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 5, 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.

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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.