Twin Peaks returns to Starting Position

SHO

In a contrast to last week’s note taking, I had to start writing around the edges of my paper this week so as not to miss any details in this week’s episode of Twin Peaks which laid some major pieces of information on us and teased (or trolled) us with other little tidbits. There were also some major themes running through the episode that can perhaps sum up this run of the series as a whole once everything is said and done: the act of watching television, isolation, and cherry pie … or more specifically the love that goes into making that cherry pie.

Yes, that cherry pie made famous at the Double R Diner plays a huge role in this episode. For starters, it (and that hot coffee) seems to be the thing that triggers our Cooper trapped inside the body of Dougie Jones (well, it really is Cooper’s body but his mind is still trapped in the Black Lodge, trying to pierce that veil between the two worlds). Dougie was about to find himself in a whole heap of trouble when Anthony Sinclair saw the Mitchum brothers and their girls conga through the Lucky 7 offices with Dougie in tow. Calling Duncan Todd, Sinclair was given one day to take care of the Douglas Jones problem. And it turns out that Sinclair has some “friends” on the police force, including Detective Clark (John Savage), who are also in cahoots with Todd. But when it came to actually poisoning Dougie, Sinclair just couldn’t do it. A slice of cherry pie from the coffee shop and Dougie’s fascination with Sinclair’s dandruff saved Dougie’s life. To the point that Sinclair even confessed his misdeeds to Bushnell. Now all Sinclair has to do is testify against Todd to make things right. But back to that pie. We know Coop loves that pie from the Double R, and the two slices he’s had in Vegas have triggered him, but not to the point of setting him free. Why?

Well, the answer may just be found in Twin Peaks where cherry pie fixes everything. Just ask Becky. Calling her mom at the diner, Becky is despondent over her husband Steven not coming home for two days. Almost condescendingly, Shelly tells Becky that she has hungry customers and they can talk later. But hearing the despair in Becky’s voice, Shelly tells her to come to the diner and have a slice of cherry pie, topped with ice cream and whipped cream. Norma’s cherry pie can fix anything apparently as Becky takes her mom up on this offer that she just can’t refuse. Talk about turning a frown upside down.

SHO

So what is it about Norma’s pies that are so magical? This week we learned that she has begun franchising the Double R Diner, as Norma’s Double R, with five diners in her portfolio. But as her business partner/love interest Walter Lawford (Grant Goodeve) reveals, three of the five diners are turning a profit but the original one in Twin Peaks is actually losing money because of … the cherry pie, or the pies in general. And the reason is that Norma spends too much on ingredients — all natural, organic, etc — and doesn’t charge enough. The other diners use her recipes but cut corners on the ingredients which may or may not violate the terms of her agreement. Norma’s pies are made with love, but love doesn’t turn a profit. That love however, is what makes those particular pies so special and could be exactly why Coop just can’t break free. The question is, is there a Double R in Vegas, and will Coop ever get a slice of Norma Jennings’ authentic cherry pie? We can all hope that he will be set free, but as the last few episodes begin to wind down, that possibility is beginning to have a bleak resolution.

SHO

Aside from the cherry pie, Twin Peaks has always been about watching television … and being watched back, something that tied the original series fans closer to the show. There was a memorable moment in the original when BOB made his way across the furniture in the Palmer home, right up to the camera as he leered at the viewer, watching us while we watched him. It was an unsettling moment to say the least. But now, we’re more isolated from the proceedings while the others watch television or variations of a television screen. The Mitchum brothers oversee their casino on a bank of monitors. Nadine is glued to her computer monitor when Dr. Amp is doing his rant. This week found the evil Mr. C somewhere in Montana, tracking down his former henchman Ray, arriving at a stronghold overseen by a man named Renzo (Derek Mears). Here, Renzo and his crew watch Mr. C enter the compound via a giant high-def monitor. Later, Sarah Palmer is sitting in front of her TV again, isolated, surrounded by empty bottles of booze and ashtrays full of cigarette butts, watching the same few seconds of an old boxing match on an endless loop (accompanied by the crackle of electricity each time it restarts, which may connect to whatever Hawk heard inside her house). And at the end of the episode, instead of a performance at the Roadhouse (although there was one), we end on Ed, isolated like Sarah, sitting in his office at the Gas Farm, eating a cup of soup from the Double R, perhaps contemplating that look Norma gave him while she talked with Walter. But in lieu of a television, Ed was just staring out the window into the darkness. A window that happened to be pretty much the same dimensions as the giant TV at Renzo’s place. But in all of these cases, no one was watching back, and in the case of our beloved classic characters, all of them isolated from society, underscoring just how bad things have gotten in Twin Peaks since the death of Laura Palmer … and we’re still waiting for her golden light from Senorita Dido to come and save the town, and the world.

SHO

Besides Norma’s Double R franchise, the biggest plot development came from Montana, specifically The Farm that had been mentioned earlier. Mr. C was still after Ray and those numbers, what we now know are the coordinates for Twin Peaks. But in order to get them, C was forced to arm wrestle with Renzo. If he won, he was the new boss, if he lost he was dead meat. Of course Mr. C accepted the challenge, taunting Renzo with accusations that this was like kindergarten. In probably one of the season’s best scenes, Mr. C seemed to take great pleasure in toying with Renzo, allowing him to almost get his arm down, but then returning them to “starting position” because it was more comfortable. With everything else contained within this episode, perhaps this was the signal that the season is returning to its own starting position, i.e. the Twin Peaks that we all know and love (not that there isn’t a lot to love about this season). Of course it all ends very badly for Renzo, but Mr. C gets what he wants — answers from Ray. And some answers they are. He was hired by Phillip Jeffries to kill Mr. C because he had something Jeffries wanted (we can assume that to be the BOB orb we saw leave his body). When the deed was done, Ray was to place on of those gold rings on C’s finger … which he did not do. Had he done so, well, all of this could have been avoided and we’d probably have Cooper back where he belongs. C made Ray put the ring on. Ray says he knows who Mr. C is, and tells him that Jeffries is at someplace called The Dutchman. With all that information now in his possession, C shoots Ray in the head, the ring fades away and falls onto the floor of the Black Lodge, just as it did with Dougie, Philip Gerard places it on a table and Rays body is suddenly on the floor as well. And in the midst of all this, there was one other person who joined the group watching C and Ray on the big screen: Richard Horne, who moved closer to the screen, drawn to the image of Mr. C. Does he know who this is, or was he just drawn to the violence that was about to unfold?

SHO

And we also returned to the scene with Audrey Horne, pretty much right where we left off last time, with she still wanting to know what the mysterious Tina said to Charlie on the phone. But whereas we were led to believe the odd Charlie was Audrey’s husband last week, the whole scene played out quite differently this week leading to a whole bunch of speculation about what’s really going on here. And some of the conclusions have hinted at quite a tragic storyline for Audrey. Last week she was angry and shrill about not knowing where Billy was and Charlie not giving her any answers or assistance. Now that all seems to make sense as Audrey appears more fragile, unsure as she said of who she is, feeling like she trapped in two different places, feeling like two different people, not knowing where the Roadhouse is. Charlie, who seemed rather condescending to her last week, now sounds more professional, speaking to Audrey in a very level tone of voice, almost as if he is her therapist. At one point Audrey says something that relates back to her fate at the end of the original series when she says it feels like Ghostwood.

Ghostwood is the forest surrounding Twin Peaks and it’s also the name of the project her father Ben was working on from the beginning of the original series, and what she was protesting right before the bomb went off that landed her in a coma. So … what’s really happening with Audrey? Is she still in a coma, her consciousness fighting to get out, to bring her back into this world? It’s a possibility as the names she’s been reciting could very well be names she hears while she’s unconscious, incorporating them into this subconscious reality, and could very well be why she’s not mentioned her son if she doesn’t even realize he exists. This could also be why Ben hasn’t spoken of her and why she’s not been to the Great Northern, visited her mother and brother, or knows how to get to the Roadhouse. Other have suggested she, like Cooper, is trapped in the Black Lodge, in some wing we’ve not yet seen … until now. I’d discount that theory since none of this seems very Lodge-like, but the coma scenario makes a whole lot of sense at this point which means that Audrey, like Cooper, could be facing a very bleak resolution to this story especially with Charlie’s ominous statement, “Do I have to end your story too?” Could Charlie be a doctor in the real world suggesting that it’s time to pull the plug on Audrey? Or is she perhaps just in a mental hospital and all of this is an hallucination, spouting off about wanting to stay and wanting to go, Charlie telling her this is just Existentialism 101. There is a lot going on here, but can we trust David Lynch to give us the answers we want, or any answers at all?

SHO

Other Points of Interest

  • That was some sweet gym set the Mithcum brothers gifted to Sonny Jim, appropriately Vegas-like with a lighted arch and a spotlight sweeping the back yard as he played.
  • The Fusco detectives came across some vital information about Dougie Jones — his prints matched those of aa convict who escaped a prison in North Dakota two days earlier and a missing FBI agent — which they promptly trashed for being so absurd.
  • In a scene that seemed pretty meaningless, Hutch and Chantal drove through Utah discussing the mating habits of Mormons. A funny, nonsensical moment, but in context it means they are on their way to Vegas to deal with Dougie on Mr. C’s orders.
  • Dr. Jacoby saw one of his golden shovels hanging in the window of Nadine’s drapery shop and stopped to talk to the owner, not knowing it was Nadine. She was thrilled to see Dr. Amp in person, but apparently the last time Jacoby actually saw Nadine was seven years ago, she was on the floor of the grocery store trying to pick up a dropped potato. And there was a big storm that day. Nadine seemed as uncomfortable and confused by all of this as we are. Did something happen during that storm? Or was she just bothered by the fact that he didn’t offer to help her pick up that potato?
  • There was a performance at the Roadhouse this week — James Hurley! And in 25 years, he hasn’t written a new song, so he performed that divisive song from the original series, “Just You”. What you may not know is that Lynch used the same audio track from the original series and the two dead-eyed backup singers with James were actually lip-syncing to vocals provided by Sheryl Lee and … Lara Flynn Boyle! Boyle may have turned down a role on the show, but Lynch still managed to fit her in vocally (and visually, as she appeared in a photograph with Lee in the Sarah Palmer scene).
  • The girl in the booth crying and listening to James, Renee (Jessica Szohr), was seen sitting with Shelly in that booth way back in Episode 2. I was interested in her tattoos, whether they were really hers or not. Apparently they are both Szohr’s personal ink, one a date (her parents’ wedding day). But the one on her right wrist is the one of most interest, perhaps coincidentally, but perhaps Lynch saw it and purposely spotlighted it – an outline of a rose. A blue rose, perhaps? The reason it stood out is because Szohr has more tats on that arm, none of which were visible, possibly covered up with makeup so it’s interesting that this one tattoo was front and center in a shot.
  • Was Ed burning anything of importance at the end of the episode? Some have questioned what it was. I assumed it was just the top flap of the match pack, which was visible on the desktop. But really, Ed, you own a gas station. Should you really be playing with fire?

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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