by Benjamín Harguindey
A weekly review of Twin Peaks, the 2017 revival of the 1990 cult classic. Created, produced and written by Mark Frost and David Lynch. Directed by David Lynch. Spoilers.
While playing catch some kids discover the bloodied Miriam, the woman Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) beat up and left for dead in the previous episode after she threatened to tell on his hit-and-run. Turns out Chad’s little sleight of hand while intercepting Miriam’s incriminatory letter to the Sheriff’s Department may have been for naught after all.
Meanwhile at Carl Rodd’s (Harry Dean Stanton) Fat Trout Trailer Park, Becky (Amanda Seyfried) finds out over the phone that her scumbag husband Steven (Caleb Landry Jones) is having an affair with a woman played by Alicia Witt (Donna Hayward’s little sister Gersten, not that you would know unless you checked the credits). In a rage, Becky takes out a handgun, steals a car from her mother Shelly (Mädchen Amick), drives over to Gersten’s and shoots up her front door.
Now we’re in the slumdog outskirts of Buckhorn, South Dakota, where Detective Macklay (Brent Briscoe) escorts Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard) and the FBI to the spot where he supposedly entered “the zone” and met the late Major Briggs. And lo, in the eyes of Gordon Cole (Lynch), the sky swirls into a gaping vortex and provides a peephole showing a group of the same “woodsmen” that have been popping on and off throghout the show. Albert (Miguel Ferrer) then pulls him out of the trance in time.
Just as Gordon and Albert discover the headless body of Ruth Davenport – with mysterious coordinates written in her arm – one of the ghostly woodsmen sneaks into Macklay’s cop car, takes hold of Hastings and causes his head to explode. Later at the police station, Diane’s (Laura Dern) interest in the coordinates flames Albert’s suspicions about her.
Back in Twin Peaks at Norma’s (Peggy Lipton) cozy Double R Diner, Becky receives a stern talking-to from parents Shelly & Bobby (Dana Ashbrook). Just as the mother scolds the daughter over her poor choice in men, she gets a visit from drug dealer and exciting new love interest Red (Balthazar Getty), much to Bobby’s dismay. So now it’s evident that Shelly divorced Bobby at some point, that Red picked her up that night at the Roadhouse and that he has since been courting her for purposes unknown.
Incidentally, this is the first scene in the show to reunite former teenybopper lovebirds Bobby and Shelly. It’s a little heartbreaking they’ve since become estranged, and what little acknowledgment we get on the ex couple comes from Dana Ashbrook’s pained expression as his sweetheart embraces this other man. What are the odds of Bobby eventually coming to Shelly’s rescue and making up?
Weirdly for Twin Peaks, the scene doesn’t end there and develops into a full-fledged sequence. A shot rings out, the bullet hits the diner and Bobby springs to action. The shot has been apparently fired in accident by a kid from a van. Bobby then questions the family in the van, resulting in a traffic jam and one very annoying car in particular endlessly honking from behind. The woman inside the car proceeds to harangue Bobby about being late, stopping only when the occupant next to her – a “Sick Girl” – rises as if from the dead and drools icky green vomit ala Regan MacNeil.
The scene ends there, but on the subject of dark portents there’s also Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) and Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse), who continue to contemplate the meaning of Major Briggs’ coded message, now with the aid of a map of the region peppered with cryptic hieroglyphics. Apparently the future holds “black fire” in wait – and sure enough, the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson) calls in to warn Hawk that “There’s fire where you’re going“.
The episode ends with “Dougie Jones” (Kyle MacLachlan) being driven out into the Vegas desert to meet the spiteful Mitchum brothers (Robert Knepper and Jim Belushi), who want him dead. Instead he ends up making peace with them when they discover on him a cheque made to their name worth $30 million dollars. Remember those papers Dougie doodled over, guided by MIKE (Al Strobel), and how his boss discovered something in them? Turns out those revealed Sinclair (Tom Sizemore) had unfairly revoked the Mitchums’ insurance claim over arson.
With the claim finally honored, the chummy Mitchums take Dougie out to dinner to celebrate over some cherry pie (another piece to puzzling Dale Cooper back together). They’re joined by Candie (Amy Shiels), the lead girl in the comically aloof trio of perpetually costumed escorts that follows the Mitchum brothers around. And for once the episode ends here, with the pianist playing some melancholy lounge music rather than the scene moving over to the Roadhouse for a synth act from a musical guest star.
What to expect from the next episode? The Mitchums will probably now turn on Sinclair, just as Mr. C will act on his ultimatum against failed assassination handler Todd (Patrick Fischler). For that matter there’s still that hit he ordered against the Yankton warden that let him escape. There’s also Diane to account for. Yes, she appears to be collaborating with Mr. C – but is she really, and does she know who he is? How likely is it that the legendary Diane would be finally brought up as an antagonist?
It appears that the FBI and the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department are now on the same page, both in possession of Briggs’ dates and coordinates. Whatever event these point to, it’s probably the same thing that interests Mr. C and the unseen Jeffries… whether they’re trying to stop it, ensure it or control it.
That leaves us with Dale Cooper, but how pointless it seems to speculate when and how he will make his way back to Twin Peaks (and regain his identity). We currently have the Vegas police looking into his identity, and then there’s the hotel room key mailed to the Great Northern, for what it’s worth. Who knows? Eleven episodes in and seven to go, the affair is probably being saved for the series finale, maybe one or two episodes earlier. However it pays off, the buildup has been an amazing ride so far.
Benjamín Harguindey / Managing Editor, Writer (Mar del Plata, Argentina – 1989) Screenwriter graduated from Universidad del Cine, Buenos Aires. Benja’s worked for EscribiendoCine as a film critic since 2010, covering the Biarritz, San Sebastián and Venice festivals. He judged the CILECT Prize and won several writing & criticism contests. He’s published one novel, Noches de Tartaria (2006).