Nope, no Audrey Horne on Twin Peaks this week. I think the solution to her ever-deepening mystery won’t be wrapped up for at least a few more episodes. And for the record, I do not believe she is an actress or somehow trapped inside the soap opera “Invitation To Love” from the original series. I mean, c’mon, think about it, that makes no sense. She’s an actress in a soap opera playing a character with her own name? A soap opera that references events taking place in her hometown? That’s completely absurd (right??). That theory is just desperate fan boys (like me) grasping at bitter, beautiful straws from 26 years ago.
Nonetheless, Part 14 was wonderful, gorgeous and strange. And although I feel like I’ve said this several times before, all of the storylines are truly coming together now. When Diane (Laura Dern) revealed that her sister Janey-E (Naomi Watts) lives in Vegas with her husband Douglas Jones, two things happened: My head exploded and an enormous page turned.
This is truly the beginning of the final chapter of Twin Peaks: The Return.
Every storyline can now be linked to the others. A giant, cataclysmic showdown between Good (Coop) and Evil (Coop) is looming just over the horizon. And I am sad to say we have only four more episodes spread over three nights. What wondrous, crazy things must be in store for us? But for now, here’s my recap of Twin Peaks, Part 14:
IN SOUTH DAKOTA | Albert briefs Tammy on the first Blue Rose case from 1975. No surprise, it involved doppelgangers. A woman killed her evil double, and then the double disappeared. Tammy refers to the dead missing double as a “tulpa,” which is a concept from Tibetan mythology. A tulpa is an independent entity brought into being by the power of belief. Which likely explains the existence of Dougie Jones. Remember when the One Armed Man told us that Dougie was “manufactured”? Dougie was likely a tulpa, a doppelganger, a double (remember the show is called TWIN Peaks) manufactured by Evil Coop. BTW, that original Blue Rose case was investigated by young FBI field agents and partners Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie, to whom this episode was dedicated).
Meanwhile, Cole is on the phone with Lucy and Sherriff Truman. Truman tells Cole about Laura’s diary pages, and how they suggest the possibility of two Coopers. Then Cole joins Albert, Tammy and Diane for coffee. Diane drops the bombshell about her sister Janey-E, but let’s remember that Diane has been very untrustworthy lately and this whole thing could be just another convoluted plot to rub Dougie out. Cole instructs the Las Vegas FBI to locate the Jones’ immediately. And hello to Mad Men’s Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) nailing his one hilarious joke. After Diane leaves, Cole tells Albert and Tammy about his “Monica Bellucci dream.” Cole dreamt he was in Paris with, yes, actual actress Monica Bellucci. (You should really rewatch this scene and pay careful attention to Monica Bellucci’s fingers: she forms them into two points, two matching twin peaks, and then drops one with a sad look. My interpretation: one twin will die. Evil Coop has to go.) Bellucci also tells Cole: “We are like the dreamer who dreams. And then lives inside the dream. But who is the dreamer?” This statement is curiously similar to Jeffries (Bowie) in Fire Walk With Me shrieking “We live inside a dream!” And then, back in Cole’s dream, Cole turns around to watch that very scene from the prequel film. We see young Cooper, back before Laura Palmer was killed, telling Cole that he is worried about his own dream (the show is spiraling in upon itself, like the vortex later in the woods). And then Jeffries arrives to rat Cooper out: he’s not who you think! It was all greatly confusing but seriously rewarding for hard core Twin Peaks and FWWM fans. The upshot: Jeffries went back in time to warn everybody that Cooper would split in two. (Although technically he split into three: the Good, the Bad and the Dougie. Which would makes sense because Major Briggs’ deep space chatter transcripts from Season Two said “COOPER/COOPER/COOPER.” Even if he only included two of those in the secret humming tube hidden inside the chair for his son Bobby.)
IN TWIN PEAKS | Chad is arrested and thrown in the slammer. They all know he’s a crooked cop. And then Truman, Hawk, Andy and Bobby set off into the woods towards Jack Rabbit’s Palace (as instructed by the other message in Major Briggs’ secret tube). At the end of their journey, the four cops find a woman sleeping naked in the forest. Why, it’s Naido, the eyeless woman from the purple room who fell away into space back in Part 3. She must have fallen out of the vortex that just then re-opens to take Andy away. (One of the things I am enjoying most about this season of Twin Peaks is that every original character is getting a great moment, or being made important in some unexpected way. Andy has always been a clown, and I never suspected, but seriously loved, that he would be chosen for such an incredible event). Andy meets the Giant, whom we now know by his real name, The Fireman. The Fireman shows Andy a supercut of Twin Peaks, then sends him back to earth to protect Naido. She is placed into a jail cell near Chad, and an unknown bleeding drunk. The nonsense that follows is both creepy and wonderful (not to mention a brilliant callback to Bobby and Mike barking at James from their jail cell in the original pilot).
Speaking of James Hurley, turns out he is now a security guard at the Great Northern Hotel. He has to do things like check the furnace in the scary basement. There’s a metal door down there that looks suspiciously like it could be the other side of the door from Part 3, the door that “mother” was banging on in the purple room (where Naido lived). James’ co-worker with the mysterious green glove on one hand is Freddie (Jake Wardle). It turns out that Freddie also met The Fireman (that vortex has openings all over the world). The Fireman gave Freddie one super strong hand and sent him off to Twin Peaks. It seems that the Fireman is orchestrating everything, and I am guessing that Freddie and his hand will play an important part in the great reckoning that takes place once every single character arrives in town.
Finally, we find Sarah Palmer skulking around in the dark, headed to a local bar for a Bloody Mary (an apt drink for what was to come). As I said, every character is getting one great moment, and this scene should win Grace Zabriskie some serious prizes. She warns a drunk a-hole not to sit next to her, then snarls at him “I’ll eat you.” And then she takes her face off. I’m not exactly sure what was inside Sarah’s head (it seemed like two water jets, clouds of black smoke, a hand with the “spiritual finger” blacked out, then a leering smile) but I am reasonably sure that what we see is the exact opposite of what we saw inside Laura Palmer’s head when she took her own face off in Part 2: Laura was filled with bright light. Sarah then puts her face back on and bites the jerk’s neck wide open, killing him. Sarah bounces back and forth between (fake?) terror and frightening non-concern. So is Sarah evil now? Or does she have an evil double? Is that who was rattling around in the kitchen when Hawk came to check on her? Does this somehow point to Sarah being the little girl in New Mexico who swallowed the (evil?) Fricket bug? Whatever is going on, it is interesting that Sarah seemed to know the jerk in the bar was in danger. She warned him off. It’s almost like Sarah Palmer is the Hulk, afraid of her own powers, whatever they may be.
BONUS POINTS | At first, it seemed like all those random people popping up in the Road House, drinking beers in the “Frank” booth (that’s a Blue Velvet reference), were new and important characters who were going to be big parts of the show. So many new faces! Remember the girl with the hideous armpit rash? Remember Jane Levy from Suburgatory yelling at Richard Horne to leave her friend alone? Remember Trick (Scott Coffey) complaining about being run off the road? But then, two weeks ago in Part 12, I started to suspect that these characters were all just part of a big soap opera parody. They talked about people we are never going to meet, discussed dramas that would never be more than asides. It seemed Lynch and Frost were boiling the original show down to a series of complicated soapy subplots just to amuse themselves. This new season was important and deep! And for those who wanted the old show, well — ha! — here’s a running sketch about nighttime dramas.
The final scene in Part 14 was more of the same. Two nameless women talking about Paula (whoever that is), her stolen sweater, and getting high all alone up in your room. And then… one of the women (played by David Lynch’s actual current wife Emily Stofle) asked the other (Shane Lynch, no relation) if she had seen Billy recently. That damn Billy. We keep hearing about him and we have very, very little idea who he is. Is he the owner of the hit and run truck? The same guy who stood Andy up at the corner of Sparkwood and 21? He might be. But what’s interesting is that these seemingly random Road House conversations are starting to connect to other parts of the show. Someone yelled into the RR Diner “Has anybody seen Billy?” And Audrey has talked a lot about Billy. She is apparently having an affair with him (if she’s not dreaming all that up somewhere in a coma). And now these random women are talking about Billy. They discuss the scary blood dripping out of Billy’s mouth. Just like the drunk guy in jail, dripping blood onto his cell floor. The pieces are coming together. Just like Diane suddenly connecting the South Dakota storyline to the Vegas storyline by mentioning Janey-E. Just like the Vegas timeline connecting to the Twin Peaks timeline when Cooper’s hotel key arrives in the mail (the connection being a key is a nice touch).
All of this built to a weirdly terrifying head when the first woman simply asked the other, “What’s your mom’s name?” Considering that these are two characters we have never met before, I find it quite amazing that I was on the very edge of my seat waiting to hear the answer to that question. And then I actually stood up and walked towards my TV (something I’ve never done before) in anticipation. Who is that woman’s mother? The mother is apparently sleeping with Billy (whoever he is). Does that mean that the mother is Audrey? Does Audrey also have a daughter? Is this woman in the Road House the long awaited Linda? Why do I care so much when I have no idea what is going on? The five seconds between question and answer felt like five days.
And then the answer came. Her mother is “Tina.” Ominous music immediately kicked in. Tina is the woman Audrey and her husband Charlie have been arguing about. Charlie called Tina and then refused to share whatever horrible news she told him. What does all this mean? Is it confirmation that Audrey is alive and not in a coma and not trapped in a soap opera and not role playing with her therapist and not crazy and not institutionalized? If Billy and Tina are real, then Audrey is real too, right? If Diane can suddenly destroy all the “Dougie in Vegas is just a dream” theories by mentioning her sister Janey-E, then does this random woman in the Road House mentioning Tina suddenly destroy all the theories that Audrey is also dreaming? Is the secret of the show that everything is actually happening in the same world in the same timeline?
Or is the secret of the show that Cooper and Audrey are both dreaming? Maybe this whole show is just a dream. Maybe we are recalling fragments of things we remember from the beloved pilot and first season. Maybe we have jumbled our real lives together with the escapist elements of the show. Maybe the entire thing has a dream logic that can be expanded and contracted and spun out forever. Monica Bellucci asks “Who is the dreamer?” And maybe it’s us. Maybe the viewer is the dreamer. And the whole show is magic nonsense and we won’t ever get any answers about anything.
I don’t know. I think the best way to approach the ending of Twin Peaks: The Return is to lower your expectations and brace yourself for a series of bizarro twists that will leave you hanging. They won’t answer everything. They won’t resolve everything. But maybe, just maybe, they’ll tell us a little bit more, next week, in Part 15. (–Written by M.T. Wentz)