TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch)


There are only five hours left in Twin Peaks: The Return and yet, there are still many mysteries to be resolved.  Considering that this is a David Lynch production, it’s entirely possible and probably rather probable that a good deal of those mysteries will never be resolved.

That said, all of the disparate elements of Twin Peaks: The Return have slowly been coming together, providing evidence — if any was needed — that Lynch knows exactly what he’s doing.  In some ways, tonight’s episode was Twin Peaks at its most straightforward.  And yet, nothing can ever be totally straight forward when it comes to Twin Peaks.

We wouldn’t want it any other way.

Tonight’s episode begins with joyful music playing in Las Vegas.  As Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) watches from his office, the Mitchum Brothers (James Belushi and Robert Knepper) dance down the hallways.  The three ladies in pink are with them.  And so is … Dougie Jones (Kyle MacLachlan), the man who Anthony was supposed to trick the Mitchums into killing!

The Mitchums have come to see Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray) and they’ve brought him gifts, all to thank him for introducing them to Dougie and for helping them to make money off of that insurance claim.  “A wrong has been made right and the sun is shining bright!” Bradley Mitchum declares.

Meanwhile, in his office, Anthony calls Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) and tells him that Dougie is still alive.  Todd replies that it’s now Anthony’s responsibility to kill Dougie and he only had one day to do it, not the two days that he promised earlier.

The generosity of the Mitchums continues as both a new car and a jungle gym are delivered to Dougie’s house.  It’s quite a jungle gym as well.  It’s big, it’s lit up with neon, and everything about it just screams Vegas.  Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) is quite happy.  So is Janey-E (Naomi Watts), which is good.  They deserve some happiness.

The next morning, in Montana, the evil Doppelganger Cooper arrives at a compound called The Farm.  Ray (George Griffith) has been hiding out at the Farm with Renzo (Derek Mears) and his men.  When they see the Doppelganger pull up, Ray comments that he killed the Doppelganger.  “You didn’t kill him too good, Ray,” Renzo replies.

Anyway, Ray volunteers to kill the Doppelganger a second time but it turns out that Renzo is something of an arm wrestling fanatic.  Renzo explains that if the Doppelganger can beat him, he’ll get control of the Farm and Renzo’s entire crew.  The only catch is that Renzo has never been defeated.  The Doppelganger says he doesn’t want the farm, he just wants Ray.

The arm wrestling goes about how you would imagine it would go — Renzo ends up getting his arm broken and then his face literally smashed in by one punch from the Doppelganger.  As for Ray, he confesses that it was Phillip Jeffries who hired him to kill the Doppelganger.  Ray explains that he never met Jeffries, he just talked to him on the phone.  Jeffries told Ray that the Doppelganger had something inside of him that “they” wanted.  (Killer BOB, perhaps?  BOB was seen directly inside of the Doppelganger during Part 8.) Ray holds up a ring that he was supposed to put on the Doppelganger’s finger.  Ray says that he got it from a prison guard right before they escaped.  The Doppelganger makes Ray put on the ring.  Ray then gives the Doppelganger a piece of paper with the coordinates that he says he got from Bill Hastings and his secretary (that would be Ruth Davenport).  The Doppelganger asks Ray where Phillip Jeffries is.  Ray says Philip is at a place called “The Dutchman’s.”  The Doppelganger proceeds to shoot Ray in the face.

And guess whose watching all of this unfold?  Richard Horne (Eamon Farren)!  Apparently, ever since fleeing Twin Peaks, Richard has been hiding out in Montana.  So, does that mean that the Farm and the late Renzo had a connection to Red?  If so, how is Red going to react to the Doppelganger killing Renzo and becoming The Farm’s new boss?  And does Richard looked so shocked because he never thought anyone would ever beat Renzo at arm wrestling (not to mention kill him) or is it because he realizes that the Doppelganger is probably his father?

Ray’s body appears inside the Black Lodge.  MIKE (Al Strobel) takes the ring and puts it on a marble table.

Back at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police HQ, something weird’s going on in the background.  We can hear a woman yelling as she apparently defecates on the floor.  She’s tased and screams, “I want to report a cop!”  Sitting in their office, the Fuscos aren’t too concerned.  It doesn’t even bother them when they receive a report that Dougie has the same fingerprints as both an escapee from a South Dakota prison and a missing FBI agent.  They laugh and throw the report away.

They barely notice as Anthony Sinclair wanders through the station, looking for Detective Clark (John Savage).  Clark is outside smoking a cigarette and he doesn’t appear to be very enthusiastic about the prospect of talking to Anthony.  Anthony asks Clark for the name of a good poison, one that would be undetectable.  Apparently, Clark also works for Duncan Todd.  Clark agrees to help Anthony get the poison.

In South Dakota, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) drive down the interstate and, as they enter Utah, discuss what it must be like to be a Mormon.

The next morning, after Janey-E drops him off at work, Dougie runs into Anthony.  A nervous Anthony offers to buy Dougie a cup of coffee at the pastry shop.  Since Dougie is obsessed with coffee, he agrees.  When Dougie gets distracted by a cheery pie in a display case and stands up to go stare at it, Anthony puts the poison in Dougie’s coffee.

When Dougie returns to the table, he is distracted by the dandruff on the back of Anthony’s suit.  Dougie places his hands on Anthony shoulders.  Mistaking this for a sign of friendship, Anthony breaks down into tears and shouts that he never meant to hurt anyone.  He pours out Dougie’s poisoned coffee.  Dougie responds by drinking Anthony’s coffee instead.

In Twin Peaks, at the Double R, Shelley (Madchen Amick) gets a call from Becky (Amanda Seyfried).  Becky’s in tears.  Steven, the man she tried to shoot, hasn’t come home in two days.

Back in Vegas, Anthony sits in Bushnell’s office and says that he’s come to confess.  Standing to the side, Dougie blankly repeats, “Confess.”  Anthony confesses to Bushnell that he’s been working for Duncan Todd and that he’s been lying to Bushnell for years.  Bushnell says that Dougie revealed all of this to him yesterday.  Bushnell asks if Anthony is prepared to testify against Duncan Todd.  Anthony says that he is.

Bushnell asks if Anthony is willing to testify “against the two cops that Dougie found.”

“He know about them too!?” Anthony says.

“Them too,” Dougie blankly repeats.

Anthony says he only wants to fix the mess that he made.  He says that Dougie saved his like.  “Thanks, Dougie!”

“Thank Dougie,” Dougie says.

In tears, Anthony does just that.

At the Double R, Norma (Peggy Lipton) has a meeting with the somewhat oily Walter Lawford (Grant Goodeve).  Apparently, Norma’s Double R is a franchise now.  Walter says that there are several profitable locations in Washington State but Norma is concerned that those locations are using inferior ingredients.  Walter argues that it makes good business sense to cut costs.  This entire scene, of course, feels like Lynch’s commentary on the studio executives who constantly tried to interfere with Twin Peaks the first time around.

Norma and Walter are apparently a couple, as well.  As they talk, they are watched by both Deputy Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill), Norma’s former (?) lover and the husband of Nadine (Wendy Robie).

Speaking of Nadine, she is leaving her silent drape store when who should show up but Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn)!  As we’ve already seen, Nadine is a huge fan of Jacoby’s podcast.  She even has her own golden shovel hanging in the window of her store.  Dr. Jacoby says that the last time he saw Nadine, she was on her hands and knees, looking for a potato.

At the Palmer House, Sarah (Grace Zabrikie) is drunk and watching a boxing match.  Or, actually, I should say that she’s watching 30 second of a boxing match on a continious loop.  The announcer says, several times: “Oh the right hand catches the big guy by the ear!  And he finally goes down, hanging on the ropes.  Oh, the gentleman asks if he’s okay.  Look like, uh, round number one and two on the way.  Now, it’s a boxing match again.”

Elsewhere, Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) yells at Charlie (Clark Middleton).  An emotional Audrey says that she feels like she’s somewhere else, like she’s not sure who she is.  Charlie says, “This is Existentialism 101.” Audrey’s not amused and demands to know what she’s supposed to do if she can’t trust anyone and she’s not sure who she is.  Charlie replies that she’s supposed to go to the Roadhouse and look for Billy.  Audrey demands to know where the Roadhouse is.

“Are you going to stop playing games?” Charlie asks, “or am I going to have to end your story, too?”

Audrey starts to cry.

At the Roadhouse, none other than James Hurley (James Marshall) performs the song You and I.  Accompanying him are two backup singers who look like they could be Donna and Maddy.  Considering that the scene during the second season, in which James, Donna, and Maddy performed You And I, is regularly ridiculed by even the show’s biggest fans, you have to wonder if David Lynch is doing some deliberate trolling here.  Well, it does’t matter.  It’s a lovely song, one that perfectly captures the aching feeling of loss that runs through every minute of Twin Peaks: The Return.

At the gas station, Big Ed Hurley sits alone, staring at his gas pumps.

And that’s how Part 13 ends.

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)

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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)

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) (SPOILERS)


As I sit here typing this, I just noticed that Vox has a new analysis of the show.  The headline reads: “Twin Peaks Brings New Meaning To The Idea of an 18-hour movie.”  Hey, Vox!  I said that three weeks ago!  I know you guys claim to be the smartest people in the world but you need to give credit where credit is due!  Anyway … Welcome back to Twin Peaks!

Before even getting into recapping tonight’s episode, I’m just going to say it.  I absolutely loved this episode.  While I’m not going to claim that it’s the best of the season so far (it’ll take a lot to beat any of the first four episodes), I think it can be argued that Part 7 is perhaps the most entertaining.  Without sacrificing any of Lynch’s signature style, this episode moved the story forward and served to prove — regardless of what some naysayers may claim — that there is a method behind the madness.  Even though we’re not sure where, Lynch is taking us someplace.  We just have to be willing to keep the faith until we reach our destination.

We open, as so many episodes have, in the woods.  Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) stares at the trees, totally stoned.  He calls Ben (Richard Beymer) at the Great Northern and announces that someone has stolen his car.  Ben, not being fluent in the language of marijuana, is of little help.

At the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, Hawk (Michael Horse) shows Frank (Robert Forster) the pages that he previously found in the bathroom stall.  It turns out that they are pages from Laura’s diary, in which she writes about a dream she had in which a woman named Annie appeared and told her that she had been with Dale and that the “good Dale was trapped in the Black Lodge and could not come out.”

Hawk explains that the diary was found, years ago, in Harold Smith’s house.  Hawk also shows Frank that, on one of the pages, Laura had written that she knew who BOB was.  Hawk suggests that maybe her father, Leland, hid the pages in the stall before he died.  Hawk also mentions that Leland also killed Jacques Renault, an important reminded since, later in this episode, we’re going to meet yet another Renault brother.

Frank goes to his office and places a call to Harry, who is apparently in a hospital somewhere.  From the tone of the conversation, it becomes apparent that Harry is terminally ill.  (As always, the shadow of death hangs over Twin Peaks.)  Frank doesn’t ask Harry about Cooper.  “Beat this thing,” Frank tells his brother.

After talking to Harry, Frank skypes with old Doc Hayward (Warren Frost, who passed away shortly after filming his scenes and to whom this episode was dedicated).  Frank asks Doc Hayward about the night that Cooper returned from the Black Lodge.  Doc Hayward says that he can’t remember what he ate for breakfast but he’ll never forget that night.  Hayward retells the story of the second season finale.  Other than revealing that Audrey was in a coma after the bombing at the bank, it’s nothing that we don’t already know but it’s still good to see both Doc Hayward and Warren Frost again.

Out in a field, Andy (Harry Goaz) has found the truck that Richard was driving when he ran over the little boy during the last episode.  Andy talks to the truck’s owner, who is not Richard and who is also obviously very afraid to talk about his truck.  Andy agrees to meet with the man in two hours in a safer, more secluded location.

In South Dakota, Lt. Knox (Adele Rene) meets with Detective Macklay (Brent Briscoe).  Knox asks about the finger prints that Macklay submitted.  He takes Knox to see the headless corpse that was found in Ruth Davenport’s bed.  Knox is shocked to hear that the dead man — who possesses Garland Briggs’s fingerprints — was in his late forties and, when discovered, had only been dead for five to six days.  Briggs supposedly died 24 years ago in a fire and, even if he had survived, he would have been much older than just his late 40s.  Stepping out into a hallway, Knox calls Col. Davis (Ernie Hudson) and lets him know that 1) they have a body, 2) the head is missing, and 3) the body is the wrong age.  Davis says that he’ll have to make “the other call.”

While Knox speaks to Davis, a shadowy figure walks down the hallway behind her.  Knox barely glances at it as she steps back into the morgue and tells Macklay that she doesn’t think this is going to be his investigation for too much longer.  The shadowy figure walks past the room as they speak.

At the FBI HQ, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) whistles in his office until Albert (Miguel Ferrer) enters and tells him that Diane’s response to the prospect of seeing Cooper was “No fucking way.”

Gordon and Albert go to Diane’s apartment, where Gordon talks Diane (Laura Dern) into going with them to see Cooper in prison.  For years, fans of the show have wondered what Diane was really like and Laura Dern does not disappoint.  Dern plays the role like a tough film noir femme fatale.  One of Diane’s defining traits is that she tells everyone that she sees to fuck off.  Nobody handles profanity with quite the skill of Laura Dern.

On the plane to South Dakota, Albert’s sarcastic, Diane drinks, and Gordon flirts with Tammy (Chrysta Bell).  Bleh.  No offense to Tammy (who I sympathize with because we both get car sick) but everyone knows that Gordon’s soulmate was Shelley Johnson.  We also learn that, over the past 25 years, the only know photograph of Cooper (actually Cooper’s Doppelganger) was of Cooper outside of a house in Rio.  In the picture, Cooper looks like a drug lord from a cheap 80s crime show.

At the prison, Diane reacts to kind words from Tammy by saying, “Fuck you, Tammy!” and then she has her meeting with Evil Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).  Evil Cooper is still speaking slowly and without emotion.  Diane sees through him almost immediately.  She traps him by asking him if he remembers the last night they saw each other.

“I’ll always remember that night,” Evil Cooper drones.

“Who are you!?” Diane hisses.

“I don’t know what you mean, Diane,” the dead-voiced Evil Cooper responds.

Diane storms out of the meeting room.  Outside of the prison, in a beautifully acted scene, an emotional Diane tells Gordon that Evil Cooper is not the “Dale Cooper that I knew.”  Diane says that Evil Cooper, whoever he is, is missing something inside.

Evil Cooper is returned to his cell.  He tells the guard that he wants to see Warden Murphy.  “We need to speak about a strawberry,” Evil Cooper says.

In Twin Peaks, Andy stands on the side of the road and waits for the owner of the truck.  The owner never shows up.

Back at the prison, Evil Cooper is escorted into the office of Warden Murphy (James Morrison).  Murphy sends the guards out of the office, tells Evil Cooper that the security cameras have been turned off so that they can speak freely, and then pulls out a gun.

“The dog’s leg,” Evil Cooper says, “That dog had four legs.  One you found in my trunk.  The other three went out with the information that you’re thinking about right now.”

When Murphy asks why he should believe that Evil Cooper knows what he’s talking about, Evil Cooper replies, “Joe McCluskey.”  Warden Murphy gets a panicked look on his face and Evil Cooper explains that he wants a car for himself and Ray Monroe.  He wants a gun in the glove compartment.  And he wants to leave the jail at one in the morning.

In Las Vegas, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) waits impatiently for Dougie/Cooper to get off work.  However, Dougie/Cooper is busy sitting in his office, drawing stuff and ignoring his former friend, Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore).  Both Janey-E and the police — led by Detective Fusco (David Koechner) — enter the office at nearly the same time.

Fusco wants to know about Dougie’s car.  As usual, Dougie/Cooper has little to say, though he is fascinated by the officer’s badges.  (“Badge,” he says as he reaches forward.)  When Janey-E asks if Dougie’s car was stolen, Dougie replies, “Stolen.”  The police all get their notebooks out and start taking notes.  Janey-E demands to know what’s happening and Fusco reveals that Dougie’s car was blown up.  Fortunately, Janey-E is there to do the talking.

(And let me just say that I totally and absolutely loved this scene, everything from the performances to the fact that, after all this time, absolutely no one seems to realize that Dougie/Cooper is acting strangely.  Another thing that I liked is that all three of the detectives were named Fusco — according to the credits they were E. Fusco, D. Fusco, and “Smiley” Fusco.)

As Janey-E and Dougie leave the office building, they are attacked by Ike the Spike (Christophe Zajac-Denek).  Fortunately, Ike bent his spike during the previous episode and is forced to come at Dougie with a gun.  However, Dougie/Cooper suddenly comes to life (perhaps Cooper’s FBI training somehow managed to kick in) and, along with Janey-E, they kick Ike’s homicidal ass.  While Dougie/Cooper is grabbing Ike’s gun, the mutated “arm” suddenly appears and orders, “Squeeze his hand off!  Squeeze his hand off!”  Dougie/Cooper gets the gun out of Ike’s hands and Ike runs off to parts unknown.

The police and the media arrive.  As Dougie/Cooper blankly stares forward (a bit like Chance the Gardner in Being There, to be honest), a very animated Janey-E tells the story of how Dougie took down the assassin.  Other onlookers — some of whom look traumatized by the whole thing — also tell what they saw.  One woman proudly announces that Dougie Jones is not a victim.  “He moves like a Cobra!”

At the Great Northern, Ben and Beverly (Ashley Judd) are in his office.  Beverly has been hearing a strange hum in the office.  Pervy old Ben walks around the office with her, searching for the source of the buzz.  As they do so, Beverly shows him that an old room key came in the mail.  Ben looks at it and, after mentioning that the Great Northern switched for keys to cards over twenty years ago, he notices that it’s from 315.  Ben says that he thinks that was the room where Agent Cooper was shot.

“Who is Agent Cooper?” Beverly asks.

“He was here 25 years ago,” Ben explains, “investigating the murder of Laura Palmer.”

“Who’s Laura Palmer?” Beverly asks.

“That, my dear, is a long story,” Ben says.

The buzzing continues as Lynch’s camera glides across the office, finally focusing on one of the wooden walls.

Beverly returns home, where her sickly husband, Tom (Hugh Dillon) is waiting and angry.  He wants to know why Beverly was late.  Beverly says some things came up at work.  When Tom says that he doesn’t want his dinner, Beverly snaps.  “I know you’re sick and in pain,” she tells him, “but do not use that to fuck with me!”  Tom stares at her as she asks if he realizes how lucky she is to have gotten her job.  “Do not fuck this up for me, Tom!” she yells.

At the roadhouse, we spend two minutes watching an anonymous janitor sweep the place up while Jean-Michel Renault (Walter Olkewicz) cleans up behind the bar.  Jean-Michel gets a call and, judging from the conversation, Jean-Michel is just as bad as his brothers.  He talks about sending someone two blondes.  As I rewatched the episode for this review, I heard something that I somehow missed the first time I watched it.  Jean-Michel says that the Renault family has owned the roadhouse for over fifty years.  That explains why there’s always a Renault working there, despite the fact that the family has, in some way, been involved with every bad thing that has ever happened in Twin Peaks.

At the prison in South Dakota, Evil Cooper and Ray Monroe (George Griffith) are allowed to leave their cells and the prison.  Outside, a car and a gun are waiting for them.  Murphy watches as they drive off.

From this sordid and menacing scene, we return to Twin Peaks.  This episode ends at the diner, where Shelley (Madchen Amick) is pouring coffee and Norma (Peggy Lipton) is looking over the bills.  A man ducks into the diner.  “Hey,” he yells, “has anyone seen Bing!?” After being told no, the man leaves.

And life goes on as the end credits role…

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)

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)

 

Following The Amazon Prime Recommendation Worm #1


I know everyone has been dying for me to do another one of those movie roundup things I used to do. And by everyone, I mean no one. Well, this is gonna be sort of like that again. Late last year I decided to conduct a little experiment. On Amazon Prime you can go to a section marked “Customers Also Watched”. In there is exactly what you think. I thought it might be interesting to pick a movie, then when I finish it, take the first recommendation in that section and keep repeating this until I run out of recommendations. Basically traversing a probabilistic graph like an ant algorithm except there may be no end point and since it’s just me, there’s no convergence on a path. It’s just me following the probabilistic graph generated by what other customers picked to watch after they watched something else. I started on December 18th, 2015. Since I can’t always get around to doing full reviews of things, I thought it would be fun to give you occasional updates with little reviews of each of these films. And boy are there some strange ones. This is going to be a big one with 34 films I’ve watched so far. I’ll try to do these in shorter amounts in the future. We’ll see how long I can keep this up. I will keep poster art out here because of the enormous number of films in this one. Here we go!

  1. Seduction: The Cruel Woman (1985, dir. Monika Treut & Elfi Mikesch) – Last year I watched a film called Female Misbehavior (1992) by Monika Treut. She is a German director who, at least in the 1980s, made really bizarre arty sex movies. This was no exception. While I did enjoy Female Misbehavior quite a bit, this was just weird. But kind of weird in a good way. It follows a woman who runs a place that caters to people’s fetishes. That’s really it. There’s not much to say in retrospect except to make sure you are in that experimental arty mood if you are going to sit down and watch this. If you are, then you could possibly enjoy it. I kind of did.
  2. Satan’s Slave (1976, dir. Norman J. Warren) – This one just wasn’t any good. It was a 1970s British horror film that reminded me of the awful Virgin Witch (1972). It was just plain boring. A girl goes and stays in a house with family and gets caught up in a cult. Or at least that’s the plot summary. It’s just boring stuff that tries to build an atmosphere and has a few “scary” sequences. Not worth your time.
  3. Cruel Passion (1977, dir. Chris Boger) – This in an adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s Justine. Unfortunately, it’s almost as boring as actually reading the original book. The general story is about a girl who is cast out and goes from place to place being taken advantage of sexually. So wait, that means Lars Von Trier got Dogville from Justine and Nymphomaniac from Anita: Swedish Nymphet (1973). Interesting. Far more interesting than this lousy sexploitation movie. She really doesn’t do a whole lot of wandering. She really isn’t taken advantage of that much either. At least it knew how to end itself properly. By that I mean it had her killed off. You are better off with Justine de Sade from 1972 instead.
  4. Her and She and Him (1970, dir. Max Pécas) – This is one of those movies put out by Audubon Films. They brought a lot of foreign sex related films to the U.S. and dubbed them. This was one of them. It’s actually pretty offensive. A naive exchange student from Sweden shows up in Paris and winds up in a screwed up lesbian relationship with an older woman. Meanwhile, a young man is in a messed up gay relationship. Both the lesbian and the gay guy are portrayed as damaged or just plain weird. Of course the two young people end up together and say some stupid things to imply that being straight is normal, but we should still feel sorry for the homosexuals. Do I even have to say skip this one? Oh, except there is one funny goof in this movie. The young girl goes down on the older lady who is standing in a well lit room. Yet, her lower half must be in a different place cause it’s like nighttime down there.
  5. Virgin Machine (1988, dir. Monika Treut) – This movie is about a German woman who becomes fascinated by sexual things outside the perceived “norms”. As a result, she ultimately winds up in San Francisco. It’s arty for sure, but you can still kind of follow along here. There is the scene where the male impersonator simulates ejaculation with a beer bottle. However, the only thing really worth seeing here are the few scenes with Susie Sexpert/Susie Bright. I didn’t know who she was, but she’s apparently well known in my neck of the woods. You can find her online. She has been known as the “Pauline Kael of Porn”. People probably know her best as playing Jesse in the Wachowski’s movie Bound (1996) as well as being a technical advisor on the film. The few scenes with her are rather interesting. I could have watched a whole movie where the lead character just talked to her. Too bad she doesn’t.
  6. The Immoral One (1980, dir. Claude Mulot) – My advice here is to simply not watch it on Amazon Prime. They edited it heavily. Shouldn’t surprise me I guess since it’s made by the director of the porn film Pussy Talk (1975). It’s about a woman who is in a car accident that recovers from her amnesia by listening to audio tapes. It’s just a thin excuse to show her as a call girl going to her clients. Unfortunately, the second anything starts it just cuts away to the next non-sex scene. It’s really abrupt like you’ve just come to the end of a Godfrey Ho movie. And it’s a real shame to cause the lead actress is very pretty and the movie is well shot. The sex scenes are probably very well done, but you won’t see them on Amazon Prime. Too bad. Also, a little strange considering I believe Her and She and Him had hardcore penetration in one scene. Whatever.
  7. Sexus (1965, dir. José Bénazéraf) – Oh, god! This was terrible. It’s one of those movies where seriously nothing happens. I think Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967) had more action than this. A girl gets kidnapped and she kind of falls in love with her captors and things fall apart. It’s the worst kind of foreign arthouse garbage. Just stay away from this thing. I really can’t stand Godard. I’m really not even a fan of his first film Breathless. Take Breathless and remove anything enjoyable about it and make it about a kidnapping. That’s this movie.
  8. The Lickerish Quartet (1970, dir. Radley Metzger) – I like my review on Letterboxd: “That was an artsy and pretentious mess.” Yes, it is. It’s about two older people and young man who watch porn films together. Then they go to a carnival and bring a woman back who they think was in a movie they watched. What follows is a film really wanting to be something akin to Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad (1961). A lot of arty stuff and a lot of stuff that just screams: “You wouldn’t understand if I told you” nonsense. It even tries to get really meta about it all at the end. Don’t bother with this. Go watch Last Year at Marienbad instead. It’s wonderful!
  9. Sweet Ecstasy (1962, dir.Max Pécas) – Back to Max again. This time he brought along Elke Sommer to be in a film that wants to be something akin to Antonioni’s films with Monica Vitti. Except it’s stupid bad foreign upper class stuff that you saw a lot during this period. My biggest problem with this movie, other than that it sucked, is the burning boat scene. There’s a part where the adult children are on a boat having some sort of auction where they have Elke Sommer tied up. The boat catches on fire and they all flee onto lifeboats. They then realize they left Elke behind and rescue her. Afterwards, they try to punish the guy who accidentally set the boat on fire. They make him do stupid childish things. It’s dumb. But what pisses me off is that while people are fleeing the room where Elke is we can clearly see her tied, not gagged, but not screaming for help. Sorry, but once you see it, then you just keep yelling at the screen that it was your own damn fault for letting them tie you up and then saying nothing as the room burned. Regardless, more worthless foreign stuff.
  10. The Curious Female (1970, dir. Paul Rapp) – It took ten of these, but I finally hit one I would recommend. This movie takes place in the future where apparently a master computer rules over everything. However, instead of making everyone “moral”, it makes them all orgy bisexual loving folks. Some of them gather in a place where they can watch old movies that show how people used to live. It’s certainly is weird. They only watch two films. The first is a silent movie where a vacuum salesman shows up and gets screwed by the lady of the house. Then they watch some movie called The Three Virgins. That makes up the rest of the film. It cutting between the film and the folks in the room watching it, who by the way, are also actors within the film they are watching. The Three Virgins thing revolves around a computer dating business and what happens when a guy comes in looking for a virgin. There’s only two things I really want to mention here. One, is the black lesbian character named Pearl. I watched several lesbian movies directed by women at the beginning of last year from the past 10 years or so and this was a much better character. The movies I watched were like Loving Annabelle (2006) or Bloomington (2010). They quickly turned into basically softcore porn, tried to make lesbianism as forbidden as possible, and just wouldn’t stop to let us actually get to know them a little. Pearl is just a girl who figures out that she’s still a virgin at her age because she likes girls instead. That’s it! We get to know her a bit and she just discovers that about herself. Nice, simple, and positive. Then there’s the extremely over the top gay guy who comes into the computer dating place. He’s an odd duck. He’s every stereotype you can think of, but at the same time he stands up for himself and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. He’s interesting. Oh, also we find out that 13 year old girls are taken to the “elderly gentleman” to lose their virginity in the future. Yes, just the girls. It never says where the guys are taken though and they obviously don’t keep their virginity in the future either. I recommend this one.
  11. Days of Sin and Nights of Nymphomania (1963, dir. Poul Nyrup) – This is just an odd sit. It’s a Danish movie that was again brought over by Audubon Films which means more sex stuff. It’s basically a house party with mostly naked women doing whatever it is they were doing in front of the camera. But then near the end it just seems to turn on a dime into a heist movie that ends with a guy killing a girl, I think, and getting arrested. Some of the stuff with the girls is kind of pretty, but there’s just no reason to subject yourself to this.
  12. Chain Gang Women (1971, dir. Lee Frost) – Spoiler alert! There are no chain gang women in chain gang women. It goes for awhile like a gritty look at men on a chain gang before finally letting a couple of them escape. Then they run into two women. One is attached to one of the guys, but the other rapes her. Then they run into a very young girl who is married to a much older man. They sort of take advantage, sort of go to rescue her, but the old man kills them both and keeps the girl. Just a pointless sexploitation film with a title as accurate as 1,000 Convicts And A Woman.
  13. Savage Abduction (1973, dir. John Lawrence) – This one actually goes under three titles: The Bloody Slaying of Sarah Ridelander, Cycle Psycho, and Savage Abduction. Well, Sarah Ridelander is killed at the beginning, but that death is hardly important enough to be called a “Bloody Slaying” or be in the title. Cycle Psycho at least alludes to the fact that a motorcycle gang is in this, but they are hardly psychos. Strangely, Savage Abduction is the most accurate title. The movie is about a crazy guy who blackmails another guy into getting two young girls for him. He does this because he murders the man’s wife at his request. A motorcycle gang with the word “savage” in their names do the abducting. And by abducting I mean simply pick up two stupid young girls who thought hitching a ride with random motorcyclists was a good idea. The rest of the film is just killing time till it decides it has enough minutes in the runtime to have what little climax it has in store for the audience play out. After Savage Island (1985), I’m beginning to think Fred and Ben Savage are the only good things with “savage” in them.
  14. The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967, dir. Harald Reinl) – More like dangle Christopher Lee in our face, take him away, then bring him back for the end. This was pretty bad. Most of the movie you follow two guys and two girls on their way to some castle. The girls basically overreact in fear to everything. However, the guys underreact to everything just running towards the obvious danger. What a waste of time. Making it in the first place, and then me watching it.
  15. Sacred Flesh (2000, dir. Nigel Wingrove) – Wanna watch nuns have sex with each other while the Mother Superior argues with Mary Magdalene? No? Neither did I. This is just nunsploitation that tries to give itself some meaning with the Mother Superior/Mary Magdalene stuff. If I want something in that vein, then that’s what Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971) is for. Seriously, go watch it now. It even looks like it’s available on Amazon now. In the past you had to track down a copy online because the film was being sat on by the studio to a ridiculous degree. Skip Sacred Flesh.
  16. Primitive London (1965, dir. Arnold L. Miller) – And by Primitive London, they mean heavy cynicism and a bunch of stripping. It’s a Mondo movie. Nothing ridiculous like the pond scene from Brutes and Savages (1978) or anything like that. The most interesting things are probably the stripper running from club to club to make money and when they talk to Mods and Rockers. Can’t think of a good stripper movie to recommend really, but as for Mods and Rockers, see Quadrophenia (1979) for the Mods and Rocker (1972) for the Rockers. I’m not sure if it’s become easier to find Rocker now years after I tracked down a copy, but it’s worth it. If memory serves, the movie is easy to find, but English subtitles for the German aren’t. Still worth it. This movie is okay. Nothing to seek out.
  17. The Wild Women of Wongo (1958, dir. James L. Wolcott) – There’s a hell of a title for what is a really boring movie. I know I say boring a lot, but that’s because I never took the SATs. Yeah, sure, that’s a good enough excuse for me. I could explain the plot, but there’s no point. It’s just a 1950s primitive exploitation film that is just some nonsense some people thought up to have some attractive women run around in small outfits and that’s it. No reason to watch this at all.
  18. Bad Girls From Mars (1990, dir. Fred Olen Ray) – Ah, good old Fred Olen Ray. This film tries to be meta about the production of a movie because it’s cheap and that way it doesn’t have to build many sets until it settles on an ending that was already tired even before Sleepaway Camp (1983). And I haven’t even seen that movie yet. I’ll get to it eventually along with Fatal Games (1984), but it’s just a slight twist on the ending of Friday the 13th (1980) because Girls Nite Out (1982) already proved that having it be the mother again was done for. I know I’m getting to be a broken record here, but no. Skip it!
  19. The Nude Set (1957, dir. Pierre Foucaud) – Also called The Fast Set and Mademoiselle Strip-tease. Just a whole lot of stripping. Another primitive exploitation film from overseas. These movies are such a waste of time. I can’t even tell you how unbearable some of them are. However, there is something weird that happens near the end of this film. Up until it happens, the movie is just about a girl and some friends visiting strip clubs. Then seemingly out of nowhere a dream sequence happens that looks like it’s straight out of Fred and Ginger 1930s musical. No joke. And it isn’t even clear that it’s a dream at first either. Then the movie just crashes into it’s ending. Onward! Unfortunately, it’s to more stripping.
  20. Lap Dancing (1995, dir. Mike Sedan) – Think this might have been rushed into production to capitalize on Showgirls (1995)? You’re probably right. Especially when one of the guys even bares a resemblance to Kyle MacLachlan. It’s not good, but at least it didn’t hinge it’s success entirely on a single performance that didn’t hold up like Verhoeven’s film did. As you can tell, I’m not one of those revisionist critics who wants to turn Showgirls and Starship Troopers (1997) into misunderstood masterpieces. They’re both garbage. At least Starship Troopers is entertaining garbage and you can tell yourself Verhoeven was trying to make the whole film like it was a piece of propaganda from the fascist regime within the film. However, you’re better off exploring other Verhoeven films such as Soldier of Orange (1977) or Turkish Delight (1971) that he made before coming to the states. Even Black Book (2006) with its spaghetti western archetypes is more worth your time. As for Lap Dancing, it’s kind of bi-polar. Most of the time it’s just stripping, but then it will suddenly go into full on sentimental mode complete with sad music. It’s about a girl who comes to Hollywood looking for fame and ends up at a strip club that looks like the night club from Atom Egoyan’s Exotica (1994). Or at least it did for me. Skip! And apparently, I can’t stop referencing other movies. I think it’s a disease.
  21. From The Head (2011, dir. George Griffith) – Want to see a film that will probably make my gems list at the end of 2016 now? See From The Head. It’s an indie film that takes place entirely inside the men’s restroom at a strip club. The main character is a bathroom attendant. People come in and go out delivering there bits (literally and figuratively). It does start to drag a bit, but it still pulls through. I like when they had the women’s restroom break and the ladies just used the men’s and neither the guys nor the girls really seemed to care one bit about using the same bathroom. As they shouldn’t. But then they take that away by having their bathroom fixed. Honestly, I think it needed that to liven things up more, but like I said, it still pulls through. The lead, played by the director, is interesting, and it’s a job I don’t think I’ve ever seen given the attention of a full movie. Worth seeing.
  22. Las Vegas Story (2015, dir. Byron Q.) – There really isn’t anything to say about this. A lady with kids is a prostitute in Las Vegas and we just see her go about her stuff as she moves towards trying to open a male escort business. That’s really it. The only thing I remember of interest is that apparently a girl playing the slots was acting too suspicious as a prostitute on the casino floor to the lead actress by simply playing the slots, but later she and a friend will just go right up to a lady at a bar to try and sell her on buying an escort from them. Didn’t get that. This is one of those that I can’t recommend, but I can see other people getting more out of this than I did.
  23. Birthday (2009, dir. James Harkness) – This on the other hand. I can’t see getting anything out of this rambling nonsense. It’s one of those movies that feels like you are sitting in a college liberal arts class where people who have no idea what they are talking about say things they think are profound in the hopes somebody will be impressed. The only difference is it’s a brothel with David Lynch lighting and the prostitutes are the ones talking. Yep. Boring as it sounds. I love when people call something like this a meditation on something. I’m sorry, but I’ve seen that done. This isn’t it.
  24. The Case Of Unfaithful Klara (2009, dir. Roberto Faenza) – A guy hires a private investigator to follow around his girlfriend. The guy basically strings him along under the pretense of protecting his client from being hurt which has ties to his own personal life. Nope! Nope! Nope! Boring! I didn’t care about any of this.
  25. Extase (2009, dir. Cheyenne Carron) – Speaking of not caring about any of this. I didn’t care about this either. It’s once again people yacking in a room with artsy shots and sets. This time it has to do with God. Wow! What a surprise there. This is just one of those short indie arty modeled on good foreign films films that I think is made by a director to simply try things out and hopefully go on to make something better, less derivative, more coherent, and original. However, her other films look like they are just taking the sex and religion thing and running with it. Next!
  26. A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy (2009, dir. Ian McCrudden) – Oh, boy! You mean I get to watch several storylines between several people play out at a party where Luke Perry is brought in so people will go see the movie and the characters keep switching from Swedish to English and back? Wow! Don’t sign me up. This is one of those movies that you would have expected Hugh Grant to be in back in the early 1990s like Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994). People have some issues, they come out at a party, and things resolve. I don’t know what to say about this movie except that it’s so not worth your time.
  27. Camembert Rose (2009, dir. Barnabás Tóth) – It’s an indie coming of age story from Hungary that’s reasonably good. Nothing amazing here. A kid who wants to see the world has a bit of a nutty dad who still loves the hell out of him. He leaves and goes somewhere else for awhile, then returns home. Not great, but I kind of enjoyed this one.
  28. Please, Please Me! (2009, dir. Emmanuel Mouret) – Wanna see a modern day French director desperately try to make his own Jacques Tati film and fail? I know you don’t, so skip this. It has a stupid beginning and a stupid ending with mostly a party sequence in between that acts like a really lame and childish version of the restaurant scene from Tati’s Playtime (1967). Just go watch a Tati film instead. There’s no reason to settle for this.
  29. Strange Fits Of Passion (1999, dir. Elise McCredie) – I’ve heard the mermaids singing, and they are trying to tell us to stay away from Strange Fits Of Passion. It’s about a girl who you will spend the entire film screaming at to please let her get laid already so she can calm down. She even has two gay friends who can see her festering and having the female equivalent of blue balls, but do nothing about it. I wanted to step into the film and punch them in the crotch. I know very few people will get the reference at the beginning of this, so go watch the movie I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing (1987) instead of this movie. So much indie! So much indie! My head is going to explode and dancing suns are going to pop out!
  30. Summer Vacation (2012, dir. Tal Granit & Sharon Maymon) – Luckily, the next film was not only a short, but decent too. It’s from Israel and is about a family who is on vacation when the father runs into a former male lover. Not sure if he’s supposed to be gay or bi, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a nice little film that shows the father’s struggle. Nothing more, nothing less.
  31. Cold Blooded (2007, dir. Sylvie Verheyde) – Back to France for more indie. This movie is supposed to be about a messed up girl and a former soldier, but it’s mainly about the soldier. The stuff with her wasn’t really anything I thought was worthwhile. I could have really just done with a movie about the soldier dealing not only with his past, but his present demons. The lead actor kind of made me think of a French Benicio Del Toro. A definite skip, but I liked the actor and wouldn’t mind seeing him in something else.
  32. Enthralled (2014, dir. Chip Tsao) – This is when Amazon Prime launched me into Asia and I’m still stuck there. This comes to us from Hong Kong. It’s supposed to be about some guys who were friends as kids, then we see them as adults, but if I hadn’t read the plot summary then I wouldn’t have made the connection. As for the dialog and the message, it felt like they kept taking a brick and bashing it into my head to drive home it’s points. The only thing noteworthy here is that a guy sleeps with both the mother and her son. Spoiler alert! The mother tries to kill him, but falls into Niagara Falls and he ends up with her son. I wonder what generation of Chinese filmmakers this guy belongs to. We up to 7 or 8 now? Go watch a Zhangke Jia film instead. I think I’d recommend Platform (2000). Certainly a better option than Enthralled.
  33. Desire (2002, dir. Eung-soo Kim) – Wanna watch a movie about lifeless, soulless, and loveless characters made by a director in love with Zhangke Jia, Robert Bresson, and Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman? If you said yes, then what the hell is wrong with you? This is one of those movies I thought was going to kill me. The only film I can think of that it really reminded me of was Bresson’s The Devil, Probably (1977), but that’s probably just because everything happens with such lifeless acting that Bresson was known for. Heck maybe Marguerite Duras’ India Song (1975) is a more appropriate film to think of based on Desire. I didn’t like either of those movies and they are still better options than Desire. It’s just several people who walk through a series of loveless stuff and empty moments that aren’t what anyone would call life.
  34. Origin Of Monogamy (2013, dir. Min Kyeol) – Sticking with South Korea like Desire, this one was actually not in IMDb at the time. Amazon Prime seems to have a lot of Korean cinema in it, but the titles are alternate and usually not in IMDb. Oh, and of course they don’t subtitle the credits. Heck, even a Korean director quote tweeted me on Twitter, then went on to say that Amazon Prime basically makes Korean cinema more accessible outside of South Korea than it is within the country itself. As for this movie, oh god! The movie begins with a therapist seeing a doctor who tests people for deadly diseases such as AIDS. During the session it comes out that she is manipulating results to make it look like certain men have AIDS which causes them to kill themselves. I’m sure there was more stuff I was supposed to pick up on, but I got stuck on that and that it seemed all the Korean girls wore way too much makeup and lipstick combined with really short dresses. I believe it ends with her deliberately infecting a guy with AIDS so that he will be stuck marrying her. It ends with them in front of a grave stone dressed for a wedding with him looking half dead. I guess that’s where this title comes from. It also goes under the title Sins Of A Marriage.

I got through it! I promise I will try to do this in smaller chunks in the future. Should be interesting to see how long Amazon Prime is going to keep me in South Korea adding these unIMDBd movies into their database.