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 Part 14 (dir by David Lynch)


 

Hi, everyone!

Obviously, I’m running behind this week.  Usually, I post my recap of the latest episode of Twin Peaks: The Return within a few hours of the episode’s premiere.  This week, I’m a day behind and I apologize.  I could give you all sorts of excuses as to why I’m running behind but I won’t waste your time with that.  Instead, I’ll simply quote Laura Dern from Blue Velvet: “It’s a strange world, isn’t it?”

Fortunately, the Trashfilm Guru is a lot more dependable than I am.  Check out his thoughts on Part 14 by clicking here!

Anyway, speaking of strange worlds…

Part 14 opens with Gordon Cole (David Lynch) in South Dakota, calling Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) in Twin Peaks.  While I know some people are frustrated with any episode that doesn’t open with Kyle MacLachlan either staring blankly at Janey-E or killing someone, I have to say that I always feel somewhat comforted when Gordon shows up.  Some of that is because Gordon is a lot how I imagine David Lynch to be in real life, right down to the corny jokes and the earnest encouragement.  However, there’s also the fact that Lynch has grown tremendously as an actor.  If you watch the original Twin Peaks, Cole comes across as largely being a one-joke character.  Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes, it’s not.  However, in the revival, Gordon has emerged as one of the most compelling characters around.

Anyway, Truman lets Gordon know about the pages from Laura’s diary that were found earlier and mentions that the pages indicate that there are “two Coopers.”  Gordon thanks him for the information and wishes all the best to both of the Truman brothers.

Meanwhile, Albert (Miguel Ferrer) tells Tammy (Chrysta Bell) about the very first blue rose case.  It involved a murder in Washington, the death of a woman named Lois Duffy.  Lois’s murder was witnessed by Cole and Philip Jeffries.  As Albert tells it, Lois mentioned “blue roses” as she died.  Her body then vanished.  A woman, who looked exactly like Lois Duffy and who claimed to be Lois Duffy, was arrested for the murder but later hung herself in her cell.  Tammy figures out that blue roses are not natural, they do not occur in nature.  The dying woman was not a natural thing.

Cole steps into the room, announcing that he’s “got it.”  After Cole spends a while flinching at the sound of a particularly aggressive window washer doing his job, they are joined by Diane (Laura Dern).  Diane lights a cigarette and tells everyone to fuck off.  Typical Diane.

Cole asks Diane about the last time she saw Cooper and whether he mentioned Major Briggs.  Diane replies that she doesn’t want to talk about that night but she does eventually say that Cooper did mention Briggs.  Albert tells her about Briggs’s death in the fire and the subsequent discovery of her headless body in South Dakota.  He also mentions that a ring was found in Briggs stomach, a ring with an inscription that indicates that it was a gift to Dougie from Janey-E.  A shocked Diane says that Janey-E is her estranged half-sister.

OH MY GOD!!!!!

Gordon calls the Las Vegas FBI office and tells Special Agent Headley (Jay R. Ferguson) that he wants Douglas Jones and Janey-E to be picked up on suspicion of having been involved with a double murder.  Headley is quite enthusiastic about tracking Dougie down.  As he yells at a subordinate, “THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE FBI!”

Back in South Dakota, Diane leaves the room.  Cole tells Albert and Tammy about Sheriff Truman and the Two Coopers.

“And last night,” Cole continues, “I had another Monica Bellucci dream.”

In the dream, Gordon was in Paris on a case.  He met with Monica Bellucci (who plays herself) at a cafe.  Cole says that Cooper was at the cafe but he couldn’t see his face.  Monica, Cole, and Monica’s friends had coffee.  Monica said, “We’re like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream….but, who is the dreamer?”

In the dream, Monica told Cole to look over his shoulder.  Cole did so and he saw a younger version of himself.  Cole watched as the younger version of himself talked to Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) about a dream that Cooper had.  Suddenly, Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie, seen in archive footage from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me) entered the office and pointed at Cooper.

“Who do you think that is!?” Jeffries said.

Back in the present, Cole says, “This has given me a lot to think about.”

(This entire sequence — from Cole calling Truman to Albert and Tammy talking to Cole’s dream — is absolutely brilliant and among the best work that Lynch has ever done as a director and an actor.)

Meanwhile, at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Andy (Harry Goaz), Hawk (Michael Horse), and Boddy (Dana Ashbrook) are getting ready to go hiking to the place where Major Briggs used to take Bobby as a boy.  But first, they arrest everyone’s least favorite corrupt asshole, Deputy Chad (John Pirruccello).

In the woods, while a faint electrical hum is heard in the background, Truman, Andy, Hawk, and Bobby make their way to the location that they were given in Briggs’s note.  They find Naido (Nae Yuuki), a naked woman with no eyes, lying at the base of a tree.  As Andy, the most kind-hearted of the group, rushes over to the help her, a vortex appears in the sky above him.

Suddenly, Andy’s siting in the same black-and-white room where this season began.  Across from him is the Giant (Carel Struycken).

“I am the Fireman,” the Giant says.

Andy has visions of … well, of the series so far.  He sees the dark figures at the gas station.  He sees the Woodsman demanding, “Gotta light?”  He sees Laura Palmer, with angels on either side of her.  He sees Cooper and the Doppelganger. He sees himself leading Lucy into the lobby of the sheriff’s department.  He sees electrical pole #6, the same pole in front of which Richard Horne ran over that little boy.

Suddenly, Andy is back in the woods.  He is carrying Naido and he seems very confident of what needs to be done.  “We have to get her off the mountain,” Andy says, “She is very important.  There are people who want her dead.  She’s fine physically.  If we put her in a cell, she’ll be safe.  Don’t tell anybody about this.”

(Of course, no one mentions that Naido doesn’t have any eyes.)

Back at the sheriff’s department, Lucy gives Naido some old pajamas and says she hopes they’re okay.  Naido remains silent as Andy locks her up in a cell.  After Andy and Lucy leave, a drunk in another cell starts to make monkey noises while the recently incarcerated Chad yells at him to shut up.  Suddenly, Naido starts to softly murmur in her cell.

“It’s a fucking nuthouse!” Chad says.

“Fucking nuthouse,” the drunk replies, repeating Chad’s words in a way that reminded me of the way Dougie communicates with people in Vegas.

As Chad lies down in his cell, we see that the drunk is bleeding and a pool of blood is forming at his feet.

At the Great Northern, security guard James Hurley (James Marshall) is talking to another guard, Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle).  Freddie is originally from the UK and always wears a glove over his left hand.  It’s James birthday and all he wants is for Freddie to explain why he always wears the glove.

Freddie explains that he can’t take the glove off.  He tried once and his hand started bleeding.  Freddie explains that one night, in London, he was sucked up into a vortex.  A giant called The Fireman told him to go to a hardware store, find an open package of gloves, and put on only one glove.  The glove gives Freddie super strength, which he discovered when he broke the neck of a man trying to prevent him from taking the glove.  It was only after apparently killing this man that Freddie remembered that the Giant also told him to move to Twin Peaks, Washington.  “There,” Freddie says the Giant told him, “you’ll find your destiny.”

James thanks Freddie for the story and then goes to check on the hotel’s furnace.  As he does so, he hears an electrical hum, much like the one that was previously heard in Ben Horne’s office.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) walks up to a sleazy bar.  As she approaches, we hear the same electrical sound that we previously heard while Truman and the deputies were walking through the woods.  Inside the bar, Sarah is harassed by a drunk who just won’t take no for an answer.  So, Sarah opens her face, revealing the darkness underneath the human surface.

“Do you really want to fuck with this?” she asks, before closing her face and then biting the man’s neck and ripping out his throat…

OH MY GOD!!!!!

Sarah’s possessed!  Well, we already knew that Sarah had psychic powers but … but… but….

Seriously, oh my God!

That said, I don’t blame Sarah.  That guy was a jerk.  We’ve all been there.

At the Roadhouse, two women — Megan (Shane Lynch) and Sophie (Emily Stofle) — talk about getting high, stealing, avoiding the nut house, and a missing acquaintance named Billy.  Megan says that, when she last saw Billy, he was storming in and out of her kitchen, with blood coming from his nose.  It is also revealed that Megan’s mom is named Tina.  If all these names sound familiar, it’s because we already know that Audrey Horne has been 1) having an affair with Billy and 2) has a friend named Tina.

And so concludes a very intriguing episode of Twin Peaks: The Return.

To recap: Janey-E is Diane’s half-sister. The Fireman is sending people to Twin Peaks.  And Billy and Tina actually do exist and aren’t just figments of Audrey’s imagination.

With only 4 episodes left, who knows where all of this is going to lead…

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)

 

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch)


 

It is happening again.

Yeah, this isn’t going to be easy.

Tonight’s episode of Twin Peaks was … well, I’m not sure how to describe it.  Basically, if you combined Tree of Life and Kiss Me Deadly with The Beast of Yucca Flats and Tombs of the Blind Dead, you would end up with something resembling tonight’s episode.  Tonight’s episode was David Lynch at both his most brilliant and his most cheerfully defiant.  Tonight was David Lynch unleashed.  People either hated it or they loved it.

The recapper over at E! News Online hated it.  I almost didn’t include a link to their recap, largely because the only reason they’re recapping Twin Peaks is to get the clicks.  They’re certainly not recapping it because they have any sort of genuine understanding or, for that matter, interest in what Lynch is attempting to do.  For the most part, their recap went something like this: “Oh my God, that was soooo weird and the nuclear explosion sequence went on forever and what was the deal with 1956 and look at all the snarky nicknames I’ve come up with for all the characters and oh my God, did I mention that I have a roommate?”  If your main complaint about tonight’s episode is that it was “too weird,” then you obviously are not meant to be a part of this show’s audience.

As for the length of the nuclear explosion … seriously?  What the Hell type of complaint is that?  You might as well complain that the stargate sequence went on for too long in 2001 or maybe that Picasso shouldn’t have taken up so much space with Guernica.  It’s easy to imagine this critic in Elizabethan England, whining that Hamlet was just too talky.  Tonight, we were lucky enough to witness one of the most visually stunning sequences in the history of television and you actually have the freaking nerve to complain that it went on for too long?  I understand that, over at the Kardashian network, being snarky is a part of the job but you can be snarky without being stupid about it.

I was not the only one disappointed by that recap…

(I usually try to cut recappers some slack.  After all, you’re on a deadline and you’re trying to beat everyone else for those clicks and sometimes, you rush and you say something stupid.  I’ve been there.  Just ask Arleigh about the first season Game of Thrones recap where I somehow managed to mix up Jon Snow and Robb Stark.  That was beyond embarrassing.  But, again, there’s a difference between being rushed and being willfully ignorant about what you’ve just watched.  For instance, there’s a reason why I wouldn’t even try to recap that football show starring Dwayne Johnson.  I guess my point is that maybe E! should focus on what they’re good at, like promoting scripted reality programs and helping Scott Disick get laid.)

Anyway, here’s my attempt to recap what I watched.  I will warn you right now that a mere recap is not going to do this episode justice.  If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it before reading any recap, regardless of who wrote it.  Tonight, I saw images that I never expected to ever see on television.  There were visuals of such unexpected beauty and haunting menace that you simply must see them for yourself.

We open with a classic David Lynch driving scene.  Doppelganger Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Ray (George Griffith) are driving down a country road in the middle of the night.  The Warden attempted to put tracking devices on the car but Doppelganger Cooper was far too clever for him.

Ray apologizes for running off on Doppelganger Cooper and asks where Darya is.  The Doppelganger says that she’s waiting for their phone call.  (If you’ve seen the pilot episode, you know that she was murdered by the Doppelganger.)  The Doppelganger says that Ray has something that he wants.  Ray assures him that he does and that he all the “numbers memorized.”  However, Ray thinks that it might be worth some money if the Doppelganger really wants what he has.

Doppelganger Cooper tells Ray that they’re going to a place called The Farm but Ray asks if they can pull over for a sec so he can, as he so charmingly puts it, “take a leak.”

“Go for it,” Doppelganger Cooper replies.

Well, not surprisingly, Ray has another reason for wanting to pull over.  As soon as Doppelganger Cooper gets out of the car and demands the information, Ray shoots him.

“Tricked ya, fucker,” Ray says.

And that’s when things start to get … strange.

Suddenly, there is a flashing light and, as Ray watches, a group of dark men (much like the dark men who previously appeared in the South Dakota jail and outside the morgue) emerge from the woods.  They surround the doppelganger.  While some dance in a circle, others paw at the the body.  Briefly, it appears as if Cooper’s chest has been opened and the smiling face of Killer BOB (Frank Silva) can be seen.  Ray runs back to his car and speeds off while the dark men vanish.

As he drives away, Ray calls Phillip Jeffries and tells him that Cooper might be dead but he’s not 100% sure.

Meanwhile, at the Roadhouse, Nine Inch Nails performs.  The recapper at E! felt that the Nine Inch Nails performance went on for too long, which again shows a remarkable ignorance about the importance of music in David Lynch’s work.  (Considering how much Twin Peaks: The Return has in common with Lost Highway, the sudden appearance of Nine Inch Nails felt totally appropriate.)

As the song comes to an end, we cut back to the Doppelganger, who suddenly sits up.  Has he come back to life or did those two gunshots really fail to kill him the first time?  And what’s happening with Dougie/Cooper?  It’s been suggested that the only way for Cooper to be Cooper again is for the Doppelganger to die and return to the Black Lodge.  If the Doppelganger was dead for even a moment, does that mean Dougie/Cooper had a moment of clarity?

Those are all good questions that were not answered tonight because Lynch suddenly cuts from the Doppelganger to July 16th, 1945.  Suddenly, we are in White Sands, New Mexico, listening as a voice counts down to zero.  We watch from above as the world’s first atomic bomb is detonated.  A mushroom cloud slowly and, it must be said, beautifully rises up into the sky.

The viewer plunges into the mushroom cloud and what follows is a mix of sound and image that so beautiful and so menacing that it is almost indescribable.  We are surrounded by flames and explosions as we plunge into the heart of man-made destruction.  In many ways, it reminded me of the Big Bang sequence of Terence Malick’s Tree of Life but, whereas Malick was imagining creation, Lynch is imagining destruction.

We find ourselves now looking at what appears to be a gas station in the middle of nowhere.  Spurts of static are heard on the soundtrack while lights flash and shadowy men appear (and disappear) inside and outside of the station.

A figure floats in a gray space, apparently spitting up eggs.  One of the eggs floats by us and, again, the face of Killer BOB is seen.

More flames. More explosions.  A golden egg floats towards the camera.  Briefly, we hear a heartbeat.

Cut to: the purple ocean that Cooper saw when he first escaped from the Black Lodge.

A woman who, in the end credits, is identified as being Senorita Dido (Joy Nash) sits in a gray drawing room.  We hear an electronic clanking and a light starts to flash.  The Giant (Carel Struycken) enters the room and turns off the alarm.

Moving slowly, the Giant walks up a flight of stairs.  He walks into a theater, one that looks much like the Silencio theater from Mulholland Drive.  On a screen, he watches the nuclear explosion.  When he sees the egg with BOB’s face, the Giant suddenly starts to float into the air.

Senorita Dido enters the theater and watches as a golden cloud appears over the Giant’s head.  From the cloud descends a golden egg, which Dido catches.  In the egg, she sees the face of Laura Palmer.  Dido kisses the egg and then releases it into the air.  It’s sucked into a tube.

Dido stares at the screen, watching as the golden egg descends on Earth.

We cut to 1956.  The New Mexico desert.  (The rest of the episode is in black-and-white, giving these scenes a Beast of Yucca Flats feel.  You can easily imagine Tor Johnson wandering about.)  Another egg — this one much smaller, sits on the barren ground.  It hatches and winged bug crawls out.  (It looked like a mutated cockroach to me.)

Cut to the gas station, where a teenage couple is talking.  (Coincidentally or not, they resemble James and Donna from the original series.)  The girl (Tikaeni Faircrest) gets excited when she finds a penny on the ground.  Well, who wouldn’t?  Later, the boy (Xolo Mariduena) asks the girl for just one kiss.  I’m not sure who they are or why they’re here but they’re both actually rather sweet.

A shadowy figure — the Woodsman (Robert Broski) — appears walking through the desert.  The recapper at E! News apparently thought that the Woodsman was meant to be a “gorilla.”  Of course, anyone who actually know anything about movies will immediately notice that the Woodsman looks a lot like the evil man who was living behind the dumpster in Mulholland Drive.

The monster from Mulholland Drive

The Woodsman from Twin Peaks, Part 8

The Woodsman stumbles across the highway.  He approaches a couple in a car.  “Got a light?” he asks, his voice deep and almost robotic.  “Got a light?” he repeats, like a malfunctioning recording.  The couple speeds away and we see that the Woodsman is not alone.  At least two other shadowy men are with him.

A radio station, KPJK, sits in the middle of the desert.  The Woodsman approaches.

We see that everyone in the nearby town — from an auto mechanic to a waitress to the teenage girl who found the penny — is listening to the station.

The woodsman enters the station.  “Got a light?” he asks, before crushing the receptionist’s head with his gloved hand.  He does the same thing to the station’s disc jockey but not before the Woodsman gets on the air and says, “This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within.”

As everyone in town listens to the Woodsman’s voice, they pass out.  While the girl lies unconscious, the bug crawls into her mouth.

Having delivered his message and killed everyone at the station, the Woodsman walks into the night.  The sound of a horse whinnying is heard.

And that’s it!

What does it all mean?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I’ve never seen anything like it before.  This was experimental cinema at its best.  (And make no mistake.  Twin Peaks is not a TV series as much as it’s an 18-hour movie.)  Was it for everyone?  No.  Then again, nothing worthwhile ever is.  David Lynch once described his first feature film, Eraserhead, as being a “dream of dark and disturbing things.”  I can think of no better description for Part 8 of Twin Peaks.

The saga continues in two weeks!  Will we still be in 1956?  Will Dougie/Cooper ever snap back to normal?  Will James Hurley ever show up again?  Who knows!?  But I will say this: I can’t wait to find out.

Twin Peaks on TSL:

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

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition


Look, I’m just going to admit the truth.

I am obsessed.

Right now, I am totally obsessed with Twin Peaks.  Even as I spent the last few days watching movies off the DVR and writing the reviews that I posted on this site today, I still found my thoughts continually returning to Twin Peaks.

So, in honor of that obsession, here’s a special edition of 4 Shots From 4 Films.

It is happening again.

4 Shots From 4 Films

Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch)

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

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

Twin Peaks: The Return Part 3 (dir by David Lynch)

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


As I sit here working on my recap of the first two episodes of Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks, it’s occurring to me that this is not going to be an easy job.  Last month, when Leonard, Jeff, and I were reviewing the show’s first two seasons, we had the advantage of knowing where the story was leading.  We knew what would be important and what was a red herring.

With this revival, we no longer have that luxury.  I have no idea where this show is going.  All I know, for sure, is that David Lynch has given us 18 hours of new material.  It’s not necessarily going to be easy to review the revival.  I can already tell that.  From what I’ve heard and read, it appears that Lynch approached this less as a TV series and more as an 18-hour movie.  I’ve already noticed that several reviewers are already overplaying the “Twin Peaks is weird” angle.  David Lynch may be a surrealist but there is always a definite logic to all of his work.  You just have to have the patience to find it and I imagine that’ll be the case with Twin Peaks: The Return as well.

I’ve already shared my initial thoughts on the first two episodes and Ryan The TrashFilm Guru has posted a review of his own.  What follows below is a more in-depth recap of what we saw last night.  Needless to say, if you haven’t seen the first two episodes of the revival yet, this entire post is one huge spoiler.  So, read it at your own risk!

Okay — ready?

Let’s go!

We start where we left, with a clip from 27 years ago.  In the Black Lodge, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) tells Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) that she will see him in 25 years.

Cut to Twin Peaks, the town that we all know and love.  The trees are still shrouded in fog.  The high school hallways are empty.  Laura Palmer’s homecoming queen picture still sits in the trophy case.  The title appears.  Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting theme music starts to play.  We see the waterfall.  We read the opening credits.  Twin Peaks is back.

In the Black Lodge, a much older Giant (Carel Struycken) talks to an aged Cooper.  The inhabitants of the Lodge still speak backwards and we are still provided with subtitles so that we can follow what they’re saying.  Cooper still speaks in his normal voice, indicating that he may be trapped in the Lodge but he has yet to truly become a part of it.  The Giant tells Cooper to listen to the sounds and looks over at an old-fashioned phonograph.  “It is in our house now,” the Giant says.  “Remember Four Three Zero.  Richard and Linda.  Two birds with one stone.”

“I understand,” Cooper says.  (I’m glad someone does.)

Cut to a trailer sitting in the middle of nowhere.  A pickup truck drives up.  The truck has two cardboard boxes in the bed.  Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) comes out of the trailer and gets the boxes.  What’s inside the boxes?  Shovels, of course!  Jacoby certainly does seem to be happy to have them.  Maybe he’s still looking for that necklace that Donna and James buried 25 years ago…

Cut to New York City.  Sam Colby (Ben Rosenfield) has a new job.  He sits on a couch in a room and he watches a black box that is sitting inside of a glass box.  His job is to see if anything happens in the box and to make sure that there is always a camera filming the box.  There’s a guard posted outside of the room.  Sam’s friend, Tracey (Madeline Zima), is allowed to bring him coffee but she’s not allowed to enter the room or see the boxes.  The sight of Sam sitting in that room, staring at that box, reminded me of the scenes with Michael Anderson as the man who controlled Hollywood in Mulholland Drive.  As creepy as that box may have been, it was the stillness of this scene that made me nervous.  Sam seemed remarkably uninterested in why exactly he had to watch the box and that lack of curiosity struck me as odd and just a little depressing.

Cut to … oh my God, we’re back at the Great Northern!  And there’s Ben Horne (Richard Beymer)!  He’s in his office and he’s leering at his new secretary, Barbara (Ashley Judd).  It’s just like old times and, of course, it’s nice to see that Ben survived striking his head on the fireplace mantle 25 years ago.  That said, Ben appears to have given up on being a do-gooder.  He’s back to obsessing over money.  Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) drops by for a visit and reveals that, since Washington legalized marijuana, he’s made a fortune.  Way to go, Jerry!

Cut to the Sheriff’s Department and there’s Lucy (Kimmy Robertson)!  An insurance salesman comes in and asks to see Sheriff Truman.  Lucy asks him if he wants to see the Sheriff Truman who is sick or the Sheriff Truman who is out of the office.  Neither one is available.

Cut to a country road.  Someone is driving down the street while listening to evil music.  The driver is none other than … Agent Cooper?  Well, it kind of looks like Agent Cooper but it’s not Cooper.  For one thing, this guy has long, greasy hair and doesn’t wear a dark suit.  He also doesn’t smile.  He has cold, dead eyes.  For another thing, he parks next to a shack and beats up a redneck, which is not exactly Agent Cooper behavior.  Then he goes inside, where he meets Buelah and Otis.  He tells them that he has come to pick up Ray (George Griffith) and Darya (Nicole LaLiberte).  I don’t remember Agent Cooper having such an affinity for white trash…

Oh wait!  That’s not Agent Cooper!  That must be Cooper’s Doppelganger!

Meanwhile, back in New York, Tracey shows up with more coffee.  She and Sam are shocked to discover that the guard has left his post.  This means that Tracey can now go into the room and see the mysterious box for herself!  It also means that she and Sam can have some fun on the couch.  While they do, Sam suddenly sees that the inside of the glass box has turned black.  Suddenly, what appears to be a demonic creature appears in the box.  It springs through the glass and, in a scene that leaves no doubt that this is Showtime Twin Peaks and not ABC Twin Peaks, it literally rips Sam and Tracey into pieces.

Along with giving me a good fright, this scene made me sad because I thought Sam and Tracey were a cute couple.  The reviewer at TVLine complained about Sam and Tracey and the actors playing them and I really have to wonder what show he watched because, to me, both Ben Rosenfield and Madeline Zima were likable and sympathetic in their brief time on screen.  Then again, the TVLine recapper also managed to confuse Bobby Briggs and James Hurley so we know he’s not a true Twin Peaks fan.

I should also mention that this scene, with hints of the demons flickering in the darkness before the sudden attack, reminded me of the infamous “there’s an evil man behind the dumpster” scene from Mulholland Drive.

Cut to Buckhorn, South Dakota.  We’re confronted with a very Lynchian image.  A fat woman walks a tiny dog down the hallway of an apartment building.  She stops when she smells a terrible stench coming from the neighbor’s apartment.  She calls the police, worried that her neighbor Ruth Davenport may be dead.

The police arrive and it takes them forever to find a key to open up the apartment.  This is one of those sequences that Lynch loves, the sequence were a simple task is made progressively more and more difficult by awkward minutia.  The neighbor doesn’t know if there’s a manager available but then remembers that the manager’s been committed to an asylum.  However, the manager’s brother might have the key.  But she doesn’t know where the brother is but the brother’s friend, Hank Filmore (Max Perlich), might know.  Hank does know but he refuses to tell and then the neighbor suddenly mentions that she has an extra key to the apartment.  When the police finally get inside the apartment, they discover the naked remains of Ruth Davenport in bed.  Her eyes have been removed and her head has been disconnected from her body.

Continuing the Mulholland Drive comparison, the discovery of Ruth’s body was shot in much the same way as the discovery of Diane Selwyn’s body in Mulholland Drive.  As well, Brent Briscoe played a detective in Mulholland Drive and he plays one in Twin Peaks as well, leading the investigation into Ruth’s murder.

Cut back to Twin Peaks.  The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) calls Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse), who is now Deputy Chief Hawk and who is in charge while Sheriff Truman is gone.  The Log Lady tells Hawk that her log has a message.  “Something is different and you have to find it,” she tells him.  “It has to do with Federal Agent Dale Cooper and with your heritage.  This is the message of the log.”

(Coulson died shortly after filming her scenes here and her frailty make her scenes here unexpectedly poignant.  As she talks to Hawk, it’s obvious that both of them know that this could be their last conversation.)

Back in South Dakota, Detective Dave is informed that one man’s finger prints have been found all over Ruth’s apartment.  The finger prints belonged to Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard), a respected high school principal.  As his shocked wife, Phyllis (Cornelia Guest), watches, Bill is arrested and charged with murder.  “But the Morgans are coming to dinner!” Phyllis shouts as Dave leads Bill away.

Back at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Hawk, Lucy, and Andy (Harry Goaz) gather in the conference room.  Hawk order them to look through all the files on the disappearance as Dale Cooper.  Lucy says that Cooper disappeared 24 years ago and then mentions that her son is 24 years old.  “He was born on the same day as Marlon Brando,” Lucy says.

Back in South Dakota, Dave is interrogating Bill.  When Dave asks Bill if he’s ever heard of Ruth Davenport, Bill says that he only knew her in passing.  He denies having ever been to Ruth’s apartment but, when he says it, he nervously glances around the room.  Is Bill hiding something or is he just nervous as anyone who has been arrested — whether guilty or innocent — would be?  It turns out that Bill can’t account for where he was during every minute of the previous night.  Dave jots down some notes on a legal pad.  That’s never good.  Bill wants a lawyer.  Dave says that lawyer is on the way but he also asks if there’s anything else Bill would like to add “before we get a lawyer involved.”  At this point, I was yelling at the screen, “Stop talking!  The police are not your friends!”  Dave immediately proved my point by accusing Bill of murder and then taking him to a jail cell.

Dave and the cops then go back to the Hastings house, the time with a search warrant.  While the police search his car, Bill sits in his jail cell and probably wonders why he hasn’t been allowed to see his lawyer yet.

Suddenly, Dave arrives with Phyllis.  Phyllis steps into the cell and tells Bill that they’re not going to give him bail.  Bill says that he was never in Ruth’s apartment but that he had a dream the night that she was killed.  “Fuck you!” Phyllis sanps, “you fucking bastard!”  She reveals that she knows that Bill was cheating on her with Ruth.  Bill shouts back that he knows about Phyllis and someone named George.  Phyllis taunts him.  “You’re going down.  Life in prison.”

After Phyllis leaves, Bill sits in his cell.  Little does he know that, three cells down, a shadowy man is sitting on a bed.  The shadow slowly fades away, becoming a wisp of smoke that eventually dissipates in the air.

Phyllis arrives home.  Doppelganger Cooper is waiting for her.  Phyllis smiles and asks what he’s doing there.  Doppelganger Cooper replies that Phyllis did a good job duplicating human nature and then shoots her in the head.

Cut to Las Vegas, Nevada.  A man in an office (Patrick Fischler, who also played the man who had a morbid — and justifiable fear — of the dumpster behind the diner in Mulholland Drive) talks to his associate Roger about a mysterious figure who “uses” him.  “You better hope you never have someone like him in your life,” the man says.

Cut to a diner in South Dakota, where Doppelganger Cooper has an awkward dinner with Ray and Darya.  Doppelganger Cooper tells Ray that he doesn’t “need anything.”  However, he does want things.  Ray kind of smirks.  Doppelganger Cooper explains that what he wants is information.

Cut to Ghostwood Forest.  Equipped with a flashlight, Hawk walks.  He gets a call from the Log Lady.  “The stars turn,” she tells hm, “and a time presents itself.”  The Log Lady says she wishes she could go with Hawk but then tells him to stop by.  She has coffee and pie for him.  Hawks says he will, as he approaches Glastonbury Grove, which once served as the entrance into the Black Lodge.

Speaking of the Black Lodge, Cooper is still sitting in the waiting room.  He has been joined by MIKE (Al Strobel), the one-armed man.  “Is it the future or is it the past?” MIKE asks before saying that someone has come to see Cooper.

Enter Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), still wearing the black dress from the last time that we saw her but definitely no longer a teenager.  (Of course, this is because 25 years has passed not only on the show but in real life as well.  Still, in the world of Twin Peaks, it’s interesting that time passes in The Black Lodge and people continue to age, even after they die.)  Cooper and Laura recite some of the same dialogue from the dream that Cooper had during the third episode of the first season of Twin Peaks.

When Laura says, “I am Laura Palmer,” Cooper replies that Laura is dead.

“I am dead,” Laura says, “yet I live.”

Laura opens her face like a door, revealing a bright white light.

“When can I go?” Cooper asks as Laura closes her face.

Laura kisses Cooper and then, just as she did in the original dream, she starts to whisper in his ear while the aged Cooper smiles.

Suddenly, the curtains shake and Laura screams.  Something appears to yank her into the air and she vanishes.  A wind blow through the lodge and suddenly, the curtain disappear.  The same white horse that, 25 years earlier, appeared to Sarah Palmer now appears to Cooper.

Suddenly, Cooper is back in the waiting room and MIKE is again asking if it is the past or the future.

MIKE leads Cooper into another room, one that is inhabited by a tree that has what appears to be a perfectly smooth brain sitting atop of it.  MIKE says that the tree is his arm.  The tree starts to speak to Cooper.  It asks if Cooper remembers his doppelgänger.  Cooper does and we get a flashback to this still powerful scene:

The tree explains that before Cooper can go out, the Doppelganger must return to the Black Lodge.

Meanwhile, in South Dakota, the Doppelganger is busy killing people.  First he kills a business associate and then he returns to his motel and confronts Darya with the knowledge that someone hired her and Ray to kill him.  Darya says that she doesn’t know who hired them and puts all of the blame on Ray.  The Doppelganger reveals that he’s supposed to go back to the Black Lodge but he’s not planning on returning.  Then, in a disturbing and deeply unpleasant scene that I personally felt went on a bit too long, the Doppelganger beats and then murders Darya.

Having killed Darya, the Doppelganger places a phone call to Philip Jeffries, the FBI agent who was played by David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  They have a cryptic conversation.  Philip says that the Doppelganger should be in New York and then says that the Doppelganger met with Major Garland Briggs.  “How did you know that!?”  the Doppelganger demands.  “I just called to say goodbye,” Philip says.

The Doppelganger downloads the plans for Yankton Federal Prison and then walks down to another motel room.  There he is greeted by Chantel (Jennifer Jason Leigh!).  He tells Chantel that he needs her to go “clean up” the other room.  Chantel is more than happy to do it.

At the Black Lodge, Cooper continues to stare at the tree.  The tree says that Cooper can go but when Cooper goes out to the hallway, he finds that he still cannot pass through the curtains and back into our world.  Cooper continues to walk through the Lodge until he discovers Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) sitting in a leather chair.

“Find Laura,” Leland says.

Suddenly, MIKE and the Tree appear again.  MIKE says something is wrong.  The tree says to find the Doppelganger.  Cooper continues to walk around the lodge.  (Is this all he’s been doing for the past 25 years?)  He finally manages to open the curtains and finds himself watching as his Doppelganger drives down a desert road.  Suddenly, the tree appears and starts lashing out at him with its limbs.

“Non-existent!” the tree snaps.

Cooper falls through the floor of the Lodge.  Suddenly, he’s in the glass box in New York.  And he can see Tracey and Sam having the same conversation that they had before they were killed by the weird demon creature.  (Is time looping back on itself, in much the same way that it did at the end of Lost Highway with Bill Pullman telling his future self that “Dick Laurent is dead?”)

Suddenly, Cooper is falling again.

In Twin Peaks, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) sits alone in the Palmer House, drinking, smoking, and watching one of those traumatic nature documentaries where predators eat their prey in closeup.

At the Roadhouse, the Chromatics are singing a beautifully dream-like song.  Shelley (Madchen Amick) is sitting at a booth with a group of friends.  She says she’s worried about her daughter, Becky.  Suddenly, they see that James Hurley (James Marshall) has entered the bar and is now looking over at them.

“What’s wrong with that guy?” one of them says.

“There’s nothing wrong with that guy!” Shelley says, “He was in a motorcycle accident but he’s just quiet.  He’s always been cool.”

And it’s such a sweet scene, even if it does feel a bit odd since Shelley and James didn’t even seem to know each other during the original series.  I found myself wondering if Shelley is now married to Bobby Briggs.  If James ends up stealing Shelley away (and that certainly seems a possibility, especially with Lara Flynn Boyle not coming back to reprise the role of Donna Hayward), this will be the second time Bobby has lost a lover to James.

(By the way, both James Marshall and Madchen Amick have aged wonderfully.  If anything, James Marshall is far more handsome now than he was during the first two seasons of the show.)

There was also some excitement online when Walter Olkewicz appeared as the bartender at the roadhouse.  Could it be, we all wondered, that Jacques Renault was once again alive!?  Well, no.  According to the credits, Olkewicz was playing Jean-Michel Renault.  Apparently, he’s the fourth Renault brother.

And that’s how this perplexing episode ends.  The Chromatics perform on the Roadhouse while two of our favorite characters acknowledge each other.  At times, I loved this episode.  At times, I was frustrated.  However, I was always intrigued and this ending — this wonderfully sentimental little moment between Shelley and James — was the perfect way to cap it all off.

Do I understand everything that happened tonight?  No, but it doesn’t matter.  I can’t wait to see where Lynch is taking us next.

  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)

 

12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two


I just finished watching Parts 1 and 2 of Twin Peaks: The Return on Showtime.  I’m not ready to write an in-depth review yet.  I’m going to have to rewatch the show, twice or maybe even three times.  But I did want to share a few of my initial thoughts about what I just saw:

1. In many ways, this was David Lynch at both his best and his most frustrating.  That the story held my interest even while making little to no sense is a testament to his abilities as a director.  For all the credit that he’s been given as a visual artist, Lynch is often underrated as a storyteller.  Lynch is often accused of being self-indulgent and, in many ways, he is.  At the same time, he still knows where his story is going and how to keep the audience invested in the journey.

At the same time, I imagine that there are a lot of frustrated people right now.  For all the talk about how Twin Peaks was finally returning, very little of tonight’s episode actually took place in Twin Peaks.  Instead, we had a horror movie going on in New York.  We had a murder mystery going on in South Dakota.  And we had a lot of Dale Cooper in the Black Lodge.  If you came into this episode hoping to get caught up with Bobby Briggs, Audrey Horne, or Doc Hayward, you were out of luck.  However, since this episode ended at the Roadhouse, with Shelley Johnson giving James Hurley a friendly wave, I assume that we’ll be spending more time in Twin Peaks next week.

2. Apparently, Doppelganger Cooper has been extremely busy.  I have to admit that I would probably be more intimidated by evil Cooper if not for the hair.

3. For those keeping track of what we did learn about what’s been going on in Twin Peaks over the past 25 years: Ben and Jerry Horne are still operating at the Great Northern and Ben appears to have given up on the whole being a force of good thing.  Deputy Andy and Lucy are still together.  Deputy Hawk is now deputy chief and is basically in charge while Sheriff Truman is away.  James Hurley apparently had a motorcycle accident and now appears to be the town weirdo.  Shelley Johnson still lives in town and apparently likes James now.  Sarah Palmer appears to be a drunk who spends her time watching nature documentaries.  The Log Lady is still getting messages from her log.  Cooper is considered to be a missing person.  Dr. Jacoby is living in a trailer out in the middle of nowhere.

4. Rather sweetly, tonight’s episode was dedicated to the memories of Frank Silva (the original Killer BOB) and Catherine E. Coulson.  Coulson passed away shortly after shooting her scenes as the Log Lady.  It was obvious, in her scenes, that she didn’t have much time left.  I’m glad that she got to recreate her most famous role and that the show didn’t resort to introducing a new Log Lady.  (“My name is Maggie.  My grandma left me this log in her will.  You may call me Log Girl.”  See, that would not have been a good thing…)

5. How creepy were those scenes in New York!?

6. Brent Briscoe, who played the detective in the South Dakota scenes, also played a detective in Mulholland Drive.  In fact, many of the scenes in South Dakota reminded me more of Mulholland Drive than Twin Peaks.

7. The difficulty that the cops had in getting a key to Ruth Davenport’s apartment was pure Lynch.  People are either going to love it or hate it.

8. The scenes in the Black Lodge were perhaps the best part of the episode.  The talking tree-thing totally freaked me out.  At the same time, Lynch is a master of how to use silence to create an ominous atmosphere.  It was during the moments when no one was talking that I often found myself the most creeped out.

9. Matthew Lillard is not always an actor who gets a lot of credit but he really delivered tonight.  On the one hand, Lillard’s character appeared to be sincere when he claimed he was innocent.  On the other hand, we’ve seen Matthew Lillard play so many crazy characters that our natural instinct is to distrust.  I don’t know if we’ll see his character again but we definitely won’t forget him.

10. To which character did I most relate?  Probably Tracy, because we both deliver coffee and wear thong underwear.

11. I loved the song at the end!

12. As I hinted earlier, I imagine that a lot of people were frustrated by tonight’s episode.  In many ways, the first 80 minutes reminded me of the Chris Isaak/Keifer Sutherland prologue that started off Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  I think people who are familiar with and who appreciate Lynch’s style probably found a lot to love tonight.  Casual viewers, on the other hand, are probably wondering what the rest of us are so excited about.  David Lynch has always defiantly gone his own way and stayed true to his own unique vision.  That’s what makes him such an exciting artist.  At the same time, mainstream audiences hate being confused.  Surrealism makes them feel insecure.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts!  I’ll have a more in-depth review either later tonight or maybe tomorrow!

Twins 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

 

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