As this day comes to a close, I have some sad news to report. The actress Peggy Lipton passed away earlier today, at the age of 72. While one generation may know her best as a star of 1960s television and others know her for her marriage to legendary music producer Quincy Jones (and as the mother of Rashida Jones), I knew Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings, one of the few characters to get a happy ending in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return.
Norma was the owner of the Double R Diner and, for the most part, one of the few stable residents of Twin Peaks. While the rest of the town was collapsing around her, Norma could usually be found in a back booth, going over expense reports and continually proving herself to often be the lone voice of sanity in her hometown.
The love affair between Norma and Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) was a story that ran through both the original Twin Peaks and the Showtime revival. One of the big moments in the revival came when Ed, having finally gotten Norma to agree to give him a divorce, finally asked Norma to marry him. It’s perhaps the most unabashedly romantic scene to be found in David Lynch’s filmography. (Lynch did the scene in one take and, according to Lipton, was in tears by the end of it.) It’s a scene that’s wonderfully acted by both McGill and Lipton, with both actors saying so much without saying a word.
“Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die.” — John Merrick’s Mother, quoting Tennyson, at the end of The Elephant Man (1980)
Was Twin Peaks: The Return a movie or a TV show?
As I sit here on January 9th, 2018, that’s a question that’s still on my mind. There are many critics who insist that Twin Peaks: The Return should be viewed as being a 16-hour movie. It’s a claim that I, myself, have made several times. In order to support this argument, we point out that David Lynch and Mark Frost didn’t sit down and write 16 different scripts. Instead, they wrote one 900-page script which they then filmed and subsequently divided into 16 different “chapters.” It’s really not that much different from what Quentin Tarantino did with Kill Bill or what Peter Jackson did with both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. As well, Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental artistic achievement that calling it a TV show just seems somehow diminishing.
And yet, the fact of the matter is that Twin Peaks: The Return did air on television. It aired in 16 different episodes, which were aired on a weekly basis. To many, that fact alone makes Twin Peaks: The Return a television show.
It may all seem like a silly question to some readers. However, for those of us who like to make best-of lists at the start of the new year, it is a legitimate issue. Should I include Twin Peaks: The Return at the top of my list of the best 26 films of 2017 or should I rave about it in my list of good things I saw on television in 2017?
My solution is to do neither. Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental achievement that it deserves a best-of entry of its very own.
(Of course, not everyone is going to agree. For everyone who loved Twin Peaks: The Return, there was someone else who hated it with just as much of a passion.)
Months after the show ended, Twin Peaks: The Return continues to haunt many viewers. As the Man From Another Place once told Agent Cooper, “She is full of secrets.” When the show ended, many of the show’s mysteries were left unsolved. Really, we shouldn’t have been surprised. As a filmmaker, David Lynch has always been most interested in mysteries than solutions. What happened to Audrey? Why did Laura/Carrie scream? At the end of the show, was Dale trapped in another world or another time? Was BOB really destroyed?
Interestingly, David Lynch actually provided viewers with two endings. The first ending, which occurred halfway through Part 17, was an ending that would have been perfect for a television show. Dale Cooper, back to normal, defeated the bad guys and was reunited with all of his friends. The second ending — also known as Part 18— was a much more Lynchian ending as two strangers took a road trip to nowhere. Part 17 gave us hope for the future. Part 18 ended with a dark reminder that the past cannot be changed, no matter how much we obsess over it. For me, Part 18 was the most important chapter of Twin Peaks: The Return.Part 8, of course, is the chapter that got and continues to get all the attention. And Part 8 was probably one of the greatest stand-alone episodes in television history. But, when considering the reoccurring themes of Twin Peaks: The Return and all of Lynch’s work, Part 18 was far more important.
What’s interesting is that, while the show ended on a dark note, Twin Peaks: The Return was often Lynch at his most optimistic. For all the terrible things that happened, the show also featured a reoccurring theme of redemption. Two of the original show’s most villainous characters — Dana Ashbrook’s Bobby Briggs and Richard Beymer’s Ben Horne — were reintroduced as two of the most sympathetic characters to be found in The Return. Agent Cooper finally escaped from the Black Lodge and not only got a chance to redeem himself by destroying Bob but he also destroyed his evil Double. He even got a chance to turn Dougie Jones into a good husband, father, and employee.
In the end, it would appear that Cooper’s only mistake was thinking that he could change the past. He may have saved Laura but, in doing so, he just transformed her into Carrie, an unbalanced woman living in a house with a dead body on the couch. As her final scream confirmed, he could save her life but he couldn’t erase her pain. The past is the past but the future can always be better.
Of course, it wasn’t just the characters on the show who won redemption. The cast of Twin Peaks: The Return was truly amazing and, by the time the show ended, my opinion of several performers had changed forever. Who would ever have guessed that Jim Belushi would end up being one of my favorite characters? Or that Michael Cera would turn Wally Brando into a minor cult hero? Or that David Lynch would prove to be as good an actor as he is a director? Or that Balthazar Getty would get a chane to redeem his less than impressive work in Lost Highway with a chilling performance as the newest face of Twin Peaks corruption? Even the returnees from the original show — Dana Ashbrook, Wendy Robie, Sheryl Lee, Harry Goaz, Kimmy Robertson, Russ Tamblyn, Everett McGill, Peggy Lipton, Grace Zabriskie, James Marshall, Madchen Amick, and others — were given a chance to reveal new depths of character. Veterans like Robert Forster, Ashley Judd, Laura Dern, Don Murray, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Naomi Watts and Tim Roth shared the stage with newcomers like Chrysta Bell and Eamon Farren and they all came together to create an unforgettable world.
You could even argue that Twin Peaks: The Return was a comeback of sorts for Kyle MacLachlan. Hollywood has never seemed to really understand how to best use this appealing but quirky actor. Twin Peaks: The Return provided him with a chance to show what he can do, giving him not just one but three characters to play.
Twin Peaks: The Return gave us one final chance to appreciate some talented people who are no longer with us. Harry Dean Stanton was the face of old-fashioned decency. Miguel Ferrer provided snarky commentary, letting the audience know that the show understood how strange it was. Warren Frost returned briefly, still as reliable as ever as Doc Hayward. And Catherine E. Coulson, who was so often Lynch’s muse, got to play the role one more time.
(Jack Nance, Don S. Davis, Frank Silva, and David Bowie all made appearances as well, a reminder that they may no longer be with us but they will never be gone.)
In the end, it seems appropriate to end this post with a picture of Ed and Norma, finally together. The world of Twin Peaks: The Return was frequently a dark one but sometimes, love won.
Tomorrow, my look back at 2017 continues with my picks for my favorite songs of 2017.
I have to admit that I’m kind of kicking myself for taking so long to watch Part 15 of Twin Peaks. This was one of the best episodes of the revival. It was a deeply intriguing episode, mixing moments of soaring romance with haunting creepiness. In short, this episode was David Lynch and Twin Peaks at their considerable best. Because I’m pressed for time and I need to get this written and posted before Part 16 premieres later tonight, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do full justice to how wonderful this episode was. I’ll try, though. Be sure to check out Ryan’s thoughts on Part 15, as well.
Things begin, as they so often do, with a one-eyed woman and a shovel…
Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) walks through Twin Peaks, carrying her golden shovel with her. She stops at Big Ed’s Gas Farm and tells Big Ed (Everett McGill) that she’s changed. She says that she loves Ed but she knows that she’s been a “selfish bitch” and that Ed has “been a saint.” Nadine explains that she’s using her shovel to “dig” herself “out of the shit” and tells Big Ed that she wants him to be with Norma. “True love,” Nadine says, “is about giving others what they need to be happy.”
What follows is Lynch at his most deliriously romantic. Ed drives to the Double R and tells Norma (Peggy Lipton) that he loves her and he wants to marry her. However, Norma is busy conducting one of her corner booth business meetings with Walter (Grant Goodeve). She not only allows Walter to buy her out but she also dumps him. “Family reasons,” she explains before kissing Ed. A song about love plays in the background. The wind blows through the trees. The sun shines through the clouds above. Briefly, all is right with the world of Twin Peaks…
…so, of course, the very next scene is the Doppelganger (Kyle MacLachlan) driving down a dark road. Of course, the Doppelganger is always bad news but, for whatever reason, driving always seems to put him in an even worse mood than usual.
The Doppelganger pulls up at the gas station that, way back in Part 8, we saw taken over by the Woodsmen. (The music playing in the background is “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima.”) With electricity crackling all around, the Doppelganger enters the gas station, approaches a woodsman, and says that he is looking for Philip Jeffries. The Doppelganger is led to a dark room that is occupied by a strange metal device. Jeffries’s Southern-accented voice emanates from the device.
Considering the amount of time that these two have apparently spent trying to kill each other, it’s actually a relatively polite conversation. I have to admit that it caught me off guard seeing the Doppelganger asking questions for once. I always assumed the Doppelganger knew everything. (As the Doppelganger and Jeffries talk, Lynch inserts a flashback of David Bowie from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.) When the Doppelganger asks if Jeffries was the one who called him, Jeffries replies that he does not have the Doppelganger’s number. Jeffries says that he and the Doppelganger used to talk regularly.
“You are Cooper?” Jeffries asks.
“Why didn’t you want to talk about Judy?” the Doppelganger asks, “Who is Judy? What does Judy want from me?”
Jeffries tells the Doppelganger to ask her himself.
Suddenly, a phone rings. The Doppelganger sees an old landline phone in the corner of the room. When the Doppelganger answers, this is a loud surge of static and the Doppelganger suddenly finds himself outside the gas station…
And there’s Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), holding a gun on him and saying that he recognized the Doppelganger from a picture that his mother (who we all know is Audrey) used to carry with her. “You’re FBI!” Richard announces. (He’s probably Richard’s father, as well.) The Doppelganger proceeds to rather easily kick Richard’s ass and then tells him to get in the truck. “We’ll talk on the way,” the Doppelganger explains.
As they drive away, the gas station vanishes.
In the woods around Twin Peaks, Steve (Caleb Landry Jones) and Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt) are freaking out. Steven has a gun and keeps saying that he did it. “You didn’t do anything!” Gersten says, “you were fucking stoned! What did she give you!?” Steven loads the gun and, as Gersten begs him to stop, he says that he’s going to end it. Steven starts to talk about how much he loves fucking Gersten when suddenly, a guy walking his dog wanders by. Gersten runs and hides behind a tree. Off screen, there is a gunshot. (This short but intense scene features some amazing acting from both Alicia Witt and Caleb Landry Jones.)
At the trailer park, Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) meets with the man who was walking his dog. We see the man point at Steve and Becky’s trailer.
That night, at the Roadhouse, the very excited Emcee (J.R. Starr, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite minor characters) announces that they will be playing “one of our favorites — Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top!” He even has a cardboard volume meter to show how excited he is over the song. The Emcee starts to dance along to the song. He’s so adorable!
What’s less adorable is what happens when James (James Marshall) and Freddie (Jake Wardle) are attacked by Chuck (Rod Rowland), who is Renee’s husband. Freddie, who is wearing his power glove, knocks Chuck unconscious with one punch.
In Las Vegas, Agent Wilson (Owen Rhys-Davies) tells Agent Headley (Jay R. Ferguson) that he’s brought in another Douglas Jones for interrogation. Apparently, Wilson and Headley are just tracking down everyone named Douglas Jones who lives in Vegas. However, as quickly becomes apparent when Headley goes down to the interrogation room, they have yet to track down our Dougie Jones.
Elsewhere in Vegas, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) assassinates both Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) and Roger (Joe Adler). Afterwards, she and Hutch (Tim Roth) eat out in their car and casually discuss the pros and cons of torture.
Back in Twin Peaks, both James and Freddie are led to a jail cell. Interestingly, the last time we saw James arrested was in the Pilot. James was put in a cell with Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook). This time, it’s Bobby leading James to the cell.
Back in Vegas, our Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) eats a piece of cake and watches Sunset Boulevard on television. When he hears Cecil B. DeMille mention the name “Gordon Cole,” Dougie responds by crawling across the floor and sticking his fork into an electrical socket.
(It’s interesting to note that, in the scene from Sunset Boulevard, DeMille and Gloria Swanson — in the role of Norma Desmond — were talking about getting everyone back together again and making another picture, despite the fact that Hollywood had changed quite a bit since Desmond’s heyday. In many ways, that’s exactly what David Lynch is doing with Twin Peaks: The Return.)
In Twin Peaks, The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) calls Hawk (Michael Horse) one last time and tells him that she is dying. “You know about death,” she says, “that it’s just a change. Not an end. It’s time. There’s some fear, some fear in letting go. Remember what I told you. I can’t say more over the phone. But you know what I mean, for our talks, when we were able to speak face to face. Watch for that one, the one I told you about, the one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain. Hawk, my log is turning gold. The wind is moaning. I’m dying. Goodnight, Hawk.”
Later, Hawk tells Andy (Harry Goaz), Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), and Truman (Robert Forster) that “Margaret Lanterman passed away tonight.”
“The Log Lady’s dead?” Lucy replies, and there’s something so heart-breaking about the way Robertson delivers this line.
(It’s made even more heart-breaking by the fact that Coulson died shortly after filming her scenes for the revival. This episode is not only about the residents of Twin Peaks saying goodbye to Margaret Lanterman. It’s also about Lynch saying goodbye to his longtime friend, Catherine Coulson.)
Meanwhile, Charlie (Clark Middleton) and Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) continue to argue about going to the Roadhouse to look for Billy. Audrey complains about the way that Charlie talks to her. Billy never talks to her like that.
“I am Charlie,” Charlie says, “and he is Billy.”
“Yes,” Audrey replies, “and I like Billy better.”
“Sensational,” Charlie replies.
They argue a bit more. Audrey eventually ends up pouncing on Charlie while screaming, “I hate you! Do you realize how much I fucking hate you!”
At the Roadhouse, the Veils sing a song about drugs. A woman, Ruby (Charlyne Yi), sits in a booth. When two men tell her to move, she replies that she’s waiting someone. The men literally lift her out of the booth and drop her on the floor. Ruby crawls across the dance floor and screams.
The end credits role over an image of that gas station siting in the middle of nowhere. “Dedicated to Margaret Lanterman” the final credit reads.
Margaret Lanterman (a.k.a. The Log Lady)
Only three more episodes (and, because the final two are being shown on the same night, only two weeks) left! That makes me sad. I’m going to miss Twin Peaks.
Obviously, I’m running very far behind when it comes to watching and reviewing Part 15 of Twin Peaks: The Return. Erin and I spent last weekend up at Lake Texoma so I set the DVR to record Part 15 so that I could watch it once we returned. However, this has been the craziest week and, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I just didn’t get a chance to sit down and watch Part 15 until around four this morning.
So, forgive the lateness of this review. Fortunately, the Trashfilm Guru watched and reviewed Part 15 when it aired and you can read his review by clicking here. As for me, despite being a week late with this review, I’m going to follow my usual format. I’m going to post the initial thoughts that I had while watching the latest episode for the first time and then I’m going to rewatch Part 15 and write out a full recap sometime later today (hopefully, before Part 16 airs later tonight on Showtime!).
As I watched the opening credits, I found myself thinking about the fact that, not counting this one, there’s only three episodes left. I no longer worry about whether or not the show’s “story” is going to reach any sort of resolution. That’s really not what Twin Peaks is about.
Do you think Nadine just carries that shovel with her everywhere?
Admit it. At least once in your life, you’ve wished that you had a golden shovel that you could use to dig your way out of the shit.
Oh my God, this scene between Norma and Big Ed…so beautifully performed and directed.
And then to go from the grand romanticism of Norma and Ed to the nihilistic hatred that is symbolized by the Doppelganger. It’s quite a contrast. The brilliance of Lynch can be found in his ability to create a world where both romance and evil feel absolutely natural.
The scene where the Doppelganger talks to Jeffries is exceptionally creepy, even by the standards of Twin Peaks.
Oh fuck you, Richard Horne. You couldn’t even intimidate Red. What the Hell do you think you’re going to be able to do against the Doppelganger?
Of course, I think we’ve all pretty much figured out that the Doppelganger is Richard’s father.
C’mon, Gersten! You can do better than Steven!
As I listened to Steven blame everything on being stoned, I wondered if he was buying his weed from Jerry Horne.
I don’t know if David Lynch is planning on ever doing another television series after this (probably not) but if he does, might I suggest a show where Carl Rodd travels across America and gets involved in the lives of random strangers?
Am I the only one fascinated by J.R. Starr’s performance as the Roadhouse’s emcee?
I guess that takes care of Duncan Todd. Too bad about Roger.
It was nice of this episode to acknowledge that the name Gordon Cole was taken from Sunset Boulevard. The original series also featured an insurance agent named Walter Neff.
Agck! Did Dougie just electrocute himself?
This final scene between Hawk and the Log Lady is heartbreaking, both because the Log Lady was such an iconic character (for many people, she was the ultimate symbol of the show’s sensibility) and that Catherine E. Coulson herself passed away shortly after filming her scenes. Coulson worked on Lynch’s very first film, Eraserhead. She was also once married to Jack Nance, who played Pete Martell on the first two seasons of Twin Peaks.
It’s said that, during the making of Eraserhead, Lynch looked at Coulson and told her that he had just had a vision of her holding a log and that someday, he would write a role for her where she would do just that. That’s an apocryphal story that I hope is true.
Kimmy Robertson’s delivery of the line: “The Log Lady’s dead?” was one of the best moments of the entire season.
Am I the only one who wants Cooper to get back to normal so that he can go to Twin Peaks and beat up Charlie?
Tonight’s musical guest: The Veils. The Roadhouse gets all the best performers.
Oh my God, the screaming! When that woman started screaming, our cat jumped off the couch and went ran from the room.
Okay. time to get an hour or two of sleep and then I’ll be back to rewatch Part 15 and post a full recap.
There are only five hours left in Twin Peaks: The Return and yet, there are still many mysteries to be resolved. Considering that this is a David Lynch production, it’s entirely possible and probably rather probable that a good deal of those mysteries will never be resolved.
That said, all of the disparate elements of Twin Peaks: The Return have slowly been coming together, providing evidence — if any was needed — that Lynch knows exactly what he’s doing. In some ways, tonight’s episode was Twin Peaks at its most straightforward. And yet, nothing can ever be totally straight forward when it comes to Twin Peaks.
We wouldn’t want it any other way.
Tonight’s episode begins with joyful music playing in Las Vegas. As Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) watches from his office, the Mitchum Brothers (James Belushi and Robert Knepper) dance down the hallways. The three ladies in pink are with them. And so is … Dougie Jones (Kyle MacLachlan), the man who Anthony was supposed to trick the Mitchums into killing!
The Mitchums have come to see Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray) and they’ve brought him gifts, all to thank him for introducing them to Dougie and for helping them to make money off of that insurance claim. “A wrong has been made right and the sun is shining bright!” Bradley Mitchum declares.
Meanwhile, in his office, Anthony calls Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) and tells him that Dougie is still alive. Todd replies that it’s now Anthony’s responsibility to kill Dougie and he only had one day to do it, not the two days that he promised earlier.
The generosity of the Mitchums continues as both a new car and a jungle gym are delivered to Dougie’s house. It’s quite a jungle gym as well. It’s big, it’s lit up with neon, and everything about it just screams Vegas. Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) is quite happy. So is Janey-E (Naomi Watts), which is good. They deserve some happiness.
The next morning, in Montana, the evil Doppelganger Cooper arrives at a compound called The Farm. Ray (George Griffith) has been hiding out at the Farm with Renzo (Derek Mears) and his men. When they see the Doppelganger pull up, Ray comments that he killed the Doppelganger. “You didn’t kill him too good, Ray,” Renzo replies.
Anyway, Ray volunteers to kill the Doppelganger a second time but it turns out that Renzo is something of an arm wrestling fanatic. Renzo explains that if the Doppelganger can beat him, he’ll get control of the Farm and Renzo’s entire crew. The only catch is that Renzo has never been defeated. The Doppelganger says he doesn’t want the farm, he just wants Ray.
The arm wrestling goes about how you would imagine it would go — Renzo ends up getting his arm broken and then his face literally smashed in by one punch from the Doppelganger. As for Ray, he confesses that it was Phillip Jeffries who hired him to kill the Doppelganger. Ray explains that he never met Jeffries, he just talked to him on the phone. Jeffries told Ray that the Doppelganger had something inside of him that “they” wanted. (Killer BOB, perhaps? BOB was seen directly inside of the Doppelganger during Part 8.) Ray holds up a ring that he was supposed to put on the Doppelganger’s finger. Ray says that he got it from a prison guard right before they escaped. The Doppelganger makes Ray put on the ring. Ray then gives the Doppelganger a piece of paper with the coordinates that he says he got from Bill Hastings and his secretary (that would be Ruth Davenport). The Doppelganger asks Ray where Phillip Jeffries is. Ray says Philip is at a place called “The Dutchman’s.” The Doppelganger proceeds to shoot Ray in the face.
And guess whose watching all of this unfold? Richard Horne (Eamon Farren)! Apparently, ever since fleeing Twin Peaks, Richard has been hiding out in Montana. So, does that mean that the Farm and the late Renzo had a connection to Red? If so, how is Red going to react to the Doppelganger killing Renzo and becoming The Farm’s new boss? And does Richard looked so shocked because he never thought anyone would ever beat Renzo at arm wrestling (not to mention kill him) or is it because he realizes that the Doppelganger is probably his father?
Ray’s body appears inside the Black Lodge. MIKE (Al Strobel) takes the ring and puts it on a marble table.
Back at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police HQ, something weird’s going on in the background. We can hear a woman yelling as she apparently defecates on the floor. She’s tased and screams, “I want to report a cop!” Sitting in their office, the Fuscos aren’t too concerned. It doesn’t even bother them when they receive a report that Dougie has the same fingerprints as both an escapee from a South Dakota prison and a missing FBI agent. They laugh and throw the report away.
They barely notice as Anthony Sinclair wanders through the station, looking for Detective Clark (John Savage). Clark is outside smoking a cigarette and he doesn’t appear to be very enthusiastic about the prospect of talking to Anthony. Anthony asks Clark for the name of a good poison, one that would be undetectable. Apparently, Clark also works for Duncan Todd. Clark agrees to help Anthony get the poison.
In South Dakota, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) drive down the interstate and, as they enter Utah, discuss what it must be like to be a Mormon.
The next morning, after Janey-E drops him off at work, Dougie runs into Anthony. A nervous Anthony offers to buy Dougie a cup of coffee at the pastry shop. Since Dougie is obsessed with coffee, he agrees. When Dougie gets distracted by a cheery pie in a display case and stands up to go stare at it, Anthony puts the poison in Dougie’s coffee.
When Dougie returns to the table, he is distracted by the dandruff on the back of Anthony’s suit. Dougie places his hands on Anthony shoulders. Mistaking this for a sign of friendship, Anthony breaks down into tears and shouts that he never meant to hurt anyone. He pours out Dougie’s poisoned coffee. Dougie responds by drinking Anthony’s coffee instead.
In Twin Peaks, at the Double R, Shelley (Madchen Amick) gets a call from Becky (Amanda Seyfried). Becky’s in tears. Steven, the man she tried to shoot, hasn’t come home in two days.
Back in Vegas, Anthony sits in Bushnell’s office and says that he’s come to confess. Standing to the side, Dougie blankly repeats, “Confess.” Anthony confesses to Bushnell that he’s been working for Duncan Todd and that he’s been lying to Bushnell for years. Bushnell says that Dougie revealed all of this to him yesterday. Bushnell asks if Anthony is prepared to testify against Duncan Todd. Anthony says that he is.
Bushnell asks if Anthony is willing to testify “against the two cops that Dougie found.”
“He know about them too!?” Anthony says.
“Them too,” Dougie blankly repeats.
Anthony says he only wants to fix the mess that he made. He says that Dougie saved his like. “Thanks, Dougie!”
“Thank Dougie,” Dougie says.
In tears, Anthony does just that.
At the Double R, Norma (Peggy Lipton) has a meeting with the somewhat oily Walter Lawford (Grant Goodeve). Apparently, Norma’s Double R is a franchise now. Walter says that there are several profitable locations in Washington State but Norma is concerned that those locations are using inferior ingredients. Walter argues that it makes good business sense to cut costs. This entire scene, of course, feels like Lynch’s commentary on the studio executives who constantly tried to interfere with Twin Peaks the first time around.
Norma and Walter are apparently a couple, as well. As they talk, they are watched by both Deputy Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill), Norma’s former (?) lover and the husband of Nadine (Wendy Robie).
Speaking of Nadine, she is leaving her silent drape store when who should show up but Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn)! As we’ve already seen, Nadine is a huge fan of Jacoby’s podcast. She even has her own golden shovel hanging in the window of her store. Dr. Jacoby says that the last time he saw Nadine, she was on her hands and knees, looking for a potato.
At the Palmer House, Sarah (Grace Zabrikie) is drunk and watching a boxing match. Or, actually, I should say that she’s watching 30 second of a boxing match on a continious loop. The announcer says, several times: “Oh the right hand catches the big guy by the ear! And he finally goes down, hanging on the ropes. Oh, the gentleman asks if he’s okay. Look like, uh, round number one and two on the way. Now, it’s a boxing match again.”
Elsewhere, Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) yells at Charlie (Clark Middleton). An emotional Audrey says that she feels like she’s somewhere else, like she’s not sure who she is. Charlie says, “This is Existentialism 101.” Audrey’s not amused and demands to know what she’s supposed to do if she can’t trust anyone and she’s not sure who she is. Charlie replies that she’s supposed to go to the Roadhouse and look for Billy. Audrey demands to know where the Roadhouse is.
“Are you going to stop playing games?” Charlie asks, “or am I going to have to end your story, too?”
Audrey starts to cry.
At the Roadhouse, none other than James Hurley (James Marshall) performs the song You and I. Accompanying him are two backup singers who look like they could be Donna and Maddy. Considering that the scene during the second season, in which James, Donna, and Maddy performed You And I, is regularly ridiculed by even the show’s biggest fans, you have to wonder if David Lynch is doing some deliberate trolling here. Well, it does’t matter. It’s a lovely song, one that perfectly captures the aching feeling of loss that runs through every minute of Twin Peaks: The Return.
At the gas station, Big Ed Hurley sits alone, staring at his gas pumps.
The year is 1983 and things are looking bad for the Second Marine Division of the U.S. Marine Corps. The officers are almost all college graduates like Major Powers (Everett McGill) and Lt. Ring (Boyd Gaines), men who have never served in combat but who are convinced that they know what it means to be a Marine in the 80s. Convinced that they will never have to actually fight in a war, the latest batch of recruits is growing soft and weak. All of the slackers have been put in the Recon Platoon, where they are so undisciplined that they think that wannabe rock star Cpl. Jones (Mario Van Peebles) is a good Marine. MARIO VAN PEEBLES!
They haven’t met Sgt. Highway yet.
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Highway (Clint Eastwood) has seen combat, in both Korea and Vietnam. He drinks too much. He fights too much. He has chased away his wife (Marsha Mason), despite his attempts to understand her by reading Cosmo and Ladies Home Journal. Major Powers may think that Highway is a relic but Highway knows better than to worry about what a college boy thinks. The Recon Platoon may think that they can defy him but that haven’t seen Highway throw a punch yet. Everyone may think it’s a waste of time to learn how to fight but little do they know that America is about to invade Grenada.
Heartbreak Ridge is all about Clint Eastwood. Without Clint Eastwood, it would just be another basic training film. With Clint Eastwood, it is a minor masterpiece and a tribute to America’s fighting spirit. In 1986, no one was better at glaring at a young punk or glowering at a clueless superior officer than Clint Eastwood. Even the running joke of Highway reading women’s magazines works because it is impossible not to laugh at Clint Eastwood intently studying an issue of Cosmo. Clint may have been 56 when he directed and starred in Heartbreak Ridge but he was still believable beating up men who were less than half his age. (Mario Van Peebles thinks he’s going to be able to stand up to Clint Eastwood? Get outta here!) There is never any question that Highway is going to able to whip everyone into shape. The only question is how many terse one-liners are going to be delivered in the process. By the time Highway and his platoon reach Grenada, everyone is ready to watch Clint put the communists in their place and Clint does not disappoint.
Reportedly, the U.S. Marine Corps. initially supported Heartbreak Ridge but, in case of life imitating art, disowned the finished picture, feeling that the film’s portrayal of The Corps was inaccurate and the sergeant’s “training” methods were too old-fashioned to actually be effective.
Thomas Highway would disagree.
One final note: Bo Svenson has a small role as the man trying to steal Marsha Mason away from Clint. If you have ever wanted to see Dirty Harry and Buford Pusser fight over the Goodbye Girl, here’s your chance.
Here at the Shattered Lens, we just finished up our look back at the first two seasons (and the movie version) of Twin Peaks! One day later, Showtime releases this trailer for the upcoming revival!
This is called 25 years later and it features several rather ominous shots of some of our favorite citizens of Twin Peaks! There’s Big Ed (Everett McGill) sitting at a table and looking disturbed! There’s Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) in a grocery store! Oh look, it’s Harry Dean Stanton! What is Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz) looking at? Why is Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) saying, “Really?”
And is that our Dale Cooper or is that the evil Doppelganger Cooper? Perhaps only Kyle MacLachlan knows for sure!
Watch the trailer below!
And then, get caught up on the story so far with the TSL’s look at Twin Peaks:
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 Peaksand 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?”
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?
Here we go, with the second to last episode of the season.
“Miss Twin Peaks” starts with Leo (Eric Da Re), chained up as punishment for attacking Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh – The Day After Tomorrow). While chained, he unlocks the chains for Major Briggs (Don Davis), and sets him free.
“Save Shelly.” he whispers, as Major Briggs rises to his feet and wanders off. Some time later, Windom Earle returns, asking how Briggs escaped. He would normally use the taser user he has on Leo, but has come up with a better idea – a better game – one that involves a bag of something he shakes with a sinister smile. A bag, worse than electricity? Doesn’t seem so bad, so far.
We cut to the Double R Cafe, where Norma presents some pies to Annie (Heather Graham – Horns, The Hangover) and Shelly (Madchen Amick) for the Miss Twin Peaks event. She tells them that she expects to see them in the Winner’s Circle. The pagent would be good for the town, to heal over the loss of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). When asked if the town will honor her on the 20th Anniversary of her Miss Twin Peaks win, Norma laughs it off as bribery, as she’s a judge this year.
At the Great Northern, a barefoot Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is sitting by the fire and dressed in red, a very subtle suggestion to her being a new woman. Ben (Richard Beymer) steps into the room with a series of books in each hand. He tells her they are the collected religious works of the world – The Bible, The Koran, The Talmud, The Tao-Te-Ching, among others. He carries these in the hopes that he’ll find the good within himself on reading them, but in explaining this to Audrey, she appears distracted. He notes this to be because of Jack (Billy Zane), who’s flown off to Brazil. She still misses him fondly, and fears she’ll never see him again. Ben promises her she will, but Audrey waves it off.
Changing the subject, Audrey informs her father that there’s a connection between the bank and the Packards, which Ben will look into. Ben asks Audrey if she’s considered joining the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant. Although Audrey scoffs at the idea, Ben explains that they could use the Pageant to voice the town’s concerns over preserving the wildlife and the Horne family plans. She reluctantly agrees to do so.
Meanwhile, Andy (Harry Goaz) is in the precinct, staring at the drawing recreation from the Owl Cave. Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) explains to Truman (Michael Ontkean) that on the night of Josie’s (Joan Chen – Demolition Man) death, he saw BOB (Frank Silva) appear. He theorizes that perhaps Josie’s fear is what attracted BOB, and ultimately caused her death. Listening in via the hidden mic in the room, Windom Earle now has what he needs. If he can reach the Black Lodge and BOB, his vengeance against Dale Cooper will be complete. He celebrates this briefly, and we can see that the bag he had is now empty. As he approaches Leo, he bids him farewell, telling him he liked him, but that he has to pay for letting Briggs free.
We follow a line of string that appears to be tied to Leo’s teeth, going up and over him and leading to a box full of tarantulas! Nope! Nope, a million times, Nope. I would have rather Windom Earle just set the cabin on fire and leave Leo inside. Poor Leo. Yeah, he was a douche, but even he didn’t deserve all that, whatever his fate becomes.
A dance rehearsal for the Pageant. Donna and Shelly can’t help but laugh at all of the awkward positions that Tim Pinkle (David L. Lander) has the girls doing, while Nadine (Wendy Robie) and Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson) are upset at it all. Tim has a tiny loss of composure when questioned about his methods. Lana (Robyn Lively) appears to be really into it, however, probably under the impression she’s already won. She also happens to be the only dancer in heels, for some reason.
The judges – Norma, Mayor Dwayne Milford (John Boylan), and Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) are looking on. Norma has to step away to handle some business, which leaves just the right opening for Lana to step in and improve her chances on becoming Miss Twin Peaks She mentions there’s something she’s looking for in the storage room, and asks Dick for some help. He joins her in the storage room with a flashlight. Lana’s communication style is through touch (because let’s face it, it’s easier to convince someone of something if there’s the slightest physical contact involved), and through this, she finds what she’s looking for. She doesn’t even need the flashlight to do so.
In Cooper’s room, Cooper records a message to Diane explaining that they’re working hard on the cave etching, and that Windom Earle is looking for the same source that they are. Should it fall into his hands, the ramifications could be disastrous. On a side note, Cooper praises Annie, who he’s very much warming up to.
Annie appears at Cooper’s door. He lets her in and she states she needs help with the Public Speaking part of the contest. Cooper explains that the Ghostwood Development could cause some problems for the town and the wildlife. In the midst of their conversation, Cooper makes a move.
“I don’t want to talk about trees anymore.” He simply says before kissing her. She leads him to his bed and they have a passionate moment together. I hope he remembered to pause his tape to Diane.
We’re watching a home movie, of Nadine and how she tackled Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger) in wrestling class and fell in love. She and Nadine are in a room with Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), Ed (Everett McGill) and Norma. Ed reveals to Nadine that he’s going to get married to Norma. Nadine’s stare is intense, but she smiles through it, holding on to Mike’s hand a little too tightly.
“Really?! Well that’s wonderful Eddie, ‘cause me and Mike are getting married, too!”, she says. You can hear the bones in Mike’s hand crack, and he wails in pain.
Major Briggs stumbles through the forest, finally making it to a road. He arrives just in time for Hawk (Michael Horse) to almost hit him with his Patrol Truck. Hawk gets out and puts Briggs into the truck.
The next scene has Briggs shivering and drinking water. It’s almost the same kind of shiver that Pete had. Cooper inspects Briggs and notes that he’s been shot full of Haloperidol, the same drug that the One Armed Man used to keep MIKE at bay. They try to find out where Windom Earle took Briggs, but they can’t get much from him. Andy comes back into the room, checking on the pictograph. Cooper says that if they aren’t at the right place at the right time, they might be able to find their way into the Black Lodge.
Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie), Pete (Jack Nance), and Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy) are trying to open the little box that was inside of the original black box given to Catherine. After a bit of frustration, Andrew throws the tiny metal box to the ground and shoots it with his revolver. This breaks the mini box open and reveals a key. Catherine puts the key inside a glass cake container, in full sight so that no one will steal it.
Donna comes downstairs in the Hayward house, dressed for the Pageant. She confronts her parents, demanding to know what the deal is between her mom (Mary Jo Deschanel) and Ben Horne. The parents won’t tell her, so she decides to get her answers from Ben.
Back at the precinct, Cooper realizes that one element was misread. He’s able to deduce that the map refers to Jupiter and Saturn coming into conjunction. They also learn that entering the portal requires Fear and/or Love (“Fear and Love open the doors.”, Briggs mumbles). If Windom Earle takes the Queen – in this case, Miss Twin Peaks – to the doorway, he should be able to get it to open. At least, that’s what I made of it. As they discuss this, Andy has a relegation, but is unable to share it, as Andy knocks over the bonsai plant. The plant breaks, and reveals Windom Earle’s bug. Now aware that he’s been listening in the whole time, Cooper, Truman and Andy head over to Miss Twin Peaks Pageant.
Here we are at the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant. The ladies of Twin Peaks are having an opening dance number. The show is underway, and there are a number of things occurring. Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) notices the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) sitting by the bar, but then also notices her standing about 30 feet near him, by the restroom. When Bobby approaches the log lady by the door, we find it’s actually Window Earle, who bonks him on the head with his log, knocking him out.
Meanwhile, Lucy is dancing on stage. For someone due to have a baby in less than a year, she handles herself well on stage. Cooper and Truman arrive, and Truman notes that they have deputies surrounding the place. After her number is Lana’s, which is a bellydance that entrances the audience and the male judges. Lana’s gaze is focused primarily on Dick and Dwayne as she dances. Andy arrives on the scene, looking for Cooper to tell him what he was unable to say before.
Audrey gives a short speech on fighting for the environment, before leaving and seeing her dad before heading back out. Backstage, Donna confronts Ben, and asks him for the truth. We all learn that she is in fact Ben Horne’s daughter and Audrey’s half-sister. She runs off in tears before any major explanation can be given.
Annie gives a moving speech, one that catches Dick’s attention. Audrey also has a great speech. Lucy meets with Dick and Andy backstage to inform them that Andy will be the father of her child. Andy is surprised, and Dick is elated. Andy promises to be a great father, but he has to locate Cooper, and he leaves her standing there. It’s a humorous moment in the mix of everything.
The announcement is underway. The winner and the new Miss Twin Peaks is…..Annie Blackburn!! There’s applause from the crowd as Annie accepts her award. Lana peeks out from behind the crowd to stare at Dwayne as if to say “What happened?”.Dwayne turns to Dick and asks him about the vote. Dick replies that Annie’s speech won him over.
The lights suddenly go out, and then flicker like a strobe. Very similar to Brian DePalma’s Carrie, we have pandemonium as everyone tries to evacuate. Nadine, standing under a ladder, is hit on the head with a sand bag, knocking her unconscious. Cooper catches sight of Windom Earle, but in trying to reach him, Earle sets of a flashbang that disorients Cooper. This gives Earle enough time to capture Annie with some chloroform and get out of the building. When Cooper comes to his senses, he tells Truman, who starts to get a perimeter setup. It’s here that Andy is finally able to reach Cooper and tell him what he found.
The puzzle they’ve been studying isn’t a puzzle at all, but a map!
So now, we come to the Season Finale (and ultimately the Series Finale) of Twin Peaks, which Lisa will close out tomorrow. Can Cooper save Annie? Can he catch Windom Earle? Is Nadine okay? What about Lucy and Andy? What about that blooming key? Will Donna confront all of her parents? Will Leo manage to escape the box of tarantulas? Hopefully, all of these will be answered.
This is my final piece on Twin Peaks. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about this show as we have writing about it. A lot of work went into this from different sides. This has been an awesome project to be a part of, and I’d like to give a quick thanks to both Lisa and Jeff for having me on board.
“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…
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.