Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 16”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost
* For a recap & review of Part 15, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 17, click here.
More desolate highway. Lynchian trademark, including the ominous music. Bad Bob Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is driving with his new pal Richard Horne (Eamon Farren). Soon they’re on dirt, heading further into darkness. Until they arrive at a lonely spot and stop. A place for which bad Coop received coordinates.
Bad Coop: “I‘m looking for a place. Do you understand a place?”
And now it sort of makes sense why Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) has spent The Return in a state of hippy madness, wandering the woods. He’s wound up stumbling onto his own flesh and blood Richard with his new friend out in the dark, so he promptly whips out his camera to film. Meanwhile, bad Coop goes to a rock out in the nearby grass, sending his young protege directly to it.
Already we hear snippets of familiar sounds, the Black Lodge’s ambient noise calling, flickering on the light evening breeze. As Jerry looks on recording, Richard climbs the rock. Suddenly electricity crackles, tearing through the young man. Zapping him while he wails into the night. He disappears in its bright flash, soon he’s nothing, exploding to smoke, fizzling, popping. Bad Coop says nothing but “goodbye, my son.” Of course he had to be destroyed. Bob’s son couldn’t keep living, not in the real world, anyways.
What’s happening over in Vegas? Again we see the Hutchens duo, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Gary (Tim Roth). They’re camping out on that familiar street, in their van dressed as painters. Then they catch a glimpse of cars surely carrying G-men to the neighbourhood. The FBI are looking for, you guessed it, the Jones family.
We last saw the real Cooper a.k.a Dougie-Coop (MacLachlan) jamming a fork into an electrical socket. Naturally it’s landed him in the hospital, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) and Sonny Jim waiting at his side, hoping he’ll come out of the coma. The Mitchum brothers, Rodney (Robert Knepper) and Bradley (Jim Belushi), arrive to pay their respects, as well as bring a load of “finger sandwiches” and other things to keep them comfortable. Everyone’s hoping for the best. And just as the audience has been asking for 25 years about Twin Peaks in general, Bradley sums it up perfect with: “It was like, what… electricity?”
A FANTASTIC CUT to Gordon Cole (David Lynch) in the midst of a bunch of beeping, whining machines. He almost has this sense, as we cut back to where we’ve cut from: Cooper trapped in Dougie’s body, trapped in a coma, as the life monitor beeps with his sleepy heart. Just.. I mean… only Frost and Lynch together can make this sort of magic, and on television no less. Beautiful, haunting surrealism at work.
The Hutchens’ run into trouble when a guy takes issue with them parking near his driveway. Rather than fuck around much more Chantal shoots at the guy, who in turn has his own gun in the trunk. All the while the FBI are right down the street. A nasty little scene ensues, Chantal takes several bullets, as does Gary.
At the hospital, a noise rings. Calling out. Then Coop wakes up from his bed, the One-Armed Man (Al Strobel) appears from beyond in the Black Lodge. “One–hundred percent” our man is BACK, BABY! FINALLY, AFTER ALL THIS TIME! The One-Armed Man provides him with the owl ring, and also has something Cooper calls “the seed.” Now they’ve got to take care of Bob, “the other one” still out there causing evil. Of course people are a bit bewildered once he’s back, though he plays along with his new family, his new boss. Only needing to eat a sandwich after his coma. Afterwards, he gets the Mitchums to charter a plane for Spokane, Washington, leaving a note with his boss for his true boss, Gordon.
Diane (Laura Dern) is rocked when she receives the text from bad Coop saying ALL with a big smiley face. What exactly does it mean? Something terrible, no doubt. This woman barely shows any emotion unless telling someone to fuck themselves. And now she types in a series of numbers, coordinates, surely. Following which she heads to the elevator, gun in her purse, that song we heard in Part 1 of The Return playing while bad Coop drove that dark highway plays again… she goes to a floor upstairs, heading towards a room. Cut to Gordon’s face, knowing she’s on the other side of the door.
Inside are Agents Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) with Gordon. They all know she’s off. She necks a drink. Suspense each time she puts a hand in her purse. She tells them all about several years after losing contact with Cooper. She says he walked into her home one night. They sat and talked, he pressed her about things at the FBI. He kissed her, that’s when she knew there was something bad happening. She saw a strange smile (like the one on Sarah Palmer’s in Part 15?) on his face before he raped her. When he was finished he took her to an “old gas station.” That fabled convenience store.
Then Diane takes her chance, muttering “I‘m not me” and tries to shoot them. Tammy and Albert gun her down first. Quickly, she’s gone. Disappeared. “A real tulpa.” Out in the Black Lodge, Diane sits with the One-Armed Man. She’s been “manufactured” and now she’s deconstructing. Oh, and the seed? That’s those little orbs we see from out of the created forms in the lodge.
Cooper must say goodbye to the Jones family. An emotional moment, for all of them. Graciously, he thanks them for making his heart full. Then off he goes, back to his previous life. Although he promises Dougie will be back to stay, eventually.
MOTHERFUCKIN’ EDDIE VEDDER AT THE ROADHOUSE, MAMA! You know you love it. Because I do. Gorgeous song, that godly voice’s power behind the strumming (song’s called “Out of Sand”). Funny, how the time in the hourglass is measured by sand, and we’re literally running out of sand on this series.
Finally, Charlie (Clark Middleton) and Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) get to the bar. After all their arguing, back and forth. Out of nowhere, “Audrey’s Dance” plays and everybody clears the floor. She’s surprised, but fast her reflexes take over, soon she’s out in front of everyone moving to the music. Isn’t long before a fight breaks out elsewhere.
And then Audrey begs Charlie: “Get me outta here.”
But she IS out of there. We zap to a stark white room, she’s looking at her worn face shocked in the mirror. Oh. My. God. Has she been living in an alternate universe Twin Peaks in her head this whole time?
This is the one: the episode that changed everything. People have been complaining about so many things they perceived as loose ends, not giving the surrealist approach and techniques of Frost+Lynch the full series to play out. Because that’s their game, the long ball. Strap in. Only two episodes left, forever.