Audrey’s return to Twin Peaks was an exercise in futility

SHO

Usually when I’m watching an episode of Twin Peaks I’m taking notes just to keep track of all that’s happening. I can usually fill both sides of a regular sheet of paper folded in half so I have four pages. This week I barely got three of those pages filled by an episode thats main attraction was finally giving us the return of Audrey Horne. And that was a WTF scene if there ever was one. More on that in a moment.

One of the episode’s bigger moments came early as Gordon and Albert had a chat with Tammy about the government’s UFO investigation unit known as Project Blue Book, which had been shut down in the 70s after supposedly finding no real evidence of UFOs. But … that was just a ruse, a cover up, which led to the formation of Blue Rose. Aha! Phillip Jeffries was appointed to head up the Blue Rose squad which also included Cooper and Albert. And of the squad’s members, only Albert has not gone missing. So who better to invite to join the squad than Tammy. Excited, intrigued, frightened, this little moment was probably Chrysta Bell’s best performance to date.

And then Diane enters the room, divided by some familiar looking red curtains. Of course Diane’s history with Cooper also makes her uniquely suited to join this team, on a temporary basis (and for some cash, because Diane doesn’t do anything unless she benefits), so when asked if she’d agree to be deputized, she replies, “Let’s rock.” Hmmm, not an unfamiliar phrase to Twin Peaks fans as it was said by The Man From Another Place in the original series, and was also written on a car windshield in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. So how does all of this connect to Diane. Or does it?

SHO

But are Gordon and Albert really interested in her input into Blue Rose, or are they more interested in finding out who she’s been communicating with? After their meeting, Diane’s at the hotel bar and gets a text: “Las Vegas?” Her reply is interesting, “They haven’t asked yet.” She doesn’t know Albert has been intercepting her texts, and he and Gordon are curious to know what she knows they haven’t told her yet. And what purpose did the scene with the French woman in Gordon’s room serve except to just eat up time? In a show filled with some ridiculous moments, this had to be the most ridiculous as the took her good, sweet time exiting the room while Albert stood stone-still and waited and Gordon ogled her lasciviously. If that whole scene was so Lynch could make a turnip/turn up joke, then Miguel Ferrer’s reaction probably required not one bit of acting. The other major moment from all of this came when Diane did a search for the numbers seen on Ruth Davenport’s arm. Turns out they are coordinates for … Twin Peaks. Hmmm …

SHO

The rest of the episode spent time giving us more glimpses into the lives of the denizens of Twin Peaks, although it was more “what the heck is happening?” stuff. Jerry Horne finally seems to have found his way out of the woods. Sarah Palmer, shopping for vodka and cigarettes, has a meltdown in the grocery store after seeing some beef jerky on display at the register. I suppose she was justified since it was turkey jerky. No one wants that. Hawk pays her a visit at home and is concerned by a banging sound in her house. She tersely tells him it’s nothing and he tells her to call him if she needs anything. Emphasis on the anything. But at the grocery store, Sarah said, “Men are coming!” during her meltdown. But who? Gordon and Albert? Woodmen? She also implied that something unpleasant had happened to her … like maybe swallowing a weird, alien bug as a child?

There was more time filler with Carl at the New Fat Trout Trailer Park (the name explains why he’s now in Twin Peaks) as he gave a tenant money so he didn’t have to sell his blood for food, and Doctor Amp did another podcast ranting about treasonous politicians (timely!) and continuing to hawk his golden shovels. Nadine is very satisfied with hers.

SHO

Truman paid a visit to Ben Horne to give him the news that Richard, his grandson, is the one who ran over the little boy and nearly killed Miriam, but she has no insurance and needs a life-saving operation. Ben offers to cover all of her expenses. Ben also shows Truman the key to room 315, Cooper’s old room, that showed up in the mail, telling him he was going to send it to Harry as a keepsake. Frank offered to take it to Harry, but I believe he’s got a bit more interest in it since the case they’re working on now is also related to Cooper. After Frank leaves, Ben tells Beverly a story about a bike his father gave him and she is oddly moved to tears. It didn’t seem like a tearjerker story, but something about it moved her.

With a whole bunch of nothing happening to move the plot forward too much — and with only eight episodes left, fully two-thirds of the way through the series now — we finally got our first look at Audrey Horne in a scene that really went nowhere while throwing a bunch of names at us that we’ve never heard before. This certainly was not the Audrey we expected, a shrill woman married to an odd man named Charlie, having an affair with a man named Billy, who’s been missing for a few days. And someone named Tina was allegedly the last person to see Billy, so Charlie agrees to call her instead of going with Audrey to the Roadhouse to look for Billy. During the call, Tina told Charlie that Chuck saw Billy take his truck, or Chuck took Billy’s truck … I really lost track of the story that only Charlie heard on the phone while Audrey mimed her aggravation, but apparently something bad happened to Billy that Charlie did not tell Audrey, and that was the end of that.

SHO

Now, it seems like we haven’t heard these names before, but I’m willing to ber the Billy Audrey is having an affair with is the same Billy Bing was looking for at the Double R, and the truck that went missing was the truck Richard took and ran down the boy with. Which would explain why Audrey’s soon-to-be ex-husband did not blurt out the information the mysterious Tina was giving him over the phone. Of course that’s all speculation as we heard as much of the conversation as Audrey did, which was nothing. But it seems a good bet that Charlie is now aware of Richard’s misdeeds.

And then we’re at the Roadhouse with more people we don’t know talking about even more people we don’t know: Angela, Clark, Mary. I assume the two women talking were Abbie and Natalie, based on the end credits crawl, and they were joined by some frantic guy named Trick, who had been run off the road by someone in a pickup truck. Billy, perhaps? Or Chuck? And then the Chromatics played us out with the song “Saturday”.

SHO

There was one other major moment as Hutch and Chantal apparently assassinated the warden outside of his home and in front of his young son. And for a show “Starring Kyle MacLachlan,” he was here for maybe 30 seconds in one scene as Sonny Jim attempted to play catch with his dad. The ball just bounced off of him as Dougie seems to have no real motor functions unless someone actually guides him.

Up to this point, Twin Peaks has been intriguing, baffling, maddening and beautiful, arguably David Lynch’s cinematic masterpiece, but this episode that amounted to nothing more than filler — while tarnishing one of the show’s more beloved characters (a result of the rumored friction between Lynch and Sherilyn Fenn?) — was the one low point thus far. One has to wonder about all the names brought up this week. Is Lynch planning to do another season of Twin Peaks with these new characters (one review of the episode noted that it seemed Audrey was in a different show altogether), or is he just screwing with us? Who knows, but we really need to start tying things up moving into the last third of the season/series.

What did you think of this episode? Where you happy to finally see Audrey? Can we expect the real Cooper soon? Tell us what you think!

 

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