Twin Peaks Recap: Return of the Queen

Twin Peaks Episode 12 Recap

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?

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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)