mutant community there’s a visible rift between those whose abilities are invisible to the general population and those whose abilities and genetic mutation physically manifest themselves in such ways that to many might not look to appealing. This idea really gets a major exploration in the subplot involving Raven (soon to be Mystique), Hank McCoy and, to a certain degree, Xavier and Erik. We see how those like Xavier whose abilities don’t show in a physical manner have a sort of “don’t ask, don’t show” about those like Raven when it comes to their power when in public.

Raven (played beautifully by Jennifer Lawrence) is caught between Xavier who wants her to remain incognito so as not to shock the world too soon in realizing that mutants exists and that of Erik who sees Raven’s original blue-skinned form as beauty and perfection and how she should never hide who she truly is. This tug and pull between her two mentors makes for a convincing subplot in how Raven comes to the conclusion which would take her to the side of Magneto in later films, but also highlight how the two sides in later films have so much intertwining bonds of friendship and relationship that seeing them against each other becomes a tragedy on its own. Civil wars are not just a thing of humans but those who sees themselves apart from them.

The great performances by most of the leads add to the film’s strength. McAvoy and Fassbender, at first, look to be unconvincing in terms of their appearance as the younger versions of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, respectively. This becomes a non-issue once they’ve established themselves through their performances which gives new layers to the personalities of Professor X and Magneto. Many people always saw these two as the comic book version of Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X, but that’s an oversimplification. The film and the performances by McAvoy and Fassbender digs deeper into both their characters’ motivations and ideologies and how their past experiences and upbringing couple with their time together as brothers-in-arms and friends show more about these two than just being mutant-proxies of MLK and Malcolm X. The other young mutants do an adequate enough job that they don’t seem lost in the film. Nicholas Hoult as the young Hank McCoy and how he plays off Lawrence’s Raven during their little subplot in the film is one stand-out that I hope gets explore even more in any follow-up sequel.

There’s a nice burgeoning young love chemistry between him and Lawrence as Beast and Raven that doesn’t seem too tacked on to create a the prerequisite love couple in any film. Their common trait of having physical mutations and how they seem to both feel apart even from their fellow mutants develop their characters in ways the previous films in the series never did. They never want to rid themselves of their mutant powers. They just want to look normal and still keep their abilities. It’s a having your cake and eat it too mentality that has some surprising results for both Raven and Hank.

X-Men: First Class has had some fans of the series put in a very difficult situation. The film definitely is a prequel to the previous films, but it also does a major time in rewriting continuity in the series. I was one of those fans and thought it would ruin the film in the context of the franchise. I’m surprised that in the end I didn’t really care and actually hope that this film actually is a reboot of the franchise. I see this film and forget the previous three as being part of it. This film was just too good and fun in it the end for continuity issues to become the major flaw that sinks it. I liken this film as similar to Christopher Nolan rebooting the Batman film franchise. That film honored the contributions to the character, but went on it’s own way to tell that character’s tale. I see Vaughn doing the same with this film. He has done something which many thought was a near-impossible task and that’s make the X-Men franchise relevant once more in a pop-culture landscape that seems to have left the franchise behind after the disastrous Wolverine: Origins of 2009.

This film delivered on the ideas that made the comic books so beloved by millions of fans for almost a half-century. It made great use of the 1960’s time and setting to tell a story of these characters beginnings as heroes and villains (though the latter shouldn’t be seen as them being truly just evil bad guys). Even the inclusion of real-world historical event like the Cuban Missile Crisis was a nice touch which gave the film a foundation in realism. Again, this film played off like a superhero, Marvel version of an Iam Fleming James Bond story. For those who are huge fans of the previous films there’s even two brief cameos of those films two favorite characters that appear in this film. They don’t come off as cheesy and unnecessary and actually come off as great additions. I won’t mention who these cameos were but the audience’s reaction to them was very vocal and very positive. I say the same should be said for X-Men: First Class as a film that resuscitates the franchise.

X-Men: First Class (2nd Official Trailer)


Today we saw the release of the second official trailer for the upcoming X-Men prequel/reboot helmed by British director Matthew Vaughn.

X-Men: First Class looks to show the early days when Professor X and Magneto were still friends and allies instead of the adversarial relationship they had in the first three films in the franchise. This new trailer shows more of the characters who will be involved in this film. It also shows the mutants and their powers in action. I must admit that I wasn’t too thrilled with the previous trailers shown about this film, but this latest shows more action and finally reveals it’s summer blockbuster pedigree. The sequence with Magneto lifting the submarine out of the water was really cool.

It’s still not the superhero film this summer that tops my must-see list, but this trailer has put this film in the running as one of the films I must-see.

X-Men: First Class is still slated to have a June 3, 2011 release.