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.