Every January, I list my favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer. My favorite songs are not necessarily the favorite songs of any of the other writers here at the Shattered Lens. We are a large and diverse group of people and, as such, we all have our own individual tastes.
If you ever visited the TSL Bunker, you would be shocked by the different music coming out of each office. You would hear everything from opera to death metal to the best of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. And then, of course, you would reach my office and you would discover that my taste in music pretty much runs the gamut from EDM to More EDM.
Now, usually, I do try to listen to a variety of music. You can go to my Song of the Day site — Lisa Marie’s Song of the Day — and see that I do occasionally listen to other types of music. But, I have to be honest. 2020 was not a year that inspired me to really leave me comfort zone. If anything, music provided me with some much needed consistency in an otherwise chaotic year. 2020 was a year that made me want to dance until it was all over and, for the most part, my favorite songs of the year reflect that fact.
Before I list my songs, I should make something else very clear. These are my favorite songs of 2020. I’m not saying that they’re necessarily the best songs of 2020. I’ll leave that debate for others. Instead, there are the songs that I found myself listening to over and over again. These are the songs made me dance. These are the songs that made me sing. A few of these songs relaxed me when I needed to be relaxed. These are songs that I liked.
You might like them.
Or you might not.
That’s the beautiful thing about art. Everyone experiences it in their own individual way. For instance, if you want to see an example of the different tastes of music that you’ll find here at TSL, be sure to check out Necromoonyeti’s top albums of 2020. And also go to Days Without Incident and check out some of the songs that Leonard has posted. To quote my friend Shirley Loh, “we all like different things.”
Here are my favorite songs of 2020:
20) No Sleep by Jessie Frye
19) Ghost In These Streets by Kate Vogel
18) Matches by Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys
17) You Do you by Dillon Francis and BabyJake
16) Into the Abyss by Zeds Dead x REZZ
15) Teacher by Chromatics
14) Stardew by Purity Ring
13) Everybody Here Hates You by Courtney Barnett
12) Swimming in the Stars by Britney Spears
11) Don’t Wanna by Haim
10) Preach by Saint Motel
9) Famous Monsters by Chromatics
8) Break my Heart by Dua Lipa
7) Feel Something by Armin van Buuren feat. Duncan Laurence
6) Dance Again by Selena Gomez
5) Phobos by Space 92
4) Pomegranate by deadmau5 & The Neptunes
3) Castles In The Sky by i_o
2) The Steps by Haim
1) A Good Song Never Dies by Saint Motel
Finally, allow me to offer up two honorable mentions to my favorite cinematic musical moments of the year. From Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga:
And from What Did Jack Do?:
TSL Looks Back at 2020:
Needless to say, this video is meant to serve as a tribute to Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, David Lynch, and Julee Cruise.
Famous and infamous.
If this video inspires you to have a Twin Peaks flashback, do not be concerned. You’re not alone. I had the exact same reaction.
During Twin Peaks: The Return, Chromatics made three appearances as the band playing at the roadhouse and their dream-like music fit in perfectly with David Lynch’s enigmatic portrait of America in the 21st Century. Lynch also directed several videos for the Chromatics, though he didn’t direct this one. This video is credited to the band itself. Still, watching and listening, you can definitely see why Lynch was inspired to include this band in his masterwork.
I watched this video and I immediately thought of Twin Peaks: The Return.
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:
As I sit here working on my recap of the first two episodes of Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks, it’s occurring to me that this is not going to be an easy job. Last month, when Leonard, Jeff, and I were reviewing the show’s first two seasons, we had the advantage of knowing where the story was leading. We knew what would be important and what was a red herring.
With this revival, we no longer have that luxury. I have no idea where this show is going. All I know, for sure, is that David Lynch has given us 18 hours of new material. It’s not necessarily going to be easy to review the revival. I can already tell that. From what I’ve heard and read, it appears that Lynch approached this less as a TV series and more as an 18-hour movie. I’ve already noticed that several reviewers are already overplaying the “Twin Peaks is weird” angle. David Lynch may be a surrealist but there is always a definite logic to all of his work. You just have to have the patience to find it and I imagine that’ll be the case with Twin Peaks: The Return as well.
I’ve already shared my initial thoughts on the first two episodes and Ryan The TrashFilm Guru has posted a review of his own. What follows below is a more in-depth recap of what we saw last night. Needless to say, if you haven’t seen the first two episodes of the revival yet, this entire post is one huge spoiler. So, read it at your own risk!
Okay — ready?
We start where we left, with a clip from 27 years ago. In the Black Lodge, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) tells Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) that she will see him in 25 years.
Cut to Twin Peaks, the town that we all know and love. The trees are still shrouded in fog. The high school hallways are empty. Laura Palmer’s homecoming queen picture still sits in the trophy case. The title appears. Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting theme music starts to play. We see the waterfall. We read the opening credits. Twin Peaks is back.
In the Black Lodge, a much older Giant (Carel Struycken) talks to an aged Cooper. The inhabitants of the Lodge still speak backwards and we are still provided with subtitles so that we can follow what they’re saying. Cooper still speaks in his normal voice, indicating that he may be trapped in the Lodge but he has yet to truly become a part of it. The Giant tells Cooper to listen to the sounds and looks over at an old-fashioned phonograph. “It is in our house now,” the Giant says. “Remember Four Three Zero. Richard and Linda. Two birds with one stone.”
“I understand,” Cooper says. (I’m glad someone does.)
Cut to a trailer sitting in the middle of nowhere. A pickup truck drives up. The truck has two cardboard boxes in the bed. Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) comes out of the trailer and gets the boxes. What’s inside the boxes? Shovels, of course! Jacoby certainly does seem to be happy to have them. Maybe he’s still looking for that necklace that Donna and James buried 25 years ago…
Cut to New York City. Sam Colby (Ben Rosenfield) has a new job. He sits on a couch in a room and he watches a black box that is sitting inside of a glass box. His job is to see if anything happens in the box and to make sure that there is always a camera filming the box. There’s a guard posted outside of the room. Sam’s friend, Tracey (Madeline Zima), is allowed to bring him coffee but she’s not allowed to enter the room or see the boxes. The sight of Sam sitting in that room, staring at that box, reminded me of the scenes with Michael Anderson as the man who controlled Hollywood in Mulholland Drive. As creepy as that box may have been, it was the stillness of this scene that made me nervous. Sam seemed remarkably uninterested in why exactly he had to watch the box and that lack of curiosity struck me as odd and just a little depressing.
Cut to … oh my God, we’re back at the Great Northern! And there’s Ben Horne (Richard Beymer)! He’s in his office and he’s leering at his new secretary, Barbara (Ashley Judd). It’s just like old times and, of course, it’s nice to see that Ben survived striking his head on the fireplace mantle 25 years ago. That said, Ben appears to have given up on being a do-gooder. He’s back to obsessing over money. Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) drops by for a visit and reveals that, since Washington legalized marijuana, he’s made a fortune. Way to go, Jerry!
Cut to the Sheriff’s Department and there’s Lucy (Kimmy Robertson)! An insurance salesman comes in and asks to see Sheriff Truman. Lucy asks him if he wants to see the Sheriff Truman who is sick or the Sheriff Truman who is out of the office. Neither one is available.
Cut to a country road. Someone is driving down the street while listening to evil music. The driver is none other than … Agent Cooper? Well, it kind of looks like Agent Cooper but it’s not Cooper. For one thing, this guy has long, greasy hair and doesn’t wear a dark suit. He also doesn’t smile. He has cold, dead eyes. For another thing, he parks next to a shack and beats up a redneck, which is not exactly Agent Cooper behavior. Then he goes inside, where he meets Buelah and Otis. He tells them that he has come to pick up Ray (George Griffith) and Darya (Nicole LaLiberte). I don’t remember Agent Cooper having such an affinity for white trash…
Oh wait! That’s not Agent Cooper! That must be Cooper’s Doppelganger!
Meanwhile, back in New York, Tracey shows up with more coffee. She and Sam are shocked to discover that the guard has left his post. This means that Tracey can now go into the room and see the mysterious box for herself! It also means that she and Sam can have some fun on the couch. While they do, Sam suddenly sees that the inside of the glass box has turned black. Suddenly, what appears to be a demonic creature appears in the box. It springs through the glass and, in a scene that leaves no doubt that this is Showtime Twin Peaks and not ABC Twin Peaks, it literally rips Sam and Tracey into pieces.
Along with giving me a good fright, this scene made me sad because I thought Sam and Tracey were a cute couple. The reviewer at TVLine complained about Sam and Tracey and the actors playing them and I really have to wonder what show he watched because, to me, both Ben Rosenfield and Madeline Zima were likable and sympathetic in their brief time on screen. Then again, the TVLine recapper also managed to confuse Bobby Briggs and James Hurley so we know he’s not a true Twin Peaks fan.
I should also mention that this scene, with hints of the demons flickering in the darkness before the sudden attack, reminded me of the infamous “there’s an evil man behind the dumpster” scene from Mulholland Drive.
Cut to Buckhorn, South Dakota. We’re confronted with a very Lynchian image. A fat woman walks a tiny dog down the hallway of an apartment building. She stops when she smells a terrible stench coming from the neighbor’s apartment. She calls the police, worried that her neighbor Ruth Davenport may be dead.
The police arrive and it takes them forever to find a key to open up the apartment. This is one of those sequences that Lynch loves, the sequence were a simple task is made progressively more and more difficult by awkward minutia. The neighbor doesn’t know if there’s a manager available but then remembers that the manager’s been committed to an asylum. However, the manager’s brother might have the key. But she doesn’t know where the brother is but the brother’s friend, Hank Filmore (Max Perlich), might know. Hank does know but he refuses to tell and then the neighbor suddenly mentions that she has an extra key to the apartment. When the police finally get inside the apartment, they discover the naked remains of Ruth Davenport in bed. Her eyes have been removed and her head has been disconnected from her body.
Continuing the Mulholland Drive comparison, the discovery of Ruth’s body was shot in much the same way as the discovery of Diane Selwyn’s body in Mulholland Drive. As well, Brent Briscoe played a detective in Mulholland Drive and he plays one in Twin Peaks as well, leading the investigation into Ruth’s murder.
Cut back to Twin Peaks. The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) calls Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse), who is now Deputy Chief Hawk and who is in charge while Sheriff Truman is gone. The Log Lady tells Hawk that her log has a message. “Something is different and you have to find it,” she tells him. “It has to do with Federal Agent Dale Cooper and with your heritage. This is the message of the log.”
(Coulson died shortly after filming her scenes here and her frailty make her scenes here unexpectedly poignant. As she talks to Hawk, it’s obvious that both of them know that this could be their last conversation.)
Back in South Dakota, Detective Dave is informed that one man’s finger prints have been found all over Ruth’s apartment. The finger prints belonged to Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard), a respected high school principal. As his shocked wife, Phyllis (Cornelia Guest), watches, Bill is arrested and charged with murder. “But the Morgans are coming to dinner!” Phyllis shouts as Dave leads Bill away.
Back at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Hawk, Lucy, and Andy (Harry Goaz) gather in the conference room. Hawk order them to look through all the files on the disappearance as Dale Cooper. Lucy says that Cooper disappeared 24 years ago and then mentions that her son is 24 years old. “He was born on the same day as Marlon Brando,” Lucy says.
Back in South Dakota, Dave is interrogating Bill. When Dave asks Bill if he’s ever heard of Ruth Davenport, Bill says that he only knew her in passing. He denies having ever been to Ruth’s apartment but, when he says it, he nervously glances around the room. Is Bill hiding something or is he just nervous as anyone who has been arrested — whether guilty or innocent — would be? It turns out that Bill can’t account for where he was during every minute of the previous night. Dave jots down some notes on a legal pad. That’s never good. Bill wants a lawyer. Dave says that lawyer is on the way but he also asks if there’s anything else Bill would like to add “before we get a lawyer involved.” At this point, I was yelling at the screen, “Stop talking! The police are not your friends!” Dave immediately proved my point by accusing Bill of murder and then taking him to a jail cell.
Dave and the cops then go back to the Hastings house, the time with a search warrant. While the police search his car, Bill sits in his jail cell and probably wonders why he hasn’t been allowed to see his lawyer yet.
Suddenly, Dave arrives with Phyllis. Phyllis steps into the cell and tells Bill that they’re not going to give him bail. Bill says that he was never in Ruth’s apartment but that he had a dream the night that she was killed. “Fuck you!” Phyllis sanps, “you fucking bastard!” She reveals that she knows that Bill was cheating on her with Ruth. Bill shouts back that he knows about Phyllis and someone named George. Phyllis taunts him. “You’re going down. Life in prison.”
After Phyllis leaves, Bill sits in his cell. Little does he know that, three cells down, a shadowy man is sitting on a bed. The shadow slowly fades away, becoming a wisp of smoke that eventually dissipates in the air.
Phyllis arrives home. Doppelganger Cooper is waiting for her. Phyllis smiles and asks what he’s doing there. Doppelganger Cooper replies that Phyllis did a good job duplicating human nature and then shoots her in the head.
Cut to Las Vegas, Nevada. A man in an office (Patrick Fischler, who also played the man who had a morbid — and justifiable fear — of the dumpster behind the diner in Mulholland Drive) talks to his associate Roger about a mysterious figure who “uses” him. “You better hope you never have someone like him in your life,” the man says.
Cut to a diner in South Dakota, where Doppelganger Cooper has an awkward dinner with Ray and Darya. Doppelganger Cooper tells Ray that he doesn’t “need anything.” However, he does want things. Ray kind of smirks. Doppelganger Cooper explains that what he wants is information.
Cut to Ghostwood Forest. Equipped with a flashlight, Hawk walks. He gets a call from the Log Lady. “The stars turn,” she tells hm, “and a time presents itself.” The Log Lady says she wishes she could go with Hawk but then tells him to stop by. She has coffee and pie for him. Hawks says he will, as he approaches Glastonbury Grove, which once served as the entrance into the Black Lodge.
Speaking of the Black Lodge, Cooper is still sitting in the waiting room. He has been joined by MIKE (Al Strobel), the one-armed man. “Is it the future or is it the past?” MIKE asks before saying that someone has come to see Cooper.
Enter Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), still wearing the black dress from the last time that we saw her but definitely no longer a teenager. (Of course, this is because 25 years has passed not only on the show but in real life as well. Still, in the world of Twin Peaks, it’s interesting that time passes in The Black Lodge and people continue to age, even after they die.) Cooper and Laura recite some of the same dialogue from the dream that Cooper had during the third episode of the first season of Twin Peaks.
When Laura says, “I am Laura Palmer,” Cooper replies that Laura is dead.
“I am dead,” Laura says, “yet I live.”
Laura opens her face like a door, revealing a bright white light.
“When can I go?” Cooper asks as Laura closes her face.
Laura kisses Cooper and then, just as she did in the original dream, she starts to whisper in his ear while the aged Cooper smiles.
Suddenly, the curtains shake and Laura screams. Something appears to yank her into the air and she vanishes. A wind blow through the lodge and suddenly, the curtain disappear. The same white horse that, 25 years earlier, appeared to Sarah Palmer now appears to Cooper.
Suddenly, Cooper is back in the waiting room and MIKE is again asking if it is the past or the future.
MIKE leads Cooper into another room, one that is inhabited by a tree that has what appears to be a perfectly smooth brain sitting atop of it. MIKE says that the tree is his arm. The tree starts to speak to Cooper. It asks if Cooper remembers his doppelgänger. Cooper does and we get a flashback to this still powerful scene:
The tree explains that before Cooper can go out, the Doppelganger must return to the Black Lodge.
Meanwhile, in South Dakota, the Doppelganger is busy killing people. First he kills a business associate and then he returns to his motel and confronts Darya with the knowledge that someone hired her and Ray to kill him. Darya says that she doesn’t know who hired them and puts all of the blame on Ray. The Doppelganger reveals that he’s supposed to go back to the Black Lodge but he’s not planning on returning. Then, in a disturbing and deeply unpleasant scene that I personally felt went on a bit too long, the Doppelganger beats and then murders Darya.
Having killed Darya, the Doppelganger places a phone call to Philip Jeffries, the FBI agent who was played by David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. They have a cryptic conversation. Philip says that the Doppelganger should be in New York and then says that the Doppelganger met with Major Garland Briggs. “How did you know that!?” the Doppelganger demands. “I just called to say goodbye,” Philip says.
The Doppelganger downloads the plans for Yankton Federal Prison and then walks down to another motel room. There he is greeted by Chantel (Jennifer Jason Leigh!). He tells Chantel that he needs her to go “clean up” the other room. Chantel is more than happy to do it.
At the Black Lodge, Cooper continues to stare at the tree. The tree says that Cooper can go but when Cooper goes out to the hallway, he finds that he still cannot pass through the curtains and back into our world. Cooper continues to walk through the Lodge until he discovers Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) sitting in a leather chair.
“Find Laura,” Leland says.
Suddenly, MIKE and the Tree appear again. MIKE says something is wrong. The tree says to find the Doppelganger. Cooper continues to walk around the lodge. (Is this all he’s been doing for the past 25 years?) He finally manages to open the curtains and finds himself watching as his Doppelganger drives down a desert road. Suddenly, the tree appears and starts lashing out at him with its limbs.
“Non-existent!” the tree snaps.
Cooper falls through the floor of the Lodge. Suddenly, he’s in the glass box in New York. And he can see Tracey and Sam having the same conversation that they had before they were killed by the weird demon creature. (Is time looping back on itself, in much the same way that it did at the end of Lost Highway with Bill Pullman telling his future self that “Dick Laurent is dead?”)
Suddenly, Cooper is falling again.
In Twin Peaks, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) sits alone in the Palmer House, drinking, smoking, and watching one of those traumatic nature documentaries where predators eat their prey in closeup.
At the Roadhouse, the Chromatics are singing a beautifully dream-like song. Shelley (Madchen Amick) is sitting at a booth with a group of friends. She says she’s worried about her daughter, Becky. Suddenly, they see that James Hurley (James Marshall) has entered the bar and is now looking over at them.
“What’s wrong with that guy?” one of them says.
“There’s nothing wrong with that guy!” Shelley says, “He was in a motorcycle accident but he’s just quiet. He’s always been cool.”
And it’s such a sweet scene, even if it does feel a bit odd since Shelley and James didn’t even seem to know each other during the original series. I found myself wondering if Shelley is now married to Bobby Briggs. If James ends up stealing Shelley away (and that certainly seems a possibility, especially with Lara Flynn Boyle not coming back to reprise the role of Donna Hayward), this will be the second time Bobby has lost a lover to James.
(By the way, both James Marshall and Madchen Amick have aged wonderfully. If anything, James Marshall is far more handsome now than he was during the first two seasons of the show.)
There was also some excitement online when Walter Olkewicz appeared as the bartender at the roadhouse. Could it be, we all wondered, that Jacques Renault was once again alive!? Well, no. According to the credits, Olkewicz was playing Jean-Michel Renault. Apparently, he’s the fourth Renault brother.
And that’s how this perplexing episode ends. The Chromatics perform on the Roadhouse while two of our favorite characters acknowledge each other. At times, I loved this episode. At times, I was frustrated. However, I was always intrigued and this ending — this wonderfully sentimental little moment between Shelley and James — was the perfect way to cap it all off.
Do I understand everything that happened tonight? No, but it doesn’t matter. I can’t wait to see where Lynch is taking us next.