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.

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.