TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 17 (dir by David Lynch)


I imagine that there are a lot of upset people right now.

Maybe you’re one of them.  Maybe, even as I sit here typing this, you are seething with rage.  “18 hours and it ends with Cooper trapped in yet another fucked up situation, with Laura Palmer still screaming!?  What the Hell!?”

Well, my advice would be to calm down.  Did Twin Peaks: The Return ends on a conventional note?  No.  Has anything about Twin Peaks: The Return been conventional?  Hell no.  This is a David Lynch production, after all.  And Lynch has never shown an interest in tidy endings.  In fact, if anything, Lynch has never shown much of an interest in endings.  Blue Velvet concluded with a fake bird.  Lost Highway ended with Bill Pullman appearing to transform yet again.  Even Mulholland Drive ended with that evil creature still living behind Winkie’s.

As far as I’m concerned, Twin Peaks: The Return provided 18 of the most intriguing hours in television history.  Am I little bit frustrated that it didn’t end on a definite note of conclusion?  Sure.  (With 15 minutes left in Part 18, I found myself saying, “Uhmmm … what about Audrey?”)  But I’ll tell you right, I’m going to have a lot of fun debating what it all meant.  Art is not about easy solutions.

(For the record, next weekend, I’m going to binge watch all 18 hours and then maybe I’ll post my conclusions.)

It could be argued that this should not be called a conclusion.  As Ryan pointed out in this week’s peaks, the story continues.  There may or may not be another season on Showtime.  There may or may not be another Twin Peaks movie.  Hell, Mark Frost may or may not write another Twin Peaks book.  And, if none of that happens, the story will continue in our imaginations.

I went back and forth on whether or not to review both Parts 17 and 18 together or separately.  In the end, I decided to review them separately because I consider Part 17 to be the conclusion on the third season of Twin Peaks while Part 18 feels like it’s laying the groundwork for a fourth season.

Let’s get to it!

Things open in South Dakota, with Gordon Cole (David Lynch) lamenting to Albert (Miguel Ferrer) and Tammy (Chrysta Bell) that he couldn’t bring himself to shoot Diane.  After Albert says that Cole is going soft, Cole replies, “Not where it counts, buddy.”  That line made me laugh, despite myself.  Lynch just has such a sincere way of delivering his lines.

Cole goes on to explain that, before his death, Major Briggs shared, with him and Cooper, his discovery of an extremely evil and negative force that, “in olden times,” was known as Jowday.  Jowday eventually got shortened to Judy.  Briggs, Cooper, and Cole put together a plan that could lead them to Judy.  Apparently, before his disappearance, Philip Jeffries said that he was on the verge of discovering Judy.  Cole theorizes that the Doppelganger is looking for Judy.

Suddenly, the phone rings.  It’s Agent Headley (Jay R. Ferguson), calling from Las Vegas, to announce that they’ve found Dougie Jones but that Dougie disappeared again.  Mullins (Don Murray) asks to speak to Cole and gives him a message from Cooper.  Cooper is on his way to Twin Peaks, to see Sheriff Truman!

In the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, the lock-up is still nosiy.  The drunk (Jay Aaseng) and Deputy Chad (John Pirruccello) take turns taunting each other.  Eyeless Naido (Nae Yuuki) continues to whimper.  Freddie (Jake Wardle) and James (James Marshall) listen.

At the Great Northern, Ben (Richard Beymer) gets a call.  Jerry’s turned up in Wyoming, apparently convinced that he can kill people with his binoculars.  It might be time to say, “No more drugs for that man,” as far as Jerry is concerned.

The next morning, the Doppelganger (Kyle MacLachlan) wanders through the woods outside of Twin Peaks.  The vortex opens above him.  The Doppelganger vanishes.

In the building above the purple sea, the disembodied head of Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) floats between two pictures, one of the woods and one of the Palmer House.  The Fireman (Carel Struycken) waves  his hand.  In the background, we hear the electrical hum that been haunting the Great Northern.

The Doppelganger materializes outside of the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station.  As he walks towards it, he is seen by Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz).  At first, I was worried that the Doppelganger was going to kill Deputy Andy but instead, he greets him with a cold, “Hello, Andy.”

Andy leads the Doppelganger into the station, where they meet Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster).  When the Doppelganger turns down a cup of coffee, everyone knows something strange is happening.  Then, Andy starts to have visions of him and Lucy standing in the lobby, looking at something.

Meanwhile, in the holding area, it turns out that Chad has got a key hidden in his shoe.  He gets out of his cell and heads for the weapons locker.  When Andy shows up, looking for Hawk, Chad comes at him with a raised gun.  But fear not!  Freddie Sykes uses his green glove of power to throw open the door his cell, smashing Chad in the face and knocking him out.

Meanwhile, Lucy informs Truman that he has a phone call and he really needs to take it.  Reluctantly, Truman takes the call and finds himself talking to … DALE COOPER!  Dale and the Mitchums have just entered the Twin Peaks city limits and are on their way to the station!

The Doppelganger, realizing what is happening, reaches inside his jacket for a gun when suddenly — bang!  The Doppelganger crashes to the floor.  Standing behind him, holding a gun, is Lucy!

(Making this scene especially satisfying is that, during the second season Twin Peaks, Lucy was exclusively given comedic subplots that had nothing to do with the main storyline.  25 years, she finally gets to save the day.)

Way to go, Lucy!

Cooper tells Truman to make sure that no one touches the Doppelganger’s body until he arrives.  Andy steps into the office with Hawk, Naido, James, and Freddie.  Suddenly, just as in Part 8, the woodsmen appear and start working on the Doppelganger’s body.  While that happens, Cooper and the Mitchums show up.  And then Cole, Albert, and Tammy show up.  It’s getting crowded in that office!

Suddenly, the spirit of Killer BOB (represented by an orb that contains stock footage of Frank Silva) emerges from the Doppelganger’s body and lunges at Freddie.  Despite getting bloodied in the process, Freddie is able to use his green glove of power to smash BOB’s face into a thousand pieces.  Yay Freddie!

Cooper puts the ring on the Doppelganger’s finger.  The Doppelganger vanishes.  Yay Cooper!

Cooper gets the key to his former hotel room from Sheriff Truman.  “Major Briggs told me Sheriff Truman would have it,” Cooper explains.  (Yay Major Briggs!)

Now, what happens next is interesting.  A lot of positive things happen.  Bobby Briggs (Dana Asbrook) comes in the office and Cooper tells him that he and Major Briggs are proud of him.  Blind Naido is revealed to actually be the real Diane, in disguise.  (And yes, the real Diane still has eyes.)  Cole and Albert are reunited with their friend.  And yet, through the whole scene, we see the face of another Cooper, this one with a blank expression, superimposed over the action.

This was when I started to suspect that the finale might turn out to be a bit controversial.  Are we seeing reality or are we watching a dream, a memory, or a wish?  Not even the presence of the Mitchum girls in pink, passing out finger sandwiches, can change the ominous tone of all this otherwise positive scene.

Cooper glances at the clock in Truman’s office and sees that the minute hand seems to be stuck.

A distorted voice says, “We live inside a dream.”

Oh shit, I thought as I watched this scene, we’ve got 30 minutes left and things are about to get so seriously fucked up…

“I hope I see all of you again,” Cooper says, “every one of you.”

The room goes black.  Cooper’s superimposed face continues to passively stare.

Suddenly, Cooper, Diane, and Cole are slowly walking down a dark hallway.  I believe they’re in the Great Northern because, when they reach a door, Cooper uses his old hotel room key to open it.  He tells Cole and Diane to wait behind and then he enters the room.  “See you at the curtain call,” Cooper says.

Inside the room is MIKE (Al Strobel) who recites the Fire Walk With Me poem.  MIKE leads Cooper up a staircase and into the room the holds the metal device the contains the spirit of Philip Jeffries.  Cooper asks to be sent back to February 23rd, 1989, the night of the death of Laura Palmer.

“Cooper,” Jeffries says, “remember…”

“ELECTRICITY!” MIKE exclaims.

Suddenly, Cooper’s back in 1989.  He’s watching Laura (Sheryl Lee) sneak out of her house and jump on the back of James Hurley’s motorcycle while a jealous Leland (Ray Wise) watches from his window.  Cooper watches them in the woods, listening as Laura tells James that Bobby killed a man.  (This is true.  Before he became everyone’s favorite lawman, Bobby shot a Canadian drug runner in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  I always wondered if that would be acknowledged.)

Cooper watches the familiar scene play out but, when Laura jumps off of James’s motorcycle, Cooper steps forward and changes history.  Instead of allowing Laura to walk off to be murdered, Cooper tells her that he is taking her home.  “I saw you in my dreams,” Laura says.

The next morning, we see another familiar sight: Laura’s body on the shore, wrapped in plastic.  The body disappears.  In archived footage from the original Twin Peaks pilot, we watch as Pete Martell (Jack Nance) says good morning to Catherine (Piper Laurie) and then heads out to fish.  Except, this time, there’s no body to distract him.  Instead of calling the police and reporting a murder, Pete goes fishing.

(It’s a sweet image and it was nice to see that, despite having been dead for 21 years, Jack Nance, who starred in Eraserhead and was the former husband of Catherine “Log Lady” Coulson, still appeared in the revival.  Part 17 was dedicated to his memory.)

Where is Laura?  Despite not being dead, she’s not in her house.  However, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) is.  Sarah is smashing the famous picture of Laura as homecoming queen into little pieces.  Disturbingly, this would seem to indicate that, at the time that Laura was being abused and eventually murdered by her father, Sarah was not a bystander but was instead possessed by the same evil that possessed Leland.

Cooper leads Laura through the woods.  Suddenly, Laura screams and is gone.

Standing in front the red curtains of the Black Lodge, Julee Cruise sings.

End credits.

On to Part 18, which I am about to rewatch after which I will write up a review.  It might be a few hours.  Until then, why not check out some of the other 81 Twin Peaks-related posts that we’ve published this year at the Shattered Lens!

Twin Peaks on TSL:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  29. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  30. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.21 “Miss Twin Peaks” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Leonard Wilson
  31. TV Review: Twin Peaks 22.2 “Beyond Life and Death” (directed by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  32. Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  33. Here’s The Latest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  34. Here’s The Newest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  35. 12 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two by Lisa Marie Bowman
  36. This Week’s Peaks: Parts One and Two by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  37. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  38. 4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition by Lisa Marie Bowman
  39. This Week’s Peaks: Parts Three and Four by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  40. 14 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Three by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  42. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman 
  43. 18 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  44. This Week’s Peaks: Part Five by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  45. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  46. 14 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  47. This Week’s Peaks: Part Six by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  48. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  51. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  52. Ten Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  53. This Week’s Peaks: Part Eight by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  54. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  55. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  56. This Week’s Peaks: Part Nine by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  57. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  58. 20 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  59. This Week’s Peaks: Part 10 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  60. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  61. 16 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  62. This Week’s Peaks: Part 11 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  63. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  64. 20 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  65. This Weeks Peaks: Part 12 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  66. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  67. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  68. This Week’s Peaks: Part 13 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  69. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  70. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  71. This Week’s Peaks: Part 14 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  72. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  73. This Week’s Peaks: Part 15 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  74. 24 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks; The Return Part 15 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  75. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 15 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  76. 32 Initial Thoughts about Twin Peaks; The Return Part 16 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  77. This Week’s Peaks: Part 16 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  78. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 16 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  79. 18 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 17 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  80. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return part 18 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  81. This Week’s Peaks: Parts 17 and 18 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) (SPOILERS)


David Lynch as Gordon Cole

It seems appropriate that there should be a picture of David Lynch at the top of this recap.  There’s a lot of good things to be said about the third and fourth “parts” of Twin Peaks but ultimately, these two hours are all about Lynch and his unique vision.

This is especially true of the first 20 minutes of Part 3.  This is Lynch at his best.  Unconcerned with the traditional rules of narrative, Lynch creates an extended nightmare, one that sticks in your head long after the show itself has moved on.

Much as how Eraserhead started in space, with a hideously scarred man pushing and pulling the levers that eventually created that film’s mutant baby, Part 3 opens with Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) falling through darkness, plunging into a purple cloud.  When Cooper lands, it’s in a purple-tinted world that immediately made me think of the final scene in Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond.

Cooper is standing outside a house, looking out over what appears to be a purple ocean.  When Cooper enters the house, he finds a woman.  She is wearing a red dress and her eyes are sewn shut.  The first time I saw this, I assumed that the woman was meant to be Ruth Davenport, mostly because Ruth was found without eyes.  However, Ruth is not listed in the end credits.  For that matter, neither is the eyeless woman.

Cooper asks where they are but the woman cannot speak.  Perhaps she has lost her tongue, as well as her eyes.  Suddenly, someone starts to pound on the door.  The woman holds her finger to her lips, telling Cooper to be silent.

Cooper sees what appears to be a safe on the wall but, when he tries to approach it, the blind woman steps in front of him and pushes him back.  As the pounding continues, the woman leads Cooper to another door and then up a ladder.

And suddenly, Cooper and the woman are standing in outer space.  The house has now become a satellite, hovering in the star-filled sky.  As the pounding continues on the soundtrack, the woman tries to speak but Cooper cannot understand what she’s saying.  Suddenly, the woman pulls down a lever, apparently electrocuting herself before falling off the satellite and disappearing into space.

Suddenly, Cooper sees the face of Major Garland Briggs (Don S. Davis) floating underneath him.  “Blue Rose,” Briggs says.

(In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, it was suggested that the FBI refers to paranormal cases as being “Blue Rose cases.”)

Cooper reenters the satellite.  He finds himself back in the house.  There is now a second woman and those familiar with the show will recognize her as being played by Phoebe Augustine, the same actress who played Ronette Pulaski in the earlier seasons of the show.  If Augustine playing Ronette here?  It’s hard to say.  Her character is listed as being “American Girl.”  Cooper does not seem to recognize her but, then again, he also hesitated before recognizing Laura Palmer during Part One.  Being in the Black Lodge for 25 years can’t be good for one’s memory.

Cut to Doppelganger Cooper, driving down a South Dakota highway.  At the same time that the real Cooper is once again approaching the safe in the Space House, Doppelganger Cooper is having a seizure while driving.

In the Space House, American Girl/Ronette says, “When you get there, you will already be there.”

The pounding starts again.

“You better hurry,” American Girl/Ronette says, “my mother’s coming.”

Suddenly, Cooper is sucked into the safe, with only his shoes being left behind in the Space House.

In South Dakota, Doppelganger Cooper flips his car, crashing into a mountain.  Doppelganger Cooper survives but suddenly, he starts to throw up.  He puts his hand over his mouth and then sees the red curtains of the Black Lodge appearing before his car.

In an empty house located the Rancho Rosa development in Nevada, a dorky guy named Dougie Jones (Kyle MacLachlan) has just paid a prostitute named Jade (Nafessa Williams).  While Jade takes a shower, Dougie puts on a mustard yellow suit jacket and, judging by how ugly it is, I’m guessing that Dougie must be in real estate.  (Perhaps he works for Rancho Rosa, selling people suburban houses in the middle of the desert.)  Suddenly, Dougie grabs his stomach and collapses to the floor.

What follows is one of the grossest scenes ever as we cut back and forth between Dougie and the Doppelganger vomiting.  Seriously, this was one of the most grotesquely realistic vomiting scenes that I have ever seen.  I averted my eyes and covered my ears!  It was so gross.

At the same time that Dougie vanishes from the house, the red curtains in front of the Doppelganger’s car also vanishes.  But the Doppelganger is too busy throwing up to notice.  Again, I have to admit that I averted my eyes during most of this.  (I also realize that both Dougie and the Doppelganger were throwing up their essences, the stuff that allowed them to pretend to be human.  I don’t care.  The only thing I hate more than vomiting is watching other people vomit.)

Dougie is in the Black Lodge.  MIKE (Al Strobel) doesn’t appear to be too happy to see him.  MIKE explains that someone manufactured Dougie.  I’m assuming that the Doppelganger created Dougie so that, if Cooper ever escaped from the Black Lodge, he would take over Dougie’s existence instead of the Doppelganger’s.  “That’s weird,” Dougie says, as he his hand wastes away.  Then Dougie’s head vanishes, replaced by a black cloud of smoke.

Back at the house, another black cloud comes out of an electrical outlet.  Soon, the cloud forms into Cooper.  Cooper lies on the floor, next to Dougie’s vomit (ewwww!) until Jade yells at him that they have to get out of the house.

Apparently in a state of shock, Cooper silently follows Jade out of the house.  After being locked away in the Black Lodge, it appears that Cooper no longer quite remembers how to be human.  Or maybe he’s not really human at all anymore.  All I know is that he’s acting strange and, as brilliant as Kyle MacLachlan is, I do kind of hope the old Cooper returns at some point soon.

Because Dougie/Cooper doesn’t have his car keys (though he does still have his room key from the Great Northern), Jade gives him a ride into Vegas.  Two gangster types watch as Jade drives off.  One of them has a rifle.  The other has a bomb.  Apparently, they work for someone to whom Dougie’s owes money.  Because Cooper leans down to pick up his room key, the one with the rifle does not spot him in Jade’s car.  The other places the bomb under Dougie’s car, which is still sitting outside of the empty house.

While this happens, a woman — listed in the credits as being “Drugged-Up Mother” and played by Hailey Gates — is shouting “One one nine!  One one nine!” while her son watches on the couch.

In South Dakota, two troopers approach the Doppelganger’s car.  One of them catches whiff of the vomit and collapses to the ground, physically ill.

At the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Hawk (Michael Horse), Andy (Harry Goaz), and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) look through all the evidence that was collected in the Palmer case.  Andy says that he and Lucy can’t find out what’s missing.  “If it’s here,” Hawk replies, “how can it be missing?”

As Hawk recites what the Log Lady told him — that something is missing and that the way he’ll find it has to do with his heritage — Lucy freaks out when she spots an empty box of chocolate bunnies.  Many years ago, Lucy ate the bunny.

“Do chocolate bunnies have something to do with your heritage?” Andy earnest asks.

“IT’S NOT ABOUT BUNNIES!” Hawk snaps.  Then, “Is it about the bunny? …. No, it’s not about the bunny.”

Meanwhile, off in the middle of nowhere, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) spray paints the ladders that were delivered to him at the start of Part One.

In Vegas, Jade drops Dougie/Cooper off at a casino.  Dougie/Cooper has been reduced to just repeating back phrases that other people say to him but no one seems to notice.  Still, when Jade tells Dougie/Cooper that he can “go now,” Dougie/Cooper has a flashback to Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) saying the same thing.

The casino, with its combination of glitz and the grotesque, brings out the best in Lynch.  As Dougie/Cooper wanders through the casino — which is populated by typical Lynchian characters — he notices that he can see the red curtains of the Black Lodge floating over certain slot machines.   Cooper pulls the levers, hitting jackpot after jackpot.  As the coins flood out of the machines, Cooper announces, “HELLO!”  Why?  Because he heard another gambler do it.  Dougie/Cooper is learning how to be human again.

When Dougie/Cooper walks away after having won another jackpot, leaving all of his coins on the floor, one old woman considers taking the coins for herself but then glances up at the camera on the ceiling — “and the eye in the sky watches us all,” to quote Casino — and thinks better of it.  Instead, she just asks Cooper to tell her which machines are about to hit.  She calls him Mr. Jackpot, which is kinda sweet.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the FBI is meeting and — oh my God!  It’s Gordon Cole (David Lynch), Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), and Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell).  (Preston will be familiar to anyone who has read Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks.)

They start out discussing a senator who has been accused of murdering his wife.  The senator says that he knows who did it but he can’t reveal the name because of “national security reasons.”  (Since this is taking place in 2014, I’m going to continue the Casino theme and assume that the senator was creepy old Harry Reid.)

Cole is more interested in hearing about the murders of Sam and Tracey in New York City.  It turns out that the cameras caught a picture of that demonic creature in the glass box.

Suddenly, a call comes in.  Cooper has been found and he’s in a South Dakota prison and … oh shit!  That’s not Cooper!  We know that’s the Doppelganger!  Regardless, Cole announces that he, Albert, and Tamara are going to South Dakota.  Albert says he can’t wait to see Mount Rushmore.

“The absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence,” Albert tells Tamara.  “How about a truck load of valium?”

Cut to The Cactus Blossoms, performing at the Roadhouse and announcing that Part Three is over.

Part Four opens with Dougie/Cooper still hitting jackpots and still chanting, “Hello!”  When the old woman who has been following him around hits a jackpot of her own, a small smile comes to Cooper/Dougie’s lips.

A friend of Dougie’s, Bill Shaker (Ethan Suplee), approaches and he and Dougie have a thoroughly superficial conversation.  Dougie/Cooper asks where his home is.  Bill assures him that he lives at Lancelot Court, in a house with a red door.  The house, Bill says, is near Merlin’s Market.  As Cooper/Dougie leaves to get a cab, Bill says, “I hope he’s okay.”

“I don’t think he’s okay,” Bill’s wife, the wonderfully named Candy Shaker (Sara Paxton) says.

Before Dougie/Cooper can leave to find the house with the red door, he is dragged to the office of the vaguely threatening casino manager (David Dastmalchian).  The manager gives Dougie/Cooper his winnings and then asks if he wants anything — like “companionship” — for the night.  “Think of us as your home away from home,” he says.  When Dougie/Cooper repeats that he wants to go home (his real home), the manager arranges for him to ride in a limo.

(It pays to be a winner.)

As the limo drives down Lancelot Court, the driver (Jay Larson) says that it might be hard to spot a red door at night.  However, he then sees the door and oh my God, is it ever red!  Dougie gets out of the limo and seems unsure what to do.  Fortunately, his wife — Janey-E (Naomi Watts) — comes out of the house and starts hitting him.  Apparently, Dougie has been missing for three days.  He even misses his son’s birthday party!  (Perhaps significantly, as everyone stands outside the house, an owl flies overhead.)

Fortunately, once they’re inside the house, Janey-E sees just how much money Dougie/Cooper won at the casino.

“Don’t tell me you hit the jackpot!” Janey-E says.

“Mr. Jackpot,” Dougie/Cooper says, pointing at himself.

“There’s enough here to pay them back!” Janey-E continues as she looks at the money, “This is the most wonderful day of my life!”

“Of my life,” Dougie/Cooper says.

“Yes,” Janey-E replies.

At FBI Headquarters, Cole has a meeting chief of staff Denise Bryson (David Duchovny).  Cole tells Denise about finding Cooper and says he’s going to South Dakota.  Denise is concerned about Cole traveling with Tamara.  “I know your profile, Gordon,” Denise explains, “Female agent.  Early 30s.”

“I’m old school,” Cole replies, “you know that.”

Cole reminds Denise that he defended her when she first transitioned.  He told everyone who had a problem with her to “Fix their hearts — or die!”

At the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) enters the front lobby, which causes Lucy to scream and faint.  Apparently, Lucy was confused because she has just been talking to Frank on the phone and she can’t understand how Frank could be in two places at once.  Andy attempts to explain to her how cell phones work.  “You’re so good at your job,” Andy says, “in every other way…”

At the Sheriff’s Department, we learn a few interesting things:

First off, Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), former drug dealer and murderer, is now a deputy, one who specializes in watching for drug dealers sneaking across the Canadian border.  (That’s something that Bobby should know a bit about.)  He also has gray hair and he cries when he sees a picture of Laura in the conference room.

Secondly, Major Garland Briggs died in a fire, a day after being the last person to see Dale Cooper.  (Presumably, Major Briggs actually saw Doppelganger Cooper.)

Third, Lucy and Andy’s son has grown up to be Wally Brando (Michael Cera).  Wally is a motorcycle enthusiast who has spent the last few years riding across the country.  Wally dresses like Marlon Brando in The Wild One and delivers a hilariously nonsensical monologue that is largely made up of pretentious references to different Brando roles.  What makes Wally’s scene so wonderful is the combination of Cera’s Brandoesque scenery chewing and Robert Forster’s deadpan reaction.

The next morning, in Vegas, Dougie/Cooper still can’t figure out how to do anything.  After spending 25 years in limbo, even urination is a new and scary experience for him.  Even when MIKE appears to tell him that he was tricked into leaving the Lodge and that either Dougie/Cooper and the Doppelganger must die, Dougie/Cooper looks confused.  Still, his son — the oddly named Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) — is amused when his father eats breakfast with a tie wrapped around his head.

In South Dakota, the police investigating the murder of Ruth Davenport are shocked to discover that they can not access the identity of the owner of the finger prints that they took off of the male Joe Doe.  Apparently, it’s top secret.  “Military authorization required.”

Meanwhile, Cole, Albert, and Tamara are driving out to the South Dakota prison.  During the car ride, Cole complains that they’re not anywhere near Mount Rushmore but, luckily, Albert has brought a picture for him.  Meanwhile, Tamara has to ride with her head leaning out of the window because she gets car sick.

(I sometimes get car sick too.  That’s one reason why I never sit in the back seat.  I share your struggle, Tamara!)

At the prison, Cole, Albert, and Tamara meet with Warden Murphy (James Morrison).  When it is mentioned that the Doppelganger was throwing up poison, Murphy says, “Must have eaten locally.”  I love that line!

Anyway, the meeting with the Doppelganger doesn’t go well.  The Doppelganger, having thrown up whatever it was that allowed him to act human, is now speaking in a stiff and halting tone.  The Doppelganger claims that he’s spent the last 25 years working undercover for Philip Jeffries.  Haltingly, he says that he needs to be released so that Gordon can “debrief” him.  Stiffly, the Doppelganger attempts to give Gordon the thumbs up sign.

After the meeting, Cole and Albert agree that something was off about “Cooper.”  They agree that there’s one woman who can tell them if it’s really Cooper in prison.  Cole asks if Albert still knows where she lives.

“I know where she drinks,” Albert replies.

Who could Albert be talking about?  Audrey Horne?  Or maybe Sarah Palmer?  Sarah, after all, is psychic and appears to still have a drinking problem.

We’ll find out next week!  Until then, Parts 3 and 4 — along with Parts 1 and 2 — will continue to haunt my thoughts and dreams.

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 (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four (dir by David Lynch)

 

 

Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch)


“It was a dream!  We live in a dream!”

— Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

Even among fans of the show, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is controversial.

If you read Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, you’ll discover that many members of the television show’s cast either didn’t want to be involved in the film or didn’t care much for it when it came out.  Fearful of being typecast, Kyle MacLachlan only agreed to play Dale Cooper on the condition that his role be greatly reduced.  (Was it that fear of being typecast as clean-cut Dale Cooper that led to MacLachlan later appearing in films like Showgirls?)  Neither Lara Flynn Boyle nor Sherilyn Fenn could work the film into their schedules.

When Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me premiered at Cannes, it was reportedly booed by the same critics who previously applauded Lynch’s Wild at Heart and who, years later, would again applaud Mulholland Drive.  When it was released in the United States, the film was savaged by critics and a notorious box office flop.  Quentin Tarantino, previously a fan of Lynch’s, has been very outspoken about his hatred of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  When I first told people that we would be looking back at Twin Peaks for this site, quite a few replied with, “Even the movie?”

And yet, there are many people, like me, who consider Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me to be one of David Lynch’s most haunting films.

It’s also one of his most straight forward.  Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is a prequel, dealing with the events leading up to the death of Laura Palmer.  Going into the film, the viewer already knows that Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) is full of secrets.  They know that she is using drugs.  They know that she is dating Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), while secretly seeing James (James Marshall).  They know about her diary and her relationship with the reclusive Harold (Lenny Von Dohlen).  They know that she is a friend to innocent Donna Hayward (Moria Kelly, somewhat awkwardly taking the place of Lara Flynn Boyle).  Even more importantly, they know that she has spent the last six years of her life being abused by BOB (Frank Silva) and that BOB is her father, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise).  The viewer starts the story knowing how it is going to end.

Things do get off to a somewhat shaky start with a nearly 20-minute prologue that basically plays like a prequel to the prequel.  Theresa Banks, who was mentioned in the show’s pilot, has been murdered and FBI director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) assigns agents Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) to investigate.  Chester and Sam’s investigation basically amounts to a quick reenactment of the first season of Twin Peaks, with the agents discovering that Theresa was involved in drugs and prostitution.  When Chester vanishes, Dale Cooper is sent to investigate.  Harry Dean Stanton shows up as the manager of a trailer park and David Bowie has an odd cameo as a Southern-accented FBI agent who has just returned from the Black Lodge but otherwise, the start of the film almost feels like a satire of Lynch’s style.

But then, finally, we hear the familiar theme music and the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign appears.

“And the angel’s wouldn’t help you. Because they’ve all gone away.”

— Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

A year has passed since Theresa Banks was murdered.  The rest of the film deals with the final few days of the life of doomed homecoming queen Laura Palmer.  Laura smiles in public but cries in private.  She is full of secrets that she feels that she has to hide from a town that has literally idolized her.  She has visions of terrifying men creeping through her life and each day, she doesn’t know whether it will be BOB or her father waiting for her at home.  She knows that the world considers her to be beautiful but she also know that, within human nature, there is a desire to both conquer and destroy beauty.  When she sleeps, she has disturbing dreams that she cannot understand but that she knows are important.  At a time when everyone says she should be happy to alive, all she can think about is death.  Everywhere she goes, the male gaze follows and everything that should be liberating just feels her leaving more trapped.  For all the complaints that Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is somehow too strange to be understood, it’s not a strange film at all.  This is David Lynch at his most straight forward.  Anyone who thinks that Laura’s story is incomprehensible has never been a 17 year-old girl.

This is the bleakest of all of David Lynch’s films.  There is none of broad humor or intentional camp that distinguished the TV show.  After the show’s occasionally cartoonish second season, the film served as a trip into the heart of the darkness that was always beating right underneath the surface of Twin Peaks.  It’s interesting how few of the show’s regulars actually show up in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  None of the characters who represented goodness are present.  There’s no Doc Hayward.  No Sheriff Truman.  No Deputies Andy or Hawk.  No Pete Martell.  No Bookhouse Boys.  Scenes were filmed for some of them but they didn’t make it into the final cut because their tone did not fit with the story that Lynch was seeking to tell.  The Hornes, Dr. Jacoby, Josie, none of them are present either.

Instead, there’s just Larua and her father.  As much as they try to deny it, Laura knows that she is going to die and Leland knows that he is going to kill her.  Killer BOB and the denziens of the Black Lodge may be scary but what’s truly terrifying is the sight of a girl living in fear of her own father.  Is Leland possessed by BOB or is BOB simply his way of excusing his own actions?  If not for Leland’s sickness, would BOB even exist?  When Laura shouts, “Who are you!?” at the spirit of BOB, she speaks for every victim of abuse who is still struggling to understand why it happened.  For all the talk of the Black Lodge and all the surreal moments, the horror of this film is very much the horror of reality.  Leland’s abuse of Laura is not terrifying because Leland is possessed by BOB.  It’s terrifying because Leland is her father

David Lynch directs the film as if it where a living nightmare.  This is especially evident in scenes like the one where, at the dinner table, Leland switches from being kindly to abusive while Laura recoils in fear and her mother (Grace Zabriskie) begs Leland to stop.  It’s a hard scene to watch and yet, it’s a scene that is so brilliantly acted and directed that you can’t look away.  As brilliant as Ray Wise and Grace Zabriskie are, it’s Sheryl Lee who (rightly) dominates the scene and the rest of the film, giving a bravely vulnerable and emotionally raw performance.  In Reflections, Sheryl Lee speaks candidly about the difficulty of letting go of Laura after filming had been completed.  She became Laura and gave a performance that anchors this absolutely terrifying film.

“Mr. Lynch’s taste for brain-dead grotesque has lost its novelty.”

— Janet Maslin

“It’s not the worst movie ever made; it just seems to be”

— Vincent Canby

If you need proof that critics routinely don’t know what they’re talking about, just go read some of the original reviews of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

And yet, having just rewatched the show and now the movie, I can understand why critics and audiences were baffled by this film.  This is not Twin Peaks the TV show.  There is no light to be found here.  There is no comic relief.  (Even Bobby Briggs, who had become something of a goofy anti-hero by the time the series ended, is seen here shooting a man in the head.)  There is no exit and there is no hope.  In the end, the film’s only comfort comes from knowing that Laura was able to save one person before dying.  It’s not easy to watch but, at the same time, it’s almost impossible to look away.  The film ends on Laura’s spirit smiling and, for the first time, the smile feels real.  Even if she’s now trapped in the Black Lodge, she’s still free from her father.

Since this was a prequel, it didn’t offer up any answers to the questions that were left up in the air by the show’s 2nd season finale.  Fortunately, those questions will be answered (or, then again, they may not be) when the third season premieres on Showtime on May 21st.

Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:

  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

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.22 “Beyond Life and Death” (dir by David Lynch)


“How’s Annie?”

— Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in Twin Peaks 2.22 “Beyond Life and Death”

“The Log Lady stole my truck!”

— Pete Martell (Jack Nance), same episode

“Some of your friends are here.”

— The Man From Another Place (Michael Anderson), same episode

“I’ll see you again in 25 years.”

— Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), same episode

Here we are.

Starting exactly one month ago, we started our Twin Peaks recaps.  I handled some, Leonard handled some, and Jeff handled some.  Gary added a post on David Lynch’s first three short films.  Val shared music videos that were either inspired by Lynch or directed by Lynch himself.  Jeff devoted his Movie a Day posts to reviewing films that all had a Twin Peaks connection.  As Leonard put it on twitter, projects are fun and I know we certainly had a lot of fun putting all of this together.

But, all good things must come to an end and, at least until the third season premieres on Showtime later this month, we have reached the end of Twin Peaks.  Episode 30 brought the story to a temporary end.  (The movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, was a prequel about the last days of Laura Palmer.  It’s a haunting film and one that we’ll look at tomorrow but, at the same time, it doesn’t offer up any answers to any of the questions that the finale left hanging.)

A little history: Twin Peaks was a huge success during its first season but, during the second season, ratings plunged.  According to the book, Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks by Brad Dukes, neither David Lynch nor Mark Frost were as involved during the second season as they had been during the first.  As compared to the genuinely unsettling first season, the second season struggled to find its voice.  Was it a mystery?  Was it a broad comedy?  Was it a show about the paranormal or was it a soap opera?  It was all of that and, for many people, that was too much.  Today, of course, audiences are used to quirkiness.  They’re used to shows that straddle several different genres.  It’s no longer a revolutionary idea to be openly meta.

But in 1991, Twin Peaks was the show that ABC both didn’t know what to do with and, by the end, didn’t really want.  It was regularly moved around the schedule and, often, weeks would pass without a new episode.  Consider this: nearly two months passed between the airing of The Path to the Black Lodge and the final two episodes of the show.  (Miss Twin Peaks and Beyond Life and Death were both aired on June 10th, 1991.)

For the final episode, David Lynch returned to direct and, though hardly anyone saw it when it originally aired, it’s an episode that left such an impression that — 25 years later — Showtime agree to bring the series back.  The third season of Twin Peaks will premiere later this month but until then, let’s go ahead and recap Beyond Life and Death.

One last time, we open with Angelo Badalamenti’s beautiful theme music and those haunting shots of Twin Peaks.

We start at the sheriff’s station, with Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy (Harry Goaz) having a moment.  Lucy talks about how scared she was when the lights went out and then says she found herself wondering what would happen if they were stuck in an elevator in the hospital and she went into labor.  Andy replies that, if that happened, he would deliver the baby “in front of God and everyone.”  Awwwww!

In Harry’s office, Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Hawk (Michael Horse) stare at the cave drawing while Harry (Michael Ontkean) says that he has deputies in three counties looking for Windom Earle.  Windom appears to have vanished.  Cooper replies that the only hope they have of finding Windom and Annie is in the map.

“Fire walk with me,” Cooper says, softly, “Fire walk with me.”

Pete (Jack Nance) steps into the office and announces that the Log Lady stole his truck.  I love the way that Jack Nance delivers the line, “The Log Lady stole my truck!”  (Sadly, Nance was murdered just a few years after the end of Twin Peaks.)  Pete says that, when last seen, the Log Lady was driving into Ghostwood Forest.

“Pete,” Cooper announces, “the Log Lady did not steal your truck.  The Log Lady will be here in one minute.”

“12 rainbow trouts in the bed,” Pete says.

This triggers Harry’s memory.  He announces that there is a circle of 12 sycamores in Ghostwood Forest.  It’s called Glastonbury Grove.  Hawk says that Glastonbury Grove is where he found the pages from Laura’s diary.  Cooper suddenly says, “That’s the legendary burial place of King Arthur!  Glastonbury!”

“King Arthur is buried in England,” Pete says, dismissively, “Last I heard anyway.”

Right on time, The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) shows up at the office.

“Where’s my truck?” Pete demands.

“Pete, Windom Earle stole your truck,” Cooper says.

Pete looks very confused.  Jack Nance really acted the Hell out of this scene.  (Interestingly enough, Catherine Coulson was, in real life, Nance’s ex-wife.)

The Log Lady ignores Pete.  She has a jar of oil that she hands to Cooper.  The Log Lady says that her husband claimed that the oil was the opening to a gateway.  Everyone agrees that it smells like scorched engine oil.  Cooper has Hawk bring in Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine), who says that she smelled the oil the night that she was attacked and Laura Palmer was killed.

Out in the woods, a pickup truck comes to a stop in front of Glastonbury Grove.  Inside the truck, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) forces Annie (Heather Graham) to look at the 12 rainbow trout in back.  Annie tells Windom that, if he’s going to kill her, to go ahead and get it over with.  Windom says that there is plenty of time for that but, right now, he is enjoying the fear that he is feeling.

(After being portrayed in far too cartoonish a manner over the past few episodes, Windom is finally menacing again.  For that matter, this is the first — and, as fate would have it, the only — episode where Heather Graham seems to be truly committed to her role as Annie.  This episode directly challenges anyone who thinks that David Lynch is merely a visual artist who can’t direct actors.)

As Annie recites Psalm 141, Windom drags her through the woods.  Windom shoves her into the the middle of the grove.

“I tell you, they have not died,” Windom recites, “Their hands clasp, yours and mine.”

Suddenly, in the middle of the woods, the red curtains appears.  Windom leads the now zombified Annie through them.

At the Hurley House, Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) is looking over the heavily bandaged Mike (Gary Hershberger) and Nadine (Wendy Robie).  Meanwhile, Ed (Everett McGill) is cheerfully talking to Norma (Peggy Lipton) by the fire place.  (I like the fact that, with everything that’s going on, Ed and Norma are just happy to be together.)  Just as Ed and Norma start to dance, Nadine suddenly gets her memory back and starts to shout about silent drape runners.  Nadine demands that Ed make everyone go away.

At the Hayward house, Eileen (Mary Jo Deschanel) sits in her wheelchair and stares at Ben Horne (Richard Beymer).  Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) comes walking down the stairs, carrying a suitcase.  Eileen begs Donna not to leave but Donna starts screaming about not knowing who her parents are.  Ben steps forward and apologizes.  He says he only wanted to do good.  He wanted to be good.  He says that it felt good to finally tell the truth.

Doc Hayward arrives home and is not happy to see Ben.  Ben is begging for forgiveness when, suddenly, his own wife (Jan D’Arcy) comes walking through the front door.  She demands to know what Ben is trying to do to their family.

Donna looks at Doc Hayward and starts to chant, “You’re my Daddy!  You’re my Daddy!”  Eileen looks away, which is a polite way of saying, “No, Ben’s your Daddy and you’ve got a half-sister that everyone likes more than you.”

Ben tries to apologize again and, after 29 episodes of never losing his temper, Doc Hayward finally snaps and punches Ben.  Ben falls back and hits the back of his head on the fireplace!  Oh my God!  Is Ben dead!?  Is Doc Hayward now evil!?

(I know the answer but I’m not going to tell you until the end of this review.)

At the Martell House, Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy) is all excited because he’s figured out that the key is the key to a safety deposit box.  He steals the key from the pie plate and replaces it with a duplicate.  However, Pete steps into the room just in time to see Andrew doing it.

In the woods, Cooper and Harry come across the abandoned truck.  They walk into the forest but Cooper suddenly announces that he must go alone.  Cooper takes Harry’s flashlight and walks through the forest.  Eventually, he hears the hooting of an owl and comes across Glastonbury Grove.  Cooper steps into the circle and the red curtains appear.  As Harry watches from a distance, Cooper steps though the curtains.

(Though it may just be coincidence, the red curtains always make me think about the opening of Dario Argento’s Deep Red.)

Cooper finds himself in the red curtained hallways.  He walks until he reaches the room from his dreams.  As the lights stobe, the Man From Another Place (Michael Anderson) dances while a lounge singer (Jimmy Scott) sings about Sycamore Trees.  The Man From Another Place eventually hopes into a velvet chair.  It’s deeply unsettling to watch because we know that, behind one of those curtains, BOB is lurking.

In the forest, Andy finds Harry.  They sit outside of Glastonbury Grove and wait for Cooper to return.

Morning comes.  We get a few final shots of the countryside around Twin Peaks.  The mountains.  The bridge where, 29 episodes ago, Ronette Pulaski was discovered battered and nearly catatonic.  The forest.  The countryside was beautiful when we first saw it but, after spending 31 hours in the world of Twin Peaks, it is now impossible to look at that wilderness without wondering what secrets are being concealed beneath the tranquil surface.

Harry and Andy are still sitting outside of Glastonbury and there is something truly touching about the sight of these two friends loyally waiting for their third friend to return.  Andy volunteers to go to diner to get them breakfast.  Harry says, “Yes.”  Andy lists off all of the usual Twin Peaks food.  Coffee.  Pancakes.  Desert.  “Yeah,” Harry replies.  When Andy finally asks if Harry wants pie, Harry falls silent.  How can anyone eat pie with Cooper missing?

Meanwhile, at the bank — OH MY GOD!  YOU MEAN WE’RE NOT GOING TO THE BLACK LODGE TO FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH COOPER YET!? — an old lady sleeps at the new accounts desk. (It’s a very Lynchian image, to be honest.)

Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) comes in and says hello the elderly bank president, Mr. Mibbler (Ed Wright).  Mibbler is really happy to see Audrey, even after she explains that she is going to be chaining herself to the vault as a part of her environmental protest.   For whatever reason, almost all of David Lynch’s film features at least one elderly character who moves slowly and is utterly clueless about the world around them.  Mr. Mibbler is certainly a part of that tradition.

(Speaking for myself, I like the way that the scene in the bank is shot and acted but it still frustrates me that, during the 2nd season, Twin Peaks could never quite figure out what to do with Audrey.  When Kyle MacLachlan vetoed any romance between Cooper and Audrey, it pretty much destroyed Audrey’s storyline.  To make us believe that Cooper and Audrey could actually fall in love with other people, the writers kept Cooper and Audrey from interacting and, as a result, it often seemed that Audrey was trapped in another, rather less interesting show.  While Cooper investigated the Black Lodge and Windom Earle, Audrey was stuck playing Civil War with her father and improbably falling in love with John Justice Wheeler.  Even in the finale, Audrey mostly serves as a distraction from the show’s main storyline.  The character deserved better.)

Andrew and Pete show up at the bank.  Mibbler is shocked to see that Andrew is still alive but Andrew is more concerned with opening up that deposit box.  It takes Mibbler a while to find the box but when he does, he promptly opens it.  What’s inside the box?  Well, there’s a note from Thomas that read, “Finally got you, Andrew.  Love, Thomas.”  And there’s a bomb, which promptly explodes.

Oh my God, is Audrey dead!?  Well, the episode never reveals who died or survived in the bank.  However, having looked through the recently published The Secret History of Twin Peaks, I know the answer and I will reveal it at the end of this review.

At the Double R, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) and Betty (Charlotte Stewart) are sharing a booth and, as opposed to the way they were portrayed all through the first season, they appear to be very much (and very playfully) in love.

At the counter, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) watches his parents making out and then turns to Shelly (Madchen Amick.)  He asks her to marry him.  Shelly mentions that she’s still married to Leo and then she and Bobby start going, “Arf!  Arf!  Arf!,” which is a strangely cheerful callback to the way that Bobby and Mike taunted James Hurley at the end of the pilot.  Bobby says that Leo is up in the woods, having the time of his life.  A jump cut quickly reminds us that Leo is actually up in the woods trying to keep a bunch of tarantulas from falling down on his head.

Suddenly, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) and Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) step into the diner.  They walk right over to Maj. Briggs.  Dr. Jacoby says that Sarah has a message for him, one that she felt was very important.  Speaking in the distorted voice of Windom Earle, Sarah says, “I am in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper.  I’m waiting for you.”

And here is where the finale basically goes insane.  Seen today, the final 20 minutes of this episode remain genuinely unsettling and often rather frightening.  I can only imagine how audiences reacted in 1991.  I did a little research (which is a fancy way of saying that I looked on Wikipedia) and, believe it or not, the top-rated television show in 1991 was 60 Minutes.  Needless to say, the finale of Twin Peaks was about as far from 60 Minutes as you could get.

In the Black Lodge, Cooper still sits in the room with red curtains.  The Man From Another Place tells him, “When you see me again, it won’t be me.”  The Man From Another Place explains that the room with red curtain is a waiting room.  (Purgatory, perhaps?)

“Some of your friends are here,” The Man From Another Place continues.

Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), dressed in black, walks in and sits down beside The Man From Another Place.  “Hello Agent Cooper,” she says, speaking backwards.  “I’ll see you again in 25 years.  Meanwhile.”  Laura vanishes.

(The 25 years explains why, way back in the third episode, Cooper appeared to be a much older man in his dream.  It’s also interesting to note that, later this month, the 3rd season of Twin Peaks will air roughly 25 years after the 2nd season ended.)

Suddenly, the room service waiter (Hank Worden) appears with a cup of coffee.  “Hallelujah,” he says.  “Hallelujah,” the Man from Another Place agrees.

The waiter places on a table next to Cooper.  Suddenly, the waiter is gone and the Giant (Carel Struycken) stands in his place.  The Giant sits down next to The Man From Another Place.

“One and the same,” he says.

(Even though I know what’s going to happen, watching this scene still makes me nervous.  The Giant, the Waiter, and The Man From Another Place are the only friends that Cooper has in the Black Lodge.  Once the Giant leaves, who will be the next to come out?)

The Giant vanishes.  The Man From Another Place rubs his hands together and gets a sinister little smile on his face.  As he has done so many times since the series began, Cooper attempts to drink his coffee but discovers that it is now frozen solid.  Suddenly, it’s not frozen and it pours out of the cup.  Then, just as suddenly, it’s thick and only slowly dribbles out when Cooper tips the cup.

“Wow, BOB, wow,” the Man From Another Place says.  He looks directly at the camera and says, his voice now much more rougher, “Fire walk with me.”

It’s an incredibly unsettling moment in an already unsettling episode.  By this point, we all know what “Fire walk with me” means.

There’s an explosion.  A woman (Laura or Annie?) screams.  The lights start to strobe.  Cooper walks out of the room and finds himself, once again, in the hallway.  Having heard the scream and knowing what BOB did to Ronette, Laura, Maddy, and countless others, it is a coincidence that the only decoration in the hallway is a reproduction of the Venus de Milo, a beautiful woman who does not have the arms necessary to protect herself?  As well, it is surely not a coincidence that the Black Lodge could just as easily pass for an “exclusive” section of One-Eyed Jack’s.

Cooper steps through another set of curtains and finds himself in a second room, one that looks just like the first room except that it’s deserted.

Cooper returns to the first room where The Man From Another Place snaps, “Wrong way!”

Cooper goes back to the second room.  At first, it appears to be deserted but suddenly The Man From Another Place appears, laughing maniacally.  “Another friend!” he says and suddenly, Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee), dressed in black much like Laura, steps into the room.   “Watch out for my cousin,” she says and then vanishes.

Cooper returns to the first room, which is now deserted.

Suddenly, the Man From Another Place appears beside him.

“Doppleganger,” the Man says.

Laura, her eyes white, suddenly stands in front of Cooper.  “Meanwhile,” she says.

Suddenly, Laura screams and the lights start to strobe again.  Still screaming, Laura charges at Cooper.  Cooper runs from the room and suddenly, finds himself in the Black Lodge’s foyer.  He realizes that, like all of Windom Earle’s victims, he has been stabbed in the stomach.  Cooper staggers back into the hallway and, following a trail of bloody footprints, he returns to the second room.

In the room, he sees himself lying on the floor next to Caroline Earle (Brenda E. Mathers).  Like Cooper, Caroline has been stabbed.  Suddenly, Caroline sits up and … IT’S ANNIE!  Cooper calls out her name but suddenly, the bodies disappear and the strobe lights start again.

Calling Annie’s name, Cooper returns to the first room.  Annie is waiting for him.  “Dale,” she says, “I saw the face of the man who killed me.  It was my husband.”

“Annie,” Dale says.

“Who is Annie?”

Suddenly, Annie is a white-eyed Caroline and then she transforms into the still shrieking Laura.  Laura turns into Windom Earle.  As Cooper and Windom stare at each other, Annie materializes and then vanishes again.  Windom says that he will set Annie free but only if Cooper gives up his soul.

“I will,” Cooper says and, for the first time, Cooper’s voice is now as distorted as all the other inhabitants of the Black Lodge.

Windom stabs Cooper in the stomach and suddenly, there’s another explosion.  The strobe lights start again and Windom is screaming for help.  Cooper, no longer wounded, sees that BOB (Frank Silva) has grabbed Windom.  Windom screams and BOB snaps, “BE QUIET!”

(As scary as BOB is, it’s undeniably satisfying to see Windom Earle finally not in control.)

BOB tells Cooper to go.  Windom, BOB explains, is wrong.  “He can’t ask for your soul.  I will take his!”

Windom screams as BOB literally rips his soul out of his head.  Finally, Windom falls silent.  As BOB continues to laugh, Cooper runs from the room.  Suddenly, someone else comes running through the room and — OH NO!  IT’S A DOPPELGANGER COOPER AND WOW, IS HE ACTING WEIRD!

Cooper walks through the hallway when suddenly, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) steps out from behind a curtain.  His hair is brown again but his eyes are now white.  Leland smiles and says, “I did not kill anybody.”

Doppelganger Cooper appears and chases after the real Cooper.  They run through the Black Lodge until Doppelganger Cooper manages to grab the real Cooper.

BOB appears and stares straight at the camera.  AGCK!

Suddenly, at Glastonbury Grove, the curtains appear.  Night has fallen again but Harry is still loyally sitting in the forest, waiting for Cooper’s return.  When he sees the curtains, Harry runs into the circle of trees and finds the bodies of both Cooper and Annie.

Cut to the Great Northern.  Cooper wakes up in bed, with Doc Hayward and Harry sitting beside him.  Speaking in an oddly mechanical tone of voice, Cooper first says that he wasn’t sleeping and then asks, “How’s Annie?”  Harry says that Annie is at the hospital and she’ll be okay.

“I need to brush my teeth,” Cooper says.

In the bathroom, Cooper squeezes an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink.  He then rams his head into the mirror and, as the reflection of BOB stares back at him, he starts to laugh.  “How’s Annie?” he mocking repeats.  “How’s Annie?”

AGCK!

And, with that deeply unsettling turn of events, Twin Peaks came to a temporary end.  This brilliantly directed episode ended with three cliffhangers.  What happened to Ben?  Who died at the bank?  What happened to Dale Cooper?

I promised you answers to some of those question so, according to The Secret History of Twin Peaks, here they are:

Ben survived his injury.

At the bank, the bomb killed Mr. Dibbler, Andrew, and Pete.  (Perhaps not coincidentally, both Dan O’Herlihy and Jack Nance died long before Showtime announced that it was reviving the show.)  Audrey survived, largely because Pete shielded her with his body.  Shaken by the violent death of both her brother and her husband, Catherine returned to Ben everything that he had signed over to her.  Catherine became a recluse.

As for what happened to Dale — well, that’s question that we will hopefully get an answer to when Twin Peaks returns to Showtime on May 21st!

Well, that concludes our Twin Peaks recaps!  Thank you everyone for reading and thank you, Jeff and Leonard, for going on this adventure with me!

Now, how about we all get some coffee and slice of cherry pie?

(Love ya,)

Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:

  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

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (dir by Jonathan Sanger)


“Butterfingers!”

— Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) in Twin Peaks 2. 19 “Variations on Relations”

“Tastes kind of woody.”

— Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson), same episode

Well, everyone, we’re coming towards the end.

There’s only a few more episodes to go and then Leonard, Jeff, and I will be finished with our look back at Twin Peaks.  Have you been enjoying it?  I hope so!  And, before you feel too sad about the end of our look back, remember that, on May 21st, a new season of Twin Peaks will premiere on Showtime!  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll even review it on this site.

Today’s episode is the 19th of season 2.  It was the first episode, since Arbitrary Law, to be written by the show’s co-creator, Mark Frost.  It was directed by Jonathan Sanger, who in 1980 produced a film called The Elephant Man.  The Elephant Man was, of course, directed by David Lynch.  It was Lynch’s first mainstream success and it’s totally reasonable to say that, if not for The Elephant Man, Lynch would probably never had a chance to put a show on American television.

We start with the opening credits.  Knowing that the show is nearly over and that this latest review series is about to come an end, Angelo Badalamenti’s opening theme music sounds even more ominous than usual.  Both Joan Chen and James Marshall are still listed in the opening credits, despite no longer being on the show.  Not listed: Heather Graham, Billy Zane, or Kenneth Welsh, despite the fact that the last few episodes have revolved around them.

Harry (Michael Ontkean), Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), Andy (Harry Goaz), and Hawk (Michael Horse) return to the Owl Cave and discover that someone has already turned the lever and caused the cave to collapse.  “Someone’s been here already,” Cooper says, “they did our work for us.”  Because Hawk can basically do anything, he notices a footprint and immediately recognizes it as being the same footprint that was found outside the power station.

“Windom Earle,” Cooper says.

“What would Windom Earle be doing here?” Harry asks.

Hey, here’s a better question — why did they leave the Owl Cave unguarded?  Why didn’t they try to turn the lever themselves?  Why didn’t they at least try to replace the part of the wall that fell off so that the lever wouldn’t just be out there in the open?  I realize that Cooper is supposed to be silly in love with Annie right now but this is still a mistake that he wouldn’t have made during the first season.

(One of the more annoying things about the latter half of the second season is that the characters are much more inconsistent.  Cooper’s level of competence changes from scene to scene.)

Cooper orders Andy to copy the drawing on the cave wall.  (To me, the drawing looks a lot like the mountains around Twin Peaks.)

We fade to Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) taking about how there was once a place of goodness called The White Lodge.  As Windom speaks, he smokes a pipe and, not for the first time, I find myself wondering if maybe Windom’s actually a hobbit.  Windom explains that the White Lodge was a ghastly place and then, literally, says “Heh heh.”  I know Windom’s supposed to be some sort of supergenius villain but he’s no Killer BOB.

Leo (Eric Da Re) listens as Windom explains that there was also a Black Lodge and the Black Lodge was a place of pure evil.  Windom intends to find it.  As the camera pans across the cabin, we see that Leo and Windom have a visitor.  We’ll call him Heavy Metal Stoner Dude (HMSD for short) and he’s played by Sam Raimi’s brother, Ted.  HMSD says the story’s cool but he was promised beer and a party.

“In time, young man,” Windom says, “Everything in time.”

Then, Windom starts to play that damn flute of his again.

At the Martell house, Pete (Jack Nance) is staring at a chess board and talking (to himself) about how much he loved Josie.  He even recites a poem or two.  Catherine (Piper Laurie) comes in the room and tells him to stop feeling sorry for himself.  Catherine wants to open the box that Eckhardt left behind but, as Pete quickly notices, there’s no keyhole.  It’s a puzzle box!  Pete tells a long anecdote about going on a date with two twins in Guam and then says that it could take years to open up the box.

At the Double R Diner, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) tells Shelly (Madchen Amick) that he’s figured out the secret of success.  “Beautiful people get whatever they want,” Bobby says.  (It’s true.  We do.)  “When was the last time you saw a hot blonde go to the electric chair?” Bobby asks.  (Again, Bobby is correct but he’s Bobby so we won’t give him too much credit.)  Bobby has decided that Shelly needs to enter the Miss Twin Peaks Contest.  When Shelly tells Bobby that he’s being ridiculous, Bobby grabs her wrist and says, “Bobby’s in charge!”

Meanwhile, the Mayor (John Boylan) and Lana (Robyn Lively) sit in a booth, letting us know that, despite being with the town’s lethal sex goddess, the Mayor hasn’t had a heart attack yet.  Lana says that she wants to be Miss Twin Peaks.  I just remembered that Robyn Lively starred in Teen Witch.  Top that!

Cooper comes in and, of course, immediately goes to the counter and tells Annie (Heather Graham) that he needs doughnuts and coffee.  Cooper also asks Annie to accompany him on a nature study.  Cooper says he gets a tingling sensation when he talks to Annie.  “Interesting,” Annie says.

Considering that I happen to like both Heather Graham and Kyle MacLachlan, I never thought I would say this but Cooper and Annie have got to be the most annoying couple ever.  First off, MacLachlan — whose performance is usually perfect — goes overboard with Cooper’s awkward shyness.  It’s as if the show is so desperate to convince us that he and Audrey actually don’t belong together that Cooper is now being written like an idiot in an effort to make us go, “So that’s what true love looks like!  People in love don’t have chemistry or intelligent conversations like Cooper and Audrey did!  Instead, they get a blank look in their eyes, grin an empty grin, and talk about nature studies!”

As for Annie, it’s obvious that she was a hastily created character.  Much as Cooper’s competence changes from scene to scene, the same can be said of Annie’s innocence.  Yesterday, Jeff compared Annie to an Amish girl on rumspringa and I think that’s the perfect way to put it.  She didn’t spend the last few years on Mars, after all.  She was just in a convent.

Anyway, back to the show:

As Cooper pays for the doughnuts, Shelly recites the poem that was left for her by Windom Earle.  Cooper recognizes the poem and says that he needs to see it immediately.  Shelly hands over the poem and Cooper leaves but not before promising to pick Annie up at 4:00 sharp.

At the station, Harry reads over the poem and Cooper explains that Audrey, Donna, and Shelly have all been contacted and presumably targeted by Windom Earle.  Cooper also explains that he once sent the same poem to Caroline.  If Windom’s goal is to hurt Cooper, I can understand targeting Audrey but why Donna and Shelly?  Neither one of them has really had anything to do with Cooper.

In the Conference Room, Maj. Briggs (Don S. Davis) watches as Andy draws the cave symbol on the chalk board.  The Major correct Andy’s drawing as Cooper steps into the room.  Cooper says that he needs the Major’s help but that he can’t tell him how or why.

“Go on,” Major Briggs nods.

(It’s interesting how Briggs has gone from being Bobby’s abusive, ultra-strict father to being some sort of seer.  I like the change, though.  Don S. Davis, who died just recently, was far too good an actor to be wasted as just another abusive father figure.  His simple but firm delivery of “Go on,” is a masterclass in great acting.)

Cooper explains that the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department is investigating three separate cases: the disappearance of Leo Johnson, the appearance of Windom Earle, and the drawings found in Owl Cave.  (Why would the sheriff’s department investigate cave drawings?  Isn’t that a job for Werner Herzog?)  Cooper says that logic would say the three are unrelated but he disagrees.  Cooper calls them three notes in one big song.

“What can I do to help?” Briggs asks, wonderfully nonplussed.

Cooper says that he needs to know exactly what Windom Earle was doing with Project Blue Book.  Briggs explains that, after his disappearance, his security clearance was revoked.  He also says that there are certain moral values that must be taken into consideration.

“Yes, sir,” Cooper says, “I understand.”

Briggs asks if this information will help to save lives.  Cooper says that it will.  Briggs than asks if the drawing is a copy of what was found in Owl Cave.  Briggs explains that he once saw the same thing in a dream.  Briefly, a monk-like figure wanders across the screen, followed by an owl flying through outer space.

Back in reality, Maj. Briggs says, “I will do what you ask.”

Hawk enters with Leo’s arrest report.  Cooper looks over Leo’s confession and then announces that the poem was transcribed by Leo Johnson.

Menawhile, at the Great Northern, the Stop Ghostwood Estates campaign continues with a charity wine tasting.  Ben (Richard Beymer) explains to Dick (Ian Buchanan) that Audrey will not be around to help because she has, quite conveniently, been sent to Seattle.  (This also means that Audrey won’t be around to get in the way of the Cooper/Annie romance.)  Dick is wearing an oversized bandage on his nose.  Ben says that they will also be paying Dick’s medical bills and they’ll be providing him worker’s comp.

“Capital!” Dick says, “I’ll alert my attorney.”

As Dick walks away, Ben mutters that the urge to be bad is hard to resist.  Personally, I prefer evil Ben to this Ben but I do like the fact that, even when Ben tries to be good, he still comes across as being sinister.

At the cabin, Windom Earle is still acting like a cartoonish super villain.  (This is to be expected since Windom is a cartoonish super villain but it’s still hard not to be disappointed that he’s not the calculating genius that Cooper originally described.)  Windom has got HMSD wrapped up in some sort of big paper mache thing.  HMSD thinks that it’s a float for the Lilac Parade so he’s shocked when Windom shoots him with an arrow.  Or, he would be shocked if not for the fact that he’s dead.

(Sadly, HMSD’s last words are: “What’s with the arrow, man?  This isn’t funny.”)

Meanwhile, at the Roadhouse, the Judging and Rules Committee of the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant is meeting.  The committee is made up of Doc Hayward (Warren Frost), the Mayor, and Pete.  (I assume that Laura Palmer was last year’s Miss Twin Peaks since she was everything else in town.)  Ben has asked to address the committee.  Ben suggests that this pageant should have a pro-environmental theme.  Ben says that this year’s question-and-answer session should deal with how to save the forests.

“We’ll take it under advisement,” Doc Hayward says.

The various candidates for Miss Twin Peaks are asked to approach the committee.  There’s Lana and Donna and Shelly and Nadine (Wendy Robie).  Nadine shows up with Mike (Gary Hershberger).  When Bobby (who is there with Shelley) asks Mike what he sees in Nadine, Mike whispers something about the combination of sexual maturity and super human strength in Bobby’s ear that is apparently so impressive that all Bobby can do is shout, “WHOA!”

(Remember when Mike and Bobby were drug dealers who killed people?  A lot has changed since the first season.)

Meanwhile, at the Martell house, Harry is trying to get answers from Catherine.  He’s trying to understand who Josie was.  Catherine gets the puzzle box and says that it might have something to do with Josie.  As Harry looks at the box, Pete comes in the room and says that every beautiful woman in Twin Peaks is competing for Miss Twin Peaks.  Except, of course, for all the ones have died over the past month…

Anyway, Pete takes the box from Harry and accidentally drops it on the floor.  Catherine snaps, in the worst line in the history of Twin Peaks, “Butterfingers!”  However, the box opens as soon as it is dropped.  And what’s inside?  Another box, this one with a weird lunar pattern design on it.

(Maybe the blue key from Mulholland Drive is inside that one.  Who knows?)

Meanwhile, Cooper and Annie are sitting in a rowboat in the middle of the lake.  Annie says that she always struggled to make friends when she was younger.  Annie says that she’s had one serious boyfriend but doesn’t want to talk about him.  Annie explains that she left the convent and returned to Twin Peaks so she could face her fears “where everything went so wrong.”

Obviously, Annie is a lot of fun at parties.

Watching this scene, I again marveled at the total lack of chemistry between Heather Graham and Kyle MacLachlan.  If the Annie/Cooper relationship was meant to make us forget about the fact that Cooper and Audrey were meant to be together, scenes like this one didn’t help.  Even when Cooper and Annie kiss, it’s like watching two mannequin collide.  That’s not meant as an insult to either Kyle MacLachlan and Heather Graham.  I’ve raved about both of them on this very site.  It’s just that the Annie and Cooper scenes are incredibly awkward and unconvincing.

Anyway, after Cooper and Annie kiss, we see that they are being watched by Windom Earle, who is not even bothering to wear a disguise at this point.

At the Great Northern wine tasting, snobby people are drinking wine and Dick is serving as their host.  That this scene works is due almost entirely to Ian Buchanan.  It’s a lot of fun to watch and listen to him as Dick pretentiously describes each wine.  The fact that I don’t drink wine and consider wine tastings to be the height of bourgeois snobbery only served to make me enjoy this scene even more.

(And, of course, I love Dick but you already knew that.)

Andy and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) are at the wine tasting,  Andy attempts to show off his knowledge by pointing out that, along with red wine, there are also white wines and sparkling wines.  Andy also makes the mistake of tasting his wine before he was supposed to, leading to Dick yelling, “Spit out!”

(I’m resisting the temptation to make a certain joke at this point.  You will thank me later.)

At the diner, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) is out on a date with Shelly.  It’s sweet little scene, actually.  Cole can actually speak in his normal voice and, while he may not be the world’s greatest actor, David Lynch has an oddly likable screen presence.  Interestingly, David Lynch and Madchen Amick have more chemistry than Heather Graham and Kyle MacLachlan.  If the Showtime revival opens with Shelly and Gordon married and living in Portland, I wouldn’t be upset.  (If the show opens with the Mayor of Portland talking about his strange younger brother, Dale Cooper, I’ll be even happier.)

Cooper comes in with Annie so, of course, Cole starts shouting again.  “THIS WORLD OF TWIN PEAKS SEEMS TO BE FULL OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN!” he announces.  Cole also adds that “PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE ARE THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!”  Cole says that he doesn’t know when he’ll be returning to Twin Peaks, a line that’s extra poignant because, by this point, I imagine David Lynch probably knew his show wouldn’t be returning for a third season.

Just as Cole leans in to kiss Shelly, Bobby walks into the diner, demanding to know what’s going on.

“YOU ARE WITNESSING A FRONT 3/4 VIEW OF 2 ADULTS SHARING A TENDER MOMENT!” Cole replies.

Seriously, they’re so cute together!

Back at the wine tasting, Dick asks everyone what flavor of wine they just tasted.

“Tastes kind of woody,” Lucy says.

“No,” Dick says with a condescending smile.  “Lana?”

“Banana?” Lana suggests.

Yes, Dick says, there is a hit of banana.  At this point, Dick’s nose bandage has become soaked in wine.

From the back of the room, Andy shouts out that he tasted chocolate.

“Why don’t we just skip the wine and have a banana split!?” Lucy shouts.

Way to go, Lucy!  TOP THAT!

Later, Lucy does top that by spitting her wine in Dick’s face, explaining that she’s pregnant and not supposed to drink.

In the Great Northern lobby, Cooper and Wheeler (Billy Zane) stare into the fireplace.  Cooper is thinking about Annie.  Wheeler is thinking about Audrey and it just feels so wrong.  Wheeler says love is Hell.  Cooper replies that “(t)he Hindus say love is a ladder to Heaven.”  Shut up, Cooper.  I never thought I’d say that but I’ve lost a lot of respect for him now that, after making such a big deal about not allowing himself to get emotionally involved with anyone, he has managed to fall madly in love with a blank slate who has only been in town for three days.

(I mean, seriously, Audrey nearly died trying to help Cooper.  Annie just pours coffee and acts as if living in a convent was the equivalent of getting stuck on Mars with Matt Damon.)

Meanwhile, it’s an awkward dinner at the Hayward house, where Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) wonders about her mother’s relationship with Ben Horne.  What about happened to Donna’s sister?  She hasn’t been seen since the first season.  Maybe she ran away when it became obvious that everyone who knows Donna eventually ends up either dead (Laura, Harold, Maddy, Leland) or, like James, in San Francisco.

Donna asks her mother (Mary Jo Deschanel) how she knows Ben Horne.  Doc Hayward immediately says, “I told Donna about that benefit that you’re working on….”

(OH MY GOD, DONNA IS BEN’S DAUGHTER!  Which means that she is Audrey’s half-sister.  After reading all the stories about Lara Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn not getting along behind the scenes, this amuses me.)

Anyway, Donna gives her mother a hard time about seeing Ben while both of her parents try to change the subject.  If only Donna was as concerned about her suddenly missing sister.

That night, the police discover a huge crate has been left in the gazebo.  When Cooper and Harry open it, they discover a giant paper mache chess piece.  And inside the chess piece is the dead body of Stoner Heavy Metal Dude.  A note from Windom Earle is also found, announcing that the next victim will be someone who Dale knows.

Cooper says that Windom appears to be changing the way he plays the game, which is a polite way of saying that he’s a bit of an inconsistent character.

This episode wasn’t bad, though I still find myself cringing whenever Cooper and Annie start flirting.  But the scene with Cole and Shelly were fun and I’m really growing to appreciate Richard Beymer’s performance as the new, conflicted Ben Horne.  Two of my favorite Twin Peaks supporting actors, Ian Buchanan and Don S. Davis, got some good scenes as well.  While this episode can in no way match anything from the 1st season, it’s not bad for a 2nd season episode.

Well, there’s only three more episodes left and then the movie!  Jeff has tomorrow’s episode.  Then Leonard will be covering Sunday and then I’ll be back for the finale.  As for the movie — we’re still playing rock scissors paper to figure out who gets to play it.  We’re doing best out of a 1,000.  It could take a while.

While we figure it out, check out what led us to this point!

Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:

  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

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (dir by James Foley)


“It was like taking a hike to your favorite spot and finding a hole where the lake used to be.”

— Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) in Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars”

The year was 1991 and all was not well in the world of Twin Peaks.  While, on the show, Leland Palmer murdered his daughter and Josie Packard died after killing Thomas Eckhardt, there was even more drama occurring behind-the-scenes.

Since the first season, the plan had always been for Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) to end up together.  MacLachlan and Fenn had serious chemistry in their scenes together.  As characters, Cooper and Audrey seemed like they belonged together.  Even Cooper’s concerns about the age difference didn’t seem like that much of a problem.  (After all, Audrey may have been a teenager but Sherilyn Fenn was not.)  The show’s audience wanted them to end up together.

However, there was one problem.

Lara Flynn Boyle.

Kyle MacLachlan was dating Lara Flynn Boyle and, according to several people who worked on the show, Fenn and Boyle did not get along.  With Boyle not particularly excited about the prospect of watching her boyfriend play love scenes with her rival, Kyle MacLachlan complained to the show’s producers that Cooper would never get together with Audrey because of their age difference.  As a result, Billy Zane was hastily brought in to replace Cooper as Audrey’s love interest.

Personally, I’m not really sure that Cooper needed a love interest.  During the first season, he was written as being so old-fashioned and upright that he was nearly asexual.  (The only indication that Cooper even had a sex drive came when Laura kissed him in his dream and he smiled.)  In the second season, Cooper became a little more, for lack of a better word, “human.”  But he was still traumatized by the death of Caroline and he put his devotion to the Bureau above all else.  Ideally, Cooper would have spent the entire show as a chaste Galahad.

Obviously, ABC disagreed.  They wanted Cooper to have a girlfriend.  We’ll see how this was handled in today’s episode.

So, without any further ado, let’s look at “Wounds and Scar!”

Following the opening credits, we get an extreme close-up of Harry Truman’s (Michael Ontkean) bloodshot eyes.  He’s drinking at the Bookhouse.  A saxophone wails on the soundtrack.  That’s never a good sign.  He’s having flashbacks to his time with the now dead Josie.  Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) brings Harry a breakfast from the diner.  Hawk tells Harry that everyone at the station is concerned.

“You and Cooper can handle it,” Harry says, “It’s a pretty simple town.”

Really?  Twin Peaks is a simple town?  What show have you been watching, Harry?

At the Diner, a new character steps through the front doors and — OH MY GOD!  IT’S HEATHER GRAHAM!  She’s playing Annie.  It turns out that she’s Norma’s (Peggy Lipton) sister and she has just left a convent.  Annie is going to be working at the diner.  Heather Graham has really pretty hair.

Meanwhile, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) is finishing his breakfast when the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) walks up to him and touches the marks on his neck.

Back at the sheriff’s station, Hawk tells Cooper that Harry is about hit bottom.  Cooper is frustrated with his lack of success in tracking down Windom Earle.  Luckily, Hawk speaks exclusively in wise sayings.  He suggests letting the rain fall where it may.

At the cabin (which, somehow, no one else seems to have stumbled across), Windom (Kenneth Welsh) sniffs the country air and tells his slave, Leo (Eric Da Re), that you can’t understand how wonderful country life is until you’ve lived it.  It plays like a nice little parody of Cooper and Harry’s conversation about whittling in the pilot.

Windom checks the newspaper and gets upset over Cooper’s latest move.  He says that Cooper is playing a stalemate game but he doesn’t know the meaning of stalemate.  Neither do I, to be honest.  I prefer checkers to chess.  Windom then realizes that Cooper must be getting help and he throws a fit because he cannot stand people who don’t play by the rules.  “Many people are going to regret this!”

Meanwhile, at the Great Northern, Audrey is demonstrating a proper runway walk while Dick (Ian Buchanan) hits on the models.  Mr. Pinkle (David L. Lander) — the same guy who sold Bobby and Shelly the porto-patient device that didn’t really work out that well — shows up to tell Dick about the pine weasel.  Mr. Pinkle is carrying a stuffed pine weasel but Dick says that they need a living pine weasel.  Showing a stuffed animal at a benefit for an endangered species?  That would be totally gauche.

Wheeler (Billy Zane) shows up to talk to Audrey about their dinner.  They both try to apologize at the same time.  Wheeler asks her to go on a picnic with him.  And, hey — Billy Zane is cute and all but the Wheeler/Audrey romance feels totally forced.  We all know that Audrey should either be with Cooper or killing ninjas in Hong Kong.  Those are really the only two options.

Harry is still drinking at the Bookhouse.  Cooper approaches and tells him about Josie’s sordid past.  He says that Harry has to understand that Josie was a hardened killer.  Harry yells at Cooper to go.

In her office, Catherine (Piper Laurie) looks over the plans for the Ghostwood Estatea when Jones (Brenda Strong) suddenly steps into the office and says that she’s there to expedite the transfer of Thomas and Josie’s bodies to Hong Kong.  Jones says she has a gift from Thomas, so Catherine promptly pulls a gun.  Calmly, Jones hands over a black box.

At the Hayward house, someone knocks on the door.  Donna answer, only to find a friendly old man who claims to be named Dr. Gerald Craig.  Dr. Craig says that he is an old friend of her father’s and he was just stopping by to see if old Doc Hayward was around and — wait a minute!  That’s not Gerald Craig!  That’s Windom Earle in disguise!

Donna asks Dr. Craig if he’d like to come inside and — DONNA, YOU IDIOT!  DON’T JUST INVITE STRANGE MEN INTO YOUR HOUSE!  In less than a month, a dozen people have died in Twin Peaks and Donna is still letting strange men into her house.  Anyway, Dr. Craig gives Donna a small gift for her dad, makes her promise not to open it, and then leaves.

Meanwhile, Pete Martell (Jack Nance) is studying a dozen or so chess boards.  Cooper comes in and Pete tells him that he’s studied every stalemate game in history but that there’s no way to play chess without losing at least a few pieces.  No matter what happens, Pete says, at least six people are going to die.  Cooper tells Pete to stick with it.

In the lobby, Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy (Harry Goaz) play chess.  Lucy gets mad because Andy moved his knight “without doing the little hook thing.”  “You don’t have to the little hook thing, that’s optional,” Andy says.  Sound good to me, Andy!  But, no, Pete explains that the hook thing is not optional.

Suddenly, Maj. Briggs and the Log Lady both step into the station.  They’re concerned because both of them have the same three triangle pattern, Briggs on his neck and the Log Lady on the back of her leg.  The Log Lady says that she got her mark when she was seven years old.  She was walking in the woods when she saw a flash of light and heard an owl.  When she returned home, she was told that she had been missing for a day.

Audrey and Wheeler are at their picnic.  Wheeler is singing.  C’mon, Audrey, are you actually falling for this?  Go see Cooper before he meets Annie…

At the Hayward House, Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) returns home with Mrs. Hayward (Mary Jo Deschanel) rolling along beside him.  Donna tells them that Gerald Craig visited.  Doc Hayward says that’s not possible.  Gerald Craig was Doc’s roommmate.  He drowned after a rafting accident.  (So?  Drowning never stopped Andrew Packard.)  Mrs. Hayward calls the contact number that Dr. Craig left and it turns out to be the number of a cemetery.  Doc Hayward unwraps Dr. Craig’s gift and it’s a chess piece!

At the gas station, Ed (Everett McGill) tries to talk to Nadine (Wendy Robie) about breaking up.  Unfortunately, Ed needs a divorce but Nadine still thinks they’re in high school.  Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) is there to try to help her understand what’s happening but he’s not much help.  Nadine is more concerned about the fact that she just now noticed that she’s missing an eye.

Back at the Hayward House, someone else knocks on the door.  This time, Mrs. Hayward answers and it’s Ben Horne (Richard Beymer).  As Donna watches from the stairs, Ben whispers something in her mother’s ear and then kisses her.

At the diner, Peggy encourages Shelly (Madchen Amick) to enter the Miss Twin Peaks pageant.  Meanwhile, Cooper has entered the diner and seen Annie and he’s immediately so overwhelmed by her attraction to him that he actually stammers.  No, Cooper — AUDREY!

Before Cooper can fall any further in love, Hawk enters and tells him that they have a problem at the Bookhouse.  Harry is destroying all of the furniture!  When Cooper shows up, Harry calls him Deputy Dale and yells at him some more.  This is the most emotion we’ve seen from Harry since the series began.

Uh-oh, Harry’s holding a gun and he doesn’t want to give it to Cooper.  However, Harry eventually breaks down, shouts that Josie didn’t have to die, and then falls into Cooper’s arms.  Cooper and Hawk put Harry to bed.  Hawk says that Harry has never been like this before.

At the Great Northern, Mike (Gary Hershberger) and Nadine are getting a room under the name “Mr. and Mrs. Hinkman.”  Seriously, the Great Northern looks way too expensive for just a one night stay.  They should have gone to the motel and gotten an hourly room.  Knowing Mike, they probably would have only needed it for 8 minutes or so.

In the ballroom, Ben Horne is thanking everyone for showing up at this charity fashion show.  This is one of those plotlines that you’d never see today.  Nobody has the guts to make fun of rich (and fake) environmentalists anymore.  It’s a shame.

Anyway, the fashion show starts and there’s Dick describing each outfit.  (I really love Ian Buchanan’s performance in this episode.  He makes Dick into such a likable phony.)  Lucy and Andy are two of the models.  Good for them!

While the model walk the runway, Catherine approaches Ben and tells him that she knows he’s a just faking all of his environmental concern.  Ben says that the experience of being accused of Laura’s murder and his subsequent bout with insanity have truly changed him.

Dick has Mr. Pinkle bring out a living pine weasel.  Pinkle explains that the pine weasel is attracted to certain sells, like very cheap cologne.  Of course, this immediately leads to the pine weasel leaping at Dick and biting down on his nose.  Panic breaks out!  Audrey nearly gets run over but luckily, Wheeler is there to literally sweep her off her feet and kiss her.

Meanwhile, at the Bookhouse, one deputy looks over the sleeping Harry.  Jones sneaks up behind him and quickly knocks him unconscious.  She places a gun on the nightstand beside Harry’s bed.  She then undresses, lets down her hair, and lay down beside him…

End credits.

Overall, this was a pretty good episode except for the fact that we all know that Cooper and Audrey belong together.  While I can understand Audrey’s flirtation with Wheeler, Cooper’s sudden attraction to Annie felt a bit out of character, a case of Twin Peaks trying a bit too hard.

Some would probably argue that the bit with the Pine Weasel was a bit overboard as well but I actually enjoyed that.  Ian Buchanan’s performance saved that bit for me.  Plus, wealthy environmentalists tend to be kind of smug so it’s always fun to see them satirized.

Up until this episode, I’ve had mixed feeling about Windom Earle but his scene with Donna was brilliantly creepy.

Tomorrow, we have “On the Wings of Love.”

Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:

  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

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel)


Welcome back to Twin Peaks!

Last episode, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) returned from the land of missing and brought with him a tale of the White Lodge.  Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) obsessed over the Civil War.  James Hurley (James Marshall) found himself trapped in a second-rate film noir.  Jean Reanult (Michael Parks) was finally killed but, when Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Harry (Michael Ontkean) returned to the sheriff’s station, they discovered that someone had left them a present: a dead man sitting in front of a chess board.

Things start with the station still in darkness.  Doctor Hayward (Warren Frost), Harry, and Cooper are looking over the dead man’s body.  The first thing that they discover is that a chess pawn has been stuffed in his mouth.  When Cooper correctly guesses that the dead man will have a stab wound in his chest, severing the aorta, Harry deduces that this is not the first time that Cooper has seen something like this.

Cooper says that he knows that his former partner, Windom Earle, is responsible.  He guesses that the victim was a vagrant who was offered a lift by Earle.  (In reality, the victim was played by Craig MacLachlan, brother of Kyle.)  Earle stabbed the man and then set off the explosion in the woods.  When everyone was distracted, Earle carried the body into the station.  “Windom Earle has been in this room,” Cooper says, “I can still feel his presence.”

At the Great Northern, Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) makes a deal with Bobby (Dana Ashrbook).  She wants Bobby to help her bring her father back from “limbo land.”  “From now on, Bobby,” Audrey says, “I’m the one you suck up to.”

“What about Shelly?” Bobby asks.

“What about Shelly?” Audrey replies.

Speaking of Shelly, she is in trouble because Leo (Eric Da Re) has suddenly woken up and now she’s trapped in a dark house, with no power and a very angry husband.  Fortunately, Bobby arrives home right when Leo is about to attack Shelly with an axe.  When Leo attacks Bobby instead, Shelly stabs Leo in the leg with a kitchen knife.  Like an unmasked Jason Voorhees, the wounded Leo staggers off into the woods while Bobby and Shelly embrace.

The next morning, back at the station, Cooper watches as the body is wheeled away.  Harry gives Cooper a cup of coffee and tells Cooper that, until he is reinstated in the FBI, he is still a deputy.  “If you want this case,” Harry says, “it’s yours.”

Out in the front lobby, Andy (Harry Goaz) tells Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) that he has to talk to her about Nicky.  Andy explains that he and Dick have been doing some detective work and they think that Nicky may have murdered his parents.

“He’s nine years old,” Lucy says.

“We know,” Andy nods, “we think he was six at the time of the crime.”

Lucy is not amused.

At the Marsh place, James is working on another one of classic cars when Jeffrey Marsh (John Apicella) walks up and introduces himself.  He says that he’s envious of James’s carefree lifestyle.  He says that he’d love to talk to James about the cars later in the day but James says that he should probably be moving on.  Evelyn (Annette McCarthy) walks up and says that she is sure that she can find all sorts of things for James to do around the house.  James walks back inside the garage and Jeffrey drives away in the car that James just finished working on.  As Evelyn looks off in the distance, there is the sound of screeching tires and a car crash.

At the diner, Ed (Everett McGill) is having a cup of coffee of Doctor Hayward.  Ed is worried because Nadine wants to start dating boys and, since she’s She-Hulk now, Ed worries that Nadine could kill them with her sex drive.  Doctor Hayward suggests that Ed tell her to be home by 9:00 on school nights.  I could be wrong but I don’t think Doctor Hayward is taking Nadine’s condition very seriously.

Doctor Hayward is actually more concerned about Donna, who took the van that morning to go see James.  Ed explains that Donna is taking James some money, presumably all twelve of the dollars that were in James’s bank account.

After the doctor leaves, Norma (Peggy Lipton) sits down across from Ed.  She says that Hank is in the hospital.  He says that a tree fell on him but Ed tells her that Nadine actually beat him up.  Norma is happy because, once Hank gets out of the hospital, he will be going back to prison for violating his parole.

At the sheriff’s station, Cooper and Harry are staring at the chess board that Windom Earle placed in front of the dead man.  Cooper explains that he and Earle played a game of chess every day for three years.  Earle thought that all the answers to life’s mysteries could be found in the game of chess.

Cooper explains that Windom Earle was his first partner.  Everything that he learned about the law and the bureau he learned from Windom Earle.  Cooper tells the story (the same one that he told Audrey earlier) of how, four years ago, he fell in love with a woman named Caroline who was a material witness to a federal crime and how, when she was attacked, Cooper was not prepared and could not save her life.  Cooper adds the detail that she was stabbed, in the same way as the vagrant.  Cooper also reveals that Caroline was Windom Earle’s wife.

Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) arrives at a bar called Wallies, looking for James.  James is not there but Evelyn is.  “You look like someone who needs help,” Evelyn says.  When Donna says she’s looking for James, Evelyn says that James did some work for her and then left for Mexico.  Donna leaves, presumably taking James’s twelve dollars with her.

At the Great Northern, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), Audrey, and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) watch as Ben continues to play with his little army men.  Ben thinks that Jerry is General J.E.B. Stuart.  Ben assures everyone that they are marching forward and only God can stop them.  “The almighty is a Southerner,” Ben declares.  Dr. Jacoby explains that if Ben can reverse the defeat of the Confederacy then he will also reverse his own recent mental defeats.  Jacoby and Ben start to sing Dixie.

At the sheriff’s station, Major Briggs stumbles in, says that he needs to see Harry, and then collapses.

When he comes to, Major Briggs explains to Harry and Cooper that, when his superiors questioned him about his disappearance, they exhibited a degree of “intolerance and suspicion” that apparently left Briggs feeling traumatized.  Briggs goes on to explain that, during his disappearance, he believes that he was taken to the White Lodge.  Briggs goes on to say that there will be much trouble ahead.  “I will return,” Briggs says, “but until that time, I will be in the shadows if you need me.”

As Briggs leaves, Andy enters the office and tells Cooper and Harry that he needs to show them something.  He leads them to the conference room, where Dr. Jacoby announces that he has spent the last few hours talking to Lana Milford (Robyn Lively) and he has found no evidence of her being crazy or cursed.  There is no way that Lana is responsible for Dougie’s death, Jacoby says.  Jacoby goes on to say that Lana has a heightened sexual drive and skills that few men could ever hope to experience.  Jacoby announces that he and Lana are going to go bowling but, as soon as they step out of the office, they run into Mayor Milford (John Boylan), who was a rifle and who demands that nobody move.

The Mayor wants blood but Cooper has a solution.  He takes the rifle and then locks Milford and Lana in the conference room together.  After a few minutes, Lana and the Mayor are in love and talking about adopting a child.

At the Martell house, Pete (Jack Nance) tells Catherine (Piper Laurie) that they forgot to pick up the hot dogs.  Catherine is more interested in telling Pete the true story of how she survived the fire and marshaled the resources to defeat Ben.  She reveals that her brother (and Josie’s husband), Andrew Packard (Dan O’Herlihy), is not actually dead and he’s sitting in the study.  Andrew explains that he and Catherine faked his death in a boating accident because a contract had been taken out on Andrew’s life by Andrew’s former business partner, Thomas Eckhardt.  Catherine also reveals that Josie works for Thomas Eckhardt and that Eckhardt will be returning to Twin Peaks to rescue her from having to work as Catherine’s maid.

At the exact same time, Thomas Eckhardt (DAVID WARNER!) and his assistant, Jones (Brenda Strong), are checking into the Great Northern.

At the sheriff’s station, Lucy is sick of both Andy and Dick (Ian Buchanan) so she brings Doctor Hayward in to talk to both of them.  Doctor Hayward explains that he called the orphanage and that Nicky is no murderer.  Nicky’s mother was a chamber maid at the Great Northern and his father was a man who fled back to Canada following the back alley assault that led to Nicky’s conception.  Hayward explains that Nicky’s mom died in childbirth.  Nicky was adopted by a loving couple who died in an icy car crash.  Six year-old Nicky heroically attempted to pull his adoptive parents to safety but failed.  Andy and Dick both start to cry.

Harry gets an alert from Seattle, telling him that the man who Josie left with, the one who Josie claims that she merely escaped from, has been found murdered.  Since Cooper is now a deputy, Harry orders Cooper to find out if Josie killed him.  For once, Harry gets to order Cooper around.

At the Marsh house, James is packing his stuff when Evelyn comes in and swears the she is in love with him.  Evelyn says that there’s been an accident and Jeffrey’s dead.  James immediately figures out that Evelyn killed her husband and set him up to take the fall.  Evelyn says that it was Malcolm’s idea and that Malcom isn’t really her brother.  As the police arrive outside, Evelyn tells James to run and go find “that young girl who loves you.”

As James tries to sneak out of the house without being spotted by the cops, he runs into Donna, who is hiding behind a tree.  They run off while Evelyn talks to the police.

In the woods, a dazed and confused Leo comes across a cabin.  Inside the cabin, a man (Kenneth Welsh) plays a flute and invites Leo to enter.  The man sits down in front of a chess board and introduces himself as Windom Earle.

End credits.

This episode shares the same flaws as a lot of season 2.  There are a lot of good scenes, like Leo menacing Shelly and Bobby or the introduction of Windom Earle, but there are also scenes that are just too cartoonish, like anything involving the Mayor and Lana.  This episode was the first and only episode to be directed by German director Uli Edel and he does a pretty good job, putting his own unique spin on the show’s signature style.

Tomorrow: “Slaves and Masters,” in which Cooper gets unexpected help in his chess game against Windom Earle.

Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:

  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