A bumpy Twin Peaks this week. Surprise horror, painfully drawn out moments, and at least one big revelation: Bobby Briggs seems to be Becky’s father. And at some point Shelly and Bobby were married, as we now know that Shelly’s last name is Briggs (more on the state of that marriage in a moment). So yes, it would seem that I was wrong last week about Leo being Becky’s father (and perhaps wrong about Becky killing Leo). But I would like to remind you that Shelly is still wearing that mysterious ring on a chain around her neck (something widows often do), and that we still don’t know why Steven threatened Becky with “I know exactly what you did.” Now that we know Becky has a gun (keep reading) and that she flies into homicidal rages, is it really so hard to believe that she could have knocked Leo off? And that Bobby might be her adoptive father? OK alright OK, I am dropping this theory until we get any more clues or evidence. But we’ve still got seven episodes to go and anything, truly anything, could happen. And here’s the recap of Twin Peaks, Part 11:
IN SOUTH DAKOTA | Cole, Tammy, Albert, Diane and Hastings (Matthew Lillard) go to the magic location where Hastings claims to have crossed over into the “Zone” and encountered Major Briggs. Cole and Albert spot one of the evil charred Woodsmen popping in and out of existence, and they find the long sought headless body of librarian Ruth Davenport. Cole gets a little too close to the supposed Zone portal, experiences a strange vortex in the sky, and has a scary vision of three Woodsmen lined up on a creepy staircase (presumably leading to a room above a convenience store). Albert pulls Cole back from the trippy brink (which no one else is experiencing), and Diane spots one of the Woodsmen sneaking up to the car, but says nothing, allowing the Woodsman to kill Hastings (seemingly by busting off the top of his head). Later, over coffee and donuts, Albert and Cole discuss the smudged coordinates found printed on Ruth Davenport’s arm. Diane not so subtly memorizes these coordinates (you should remember that this information is all Evil Coop really wants) and once again lights up in a no smoking area. Yes, evidence is still mounting that Diane is evil, in cahoots with Evil Coop, or that we are possibly dealing with a Diane doppelganger. Or maybe she’s just trying to outsmart Evil Coop, and is still faithful to her old boss Good Coop? She is an endless dilemma.
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IN TWIN PEAKS | Schoolteacher Miriam is alive (Richard Horne failed in his murder attempt) and she crawls out of the woods to frighten three boys playing catch. We can see a bridge in the distance of this scene and the whole thing was very Ronette Pulaski appearing on the train tracks in the pilot. In the Fat Trout Trailer Park, Becky goes white hot ragey (violence runs in the family, no matter who her father is) after getting some info about her husband Steven (most likely that he’s not out looking for a job, but instead making time with another woman). Shelly comes to the rescue but Becky steals her car, after first giving her mother a frantic ride on the hood, and then callously launching her free (in a stunt that seemed more T.J. Hooker and less Twin Peaks). Becky has a gun (surprise!) hidden under her couch and she uses it to blow some holes in the apartment door of the woman presumably fooling around with her man (for more info on this other woman, see the Bonus Points section below). We should also note that the nosey neighbor who poked her head out her door is NONE OTHER THAN JULIE MCCOY FROM THE LOVE BOAT! I apologize for the all caps outburst but it’s not every day my childhood-cruise-director-crush appears on my all-time favorite TV show. Later that night, Shelly and Bobby (Becky’s “parents”) deliver some tough love to their daughter: she needs to leave Steven; the only reason she’s not in jail is because Bobby is a deputy; and the next time Steven steps out of line Bobby is going to arrest him. Like many a domestic abuse survivor, Becky claims that Steven will change and that she loves him. It’s a tragic outcome for the offspring of Twin Peaks’ hottest O.G. couple. But some things don’t change: Shelly is still into bad boys and she takes a (clunky) moment to zip outside and canoodle with her crush, Red the drug dealer (Balthazar Getty). So, it would seem that Shelly and Bobby divorced or separated at some point? Maybe she lost interest when he cleaned up his act and went straight? Bobby’s face was heartbreaking as he watched Shelly with Red (and how long will it be before hot silver fox Dana Ashbrook gets a starring role on his own primetime show?). Throughout all this, Shelly’s guardian angels were Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton). Norma (forever stuck in her booth tabulating receipts) watches protectively over Shelly, rolling her eyes at the Becky situation, but holding her tongue. And Carl comes to Shelly’s aid, summoning a shuttle with a toot on his flute. The Briggs family meeting in the RR Diner is brought to a sudden halt by random gunfire and a public service announcement for common sense gun safety laws. Yes, the real world keeps pushing into the town of Twin Peaks, reminding of us war, drugs, addiction, abuse, and now children playing with easily accessible weapons. This moment was a bit preachy and odd, but it led to one of the most frightening and unusual things I’ve ever seen on TV: Bobby asks a hysterical woman to stop honking her horn, and then stares blankly at the “Sick Girl” who appears from the darkness of the car, vomiting and acting possessed. It was unforgettably bizarre and scary. Meanwhile, Hawk and Truman are still talking to the Log Lady, and getting closer to the big day foretold by Major Briggs. Hawk has a new (to us) map of the area. And regarding the round, winged monster-head the show has been teasing all season, he tells Truman “You don’t ever want to know about that.” Oh and by the way, Deputy Jesse has a new car.
IN LAS VEGAS | Dougie’s boss has Dougie lured into his office with coffee and he lays out an incredibly confusing tale about insurance fraud and a crime syndicate being run through the office. Whatever is going on here is needlessly complicated and hopelessly boring. The Mitchum Brothers are no longer crooks and they now get that check for $30 million? I guess that’s because Tom Sizemore is the true villain, taking orders from Evil Coop? I really don’t know. Does anyone understand or care about what is going on in the Lucky Insurance office anymore? I have lost all patience with the Dougie storyline. Dougie being magically guided to buy a cherry pie and deliver it into the desert (in a seeming homage to Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a cardboard box in Seven) was not amusing, entertaining, enlightening, or worthwhile. We’ve already seen Dougie get messages from beyond! We’ve already seen Dougie faintly react to dim memories of coffee, case files, red shoes, and other totems of Twin Peaks! When Dougie dreamily responded to the piano music (reminiscent of Laura’s theme from the Twin Peaks soundtrack) in the restaurant (after the Mitchum Brothers have forgiven and befriended him), I finally gave up on this character altogether. Maybe next Dougie will see Sherilyn Fenn, Madchen Amick and Lara Flynn Boyle on that old cover of Rolling Stone, smile curiously, and then stumble away. I’ve had it. Bring back Agent Cooper. The real Agent Cooper. I don’t want any more Dougie. You’ve made your point. Move it along. End of rant.
BONUS POINTS | Although her appearance was blink-and-you’ll-miss-it brief that was, yes, Donna Hayward’s youngest sister Gersten (Alicia Witt) hiding in the stairwell with Becky’s husband Steven. What the hell are you doing with a married man, Gersten? You were a straight A student (like your sisters), child piano prodigy and fairy princess of the Hayward supperclub! Lord, how you seem to have fallen. What’s interesting about Gersten’s appearance is that she is dressed very, yrev, very similarly to Darya, Evil Coop’s accomplice who got shot in her underwear in the hotel room. Both women have red hair, and both are wearing 70’s pink satin jackets. In fact, the jackets are identical (except that Gersten’s jacket has blue cuff and collar accents where Darya’s coat has white). Is this just another random doppelganger? Or are we to understand that Gersten has some dark connection to the criminal underworld? Also, note that Gersten is wearing a key around her neck, and that Steven is holding some strange green object in his hands. Please let me know in the comments if you can figure out what that is. Overall, I am thrilled to see Gersten again, and I love the idea that she stayed in Twin Peaks, went sour, and is now bumping uglies with Shelly’s daughter’s husband. This small town is still servin’ up the soap. And it’s high time a Briggs hooked up with a Hayward (even a wayward Hayward). Logic tells me that Gersten will reappear this season, that her part can’t just have been 5 seconds in that stairwell. But then again, she only ever appeared once before, in the Season Two premiere, nobody knew she existed before then, and she was only ever mentioned once after that. So maybe that’s it for Gersten. At least she lives next door to a cute cruise director. And who knows, maybe we’ll get more Julie McCoy next week (please please please) in Part 12. (–Written by M.T. Wentz)