Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 14”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 14”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 13, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 15, click here.
Pic 1Out in Buckhorn, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) calls Twin Peaks. He chats with Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), though between the two of them it’s painfully hilarious. She puts him in touch with Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster). They talk about the “strange” things Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) found. The stuff from Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) diary, about the “two Coopers.” Quite helpful, considering what’s been going on lately, what Gordon and Albert (Miguel Ferrer) have been investigating.
1975, a murder in Olympia, Washington. This is the first Blue Rose Case. Albert tells Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) all about it, a woman named Lois Duffy. Turns out she had a doppelganger. She was put up for murder, while the doppelganger disappeared. The arresting agents? Gordon Cole and Phillip Jeffries. When the double died she spoke the words: “Im like the blue rose.” We likewise get a mention of the word “tulpa” that comes from a mystic concept, translated from Sanskrit, referring to a thoughtform, something previously non-existent which comes into being through power of the mind. Interesting note.
Afterwards, Diane (Laura Dern) shows up, and Gordon asks her if the last night she saw Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) he mentioned Major Garland Briggs. When she’s shown the ring found in the Major’s stomach, it clicks: her estranged half-sister is Janey-E Jones (Naomi Watts), married to none other than Dougie Jones.
Oh, my. Things begin coming together.
Gordon talks about a dream he had, of Monica Bellucci (playing herself). He met her in Paris at a cafe. Cooper’s there, too. Only Gordon can’t see his face. Everyone had coffee, then Monica said the “ancient phrasewere like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream.” Then she added: “But who is the dreamer?”
He sees his old self, from Fire Walk With Me. When Cooper was worried about a dream, the day Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) suddenly turned up after years. This is when we saw the Jumping Man, as well.
Pic 1ABack in Twin Peaks, Hawk and the boys get Deputy Sheriff Chad Broxford (John Pirruccello) in handcuffs, after finding him out for his criminal shit. However, I worry. Because the dark little places in their town, the drug dealers that frequent their bars, their streets, it might not like if their network is compromised. Either way, it’s good to have out of their way. Hawk, Truman, Deputy Sheriffs Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) head to the woods.
Briefly, we see electrical wires amongst the natural landscape. Crackling. Those evil spirits everywhere, the symbolic evil of modern man set in juxtaposition against the natural, green beauty of the world.
In they head together, through the bush. Bobby talks about his father, his connection to this place up in the forest: Jack Rabbit’s Palace. It’s a huge, ragged stump of a massive tree. A place of memories from Bobby’s younger life. They all put a bit of soil in their pockets, as per the note left. Further on they find a foggy place, electricity sparking. Suddenly there appears a naked woman, her face and eyes just brutal wounds. Isn’t she the one we saw in that strange place ages ago, in that odd industrial-like landscape where Cooper passed through? That other spot beyond the Black Lodge? Above our friends a cyclone appears, like the one Gordon witnessed. Electricity again crackles through its portal opening. They all look deep into it. A bright light burning.
And now, Andy is in that very same place where Cooper was, where the lady came from. The Fireman (Carel Struycken), formerly the Giant, greets him. Raising a hand. Andy looks at something that appears in his hands. A cloud of smoke wisps around him, evaporating up into the porthole light above. He stares silently into it, as it changes to a screen. Showing him images we’ve seen before: the gas station and convenience store, the dirty bearded lumberjack asking for a light, old memories of Laura Palmer, then the two Coops side by side, Lot 6 at the Fat Trout Trailer Park, among others.
Before too long Andy’s transported back, carrying the woman who appeared. He says they have to protect her. People are trying to kill her. Puzzled, though trusting his judgement, the others follow. Although not sure what happened to them.
Pic 2Pic 2AWe see a bit more of James (James Marshall), he works some kind of security job for transport, something like that. He doesn’t have much of a social life. It’s his birthday and even his co-worker Freddie (Jake Wardle) doesn’t know until he’s told. Poor James, always the lonely soul. Freddie wears one rubber glove, just one on his ring hand. He ends up telling a story about being sucked up into a cyclone in the sky, where he saw the Fireman, who gave him instructions to go find a specific rubber glove, in an open package at the store. This gave him a strange power, like an “enormous piledriver” for a hand.
He was also told by the Fireman to travel to Twin Peaks: “There you will find your destiny.” Most might take this as ridiculous. James has lived there all his life. He knows this place is magical, mystical, mythical.
Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) wanders into Elk’s Point #9 Bar, sitting down for what’s sure to be a long night in the bottle. People whisper as she passes, talking to themselves. Near her at the end of the bar a man approaches, she brushes him off. Guy doesn’t take her seriously, getting particularly nasty: “Its a free cuntry.” He pushes harder, saying she likes to eat pussy. Her reply? “Ill eat you.”
Like her daughter did in the first episode of The Return, Sarah opens her face. Like a mask. Inside is darkness, smoke, electricity. She closes her face, then quickly chomps a bite out of his neck. He falls over, bleeding out. Nobody sees a thing. Only his corpse. God damn. Now we know an evil spirit resides in her. Just a matter of what it means in the grand scheme of things.
And at the Roadhouse, a pair of women talk about a disturbing, bloody scene involving Billy. Y’know, the one Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) is looking for. Or I assume.
Just another day in ole Twin Peaks, right?
Pic 3Pic 3AMan, I loved this episode. One of my favourites of The Return. Impressive, in many ways. Storylines coming together, mythology expanding and connections to Fire Walk With Me fleshing out. Beautiful stuff. Always great fun when these episodes end with a nice musical performance, too.
Is it next week yet?

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Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 13”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 13”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 12, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 14, click here.
Pic 1At the Lucky 7 offices, the Mitchum brothers – Bradley (Jim Belushi) and Rdoney (Robert Knepper) – are prancing around like they’re kings of the world. Marching in to see the boss, along with Dougie-Coop (Kyle MacLachlan), after a nice celebration. Bearing gifts, too. The brothers are quite happy with their big haul.
At the same time, Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) chastises Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore), who’s only got one more day to do whatever it is he’s supposed to get done. Sinister stuff, no doubt.
Bradley: “A wrong has been made right and the sun is shining bright
Over at the Jones place, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) receives a new jungle gym set from the Mitchums. Also noticing the beautiful car in the driveway, literally gift wrapped. Quite a change of pace from living with the old Dougie Jones. His wife is certainly thrilled.
Funny, how in parallel with the spirit of BOB, when Cooper came back out from the Black Lodge he became an agent of good, a positive spirit. Making lives better everywhere he goes.
Pic 1AMeanwhile, the bad Coop (MacLachlan) is meeting with a couple bad lookin’ dudes, including old pay Ray Monroe (George Griffith); he of course thought the guy was dead. Seems bad Coop – or Bob Cooper, if you will – is up against a tough arm wrestling competitor named Renzo (Derek Mears). If he loses he’s got to work for Renzo. If he wins, he’d be the boss of their whole organisation. He only wants Ray.
They sit to the table, rules are read out for all to hear. Then, the match begins. Renzo nearly puts bad Coop’s arm flat. But he holds on, he doesn’t let up, much as Renzo, the big brute tries. It’s like the evil entity isn’t even breaking a sweat. It actually becomes scary after a certain point. Especially considering Ray witnessed the weird voodoo shit which brought the guy back. It ends when bad Coop decides to lay the big man’s arm flat to the table, snapping it. He punches Renzo in the face so hard it sends him back, nose and forehead crushed in. Blood spurts from the open hole.
Who’s the boss now, bitch?
He and Ray get a bit of alone time, the latter taking a bullet first before they have a chat. Then he reveals who hired him to kill bad Coop: a man by the name of Phillip Jeffries. Or at least, that’s who the guy says he is, anyways. So, is it the real Jeffries? Or a doppelganger from the Black Lodge? Moreover, Ray was given the owl ring to put on him after he did the deed. Now, he’s made to put it on.
All the while people are watching on the camera in the other room. And who should walk in but Richard Horne (Eamon Farren). Oh, shit. This is a very, very interesting connection. Then before Ray gets a bullet in the eyes he mentions Jeffries, a place called The Dutchman’s. And after he’s dead, the ring disappears, flicking across the patterned floor of the Black Lodge.
Pic 2Pic 2AThe Dougie Jones plot thickens when the streams cross: he’s not just Dougie, he’s also a guy who escaped from a max security prison, as well as a missing FBI agent. Of course the Las Vegas cops laugh that off as total bullshit. Because, really, only in the Twin Peaks universe of David Lynch and Mark Frost would such a mad thing happen.
Sinclair’s got friends around town, including Detective Clark (John Savage), who’s clearly in dirty business with the insurance man. The Dougie plot lines are all going to come together in a spectacular whirlwind of shit by the end of this season. Sinclair has big troubles of his own, he wants to poison Dougie but Dt. Clark says. His cop friends work for his boss Mr. Todd, too. So he’s on a tight leash.
Out for coffee together, Sinclair and Dougie-Coop sit quietly at a table. When cherry pie takes our man away for a moment, his fellow insurance salesman slips a vial of poison in his cup. Luckily some of Dougie-Coop’s strangeness renders Sinclair into a blubbering mess, unable to finish the job. Back at Lucky 7, the boss hears Sinclair’s confession about what he’s done, working for Mr. Todd, so on. I love how Dougie-Coop has become this tabula rasa-type deity, without words – or at least with very few – he helps people get back to their better selves, he helps people get what they deserve, in many ways. This leads towards possibly testimony to take down Todd and his dirty operation.
Pic 3In Twin Peaks at the Double R, Shelly (Mädchen Amick) gets a call from her daughter Becky (Amanda Seyfried). She hasn’t heard from her husband Steven (Caleb Landry Jones). Who knows where he’s gone. Mom cheers her daughter up with the suggestion of cherry pie and ice cream. Yum!
Other things back home are uneasy. Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) has to watch Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) move on romantically. Although she’s doing well, Norma’s Double R is a franchise now, turning profits. But neither Ed nor Norma it seems have totally moved on from what they had together 25 years ago. Through her situation with the Double R, we see the modern world creeping into Twin Peaks. Lynch is a guy who loved an age gone by, so it’s fun to watch him and Frost contemplate how this little town’s being sucked in by the rest of the world around them, an inevitability for most small places nowadays.
Elsewhere in town, Nadine (Wendy Robie) has surprised Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) with a display in a shop window on the main street. She’s displayed one of the golden shovels, as well as her perfected silent runners for the drapes, after all these years! Bless both their hearts. Two fucking crazies.
At the Palmer place, Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) falls further into the drink, smoking more cigarettes than you can even imagine. Electricity snaps somewhere in the background now and then, boxing on the television. The place is like a dungeon. Creepy.
And then there’s Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn), her husband Charlie (Clark Middleton). She isn’t well, screaming at him: “I dont even know who I am.” She also can’t remember where the Roadhouse is, which is very strange. There’s something not quite right about her these days. Remember, we’ve not yet discovered how she fared after the explosion in the bank a couple decades ago, we don’t know what this new situation, this contract of a marriage with Charlie is in truth. I suspect there’s so much more to it than we understand yet. Audrey always was a complicated woman.
Over at the Roadhouse we get a callback performance by James Hurley (James Marshall) playing “Just You” with a couple backup singers onstage, crooning the singer in that saccharine voice of his, as a woman watches him closely, lovingly, tears in her eyes.
Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 12.03.01 AMLoved this episode. We’re getting bits and pieces that I want more of, specifically Audrey and Sarah Palmer. Some people can’t handle the slow, long build. But for me, it’s part of why Frost and Lynch are so powerful. They don’t have to rush. They don’t have to end each episode on a cliffhanger. They do things at a nice, steady pace, and if you can’t hang on for the ride: don’t.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 12”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 12”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 11, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 13, click here.
Pic 1At the Mayfair, Gordon (David Lynch), Albert (Miguel Ferrer), and Agent Preston (Chrysta Bell) have a drink together, doing a toast “to the bureau.” We hear about Project Blue Book, shut down in the 1970s. Stuff we’ve heard of before in Twin Peaks, involving what later became the Blue Rose cases, things the FBI and the military looked into together, top secret, that were left unresolved from the program. This is where their “alternate path” of investigation comes from, and FINALLY WE ARE CONNECTING to Fire Walk With Me even more.
Who were the original agents involved? Phillip Jeffries, Albert, Chester Desmond, and Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). Makes all the disappearances much more troubling than they are even on their own. So, now Agent Preston’s being inducted into the Blue Rose Task Force, a promotion she proudly accepts. Although it’s one not without its worries.
Diane (Laura Dern) shows up. Gordon and Albert want to deputise her, so she can help using her close knowledge of Cooper, what she’s picked up over the years about the Blue Rose cases. She’s not overly eager, further driving suspicion of her character. Something ain’t right with Diane, man.
Pic 1AIn Twin Peaks, Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) is still running around like a madman in the woods. At the grocery store, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) picks up the essentials for her life 25 years on from the tragedy of her daughter Laura (Sheryl Lee), her husband Leland (Ray Wise) – and the essential is booze. She’s a haunted woman, it’s clear just by the look in her eyes. “The room seems different, and men are coming,” she begins raving, sounds of the Black Lodge swirling around her head: “Things can happen. Something happened to me!” She walks out having scared everyone near. But it’s clear Sarah hasn’t been able to get over her past. The spirits won’t allow it.
At the Fat Trout Trailer Park, Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton) asks a tenant if he’s been selling his blood, and wondering why he isn’t getting paid for work he does around the park. Carl’s a good man, he waves the gentleman’s rent and gives him money for chores he does around the place. He’s literally keeping the tenants of the park alive at this point.
Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) drops by the Palmer place. Upstairs, the fan swings around; remember how the man behind the mask was under the fan, according to the masked boy in Fire Walk With Me? Very interesting image for Lynch to linger on. Are the spirits of the Black Lodge back in the Palmer house? Hawk’s curious about Sarah, realising she isn’t okay. There are bad things happening again in that place.
Sarah: “Its a goddamn bad story, isnt it, Hawk?”
Pic 2Diane gets a text, wondering about Las Vegas. She replies that they’ve not asked. Is this still bad Coop to whom she’s talking? Is it the doppelganger of Jeffries?
Or someone else? Oh, my.
Back home, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) receives a visit from Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) about his grandson Richard (Eamon Farren), delivering the bad news that he’s the one who ran down the boy in the road. As well as tries killing the woman who witnessed the hit and run. And she’s about to die, most likely. This brings up the history of Richard, grandpa stating he’s “never been right.” Furthermore, the hotel owner gives over the key belonging to Agent Cooper’s old room, over two decades before, as a memento for the sheriff’s brother. Quite the coincidence, considering the case of ole Dale lately. All roads lead back to the middle again.
At his hotel room Gordon’s interrupted on a date by Albert, clearly with important news. An absurdly comic few moments stretches on and on as the woman gets herself ready to leave the men alone for a chat, becoming funnier with each passing glance, each glare from Albert, every sweet smile out of Gordon as he fawns over her. Literally in tears laughing. Afterwards, Albert relays the recent texts of Diane, keeping them curious about her behaviour.
Back to South Dakota, where Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) wait with a gun. Cars pull up at a house nearby. A man gets out, then Hutch puts a bullet right through his chest, and another in the back of his head. “Next up, Wendys,” he says and they leave the man’s family to mourn his shot up corpse. One notch in bad Coop’s plan taken care of already.
Pic 3Dr. Jacoby: “Its seven oclock. Do you know where your freedom is?”
I keep wondering about Doc Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) and his internet radio show. We’ve already see those lumberjacks, those dirty, bearded men covered in scorched engine oil, their assault on that town long ago. The voice through the radio. Can’t help be curious if this age’s radio, over the internet, will play a part for the evil spirits once more. Hmm.
We’ve waited so long, now we get to see her again – Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn), baby! She’s searching for Billy, he’s been missing. And lord, has she not lost a bit of excellent attitude since last we saw her, particularly with her husband Charlie (Clark Middleton). They don’t so much have a marriage as much as they have a contracted agreement of a relationship. Aside from that, the disappearance of Billy’s shrouded in mystery. Audrey’s life has become no less complicated than it was as a young woman 25 years prior.
At the hotel bar Diane sits by herself, recalling the coordinates written on the arm of Ruth Davenport’s dead body. She types them in her phone finding they direct right to none other than Twin Peaks.
A conversation in the Roadhouse leads me to wonder if maybe the headlights one frantic man saw on the road were actually the lights of car at all. Perhaps the apparition of something else lurking around Twin Peaks in the woods. Something Project Blue Book never solved.
Pic 4A solid episode because it doesn’t go into much of anything surreal, rather it stays on a plot, sticks to a few core bits. There’s plenty mystery, but Lynch and Frost keep things on an even keel. Interesting, though. A few real interesting moments that speak to large bits from Fire Walk With Me. I like how Frost and Lynch lay the groundwork as they go, coming back to things later on and tying it all together. One of the greatest parts of this revival is that they get to connect things to Fire Walk With Me, which really pull the mythology tighter into a larger, epic scale work of mystery, surrealism, and even drama as the regular lives of the Twin Peaks residents continues to interest all these years later.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 11”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 11”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 10, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 12, click here.
Pic 1Over at the Fat Trout, a few kids play catch. When one of them runs to find a stray ball, they see a bleeding woman crawl from the trees. Presumably it’s the woman Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) beat brutally. At the diner, Shelly (Mädchen Amick) gets a call from Becky Burnett (Amanda Seyfried) saying she needs to borrow her car, there’s something wrong with Steven (Caleb Landry Jones). The girl takes off with the car, Shelly tries jumping on the hood but gets tossed into the dirt when Becky spins around. Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) sees it all go down, so he comes out to see if he can help. He calls her a ride with his tin flute. Fucking love this show.
They wind up getting in contact with Deputy Sheriff Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), to tell him that the young woman has a gun with her, too. At the same time we watch Becky rush into a house, up the stairs in a blind rage, gun in hand. She beats on the door of apartment 208. When nobody will open the door she fires a handful of shots inside. Through the halls we do see Steven with another woman, staring up toward the sounds of the gun. The sheriff’s department gets a boatload of calls about the gunshots, naturally.
Pic 1AOut in Buckhorn, William Hastings (Matthew Lillard) is walking Special Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) through his claim about seeing Major Garland Briggs. They’re out at an abandoned shack, along with Special Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) and Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch). Then, a strange apparition out on the property, perhaps similar to the dark spirits we saw reviving bad Coop (Kyle MacLachlan) awhile ago.
Think theres one in there, Albert?” asks Gordon as he and his old pal head inside. Electricity buzzes in the air. Up in the sky a cyclone-like opening appears, drawing everything into it. Albert’s vision goes blurry, Gordon reaches up with his hands doing… something; interacting with the cyclone in the sky, or calling to it, or who knows what. He almost disappears. Only for the fact Albert hauls him back. So what exactly is the thing? Clearly they’ve known of it, they wondered if “one” would be there.
Then they also discover a body lying in the nearby field: the headless body of Ruth Davenport. Ah, the Briggs connection once again. It all comes together in a twisted weave of alternate dimension, as is usual for Twin Peaks. Worse still, the eerie man covered in burnt engine oil is lurking at the car near Hastings. Suddenly, his head basically explodes, the top half gone. The darkness has taken him.
Notice they’re on a street named Sycamore?
Pic 2Pic 2ABecky, Shelly, and Deputy Sheriff Briggs sit around a table at the diner, trying to take care of things in at least a HALF discrete way. Admittedly, Bobby tells Becky if he wasn’t in his position with the department she’d be in cuffs. Luckily no one was hurt; this time. She’s clearly got a toxic relationship going, like a worse version of Bobby and Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).
Oh, and Becky’s mom and dad? It’s Bobby and Shelly. I sort of expected that. Just to hear it out loud is sort of stunning, all the same. No wonder the girl is who she is, she’s Bobby Briggs’ kid! Making things sketchier, Shelly’s boyfriend is Red (Balthazar Getty), the insane coke dealing madman who deals to her son-in-law. Christ, Twin Peaks is one hell of a town.
Suddenly a bullet flies through the window of the diner, another one. Deputy Sheriff Briggs goes out into the street to find a kid found a gun in his parents’ van and shot it off. The two parents freak out each other, and Bobby gets the gun out of their hands. He looks at the boy, who has a strange sort of air about him. A woman freaks out in the road beeping her horn, a sick girl in the passenger seat throwing up what looks like bile. Jesus. The whole thing swirls poor Bobby into an absurdist nightmare.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) and Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) look at an old map, a Native America piece of hide with symbols on it. One looks of a campfire, Hawk describes it as “modern day electricity” – tying into the Black Lodge’s inhabitants, the evil spirits, how they travel through electricity. They study it using information given to them through Mjr. Briggs. There’s also a symbol of “black fire” that’s meant to be important. There’s yet another symbol, the black orb with the two wing-like pieces on the top; Hawk says Truman doesn’t want to know about that one. Ominous. Hawk also gets another call from Margaret the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson), she knew they’d found more. She says “theres fire where you are going.”
Pic 3Gordon, Albert, Tammy, and Diane (Laura Dern) are back with the detective chatting about Ruth’s body. There were also coordinates on her body. Plus, what the hell happened to Hastings in the backseat of the cruiser? They all saw that engine oil-covered lumberjack-like figure creeping around. Except the detective, and Tammy. Then Gordon says he’s seen them before – “dirty bearded men in a room“; is this the convenience store? Does Cole have previous experience with them just like Philip Jeffries 25 years ago?
Back in Las Vegas at the Lucky 7 offices, Dougie-Coop (MacLachlan) is led by a coffee in to his boss for a talk. Turns out he’s helped his boss root out corruption in their business, which the boss believes is why there’s been attempts on his life as of late. He mentions the Mitchum brothers aren’t part of it, apparently. Higher up, it seems. Now the Mitchums want to meet Dougie. The boss has a $30-million cheque to deliver. All sorts of insurance madness that Dougie-Coop goes along with, his true mind elsewhere, locked away.
Speaking of the Mitchums, Rodney (Robert Knepper) hears about a dream Bradley (Jim Belushi) had about killing that “Douglas Jones fuck” and openly anxious to get the murder finished. So much so, his 2:30 PM breakfast is ruined. At the Lucky 7 office, the Black Lodge appears to Dougie-Coop and pulls him toward a coffee shop; toward his old self. Then he’s carted off to meet the Mitchums, his boss telling him to “knockem dead” giving him the one of the ole pretend knockout jabs to the chin. Wonder if our man’ll take that all too literally. Wonder if he’ll need to.
Dougie-Coop’s actually being brought out to a spot in the desert. Typical Vegas gangster move. When our man shows up holding his box from the coffee shop, Bradley freaks out, saying this was the dream he had. That they can’t kill him. “It means hes not our enemy,” he pleads with his brother. Long as what’s in the box is what he saw in the dream. And indeed it is: a cherry fuckin’ pie. Likewise they find their $30-million cheque in his pocket.
When Dougie-Coop goes for a meal with the Mitchums after, toasting to their day, he’s entranced by the music playing. He’s also greeted by the woman who he helped in the casino, the one who calls him Mr. Jackpots. Her life’s changed for the better, all due to him. Everyone sees him as this saint-like, Christ figure almost. Silent, dumb or more so sweet, innocent. He reminds partly of Sellers from Being There in his quiet sweetness.
Another Coopism comes out when Dougie-Coop quips that the pie is “damn good.” Such a perfect moment after the roundabout way in which the old Cooper’s life helped save his latest form’s life.
Pic 4This was a fabulous episode, it took all the beautiful aspects of the series and intertwined them into one weird, fun, silly episode. It’s honestly just such a treat!

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 10”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 10”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 9, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 11, click here.
Pic 1Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) goes to see Miriam, who saw him during the hit and run. She wrote to Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) to tell him about what she saw. This doesn’t stop Richard from breaking into her trailer, doing something terrible. I’ve got a feeling the FBI might be back in Twin Peaks sooner than later, not just for the ordeal involving Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). ‘Cause Ricahrd, he’s one bad, bad dude.
Over at the Fat Trout Trailer Park, manager Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton) plays the guitar, crooning away to a few chords. Across the way a cup is tossed through a window, inside is Steven Burnett (Caleb Landy Jones) losing his mind at his wife Becky (Amanda Seyfried), surely hopped up on cocaine, or maybe something more. Either way he’s an abusive man. A “fuckinnightmare” as Carl puts it eloquently.
We jump out to Nevada, in Las Vegas with Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper). His lady friend Candie (Amy Shiels) cracks him a good one with a remote control trying to get a fly, putting a nice cut in his cheek. Lovely slice of absurdist humour, as usual for Frost and Lynch.
In another part of town, Dougie-Coop (MacLachlan) is finally being taken to the doctor by his wife Janey-E (Naomi Watts). Which probably should’ve been done ages ago. The doc has a bit of a struggle with the child-like man, wondering how Dougie suddenly dropped all the weight, gotten wildly healthier compared to before. A mystery, indeed.
Pic 1ARodney and his brother Brad Mitchum (Jim Belushi) see a news report on Ike the Spike, glad to see him snatched up by the cops. Then, a report on Dougie Jones surviving Ike’s would-be assassination. The news footage is fucking hilarious, with Dougie-Coop trying to reach out and touch the cop’s badge, Janey-E swatting away his hand. But the Mitchum brothers, they’ve found their “Mr. Jackpots” and it’s not as if it was overly hard.
At home, Janey-E is seeing the possibilities of having a brand new husband while believing he’s the same man, seeing him now in such good shape, and y’know, obedient. Even if his Cooper love of food hasn’t stopped shining through. Dougie was sort of the perfect vessel in that way for a guy like Dale, whose love of food and coffee are unparalleled.
Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) is continuing to preach his madness out into the world, Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) and likely other local kooks listening and watching over the internet. Strangely, at the core there’s truth to watch Jacoby’s saying, but as many like him he sounds like an absolute maniac: “Buy yourself a shovel, dig yourself out of the shit, and get educated!”
In Twin Peaks, Lucy Brennan (Kimmy Robertson) notices a bit of curious behaviour out of Deputy Sheriff Chad Broxford (John Pirruccello). He’s been tasked by young Horne to intercept Miriam’s letter. Uh oh. There’s corruption in the ranks of the Twin Peaks Sheriff Department. Meanwhile, Johnny Horne (Eric Rondell) is extra cared for at home after his recent accident, tied up at the table, head padding on. His nephew Richard’s come to see his grandmother, wanting cash. Willing to do whatever he needs to get it. No matter if it’s to a stranger or his own family.
Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.12.51 AMIn Las Vegas, Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) – rival and a “bitter” enemy of the Mitchums – has Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) under his thumb. He tasks him with making sure the Mitchum brothers kill Dougie Jones, or else do it himself.
Out on the town, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and Special Agent Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell) revel in watching Special Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) actually wining and dining with a woman, local ME Constance Talbot (Jane Adams). Rare for the gruff, often misanthropic Albert. Love to see it!
The Mitchum brothers receive a visit from Anthony. They’re not particularly thrilled with Candie, she’s been acting aloof lately since whacking Rodney with the remote. At the same time they’re curious about the visit. Anthony fills them in about a recent claim for them, taken care of by Mr. Jones; he makes it look as if Dougie did them wrong. Thickening the plot in the Mitchums’ world. Making things more dangerous for Dougie-Coop.
What are Brad and Rod to do? Get even, I’d imagine.
At his hotel room door, Gordon has a vision of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), startling him. Although it’s only Albert calling. He has information about Diane (Laura Dern), the text she received after bad Coop’s escape. Diane returned information about William Hastings (Matthew Lillard). This forces the FBI men to keep a close watch on their old friend. Not to mention Preston brings a picture of bad Coop, photographed in that penthouse with the glass box in New York.
Gordon: “This is something. This is really something.”
Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.21.54 AMScreen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.25.02 AMBen Horne (Richard Beymer) gets a call from his wife Sylvia (Jan D’Arcy), she tells him about the attack by Richard, asking for more money. Seems grandma likes to stay far away from the rest of the family, or at least Ben and all his bullshit.
Log Lady Margaret Lanterman (Catherine E. Coulson) tells Hawk (Michael Horse): “Electricity is coming. You hear it in the mountains and rivers, you see it dances among the seas and stars, and glowing around the moon. But in these days, the glow is dying. What will be in the darkness that remains?” Furthermore, she tells him that Laura “is the one.”
Lyrics of the closing song are great. Nothing overtly revealing, just fits; naturally, seeing as how it’s partly written by David Lynch himself. Rebekah Del Rio’s wearing a beautiful dress that’s the same colour as the floor in the Black Lodge, a sequined pattern reminiscent of that place as the Roadhouse’s red curtains hanging in the background call it even more to mind.
Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 12.35.21 AMA fantastic episode, one that’s more linear and adds bits to the plot, strengthening things while also letting our minds relax; soon enough there’ll be more surrealism, count on that. Excited for the next part, this has been a journey of mythic proportions. I have no doubt in my mind Frost and Lynch are going to take us through another gamut of wild, weird, exciting, confusing, gorgeous moments in the back 8 episodes of The Return.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 9”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 9”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Episode 8, click here.
* For a recap & review of Episode 10, click here.
Pic 1Bad Coop (Kyle MacLachlan), after being resurrected by the dark forces of the Black Lodge, wanders down a country road spattered in blood. At the same time, Gordon Cole (David Lynch), Special Agents Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) and Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell), and Diane Evans (Laura Dern) are flying high in the sky over South Dakota. Gordon gets a call from Colonel Davis (Ernie Hudson) about a case over in Buckhorn concerning Major Briggs. Should be interesting to see how that old “Blue Rose case” gets wound into the rest of the story.
The bad Coop runs across a man named Gary Hutchens (Tim Roth). He needs a “clean phone” and some guns. Also there is Chantal Hutchens (Jenifer Jason Leigh), who’s going to help patch him up proper.
On their flight, Gordon gets a second call from the warden of the prison where bad Coop has flown the coop. Many dangerous things happening, as the doppelganger is also setting further plans into motion. Including having the Hutchens’ go kill the warden, before a “doubleheader” they’ll meet for in Las Vegas. Nasty stuff.
Pic 1ADown at the LVPD, Dougie Jones (MacLachlan) and his wife Janey-E (Naomi Watts) are dealing with the fallout of almost being murdered. An investigation being conducted into the whole ordeal, talking to Dougie’s boss, so on. His strange behaviour is one thing. The fact someone’s blown up his car, tried having him killed, it’s all getting more suspicious. The cops also find out there’s nothing about Dougie before 1997, no proof of his existence. Is it a Witness Protection thing? Or something stranger?
Dougie-Coop has a bit of a moment with the American flag, a pair of red heels on a secretary. As well as an electrical outlet, which gives off a sinister vibe while he stares it down. There are bits of Coop in there, things he remembers – from the coffee to the sound of a secretary’s heels and the flag and his duty as a sworn officer of the law, pieces of his training, and the electricity, the strange horror of the Black Lodge. It’s all in there somewhere.
Ike the Spike (Christophe Zajac-Denek) leaves his motel room only to be confronted with the LVPD, arresting him for arrested murder. The whole bit is surreal, as are the cops in their absurd hilarity, the one giggling constantly at the jokes of his fellow officers. In only a way Frost and Lynch can deliver.
Back in Twin Peaks, Lucy Brennan (Kimmy Robertson) and Deputy Sheriff Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) have a passive-aggressive conversation over furniture, specifically chairs. Fairly quickly he apologises and gives in to his love for her. Although she orders the one he wanted. Across town Johnny Horne (Eric Rondell) runs himself into the wall, smashing his face and knocking himself unconscious.
And Betty Briggs (Charlotte Stewart) tells her son Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster), and Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) about the day her husband and Cooper met for the last time. Garland told her to give them a message; in the living room chair she takes out a capsule. Inside, obviously information of potentially great importance.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 12.44.23 AMIn Buckhorn, Gordon arrives to see the body at the morgue. More importantly? The message bad Coop sent earlier from a cellphone arrives on the phone of none other than Diane. Shit. I never anticipated there was possibly something shady about her.
We find out that William Hastings (Matthew Lillard) was publishing a blog about an “alternate dimension” and he’d recently written about “the Zone” where he met “the Major.” This prompts Gordon and Albert to wonder about the connections between Garland Briggs and Special Agent Dale Cooper. Not to mention there was a ring belonging to Dougie Jones in the corpse’s stomach at Buckhorn. Hmm. There’s further connection considering there aren’t any records on Mr. Jones prior to ’97, which is not that long after Briggs supposedly died, and the events in Twin Peaks 25 years ago. The plot thickens!
At the station, Bobby says his dad brought home one of those capsules before, he knows how they open. He takes Hawk and Sheriff Truman outside where he tosses it against the  pavement, it makes the thing ring with a strange noise, then he tosses it again and the capsule opens. It has a small drawing of the towns titular peaks, symbols above them, dates and times, instructions. Alongside the mystery, it’s fun to see Bobby connecting through time and space with his father, the clues having relevance to him personally. With the drawing is also a cutout of the correspondence Briggs once got, from his THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM message between matrix code. And the COOPER written twice. Hawk deciphers it clearly in line with the plot: “Two Coopers.”
Everything Twin Peaks comes full circle.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.02.45 AMGordon wants to chat with Hastings, who’s in no fucking shape to do anything, crying and moaning in the interrogation room. Special Agent Preston goes in first, asking about the Zone, the other dimension. He talks of going with others to where the Major was “hibernating” in this place, asking them about “important numbers.” When they brought the numbers people came for Hastings, asking about his wife. After which she turned up dead. The Major also disappeared, saying “Cooper, Cooper” as he went. When Preston shows him a six-pack of faces, he correctly picks out Mjr. Garland Briggs. Although we get bits and pieces, connecting back with the original series, so much still is unknown. Love it.
Back in Twin Peaks, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) and Beverly Paige (Ashley Judd) are consistently on the case of the odd hum coming from the room in the Great Northern, unable to figure it out. A ringing tone, less sharp than tinnitus. What’s more, Ben and Beverly have more than a working relationship.
Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.11.25 AMAt the Roadhouse, a couple women meet over beers. They both look and seem down on their luck. One has a nasty armpit rash that’ll make you cringe as she scratches. They talk in code about a “penguin” and a “zebra” amongst talking about their bummer lives. Meanwhile, Au Revoir Simone plays in the background, a sharp contrast from the two women and their drug ravaged teeth.
Another solid chapter! Adding to the mysteries of Twin Peaks as a whole. Excited for more next week, love the building momentum that takes steps back, forward, back, then big time forward again. Wouldn’t expect any less.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 8”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 8”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 7, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 9, click here.
Pic 1ABad Coop (Kyle MacLachlan) and Ray Monroe (George Griffith) are following a tracking device out into the woods on a desolate road. They have a little chit cat, the latter apologises for taking off on his buddy. Seems like ole Ray is trying to squeeze a bit of cash out of the doppelganger, a bit of important information he knows is worth a few bucks. So he thinks. Along the dark road they stop so Ray can piss. He pulls a trick on the bad Coop and pumps a couple shots in him.
Lying in the dirt, the doppelganger bleeds out. But suddenly, strange figures in black run from the trees. Freaky Lynchian shit. They almost look like lumberjacks, their faces smudged in dirt. They crowd around the Bad coop, almost as if they’re dancing a ritual and prodding at him. Backwoods magicians. Of course Ray takes off under the impression his target is dead.
But this is an important piece of the whole puzzle. Because bad Coop is actually a doppelganger, a version of Coop inhabited by Bob; that evil entity. So, what happens when one of them actually dies? What happens to that spirit? It has to go somewhere, or something has to happen TO it. And we won’t get all the answers, not immediately. That’s the allure of Lynch and Frost’s writing.
Pic 2Pic 2ANine Inch Nails plays for us in this episode, which is sexy as fuck. Two of my great loves coming together at once. Great goddamn performance, too. It’s so wonderfully filmed and for me it fits like a glove.
From there, we cut to bad Coop popping up, awake and bloody.
Then we jump all the way back to July 16th in 1945 – White Sands, NM. It’s early morning and we hear a countdown. A mushroom cloud erupts in the desert, growing bigger, spreading out over the sand and tearing away everything near. The closer we get, the more it resembles the Man from Another Place’s latest form, the brain-ish head on a tree. We’re taken inside the cloud, a hell-like space. Lynch’s way of showing us the cataclysmic repercussions of dropping these types of bombs, in a way only he can.
Through a bunch of awe inspiring imagery, we’re brought to the convenience store. Remember? The ones who meet above the convenience store.
So, come with me on this journey: we see the dropping of an atom bomb, epitome of pure evil; pure evil personified are demons or evil spirits; evil spirits such as the ones like Bob, the Jumping Man, and those others. Remember Phillip Jeffries told Gordon Cole (Lynch), Albert (Miguel Ferrer), and Coop about the meetings? Well, in a chain of surreal events, we go from the personification of not only evil but MAN’s evil to the place where those evil spirits come to dwell on Earth. At least those in the vicinity of Twin Peaks and the surrounding area. Like a sort of modern birth of a pantheon of demons, when man’s scientific hubris went so far as to create such deadly power, for nothing but the SAKE of power. And man’s evil is not just in massive shows such as this, it’s everyday evil, like that of Bob and the crimes he committed using Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) in that little town. Hence why we’re also led to the convenience store in that wild sequence.
Pic 2BWe’re taken further, as well. Lynch brings us into a suspended atmosphere where we come to a huge structure, almost an obelisk in the darkness. Inside is similar to an old apartment building from the early 1900s. There’s a woman looking upset. The Giant (Carel Struycken) is there, a concerned look on his face. And there’s a large transformer of some sort, it keeps making noise and lighting up, over and over, until the Giant turns it off. There’s a similarity between this place and the place where Coop wound up going through on his way back from the Black Lodge. So, is this like a type of Limbo, a Purgatory? If so, is the electrical transformer a vessel, or does it transmit messages?
The Giant walks up a staircase into another room where there’s a screen. He sees the atomic blast in the desert projected. He sees the convenience store, the cosmic being floating and regurgitating some strange fluid. The Giant then levitates away. The woman walks in to find him gone, an image of the stars on the projection screen. She sees the Giant there, from his eyes burst a galaxy of stars and they fill the sky. There’s a god-like quality to him now. He’s like the antithesis to the dropping of the bomb, just as the explosion produced a burst of evil spirits, so does the Giant’s power spring forth a symbol of goodness: Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Her spirit is fed into a massive machine, then it coils down into the universe, into the world. She’s a symbol of good and a resistance to evil, as she becomes one of those who grapples with the evil entity Bob; she obviously doesn’t get away in the end, but she’s like the archetype of good, and specifically good targeted for corruption.
Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.52.14 AMJump ahead to ’56. In the desert. An egg hatches, a creature slithers out and crawls through the sand. later, we see it closer as a half frog, half fly-type of thing. Like two pieces of a Biblical plague mixed together.
On a dark road a man stumbles in front of a car. He asks for “a light” as electricity crackles in the black of night; he looks like one of the Lumberjacks from Fire Walk With Me and Missing Pieces. Also like one of those spirits that helped bring back the bad Coop after he was shot. Another of the men stalks outside the car, but the people take off before anything else happens. Lucky them.
So, we’re seeing more of the evil spirits, of these Lumberjacks; and this is in ’56. They’re connected to bad Coop in the present day, reviving him, which means they’re definitely part of the Black Lodge and those convenience store meetings.
Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 12.59.01 AMA young couple walks home alone together at night. The boy kisses the girl and heads off. The Lumberjack is still looking for his light, too. He walks into a radio station, finds one woman and puts a hand to her head, crushing it, or melting it. But either way: BLOOD! He does the same to the DJ. Everywhere in town the radio goes mad. Until the Lumberjack decides to use the airwaves to send a message: “This is the water. And this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within.” Through the electricity of the radios and the airwaves, the Lumberjack’s words infect people all over town.
That creature from before, it flies through the window of the young girl from before. It crawls into her bed, then into her mouth as the words of the evil entity keep pouring from the radio. She swallows the evil whole. After the Lumberjack finishes he walks off into the pitch black, as a horse can be heard. A horse of the apocalypse, perhaps?
Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 1.10.28 AMWhat a fascinating chapter. This was so spooky, unnerving, surreal. One of the greatest television episodes, of anything, ever. Definitely at the top of the surrealist pile for Twin Peaks. And strange as it was, it’s putting together parts of its mythology. One episode at a time. And what will become of the poor girl who swallowed that frog-fly-thing? Yuck.

Twin Peaks- Season 3: “The Return, Part 7”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 7”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 6, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 8, click here.
Pic 1Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) is in the woods, a bewildered look on his face. More than just a good bake on from his killer bud. It’s like he knows there’s something bad in that forest. He calls his brother Ben (Richard Beymer). Seems as if he’s had his car stolen. Turns out he’s actually just high. Too high.
Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) finds pages of Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) diary, from the previous episode, and shows Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster). These are the pages torn from the diary, connecting not only to the TV series, but also to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. They talk about who Bob was possessing, as well as relay the message from Annie – about the “good” Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) being stuck in the Black Lodge. Hawk susses out that whoever it was came out of the lodge  those 25 years ago was the “bad Cooper.”
Afterwards, Frank calls his brother Harry to talk about the whole thing. What I’d like to know is where is our former sheriff? Is he ill? Sounds like it. A little later the new sheriff calls Dr. Will Hayward (Warren Frost) about the night he went to the Great Northern, to check on Agent Cooper. The doc remembers it, very well. Seeing the agent and that “strange face again.” Moreover, we hear our first rumblings about Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn), how she was in a coma after the bank exploded.
Pic 1AOut on the road Deputy Sheriff Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) talks with a very nervous, paranoid man. They’re set to meet at 4:30. This guy seems like he’s up to no good, but I don’t see Andy as being the type to be up to anything shady. So what’s the deal?
One of the cops with the case concerning the decapitated head, the body in bed receives a military visit. About the prints they’ve found, what seems likely to be the corpse of Major Garland Briggs. Only there’s a bit of an age discrepancy. Briggs would be much older by now, the body’s less than a week old. How can it be him? Oh, I have a few ideas. Involving space and time. Colonel Davis (Ernie Hudson) gets a call about the prints, the body, and now there’s so much more afoot.
Gordon Cole (Lynch) sees Special Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) at his office, reporting on going to see Diane (Laura Dern), who wasn’t exactly forthcoming. Their relationship is hilarious and perfect. They go speak with Diane, she tells them both to go fuck themselves. She and Coop apparently didn’t leave things on good terms. They want somebody close to him to go talk with the Coop sitting in federal lockup, to gauge what’s happening. Eventually she agrees and they’re on the plane. Then Special Agent Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell) shows them a slight problem with the fingerprints, tedious, almost unnoticeable to untrained eyes. Like someone did a bit of doctoring. Or perhaps, Coop slightly changed.
At the prison, Diane comes face to face with her old pal. He’s clearly different, his voice is unsettling and deep. He wonders why she’s so upset. She asks about the last time they saw one another. “At your house,” he replies (almost like the Mystery Man from Lost Highway; eerily reminiscent). A night they’ll both never forget, apparently. She can see a different person sitting behind those eyes, someone she doesn’t know inside his skin.
Diane: “That isnt the Dale Cooper that I knew
Armed with this affirmation from her which he trusts in wholly, what’s Gordon to do next? Back in his cell, the bad Coop asks to speak with the warden “about a strawberry.” Uh oh.
Pic 2On a lonely road, Andy waits for the paranoid man with whom he met earlier. At the guy’s house, we get the feeling of something ominous behind his open front door. Only Lynch could make a simple shot of a door like that feel creepy. One of the many reasons the man is a master filmmaker.
Coop and the warden meet. The bad man speaks in cryptic fashion, as usual. About “dog legs” and other bits. He mentions Joe McClusk, the late “Mr. Strawberry” and this puts the warden in his chair. Bad Coop requests a car for himself and Ray Monroe. Gun in the glove compartment.
At the Lucky 7 offices, Dougie (MacLachlan) goes about his infant-like day, Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) snooping around wanting to know more about what he’s been up to lately. Of course he gets no answers, nobody does. Then the police come to speak with Mr. Jones about his car. They mention deaths during the explosion of his car, gang members and such.
Outside the office, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) and Dougie are attacked by the small hitman, wielding a gun now. Instinctively Dougie moves “like a cobra” wrestling him to the ground, chopping him in the throat. In the pavement he sees the Man from Another Place, in his newest form, that brain on a tree. It commands him to “squeeze his hand off.” So Dougie chops the guy in the throat one more time, freeing the gun from his grip. SO INTENSE! The sound design in this scene is so foreboding, you can feel something coming
At the Great Northern, Beverly Paige (Ashley Judd) shows Ben a strange hum emanating from one of the rooms. They can’t pinpoint where it’s coming from, or what’s making it. They follow it around awhile, but still can’t figure it out. At the same time they’ve received the key from Cooper’s old room, from all those years ago. A slice of strange nostalgia for Mr. Horne. Beverly has her own difficult life; a very ill husband named Tom (Hugh Dillon) to look after, being cared for in hospice. They also don’t have a great relationship, it seems. He makes her feel guilty, or she perceives it that way.
Pic 3I love Lynch because he intrigues us, and he also gives us slices of anticipation where we see a long shot of the Bang Bang being swept, Jean-Michel Renault (Walter Olkewicz) at the bar working silently. And nothing happens, for so long. Because Lynch knows we’re paying attention. He doesn’t do this for shits, he does it to make sure we haven’t fallen off.
Then a call comes in, Jean-Michel running his greasy business as it always was, like 25 years ago. Trouble, too. I wonder who owes him, and what this will mean for the plot in coming episodes.
In jail, the bad Coop is released from his cell, as is Ray. They’re let out the back quietly, given a phone, keys to a vehicle. Off again, jiggity jig. Wonder where they’re heading first? Meanwhile at the diner in Twin Peaks, life goes on as usual. I love the way Lynch intertwines the mystery and the everyday, going from such a dark, mysterious moment into one of comfort, one of familiarity. And even underneath the beautiful music, the old 50s and 60s guitar swooning in the background, there’s an undercurrent of that threatening, foreboding sound design, building and festering. Perfect atmosphere.
Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 12.38.08 AMAnother good episode, this one a bit less heavy on the surrealism and the absurd, more a classic episode of Twin Peaks we’ve come to know. I’m excited because with 18 episodes, Lynch and Frost have the opportunity to take their time a bit, which they do with relish. All the same it’s good, it isn’t frustrating for those of us Peakheads who love the mystery, the intrigue, the surreal. Can’t wait for the next episode already.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 6”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 6”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lync & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 5, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 7, click here.
Pic 1Poor Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). Still Dougie, still infant-like. He’s not left work since after he finished. Plus, he can barely converse with anybody. He only knows a few words like “home” and his name and a few others like “red door” – the door of his house. A cop helps him along back home to Janey-E (Naomi Watts), his doting wife. He keeps rubbing the cop’s badge, too. Memories of his old life. The absurdity of the whole situation is so perfectly hilarious. There’s clearly something wrong with him and people treat it like it’s only a mild little thing. Suburban life is so zombified that this version of Dougie is somehow no more noticeable or worrisome than the general cold.
The best is seeing him with Dougie’s boy, Sonny Jim. They’re essentially on the same wavelength. Although young Sonny Jim is likely a few steps ahead of this depleted Agent Cooper. The only part of Dale which seems to remain is his love of coffee and food; the simple things.
Janey-E stumbles onto photos of Dougie and Jade, the working girl he was with prior to the switch. So now that’s another bit of trouble his infant mind can’t really compute, and it isn’t even his life. Doesn’t matter for him ultimately. Someone calls for Dougie, too. Clearly the guy’s into big debt with some rough bastards. Janey-E offers to meet the caller the next day.
Then we go to the Black Lodge, as Dale sees through the border between the worlds while running a finger along the black-and-white Lucky 7 Insurance logo. Calling to mind the floor of the lodge. The One-Armed Man Phillip Gerard (Al Strobel) calls out: “Dont die.” The spirits of the lodge are still with him in there, in his mind. He’s very slowly seeing things, he has a vision. A kind of second sight, like how he picked out the machines ready for jackpots. He takes out a pencil and on the files from the office he draws a figure similar to the tree with a brain for a head from Part 1. Then a ladder. He draws another ladder, as well as some stairs.


Fuck Gene Kelly, you motherfucker.” Best insult ever to someone using an umbrella. Special Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), on a mission from Gordon Cole (David Lynch), heads into a dark, neon-signed club. He’s there to see Diane (Laura Dern); FUCK YES! Oh, lord. How I love thee Ms. Dern. What a reveal, too. Been waiting to see this woman for far too long. Doesn’t disappoint.
Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) is picking up some cocaine, meeting with Red (Balthazar Getty), a strange dude accompanied by men with guns. Apparently he has a problem with his liver, has to beat it a bit. There’s a lot more nastiness in the small town of Twin Peaks than even 25 years ago. Darkness never left. Used to be Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), now a deputy sheriff, was the bad boy. Looks like the Horne family still has its share of bad apples. And Red, he’s creepy. He’s psychotic, also a bit of a magician.
Red: “Just remember this, kid. I will saw your head open and eat your brains if you fuck me over.”
Over at the Fat Trout Trailer Park, we see Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton) after all this time. He’s headed into town, same time each day. He hasn’t changed, either. Good man. Loves his cigarettes. In town at the Double R, Shelly Johnson (Mädchen Amick) works her shift as usual, as does the giggling waitress. Life goes on and on in their slice of America.
Pic 2Flying down the road raging on coke, Richard goes flying through a crosswalk and kills a child in front of a bunch of people, bloody everywhere. And he keeps on going, doesn’t even look back. A girl who’s a regular at the Double R sees his face as he speeds off. Carl stumbles across the scene, shattering the tranquillity of his day prior. He looks up to the power lines above, seeing a strange light dissipate into the electrical wiring. He goes to the woman and tries comforting her what little he can. A tragic scene.
Note: The #6 electrical pole from Fire Walk With Me and Missing Pieces is specifically shown, panning up to the wires overhead. “Electricity” is spoken by the Man from Another Place in Missing Pieces. See here.
Dougie’s blown-up car is being investigated. A cop has to climb up over the junkie mom’s house as she yells out “one one nine” over and over. There’s so much swirling around Dougie Jones that if someone doesn’t find Dale soon it’s gonna be a shitstorm eventually.
In a hotel room a man rolls dice, writing down numbers. Under his door comes a thin envelope. One from a man named Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler), whom we saw in a previous episode, the one seemingly being extorted. The man opens the envelope to find two pictures, he then goes over their faces with an ice pick. Fucking creepy. One face belongs to Dougie Jones.
Over at Lucky 7, Dougie-Coop is at work, wandering around like usual. Watching on is Anthony (Tom Sizemore), clearly a man with things to hide. The boss doesn’t seem to love Dougie’s “childish scribbles” on the files. A mess. Somehow in the pile of nonsense the boss discerns what’s meant to be happening. He figures out the symbols, connecting them. Just as the viewer does while watching Twin Peaks. Do like Dougie: “Make sense of it.” This cracks me up, it’s so perfect in a comedic way and also in that way of post-modern thought in terms of how we interpret what we’re watching. Lynch and Frost are mindbenders. Love every second of it.
Pic 3Janey-E goes out to meet a couple sketchy-looking dudes, Tommy (Ronnie Gene Blevins) and Jimmy (Jeremy Davies). They’re trying to get over $50K out of Dougie. She’s pretty tough, all the same. She offers up $25K to be done.
The man with the pictures murders his first target. Brutally. He has to do a few murders, in fact. To keep anybody from talking much. All with that ice pick. He almost cries after he’s bent it. Such a surreal moment. Another note: Lynch has a fascination with fucked up teeth, more of which is evident here.
Out in the woods, child killer Richard stops to see how much blood is smeared across his bumper. He washes it off. How long can he hide it?
Back with Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse), we see him drop an Indian Head coin. He picks it up, noticing another Native logo on the stall of the toilet door; screws missing at the corner. So he takes a closer look inside, prying it open. Inside he finds papers full of writing.
We find out more about Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster); his son killed himself, a soldier. Part of why he and his wife are at odds much of the time, because of her grief over what’s happened. That’s a sad story.
Pic 5Another interesting episode. This one a bit more straight forward, and even then it’s a wild ride.
I’m interested to see more of the Trumans, and I’m itching to know about Harry. We’ve got another 12 episodes, there’s plenty to uncover. Until next time, Peakheads.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 5”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 5”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 4, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 6, click here.
Pic 1In Las Vegas, we start on two men waiting late outside a place, as a woman named Lorraine (Tammie Baird) talking to them on a phone seems worried sick. Afterwards, she makes another call, though at the other end is only an ominous black phone or tablet-like object blinking.
Concerning the murder scene we saw recently, inside the body itself was found a ring, inscribed to Dougie Jones, from his wife, Janey-E (Naomi Watts). Hmm.
And back at the prison, bad Coop (Kyle MacLachlan remembers the Black Lodge, thinking back to when he – Bob – first entered the vessel: “Youre still with me, thats good,” he says in the mirror (remember: “Chrome reflects our image,” from Fire Walk With Me). Note: Amazing work on the composite shot of MacLachlan’s face [upper half] joining the face of Bob (Frank Silva; RIP) [lower half] in a grin we’ve seen time and time again during the original series.
In an office building, Steve Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones) is chastised for a terrible resume and sent packing from a hopeful interview. Whom exactly is he?
Over in Twin Peaks at the sheriff’s station, Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) gets a visit from his wife Doris (Candy Clark), interrupting a call with his brother Harry. She’s not happy, everything at home is fucked up. He tries reassuring her everything’s fine, but it’s clear they don’t communicate so well.
Pic 1AMeanwhile, regular ole ‘good’ Dale Cooper (MacLachlan) is still kicking about the Jones residence, his wife trying to make sense of his “weird as shit” attitude. She’s hidden the nearly $450K he won at the casino, now she offers to drive him to work. With all the people swirling around the REAL Dougie, it’s only a matter of time before Coop winds up in a load of trouble. There are a lot of eyes on Dougie.
I wonder what exactly will pull Coop back to reality, so that he remembers himself. Or perhaps Gordon (Lynch) and Albert (Miguel Ferrer) will track him down soon enough. For now, Coop unwillingly masquerades as Dougie, puttering around the Lucky 7 Insurance offices. What gets him moving? You bet it: coffee. He sucks it back in the elevator like life sustaining nectar. The funniest thing to me about all this is that people, while feeling it’s odd, don’t exactly treat Dougie differently, they sort of play along with it and the guy delivering coffee pulls him into the board meeting; sort of Lynch and Frost’s commentary on the monotony of office work, no matter how high profile.
At the meeting, Coop’s Dougie blurts out that his friend Tony (Tom Sizemore) is a “liar” and everyone is a bit thrown off. Still, they lead Dougie around like a child and he stares with wide-eyed wonder wherever he goes. Then, like a child, the confused Coop picks up a new word: agent. Soon he learns more: case files. His journey back to Agent Dale Cooper is on its way, slow but sure.
Note: Lynch can make anything surreal, the beginning of the meeting with the coffee and the green tea latte is a perfect example. Hilariously absurd, the way Tony and the other man share a glance. Of course the whole Dougie angle is absurd, in the best ways. Especially when he’s holding his piss, nearly dying from the pressure, and once more people cater to him like an infant.
Pic 2At the casino where Coop won his jackpots, Supervisor Burns (Brett Gelman) is beaten severely for letting all that money slip away, by Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper) while Bradley Mitchum (Jim Belushi) warns him to leave town. They’re the, uh… controlling interests, in the business. I’m sure they’ll cross paths with Coop’s Dougie at some point. Time being, the pit boss Warrick (David Dastmalchian) is put in charge.
In the house with the junkie mom, across from where Dougie left his car, the little boy heads outside to look at it. Underneath blinks the little tracking device, which the boy tries removing. Before a black car blasting music pulls up, men hop into the car, and the thing explodes when they try boosting it. Whoa.
Perhaps a clue for the outside world: Coop’s old Great Northern key is found in the working girl’s vehicle as it’s being cleaned. She pops it in the mail.
In Twin Peaks, Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) keeps an eye on the diner as usual, as Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) works away. She sees Shelly give Becky Burnett (Amanda Seyfried) money, obviously not for anything good. Norma’s worried about the new girl. She’s married to Steve, that hopeless young man from the job interview, and they’re both into coke.
OH, no. I feel like there’s a parallel between Becky and Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) already. The old-timey, romantic music, the cocaine, even her smile is similar to Laura’s with that big, sweet, toothy grin. Uh oh.
At the station and into the night, Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) and Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) keep going through all the evidence, the old papers, et cetera. They’re searching for the clues directed by the other clues of the Log Lady. But “no Indians,” as Andy so eloquently points out.
Pic 3Out in the woods, Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) powers up his own little radio show. He rambles about globalist conspiracy, his “cosmic flashlight” – and a bunch of other things. At least he’s passionate. A few of his listeners include perpetual hippy Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) and Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie). Jacoby uses one of those gold-plated shovels as a bell, he rings it with a hammer like tolling it for his listeners. He’s truly mental, The gold-plated shovels are a way to “dig yourself out of the shit” towards the truth: only $29.99. I mean, the absurdity is off the charts, and I love it. He’s not even mental, he’s an opportunist.
Colonel Davis (Ernie Hudson) receives information about Major Garland Briggs in Buckhorn. Stuff keeps popping up over the years about the old fella, they haven’t actually found his body yet. Well, the army hasn’t; somebody certainly has at the morgue.
At the Bang Bang Bar another excellent band plays – they’re called Trouble and the song is “Snake Eyes” – people mingle, dance together. A young man named Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) is asked to stop smoking, then proves he’s definitely one of the rich Hornes by offering up a bribe to keep his cigarette lit. Could it be the son of Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn)? Either way, he’s a creepy dude. When a girl asks him for a light he assaults her a bit, grabbing her by the throat. Shit, he is scary.
Back at the FBI, Agent Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell) compares photos of Coop with his doppelganger, she looks at the fingerprints, examining everything carefully looking for answers. A true mystery.
Pic 4In jail, bad Coop gets his phone call. The one Gordon is hoping will give them something with which they can work. The doppelganger knows they’re listening in. So he says: “Who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry? No, I dont think Ill call Mr. Strawberry. I dont think hes taking calls. I know, I know who to call.” He dials madly over the numbers, making no sense. Followed by all the systems going haywire, lights flashing and alarms going off.
And into the receiver bad Coop finishes with “the cow jumped over the moon.” Everything stops immediately once he hangs up. Will the dish now run away with the spoon?
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, where that phone – or whatever it is – blinked in the beginning. It blinks more, before shrinking into a tiny morsel, like a little crumpled stone or piece of metal, in a wooden bowl where it sits. Remember, Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) disappeared from Buenos Aires back in Fire Walk With Me/Missing Pieces. Keep that in mind.
All the while Coop’s Dougie lingers outside the Lucky 7 offices, unsure of how to keep going about his day. He’ll find his way again, somehow.
Pic 5What a great episode. So weird, so funny, and more intrigue; particularly in the Jeffries-related area, part of the plot I’m very interested in since long ago first having seen Fire Walk With Me. Part 6 will surely give us more, and I can’t fucking wait!

Unpacking the Puzzle of TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME + MISSING PIECES

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. 1992. Directed by David Lynch. Screenplay by Lynch & Robert Engels.
Starring Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Phoebe Augustine, David Bowie, Miguel Ferrer, Pamela Gidley, Heather Graham, Chris Isaak, Moira Kelly, David Lynch, James Marshall, Harry Dean Stanton, Kiefer Sutherland, Grace Zabriskie, Kyle MacLachlan, Frances Bay, Michael J. Anderson, Frank Silva, Al Strobel, Calvin Lockhart, & Carlton Lee Russell.
New Line Cinema/CiBy 2000/Twin Peaks Productions
Rated R. 135 minutes.
Drama/Fantasy/Horror/Mystery/Thriller

★★★★★
PosterTwin Peaks as a series was, at the core, about very human issues; no matter the dreamy qualities. David Lynch has spent his entire career mainly dealing in surrealism. His aim is the human mind. Far out in the stratosphere as his imagery can get there’s always that humanity. I’ve attributed it to the spiritual nature of his filmmaking. Not religious: spiritual.
Lynch’s interest in things like transcendental meditation and other abstract concepts shows us how he thinks within his creative works. In this vein, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With MeMissing Pieces, and the various surreal scenes throughout the series – continuing now in “The Return” – are a way to understand how Lynch sees the concepts of good and evil particularly amongst human beings.
What Fire Walk With MeMissing Pieces does is serve as the sort of thesis for the entire world of Twin Peaks as a whole. Even though it comes later in non-linear fashion, when considering the film and its previously unreleased scenes this thesis becomes clear in the mind and then you can go back watching the two seasons – now blessed with another 18 episodes – to connect the dots which Lynch allows.
At the middle of the mysticism, mythology, its quirky and surreal esoteric nature, is the story of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). We venture into a tortured world – HER tortured world – in which the spiritual plays a large part. Specifically, we see how evil influence plays a macabre role in the corruption of goodness, of everything that is sweet and innocent.
IMG_0039I get that people feel the film is disjointed. It’s disjointed in a purposeful sense. Lynch and co-writer Robert Engels begin with groundwork. Literally, we start with the investigation into the murder of Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley) – this is the case similar to Laura’s which Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) mentions in the initial Twin Peaks episode. Through this, as we catch the story of Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak), we come across several of the basic concepts that come together throughout the series.
Electricity as an outside influence is constructed as corrupting. Within the Douglas fir-infested world of the town, all the beautiful and isolated nature, electricity comes to symbolise an evil seeping into the natural world. Lynch presents this literally with the inhabiting spirits, such as the nasty, murderous Bob (Frank Silva).
The most significant scene concerning this is twofold. First, we see the electrical pole in the trailer park with the sound of the electricity whooping through its wires. Not long after, we see the Man from Another Place (Michael J. Anderson) explain he is “the Arm” and his sound is that of the electricity; not just that, the sound is similar to a Native American call which suggests further connection to the Earth.
The first instance of electricity? When Cooper initially looks at the body of Laura in the morgue, where he realises the similarities with the murder of Ms. Banks. A light overhead flickers constantly.
RingIn addition there’s other moments which add up to show us how electricity is the major concept concerning spiritual beings in the Black Lodge. For instance, the owl ring we see Laura and Teresa wear is connected to electricity. The Man from Another Place says: “This is a formica table. Green is its colour.” Well, formica insulates from electricity. The owl ring is cut from that very table, which can be seen during both Fire Walk With Me and Missing Pieces when Lynch treats us to a lengthy sequence above the fabled convenience store, where the beings have their meetings (see table below).
Formica Table #2 - Ring Piece MissingSo, wearing the ring is a kind of double-edged sword. It’s a marker to the evil beings, like Bob, and at the same time it’s able to keep the evil from entering them. We see this when Laura wears the ring. Bob lusts after her, wanting to “taste” through her. But he can’t because the formica owl ring pushes him back, insulating Laura’s soul from being inhabited by Bob. This makes it further clear that the spiritual beings – this includes all those above the convenience store, including the Man from Another Place, Mrs. Tremond(/Chalfont) and her grandson, the electrician, the two lumberjacks (one of whom may likely be the Log Lady’s husband) – they don’t only travel through electricity, in a sense they consist of electricity. Which is why Bob cannot enter those who bear the owl ring.
Now, on to the specifically evil beings a bit more. There’s a passage from the Bible, Ephesians 6:12, which references “spiritual wickedness in high places” and this is better understood in consideration of Greek origins . Mainly I’m interested in the fact evil spirits and the devil come from the air, if we go by the Greeks. All spirits come from the air, though the higher air is where the good sit and the lower air is where the evil lurk. This all comes to bear on the lines from the Man from Another Place, once more: “Descended from pure air. Intercourse between the two worlds.”
Furthermore, we know from seeing the various spiritual beings not all of them are evil. Above all it’s Bob who is for certain an evil spirit, as well as the Jumping Man (Carlton Lee Russell) – whom I will discuss later. So the distinctions of the Greeks in seeing evil v. good spirits in the air (this air, I should note, is that directly below Heaven) is clear by the evil and good spiritual beings who frequent the Black Lodge and the room above the convenience store.
Jumping Man FWWMThe good v. evil spiritual beings isn’t only evident in Fire Walk With Me. During the series, Coop comes in contact with the One Armed Man, Phillip Gerard (Al Strobel). He admits to having been corrupted by Bob – “I too had been touched by the devilish one” – though coming to his senses and to the light of God, which changes him. He becomes an agent of good.
However, Mrs. Tremond and her grandson can be seen as at least a neutral force. They come in contact with Laura, and the boy warns her about “the man behind the mask.” Now this is a larger connection, which I believe involves the aforementioned Jumping Man. We have to unpack this, could take a minute.
Masks. Masks. Masks. Don’t forget, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) leaves a mask for Coop in his hotel room in Season 2, Episode 15. This now relates incredibly to the first episode of the new Twin Peaks where Laura removes her face exactly like the way the mask opens in a flash of light for Coop.
So, the man behind the mask young Tremond speaks of is Bob, because we know he was the one “under the fan” – a reference to the staircase and hallway in the Palmer household. This is where Laura feels Bob pull at her, wanting to taste through her mouth. The Jumping Man connects because he has a similar face to the mask young Tremond wears, only his isn’t so much a mask, rather a face; or at least a painted face. Either way it’s as if the Jumping Man is an entirely demonic influence. Whether he’s connected to Bob, I don’t know. The Jumping Man appears dressed similarly to the Man from Another Place, suggesting a doppelganger-type issue.
Also, the Log Lady has a connection to the Jumping Man and the lumberjacks, at least possibly. She mentions in the series how her husband “met the devil” and she continues: “Fire is the devil like a coward hiding in the smoke.” We see the Jumping Man who jumps off and onto a box, partly obscured in clouds of smoke. Likewise, the Log Lady’s husband, a logging man, supposedly met the devil. Not far fetched to imagine that one of the lumberjacks, likely the one played by Jürgen Prochnow, is now a spiritual being up there. Maybe.
Man Behind the Mask FWWMFinally, we come to the human core. Even before we fall into the morbid story of Laura Palmer, Lynch shows us how even the heaviest mythology of Twin Peaks involves humanity. The convenience store is perhaps the best example. While Lynch explores these expansive concepts, existential thinking at the highest level, he remains connected to the real world, rooted in it – these spiritual beings not only look just like humans, they meet in a shabby room situated over a convenience store. In the real world Mrs. Tremond(/Chalfont) and her grandson live in a trailer park. These are ways in which Lynch says that the spiritual and the corporeal are interconnected, by barely a hair’s width. Living right alongside one another, on top of each other.
So it all winds up, all the mythology and the symbolism, into a tale about abuse in a small town, in an otherwise happy family. That outside influence of the unnatural, the evil influence, the electricity, infects the Palmers and eventually drives Leland (Ray Wise) to commit a horrible atrocity.
Part of the disturbing genius in Fire Walk With Me is Lynch makes us sit through Laura’s episode of, for better or worse, mental illness. It’s maybe the most harrowing, intense vision of such an experience in any film I know. Because it is genuine torture, watching Laura bounce back and forth between friends, family, foes, strangers. Never able to explain to anyone exactly what is going on, and even when she does it’s passed off as “not real” by those who couldn’t possibly comprehend her level of spiritual strife.
Laura Palmer Dead FaceAnd this is the bottom line, the chief concern of the film’s thesis statement: spiritual, existential pain.
Lynch’s own interests in transcendental meditation belie his interests on film. Through the story of Laura Palmer, her eventual murder and the forces surrounding the town of Twin Peaks, Lynch is able to address the concept of existential/spiritual pain, how the outside world infects the natural world around us – even inside us.
On one hand, Twin Peaks as a series bounces around joyfully from soap opera romance to 1950s throwback to horror to science fiction and fantasy, and almost every stop in between. For me, it’s exciting and fresh. When I first saw the series 16 years ago it enthralled me and I never let it go from my heart or my mind. On the other hand, Fire Walk With Me and its Missing Pieces are an exercise in dark surrealism and Greek tragedy. This is a macabre, gruelling piece of cinema. One which holds so much more than even casual fans of the series are likely to appreciate.
Soon enough I’ll come back to discuss the original series and its two seasons. If anyone has any further theories, please comment below! For now these stand as my clearest thoughts on the film. But Twin Peaks in all its forms is never far from my mind.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 4”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 4”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Part 3, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 5, click here.
Pic 1In Las Vegas we find Coop (Kyle MacLachlan) winning jackpots all over the casino, fresh off his transition back into the real world since spending all those years in the Black Lodge. He sees that strange little vision of the lodge’s curtains and patterned floor all over the place, each one indicating a jackpot. Like a second sight.
Then a man named Bill Shaker (Ethan Suplee) and his wife Candy (Sara Paxton) think they’ve spotted Dougie Jones, chatting him up. Poor Dougie just wants to go home. Such a comically absurd scene, so perfect.
Thank you, Mr. Jackpots.”
The casino’s manager (Brett Gelman) and his pit boss Warrack (David Dastmalchian) wonder why Coop’s headed off without all his winnings. All he can say, again, is “call for help.” They get him a limo home, but not actual home – Dougie’s place. His wife Janey-E (Naomi Watts) is waiting, worried sick; he’s been gone three days. Now he’s back, much quieter, and with a ton of cash. Seems that the Jones’ have been worried about paying somebody back. This can solve all their troubles.
Pic 1AFBI Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) is meeting with Bill Kennedy (Richard Chamberlain) and Denise Bryson (David Duchovny), who’s obviously in a much higher position than last we left her – Chief of Staff at the bureau. Seems that Cole is taking an agent named Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell) with him on his latest excursion to find Coop. Absolutely love this exchange between these two. It’s funny, kind of heartwarming at moments.
Back in Twin Peaks, Lucy Brennan (Kimmy Robertson) is worrying over the thermostat. Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) arrives and scares the life out of her; she’s got trouble with understanding cellphones, apparently. And there are various other little things going on while the boss was away fishing. Not only that, Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) is now on the side of the law.
Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) fills Truman in on everything that’s happening, what the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) prophesied. One of the newer men at the station doesn’t particularly dig how things are done in their town. Not used to all the mysticism the locals understand as important and very real. Afterwards, Bobby winds up seeing the picture of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in all the evidence and has a minor breakdown. When he calms down he mentions Coop was the last person to see his father Major Garland Briggs before he died in a fire.
At the station arrives Wally Brando (Michael Cera) – son of Andy and Lucy – wishing to “pay respects” to the sheriff, about his brother Harry’s recovery. A weird kid, though no surprise there with those two with his parents. He dresses like Brando in The Wild One. He’s a traveller, too: “I think about Lewis and his friend Clark…” – I mean, he fits right in. Frank Truman is much like his brother, in that he’s a normal fish in a pond with a whole lot of strange fish.
Pic 2Coop’s still stuck as Dougie, for now. He remembers bits of the Black Lodge, where the One Armed Man, Phillip Gerard (Al Strobel) searches for him. He sees that other world just barely below the real one, superimposed below everything he sees. “Now one of you must die,” Gerard explains. Pretty tall orders for a guy who can’t even properly take a piss yet.
It’s as if coming back into the world Coop is once more like a child. Then he looks into the mirror, touching his reflection. There is no other face but his own; the chrome does not reflect any other image, like in the finale of Season 2 where Bob existed in the bad Coop behind his face. He can’t take a leak, he can’t wear a tie, he can barely eat on his own. When a coffee’s placed in front of him a familiar light brightens in his eyes, then he almost scalds himself to death. Too funny.
Gordon, along with Agents Preston and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), arrive from the airport and head towards their destination. Their banter is so perfect, and I think even after 25 years the hearing problems of Director Cole are still as funny as ever, maybe even better with Albert’s intolerance after decades of the same shit. They’re looking into what was found in the car, where bad Coop crashed. And then they get to have a chat.
Pic 3They ask Coop where he’s been, it’s clear there’s something not right. He tells Gordon he’s been working with Phillip Jeffries. He continues repeating himself. His voice is low and unsettling unlike before. Gordon especially sees that this is not the same man who’s been his close friend all these years. Not a bit.
When they’ve left Gordon also questions Albert, about his reaction to their mutual friend. Albert says he authorised Jeffries to give over information to Coop years ago; he told him about a contact in Colombia, who wound up murdered the day after. So, was it the doppelganger of Jeffries? Were he and the bad Coop working in unison? Seems the two older FBI men are now concerned there are dark things at play. They’re just as much confused as they are sure of something sinister coming.
Then they come to the decision there’s a woman who needs in on the Coop situation, a fresh perspective. Could it be Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn)? Could it be Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie)? We’ll see.
Albert: “Blue Rose
Gordon: “It doesnt get any bluer
Pic 4Another beautiful, dark, mysterious episode. So much going on, and so much to look forward to over the next 14 parts of this new Twin Peaks.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Part 3”

Showtime’s Twin Peaks
Season 3: “The Return, Part 3”
Directed by David Lynch
Written by Lynch & Mark Frost

* For a recap & review of Parts 1 & 2, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 4, click here.
Pic 1Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) falls through that space of darkness. Amazingly strange visuals here, love the new evolution of what Lynch is doing here. Soon, Dale falls to a balcony overlooking black ocean waves. One thing I’ve always loved, that plays through into these surreal sequences, is the calmness of our faithful FBI agent. His mind is so open he’s willing to experience these often terrifying things with a grace and poise not many would have, I’m sure. This whole scene is unnerving. Like Coop’s lost in a wasteland of some kind, the building he enters is a nightmare. He finds a lady with no eyes – almost resembling Josie Packard – sitting inside by a fireplace. She mumbles, touching his face. Then a loud pounding on the walls.
Coop notices a safe-type contraption on the back wall with a visible number 15 on it. He goes toward it but the thing repels him, and the eyeless woman urges him to leave. He follows her up through a trap door and onto an odd structure, in the middle of a starry sky, on top of which is a lever the woman pulls. Electricity throbs and then sends her flying out into space while Coop watches helplessly. Through the sky floats a face that says “Blue Rose” – remember, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and his Blue Rose Cases? Ah, I love that more of the pieces are beginning to fit now in the series’ return.
Pic 1ABack inside the structure, Coop discovers a woman, dressed similarly to the eyeless woman. But she does have eyes, and a watch with no face. On the wall, the safe-like contraption now has the number 3 above it. Cut to bad Coop in his car, as the time approaches 3 PM. We move back and forth between these places, as the good Cop somewhere further than the Black Lodge is trying to find a way to get himself back to the world. As he moves closer to the thing with the 3, bad Coop feels himself get weak, and good Coop is slowly sucked through its middle, leaving his shoes behind. The doppelganger proceeds in flipping his car, as the empty cigarette lighter’s electricity crackles, threatening to haul him inward. And outside the car appear the curtains of the Black Lodge.
When you get there, you will already be there.”
Elsewhere, a guy named Doug (MacLachlan) is with a prostitute, he feels his left arm going numb. He’s also wearing the owl ring on the same hand. The guy has terrible pains in his gut, falling to the floor. He vomits brutally before being pulled into nowhere; the Black Lodge curtains again appear. Bad Coop vomits what looks similar to creamed corn – garmonbozia – everywhere then passes out.
Doug, however, is in the lodge. There, he finds Phillip Gerard, the One Armed Man (Al Strobel) watching him. “Someone manufactured you,” he tells Doug: “For a purpose.” And now the purpose is done. Gradually the guy’s hand starts shrinking, the ring falls off, and his head disappears in a smoky black shadow. An orb rises from him then he disintegrates into a fleshy pod and further vanishes. Whooooa.
Thus, Gerard puts the owl ring back in its place on the marble table. More electricity in the mythology now, as Agent Cooper shows up through the electrical sockets in the house where Doug and the prostitute were shacking up. He’s got no shoes, either. He isn’t exactly feeling himself. Still has a key to the Great Norther Hotel in Twin Peaks in his pocket, too.
In the meantime someone’s watching them. They’re near Sycamore Street, in fact; wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Someone’s looking for Doug, though when Coop drops his Great Northern key it looks like he isn’t in the car, and the men watching are thwarted. For now.
Pic 2A junkie in a nearby house screams “one one nine” over and over. I wonder, does she deal with spirits from the Black Lodge? Are these numbers connected to those Coop’s been told by both the Arm and the Giant?
Bad Coop’s car is found by officers on highway patrol. They smell something disgusting inside and can’t even open the door, so they call in reinforcement with gas masks. I imagine he’s basically a puddle of skin and blood and creamed corn.
At the police station in Twin Peaks, Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse), Andy and Lucy Brennan (Harry Goaz & Kimmy Robertson) look through a mountain of various evidence. The typically quirky, hilarious dialogue ensues between our old favourites. Andy’s not AS goofy as he was, though still foolish in the best sort of sense. Hawk keeps pressing himself to figure out the clues left by the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) even if his two pals aren’t overly helpful.
And what about ole Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn)? He’s out at that camper, spray painting shovels. I’m endlessly curious about this, because the doc was always an odd duck. Right from the first episode of the original Twin Peaks run he was a weirdo, and I can only imagine what he’s up to now.
Cooper connects words from Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in his newest Black Lodge experience to the prostitute, as she urges him to go. He walks spaced out into a casino’s revolving door, still not adjusted to life back in the real world anymore. LOVE seeing Meg Foster at the cash dispensary, she’s awesome! Poor Coop wanders the casino floor, he sees a flash of the Black Lodge’s curtains and the patterned floor. So he sits at a slot machine and hits a big win. He goes from one machine to the next, hitting jackpots. Yet all he can say is “call for help.” He continues seeing machines lit up with the tiny vision of the Black Lodge. Jackpots everywhere. Even helps a dirty old woman hit it big!
Pic 3At FBI HQ in Philly, Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), Director Gordon Cole, and others look over a murder case involving young women, a boy, an automatic weapon, some pliers, and a jar of beans or something similar. They’ve also got a few things about New York to discuss. Mutilated bodies in an apartment complex; yes, that one we saw in Parts 1 and 2. They have evidence of the glass box, and a recording of the eerie apparition in the darkness.
Then Cole receives a call about Agent Cooper after all these years.
Albert: “The absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence.”
Pic 4Amazing. Just spectacularly weird, wild stuff. It’ll only continue.
Now with Agent Cooper back in the real world with Gordon and Albert on their way to meet him, there’s bound to be a deepening sense of the surreal working its way farther and farther into these next episodes. And that’s saying something!
A new case, a new world. Bring it on.

Twin Peaks – Season 3: “The Return, Parts 1 & 2”

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.
Pic 1Welcome back!
We start in that old dream with Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan): “Ill 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.
Pic 1AAt 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.
Pic 2In 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.
Pic 3Oh, 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.
Pic 4Hawk 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 futureor 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.
Pic 5Out 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.”
Pic 5ACoop 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.
Pic 6The 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.

Lynch’s BLUE VELVET is Like Disturbing(ly Good) Literature

Blue Velvet. 1986. Directed & Written by David Lynch.
Starring Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Hope Lange, Dean Stockwell, George Dickerson, Priscilla Pointer, Frances Bay, Brad Dourif, & Jack Nance.
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG)
Rated R. 120 minutes.
Drama/Mystery/Thriller

★★★★★
Pic 1David Lynch is one of my favourite filmmakers, his directing and writing equally fantastic. My dad told me about Twin Peaks when I was young (it was on TV when I was about five years old), so in my teenage years I discovered its magic. This lead to seeing Eraserhead with a few friends in a dim lit basement, which blew my mind. On and on through Lynch’s catalogue of work I went, eventually watching his early short films opening up a whole other door into his mind as an artist.
Blue Velvet is a surreal film. Not as steeped in it as much as his other work, though full of surrealism nonetheless. It’s through the absurd Lynch taps into this element, alongside his modern noir-ish plot that digs deep into the underbelly of idyllic American life. What makes the movie so exciting is the dangerous story, looking at this darker side of suburbia in a small logging town, fittingly named Lumberton.
Lynch has said this film inspired Twin Peaks; the way in which he blends the darkness with the absurdism is strangely compelling. There’s an explicit scene or two, depravity taking the reins in violent fashion. Mostly, Blue Velvet takes place in a space where violence is always possible, never far; its threat is debilitating to the progression of everything from innocence to love. The central character Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) finds himself pitted against the psychotic, Freudian villain Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), faced with either accepting his role in a hierarchy of violent men or rejecting the male violence which underpins the light and goodness of Lumberton.
Pic 2The now iconic opening of the film is perfect, designed like the meticulous opening sentence of a piece of great literature. Lynch starts with those typical images of American life, things he remembers from the 1950s: white picket fence, bright red firetruck with waving firemen followed by the bright red roses of a luscious garden, the beautiful houses like boxes in a row.
He immediately smashes the gorgeous, American Dream-type feeling with Mr. Beaumont, Jeffrey’s father, having a stroke while watering the garden. As if innocence is starting to shatter with it, a child in a diaper wanders up while the man seizes on the lawn. The hose spurts water, and Lynch goes into a slow motion shot, the sound likewise slowed – the dog snaps at the water’s stream, his face looking vicious and snarling, his sounds become sinister. What a perfectly thematic opener. I honestly don’t know how this could’ve been improved; because it couldn’t.
This first sequence is a thesis for Blue Velvet, ending in its statement where we zoom in and the camera takes us into the grass, into the dirt, right to the insects crawling in the earth. An image that sticks with us, coming up again in the end. But it effectively shows us what Lynch is doing, and plans to do throughout the plot – put a microscope over the lives of those in a quaint town. In this story, that involves a young man under threat of violence invading his life, maybe even his very soul.
Pic 2AIts a strange world, isnt it?”
Jeffrey’s dropped into a Freudian nightmare of a world, perhaps one to which Oedipus could relate; in a symbolic sense, anyways. He is lured into the dark side of his town by a sliced off ear, yet more importantly the story begins with his father’s brutal stroke. He loses the male influence in his life, falling prey to corruption.
Frank’s arrival is surreal in itself. He switches between two personas – Daddy and Baby. He treats Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) as Mother. At the sight of her vagina, and with a gas mask dose of amyl nitrite, he goes from Daddy to Baby, then back again. Likewise, after there’s a change in Jeffrey. Without his actual father around he adopts Frank, albeit subconsciously (perfect for a Freudian analysis), as Daddy. And where his family didn’t introduce him to the darker side of Lumberton, Dorothy and Frank become his surrogate parents, leading him down the garden path to the truth; no matter how disturbing.
This is quickly evident when he leaves Dorothy’s apartment following the first time we meet Frank in his erotic rage. We’re whisked directly to a dream sequence of Jeffrey remembering the events, then he wakes and there’s a strange moment where he seems relieved, touching the wall near a figure: the figure may be, to him, something else entirely but it looks like a vagina dentata sort of image. The influence of Daddy is transforming Jeffrey’s image of women into something dangerous; tying into one of the film’s themes being his journey, as a young man, trying to reject the violence of the male gender through the lens of how his surrogate Daddy treats the surrogate Mother.


Jeffrey walks to and from the hospital during the day and everything is bright, beautiful, positive. In the evening this changes, suddenly even the normal things don’t feel right. For instance, a moment many never catch when the first night scene sees Jeffrey out for a walk in his neighbourhood: a man stands in the grass as his dog on a leash stands on the sidewalk, a reverse of what you’d see like he’s being walked, you almost expect him to squat, drop a coil. One early indication of the surrealism Lynch employs.
Part of the surrealism is that idea of the twisted, half-Freudian and half-Oedipal journey on which Jeffrey goes. Because not only does the story dive into the underbelly of Lumberton, the story itself dives into the subconscious mind. This is best represented in the shot from Lynch after Jeffrey’s discovery of the ear – the camera closes in, further and further, right into the ear canal; figuratively, and literally because the orifice is an ear, into the mind. So, our trusty director dips us into that subconscious, in every way. Once you begin peeling back the layers they shed like skin.
The other surreal moments, the best, involve Frank most of all. First, there’s his amyl nitrite through the gas mask. On the surface that’s absurd alone, but coupled with the whole Daddy idea, you see that Jeffrey’s father has to breathe through a tube while Frank uses the surgical gas mask to inhale his drugs; a weird double image. The doubling continues, too. Frank is captivated with music, in particular the song “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton and Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” – the doubles return here, with Dorothy singing Vinton, suave Ben (Dean Stockwell) singing Orbison. And Stockwell’s little performance is so unnervingly odd. Strangely enough, the scene that weirds me out most. We see him singing, holding an electrical cord lamp lighting his face, and Frank stares at him, mouthing Orbison’s words, almost in a trance. An addition to the psychosis of Frank, suggesting something behind his fixation that we don’t need to know to find terrifying.


The violence is likely the most surreal of all: the Man in Yellow is dead on his feet, in literal fashion; Lynch shows us a close-up of Dorothy’s chipped tooth in her red lipstick-ed mouth then a little later Frank paints Jeffrey with lipstick and slaps him around, too; Frank’s crew stands by watching in complacence as he commits various unpredictable acts in a violent rage. Just as surreal as the absurdist situations in which Jeffrey finds himself throughout the film, from finding an ear in a field (the ants call to mind an image from 1929’s silent short film Un Chien Andalou) to witnessing the ritualistic sexual assault by Frank on Dorothy.
One of the reasons Lynch’s film acts as an excellent piece of visual literature is how he ties off the imagery. Whereas in the first couple scenes we go into the dead ear’s canal, the camera takes us back out of the ear later, except it’s Jeffrey’s ear, alive and in the sun; a transformative journey, from darkness into the light (a visual motif we see in the use of light Lynch employs in many scenes). In addition, the rightful Mother and Daddy are restored once Frank is dead; Mr. Beaumont is recovering well, the sun is shining, the backyards of suburbia are back to their dreamy quality again. Finally, while the darkness still exists – the robins feed on the bugs, the extent of Frank’s connections and the bad people in Lumberton remain unknown – a lightness is restored.
These elements help Lynch suture together his masterpiece of neo-noir surrealism. One of the greatest films made in the 20th century, a work of dangerous art.

David Lynch’s Eraserhead: Existential Terror at its Finest (and Most Elusive)

Eraserhead. 1977. Directed & Written by David Lynch.
Starring Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates, Judith Roberts, Laurel Near, V. Phipps-Wilson, Jack Fisk, Jean Lange, Thomas Coulson, John Monez, Darwin Joston, T. Max Graham, Hal Landon Jr., & Jennifer Chambers Lynch. American Film Institute/Libra Films.
Rated R. 89 minutes.
Fantasy/Horror

★★★★1/2
POSTER One of my consistently favourite filmmakers is David Lynch. The first of his films I’d ever seen was Lost Highway. Then I moved to Blue VelvetWild At Heart, and finally went for Eraserhead, his groundbreaking and eternally confusing feature-length debut. This started out as one of those old late ’70s midnight movies, not expected to draw out a huge crowd. Until it did. Today, it’s one of the most talked about debuts of any film director in the history of film, right up there with Citizen Kane. More than that, and especially due to the coy attitude of Lynch, it has remained one of the most inexplicable, hard to pinpoint films ever made. While part of its mystery can sometimes piss me off, mostly it is impressive. Because many artists, film or otherwise, are so eager to let the world know what their art means. In opposition, directors like Lynch, Michael Haneke, Bruno Dumont, they challenge what we see as regular art by often defying any sort of ready made explanation. Not that there aren’t explanations. Likely, someone has guessed the meaning of Eraserhead, only Lynch prefers never to confirm, nor deny, and likes to let his audience determine meaning on their own. But to sit down and try extracting some type of definitive meanings from this movie is futile. Sure, like any great artistic experience there can be parallels, allusions, metaphors, many instances of symbolism. Here, though, Lynch keeps things just weird enough as to elude the easy grasp of definition. And in the process, properly disgusts, disturbs, as well as horrifies us on a physical and existential level all at once.
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Obviously there are major portions of the film influenced by Lynch, his own personal fear of becoming a father, which also has to do with his daughter having trouble with clubbed feet after she was born. It’s easy to read this angle of Eraserhead. But there’s more than simply the fear of fatherhood. In our main character Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) is the overarching existential fear of life, the different phases, the various expectations which come along with it. Particularly when it comes to lower class living. Henry and his wife live in a veritable ghetto of industrialized America where the smokestacks rise up and spew their filth into the air, infecting both the atmosphere and the people surrounding it. So in a way, Lynch’s time in Philadelphia certainly plays a part in the story, and the bits of discernible plotline. The fear of giving birth to a mutant child is both a normal fear of fatherhood, as well as a fear of our external environments bleeding into the internal components of our life. As if all the fear and anxiety and horrible pollution of the outer world is expressed directly in Henry’s monster baby.
Above all, the fear of fatherhood is the fear of creating life. The fear of casting a new life you’ve made into the dark abyss of the modern world. All the terrors of becoming a parent by bringing life into a miserable world are on display; a dreary, filthy, industrially driven world that Lynch pushes forward both with the industrial city visuals, as well as the constant sound design of background sounds rattling and banging, the whistling of the radiator, a non-stop hum of white noise, the sounds of a partner’s teeth grinding in the night, an eye being rubbed as the socket bubbles around at the skin.
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But the imagery concerning parenthood is downright frightening. First we see pups suckling at their mothers teets, the sound of them whining and sucking and trying hard to get at the milk is unnerving, as it’s right out in the open. Then there’s the baby itself, which is like an animal fetus and some sort of alien mixed together. Altogether a foreign object, as many children feel to parents after their birth; they feel unnatural, almost like a screeching little animal. Lynch personifies that sentiment here with a hideous, deformed creature.
And then later, one of the most significant fear of fatherhood images comes to us in the form of Henry’s head falling off, then erasers being mined from his brain. Whereas the pencil is the creator – a.k.a the penis, the organ which creates life – the brain is the eraser, in the sense that the brain is meant to be able to outwit the dick re: any big decisions, such as getting a woman pregnant, for instance. So, in effect, Henry’s eraserhead should have scrubbed clean the decision to have sex with Mary, clearly with reckless disregard, as it eventually led to the birth of a monster.
There are so many striking images in the film, it’s hard to pick one that is the most intriguing. The Man in the Planet by the window, pulling levers; a hideous, ugly god behind the scenes? Pulling levers in his sickly condition, running things below and putting people through the motions of their horrible lives in an industrial, almost toxic environment.
The man-made chickens – everything man made, including children, are bound to be fucked up in this Lynchian version of industrial Hell on Earth. So it’s no surprise there are some genetically modified, bloody chickens in here. As if to symbolize everything born is, at its core, a disgusting thing, from babies to chickens.
Finally, the image of the Lady in the Radiator onstage, singing, dancing, then stepping on the strange sperm-like creatures, maybe fetuses. This one is as striking as it is unsettling. My take is that this represents his inner mind, the voice speaking to him deep down. While she stomps on the strange fetuses, then sings “In Heaven everything is fine” this can be seen as the inner urge in Henry to kill his child; those dark, unmentionable feelings of wanting to shake a screaming child that’s disrupting life, making everything worse. As if in Heaven, the child will be fine. So stomp on it like those fetus things. And of course after dreaming of his head falling off and being mined for erasers, the Lady in the Radiator egging him on, Henry goes and kills the baby after removing its bandages. After Henry tries erasing his failed love life, but is effectively rejected, all his miserable failures are compounded by the laughing baby. He even sees himself as the hideous alien-like monster baby several times, once involving the woman across the hall with whom he imagined escaping the dreariness of his old life. So if he can’t figuratively erase that old life with Mary, the rest of his unhappy existence, he decides to be rid of the monster for good. That way, he also rids himself of the hideous part in him. But in doing so, Henry may just have killed the last remaining light in him, too, which is ultimately signified by the breakdown while he tries to kill it.
Yet after all is said and done, everything is fine for Henry, in Heaven, with the Radiator Lady. Because everything is fine, when you’re dead.
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If there were maybe a few more concrete moments, Eraserhead would be flawless. While I love mystery and elusiveness, sometimes this movie gets frustrating, even as I love it to death, simply because there’s so much defying explanation. It is well filmed, acted with unsettling subtlety. The sound design and the mysterious of the imagery is all beyond compelling. A 4&1/2-star masterpiece of weirdness, that spans both a fantastical aspect, as well as a straight up examination of personal psychological horror. Do not think my explanation nor that of anyone else will get to the bottom of David Lynch’s debut masterpiece. Explanation, at least definitive and sure explanation, is basically futile. This experience is about taking away from it what you will, answering your own questions. Because Lynch only asks them, giving us the contents of his horrified mind in relation to the world around him through cryptic and usually eerie imagery. I’ve sat through this movie many a time and still can’t get a full grasp on it. Part of it makes me frustrated, yes. Most of it makes me happy to have a director and writer out there like Lynch, probing the dark heart of our cinematic minds one picture at a time.