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.

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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.