Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 17”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost
* For a recap & review of Part 16, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 18, click here.
Gordon (David Lynch) laments that he “couldn‘t do it” when it came to Diane (Laura Dern). But he and Tammy (Chrysta Bell) and Albert (Miguel Ferrer) talk about bigger things. 25 years ago, Gordon and Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) were told by Major Garland Briggs about an “extreme negative force” called Jau Dei long ago. Over time, it became Judy. This is what Jeffries talked about that day when he came back, what we see in Fire Walk With Me. Of course Phillip disappeared while searching for Judy. And Cooper, before disappearing, warned Gordon that if he were ever to supposedly vanish, they ought to do whatever possible to find him. Furthermore, Ray turns out to have been an informant, alerting the FBI that the bad Coop, the doppelganger is searching for Briggs’ coordinates. We’ve already see some of that, too.
Finally, Coop’s message before he left the hospital gets to Cole. The pieces are coming together for the FBI. “A Blue Rose Case, most definitely,” says Gordon. Now they’ve got to head back to little ole Twin Peaks all over again.
A shot of electrical wires in the darkness, electricity sparking. We’re with bad Coop in the car, on the road, just as we first saw him in The Return. At the same time, in Twin Peaks, the other prisoners see the woman from that place beyond the Black Lodge, the woman with the wounds for eyes. She makes almost monkey-like noises, driving the others insane. Can she feel the dark electricity coming with the doppelganger, bad Bob Cooper?
Note: There was a monkey face in Fire Walk With Me, behind the young boy’s white mask, we see it briefly as the mask comes off in a close-up shot. Another link in the chain, considering the woman’s noises are not monkey-like, they ARE monkey noises.
Out past Twin Peaks in the woods, bad Coop finds that hole in the ground, next to the thin white tree. Electricity crackles nearby. Then, one of the cyclones appears swirling in the air. And he disappears.
We’re in that auditorium-like place beyond the Black Lodge. Screens show images of the forest, the Palmer house, Major Briggs, Agent Cooper. The place is a massive industrial environment. Contraptions appear then retract. The Fireman (Carel Struycken) seems to direct the whole place. The screen shows bad Coop, off somewhere on a road.
Then he’s there on that same road, eyes onyx black. He’s right outside the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department. There’s Andy (Harry Goaz) in the parking lot, greeting whom he believes is his old buddy, and inside the poor women in the cell’s still going mad. Not to mention Chad (John Pirruccello) looks to have a hidden key. Meanwhile, nobody has a clue the evil walking amongst them. Although Andy might’ve had a premonition, or perhaps he saw something during his little trip out beyond the Lodge that he’s only now seeing fully.
Shit goes haywire once Andy goes looking for Hawk (Michael Horse). He runs across Chad, who’s gotten out and gotten his hands on a gun. But before he can do a thing, Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle) uses his crazy fist he got from the Fireman to put the guy down. All is safe. For now.
Until Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) gets a call from the actual Coop while bad Coop’s sitting in front of him. Then before the doppelganger can put a shot in the sheriff, Lucy motherfuckin’ Brennan (Kimmy Robertson) puts a bullet in the bastard! YEAH! Our girl’s a hero, after all these years.
But, oh, yes… the dirty, bearded men covered in scorched engine oil return. Lights flicker. They poke and prod at the downed doppelganger. Right as Coop arrives. Then when the men are done, a black, floating orb with Bob’s grinning face in it floats above them, attacking, threatening. Coop calls Freddie forward who says it’s his “destiny.” The orb comes at him, attacking. Until he whacks it with the glove a couple times. It hits the floor, then he punches it through, a blaze of fire erupting from the hole it leaves. Except that’s not enough, and the orb comes back. One more punch sends the thing flying into pieces, Freddie left bloody, but standing. Afterwards, Coop lays the owl ring on his doppelganger, and the body evaporates.
Remember the random room key? Well, Coop asks Truman if he’s got it. Full circle. Then he also sees the woman from that industrial place, recognising her. Once Gordon and the others show up, including Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), he fills everyone in on the madness that’s been happening around them.
In the face of the scarred woman, Coop sees the Black Lodge. Then a sort of empty crater of a face where Diane appears. Suddenly, the real Diane is back. Appearing in the room. She’d been trapped in the Lodge, in the form of that woman, just as Coop was once trapped in a form of his own, and her doppelganger was out causing mayhem. WOW! What a reunion.
Before anything else can happen a great blackness swallows everything. In a void of light, Coop, Diane, and Gordon walk someplace. They come to a door, where Coop uses his old key from the Great Northern. He leaves the other two behind, heading inside. There, he finds the One-Armed Man (Al Strobel), reciting the poem ending in “fire, walk with me.” More electricity crackling, and they’re off.
Coop goes to see Jeffries, the tea kettle. He asks about 1989, getting clues in the form of steam shapes: the owl symbol, two diamonds connected, an eight or an infinity symbol or a road with a car on it. All very cryptic, certainly. When they’re done the One-Armed Man speaks the word “electricity” …
and we cut to a spinning fan, the Palmer house, Leland (Ray Wise) staring out the window as his daughter Laura (Sheryl Lee) speeds off with a young James (James Marshall). A flashback. Coop watches the young lovers in the woods that night, professing their love. He’s even the reason she screamed for no apparent reason, believing she spotted someone, something. And she does see him later, in full view. “I‘ve seen you in a dream,” she tells him. He reaches out a hand, holding onto her. The dead body on the beach that day disappears, and Laura steps into the future, the present with Coop.
We see eerie visions of the Palmer house. The place pulses with electricity, it goes dark, reddish-tinted. Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) moans and cries in the background, sounds of agony and torment. Then she starts smashing the place up, she violently breaks the picture of Laura sitting in the living room.
Coop leads Laura back through the forest. In the dark they hear a vicious screaming. Soon, we see only red, the curtains flowing. Music. The end.
Only one part left.
WHOOOOOA. Frost and Lynch doing fan service in the only way they know how: ultra-surrealist magic. What a beautiful penultimate chapter to this amazing show. Good lord.