Twin Peaks part 15 review

(Each week, we’re going to kick off a discussion about Twin Peaks: The Return by answering one question: what was the best scene of the episode?)

As Twin Peaks approaches the conclusion of its new season, I wondered if co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost might begin to narrow their focus and concentrate on the task of converging plot lines for the remaining hours the show has left. While last night’s fifteenth hour of The Return wasn’t quite as satisfying (to me) as the previous episode, it did manage to bring multiple storylines together in a way that at least seems appropriate for a show whose ending is in sight.

The Best Scene in Part 15

DoppelCooper enters the woodsmen’s convenience store/gas station/entrance to the Lodge and, after a prolonged walk through the supernatural setting, tracks down former FBI Agent Phillip Jeffries in an inter-dimensional motel room. Since David Bowie (the actor who played Jeffries in Fire Walk With Me) has passed away, the character now takes the form of what looks like a distillation flask spewing steam, speaking to DoppelCooper through a mechanism in a way that reminded me of the preferred communication method of the Wizard of Oz. DoppelCooper wants to know who “Judy” is and what she might want with him, and I do too. Who is Judy? I’ve seen speculation that Judy may be another name for Laura Palmer, which would be a nice way to tie this all together at the end if it’s true. But in the meantime, I’d love to hear your theories. When he leaves the Lodge, he runs into Richard Horne, who finally confirms that he’s Audrey’s son. The two get into a car together and head for Vegas, but will we ever find out if they are actually father and son?

Worth noting: when DoppelCooper first asks a woodsman to see Jeffries, the guard flips a switch behind a TV, revealing some shaky, quick images of a masked figure that recalls the Jumping Man (a character who appeared at a meeting above a convenience store in FWWM). I went frame by frame through the footage of that character’s face, and it looks like Lynch and Frost have superimposed Sarah Palmer’s face over that mask. I took a screenshot and enhanced the image:

TP Sarah Jumping Man

I’m not crazy, am I? Looks a lot like her to me. I’ve been wondering a lot about Sarah ever since we saw that bug creature crawl into that girl’s mouth in the 1950s (I’m assuming that’s a younger version of her), and last week’s face removal scene indicates that there’s definitely more going on with this character than meets the eye. But I’m still not sure I have enough evidence to piece together a coherent theory. What do her abilities mean about a potential understanding of (or relationship to) Bob or the rest of the Lodge inhabitants? In other words, is she “in on” whatever the hell is going on in the bigger picture, or is she just a regular woman who has tapped into this unknown world?

The episode opens with an enlightened Nadine giving Ed permission to finally be with Norma, the love of his life, treading some ground the series has already covered earlier in its run. When Ed goes into the Double R to profess his love, the show teases us a little by having Norma put him off in order to meet up with her business partner, leaving Ed thinking that he might be too late. But Norma sells off her shares of her franchised restaurants in order to reset to the way things used to be (another potential meaning of The Return in the title): she retains ownership of the Twin Peaks Double R. There’s one notable improvement, though: the long-time lovebirds will finally be together for real this time, because Norma accepts Ed’s marriage proposal. I knew those two crazy kids were going to make it.

In the woods of Twin Peaks, Becky’s drugged out husband Steven is freaking out and presumably shoots himself in the head. That’s a hell of a bad trip, and it looks like trailer park owner Carl Rodd might be the one who eventually recovers the body. At the Roadhouse, James Hurley can’t help but say hello to his crush, and her jealous husband and his buddy start beating the crap out of him right there in the middle of the place. James’ young co-worker Freddie, who we learned last week has super strength in one hand (don’t ask) defends James and puts the two guys in intensive care. Freddie and James end up in jail, where that bleeding guy is still bothering Chad and the eyeless woman from the Lodge is still being protected.

In the episode’s saddest sequence, Hawk gets one more phone call from Margaret, the Log Lady, who gives him one last bit of advice before she dies. The actress who played Margaret died before this season began, so it was a bittersweet moment to see Hawk say goodbye to her and to see Lucy and the others react to the news of her passing.

Meanwhile, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) kills Duncan Todd and his assistant, unremarkably removing that loose end from the show. (She’s presumably been sent by DoppelCooper to kill Todd and Dougie Jones, the man Duncan Todd had proven unable to kill throughout this whole season.) And Audrey Horne finally gets fed up with Charlie’s monotonous yammering that she flips and begins choking him on the couch. I’m normally not one to encourage murder, but I hope she finishes the job and we never have to see that guy again; her plot line this season has been a giant “eff you” to any fans hoping Audrey would be a major part of this revival.

I’m hesitant to assign excessive importance to the notable moment I haven’t discussed yet, because Lynch and Frost have shown many times over that they aren’t always interested in conventional methods of storytelling. But this has the potential to be one of the biggest moments of the season: the real Cooper might finally be back. While mindlessly eating a piece of chocolate cake, he accidentally turns on the TV to find Sunset Boulevard playing, and when Cecil B. DeMille calls for a character coincidentally named Gordon Cole, that familiar name triggers Cooper in a way we haven’t seen from him since he emerged from an electric socket many episodes ago (again…don’t ask). But a socket nearby seems to call to Coop, who sticks his fork in and shorts out the whole house. Will the next episode see him back to his normal self? Will the most obvious reading of The Return from the title be fulfilled? Or will this just be Lynch and Frost screwing with us yet again, withholding what we desperately want to see? We’ll find out next week.

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