Twin Peaks Episode 12 Recap

Twin Peaks Recap: Return of the Queen

It took 12 whole episodes, but Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) has finally returned to our television screens.

The Twin Peaks chat rooms, message boards and Twitter feeds have been speculating for years on end about where we would find her and how (Is she in Hollywood? Is she the mysterious billionaire in New York? Is she still in a coma? Was she horribly disfigured in the bank explosion? Is she now running One Eyed Jacks?). But I am fairly certain that no one saw this outcome, this development, this new Audrey.

At first I found it confusing and jarring: that weird guy is Audrey’s husband? But after a few moments, I realized the perfect soap opera symmetry of this scene: Audrey Horne has (of course!) turned into Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) from the original series. Think about it. Catherine Martell, the grand dame of Twin Peaks, married “a commoner”: lowly, simple, practical Pete Martell (Jack Nance). They fought bitterly, endlessly double-crossed each other, and she slept around, primarily with Audrey’s father. And now Audrey is following in her footsteps. Audrey is stuck with a practical, simple, far less attractive husband. She screams at him a lot, emasculating him, questioning his manhood. She openly cheats on him. Their secrets and dalliances are interwoven and overlapping (all that talk of Tina and Paul and Chuck was just a parody of soap opera scheming and shenanigans). She’s trying to get him to sign some “papers” that he finds a bit too “fishy” (remember the Martell’s endless fight for the deed to the mill, and that the first ever line of the series came from Pete: “Gone’ fishin’”). Finally, their seemingly arranged or “contracted” marriage seems to be an endless and bitter power struggle that topples one way and then the other. Just like the Martells. Yes, Audrey Horne is now the messy, sexy (still so sexy) grande dame of Twin Peaks, Washington. It was a surprising return. But it was absolutely brilliant and it makes perfect sense. My hat is off, it is forever off, to Messieurs Frost and Lynch. I salute you. And now, on with the recap of Twin Peaks, Part 12:

IN SOUTH DAKOTA  | Cole, Tammy, and Albert enjoy some wine in their own Red (curtained) Room. Then, Tammy is inducted into “The Blue Rose” club: a top secret task force deep within the FBI working jointly with the military to investigate cases never resolved by the long shuttered Project Bluebook. A ha! The connection between Blue Rose and Bluebook has long been suspected but now we know they are “one and the same.” (Also, I can’t be the only viewer who said “X Files” aloud during this scene). Then Diane joins them, and she is made a lower ranked deputy of The Blue Rose club. But it seems pretty clear this move is just subterfuge. They are still playing cat and mouse with Diane. And the longer this tense dance goes on, the more I think she may actually be working for good. Somehow. Or perhaps all interactions with Diane are in code (for more on the codes in this episode, see the Bonus Points section below). Later, Diane texts some more with whom we presume is Evil Coop. And Albert reports back to Cole about these texts, interrupting yet another canoodling session between Cole and a younger woman (and I say to you again, for more about code and the curious moves of that sexy French strumpet, read the Bonus Points section below). Chantal and Hutch murdered Prison Warden Murphy, then bounced to Wendy’s (Old Fashioned Hamburgers, no less). And finally, Diane discovers that the precious coordinates everyone’s been so desperate to learn lead to none other than the town of Twin Peaks. Was this supposed to be a surprise? Didn’t we all guess this about 6 episodes ago? Are we really supposed to think that Evil Coop doesn’t know this? Evil Coop was birthed in Twin Peaks! Something else must be brewing on this storyline… But what?

IN LAS VEGAS | Dougie can’t play catch.

IN TWIN PEAKS | Schoolteacher Miriam (the new Ronette, comatose witness to a murder) is in the hospital now, and she needs an operation. Sherriff Frank Truman reports to Ben Horne that his grandson Richard hit-and-ran the dead child, then tried to rub Miriam out. Ben (the wonderfully melancholy Richard Beymer) has Beverly arrange payment for all of Miriam’s medical care (Ben is a new man). And he tells us that Richard never had a father (which we must presume to mean “never had a father around.”) Then Ben reminisces about his own father and a beloved two-tone green bicycle (shades of Citizen Kane’s “Rosebud”). Ben gives Cooper’s old hotel room key to Frank as a memento for Harry (Note: if they aren’t setting Michael Ontkean up for a surprise cameo I am going to burn down America). Also, Jerry Horne seems to have escaped the deep forest and is now running through a field.

Sarah Palmer reappears in a grocery store, buying vodka, and trembling at the arrival of some new jerky above the cashier station. You should note that the specific jerky brand is “ALBATROSS” and that an albatross is a metaphor for a dead weight or heavy emotional burden that one must carry and cannot easily throw off. If anyone is carrying an emotional burden around (one that would certainly drive her to drink) it’s poor Sarah Palmer, whose dead husband raped and killed her daughter, and then murdered her niece. As she says herself, “It’s a goddamn bad story, isn’t it?” Sarah’s freak out in the grocery store leads to a visit from Hawk, who expresses his deep concern for her well-being. She downplays the sound of bottles rattling in the background, attributing it to “something in the kitchen.” (Some thing?) I hope that Season Three brings some peace to Sarah Palmer. Her story is so tragic. Has she shut the town out? Or have they forsaken her? All she has left is the fan in her stairwell, forever whirring, blocking out all the bad things Sarah doesn’t want to face.

Dr. Amp/Dr. Jacoby is still vlogging to an enraptured Nadine (are we just seeing a repeat of his commercial?), and Carl Rodd (such a good soul) is looking after his financially strapped trailer park tenants. Two new (to us) Twin Peaks residents, Abbie and Natalie (nice to see some fleeting diversity among the local population) have yet another conversation heavy with soapy overtones and crisscrossed lovelines (Clark and Angela and Mary). This is interrupted by Trick (Scott Coffey) who jumps into the booth to complain about a near traffic accident. His hand is trembling (a lot like Cole’s hand was trembling in the last episode). I now suspect that the people who appear in this booth every week are just one-off characters, highlighting some theme or idea. Most of them are never seen again. And lastly, Audrey screams at her unusual husband, and tells him she is sleeping with Billy. It seems that Billy’s truck was stolen, and then returned, but that Billy has been missing for two days. You should remember that Deputy Andy interrogated (who we think is) Billy about his stolen truck after Richard Horne’s hit and run. And later in that episode, a guy named Bing shouted (in a panic) into the RR Diner, “Has anybody seen Billy?” Which seemed to suggest that someone killed Billy for talking to the police. NEW THEORY: Richard Horne (if he is indeed Audrey’s son) killed Billy, his own mother’s boyfriend.

BONUS POINTS l Now. About those codes. David Lynch wasn’t kidding when he said (before the premiere of Season 3) that the prequel film Fire Walk With Me would be very important to the plot of the show going forward. You should remember Lil, the Dancer from that film. She worked with Cole, giving top secret information to Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) in code. She appeared at the airport, wearing a bright red dress with bad black stitching. Her complicated movements told Desmond all about the Teresa Banks case, and the particulars of the local law enforcement in Dear Meadow. Cole introduced her as his “mother’s sister’s girl.” And she wore a blue rose, the one thing that Desmond couldn’t tell his buddy Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) about. So now in part 12 we learn that Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie), Desmond, Cooper and Albert made up the original Blue Rose task force. Seemingly, they all knew this special code. Which might explain what’s going on in Cole’s hotel room with the French lady. She was also wearing, yes, a red dress. Cole tells us “she’s here visiting a friend of her mother, whose daughter has gone missing.” And it took her a very long time to get herself together and leave the room. Were her actions all in code? Was Cole telling something to Albert that he couldn’t risk saying out loud? You should remember Cole down in the lounge earlier, checking the room for listening devices with his magic red tool. After this new lady in red is gone (she was Berenice Marlohe, a former Bond girl), Albert and Cole have a strange conversation involving many long pauses and some seemingly deliberate shoulder grabs. It must be a code. Also remember that Diane seems to know a little about Blue Rose cases, and after being deputized, she responds with “Let’s Rock” and a two finger salute. More code! Not to mention that “Let’s Rock” is a quote from the Little Man in the Red Room, which later appears written in lipstick on the windshield of missing Agent Desmond’s car. And I want to remind you that Blue Rose cases used to be Project Bluebook cases, which were the life-long Top Secret work of Major Briggs before his death. Remember what he said when we saw his head floating through space in Part 3? “Blue Rose.” Yes, your own head is probably floating through space by now. Let’s just hope that Albert doesn’t end up like Cooper, Jeffries and Desmond: missing. And let’s remember what Cooper told Harry S. Truman back in Season One: “Crack the code, solve the case.” We just need more clues. And hopefully we’ll get them next week, in Part 13. ( —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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19 Comments
  1. Sean D says:

    Break the code. Solve the crime.

  2. Simon says:

    The episode was a bit off compared to previous outings – nothing wrong with it, but it lacked the thematic cohesion that was so enjoyable the past few weeks.

    Really enjoyed seeing Audrey again, and seeing that she’s doing as well as can be expected!

    It feels like we’re spending more and more time in Twin Peaks, and we’ve now set up enough interrelated storylines to make for an interesting upcoming convergence of storylines.

    Question – is the fact that Audrey the F word a billion time in one scene supposed to mean anything? I don’t recall her being like that, but I guess it fits with your parallels with CM. I was worried that she – like Richard, who I’m 99% sure is her son – was a bit touched by evil now.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Yeah i noticed her language as well. ALSO – i have been reading online all morning about a new theory: Audrey suffered a head injury in the bank explosion and has been mentally compromised ever since. That guy is not her husband – he is her therapist. And the whole conversation takes place inside their role play. It’s him trying to placate her, calm her down, keep her inside. She’s lost it. Sad but possible!

      • Scott Brown says:

        After reviewing the scene between Ben Horne and Sheriff Truman, where Ben talks about Richard not having a father around, I began wondering why he didn’t say “Richard never had a father or a MOTHER around”. If Audrey is indeed Richard’s mother, and she is 1) mentally ill and living a pretend reality, or 2) Still in a coma and we were just voyears to her dream state, then she could never have been “around” to parent Richard. But both Ben and Sylvia confirmed Richard to be their grandson so if Audrey is not Richard’s mother then Johnny Horne (Ben’s only other child with the Horne surname) would seem to be the only other possible parent. However, he is very unlikely to have fathered a child due to his own mental illness. We discovered in season 2 that Donna Hayward is Ben Horne’s daughter as well. So if Richard is Donna’s child then that would make Ben his biological grandfather but Richard would not be surnamed Horne in that case.

        If Audrey is indeed Richard’s mother then why does she display so much anxiety over the disappearance of Billy” but none for the murder of a child that her son is responsible for? Possibly, she has not found out yet about Richards involvement but that raises another question. If she is Richard’s mother then why didn’t sheriff Truman contact her first before going to see the grandfather?

        Lynch has left us with much to think about.

        • M.T. Wentz says:

          INDEED INDEED. I had the SAME THOUGHT about Ben talking to Truman. If Audrey hadn’t participated in Richard’s youth and upbringing, then wouldn’t Ben have said “Richard never had a father or a mother?” Or “never had parents?” That seems like it would make sense. I don’t think Audrey is still in a coma because Doc Hayward spoke about the coma in past tense. He didn’t say “that’s when she went into the coma.” He said “she was in a coma” (back 25 years ago). Also I dont think any of the parallel universe theories are true. Maybe scattered timeline but all same reality IMHO. I can’t imagine that Donna is Richard’s mother, because then Truman would probably have gone to Doc Hayward, not Ben. But let’s look closer at why he went to Ben. Why not go directly to Audrey to tell her that her son is a killer? Why bypass Audrey and go to Ben? Because Audrey is unavailable. She lives somewhere else and is in a fragile mental state maybe? Because she is not (or has never been) the accountable parent? Did Ben and Sylvia raise Richard? It seems possible. But the main point here is – Truman went to Ben. Not to Audrey. THEY ARE GIVING US SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT INDEED.

        • Dingo says:

          Why hasn’t Ben reported Richard’s attack on his (ex) wife, Richard’s own grandma? This has been troubling me since it happened, but I figured they were protecting him and their family name from scandal. Now that the Sheriff’s told Ben that Richard is a hit and run murderer, wouldn’t Ben reveal the attack on his (ex)wife?

          • M.T. Wentz says:

            Yeah I wondered about that too. Maybe he just didn’t want to make things worse (for his family) and didn’t want more publicity. I thought for a moment that he was going to tell Truman. But then I wondered if this scene had originally been placed earlier in the show – closer to when the crime happened. Who knows.

  3. All the coded movement stuff with the French woman … that’s possible. I thought it was just absurd comedy, but it’s possible.

    The long pauses in the conversation between Gordon and Albert, though … Albert may have been absorbing whatever was being communicated in the possible coded message, sure.

    But I think maybe part of the reason we’re seeing so much of Gordon and Albert was because David Lynch knew his friend was ill, that this would likely be a swan song for him, and he wanted to work with him as much as possible.

    This was the first episode where I really looked at Miguel Ferrer and thought, “OK, he looks sick here.” And the part where Gordon touches Albert’s shoulder and says “Sometimes I worry about you” — that gesture and line carried the emotional weight of the world.

    It wasn’t just Miguel was near the end of his life as they were filming; Catherine Coulson and Warren Frost are both gone now, as well. And I think maybe that scene was partly Lynch expressing his gratitude to all three of them and to the others (Bob Silva, Don S. Davis, and especially Jack Nance) who were already gone before the revival was a possibility.

    Just my $0.02.

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      I really like the sentiment behind your interpretation. I think Lynch was very aware of the passing of time. And they’ve been very respectful, loving and kind to the cast members who have passed. Maybe I’m forgetting, but I don’t think any of the episodes have been dedicated to Jack Nance yet. Right? I’m sure that’s coming. It seemed like SOMETHING significant was going on with that French lady. And last week, the French flag in the restaurant. Hmmmmm….. (read my next comment down for more about France!)

    • Scott Brown says:

      Sad how many of the characters that we enjoyed in seasons 1 and 2 have passed on. Add the late great David Bowie (Agent Phillip Jefferies) to your list. Hopefully, Lynch was able to film any scenes involving Jefferies before Bowie died last year (And hopefully, Bowie was feeling well enough to make an appearance).

      • M.T. Wentz says:

        If David Bowie (who was not on the released cast list) makes a surprise appearance – I think that twitter will burn down and the world will explode with joy. However, we are 12 episodes in and so far there have been no cameos from unlisted actors. They’re probably saving it up. I was hoping for Michael Ontkean. But I think it may be Bowie (IF IT HAPPENS AT ALL!)

  4. Harris says:

    is this a one season thing or is it possible for more? if it’s the former, it seems like it will be rushed

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      Showtime bought one season in 18 parts. Will there be another season? Frost has not ruled it out. And he has said that it would depend on the fan response. The ratings have been ok (once you total all platforms together). But it somehow seems unlikely Lynch would come back for more. This FEELS like a one and done event. BUT WHO KNOWS! I have a suspicion (and this is a THEORY ONLY that you are HEARING HERE FIRST) that this season may end on yet another cliffhanger, just like Season Two. And either something big is going to happen in France (we know they shot in Paris) OR OR OR they will set up the next season to take place in France. That seems absurd. I don’t know. The French flag and the French lady are making me think about all that. But can we talk some more about Audrey? Today’s theory (that she is mentally compromised and living in facility somewhere, being tended to by a doctor who is playing along with her misconceptions in order to keep her calm and safe) has TAKEN FIRE on the interwebs today. That, or she’s still in a coma and this is an alternate reality. OR she’s living in a parallel universe (this theory is getting tired). WHATEVER. Not sure what’s going on – but as the day progresses, more and more of my brain is leaning towards “that guys is not actually her husband. They are just tricking her into thinking she is leading a Catherine Martell life style.” BUT WHO KNOWS. I CLEARLY DO NOT.

  5. Lisa says:

    I have a theory that perhaps Richard Horne could be the “love” child of Audrey and Evil Cooper. It explains the no father thing and his evilness?

    • M.T. Wentz says:

      I think your theory is right Lisa! You’re a little late on this. People have been gossiping about this for a few episodes. It’s just shocking and sad. Remember how Doc Hayward said that Cooper slipped out of his hospital bed and “Might have gone to check on comatose Audrey?” It’s awul. He may have raped her. Terrible sad plotline. But I fear it may be true.

  6. Rhys says:

    I loved this episode and seeing Sarah Palmer in the grocery store was heartbreaking