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Twin Peaks: The Return – Part 15

As much as it saddens me to say it, we’re reaching the final hours of Twin Peaks: The Return.  This episode begins the difficult process of wrapping up a story that began more than twenty-five years ago.  Part 15 moved a few pieces in place for the final act, but it also offered some very satisfying conclusions.  The hour started off with a rare, unabashed happy ending for two characters who have waited a very long time for their happily ever after.

The last time we saw Big Ed Hurley, he was eating soup all alone in his office.  He was the picture of loneliness having just watched the love of his life flirting with her business partner from afar.  (There was also something weird going on with his reflection in the window, but that’s another conversation.)  But things changed for Ed when his eccentric wife, Nadine, came marching down to the Gas Farm with her golden shovel in hand.

Having listened to the message of Dr. Amp, Nadine had shoveled herself out of a world of shit and come to the conclusion that she should set her husband free.  At first, Ed was confused.  After decades of dealing with Nadine’s extreme reactions (which include memory loss and super strength), you can hardly blame Ed for being skeptical.  But once he accepted that Nadine’s offer was genuine, a weight was lifted from Ed Hurley.  He made his way to the Double R Diner as Otis Redding sang the all-too-appropriate “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.”

At first, it looked like Norma was giving Ed the brush-off when she told him she had a meeting with her business partner, Walter.  But it turns out Norma was cutting Walter loose.  She told him she wanted to exercise the option in her contract that allowed her to pull out of her franchise agreement.  That meant Norma would be free to continue losing money on her fresh-baked pies.  More importantly, it meant that she was finally free to find love with the grease monkey she’d been making eyes at for decades (remember, these two were an item in high school).

It was an uncharacteristically romantic moment for David Lynch.  But these characters have more than earned it.  Of course almost as soon as the scene ended, we were plunged into darkness.

The Doppelganger’s search for Phillip Jeffries took him to the convenience store where the Woodsmen hang out.  He climbed the stairs and disappeared into another realm where he met with Jeffries – sort of.  Since David Bowie, who portrayed the missing FBI agent in Fire Walk With Me, was not able to reprise his role due to failing health, Jeffries had evolved into a metal tea pot.

I’m not sure what Coopleganger was hoping to learn from Jeffries, but what he got was some clues about Judy.  Who’s Judy?  Twin Peaks fans have been asking that question ever since Bowie as Jeffries refused to talk about her in Fire Walk With Me.  For now, it remains one of the great unanswered questions of Twin Peaks mythology.  But Jeffries does give Dark Coop a phone number to call and tells him that they have already met.  After a few flashing images from Fire Walk With Me, the Doppelganger is returned to the real world – or what passes for it.

Outside the convenience store, Doppelcoop runs into Richard Horne who has followed him from The Farm.  Richard thinks Dark Cooper is an FBI agent because he has seen his mother’s pictures of Agent Cooper.  When asked, he confirms that he is Audrey’s son.  After quickly disarming Richard, the Doppelganger tells him to get in the truck.  They will talk on their way to Vegas.  Any evil father-son bonding that may or may not occur will have to wait until next week.

Meanwhile the real Agent Cooper is still stuck in the guise of doddering insurance agent, Dougie Jones.  His wife, blissfully unconcerned with her husband’s limited mental faculties as long as things keep going their way, serves Dougie a big ol’ slice of… chocolate cake.  It’s not cherry pie, but Dougie digs in anyway.  Janey-E remarks that all of their dreams are coming true which says a lot about what she wants out of life.  She can ignore the fact that her husband is incapable of independent thought as long as there is a new car in the driveway, a bag of money and a playground for Sonny Jim.

Dougie accidentally turns on the TV after fumbling with some items on the table.  As fate would have it, Sunset Boulevard is on.  Lynch fans know that the movie is one of the director’s favorites.  There are several references to Sunset Boulevard in Mulholland Drive.  It was also the inspiration for the name of Lynch’s character on Twin Peaks.  Dougie tunes in just in time to hear the name Gordon Cole and suddenly, at long last, something clicks into place in his addled brain.

He sees an electric outlet and hears the crackling energy that brought him back from the Black Lodge.  Looking more like his old self than ever, Agent Cooper/Dougie grabs a fork and prods the socket with it.  Under normal circumstances, this would be a bad idea, but this has got to be it, right?  This has got to be the moment in which Agent Cooper finally returns.  We’ll have to wait to find out.  Dougie short circuits the power in the Jones house and Janey-E arrives just in time to scream.

In the woods outside of town, Steven and Gersten are freaking out.  Miserable and strung out, Steven plans to kill himself.  Gersten’s efforts to talk him out of it are interrupted by a dog walker who happens upon them.  We hear a gunshot, so presumably Steven shot himself.  Later, we see the dog walker reporting the events to Carl at the Fat Trout Trailer Park.

The episode checked in on another pair of lovers.  Chantal and Hutch share one of the best romantic relationships in all of Twin Peaks.  They are undeniable soul mates.  Unfortunately, they are also remorseless killers who discuss their desire to engage in torture more often than they do while chowing on french fries.  After Chantal kills Duncan Todd and his assistant in their office, Hutch picks her up with extra ketchup packets and dessert.

About halfway through the hour, we visit the Roadhouse.  This is usually where episodes of TP: The Return end.  The last time we saw them, James and Freddy were planning to go to the Roadhouse after work.  When they arrive, James tries to start a conversation with a married woman named Renee, but he ends up getting into a fight with her husband.  Freddy ends the fight using his super-powered garden glove which puts James’ assailants in intensive care and lands the security guards in jail.

Last week, Daffy commented that the jail scene reminded him of a scene from the show in which Bobby and Mike made animal noises to intimidate James while they were all locked up.  Once again, James find himself in a jail cell listening to fellow inmates making strange sounds.  This time it’s Naido whose clicks and moans are being mimicked by the zombie-like drunk.

Speculation time.  Freddy was instructed to buy his magic glove by the Fireman.  He was told that it was part of his destiny.  That destiny has brought him to the Twin Peaks Sheriff Department at the same time that Naido is locked in a nearby cell for her protection.  Naido’s presence there was also based on direction from the Fireman.  I suspect Freddy’s powerful fist is going to be necessary to protect Naido sooner or later.

Another character’s story ended as the Log Lady called Hawk one final time.  She started the conversation with the words “I’m dying.”  The words carry extra weight because actress Catherine E. Coulson really was facing her own mortality when she delivered them.  Coulson filmed her scenes for the season before she succumbed to cancer in 2015.  So when she admits to “some fear of letting go”, we’re receiving a genuine message from a woman who was probably feeling the same mix of emotions as the character she was portraying.  Remorse, loss and mortality have been common themes on Twin Peaks: The Return.  The scenes between Hawk and Margaret have been one long goodbye.  After their conversation ends, Hawk tells the others in the sheriff’s office that the Log Lady has died.

 

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Posted on August 21, 2017, in TV, Twin Peaks. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. The reunion of Big Ed and Norma did get to me a little. When they followed that up with the mysterious entry into the place above the convenience store, I thought David Lynch and company were finally getting around to doing the things Twin Peaks fans actually want. The promise of Dale Cooper at last returning in earnest only added to that impression. The Steven and Audrey scenes were mild steps backwards, but neither was boring or poorly made.

    If the best of The Return continues to gain momentum through the following three weeks, we could very easily get something wonderful in the end.

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    • The Steven and Audrey scenes were the ones that engaged me the least this week (so much so that I forgot to comment on Audrey’s continuing argument with her husband).

      I’m not holding out for an ending that justifies the existence of the revival. I know this season has been off-putting for a lot of fans, but not for me. I am already won over. The Return has been one of my all-time favorite television experiences. Of course I want a stellar ending and I’m optimistic Lynch will deliver. I look forward to going back and watching (and rewatching) for all the connections and clues I missed the first time around. (I have learned to pay careful attention during the seemingly mundane scenes that play during the closing credits. Did you see the ghostly woman hanging out at the end of this episode?

      I am compiling a wish list of things I hope to see. I would love to see Bobby and Shelly make like Ed and Norma and get a happy ending. We need Cooper back. And I’m really hoping we haven’t seen the last of Laura. Speaking of Palmers, I need to know what’s going on with Laura’s mom! I want to know who Judy is. I know it’s unlikely since Heather Graham’s invitation to the reunion got lost in the mail, but I’d like to know how Annie is doing. I hope the Joneses don’t find themselves down one family member. Janey-E is incredibly superficial, but Sonny Jim deserves a dad. Oh, and Cooper needs to come back. Hopefully Diane is cleared of any wrong-doing, Audrey is redeemed and good triumphs over evil for the most part. Although I am perfectly fine if Hutch and Chantal continue to murder people in between visits to Wendy’s.

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      • Yes, I saw her. Although she clearly had a head when she unlocked the door for Coopelganger, the way she was shot for that outro made it look like she was headless. Not sure if that’s meaningful or if it’s just fun with photography. The thing that keeps scaring me is the production title with the loud electricity sound. Startles me just about every time.

        I’d probably be happy if all of the things you mention happen by the end of the season/series. It won’t be surprising to me at all though, if at least one truly horrifying and tragic thing happens to one of our favorite characters.

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        • If something horrifying or tragic happens, that’s fine. It’s Twin Peaks. The story started with a tragedy. I have a hard time imagining Lynch doing something awful to Andy or Hawk. Cooper has suffered enough. Sheriff Harry Truman could possibly die off camera, but that’s not “horrifying”. Sarah Palmer has nowhere to go but up. I could see Bobby or James making a heroic sacrifice. Albert or Gordon could disappear into the great beyond. Really, anything could happen. I’m down for wherever Lynch takes us. I’m giving Twin Peaks a lot of leeway that I wouldn’t give to other shows. I feel like Lynch and company have earned that, but I won’t argue too strongly if someone accuses me of being predisposed to like Twin Peaks.

          Sunday nights around the house, everyone knows not to disturb daddy while Twin Peaks is on. (The kids are pretty excited that it is almost over.) I can’t think of another show, not even the original series, that I have watched as actively as I watch TP: The Return. Sometimes I am sitting there waiting for something to happen, but I am on the edge of my seat the entire time. And then when something does happen, I can’t look away. I’m going to miss that experience when the show ends. I will give Showtime my money right now if they somehow convince Lynch to make a fourth season.

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        • I’m certainly very engaged with the idea of what we’ll get to see. I’m moving to a new apartment in a couple of weeks where a different cable company will be necessary. I re-upped my Showtime subscription for the single purpose of seeing the final installment.

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        • Congrats on the new apartment! Does that mean things are settling down? I know there was some stressful uncertainty this summer.

          I am debating at what point I want to cancel my Showtime subscription after the finale. I am tempted to maintain it longer than I ordinarily would as a way to say “thank you.” I want to financially support their investment in this show. However, it’s unlikely that there are ever going to be any more installments of Twin Peaks, so I’m not sure how long I should continue paying for Showtime. There’s not a whole lot else on the network that appeals to me.

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        • I’m moving closer to work. Much closer. Thankfully I like this job.

          The next couple of weeks will be busy. I start work on Thursday. I fly to Florida on the 1st. I return on the 4th. I move on the 9th. Of course lots of packing has already been done, but some just has to wait. We’ll see if I can pull it all off. 🙂

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        • That’s busy but it sounds like the good kind of busy. Good luck juggling all that. Can’t wait to hear about the trip.

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  2. Okay – – so that makes a little bit of sense…

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