As we head into the second half of Twin Peaks, Lynch and Frost threw quite a lot at us this week, some of it appearing to be quite nonsensical, like Jerry Horne trying to get a cell phone signal in the middle of the foreast and yelling that he’d been there before, and some of it very, very important like another welcome and surprising appearance by the Log Lady. The episode jumped all over the place from South Dakota to Vegas to Twin Peaks and back again, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that need to be assembled, so the best way to examine the episode is by location. If there is one theme running through the episode, it’s the use of the color red which plays a key part in nearly every scene.
The Vegas sections focus mostly on the Mitchum Brothers (Robert Knepper and Jim Belushi), the casino owners who felt they were cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by Mr. Jackpots and not really believing his name was Dougie Jones … until they saw him on TV after the attempted murder by Ike the Spike. Brother Rodney learned his name in fact is Dougie Jones and they have a score to settle with him. And he also needs to call off the hit on Ike since the police already have him.
There is also a bit of very odd, which is relative on Twin Peaks, behavior by the three “cocktail waitresses” who are at the brothers’ beck and call, particularly the one named Candie. When we first see her, she’s trying to swat a fly with a red napkin but ends up using a remote to kill the fly … which happens to be sitting on Rodney’s face, sending her into an emotional tail spin. Later, after getting instructions from Duncan Todd, crooked insurance agent Anthony Sinclair pays a visit to the casino and Candie is sent — after yelling her out of a daze — to bring him to the brothers. On the monitors they watch her gesturing all around the casino while Sinclair listens, and then they have to tell the pit boss to send both of them up to the office. When asked what she was talking about, she gave what sounded like the weather forecast that was on TV earlier, and was pointing out all of the air conditioning ducts. I don’t know if I buy that at all. It looked more like she was describing Mr. Jackpots’ movements around the casino, but Sinclair doesn’t dispute her account of the conversation (did anyone think to ask the pit boss?).
Sinclair is there to lay the groundwork for a hit job on Douglas Jones, not knowing the brothers already have him in their sites. Sinclair works for Duncan Todd and he is to tell the brothers how Dougie was responsible for them not receiving the insurance claim for their casino that burned down (probably arson) that Sinclair had worked so hard on to make it seem legit. So to them now it seems that not only did Dougie cheat them in the casino, but he cheated them out of millions in insurance (fraud) money. It’s not looking good for Dougie … but it’s not all bad.
Janey-E finally got him to a doctor, but instead of being concerned about his mental faculties, Doctor Ben (John Billingsly) was more impressed with Dougie’s physical changes … and Janey-E seemed to finally take notice too. Was this the first time since he’d come home that she’d seen him with his shirt off? At home, Janey-E watched Dougie eat chocolate cake, obviously turned on by what she’d seen earlier (and, take note, also wearing red shoes while ogling him). They ended up having hilariously bizarre sex with Dougie’s arms flapping like wings, and a lot of “OH DOUGIEEEEEEEEEEEE!” from Janey-E that unfortunately woke up Sonny Jim, probably scarring him for life. Janey-E will probably also be scarred when she realizes Dougie is not Dougie.
In an episode that was filled with some pretty disturbing violence mostly directed at the female characters, we did get one brief respite as Gordon and Tammy spied on Albert and medical examiner Constance Talbot enjoying a few drinks together. He had her at “What happens in season two?”
Later, Gordon is drawing something that looks like a lizard dog with tree-like antlers with a hand on an extended arm reaching for it. Does this mean anything or is it just Lynch doodling? He’s interrupted by a knock on the door and when he opens it he has a vision of young Laura Palmer’s face filling the doorway, screaming, and as she fades away Albert is standing there. He does not relate what he has just seen, and it’s an interesting thing for Gordon to see as he was never really that close to the Palmer case. But Albert has some disturbing news: they intercepted the text Diane received and timed it to have come after Evil Coop escaped from prison. They thought it was from one of Diane’s gentleman callers (apparently she has a stable of them), but the message was pinged to Mexico and her heavily encrypted reply, “They have Hastings. He’s going to take them to the site,” confirms the suspicions Gordon had about Diane when she hugged him earlier. So if Diane is working with Evil Cooper, why did she tell Gordon that he wasn’t the real Cooper? What is her game? While we ponder this, Tammy arrives with a photo showing Evil Cooper in the penthouse in New York, which means the speculation about Audrey Horne being the owner of the room with the glass box is way off base (and just where is Audrey?). Evil Coop must have set up the box to capture the real Cooper so he is not able to re-enter this world. And he almost had him. But there was someone else visible in the photo that no one addressed. Hmmmmm.
Lynch continues to expose the sordid underbelly of our favorite little town, mostly in the form of the terrible Richard Horne. First he goes to Miriam’s mobile home, knowing she witnessed him run down the young boy. She claims she’s only told the police what she saw, and she mailed a letter to Sheriff Truman. Richard is not happy about that, so he enters the trailer, and we hear a scuffle. Inside, Richard has lit a candle and opened the oven door, presumably having turned on the gas as well, while Miriam lays face down in a puddle of blood. If she’s not dead, she will be soon.
Then were back at Sylvia Horne’s home, Johnny seemingly sedated and bound to a dining room chair, focused on a bizarre teddy bear with a fish bowl for a head, repeatedly asking Johnny how he’s doing today. A call comes and Sylvia is alerted that her grandson is on his way. Okay, so this pretty much confirms that he is the offspring of Audrey, and also suggests the Coop doppelgänger just may be the father after his visit to her in the hospital all those years ago. Sylvia tells Richard to stay away but he barges in and proceeds to choke her in an effort to get money out of her so he can leave town. He takes everything she has, including jewelry and silverware … and her purse! Poor Johnny is helpless to defend his mother, and it’s certainly one of the more shocking moments involving one of the beloved original characters. But she lives and calls Ben to tell him he will make amends for her losses, to which he says he won’t, and she threatens to call her lawyer.
Over at Carl Rodd’s trailer park, Carl sits outside strumming a guitar, singing “Red River Valley”, interrupted by a red coffee cup flying through a window from a neighboring trailer. Which happens to belong to the scummy Steven Burnett, husband to Shelly’s presumed daughter Becky, yelling incoherently at her as she cowers on the couch. He comes close to assaulting her physically, and he may have but we don’t know for sure, but the last thing he says to her is that he knows what she did. Did she do anything or is he just having a drug-fueled episode?
Back to Richard who calls the awful Deputy Chad and tells him about Miriam’s letter, and that he has to intercept it before it gets to the sheriff. Chad’s on it, trying to distract Lucy with some small talk as he waits for the mail truck. He offers to go get the mail after Lucy tells him the mailman will bring it in, but he goes out anyway. And here we see Lucy may not be the space cadet she puts on. Remember in the original series when she snapped into action and typed out a complete transcript of two people talking without anyone’s knowledge? Here she is very suspicious of Chad (as is the mailman) and watches him through the window. Did she see Chad stuff Miriam’s letter into his shirt?
While Jerry Horne is still lost in the woods, Doctor Jacoby is ranting on another podcast about how the government is poisoning us with all the chemicals in food, so buy that golden shovel and dig yourself out of the shit! We have no idea if anyone is actually watching him … except for Nadine, who is totally enamored with him, saying he’s beautiful. The best moment here comes when we see the exterior of the building Nadine is in. It’s not her house, it’s a store called “Run Silent, Run Drapes”! Nadine apparently did get her silent drape runner patent! Good for her, and a nice little call back to the original series.
But the most key moment of the episode, and perhaps the series as a whole, comes in a call to Hawk from the Log Lady. Hawk just sits and listens as she delivers another message from The Log:
“Hawk. Electricity is humming. You hear it in the mountains and rivers. You see it dance among the seas and stars, and glowing around the moon, but in these days, the glow is dying. What will be in the darkness that remains? The Truman brothers are both true men. They are your brothers. And the others … the good ones who have been with you, now the circle is almost complete. Watch and listen to the dreams of time and space. It all comes out now, flowing like a river. That which is and is not. Hawk … Laura is the one.”
Boom! To me this confirms that Laura was always more than just a teenaged girl besieged by terrible events that were visited upon her. As we saw back in episode eight, Laura was sent here by the Giant (or someone who looks like the Giant as he’s billed in the credits as ???????) and Senorita Dido to protect the world from the evil that was released in the Trinity nuclear blast. Perhaps she didn’t know then her power, which is way BOB succeeded in killing her, but in doing so he released her spirit, gone from the physical world but still hovering over her hometown — which is why the opening titles always start with that image of Laura’s high school photo. It’s not just a bit of nostalgia. Laura Palmer is the axis around which everything in this story turns.
And now we have just eight episodes left to see how this all plays out.
The episode ended back at the roadhouse with a lovely musical performance by Rebekah Del Rio (who sang a pivotal song in Lynch’s Mulholland Drive) crooning the Lynch co-penned song “No Stars” with probably not insignificant lyrics like “My dream is to go to that place, You know the one, where it all began, on a starry night, on a starry night, when it all began.” It’s also probably no accident that Del Rio was wearing a black and white dress with a zig-zag pattern with a red velvet curtain as a backdrop to the stage (and was she purposely made to resemble Audrey Horne?). And yeah, that was Moby backing her up on guitar. Of all the performances thus far, this was the most Julee Cruise-ish song yet. And I’m still awaiting Cruise’s appearance, but I’m expecting her to be the last performer to close out the series.
What did you think of this episode? What’s up with Diane? Will Richard’s actions bring Audrey back to town? Will Laura Palmer return? Tell us what you think!