“Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die.” — John Merrick’s Mother, quoting Tennyson, at the end of The Elephant Man (1980)
Was Twin Peaks: The Return a movie or a TV show?
As I sit here on January 9th, 2018, that’s a question that’s still on my mind. There are many critics who insist that Twin Peaks: The Return should be viewed as being a 16-hour movie. It’s a claim that I, myself, have made several times. In order to support this argument, we point out that David Lynch and Mark Frost didn’t sit down and write 16 different scripts. Instead, they wrote one 900-page script which they then filmed and subsequently divided into 16 different “chapters.” It’s really not that much different from what Quentin Tarantino did with Kill Bill or what Peter Jackson did with both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. As well, Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental artistic achievement that calling it a TV show just seems somehow diminishing.
And yet, the fact of the matter is that Twin Peaks: The Return did air on television. It aired in 16 different episodes, which were aired on a weekly basis. To many, that fact alone makes Twin Peaks: The Return a television show.
It may all seem like a silly question to some readers. However, for those of us who like to make best-of lists at the start of the new year, it is a legitimate issue. Should I include Twin Peaks: The Return at the top of my list of the best 26 films of 2017 or should I rave about it in my list of good things I saw on television in 2017?
My solution is to do neither. Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental achievement that it deserves a best-of entry of its very own.
(Of course, not everyone is going to agree. For everyone who loved Twin Peaks: The Return, there was someone else who hated it with just as much of a passion.)
Months after the show ended, Twin Peaks: The Return continues to haunt many viewers. As the Man From Another Place once told Agent Cooper, “She is full of secrets.” When the show ended, many of the show’s mysteries were left unsolved. Really, we shouldn’t have been surprised. As a filmmaker, David Lynch has always been most interested in mysteries than solutions. What happened to Audrey? Why did Laura/Carrie scream? At the end of the show, was Dale trapped in another world or another time? Was BOB really destroyed?
Interestingly, David Lynch actually provided viewers with two endings. The first ending, which occurred halfway through Part 17, was an ending that would have been perfect for a television show. Dale Cooper, back to normal, defeated the bad guys and was reunited with all of his friends. The second ending — also known as Part 18— was a much more Lynchian ending as two strangers took a road trip to nowhere. Part 17 gave us hope for the future. Part 18 ended with a dark reminder that the past cannot be changed, no matter how much we obsess over it. For me, Part 18 was the most important chapter of Twin Peaks: The Return.Part 8, of course, is the chapter that got and continues to get all the attention. And Part 8 was probably one of the greatest stand-alone episodes in television history. But, when considering the reoccurring themes of Twin Peaks: The Return and all of Lynch’s work, Part 18 was far more important.
What’s interesting is that, while the show ended on a dark note, Twin Peaks: The Return was often Lynch at his most optimistic. For all the terrible things that happened, the show also featured a reoccurring theme of redemption. Two of the original show’s most villainous characters — Dana Ashbrook’s Bobby Briggs and Richard Beymer’s Ben Horne — were reintroduced as two of the most sympathetic characters to be found in The Return. Agent Cooper finally escaped from the Black Lodge and not only got a chance to redeem himself by destroying Bob but he also destroyed his evil Double. He even got a chance to turn Dougie Jones into a good husband, father, and employee.
In the end, it would appear that Cooper’s only mistake was thinking that he could change the past. He may have saved Laura but, in doing so, he just transformed her into Carrie, an unbalanced woman living in a house with a dead body on the couch. As her final scream confirmed, he could save her life but he couldn’t erase her pain. The past is the past but the future can always be better.
Of course, it wasn’t just the characters on the show who won redemption. The cast of Twin Peaks: The Return was truly amazing and, by the time the show ended, my opinion of several performers had changed forever. Who would ever have guessed that Jim Belushi would end up being one of my favorite characters? Or that Michael Cera would turn Wally Brando into a minor cult hero? Or that David Lynch would prove to be as good an actor as he is a director? Or that Balthazar Getty would get a chane to redeem his less than impressive work in Lost Highway with a chilling performance as the newest face of Twin Peaks corruption? Even the returnees from the original show — Dana Ashbrook, Wendy Robie, Sheryl Lee, Harry Goaz, Kimmy Robertson, Russ Tamblyn, Everett McGill, Peggy Lipton, Grace Zabriskie, James Marshall, Madchen Amick, and others — were given a chance to reveal new depths of character. Veterans like Robert Forster, Ashley Judd, Laura Dern, Don Murray, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Naomi Watts and Tim Roth shared the stage with newcomers like Chrysta Bell and Eamon Farren and they all came together to create an unforgettable world.
You could even argue that Twin Peaks: The Return was a comeback of sorts for Kyle MacLachlan. Hollywood has never seemed to really understand how to best use this appealing but quirky actor. Twin Peaks: The Return provided him with a chance to show what he can do, giving him not just one but three characters to play.
Twin Peaks: The Return gave us one final chance to appreciate some talented people who are no longer with us. Harry Dean Stanton was the face of old-fashioned decency. Miguel Ferrer provided snarky commentary, letting the audience know that the show understood how strange it was. Warren Frost returned briefly, still as reliable as ever as Doc Hayward. And Catherine E. Coulson, who was so often Lynch’s muse, got to play the role one more time.
(Jack Nance, Don S. Davis, Frank Silva, and David Bowie all made appearances as well, a reminder that they may no longer be with us but they will never be gone.)
In the end, it seems appropriate to end this post with a picture of Ed and Norma, finally together. The world of Twin Peaks: The Return was frequently a dark one but sometimes, love won.
Tomorrow, my look back at 2017 continues with my picks for my favorite songs of 2017.
I have to admit that I’m kind of kicking myself for taking so long to watch Part 15 of Twin Peaks. This was one of the best episodes of the revival. It was a deeply intriguing episode, mixing moments of soaring romance with haunting creepiness. In short, this episode was David Lynch and Twin Peaks at their considerable best. Because I’m pressed for time and I need to get this written and posted before Part 16 premieres later tonight, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do full justice to how wonderful this episode was. I’ll try, though. Be sure to check out Ryan’s thoughts on Part 15, as well.
Things begin, as they so often do, with a one-eyed woman and a shovel…
Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) walks through Twin Peaks, carrying her golden shovel with her. She stops at Big Ed’s Gas Farm and tells Big Ed (Everett McGill) that she’s changed. She says that she loves Ed but she knows that she’s been a “selfish bitch” and that Ed has “been a saint.” Nadine explains that she’s using her shovel to “dig” herself “out of the shit” and tells Big Ed that she wants him to be with Norma. “True love,” Nadine says, “is about giving others what they need to be happy.”
What follows is Lynch at his most deliriously romantic. Ed drives to the Double R and tells Norma (Peggy Lipton) that he loves her and he wants to marry her. However, Norma is busy conducting one of her corner booth business meetings with Walter (Grant Goodeve). She not only allows Walter to buy her out but she also dumps him. “Family reasons,” she explains before kissing Ed. A song about love plays in the background. The wind blows through the trees. The sun shines through the clouds above. Briefly, all is right with the world of Twin Peaks…
…so, of course, the very next scene is the Doppelganger (Kyle MacLachlan) driving down a dark road. Of course, the Doppelganger is always bad news but, for whatever reason, driving always seems to put him in an even worse mood than usual.
The Doppelganger pulls up at the gas station that, way back in Part 8, we saw taken over by the Woodsmen. (The music playing in the background is “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima.”) With electricity crackling all around, the Doppelganger enters the gas station, approaches a woodsman, and says that he is looking for Philip Jeffries. The Doppelganger is led to a dark room that is occupied by a strange metal device. Jeffries’s Southern-accented voice emanates from the device.
Considering the amount of time that these two have apparently spent trying to kill each other, it’s actually a relatively polite conversation. I have to admit that it caught me off guard seeing the Doppelganger asking questions for once. I always assumed the Doppelganger knew everything. (As the Doppelganger and Jeffries talk, Lynch inserts a flashback of David Bowie from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.) When the Doppelganger asks if Jeffries was the one who called him, Jeffries replies that he does not have the Doppelganger’s number. Jeffries says that he and the Doppelganger used to talk regularly.
“You are Cooper?” Jeffries asks.
“Why didn’t you want to talk about Judy?” the Doppelganger asks, “Who is Judy? What does Judy want from me?”
Jeffries tells the Doppelganger to ask her himself.
Suddenly, a phone rings. The Doppelganger sees an old landline phone in the corner of the room. When the Doppelganger answers, this is a loud surge of static and the Doppelganger suddenly finds himself outside the gas station…
And there’s Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), holding a gun on him and saying that he recognized the Doppelganger from a picture that his mother (who we all know is Audrey) used to carry with her. “You’re FBI!” Richard announces. (He’s probably Richard’s father, as well.) The Doppelganger proceeds to rather easily kick Richard’s ass and then tells him to get in the truck. “We’ll talk on the way,” the Doppelganger explains.
As they drive away, the gas station vanishes.
In the woods around Twin Peaks, Steve (Caleb Landry Jones) and Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt) are freaking out. Steven has a gun and keeps saying that he did it. “You didn’t do anything!” Gersten says, “you were fucking stoned! What did she give you!?” Steven loads the gun and, as Gersten begs him to stop, he says that he’s going to end it. Steven starts to talk about how much he loves fucking Gersten when suddenly, a guy walking his dog wanders by. Gersten runs and hides behind a tree. Off screen, there is a gunshot. (This short but intense scene features some amazing acting from both Alicia Witt and Caleb Landry Jones.)
At the trailer park, Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) meets with the man who was walking his dog. We see the man point at Steve and Becky’s trailer.
That night, at the Roadhouse, the very excited Emcee (J.R. Starr, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite minor characters) announces that they will be playing “one of our favorites — Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top!” He even has a cardboard volume meter to show how excited he is over the song. The Emcee starts to dance along to the song. He’s so adorable!
What’s less adorable is what happens when James (James Marshall) and Freddie (Jake Wardle) are attacked by Chuck (Rod Rowland), who is Renee’s husband. Freddie, who is wearing his power glove, knocks Chuck unconscious with one punch.
In Las Vegas, Agent Wilson (Owen Rhys-Davies) tells Agent Headley (Jay R. Ferguson) that he’s brought in another Douglas Jones for interrogation. Apparently, Wilson and Headley are just tracking down everyone named Douglas Jones who lives in Vegas. However, as quickly becomes apparent when Headley goes down to the interrogation room, they have yet to track down our Dougie Jones.
Elsewhere in Vegas, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) assassinates both Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) and Roger (Joe Adler). Afterwards, she and Hutch (Tim Roth) eat out in their car and casually discuss the pros and cons of torture.
Back in Twin Peaks, both James and Freddie are led to a jail cell. Interestingly, the last time we saw James arrested was in the Pilot. James was put in a cell with Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook). This time, it’s Bobby leading James to the cell.
Back in Vegas, our Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) eats a piece of cake and watches Sunset Boulevard on television. When he hears Cecil B. DeMille mention the name “Gordon Cole,” Dougie responds by crawling across the floor and sticking his fork into an electrical socket.
(It’s interesting to note that, in the scene from Sunset Boulevard, DeMille and Gloria Swanson — in the role of Norma Desmond — were talking about getting everyone back together again and making another picture, despite the fact that Hollywood had changed quite a bit since Desmond’s heyday. In many ways, that’s exactly what David Lynch is doing with Twin Peaks: The Return.)
In Twin Peaks, The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) calls Hawk (Michael Horse) one last time and tells him that she is dying. “You know about death,” she says, “that it’s just a change. Not an end. It’s time. There’s some fear, some fear in letting go. Remember what I told you. I can’t say more over the phone. But you know what I mean, for our talks, when we were able to speak face to face. Watch for that one, the one I told you about, the one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain. Hawk, my log is turning gold. The wind is moaning. I’m dying. Goodnight, Hawk.”
Later, Hawk tells Andy (Harry Goaz), Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), and Truman (Robert Forster) that “Margaret Lanterman passed away tonight.”
“The Log Lady’s dead?” Lucy replies, and there’s something so heart-breaking about the way Robertson delivers this line.
(It’s made even more heart-breaking by the fact that Coulson died shortly after filming her scenes for the revival. This episode is not only about the residents of Twin Peaks saying goodbye to Margaret Lanterman. It’s also about Lynch saying goodbye to his longtime friend, Catherine Coulson.)
Meanwhile, Charlie (Clark Middleton) and Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) continue to argue about going to the Roadhouse to look for Billy. Audrey complains about the way that Charlie talks to her. Billy never talks to her like that.
“I am Charlie,” Charlie says, “and he is Billy.”
“Yes,” Audrey replies, “and I like Billy better.”
“Sensational,” Charlie replies.
They argue a bit more. Audrey eventually ends up pouncing on Charlie while screaming, “I hate you! Do you realize how much I fucking hate you!”
At the Roadhouse, the Veils sing a song about drugs. A woman, Ruby (Charlyne Yi), sits in a booth. When two men tell her to move, she replies that she’s waiting someone. The men literally lift her out of the booth and drop her on the floor. Ruby crawls across the dance floor and screams.
The end credits role over an image of that gas station siting in the middle of nowhere. “Dedicated to Margaret Lanterman” the final credit reads.
Margaret Lanterman (a.k.a. The Log Lady)
Only three more episodes (and, because the final two are being shown on the same night, only two weeks) left! That makes me sad. I’m going to miss Twin Peaks.
Obviously, I’m running very far behind when it comes to watching and reviewing Part 15 of Twin Peaks: The Return. Erin and I spent last weekend up at Lake Texoma so I set the DVR to record Part 15 so that I could watch it once we returned. However, this has been the craziest week and, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I just didn’t get a chance to sit down and watch Part 15 until around four this morning.
So, forgive the lateness of this review. Fortunately, the Trashfilm Guru watched and reviewed Part 15 when it aired and you can read his review by clicking here. As for me, despite being a week late with this review, I’m going to follow my usual format. I’m going to post the initial thoughts that I had while watching the latest episode for the first time and then I’m going to rewatch Part 15 and write out a full recap sometime later today (hopefully, before Part 16 airs later tonight on Showtime!).
As I watched the opening credits, I found myself thinking about the fact that, not counting this one, there’s only three episodes left. I no longer worry about whether or not the show’s “story” is going to reach any sort of resolution. That’s really not what Twin Peaks is about.
Do you think Nadine just carries that shovel with her everywhere?
Admit it. At least once in your life, you’ve wished that you had a golden shovel that you could use to dig your way out of the shit.
Oh my God, this scene between Norma and Big Ed…so beautifully performed and directed.
And then to go from the grand romanticism of Norma and Ed to the nihilistic hatred that is symbolized by the Doppelganger. It’s quite a contrast. The brilliance of Lynch can be found in his ability to create a world where both romance and evil feel absolutely natural.
The scene where the Doppelganger talks to Jeffries is exceptionally creepy, even by the standards of Twin Peaks.
Oh fuck you, Richard Horne. You couldn’t even intimidate Red. What the Hell do you think you’re going to be able to do against the Doppelganger?
Of course, I think we’ve all pretty much figured out that the Doppelganger is Richard’s father.
C’mon, Gersten! You can do better than Steven!
As I listened to Steven blame everything on being stoned, I wondered if he was buying his weed from Jerry Horne.
I don’t know if David Lynch is planning on ever doing another television series after this (probably not) but if he does, might I suggest a show where Carl Rodd travels across America and gets involved in the lives of random strangers?
Am I the only one fascinated by J.R. Starr’s performance as the Roadhouse’s emcee?
I guess that takes care of Duncan Todd. Too bad about Roger.
It was nice of this episode to acknowledge that the name Gordon Cole was taken from Sunset Boulevard. The original series also featured an insurance agent named Walter Neff.
Agck! Did Dougie just electrocute himself?
This final scene between Hawk and the Log Lady is heartbreaking, both because the Log Lady was such an iconic character (for many people, she was the ultimate symbol of the show’s sensibility) and that Catherine E. Coulson herself passed away shortly after filming her scenes. Coulson worked on Lynch’s very first film, Eraserhead. She was also once married to Jack Nance, who played Pete Martell on the first two seasons of Twin Peaks.
It’s said that, during the making of Eraserhead, Lynch looked at Coulson and told her that he had just had a vision of her holding a log and that someday, he would write a role for her where she would do just that. That’s an apocryphal story that I hope is true.
Kimmy Robertson’s delivery of the line: “The Log Lady’s dead?” was one of the best moments of the entire season.
Am I the only one who wants Cooper to get back to normal so that he can go to Twin Peaks and beat up Charlie?
Tonight’s musical guest: The Veils. The Roadhouse gets all the best performers.
Oh my God, the screaming! When that woman started screaming, our cat jumped off the couch and went ran from the room.
Okay. time to get an hour or two of sleep and then I’ll be back to rewatch Part 15 and post a full recap.
There are only five hours left in Twin Peaks: The Return and yet, there are still many mysteries to be resolved. Considering that this is a David Lynch production, it’s entirely possible and probably rather probable that a good deal of those mysteries will never be resolved.
That said, all of the disparate elements of Twin Peaks: The Return have slowly been coming together, providing evidence — if any was needed — that Lynch knows exactly what he’s doing. In some ways, tonight’s episode was Twin Peaks at its most straightforward. And yet, nothing can ever be totally straight forward when it comes to Twin Peaks.
We wouldn’t want it any other way.
Tonight’s episode begins with joyful music playing in Las Vegas. As Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) watches from his office, the Mitchum Brothers (James Belushi and Robert Knepper) dance down the hallways. The three ladies in pink are with them. And so is … Dougie Jones (Kyle MacLachlan), the man who Anthony was supposed to trick the Mitchums into killing!
The Mitchums have come to see Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray) and they’ve brought him gifts, all to thank him for introducing them to Dougie and for helping them to make money off of that insurance claim. “A wrong has been made right and the sun is shining bright!” Bradley Mitchum declares.
Meanwhile, in his office, Anthony calls Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) and tells him that Dougie is still alive. Todd replies that it’s now Anthony’s responsibility to kill Dougie and he only had one day to do it, not the two days that he promised earlier.
The generosity of the Mitchums continues as both a new car and a jungle gym are delivered to Dougie’s house. It’s quite a jungle gym as well. It’s big, it’s lit up with neon, and everything about it just screams Vegas. Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) is quite happy. So is Janey-E (Naomi Watts), which is good. They deserve some happiness.
The next morning, in Montana, the evil Doppelganger Cooper arrives at a compound called The Farm. Ray (George Griffith) has been hiding out at the Farm with Renzo (Derek Mears) and his men. When they see the Doppelganger pull up, Ray comments that he killed the Doppelganger. “You didn’t kill him too good, Ray,” Renzo replies.
Anyway, Ray volunteers to kill the Doppelganger a second time but it turns out that Renzo is something of an arm wrestling fanatic. Renzo explains that if the Doppelganger can beat him, he’ll get control of the Farm and Renzo’s entire crew. The only catch is that Renzo has never been defeated. The Doppelganger says he doesn’t want the farm, he just wants Ray.
The arm wrestling goes about how you would imagine it would go — Renzo ends up getting his arm broken and then his face literally smashed in by one punch from the Doppelganger. As for Ray, he confesses that it was Phillip Jeffries who hired him to kill the Doppelganger. Ray explains that he never met Jeffries, he just talked to him on the phone. Jeffries told Ray that the Doppelganger had something inside of him that “they” wanted. (Killer BOB, perhaps? BOB was seen directly inside of the Doppelganger during Part 8.) Ray holds up a ring that he was supposed to put on the Doppelganger’s finger. Ray says that he got it from a prison guard right before they escaped. The Doppelganger makes Ray put on the ring. Ray then gives the Doppelganger a piece of paper with the coordinates that he says he got from Bill Hastings and his secretary (that would be Ruth Davenport). The Doppelganger asks Ray where Phillip Jeffries is. Ray says Philip is at a place called “The Dutchman’s.” The Doppelganger proceeds to shoot Ray in the face.
And guess whose watching all of this unfold? Richard Horne (Eamon Farren)! Apparently, ever since fleeing Twin Peaks, Richard has been hiding out in Montana. So, does that mean that the Farm and the late Renzo had a connection to Red? If so, how is Red going to react to the Doppelganger killing Renzo and becoming The Farm’s new boss? And does Richard looked so shocked because he never thought anyone would ever beat Renzo at arm wrestling (not to mention kill him) or is it because he realizes that the Doppelganger is probably his father?
Ray’s body appears inside the Black Lodge. MIKE (Al Strobel) takes the ring and puts it on a marble table.
Back at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police HQ, something weird’s going on in the background. We can hear a woman yelling as she apparently defecates on the floor. She’s tased and screams, “I want to report a cop!” Sitting in their office, the Fuscos aren’t too concerned. It doesn’t even bother them when they receive a report that Dougie has the same fingerprints as both an escapee from a South Dakota prison and a missing FBI agent. They laugh and throw the report away.
They barely notice as Anthony Sinclair wanders through the station, looking for Detective Clark (John Savage). Clark is outside smoking a cigarette and he doesn’t appear to be very enthusiastic about the prospect of talking to Anthony. Anthony asks Clark for the name of a good poison, one that would be undetectable. Apparently, Clark also works for Duncan Todd. Clark agrees to help Anthony get the poison.
In South Dakota, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) drive down the interstate and, as they enter Utah, discuss what it must be like to be a Mormon.
The next morning, after Janey-E drops him off at work, Dougie runs into Anthony. A nervous Anthony offers to buy Dougie a cup of coffee at the pastry shop. Since Dougie is obsessed with coffee, he agrees. When Dougie gets distracted by a cheery pie in a display case and stands up to go stare at it, Anthony puts the poison in Dougie’s coffee.
When Dougie returns to the table, he is distracted by the dandruff on the back of Anthony’s suit. Dougie places his hands on Anthony shoulders. Mistaking this for a sign of friendship, Anthony breaks down into tears and shouts that he never meant to hurt anyone. He pours out Dougie’s poisoned coffee. Dougie responds by drinking Anthony’s coffee instead.
In Twin Peaks, at the Double R, Shelley (Madchen Amick) gets a call from Becky (Amanda Seyfried). Becky’s in tears. Steven, the man she tried to shoot, hasn’t come home in two days.
Back in Vegas, Anthony sits in Bushnell’s office and says that he’s come to confess. Standing to the side, Dougie blankly repeats, “Confess.” Anthony confesses to Bushnell that he’s been working for Duncan Todd and that he’s been lying to Bushnell for years. Bushnell says that Dougie revealed all of this to him yesterday. Bushnell asks if Anthony is prepared to testify against Duncan Todd. Anthony says that he is.
Bushnell asks if Anthony is willing to testify “against the two cops that Dougie found.”
“He know about them too!?” Anthony says.
“Them too,” Dougie blankly repeats.
Anthony says he only wants to fix the mess that he made. He says that Dougie saved his like. “Thanks, Dougie!”
“Thank Dougie,” Dougie says.
In tears, Anthony does just that.
At the Double R, Norma (Peggy Lipton) has a meeting with the somewhat oily Walter Lawford (Grant Goodeve). Apparently, Norma’s Double R is a franchise now. Walter says that there are several profitable locations in Washington State but Norma is concerned that those locations are using inferior ingredients. Walter argues that it makes good business sense to cut costs. This entire scene, of course, feels like Lynch’s commentary on the studio executives who constantly tried to interfere with Twin Peaks the first time around.
Norma and Walter are apparently a couple, as well. As they talk, they are watched by both Deputy Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill), Norma’s former (?) lover and the husband of Nadine (Wendy Robie).
Speaking of Nadine, she is leaving her silent drape store when who should show up but Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn)! As we’ve already seen, Nadine is a huge fan of Jacoby’s podcast. She even has her own golden shovel hanging in the window of her store. Dr. Jacoby says that the last time he saw Nadine, she was on her hands and knees, looking for a potato.
At the Palmer House, Sarah (Grace Zabrikie) is drunk and watching a boxing match. Or, actually, I should say that she’s watching 30 second of a boxing match on a continious loop. The announcer says, several times: “Oh the right hand catches the big guy by the ear! And he finally goes down, hanging on the ropes. Oh, the gentleman asks if he’s okay. Look like, uh, round number one and two on the way. Now, it’s a boxing match again.”
Elsewhere, Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) yells at Charlie (Clark Middleton). An emotional Audrey says that she feels like she’s somewhere else, like she’s not sure who she is. Charlie says, “This is Existentialism 101.” Audrey’s not amused and demands to know what she’s supposed to do if she can’t trust anyone and she’s not sure who she is. Charlie replies that she’s supposed to go to the Roadhouse and look for Billy. Audrey demands to know where the Roadhouse is.
“Are you going to stop playing games?” Charlie asks, “or am I going to have to end your story, too?”
Audrey starts to cry.
At the Roadhouse, none other than James Hurley (James Marshall) performs the song You and I. Accompanying him are two backup singers who look like they could be Donna and Maddy. Considering that the scene during the second season, in which James, Donna, and Maddy performed You And I, is regularly ridiculed by even the show’s biggest fans, you have to wonder if David Lynch is doing some deliberate trolling here. Well, it does’t matter. It’s a lovely song, one that perfectly captures the aching feeling of loss that runs through every minute of Twin Peaks: The Return.
At the gas station, Big Ed Hurley sits alone, staring at his gas pumps.
Do you realize that there are only 6 episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return left?
Normally, this is when most limited series would start working towards a climax. If this was any other show, Cooper would no longer be trapped in Dougie’s body, everyone would already be back in Twin Peaks, and … well, things would be a lot different.
But the fact of the matter is that Twin Peaks is different. That’s why we watch. That’s what makes it exciting. David Lynch has repeatedly shown that he has no interest in slavishly following the traditional rules of television. In fact, to call Twin Peaks a television series is incorrect. It’s an 18-hour movie, one that’s been directed by America’s premiere surrealist. In many ways, this show requires the viewer to take a leap of faith. “Trust me,” Lynch is saying, “You might not understand it all but you’ll never forget it.” I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next month but, as always, I’m looking forward to finding out.
Part 12 opens in an office, with Albert (Miguel Ferrer) telling Tammy (Chrysta Bell) to ignore the strange man. The man in question is Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and while Gordon may be eccentric, Albert is just showing off his famous wit. Albert, Gordon, and Tammy drink a toast to the bureau and then Tammy is invited to join the Blue Rose. Albert explains that the Blue Rose is a secret task force that was set up to investigate that strange cases that Project Blue Book could not solve. The Blue Rose was originally made up of Albert, Philip Jeffries, Dale Cooper, and Chet Desmond.
“Perhaps you have noticed,” Albert says, “that I’m the only one of that group who hasn’t vanished without explanation.”
Despite the dangers, Tammy agrees to join the task force. Yay, Tammy!
Diane (Laura Dern) then enters the office. Gordon and Albert offer to deputize her into the Blue Rose. Diane at first seems hesitant but suddenly, after a sudden burst of dramatic music, she says, “Let’s rock!” And, of course, true fans of the show will immediately remember the first time that Cooper met the Man From Another Place during the first season of Twin Peaks. Coincidence? I don’t know if anything in Twin Peaks is ever a coincidence.
(I loved this scene. It was nicely acted by all involved, including the underrated Chrysta Bell, and Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting music was used to wonderful effect.)
Back in Twin Peaks, Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) finally comes running out of the woods.
Meanwhile, in a grocery store, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie, who is absolutely brilliant in this episode) wanders down the liquor aisle. After filling up her shopping cart with liquor, she goes to the check out and also gets a carton of Salems. While the cashier rings her up, Sarah stares at a display of beef jerky. She appears to be disturbed by it and I don’t blame her. Beef jerky is nasty.
Anyway, Sarah’s liquor and cigarette bill comes to $133.70. However, she is more concerned about the beef jerky display. It wasn’t there before, she says. She asks if the beef jerky is smoked. The cashier says that it’s the same beef jerky except that its turkey.
“Were you here when they brought it in?” Sarah asks. Then, “Your room seems different … AND MEN ARE COMING! I am trying to tell you that you have to watch out! Things can happen! Something happened to me! I don’t feel good, I don’t feel good! Sarah … Sarah, stop doing this. Okay. Leave this place.”
Leaving behind her liquor and cigarettes, Sarah leaves the store.
At the trailer park, Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) talks to one of his residents, an old man who walks with a cane. Carl finds out that the man has been selling his blood for money. Yet, he mows people’s lawns and puts in propane tanks for free. Carl gives the man $50 and tells him not to worry about paying that month’s rent. Carl says he doesn’t like the idea of people selling their blood.
In Las Vegas, Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) and his son play catch in the back yard. Or, to be honest, his son tries to play catch. Dougie just stands there while the baseball bounces off his head. Here’s what Kyle MacLachlan had to say on twitter after someone asked him how he felt after filming this scene:
Back in Twin Peaks, Hawk (Michael Horse) walks up to the Palmer House, to check on Sarah’s well-being. As he approaches, we see the infamous ceiling fan through a window. In the original series, any shot of that ceiling fan was usually followed by an appearance by Killer BOB.
Sarah tells Hawk that she doesn’t know what came over her in the grocery store. Sarah says she’s fine now but she refuses to open the door wide enough for Hawk to get a good view inside the house. Hawk asks if there’s someone in the house. “No,” Sarah says, “just something in the kitchen.”
“You’re okay, then?” Hawk asks.
“It’s a goddamn bad story, isn’t it, Hawk?” Sarah suddenly snarls.
Hawk says that if she needs help, she can call him anytime. Sarah shuts the door in his face.
Cut to Twin Peaks Hospital, where a badly beaten Miriam (Sarah Jean Long) lies in bed.
At the hotel bar, Diane gets a text, asking if they’ve asked about Las Vegas yet.
At the Great Northern, Truman (Robert Forster) meets with Ben (Richard Beymer). Truman tells Ben that they know that his grandson, Richard, was behind the wheel in the hit and run that killed the little boy. Truman also says that Richard tried to kill Miriam. Miriam is a teacher without insurance and now, she’s in intensive care and is going to need an operation. Truman suggests that Ben should pay for her medical treatment. Ben agrees and then says that something has always been wrong with Richard.
After talking about Richard being on the run, Ben holds up Cooper’s old room key, the one that he received in the mail a few episodes ago. He gives it to Truman and asks him to give it to Harry.
After Truman leaves, Ben tells Beverly (Ashley Judd) about Richard. Richard never had a father, Ben says. (Perhaps because his father was Doppelganger Cooper.)
Back in South Dakota, Gordon has a mysterious French woman (Bérénice Marlohe) in his hotel room. He’s telling her an old FBI story when they’re interrupted by Albert. Albert asks the woman to wait downstairs. Though it takes her a while to get her shoes back on (we’ve all been there), she finally does leave. Gordon explains that the woman is visiting a friend who owns a turnip farm. The friend’s daughter has disappeared.
“I told her the daughter would turn up eventually,” Gordon explains, before adding, “She didn’t get it either.” What’s funny is that I can imagine David Lynch telling that exact same joke in real life.
Anyway, Albert is more concerned about the text message that Diane received, the one asking about Las Vegas.
Gordon says they’ll figure it out but, first, he’d like to get back to his wine.
“What kind is it?” Albert asks.
Gordon looks at his watch. “11:05,” he announces.
When Albert stares at him without responding, Gordon says, “Albert, sometimes I really worry about you.”
Meanwhile, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) use a sniper rifle to assassinate the warden (James Morrison) as he walks up to his house. The warden’s young son comes outside and sees his father dead on the porch. “Daddy!” he shouts. It could have been worse. Hutch wanted to kidnap and torture the warden but Chantel was hungry and wanted to get something to eat.
Back in Twin Peaks, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) rants about the government and sells his golden shovels. In her shop, Nadine (Wendy Robie) listens approvingly. Apparently, Dr. Jacoby is now known as Dr. Amp and, just from the way he rants, I bet he’s on twitter and he probably does the whole numbered tweet threading thing.
Meanwhile, Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is talking to her husband Charlie (Clark Middleton) and — OH MY GOD! AUDREY’S BACK! Audrey and Charlie are arguing. Audrey wants to go out and find someone named Billy. Charlie says he has a lot of paperwork to do and that there’s no point in going at night. Audrey is emotional and Charlie … well, Charlie most definitely is not. Charlie is calm to the point of being creepy.
“What kind of shit are you?” Audrey asks, “You are nothing but a fucking no-balls loser.”
You tell him, Audrey! I don’t know Charlie but if Audrey says he’s a loser…
Charlie gets peeved and asks Audrey not to talk to him like that but Audrey has no use for him or his hurt feelings. “You have no balls,” she tells him, “that’s why I am in love with Billy. That’s why I am fucking Billy. And Tina … I got to find Tina. She was the last person who fucking saw Billy and I can’t stand being in the same room as her!”
Audrey demands that Charlie sign some papers that she gave him. Charlie says he’s not singing anything until he runs them by his lawyer. Apparently, their marriage involves a contract and, by demanding a divorce, Audrey is reneging on a contract. Charlie is shocked but Audrey doesn’t care.
Charlie finally agrees to go with Audrey to Roadhouse so they can look for Billy. But first, Charlie suggests that he should call Tina and talk to her. Audrey repeats that Tina was the last one to see Billy but then she says that “Chuck is certifiable so we can’t count on anything from him.”
“Did you know,” Charlie asks, “that Chuck stole Billy’s truck last week?”
Charlie goes on to say that the police eventually found Billy’s truck and that Billy dropped all charges. Audrey seems both confused and fascinated by this story. Myself, I’m wondering if Billy, Chuck, and Tina actually exist. (Chuck and Charlie, of course, are both nicknames for Charles.)
I guess Tina is real because Charlie does call her, or at least he claims that he’s called and is talking to Tina. (We only hear Charlie’s side of the conversation. And everything that Charles says seems to be intentionally vague.) After hanging up the phone, Charlie refuses to reveal what Tina said.
In South Dakota, Diane sits in the hotel bar and looks up the coordinates that were written on Ruth Davenport’s arm. Not surprisingly, they’re the coordinates for Twin Peaks.
Meanwhile, at the Road House, Chromatics are playing once again. In a booth, two women, Abbie (Elizabeth Anweis) and Natalie (Ana de la Reguera), gossip about a guy named Clark, who is apparently cheating on his girlfriend, Angela, with someone named Mary. Apparently, Angela is off her meds now. They also note that Angela’s having a rough time but they’re not surprised. “Losing her mom like that!” they say.
Suddenly, they’re joined by a hyperactive man named Trick (Scott Coffey, who also played the mysterious Cowboy in Mulholland Drive) who is upset because, on his way to the roadhouse, another vehicle ran him off the road. Trick says he wishes he could kill whoever the other driver was. When Trick goes to get a beer, Abbie and Natalie discuss that Trick was under house arrest but he’s free now.
In Dario Argento’s Inferno, there’s a random shot of a woman who we’ve never seen before hanging herself. She’s never mentioned or seen again. Argento has said that he included that random shot to show that the world was out of balance. I think, to a large extent, that’s what Lynch is doing with several of the more random aspects of Twin Peaks.
And, with that in mind, the end credits roll and we only have six more episodes to go.
I’m getting a late start on this recap and I imagine that, by the time I’m finished rewatching the latest episode of Twin Peaks and typing all this up, I’ll probably barely be able to keep my eyes open. Dexedrine is a wonderful and helpful tool but it can only do so much.
(Don’t freak out, I take it for my ADD. It helps me focus. The endless energy is just a nice side benefit.)
So, I better not waste any time! Let’s talk about Part 10 of Twin Peaks!
We open in Twin Peaks, at the trailer park to be exact. Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) pulls up outside the trailer of Miriam (Sarah Jean Long), the poor woman who was unlucky enough to see him running down that little boy a few episodes ago. As this episode will demonstrate, Richard is perhaps the most loathsome character to ever appear in a David Lynch film. Even Blue Velvet‘s Frank Booth never ran down a child while driving around Lumberton.
From inside her trailer, Miriam yells at Richard that not only has she gone to the police but that she also wrote Sheriff Truman a letter, telling him that, if anything happens to her, Richard is the one responsible. Richard responds by rushing into the trailer and beating Miriam to death.
As Richard walks away from the trailer, he calls his Deputy Chad (John Pirruccello) and orders him to intercept the letter and keep Truman from reading it.
Elsewhere in the trailer park. Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) sits in front of the manager’s office, plays his guitar, and sings. The gentleness of Carl’s voice provides a stark contrast to the rest of the episode.
Carl’s song is interrupted by the sound of Steve (Caleb Landry Jones), in another trailer, yelling at Becky (Amanda Seyfried) and throwing stuff out the window. Becky is not only Shelley’s daughter but apparently, she’s found herself married to a modern-day Leo Johnson as well. Just like Leo, Steve is upset because he feels Becky isn’t keeping their home clean enough.
(Whatever happened to Leo? I assume all those tarantulas eventually fell on his face and killed him.)
In Las Vegas, Candie (Amy Shiels) — wearing her iconic pink dress — attempts to kill a fly by hitting it with a remote. Unfortunately, the fly happens to be on the face of Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper), which leads to him getting smacked. Bradley (James Belushi) rushes into the room the make sure that Rodney is okay, while Candie screams and sobs. The fly, I believe, escaped unharmed.
Janey-E (Naomi Watts) and Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) visit with Dr. Ben (John Billingsley). While Dougie continues to stare blankly forward, Janey-E explains that he’s been acting strangely for a few days. Janey-E explains that Dougie has a drinking and gambling problem. Dr. Ben is bemused by Dougie’s weight loss. Janey-E agrees that Dougie has lost a lot of weight … “in a good way.” Dr. Ben announces that Dougie appears to be in perfect health. “Remarkable,” Janey-E says while looking at the shirtless Dougie.
Back the Mitchum place, Candie is still crying while Rodney assures her that he’s fine. On the TV, Bradley and Rodney watch a news story about both Dougie and the arrest of Ike the Spike.
“Brad,” Rodney says, “remind me to call off that hit on Ike.”
“Saved us a wad of dough!” Bradley agrees, “Niiiiiiiice!”
Bradley recognizes Dougie from the news. “That’s our Mr. Jackpots,” Bradley says.
At the Jones house, Janey-E watches Dougie eat cake. She asks if he finds her attractive. Dougie says nothing, entranced by the cake. Janey-E tells him that she finds him attractive. Dougie stares at her blankly. Janey-E takes Dougie upstairs, where she rides him while he lays underneath her in a state of stunned euphoria. (Dougie/Cooper, of course, is experiencing all of this for the first time.) Afterward, she tells Dougie, “I love you.” “Love you,” Dougie blankly repeats.
In Twin Peaks, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) rants on his podcast about pharmaceutical companies. Nadine (Wendy Robie) listens approvingly. We see that she’s sitting in her own store, Run Silent Run Drapes. Yay! Nadine finally perfected her drape runners!
It’s morning in Vegas. As Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon), fresh from being traumatized by all the noise his parents made while he was trying to get some sleep, waits in the car, Janey-E tells Dougie that she can’t stop thinking about last night. Dougie blankly nods.
In the wilderness outside Twin Peaks, Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) is still lost. “You can’t fool me!” he yells, “I’ve been here before!”
At the Sheriff’s office, Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) wonders why Deputy Chad is hanging out in the lobby. Of course, we know that Chad is waiting for the mail so that he can intercept Miriam’s letter. Chad, however, just says that he’s appreciating the beauty of the day. Chad sees the mailman pulling up so he runs outside to meet him. Lucy is rightly suspicious, especially when Chad rather obviously stuffs Miriam’s letter under his shirt.
This is followed by a scene that literally left me queasy. At the Horne House, a bruised and battered Johnny Horne (Eric Rondell) stares at a creepy toy that has the body of teddy bear and a head of glass. Throughout the entire violent and brutal scene that will follow, the toy continues to ask — in a vaguely British accent — “Hello, Johnny. How are you today?”
Johnny Horne (Richard’s uncle)
Richard bursts into the house and demands that Sylvia (Jan D’Arcy) give him money. When she tells him to ask his grandfather, Richard grabs her by throat. As Richard attacks her (and Farren is absolutely terrifying in this scene), Johnny falls out of the chair and groans on the floor. It gets even worse when Johnny calls Sylvia “grandma.”
Sylvia, Richard’s grandmother
In other words, tonight, my greatest fear was confirmed. Richard is Audrey’s son. And judging from both his sociopathic personality and their shared affinity for leather jackets, it appears that Richard’s father is the Doppelganger. A few episodes ago, Dr. Hayward revealed the, when Cooper last saw Audrey, she was still in a coma.
Richard Horne (son of Audrey and Cooper’s Doppelganger)
Richard gets the money. He also calls his grandmother the C-word and steals her jewelry. “Why do you have to make something so simple so fucking difficult!?” Richard snaps before leaving.
Seriously, this scene — more than anything else that we’ve seen so far in this series — left me truly shaken. The performances of Farren and D’Arcy were so intense that, even though I knew it was coming and what would happen, I still had to take a break after rewatching this scene.
After that disturbing scene, we cut back to Las Vegas. Roger (Joe Adler) tells Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) that it’s true that Ike has been captured by the police. After Roger leaves, we see that Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) is in Duncan’s office. Duncan tells Anthony that he’s to go to the Mitchum Brothers and that he’s to claim that Dougie cheated them out of an insurance claim. Duncan believes that the Mitchums will respond by killing Dougie. If the Mitchums don’t kill Dougie, Anthony will have to do it himself.
In South Dakota, love is in the air. Albert (Miguel Ferrer) is on a date with coroner Constance Talbot (Jane Adams). A bemused Gordon (David Lynch) watches them, with Tammy (Chrysta Bell) at his side. But Gordon — you belong with Shelley!
Back in Vegas, Anthony goes to the casino and is spotted by the Mitchum brothers. They tell Candie — who, like the other ladies in pink, is hanging out in their office — to bring Anthony to see them. “You want me to bring him here?” Candie asks, somewhat vaguely, before heading to the casino floor.
As they watch Candie and Anthony on the surveillance footage, the Mitchum brothers realize that they may have made a mistake sending Candie. Candie and Anthony start to have a long conversation. Bradley is finally forced to tell the pit boss, Warrick (David Dastmalchian) to bring both Candie and Anthony back to the main office.
Before Rodney can complain, Bradley says, “If we fire her, she’s got no place to go.” So, in case you were wondering which brother was the nice brother, apparently it’s Jim Belushi.
Anyway, Candie and Anthony finally arrive at the office. The Mitchums demand to know what Candie and Anthony were talking about. Candie thinks for a minute and then remembers that they were talking about how it was going to be hot and smoggy the next day.
Anthony finally gets his chance to tell the Mitchum brothers that Dougie handled their denied claim and that he has a personal vendetta against them. Anthony is not exactly the best liar and the Mitchums tell Candie to show Anthony out of their office.
“You have an enemy in Douglas Jones!” Anthony shouts.
Later, Bradley and Rodney have a drink in their living room. Despite Anthony not being the most convincing of storytellers, the Mitchum brothers appear to believe him and they both agree that Dougie has to die. Rodney announces, “Now I know how Brando felt.”
(Wally Brando, maybe?)
Back in South Dakota, Gordon sits in his hotel room and draws a picture — one that resembles the cave drawings from the 2nd season of Twin Peaks — on a piece of paper. Someone knocks on his door. When Gordon answers it, he has a vision of Laura crying while hearing Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriksie) calling Laura’s name.
As the vision fades, Gordon sees that Albert is standing out in the hallway. Albert enters the hotel room and reveals that, while they were in the morgue, Diane received a text on her phone: “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.” Albert says that he and Tammy tracked the text as coming from Mexico. Diane responded with a heavily encrypted message: “They have Hastings. He’s going to take them to the site.”
“What should we do?” Albert asks.
“Keep her close,” Gordon replies.
Tammy then shows up at the room, revealing that she has new information concerning “the penthouse murders” in New York City. (That would be the murder of poor Sam and Tracy in Part 1.) She shows Gordon a picture of the Doppelganger in the penthouse, standing in front of the glass case.
At the Great Northern, Ben (Richard Beymer) takes a call from his now ex-wife, Sylvia. Sylvia demands that Ben repay her all of the money that Richard stole from her. Ben refuses. Sadly, when Ben asks if Johnny’s okay, Sylvia snaps back, “No concern about me!”
Hanging up on his former wife, a frustrated Ben calls out, “Beverly, do you want to have dinner with me?”
At her lonely house, the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) calls Hawks (Michael Horse) and tell him that “Electricity is humming. You can hear it in the mountains and rivers…in these days, the glow is dying? What will be in the darkness that remains?”
(This scene is even more poignant when you consider it was probably the final thing that Coulson ever filmed before passing away last year.)
The Log Lady tells Hawk that the Truman brothers are “true men … they are your brothers … watch and lesson to the dream of time and space…Hawk…Laura is the one…”
At the Road House, Rebekah Del Rio performs, providing both this episode and the series as a whole with yet another link to Mulholland Drive. (That’s not as crazy as it sounds. Mulholland Drive was originally envisioned as being a spin-off of Twin Peaks, with Audrey moving to Hollywood.)
What to say about this episode? It was, in many ways, deceptively simple. All of the disparate elements of the show are finally coming together. The appearances by Sizemore, Belushi, and Knepper served to remind us — just as Jennifer Jason Leigh did last week — that Twin Peaks is not just random David Lynch quirkiness. Everything is connected. A story is being told. You just have to have the patience to look for the clues.
And finally, to those reviewers complaining that Twin Peaks: The Return is misogynistic, open your eyes. Yes, many of the characters are misogynists. Not a single one of them is, in anyway, portrayed sympathetically. He may be a surrealist but David Lynch is one of the most humanistic filmmakers of all time. If the world of Twin Peaks is sometimes ugly, so is the world outside your front door.
Well, there’s one thing that you can definitely say for sure about not only Twin Peaks but also about every other film that David Lynch has ever made. (And make no mistake — they may be calling this the third season of Twin Peaks but it’s obviously meant to be more of an 18-hour film than a traditional television series.) Lynch moves at his own pace. He knows where he’s going but, often, he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get there.
And, quite frankly, that can sometimes to be frustrating. David Lynch requires patience on the part of the viewer and a willingness to have faith in his ability as an artist. To a certain extent, the modern world almost seems to be set up to make things as difficult as possible for an artist like David Lynch. We’re used to things being fast-paced. We’re used to having immediate (if superficial) answers to any and all questions. In a time when movies are dominated by hyperactive editing and overwhelming soundtracks, David Lynch has the courage to portray moments of silence and stillness. It’s what sets him apart from other filmmakers. It’s also the reason why this critically acclaimed director has always struggled to get his films made. In 41 years, David Lynch has had ten films theatrically released. Michael Bay directed his first film twenty years after the release of Eraserhead and he has gone to direct twelve more.
Part 5 of Twin Peaks is a perfect example of Lynch’s deliberate pace. As I watched it, I found myself occasionally saying, “When is Cooper going to get normal again!?” I mean, Kyle MacLachlan is doing great work as Dougie/Cooper but how many more times am I going to have to watch him get confused over the need to urinate? That’s a joke that’s getting old.
Yes, I was frustrated.
But here’s the thing:
As frustrated as I may be by the whole Dougie/Cooper situation, I’m not going anywhere. I trust David Lynch and, throughout Part 5, there were scenes that reminded me of why I trust David Lynch. The man is a genius. I’m thinking of the three women in pink nonchalantly watching as the casino pit boss got beaten. I’m thinking of the close-up on Amanda Seyfried’s face after she snorted the cocaine. I’m thinking of Russ Tamblyn ranting.
I will follow David Lynch anywhere.
As for Part 5, it opened with Lynch’s camera prowling through the streets of Las Vegas, a city that seems especially Lynchian.
Out at the Rancho Rosa Development, the two hitmen who were sent to kill Dougie are still sitting outside of the deserted house that Dougie used for his lost weekend with Jade. They’re watching Dougie’s car. One of them calls a woman and tells her that they still haven’t seen Dougie. She does not take the news well. She sends a message to Argentina, where it is apparently received by a black box sitting in a basin.
In South Dakota, the coroner has found something in the stomach of the body that was found underneath the head of Ruth Davenport. It’s a gold ring, one that has an inscription: “To Destiny, With Love, James C.” (I’ve listened to the line about the inscription about a dozen times and I’m pretty sure that’s what the coroner said. If I’m wrong, please let me know.)
(CORRECTION: According to Dylan Lange, host of Dylan Knows, the inscription read: To Dougie With Love, Janey-E. Thank you, Dylan! — LMB)
In his prison cell, Doppelganger Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) stares at himself in his cell’s tiny mirror. He flashes back to the time he and Killer BOB shared a laugh in the Black Lodge. He sees himself smashing his face into the mirror at the Great Northern.
In Twin Peaks, we are reintroduced to Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger), who was Bobby’s best friend and fellow drug dealer during the first two seasons of Twin Peaks. (He eventually became Nadine’s boyfriend during the time that she had amnesia and thought she was 16.) Mike is a grown-up, suit-wearing professional now, sitting in an office that is decorated with the mounted heads of dead deer. Mike is conducting a job interview with Steve Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones), who appears to be a real loser. Mike informs Steve that his resume is the worst resume that he’s ever seen and then kicks him out of the office.
At the Sheriff’s Department, Doris Truman (Candy Clark) comes by to yell at Frank (Robert Forster) about something. Honestly, I kinda tuned out this scene and I hope that Doris doesn’t become a major character. If anything, Frank is even more laconic than his brother.
Back in Las Vegas, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) finally gets Dougie/Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) out of the house. She has to tie his necktie for him. As she tells him everything that he needs to do, Dougie/Cooper stares at her with a blank look. It’s interesting that, as frustrated as Janey-E gets with Dougie/Cooper, she still tries to rationalize his strange behavior.
At the Rancho Rosa development, Dougie’s car continues to sit there. The two hitmen drive by again. They are followed by five more guys, who are all in a black car and playing their music super loud.
Janey-E drops Dougie/Cooper off at his place of employment. Apparently, Dougie worked for Lucky Seven Insurance. However, Dougie/Cooper is less interested in his job and more fascinated by a statue of a cowboy pointing a gun. In an oddly beautiful scene, he imitates the statue’s pose. Finally, one of his co-workers wanders by and tells Dougie to “get the lead out” because they have a meeting. That co-worker is carrying 8 cups of coffee so, of course, Dougie/Cooper follows after him.
At the meeting, which is full of vapid insurance people, Dougie/Cooper reveals that he can now tell when people are lying. Apparently, whenever someone lies, a green light flashes across their face. When Dougie/Cooper offends another agent (played by Tom Sizemore, no less) by calling him a liar, their boss, the wonderfully named Bushnell Mills (Don Murray), defuses the situation by giveing Dougie/Cooper several case files to take home with him.
Out in the hallway, Dougie/Cooper needs to pee but, like a panicking Sim, has no idea what to do. Luckily, one of his co-workers, assuming that the men’s room must be locked, sneaks Dougie/Cooper into the ladies room.
At the Silver Mustang Casino, Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper) and Bradley Mitchum (Jim Belushi) demand to know how Cooper/Dougie could possibly have won 30 jackpots. Rodney’s way of handling it is to beat up the pit boss (David Dastmalchian) while three women in pink stand in the corner of the room and nonchalantly watch.
Back at Rancho Rosa, Drugged-Out Mother (Hailey Gates) is passed out so her son leaves the house and walks across the street, intent on investigating Dougie’s bomb-laden car. Fortunately, before the kid can set the bomb off, the black car pulls up. The five men jump out of the car and tell the kid to “get the fuck outta here!” They’re planning on stealing Dougie’s car for themselves. Of course, as soon as the engine starts, the car explodes and takes three of the car thieves with it. The kid runs back to his house, where the junkie mom is just now starting to come out of her stupor.
At a nearby carwash, Jade (Nafessa Williams) is getting her car washed when she comes across the key to Cooper’s room at the Great Northern. She drops the key in a nearby mailbox.
At the Double R Diner — it’s Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Shelley (Madchen Amick)! 25 years have passed and they’re still exactly where we left them. Except that Shelley now has a daughter named Becky (Amanda Seyfried) and Becky’s married to Steve. Becky comes by the diner to borrow money from Shelley. Then she goes outside and snorts cocaine with Steve. Lynch’s camera gives us a close-up of Becky’s face as the drugs temporarily takes away all of her problems. In this scene, not only does Becky look like Shelley’s daughter (Madchen Amick and Amanda Seyfried really do look like they could be related) but there’s also a disconcerting resemblance to Laura Palmer as well.
(Also, remember how Shelley used to say that she married Leo because of his car? Well, Steve has a corvette of his own.)
Back in Vegas, Dougie/Cooper is still acting weird. He doesn’t understand that, when riding an elevator, you’re supposed to get off when the doors open. Some people get upset with him about that but Dougie/Cooper is more interested in going outside and staring at that statue. Of course, Dougie/Cooper is still holding onto those case files.
At the Sheriff’s Department, Andy (Harry Goaz) and Hawk (Michael Horse) go through the Laura Palmer case files, searching for what’s missing.
In his trailer, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) goes live online, delivering a rant about globalist corporate conspiracies and selling his gold-painted shovels so that his listeners can “dig yourself out of the shit.” Nadine (Wendy Robie) and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) listen appreciatively.
At the Pentagon, Col. Davis (Ernie Hudson) is informed that they’ve gotten another “database hit” on Garland Briggs’s fingerprints. Apparently, in the years since his mysterious death, Briggs’s finger prints have shown up in 16 different locations.
At the Roadhouse, the kickass band Trouble is playing. Meanwhile, a handsome but dangerous looking man (Eamon Farren) sits under a sign that says no smoking and smokes a cigarette. When a Roadhouse employee tells him to put out his cigarette, the man hands over a pack of cigarettes. Inside the pack are several hundred dollar bills. So, apparently, the Roadhouse is still the center of the Twin Peaks drug trade.
When Charlotte (Grace Victoria Cox) tries to flirt with him, the man suddenly turns violent, grabbing her and taunting her with, “Do you want to fuck me, Charlotte? Do you want to fuck? I’m going to laugh when I fuck you, bitch!” It’s a deeply unpleasant scene, as Lynch obviously meant for it to be.
The man’s name is not mentioned but, according to the end credits, he’s Richard Horne. Presumably, he’s a member of the infamous Horne Family. Is he a cousin? Or maybe Jerry’s kid? Or, even more intriguingly, Audrey’s son? Whatever he is, Richard is bad news.
(And let’s not forget that, way back at the start of Part One, the Giant told Cooper to remember “Richard and Linda.”)
At FBI Headquarters, Tamara (Chrysta Bell) compares the finger prints of both Cooper and his Doppelganger.
At the South Dakota prison, Doppelganger Cooper finally gets his phone call. The warden (James Morrison) thinks that they’ll be able to listen in on the call but Doppelganger Cooper has other plans. After taunting everyone listening, Cooper pushes several keys on the phone, which somehow causes every alarm in the prison to go off. While the warden tries to restore order, Doppelganger Cooper says, into the phone, “The cow’s jumped over the moon.” As soon as Doppelganger Cooper hangs up, the alarms fall silent.
In Argentina, the black box changes into a small ring.
In Vegas, Dougie/Cooper continues to stare at the statue.
And so, the latest episode ends. The story may be moving at its own pace but I can’t wait to see where else it leads.
As always, a full recap will be posted either later tonight or tomorrow at the latest. However, before I rewatch Part 5 of Twin Peaks, here are some initial thoughts.
1. Las Vegas, with all of its glitz and complicated history, really is the perfect David Lynch town. I’d pay good money to see David Lynch remake Martin Scorsese’s Casino.
2. That old scene of Doppelganger Cooper and Killer BOB laughing it up is still pretty unsettling.
3. If anything, as played by Robert Forster, Frank Truman appears to be even more laconic than his brother, Harry.
4. Tonight, as I was watching Naomi Watts knot his tie, I noticed that Kyle MacLachlan has very sad eyes. That actually made me feel kinda sad, just because Kyle seems to be such a nice person. MacLachlan’s performance, especially as Dougie/Cooper, continues to be nothing short of amazing. There was something so incredibly poignant about the sight of him wandering around in that huge green jacket.
5. Dougie works in insurance. I had him pegged as working in real estate but insurance seems to work just as well.
6. The casino pit boss getting beaten up while the three women in the pink dresses watched in apparent boredom was perhaps the most Lynchian moment of the show so far. Lynch has always combined the most savage violence with the most blasé reactions.
7. Dougie’s car finally blows up and the drug addict mom next door is passed out through the whole thing.
8. No, Jade! Don’t trust the postal service to deliver that key! They can’t even get my Amazon orders here on time…
9. Peggy Lipton has apparently only aged seven years since the previous season of Twin Peaks aired back in 1991.
10. It’s been 25 years and Shelley is still working as a waitress?
11. Amanda Seyfried is the prefect choice to play Madchen Amick’s daughter.
12. Twin Peaks is apparently the cocaine capitol of the American northwest. Actually, one thing that rarely seems to be pointed out is that David Lynch appears to be one of the most anti-drug filmmakers ever. Every Lynch character who has ever tried or sold drugs has come to a bad end.
13. Of course, Dr. Jacoby would have a podcast. And, of course, Nadine would be a fan.
14. “Dig yourself out of the shit!”
15. I want to hang out at the roadhouse. All the best bands play there. Tonight’s band was Trouble.
16. “The cow jumped over the moon.” Agck! Doppelganger Cooper is so creepy!
17. That was Don Murray playing Dougie/Cooper’s boss. He was also appeared opposite Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop, played Senator Brigham Anderson in Otto Preminger’s Advise and Consent, played a killer cop in the ahead-of-its time Deadly Hero, and appeared as Governor Breck in the best of the original Planet of the Apes films, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
18. For audiences who found tonight’s episode to be too weird and confusing, there’s absolutely nothing confusing about I’m Dying Up Here, the show that immediately followed. In fact, it’s so easy to follow that it’s kind of annoying.
But, all good things must come to an end and, at least until the third season premieres on Showtime later this month, we have reached the end of Twin Peaks. Episode 30 brought the story to a temporary end. (The movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, was a prequel about the last days of Laura Palmer. It’s a haunting film and one that we’ll look at tomorrow but, at the same time, it doesn’t offer up any answers to any of the questions that the finale left hanging.)
A little history: Twin Peaks was a huge success during its first season but, during the second season, ratings plunged. According to the book, Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks by Brad Dukes, neither David Lynch nor Mark Frost were as involved during the second season as they had been during the first. As compared to the genuinely unsettling first season, the second season struggled to find its voice. Was it a mystery? Was it a broad comedy? Was it a show about the paranormal or was it a soap opera? It was all of that and, for many people, that was too much. Today, of course, audiences are used to quirkiness. They’re used to shows that straddle several different genres. It’s no longer a revolutionary idea to be openly meta.
But in 1991, Twin Peaks was the show that ABC both didn’t know what to do with and, by the end, didn’t really want. It was regularly moved around the schedule and, often, weeks would pass without a new episode. Consider this: nearly two months passed between the airing of The Path to the Black Lodge and the final two episodes of the show. (Miss Twin Peaksand Beyond Life and Death were both aired on June 10th, 1991.)
For the final episode, David Lynch returned to direct and, though hardly anyone saw it when it originally aired, it’s an episode that left such an impression that — 25 years later — Showtime agree to bring the series back. The third season of Twin Peaks will premiere later this month but until then, let’s go ahead and recap Beyond Life and Death.
One last time, we open with Angelo Badalamenti’s beautiful theme music and those haunting shots of Twin Peaks.
We start at the sheriff’s station, with Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy (Harry Goaz) having a moment. Lucy talks about how scared she was when the lights went out and then says she found herself wondering what would happen if they were stuck in an elevator in the hospital and she went into labor. Andy replies that, if that happened, he would deliver the baby “in front of God and everyone.” Awwwww!
In Harry’s office, Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Hawk (Michael Horse) stare at the cave drawing while Harry (Michael Ontkean) says that he has deputies in three counties looking for Windom Earle. Windom appears to have vanished. Cooper replies that the only hope they have of finding Windom and Annie is in the map.
“Fire walk with me,” Cooper says, softly, “Fire walk with me.”
Pete (Jack Nance) steps into the office and announces that the Log Lady stole his truck. I love the way that Jack Nance delivers the line, “The Log Lady stole my truck!” (Sadly, Nance was murdered just a few years after the end of Twin Peaks.) Pete says that, when last seen, the Log Lady was driving into Ghostwood Forest.
“Pete,” Cooper announces, “the Log Lady did not steal your truck. The Log Lady will be here in one minute.”
“12 rainbow trouts in the bed,” Pete says.
This triggers Harry’s memory. He announces that there is a circle of 12 sycamores in Ghostwood Forest. It’s called Glastonbury Grove. Hawk says that Glastonbury Grove is where he found the pages from Laura’s diary. Cooper suddenly says, “That’s the legendary burial place of King Arthur! Glastonbury!”
“King Arthur is buried in England,” Pete says, dismissively, “Last I heard anyway.”
Right on time, The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) shows up at the office.
“Where’s my truck?” Pete demands.
“Pete, Windom Earle stole your truck,” Cooper says.
Pete looks very confused. Jack Nance really acted the Hell out of this scene. (Interestingly enough, Catherine Coulson was, in real life, Nance’s ex-wife.)
The Log Lady ignores Pete. She has a jar of oil that she hands to Cooper. The Log Lady says that her husband claimed that the oil was the opening to a gateway. Everyone agrees that it smells like scorched engine oil. Cooper has Hawk bring in Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine), who says that she smelled the oil the night that she was attacked and Laura Palmer was killed.
Out in the woods, a pickup truck comes to a stop in front of Glastonbury Grove. Inside the truck, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) forces Annie (Heather Graham) to look at the 12 rainbow trout in back. Annie tells Windom that, if he’s going to kill her, to go ahead and get it over with. Windom says that there is plenty of time for that but, right now, he is enjoying the fear that he is feeling.
(After being portrayed in far too cartoonish a manner over the past few episodes, Windom is finally menacing again. For that matter, this is the first — and, as fate would have it, the only — episode where Heather Graham seems to be truly committed to her role as Annie. This episode directly challenges anyone who thinks that David Lynch is merely a visual artist who can’t direct actors.)
As Annie recites Psalm 141, Windom drags her through the woods. Windom shoves her into the the middle of the grove.
“I tell you, they have not died,” Windom recites, “Their hands clasp, yours and mine.”
Suddenly, in the middle of the woods, the red curtains appears. Windom leads the now zombified Annie through them.
At the Hurley House, Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) is looking over the heavily bandaged Mike (Gary Hershberger) and Nadine (Wendy Robie). Meanwhile, Ed (Everett McGill) is cheerfully talking to Norma (Peggy Lipton) by the fire place. (I like the fact that, with everything that’s going on, Ed and Norma are just happy to be together.) Just as Ed and Norma start to dance, Nadine suddenly gets her memory back and starts to shout about silent drape runners. Nadine demands that Ed make everyone go away.
At the Hayward house, Eileen (Mary Jo Deschanel) sits in her wheelchair and stares at Ben Horne (Richard Beymer). Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) comes walking down the stairs, carrying a suitcase. Eileen begs Donna not to leave but Donna starts screaming about not knowing who her parents are. Ben steps forward and apologizes. He says he only wanted to do good. He wanted to be good. He says that it felt good to finally tell the truth.
Doc Hayward arrives home and is not happy to see Ben. Ben is begging for forgiveness when, suddenly, his own wife (Jan D’Arcy) comes walking through the front door. She demands to know what Ben is trying to do to their family.
Donna looks at Doc Hayward and starts to chant, “You’re my Daddy! You’re my Daddy!” Eileen looks away, which is a polite way of saying, “No, Ben’s your Daddy and you’ve got a half-sister that everyone likes more than you.”
Ben tries to apologize again and, after 29 episodes of never losing his temper, Doc Hayward finally snaps and punches Ben. Ben falls back and hits the back of his head on the fireplace! Oh my God! Is Ben dead!? Is Doc Hayward now evil!?
(I know the answer but I’m not going to tell you until the end of this review.)
At the Martell House, Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy) is all excited because he’s figured out that the key is the key to a safety deposit box. He steals the key from the pie plate and replaces it with a duplicate. However, Pete steps into the room just in time to see Andrew doing it.
In the woods, Cooper and Harry come across the abandoned truck. They walk into the forest but Cooper suddenly announces that he must go alone. Cooper takes Harry’s flashlight and walks through the forest. Eventually, he hears the hooting of an owl and comes across Glastonbury Grove. Cooper steps into the circle and the red curtains appear. As Harry watches from a distance, Cooper steps though the curtains.
(Though it may just be coincidence, the red curtains always make me think about the opening of Dario Argento’s Deep Red.)
Cooper finds himself in the red curtained hallways. He walks until he reaches the room from his dreams. As the lights stobe, the Man From Another Place (Michael Anderson) dances while a lounge singer (Jimmy Scott) sings about Sycamore Trees. The Man From Another Place eventually hopes into a velvet chair. It’s deeply unsettling to watch because we know that, behind one of those curtains, BOB is lurking.
In the forest, Andy finds Harry. They sit outside of Glastonbury Grove and wait for Cooper to return.
Morning comes. We get a few final shots of the countryside around Twin Peaks. The mountains. The bridge where, 29 episodes ago, Ronette Pulaski was discovered battered and nearly catatonic. The forest. The countryside was beautiful when we first saw it but, after spending 31 hours in the world of Twin Peaks, it is now impossible to look at that wilderness without wondering what secrets are being concealed beneath the tranquil surface.
Harry and Andy are still sitting outside of Glastonbury and there is something truly touching about the sight of these two friends loyally waiting for their third friend to return. Andy volunteers to go to diner to get them breakfast. Harry says, “Yes.” Andy lists off all of the usual Twin Peaks food. Coffee. Pancakes. Desert. “Yeah,” Harry replies. When Andy finally asks if Harry wants pie, Harry falls silent. How can anyone eat pie with Cooper missing?
Meanwhile, at the bank — OH MY GOD! YOU MEAN WE’RE NOT GOING TO THE BLACK LODGE TO FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH COOPER YET!? — an old lady sleeps at the new accounts desk. (It’s a very Lynchian image, to be honest.)
Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) comes in and says hello the elderly bank president, Mr. Mibbler (Ed Wright). Mibbler is really happy to see Audrey, even after she explains that she is going to be chaining herself to the vault as a part of her environmental protest. For whatever reason, almost all of David Lynch’s film features at least one elderly character who moves slowly and is utterly clueless about the world around them. Mr. Mibbler is certainly a part of that tradition.
(Speaking for myself, I like the way that the scene in the bank is shot and acted but it still frustrates me that, during the 2nd season, Twin Peaks could never quite figure out what to do with Audrey. When Kyle MacLachlan vetoed any romance between Cooper and Audrey, it pretty much destroyed Audrey’s storyline. To make us believe that Cooper and Audrey could actually fall in love with other people, the writers kept Cooper and Audrey from interacting and, as a result, it often seemed that Audrey was trapped in another, rather less interesting show. While Cooper investigated the Black Lodge and Windom Earle, Audrey was stuck playing Civil War with her father and improbably falling in love with John Justice Wheeler. Even in the finale, Audrey mostly serves as a distraction from the show’s main storyline. The character deserved better.)
Andrew and Pete show up at the bank. Mibbler is shocked to see that Andrew is still alive but Andrew is more concerned with opening up that deposit box. It takes Mibbler a while to find the box but when he does, he promptly opens it. What’s inside the box? Well, there’s a note from Thomas that read, “Finally got you, Andrew. Love, Thomas.” And there’s a bomb, which promptly explodes.
Oh my God, is Audrey dead!? Well, the episode never reveals who died or survived in the bank. However, having looked through the recently published The Secret History of Twin Peaks, I know the answer and I will reveal it at the end of this review.
At the Double R, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) and Betty (Charlotte Stewart) are sharing a booth and, as opposed to the way they were portrayed all through the first season, they appear to be very much (and very playfully) in love.
At the counter, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) watches his parents making out and then turns to Shelly (Madchen Amick.) He asks her to marry him. Shelly mentions that she’s still married to Leo and then she and Bobby start going, “Arf! Arf! Arf!,” which is a strangely cheerful callback to the way that Bobby and Mike taunted James Hurley at the end of the pilot. Bobby says that Leo is up in the woods, having the time of his life. A jump cut quickly reminds us that Leo is actually up in the woods trying to keep a bunch of tarantulas from falling down on his head.
Suddenly, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) and Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) step into the diner. They walk right over to Maj. Briggs. Dr. Jacoby says that Sarah has a message for him, one that she felt was very important. Speaking in the distorted voice of Windom Earle, Sarah says, “I am in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper. I’m waiting for you.”
And here is where the finale basically goes insane. Seen today, the final 20 minutes of this episode remain genuinely unsettling and often rather frightening. I can only imagine how audiences reacted in 1991. I did a little research (which is a fancy way of saying that I looked on Wikipedia) and, believe it or not, the top-rated television show in 1991 was 60 Minutes. Needless to say, the finale of Twin Peaks was about as far from 60 Minutes as you could get.
In the Black Lodge, Cooper still sits in the room with red curtains. The Man From Another Place tells him, “When you see me again, it won’t be me.” The Man From Another Place explains that the room with red curtain is a waiting room. (Purgatory, perhaps?)
“Some of your friends are here,” The Man From Another Place continues.
Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), dressed in black, walks in and sits down beside The Man From Another Place. “Hello Agent Cooper,” she says, speaking backwards. “I’ll see you again in 25 years. Meanwhile.” Laura vanishes.
(The 25 years explains why, way back in the third episode, Cooper appeared to be a much older man in his dream. It’s also interesting to note that, later this month, the 3rd season of Twin Peaks will air roughly 25 years after the 2nd season ended.)
Suddenly, the room service waiter (Hank Worden) appears with a cup of coffee. “Hallelujah,” he says. “Hallelujah,” the Man from Another Place agrees.
The waiter places on a table next to Cooper. Suddenly, the waiter is gone and the Giant (Carel Struycken) stands in his place. The Giant sits down next to The Man From Another Place.
“One and the same,” he says.
(Even though I know what’s going to happen, watching this scene still makes me nervous. The Giant, the Waiter, and The Man From Another Place are the only friends that Cooper has in the Black Lodge. Once the Giant leaves, who will be the next to come out?)
The Giant vanishes. The Man From Another Place rubs his hands together and gets a sinister little smile on his face. As he has done so many times since the series began, Cooper attempts to drink his coffee but discovers that it is now frozen solid. Suddenly, it’s not frozen and it pours out of the cup. Then, just as suddenly, it’s thick and only slowly dribbles out when Cooper tips the cup.
“Wow, BOB, wow,” the Man From Another Place says. He looks directly at the camera and says, his voice now much more rougher, “Fire walk with me.”
It’s an incredibly unsettling moment in an already unsettling episode. By this point, we all know what “Fire walk with me” means.
There’s an explosion. A woman (Laura or Annie?) screams. The lights start to strobe. Cooper walks out of the room and finds himself, once again, in the hallway. Having heard the scream and knowing what BOB did to Ronette, Laura, Maddy, and countless others, it is a coincidence that the only decoration in the hallway is a reproduction of the Venus de Milo, a beautiful woman who does not have the arms necessary to protect herself? As well, it is surely not a coincidence that the Black Lodge could just as easily pass for an “exclusive” section of One-Eyed Jack’s.
Cooper steps through another set of curtains and finds himself in a second room, one that looks just like the first room except that it’s deserted.
Cooper returns to the first room where The Man From Another Place snaps, “Wrong way!”
Cooper goes back to the second room. At first, it appears to be deserted but suddenly The Man From Another Place appears, laughing maniacally. “Another friend!” he says and suddenly, Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee), dressed in black much like Laura, steps into the room. “Watch out for my cousin,” she says and then vanishes.
Cooper returns to the first room, which is now deserted.
Suddenly, the Man From Another Place appears beside him.
“Doppleganger,” the Man says.
Laura, her eyes white, suddenly stands in front of Cooper. “Meanwhile,” she says.
Suddenly, Laura screams and the lights start to strobe again. Still screaming, Laura charges at Cooper. Cooper runs from the room and suddenly, finds himself in the Black Lodge’s foyer. He realizes that, like all of Windom Earle’s victims, he has been stabbed in the stomach. Cooper staggers back into the hallway and, following a trail of bloody footprints, he returns to the second room.
In the room, he sees himself lying on the floor next to Caroline Earle (Brenda E. Mathers). Like Cooper, Caroline has been stabbed. Suddenly, Caroline sits up and … IT’S ANNIE! Cooper calls out her name but suddenly, the bodies disappear and the strobe lights start again.
Calling Annie’s name, Cooper returns to the first room. Annie is waiting for him. “Dale,” she says, “I saw the face of the man who killed me. It was my husband.”
“Annie,” Dale says.
“Who is Annie?”
Suddenly, Annie is a white-eyed Caroline and then she transforms into the still shrieking Laura. Laura turns into Windom Earle. As Cooper and Windom stare at each other, Annie materializes and then vanishes again. Windom says that he will set Annie free but only if Cooper gives up his soul.
“I will,” Cooper says and, for the first time, Cooper’s voice is now as distorted as all the other inhabitants of the Black Lodge.
Windom stabs Cooper in the stomach and suddenly, there’s another explosion. The strobe lights start again and Windom is screaming for help. Cooper, no longer wounded, sees that BOB (Frank Silva) has grabbed Windom. Windom screams and BOB snaps, “BE QUIET!”
(As scary as BOB is, it’s undeniably satisfying to see Windom Earle finally not in control.)
BOB tells Cooper to go. Windom, BOB explains, is wrong. “He can’t ask for your soul. I will take his!”
Windom screams as BOB literally rips his soul out of his head. Finally, Windom falls silent. As BOB continues to laugh, Cooper runs from the room. Suddenly, someone else comes running through the room and — OH NO! IT’S A DOPPELGANGER COOPER AND WOW, IS HE ACTING WEIRD!
Cooper walks through the hallway when suddenly, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) steps out from behind a curtain. His hair is brown again but his eyes are now white. Leland smiles and says, “I did not kill anybody.”
Doppelganger Cooper appears and chases after the real Cooper. They run through the Black Lodge until Doppelganger Cooper manages to grab the real Cooper.
BOB appears and stares straight at the camera. AGCK!
Suddenly, at Glastonbury Grove, the curtains appear. Night has fallen again but Harry is still loyally sitting in the forest, waiting for Cooper’s return. When he sees the curtains, Harry runs into the circle of trees and finds the bodies of both Cooper and Annie.
Cut to the Great Northern. Cooper wakes up in bed, with Doc Hayward and Harry sitting beside him. Speaking in an oddly mechanical tone of voice, Cooper first says that he wasn’t sleeping and then asks, “How’s Annie?” Harry says that Annie is at the hospital and she’ll be okay.
“I need to brush my teeth,” Cooper says.
In the bathroom, Cooper squeezes an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink. He then rams his head into the mirror and, as the reflection of BOB stares back at him, he starts to laugh. “How’s Annie?” he mocking repeats. “How’s Annie?”
And, with that deeply unsettling turn of events, Twin Peaks came to a temporary end. This brilliantly directed episode ended with three cliffhangers. What happened to Ben? Who died at the bank? What happened to Dale Cooper?
I promised you answers to some of those question so, according to The Secret History of Twin Peaks, here they are:
Ben survived his injury.
At the bank, the bomb killed Mr. Dibbler, Andrew, and Pete. (Perhaps not coincidentally, both Dan O’Herlihy and Jack Nance died long before Showtime announced that it was reviving the show.) Audrey survived, largely because Pete shielded her with his body. Shaken by the violent death of both her brother and her husband, Catherine returned to Ben everything that he had signed over to her. Catherine became a recluse.
As for what happened to Dale — well, that’s question that we will hopefully get an answer to when Twin Peaks returns to Showtime on May 21st!
Well, that concludes our Twin Peaks recaps! Thank you everyone for reading and thank you, Jeff and Leonard, for going on this adventure with me!
Now, how about we all get some coffee and slice of cherry pie?
Here we go, with the second to last episode of the season.
“Miss Twin Peaks” starts with Leo (Eric Da Re), chained up as punishment for attacking Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh – The Day After Tomorrow). While chained, he unlocks the chains for Major Briggs (Don Davis), and sets him free.
“Save Shelly.” he whispers, as Major Briggs rises to his feet and wanders off. Some time later, Windom Earle returns, asking how Briggs escaped. He would normally use the taser user he has on Leo, but has come up with a better idea – a better game – one that involves a bag of something he shakes with a sinister smile. A bag, worse than electricity? Doesn’t seem so bad, so far.
We cut to the Double R Cafe, where Norma presents some pies to Annie (Heather Graham – Horns, The Hangover) and Shelly (Madchen Amick) for the Miss Twin Peaks event. She tells them that she expects to see them in the Winner’s Circle. The pagent would be good for the town, to heal over the loss of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). When asked if the town will honor her on the 20th Anniversary of her Miss Twin Peaks win, Norma laughs it off as bribery, as she’s a judge this year.
At the Great Northern, a barefoot Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is sitting by the fire and dressed in red, a very subtle suggestion to her being a new woman. Ben (Richard Beymer) steps into the room with a series of books in each hand. He tells her they are the collected religious works of the world – The Bible, The Koran, The Talmud, The Tao-Te-Ching, among others. He carries these in the hopes that he’ll find the good within himself on reading them, but in explaining this to Audrey, she appears distracted. He notes this to be because of Jack (Billy Zane), who’s flown off to Brazil. She still misses him fondly, and fears she’ll never see him again. Ben promises her she will, but Audrey waves it off.
Changing the subject, Audrey informs her father that there’s a connection between the bank and the Packards, which Ben will look into. Ben asks Audrey if she’s considered joining the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant. Although Audrey scoffs at the idea, Ben explains that they could use the Pageant to voice the town’s concerns over preserving the wildlife and the Horne family plans. She reluctantly agrees to do so.
Meanwhile, Andy (Harry Goaz) is in the precinct, staring at the drawing recreation from the Owl Cave. Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) explains to Truman (Michael Ontkean) that on the night of Josie’s (Joan Chen – Demolition Man) death, he saw BOB (Frank Silva) appear. He theorizes that perhaps Josie’s fear is what attracted BOB, and ultimately caused her death. Listening in via the hidden mic in the room, Windom Earle now has what he needs. If he can reach the Black Lodge and BOB, his vengeance against Dale Cooper will be complete. He celebrates this briefly, and we can see that the bag he had is now empty. As he approaches Leo, he bids him farewell, telling him he liked him, but that he has to pay for letting Briggs free.
We follow a line of string that appears to be tied to Leo’s teeth, going up and over him and leading to a box full of tarantulas! Nope! Nope, a million times, Nope. I would have rather Windom Earle just set the cabin on fire and leave Leo inside. Poor Leo. Yeah, he was a douche, but even he didn’t deserve all that, whatever his fate becomes.
A dance rehearsal for the Pageant. Donna and Shelly can’t help but laugh at all of the awkward positions that Tim Pinkle (David L. Lander) has the girls doing, while Nadine (Wendy Robie) and Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson) are upset at it all. Tim has a tiny loss of composure when questioned about his methods. Lana (Robyn Lively) appears to be really into it, however, probably under the impression she’s already won. She also happens to be the only dancer in heels, for some reason.
The judges – Norma, Mayor Dwayne Milford (John Boylan), and Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) are looking on. Norma has to step away to handle some business, which leaves just the right opening for Lana to step in and improve her chances on becoming Miss Twin Peaks She mentions there’s something she’s looking for in the storage room, and asks Dick for some help. He joins her in the storage room with a flashlight. Lana’s communication style is through touch (because let’s face it, it’s easier to convince someone of something if there’s the slightest physical contact involved), and through this, she finds what she’s looking for. She doesn’t even need the flashlight to do so.
In Cooper’s room, Cooper records a message to Diane explaining that they’re working hard on the cave etching, and that Windom Earle is looking for the same source that they are. Should it fall into his hands, the ramifications could be disastrous. On a side note, Cooper praises Annie, who he’s very much warming up to.
Annie appears at Cooper’s door. He lets her in and she states she needs help with the Public Speaking part of the contest. Cooper explains that the Ghostwood Development could cause some problems for the town and the wildlife. In the midst of their conversation, Cooper makes a move.
“I don’t want to talk about trees anymore.” He simply says before kissing her. She leads him to his bed and they have a passionate moment together. I hope he remembered to pause his tape to Diane.
We’re watching a home movie, of Nadine and how she tackled Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger) in wrestling class and fell in love. She and Nadine are in a room with Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), Ed (Everett McGill) and Norma. Ed reveals to Nadine that he’s going to get married to Norma. Nadine’s stare is intense, but she smiles through it, holding on to Mike’s hand a little too tightly.
“Really?! Well that’s wonderful Eddie, ‘cause me and Mike are getting married, too!”, she says. You can hear the bones in Mike’s hand crack, and he wails in pain.
Major Briggs stumbles through the forest, finally making it to a road. He arrives just in time for Hawk (Michael Horse) to almost hit him with his Patrol Truck. Hawk gets out and puts Briggs into the truck.
The next scene has Briggs shivering and drinking water. It’s almost the same kind of shiver that Pete had. Cooper inspects Briggs and notes that he’s been shot full of Haloperidol, the same drug that the One Armed Man used to keep MIKE at bay. They try to find out where Windom Earle took Briggs, but they can’t get much from him. Andy comes back into the room, checking on the pictograph. Cooper says that if they aren’t at the right place at the right time, they might be able to find their way into the Black Lodge.
Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie), Pete (Jack Nance), and Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy) are trying to open the little box that was inside of the original black box given to Catherine. After a bit of frustration, Andrew throws the tiny metal box to the ground and shoots it with his revolver. This breaks the mini box open and reveals a key. Catherine puts the key inside a glass cake container, in full sight so that no one will steal it.
Donna comes downstairs in the Hayward house, dressed for the Pageant. She confronts her parents, demanding to know what the deal is between her mom (Mary Jo Deschanel) and Ben Horne. The parents won’t tell her, so she decides to get her answers from Ben.
Back at the precinct, Cooper realizes that one element was misread. He’s able to deduce that the map refers to Jupiter and Saturn coming into conjunction. They also learn that entering the portal requires Fear and/or Love (“Fear and Love open the doors.”, Briggs mumbles). If Windom Earle takes the Queen – in this case, Miss Twin Peaks – to the doorway, he should be able to get it to open. At least, that’s what I made of it. As they discuss this, Andy has a relegation, but is unable to share it, as Andy knocks over the bonsai plant. The plant breaks, and reveals Windom Earle’s bug. Now aware that he’s been listening in the whole time, Cooper, Truman and Andy head over to Miss Twin Peaks Pageant.
Here we are at the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant. The ladies of Twin Peaks are having an opening dance number. The show is underway, and there are a number of things occurring. Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) notices the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) sitting by the bar, but then also notices her standing about 30 feet near him, by the restroom. When Bobby approaches the log lady by the door, we find it’s actually Window Earle, who bonks him on the head with his log, knocking him out.
Meanwhile, Lucy is dancing on stage. For someone due to have a baby in less than a year, she handles herself well on stage. Cooper and Truman arrive, and Truman notes that they have deputies surrounding the place. After her number is Lana’s, which is a bellydance that entrances the audience and the male judges. Lana’s gaze is focused primarily on Dick and Dwayne as she dances. Andy arrives on the scene, looking for Cooper to tell him what he was unable to say before.
Audrey gives a short speech on fighting for the environment, before leaving and seeing her dad before heading back out. Backstage, Donna confronts Ben, and asks him for the truth. We all learn that she is in fact Ben Horne’s daughter and Audrey’s half-sister. She runs off in tears before any major explanation can be given.
Annie gives a moving speech, one that catches Dick’s attention. Audrey also has a great speech. Lucy meets with Dick and Andy backstage to inform them that Andy will be the father of her child. Andy is surprised, and Dick is elated. Andy promises to be a great father, but he has to locate Cooper, and he leaves her standing there. It’s a humorous moment in the mix of everything.
The announcement is underway. The winner and the new Miss Twin Peaks is…..Annie Blackburn!! There’s applause from the crowd as Annie accepts her award. Lana peeks out from behind the crowd to stare at Dwayne as if to say “What happened?”.Dwayne turns to Dick and asks him about the vote. Dick replies that Annie’s speech won him over.
The lights suddenly go out, and then flicker like a strobe. Very similar to Brian DePalma’s Carrie, we have pandemonium as everyone tries to evacuate. Nadine, standing under a ladder, is hit on the head with a sand bag, knocking her unconscious. Cooper catches sight of Windom Earle, but in trying to reach him, Earle sets of a flashbang that disorients Cooper. This gives Earle enough time to capture Annie with some chloroform and get out of the building. When Cooper comes to his senses, he tells Truman, who starts to get a perimeter setup. It’s here that Andy is finally able to reach Cooper and tell him what he found.
The puzzle they’ve been studying isn’t a puzzle at all, but a map!
So now, we come to the Season Finale (and ultimately the Series Finale) of Twin Peaks, which Lisa will close out tomorrow. Can Cooper save Annie? Can he catch Windom Earle? Is Nadine okay? What about Lucy and Andy? What about that blooming key? Will Donna confront all of her parents? Will Leo manage to escape the box of tarantulas? Hopefully, all of these will be answered.
This is my final piece on Twin Peaks. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about this show as we have writing about it. A lot of work went into this from different sides. This has been an awesome project to be a part of, and I’d like to give a quick thanks to both Lisa and Jeff for having me on board.