Twin Peaks Episode 8 Recap

Twin Peaks Recap: Da Bomb Diggity?

Here’s the simple recap of Twin Peaks Part 8: Colors! Lights! Sounds! What am I watching?

Now for the longer version, let’s take a careful look at the truly wild (but deceptively simple) phantasmagoria that exploded gorgeously across the world’s television screens on Sunday night:

IN SOUTH DAKOTA | We started off in a very normal way (considering what was to come). Bad Coop and Ray have escaped prison, and are driving towards a place called “The Farm” (is it Big Ed’s Gas Farm? Doubtful). Bad Coop still wants that mysterious and vital information from Ray. But Ray seems to have colluded with the prison warden and stuck Bad Coop with a faulty gun. Out in the countryside where they have stopped, Ray shoots Bad Coop, who falls down “dead.” And that’s where things start to get bizarre…

A group of spirits materialize from thin air and surround the body of Evil Coop. These spirits are multiples of the “Charred Man” who appeared in (and floated out of) Matthew Lillard’s jail cell back in Part 2, and the hospital corridor in Part 7. These Charred Men dance around Evil Coop, wiping his blood all over his body. And a dark sphere that seems to contain the spirit of Killer BOB seems to rise from Evil Coop’s chest (is BOB escaping?). Suddenly, we jump to the Road House in Twin Peaks proper, where Nine Inch Nails are playing (an homage to Laura?) “She’s Gone Away.” (For a small town in the middle of nowhere, the Road House is booking some pretty killer acts.) The NIN music video finally ends, and we jump back to bloody Evil Coop, who suddenly sits up and pops his eyes open. Not dead after all. It would seem the Charred Men (or Trent Reznor) brought him back to life. But is he now BOB free?

From here on out, I’m just going to tell you what I saw and what I think it means. But keep in mind, 80 percent of this is scattershot theorizing, as Part 8 will be likely be discussed and dissected for the rest of time.

IN NEW MEXICO IN 1945 | We see the first ever nuclear bomb detonation out in the deserts of White Sands. We go inside the mushroom cloud. David Lynch channels Stanley Kubrick and takes us on a wild ride through… splitting atoms and disturbances in the fabric of time and space? If you have seen the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, it was a lot like that. Somewhere inside the cosmos/mushroom cloud, we see what appears to be a white, faceless woman floating in nothingness. Is she “The Experiment” in the credits? Is she the same all-white killer “Being” from the glass box back in New York City? Does she have little horns or flaps on her head that make her resemble the shape on Evil Coop’s playing card? (I think so, yes). Is she who Evil Coop is looking for? We watch this white Being give birth (from her mouth) to a long cloud-like worm. BOB’s face appears in a dark sphere of that goo. My interpretation: the nuclear bomb has unleashed untold horrors upon the world. And evil beings or spirits from another dimension (perhaps they are aliens?) have found a passage to our reality through the hole made by the bomb. BOB is the evil ambassador from “another place” and now he is here.

Meanwhile, theTwin Peaks Woodsman Charred Men are multiplying and taking over a small town. They are congregating in and around a burning convenience store. It is very, very important to remember that the One Armed Man in Season 1 and Phillip Jeffries in Fire Walk With Me both told us that BOB and his cronies meet and/or live “above a convenience store.” We even saw one of their scary gatherings up there in Fire Walk With Me. At that meeting, two (seeming) lumberjacks stood guard (Twin Peaks Geeks have long theorized that one of them is the Log Lady’s deceased husband, but now I don’t know). And those two lumberjacks look very, very similar to the Charred Men. Those lumberjacks were both credited as “Woodsman.” And now in Part 8, the seeming leader of the Charred Men (an actual, honest to goodness, professional Abraham Lincoln lookalike in real life) is also credited as “Woodsman.” It is not a coincidence. They are “one and the same.”

IN THE PURPLE CASTLE | I’m guessing that the beautiful tower on top of the island cliff in the all purple world is actually the oft-mentioned White Lodge. It is presumed that BOB and all his evil buddies come from the Black Lodge (possibly represented by the Red Room), whereas the White Lodge is inhabited by the Giant. And now also by his (new to us) lady friend Senorita Dido. It is very important to note that this entire season began back in this same location. The first thing we ever saw in Season 3 was the Giant talking to Good Coop in this same black and white room. And when Good Coop fell out of the glass box, he landed on this same purple island. Which seems to mean that the “Maybe Asian Lady With Her Eyes Possibly Sewn Shut” and Ronette Pulaski as “American Girl” also both likely reside somewhere in this castle (or did at one time).

The Giant seems to be alerted (by the “Huge Black Bell Shape” from Part 3) that something is amiss in the universe. He is summoned to a lush old fashioned movie theater (Club Silencio, anyone?) where he sees the birth of the bomb, and of BOB. His response? He floats up to the ceiling and produces a golden orb (just like the one the real Dougie turned into). It seems to contain the spirit of Laura Palmer. Possible interpretation? The Giant is a force for good, and he is attempting to restore balance to the cosmos by allowing Senorita Dido and a large golden horn to send the Good Golden Laura Orb down to earth.

BACK IN NEW MEXICO, NOW IN 1956 | The new Woodsman (the Abraham Lincoln lookalike) stalks around a small New Mexico town, asking for “a light” (for his cigarette). He takes over a radio station, kills the receptionist and the DJ, and repeatedly broadcasts an eerie freestyle poem about water, horses and darkness (this was genuinely terrifying). This poem seems to hypnotize anyone listening to the broadcast (including a 1950’s homage to Norma) and they all pass out. A young girl (who was out on an innocent date earlier in the evening, during which she found a lucky penny bearing the image of none other than Abraham Lincoln) hears the broadcast and tries to turn off the radio, but seems to fall deep asleep instead. And then a strange bug or alien creature (stay with me) that hatched somewhere out in the desert flies up to her window and crawls into her open mouth and down her throat. Possible interpretation: Maybe this bug is delivering the power-for-good “Golden Laura Orb” into the world and into this girl. Who knows, maybe this girl is Sarah Palmer, Laura’s mom. (I didn’t see any real connection between the bug and the Laura Orb, I’m just telling you what my gut says).

BONUS POINTS | Although what we saw Sunday night was experimental, confusing, gorgeous and bizarre, I am taking away a simple idea: back when the bomb went off, two forces entered the world from other dimensions. A force for good, and a force for evil. They will wage battles and use humans as playthings. They look like us, they inhabit us, they destroy us, they save us. Mark Frost’s recent book The Secret History Of Twin Peaks has a very long section about Mayor Milford’s brother (curiously, also named Dougie) who may have played a part in the development of the bomb and the discovery of aliens in Roswell. In my very, very humble opinion, what we saw tonight was David Lynch taking Mark Frost’s well thought out mythology of BOB and the nature of evil and the Lodges, and shredding it up into a big artsy collage. You will remember that Lynch all but tore up the script to the series finale, and rebuilt it using the same ideas and structure, but with all new and bizarre materials. Part 8 was a crazy episode, likely as shocking to today’s audience as the series finale was to the audience back in 1991. But like much of Lynch’s work, it had its own logic, narrative, and rules. I wouldn’t count on getting any explanations in upcoming episodes about what actually went down in Part 8. Maybe just give yourself a break, take a day or two off, lie down, go to the beach, think about what you saw. You’ve got two whole weeks to recover before Part 9.

Got a light? (—Written by M.T. Wentz)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Aaron says:

    I’m a huge fan of Twin Peaks. Love Fire Walk With Me. Absolutely adore most things Lynch has made. And I love 2001: A Space Odyssey. I had a hard time with the first couple of episodes of TP season 3, but I got into it more and more.

    However, this episode was probably the worst hour of nonsense TV I’ve ever seen in my life.

    I’m sure it all has a meaning (or maybe it doesn’t), and I’m sure we’ll see few “experts” later on in the comments who will say they understood it all and suggest that I should go watch some Chuck Lorre shows instead, but I honestly think this was a waste of time. I get that the first nuclear explosion might be relevant to the story, but it did not need to be drawn out to 10 minutes of fireballs. Weird and strange for the sake of being weird and strange.

    It’s very Lynch, but it wasn’t Twin Peaks.

    • Peter says:

      Hey Aaron. Although you have some valid points, I would have to disagree about this not fitting the Twin Peaks mold, and here I include the original two seasons, as well as the movie. This is a place where a woman carries around a log, and has people talking to it. A place where people speak backwards, yet forwards and dance oddly. A place where giants appear to Cooper. A place where scenes of corn being ingested is fine. And the list goes on. It’s worth noting that before season 3 aired, it was described as Twin Peaks (Lynch) on heroin. So, given this context, given what we know Lynch is capable of, I am in no way surprised by the imagery used, and believed that it is in fact, Twin Peaks in its rawest form. Cheers!

    • Iris says:

      This. At its core, Twin Peaks had characters with a complex psychology, all in shades of grey, and things happened to those characters. You know, stories. So nope, this wasn’t Twin Peaks.

      • M.T. Wentz says:

        Hi Iris. This is just a very, very different version of TWIN PEAKS. It is the evolution of TWIN PEAKS. But you are not alone in missing the old.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Hi Aaron. I think this will go down in history as the most polarizing episode of Twin Peaks. And perhaps one of the most polarizing episodes of TV ever. No, it wasn’t “TWIN PEAKS” the old TV show. This was the “NEW TWIN PEAKS” – on cable, unfettered, unbound, out of control. As I’ve said before, the movie Fire Walk With Me was one big step away from the series. And now we’ve taken one giant leap (for mankind) away from the movie. I spent that last two years telling myself “It’s never going to be the quirky small town soap opera again.” I think I had my expectations mostly in check. And I for one really, really enjoyed the experience of watching Part 8. It was bonkers and terrifying. I had no idea what was going to happen next. It was edge of my seat television. And I really enjoyed the threads that tied it to the “OLD TWIN PEAKS.” I think you are not alone though, Aaron. Just reading the comments below, I can see that the world is already splitting into LOVED IT and REALLY HATED IT.

  2. Matt Webb Mitovich says:

    Hmm. Re: frogbug: I too am of a thought that the golden Laura Palmer orb, which turned “white” when it left the horn and entered the movie screen (real world), became the egg that we saw hatching in the desert. I initially ruled out the young girl in 1956 as Sarah Palmer, thinking that if the bug was “born” anytime soon, that child would be mid-30s in original series — but maybe it just lived inside her for a while. (But if the bug WAS born 9 months or so later, that’d match up with Dale Cooper’s age.)

    All in all, interesting origin story episode!

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Well Matt, the more I think about it – the more I think I might be wrong. Upon my 3rd rewatch, I noticed that there are some shapes that look very much like that egg floating in the long murky worm that comes out of the white being’s mouth (watch it again). It even looks like she is vomiting up Garmonbozia (creamed corn / pain and suffering) at one point. Or maybe she is giving birth to… good and evil? Or many forms of evil? We wont really know what that egg is until we know more about that girl and what happened to her (and they may never tell us that). Also, looking around online it seems that the consensus is that the “BUG” is a combo locust/frog. Which could be interpreted as the union of two of the biblical plagues. Also, did you notice that it came in through the little girl’s window – just like BOB came in through Laura’s window? Maybe that little girl is Cooper’s mother? Or Audrey’s mother. I really hope they tell us, or give us a hint.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Also I am now realizing you are right about ages. Sarah Palmer probably wasnt 34 in the pilot premiere. So maybe that girl IS Coop’s mom. WHO KNOWS! Again, I don’t really think we are going to find out definitively.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      wait wait wait – if that girl was about 12 or 13 then she’d be about 45 in the Twin Peaks pilot premiere. That could totally Sarah Palmer. She just held onto that alien bug inside of her until she was an adult and gave birth. It’s like the alien bug possessed her or infected her – and became a part of her.

      • Jordan says:

        I’ve been going back and forth on this. It all depends on how old that girl is. My wife thought she was 14 but I think she is closer to 12/13. If she is around 12/13 then it puts her as a Sarah Palmer possibility.

        The boy is absolutely not Leland unless Lynch/Frost want to really destroy established canon.

        After the last couple of episodes I’ve pretty much given up guessing on details. :-)

        • M.T. Wentz says:

          How established the canon is remains to be seen. It was an encouraging and delightful moment in Part 7 when Frank Truman read the diary pages aloud and discussed the details. Annie, Laura’s dream, Jacques Renault – so many facts and people cropping back up in the present. The canon seemed to be intact. For example, Olkewicz is playing ANOTHER Renault brother – not just Jacques. Lynch remembers and cares about these details and characters. It’s that pesky Mark Frost book that clouds a bunch of things for me. And Lynch said he never read the book. Maybe they are different worlds. BUT BACK TO THAT GIRL. I think she was 12-13. And I think she could maybe be Sarah. Or she could be Coop’s mom. Do we know where Coop’s mom grew up?

  3. WS says:

    Your recap helped make some sense out of what was otherwise a completely nonsensical David Lynch orgy of weirdness.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Like Eraserhead and Lost Highway, I think there are puzzle pieces hidden inside the weirdness. I think it all stems from the original story.

  4. Tomm Huntre says:

    Ok. Let me preface this by saying I’ve watched the original TP probably 3-4. times in the last few years. Love the series.

    That said, this was just fricking stupid TV. I feel like all if the nuclear nonsense and 1950s looking junk could have been done in a total of 10 minutes, not a whole damn episode!!!!

    For a show called TWIN PEAKS, we sure haven’t spent much time there thus far!!!

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Yeah, I know. This is the “NEW TWIN PEAKS.” Which doesn’t spend a lot of time in the town of Twin Peaks. It’s a new world, a new show. And it won’t be for everyone. You’re not alone Tomm.

  5. anonomousaurus says:

    Did you see the hint that Ray is working with David Bowie’s character Phillip Jeffries? Or at least that was my guess with Ray calling Phillip.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      I did notice that. And we still don’t know who this Jeffries is. Didn’t sound like him on the phone back in Part 2. But I think the character previously played by David Bowie is in fact in leagues with Ray somehow.

  6. I had to sleep on it, but … yeah, I think I agree with what you say here. Possibly worth noting that if the giant insect was a beetle … well, beetles have a connection with reincarnation and rebirth going at least as far back as ancient Egyptian mythology.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Hi Jason. Was just commenting up above that I saw somewhere online that people are theorizing it is a Locust/Frog. Making it a hybrid of two biblical plagues. And according to Mark Frost’s book (and some mentions within the original series) the mystical White and Black Lodges go back in history to perhaps the beginning of time. They probably pre-date the world.

  7. Also: The mushroom cloud reminded me a bit of a certain brain atop a skinny tree.

  8. I never thought we would get BOB’s origin story. Be grateful, people.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      I agree completely. However, there is some online speculation today (from the gallery of High Twin Peaks Nerddom) that this is NOT Bob’s “birth.” There is speculation that Bob has ALWAYS been around. When he was “excised” from Evil Coop’s chest – somehow he time travelled back to the first nuclear bomb detonation – and the Giant noticed. I’m not buying that. Yet. However, that theory would tie into some other theories that are getting RAMPANT attention lately: 1. we are witnessing dual timelines, or parallel worlds. That simple scene at the end of PART 7 where the customers at the diner suddenly change has set the Twin Peaks Nerds ON FIRE. Everyone seems to think this is VERY intentional and MEANS SOMETHING HUGE. 2. For me it all comes back to Annie Blackburn being scrubbed from Mark Frost’s book. Time travel, retconning, parallel worlds. Does it all fit together? Will they ever tell us?

  9. Terry says:

    I can safely say Episode 8 was the strangest thing I have ever watched.

  10. Kevin Danza says:

    Everyone that thinks that Part 8 was terrible is going to be proven wrong the next 2 to 4 years.

  11. RD says:

    My favorite episode so far. It was mind-bending and challenging and at times quite beautiful. Nothing wrong with that.

  12. Gersten's Burden says:

    I have been struggling with the show, but I adored this episode because even with all of the potential nonsense, the non-verbal and visual storytelling I thought was compelling, interesting and actually told a story. One that I am willing to hang on and find out about. From the Kubrick homage to the horrifying gorgeous recreation of the atom bomb explosion, I loved it. It was a relief not having Dougie around.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      I was so happy to read this comment, Gersten. I feel your burden. I sometimes wonder if 10 years from now, when I inevitably re-watch (for the hundredth time) the entire Twin Peaks (from pilot through S3 revival) if I will react the same way to Dougie. I really don’t find that characters to be as funny as I think he is intended. That slow plodding pace is deathly. But maybe part of the reason I dislike Dougie is because the show was just getting going and ramping up when he appeared – and I feared that Dougie and the slow pacing were going to be ALL 18 PARTS. And now that we’ve seen 8 parts of S3 I’m staring to look at it all as a whole. And I might be more forgiving of Dougie later on. It is perhaps only an interlude. And that plotline has seemed to pick up a bit lately, and seems to be headed somewhere. Who knows. Dougie is a tough pill to swallow. But the Charred Woodsman wandering around in the night, and the Giant’s castle – I would probably sit through anything just to get to those things.

  13. Kate says:

    Just wondering if anyone noticed the fat, bearded “Woodsmen” who appeared/disappeared/appeared again in the New Mexico desert towards the end? He walk towards camera and off to bottom right of screen. Looked like Jacques Renault I thought? I know the actor has reappeared in earlier episode as another Renault brother. Jacques is dead, and it made me think the woodsmen and escapees from hell? Hence their scorched, sootiness?

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Yes I saw that guy. In my humble opinion, he’s just another member of the gang of Charred Woodsmen. I like your theory of escaping from hell. But I don’t really see a connection between Jacques (or Jean-Michel as he is now known) and the Charred Woodsmen. But who knows! Maybe that’s why those Renault brothers keep coming back.

  14. The moth-frog is the evil entity we know as Killer Bob. It was born in a nuclear bomb blast. It has crawled into the girl’s mouth. I’m predicting the moth-frog won’t stay with the girl for long. I think it will ultimately come to reside in the boy and stay there long term. We already know Killer Bob will use the inhabited person’s name (as possessed-by-Bob-Cooper still goes by Cooper, not Bob), so I suspect this boy’s name is Bob and is the reason we refer to the evil entity as Bob in the first place. The young boy even kind of looks like he could be a young Frank Silva. I really think he is the young-pre-possessed Bob!