Things are heating up… and trouble’s on its way home.
This episode poses the quandary: is the Kyle Maclachlan acting like a gluehead counter reset to zero after this episode or do we just keep the running total at 6 and ¾ episodes? But we’ll get back to him in a bit…
This episode is all about consequences.
From immediate cause and effect to slow-roiling inevitability calling on its tabs, what has been set into motion those fateful twenty-five years prior are now delivering the consequences that define the reality of Twin Peaks: The Return.
We open with Jerry Horne lost in the woods, claiming that he can’t find his car. While this plays at first like a scene from Dude, Where’s my Car?, we soon see the scene in its sobering reality. Jerry is reduced from Wavy Gravy baby-booming burnout to a scared, vulnerable old man battling with senility. This highlights the razorblade that consequences can turn on. Even the lighthearted and innocuous can produce malignant growths.
Jerry has made selfish, petty and vice-laden decisions throughout his life. He is now lost from his path without a vehicle (four-wheel, spiritual, or otherwise). His brother, Ben, ended the original series repentant and truly determined to better himself spiritually. Ben ended this episode remaining chaste despite the subtle flirting of the lovely assistant, Beverly. His nobility is rewarded near instantly, his path extended as a literal key is placed in his hand to further his involvement with the creeping esoteric. Both results are consequences of the brothers’ choices spanning across the decades.
This series overarching theme in, inarguably, mortality; the acceptance of the relentlessness of time. Death, whether in the past or looming visible on the horizon, weighs heavy on many of these characters. This highlights the fragility of love and the importance of the bonds made in life in spite of its transience. This is all the more tragic when we see this bond violated.
This critical betrayal is captured no more tragically than in the long-awaited Diane. No cameo, she is the most fleshed out and consequential character to emerge from the Return. Whoever she was before, that woman has been lost to time. She is now a broken person. She is defined by her betrayal at the hands of what she assumed was Cooper. Brought to witness the captured Dirty Cooper, their exchange is horrifically uncomfortable. It is intimated that Dirty Cooper violated Diane shortly after escaping from the Black Lodge, potentially and unfortunately most likely attempted rape. This is more than just the ugliness of the physical act, Dirty Cooper has taken something pure, something previously unseen from our world, and tainted it, broken the bonds of trust with his pure malice- the darkness inherent in creation.
His is a presence that exists to corrupt, to sow misery and he’s just been released from prison. No wonder that the seemingly cheeky ending scene at the Double R diner carries with it ominous tones as the dreamy track “Sleep Walking” gets drowned out by a dark world of haunted reverb as we wait for next week’s return. Yes, I think many of our characters have been sleep walking in a dream world that are beginning to wake up to a painful real world barreling down the freeway in a beige rental with a friend in the glove box.
Speaking of sleep walking, Dougie slips out of his stupor for long enough to protect those around him when the time is called for. He strikes as the bystanders explained “like a cobra”, an innate knowledge buried within him. When Ike the Spike, the half-pint assassin, makes for Janey and Dougie there is no doughy insurance salesman, but a highly skilled agent getting a pep talk from the Black Lodge version of Groot taking care of business replete with judo chop! Unfortunately, he seems to have fallen back into Dougie just as quickly. Here’s hoping he’ll be unable to sleep walk much longer.
Robert Forrester’s Sheriff Frank Truman’s existence is defined by the precarious mortality of his off-screen brother, Harry S. Truman. Forrester’s pained one-sided conversation with his terminally ill brother is gut-wrenching despite being a measured and small performance. Forrester continues to deliver one of the most capable and consistent performances in the Return.
When Frank Truman calls up OG Twin Peaks alum Warren Frost’s Dr. Hayward he still has his brother’s imminent death on his mind. He can see the peaceful contentment that the geriatric Dr. Hayward has made with his own coming mortality. He has moved on from the tragic samsara of Twin Peaks both physically and psychically. Frank Truman almost feel guilty for even bringing up the bittersweet past and relents, leaving Doc Hayward outside of the exploits that dominate Twin Peaks.
Time also offers a chance for legacy and initiation. David Lynch’s Gordon Cole is training Agent Tamara Preston, slowly initiating her into the larger Blue Rose mysteries that only a select few know of. Counting the veiled message that Gordon Cole and Dark Cooper greeted each other with in the South Dakota prison on the tips of Preston’s fingers, it is wonderfully telling that the “spiritual” finger matches with the same digit that featured a reversed print on Dark Cooper’s file- corresponding with the word in the sequence that Dark Cooper offered in reverse. Both are tells that Dark Cooper is not who he appears to be.
Krysta Bell’s Agent Preston plays double duty as FBI initiate as well as audience initiate. Ironically David Lynch serves as guru for the both of us. as the audience re-acclimating to the mysteries of the series. It’s of no wonder that Lynch plays double-duty as guru for the both of us.
Notes from the Black Lodge
- Deputy Andy letting a vehicular manslaughter suspect just leave because he was nervous is just unacceptable.
- This episode aired on Father’s Day and was dedicated to Warren Frost, co-creator Mark Frost’s father who died shortly after filming.
- I like how the FBI are not tricked by Dark Cooper for a second.
- I like watching Janey’s rapid-fire defensive explanation to the cops. When giving her enough runway she really steps into her own opposed to merely reacting to Dougie.
- Is Dirty Cooper really that reputable of a source? Would you take the word of someone who mailed you a dog leg as gospel?
- So much happened this episode; we nearly forgot Hawk found missing pages to Laura Palmer’s diary and is on the case and is caught up with all the Black Lodge shenanigans!
Diane Evans (Laura Dern)
“Cheers to the FBI”
“Fuck you, Tammy.”
Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forrester)
“Keep working the sunny side of the river, doc.”
Black Lodge Nerve Tree
“Squeeze his hand off!”