Mon
Aug 28 2017 3:15pm

Twin Peaks: The Return Review: Parts 14, 15, and 16

Part 14: “We Are Like the Dreamer”

Heaps of reveal in this surreal saturated episode, although certain junctions are far from satisfactory. What works: David Bowie, once again, as the time-tripping FBI Agent Phillip Jefferies asks Gordon Cole (David Lynch), “Who do you think this is there?” pointing to Agent Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan). That pivotal scene from the prequel Fire Walk With Me (1992) takes on new relevance knowing what we now know about Bad Coop—I like the puzzlement on Albert’s and Gordon’s faces as they realize they had forgotten Jefferies’s appearance at the Philadelphia office. (Nice cameo by the beautiful Monica Belluci, who routinely graces Gordon’s dreams guiding him toward revelations.) Plus, more backstory as Albert is filling in Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell), freshly minted on the Blue Rose case that teamed Jefferies and Cole. It seems that the two Coopers are not the first time this duplicitous event has occurred, and Tammy tosses out a word I had to look up: Tulpa—extra bodies that can travel to other realms via thoughtform.

Sheriff Truman (Robert Forester), Hawk (Michael Horse), Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), and Andy (Harry Goaz) go into the woods and find Naido (Nae) naked, coiled up, and trembling. Andy grasps her arm and is teleported to the Giant that Lynch is now calling The Fireman. Staring at the ceiling, Andy gets info-packed images of Laura Palmer, the bearded men, the #6 on the telephone pole, him and Lucy, and most importantly, the two Coops. Coming back from the other dimension, Andy declares they need to protect Naido from people trying to kill her.

With four episodes to go, Lynch has to move the narrative along, but this is beginning to feel like a cheat—especially when Diane (Laura Dern) drops that she is the half-sister of Janey-E. No foreshadowing—just Bam! Now you know. Very unsatisfying. If I missed the clues, which in this smorgasbord narrative is possible, I stand corrected.

Extra Slices of Cherry Pie: The drunk (Jay Aaseng) in the Twin Peaks jail cell, looking like a Walking Dead extra, mimics Deputy Chad Broxford’s every sentence. Security guard and friend of James Hurley, Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle), tells the tale of meeting The Fireman and donning a green gardening glove becoming Twin Peaks' lame version of the Iron Fist. Biggest stunner is when Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) removes her face (similar to Laura in Episode 1, major chintzy FX) and kills a trucker at the bar. Next generation youth at the Bang Bang mention Tina, which is the name that popped up while Audrey Horne was talking about her lover Billy.

Part 15: “There’s Some Fear In Letting Go”

The heart of The Return has been the Log Lady calling Hawk with vital, cryptic info. Holding her sentient log (that she says has now turned gold), we know that not only is she dying but also the actress, Catherine E. Coulson, who plays her was near death when she filmed these pivotal shots back in 2015. “There’s some fear, some fear in letting go,” she bravely tells Hawk, but she acknowledges death is not the end, just a change. Heartbreaking, lovely acting. My opinion of this character has made a 180-degree turnabout from the old days when I considered her a disposable, quirky character that was there for corny laughs at best. We always knew Log Lady had an inside track on Twin Peaks happenings, but now we more completely understand that she has been a stout, major warrior fighting the forces of evil all along. Rest in peace, Margaret ... and Catherine.

Bad Coop encounters the embodiment of Phillip Jefferies, who some online chatter claims resembles a coffee pot or teapot. After entering the other realm through the crackling convenience store and gas station (that first appeared after the Trinity New Mexico blast), Coop is escorted by several ghouls of various depleted states of deterioration to where he meets Jefferies (voiced by Nathan Frizzell), who gives him the number where he can find “Judy,” whoever the hell she is. Intriguing that Jefferies says in an almost lamenting voice that they used to talk and Bad Coop, in his own way, concurs. What’s the extent of that relationship? The always enigmatic Jefferies still remains an ongoing mystery, and I, for one, could watch an entire film featuring his travels through time and space.

Extra Slices of Cherry Pie: Nadine frees Ed to be with Norma (Peggy Lipton). While Gersten tries to help, Steven, whacked out of his mind, pulls the trigger. Freddie, defending his buddy James, knocks two men (one is Renee’s husband) unconscious with possible brain damage at the very least. Duncan Todd and Roger are assassinated by Chantal. Agent Cooper, aka Dougie Jones, upon hearing the name Gordon Cole while watching Sunset Boulevard on TV, sticks a fork in a light socket and zaps himself silly. More indecipherable (and annoying) back and forth mishmash from Audrey and Charlie. She finally grabs him around the throat and screams how much she hates him. It's sinking in that Audrey is probably not part of the waking world, possibly comatose, committed, or in some other dimension. We do learn that Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) is the son of Audrey and is now in the employ of Bad Coop. Awful career move.

Part 16: “No Knock, No Doorbell”

“I am the FBI,” a revitalized Agent Dale Cooper proclaims to an astonished Bushnell Williams (Don Murray), and the collective Twin Peaks viewing audience shouted “YEAH!” at that gorgeous, cheesy line. But dammit, finally. Phillip Gerard (Al Strobel) gives him one of those “transporter” rings for when Coop finds his doppelgänger. Recovered “one hundred percent,” he begins directing the Mitchum’s to fuel their plane for their trip to Spokane and says goodbye to Sonny Jim and Janey-E.

This episode feels like it naturally should have occurred around #13 or #14 on the narrative timeline, but that’s a small gripe considering it seemed like Lynch was sidelining Cooper until the last show. Not since Tom Baker returned in the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who has there been such overwhelming joy—as in the kid at Christmas variety—at a character’s reappearance.

Diane Evans breaks down emotionally to Gordon, Albert, and Tammy, revealing that Bad Coop had raped her years ago. She was then taken to the old gas station and “prepared” for future use. Possibly the most startling, freakiest scene, thus far, was Diane being shot by Albert and Tammy and then having her tulpa yanked away in a supernatural one-way ticket to the Black Lodge where Gerard tells her she was manufactured by someone. She gives a defiant, final “Fuck You” before returning to a small golden sphere known as a seed. Sadly, that means, up to this point, we haven’t really got to know the genuine Diane Evans and that’s, perhaps, for the better. The Diane I imagined all those years ago never was fully realized by the Laura Dern incarnation. Perhaps, we are still to meet her.

Extra Slices of Cherry Pie: Good riddance to supercilious Richard Horne, who got zapped in an electrified booby trap meant for Bad Coop. But the doppelgänger’s “goodbye, my son” has me wondering if it was a figure of speech or something more. Did he father a child with Audrey? Chantal and Hutch (Tim Roth), waiting to kill Cooper outside the home of Janey-E and Dougie Jones, get gunned down by an accountant who just wanted to park in his driveway—going to miss those two whack jobs. After a fabulous performance of “Out of Sand” by Eddie Vedder, the dapper MC (J.R. Starr) of the Roadhouse announces “Audrey’s Dance,” and Audrey Horne, who finally made it to the bar, takes center stage and begins swaying dreamlike to that iconic, hypnotic instrumental. For someone who was enamored by the young Sherilyn Fenn, I was equally taken with the mature woman, still rapt by her sweet yet alluring hand and hip movements in her self-contained world—of a time long past. A bar fight snaps her back. Audrey sans makeup stands in front of a vanity mirror, facing a stark truth. Not sure this one undeniably great scene justifies the long build-up of the character’s ultimate reality (whatever that may be), but it was superbly acted by Ms. Fenn.

See also: Twin Peaks: The Return Review: Parts 11, 12, and 13

 


David Cranmer is the publisher and editor of BEAT to a PULP. Latest books from this indie powerhouse include the alternate history novella Leviathan and sci-fi adventure Pale Mars. David lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

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