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.
The episode starts off with Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) sporting one of “Dr. Amp’s Gold Shit-Digging Shovels” and marching all the way to Big Ed’s (Everett McGill) Gas Station to make an announcement: she’s freeing him from the constraints of their marriage, having been born again all thanks to Jacoby’s self-help webcast and realized that true love is giving the other what makes them happy… in Ed’s case, reuniting with his high school sweetheart Norma (Peggy Lipton).
Isn’t that the smoothest breakup ever. Ed races to the Double R Diner and declares himself a free man to Norma… who waves him away to have a little business chat with partner Walter. But the downer is short-lived, because now Norma forces Walter to buy her out of the Double R franchise while keeping the original diner. Her legacy safe, she goes back to Ed and accepts his marriage proposal while Shelly (Mädchen Amick) looks on and Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” plays in the background.
And so the series’ signature star-crossed lovers finally meet a happy end after surviving one too many unfair twists of fate, including the sudden cancellation of their own show. Weirdly the whole Double R/Big Ed arc was the last subplot introduced in the revival, and also apparently the first one to be resolved for good.
Back to Cooper’s doppelgänger, Mr. C (Kyle MacLachlan): he drives up to the convenience store mentioned by Mike in the second episode of season one (“I think you say… convenience store… we lived above it“), which is also the same place Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) described visiting in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) and which was shown in episodes eight and fourteen this season, populated by creepy woodsmen. They meet him and escort him upstairs, transporting him to an otherworldly motel.
It’s time to finally meet Jeffries. As with The Man From Another Place, the character has been recast by something rather than someone: in Jeffries’ case, a fuming kettle, voiced by Nathan Frizzell (who redubs Bowie in the flashbacks). Is that random enough for you? In any case it’s a pretty creepy scene. Jeffries denies having called Mr. C five days ago, and when asked about the identity of “Judy” – one of the series’ biggest mysteries – Jeffries gives him her number, saying he’s already met her.
Mr. C is spirited away from the room and back outside of the convenience store, where he’s held by Richard Horne (Earmon Farren) at gunpoint, having recognized him from a picture from his mother’s (officially revealed to be Audrey). Mr. C easily overpowers him and takes him hostage, texts “Las Vegas?” and drives away as the store disappears.
Back in the Twin Peaks backwoods, we catch a glimpse of Steven (Caleb Landry Jones) and Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt), apparently on the run and in hiding. They’re spotted by an idle Cyril Pons (Mark Frost, reprising his cameo from the original show), which prompts Gersten to flee the scene and the suicidal Steven to fire his handgun, perhaps killing himself. Cyril later informs Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton) of the incident.
At nighttime James (James Marshall) and his buddy Freddie (Jake Wardle) go to the Roadhouse and get in a brawl with Renee’s jealous husband Chuck (not the one from Audrey’s rant?) to the tune of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man“. James gets beat up, but Freddie steps in and knocks out his attackers with a single punch, landing both of them in intensive care… and putting James and Freddie right in jail, together with Chad, the drooling drunk (Billy?) and the eyeless Naido.
In Vegas, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) shoots Todd (Patrick Fischler) and his aide Roger dead, then enjoys some takeout with husband Hutch (Tim Roth). The hillbilly duo doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time but they routinely steal their every scene with their casual domesticity and workman approach to murder. Meanwhile, Dougie (MacLachlan) hears the name “Gordon Cole” on TV – a line from Sunset Boulevard (1950) – and crawls up to an electrical outlet to jab a fork in it, causing a short circuit… the results of which remain to be seen.
In Twin Peaks, The Log Lady calls Hawk (Michael Horse) one last time over the phone to announce that she’s dying and to tell him to remember everything she’s told him. It’s a heartwrenching scene because her death coincides with that of Catherine E. Coulson‘s, who filmed her scenes before passing away in 2015 and might as well have been speaking of her own impending demise. It’s a quiet, dignified moment, punctuated by the lights in her cabin fading away, and the Sheriff’s Department joining in mourning. The episode itself is dedicated to Margaret Lanterman.
Two more scenes follow. We get an obligatory update on the domestic squabble between Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) and Charlie (Clark Middleton), who’re still arguing over whether to leave for the Roadhouse or not. And then we get the ending scene at the Roadhouse, where two men relieve a shy young woman from her booth and then she crawls through the dance floor before screaming as The Veils play.
What next? The episode marked Dougie’s biggest “snap” yet, although it remains to be seen to what end. Cole and company are making their way to Vegas, will they find Dougie or Cooper? Is the doppelgänger now going to go after Audrey with Richard in hand? What are the chances evil Mr. C fathered evil Richard while Audrey was in a coma? Is Cooper going to have to save Audrey once more? How will Diane finally factor into the overall plot? If Mr. C already met Judy, did Jeffries mean Diane, Janey-E, Audrey? There’re so many strands and so many subplots where the question remains: will they start making sense or pay off in way, plotwise?
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).