Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Parts 1 & 2”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost
* For a recap & review of Episode 3, click here.
We start in that old dream with Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan): “I‘ll see you again in 25 years. Meanwhile.” And thus begins our walk down those familiar trails, through the town we knew so well. Revisiting the heartbreak surrounding Laura’s own murder.
Cut to Cooper in another dream with the Giant (Carel Struycken). Telling him to listen to the sounds, which come from an old gramophone record player. “It is in our house now,” he says. “Remember 430.” Is it a time? Or something else? Well, we’ll see how Cooper pieces together all the cryptic messages, y’know – when he does his thing.
At a camper in the woods is Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), the one and only. He gets a shipment of shovels. Not at all strange. The doc’s got a bit of digging to do. Meanwhile, in New York City, a young man (Ben Rosenfield) sits in a strange room with a glass box setup in the middle, lights and cameras trained on it. I’ve got a couple ideas about this – could he possibly be trying to contain a spirit from the Black Lodge? Too early to guess, even. It’s a genuine facility, security guards and cameras all over the place. A girl named Tracy (Madeline Zima) shows up with coffee, but the work is very secretive, so she’s sent off fast. The young gentleman has work to do watching the glass box, the porthole in the building’s wall. Hmm.
Back in Twin Peaks, Benjamin Horne (Richard Beymer) is business as usual with a new secretary Beverly (Ashley Judd), and you know brother Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) is kicking around like a hippy as usual. In fact he’s growing weed these days. They’re hilarious as ever. Then there’s sweet Lucy Moran now Brennan (Kimmy Robertson), still at the police station running the show in her unique way.
More of those dark roads we know well. Ominous music playing over top. Headlights lead us to a house where Agent Cooper pulls up and goes inside to see a man named Otis. Coop’s looking… tough, different. Is it possible this is the bad Coop? The one who came back possessed from the Black Lodge? No matter for now, he’s there to get a pair named Ray and Daria.
Back at the NYC, our watcher receives another visit from Stacy while the guards seem to be off on a break. He explains it’s a “job to help with school.” The place belongs to an anonymous billionaire. That’s curious. He has to watch and see if anything appears in the box. Oh yes, they’re looking for spirits from the Black Lodge. I know it! While they’re meant to be watching the box, they have sex. And of course something happens. The box fills with darkness. Then something inside becomes more visible, an odd corpse-like figure; it breaks out. Then dices the two lovers to bloody bits. Jesus. Terrifying.
In an apartment building Marjorie Green and her dog come across something foul in a nearby room. The woman who lives there, Ruth Davenport, hasn’t been seen in three days. Police arrive promptly to check on things, though with not much help from Marjorie. Nor any of the other people in the building. When they get into Ruth’s apartment they discover her corpse in bed, a hole in her face. Not just that – her head is cut off, her body posed and twisted in a ritualistic fashion. It’s happening again.
The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) calls to speak with Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse). “Something is missing, and you have to find it.” She also tells him it’s to do with Agent Cooper, as well as his own heritage. Now this is interesting! I’m hoping this time around Lynch and Frost give us more Hawk, I love him. Hawk, Lucy, and Andy (Harry Goaz) are starting to look into the Log Lady’s clues. We find out Coop’s actually been missing for nearly 25 years. Did Bob infect Coop all those years ago then take him on a joy ride?
A fingerprint match comes up from the crime scene at the apartment building: William Hastings (Matthew Lillard), a local Buckhorn boy. The principal of a school. Ah, in proper Twin Peaks fashion things are about to get fucked up. But they’re never all they seem, ever. Hastings is naturally picked up by the cops. He’s questioned about Ms. Davenport, denying any relationship with her or being at her apartment. Soon he’s asking for a lawyer. Things aren’t looking too good, though he doesn’t exactly seem like the murderer. Surely there’s an evil lurking somewhere behind all this. Feels like something we’ve seen before, too.
When the cops have a look at the Hastings home they open his trunk and find themselves a torn patch of skin. No bail for ole Bill. More interesting is that he says he wasn’t there, except he had a dream that he was there.
Oh, this is absolutely where Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) found himself a couple decades ago. As night falls a strange figure appears in one of the cells, quite unsettling. At home Bill’s wife gets shot in the face by a mysterious stranger in the dark.
Those Black Lodge spirits are still swarming, and the town of Twin Peaks was only a start. Just look at Agent Jeffries (David Bowie) and all that he went through, it isn’t a confined problem. This is one of the excellent parts about the series comeback, so far we’ve already seen it branch out to NYC, Buckhorn. Delicious!
In the city of Las Vegas, a man named Mr. Todd (Patrick Fischler) is being extorted. He sends an employee named Roger with a wad of bills for a payoff. He’s being forced to hire someone.
We go back to Coop, in a diner, with Ray and Daria. There’s definitely something quite different about Agent Dale, he isn’t the same guy we left back in Season 2. Although he does still drink coffee, still looks at it the same way; he’s there underneath it all. And there is a connection between their little crew + Hastings. Uh oh.
Hawk is out in the woods, worried of what will happen next. He gets another prophetic call from the Log Lady herself. She cautions him to watch carefully. Hawk can almost feel the divide between the two worlds in those woods, the red light shining dim around the trees.
And just like that we’re back in the Black Lodge. Cooper is there, too. Along with Phillip Gerard, the One Armed Man (Al Strobel) repeating the words of his counterpart, The Man from Another Place: “Is it future… or is it past?” He disappears after a moment. Then Laura Palmer returns! She and Dale, back there again 25 years later. Or did he ever leave, really? I don’t think so, I think he’s been stuck in the Black Lodge all these years.
Laura also removes her face, like a mask. Remember the masks on the little boy and the Jumping Man in Fire Walk With Me? Significant imagery/symbolism. More of which we’ll explore surely as these new episodes play out.
And what does Laura whisper this time to Dale? Surely it’s not about her murder, the whole thing’s solved. So, it’s something new. By the look on his face it’s something shocking. Followed by rippling curtains and Laura is ripped into nowhere, screaming. Cooper sees a white horse in the distance – death? – and then Gerard asks him to follow through the curtains. We see the “evolution of the Arm” and he’s no longer the tiny man, rather a fleshy head on a tree. The Arm reminds Coop of his doppelganger who escaped; he has to come back before Coop can leave.
Out in the world the doppelganger Coop goes about his business. That hair noticeably longer, sort of like the way Bob wore his hair. At the motel with Daria he lurks around in the dark, only concerned seemingly with the next act of violence or whatever it is he has planned. He’s also uncovered the betrayal of Daria and Ray, they were contracted by somebody, which doesn’t bode well for her alone with him. We know of what this dark spirit is capable. And he’s ready for whatever his other half good Coop brings, not willing to be pulled back into the Black Lodge.
Bad Coop gets in contact with someone he thinks if Phillip Jeffries. There’s also mention of Major Briggs. There’s so much juicy stuff going on I’m beyond excited. Afterwards he checks out info on Yankton Federal Prison. He then goes to see a woman in a nearby room (Jennifer Jason Leigh) about his plan, they’re pretty intimate.
In the Black Lodge, Cooper receives other cryptic clues from the Arm. Now it’s up to him to escape, to draw Bob back in so he can leave. First he has to navigate the various rooms, where he runs into Leland Palmer once more who urges the agent to find his daughter. In another room he sees the place blur, and the Arm mentions his own doppelganger, which attacks Coop in one of the halls as the floor tears apart and he falls inside under black waves.
The Arm: “253. Time and time again.”
Coop appears in the glass box in NYC, he floats on through the side of the building and finds an empty room. Immediately we’re back before the young man and Tracy get busy. The box rattles, then it expands before closing in on itself. Then Coop is in a terrifying black hole of sorts, falling through space.
In her home Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) watches television and smokes cigarettes, as usual. And in Twin Peaks at the bar (as The Chromatics play), things go on as they have for so long, including the lives of those we knew years ago like James Hurley (James Marshall) and Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) and more.
I suspect that’ll change soon enough, though. The town’s about to experience something like it did 25 years before. Maybe worse this time around.
The Return Parts 1 and 2 have been an amazing experience. I first saw Twin Peaks about 16 years ago, ever since I’ve been enthralled. Lynch and Frost, for me, are doing fans right. 18 episodes is plenty to open up the mythology they began 25 years ago. This time, the Black Lodge, the White Lodge, all these things will come full circle, I believe. We’re bound to see much more wildness.