Recap:

In the offices of Lucky 7 Insurance, a conga line of the Mitchum Brothers, Dougie, Candie, Sandie, and Mandie enter to a bizarre off-beat percussion, much to the shock of Anthony, who believed they were going to kill Dougie. Instead, they give Bushnell some gifts, while a terrified Anthony hides under his desk and rings Duncan Todd to give him the bad news. For his failure, he now only has one day to kill Dougie himself. Back at Dougie’s house, the Mitchums’ gifts have arrived. Janey-E receives the gym set for Sonny Jim, as well as a brand new car.

In Western Montana, Mr. C arrives at “The Farm”, where Ray is holding up. He is in the company of a gang of others, led by Renzo. They allow Mr. C to enter, promising him Ray, as long as he beats the boss at an arm wrestling competition. Mr. C toys with Renzo before easily beating him, and punches him so hard his face is unrecognisable.

Mr. C retrieves the co-ordinates he was looking for from Ray, as well as learning that Phillip Jeffries was the one who ordered Ray to kill him. Jeffries told Ray  that Mr. C “had something inside that they want,” and told him to put a (familiar-looking) gold ring on his finger after he killed him. Mr. C tells him to put the ring on his “right finger left hand” – which Gordon called the spiritual finger. He asks where Jeffries is and Ray tells him that he’s at “the Dutchman’s.” Richard Horne arrives and joins the rest of the gang, who are watching the scene via a gigantic screen. Mr. C shoots Ray, whose body then appears in the black lodge.

At the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Fusco brothers get the results of from the fingerprints they took from Dougie. They are told that “he escaped from a high-security prison in South Dakota two days ago” and that he’s a missing FBI agent. They deem the ridiculous reality a huge mistake and toss the results it in the trash.

Anthony turns up to speak to Detective Clark, and asks him what a good poison is to kill Dougie with. He gets his answer, but Clark and another corrupt cop notice he’s cracking, deciding to let Todd know. Hutch and Chantal are on their way to Vegas after killing Warden Murphy, and talk about Mormons.

Janey-E, more smitten than ever, drops Dougie off at work in their new car. Anthony is waiting for him, ready to offer him a poisoned coffee. Dougie is distracted by cherry pie, and the combination of Anthony’s guilt and some misinterpreted actions leaves Anthony tearfully confessing to the attempted murder, as well as telling Bushnell about his other indiscretions. Bushnell tells him he will forgive him as long as he testifies in court implicating Duncan Todd and the two cops.

Shelly gets a call from Becky, who hasn’t seen Stephen in a few days and is worried about his safety. Shelly invites him out to the Double R for some cherry pie. Later, once Shelly has finished her shift, Bobby turns up to grab some food. He sees Big Ed and Norma eating together and joins their table. He asks Ed whether he’s intruding and is told that there’s “Nothing happening here.”

Sure enough, another man arrives and gives Norma a kiss. Ed and Bobby leave them to talk business. Walter, who is also Norma’s business partner and potential lover, reveals that Norma has been expanding the Double R brand to other territories. They are all profitable, but the flagship diner is losing money due to her commitment to quality.

Dr. Jacoby drives past Nadine’s “Run Silent, Run Drapes” store and sees one of his golden shovels in the window. He stops to visit and they catch up after not even seeing each other for seven years. At the Palmer household, Sarah drinks and smokes, watching the same 15 seconds of a boxing match stuck on a loop.

Meanwhile, Audrey is still desperate to go to the Roundhouse and hear what Charlie was told on the phone. When he offers to go she is suddenly reluctant to go and seems to have forgotten where the Roadhouse is. She becomes hysterical and dissociative, until Charlie says “Are you going to stop playing games or am I going to have to end your story too?” She replies: “What story is that Charlie? Is that the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?” She begins to break down into tears. “It’s like Ghostwood here.”

At the Roadhouse, James Hurley comes to the stage. He plays, in maybe the most shocking thing in this revival so far, a rendition of “You and I,” the song he originally played with Donna and Maddy. Renee watches from her seat and starts to cry. Big Ed sits eats soup and drinks coffee at the Gas Farm in silence. He strikes a match and lights a small piece of paper on fire.

Analysis:

First of all, I think it’s interesting that Lynch has at least brought some of his resentment to controlling studio forces back into the mix. It was definitely present in Mulholland Drive, but it’s hard not to read it into the scenes between Norma and Walter this week. “Norma, you’re a real artist. But love doesn’t always turn a profit,” Walter says, a phrase that both Frost and Lynch likely heard from ABC executives back in the day. By time he says: “It’s just about tweaking the formula to insure consistency and profitability,” it’s clear that this is about how business can infringe upon art.

The rest of this episode, while it shows little in the way of plot development and is a little confusing time-wise, is very coherent thematically. A lot has been said about the way the show deals with time – with some theories suggesting that different scenes occur in different timelines – but I believe a lot of this comes down to editing.

After all, this is an 18-hour movie that has been divided up. It’s been a day since Part 12’s events with Dougie, while Bobby speaks about events from Part 9 as if its the same day. Yet as far as I can tell, most of the inconsistencies come down to the fact that Lynch is prioritising theme and meaning over chronology when he puts these scenes together.

Now before I finished this episode, I got a text from a friend telling me that I was going to hate the ending. I assumed it would have something to do with my problems from last week’s episode, but as soon as we got to the Roundhouse I realised what he meant. James took to the stage to perform “Just You And I” in the exact same ridiculous falsetto as he did in the original series.

Back when I watched the first two seasons in a marathon two-day screening (you can read about that here), this song brought out widespread laughter from the audience. When I heard it this time I laughed again. But just like the woman watching him (who we know as Renee from the credits), the sadness of the scene overtook me and it became something much sadder.

We don’t know much about what James has been doing, except for the fact that he “hasn’t been the same since his accident.” But now it seems that he’s living a cycle like many residents of the town, re-living a moment he shared with two women – one gone, the other brutally murdered. As someone who absolutely hated the character previously, it takes a lot to warm me to him. But I think I kinda like him now.

Repetition rears its head once again in the Palmer household, where Sarah has seemingly sat, deteriorating as she watches the same 15-second loop of a boxing match over and over again. With each repeat comes the sound of electricity, which indicates something sinister is going on here.

A similar feeling pervades the scene we get with Audrey, though it builds on the frustration of last week – making me think that Part 12 and 13 could have maybe been combined into one part. I’ve read a theory that Charlie is actually Audrey’s therapist, helping her deal with some possible brain damage and/or emotional trauma from the events of season 2. But another theory is much more interesting: she’s still in a coma.

The whole scene feels like the conversational equivalent of sleep paralysis – she’s unable to leave the room despite having the apparent physical capability to do so. And, like a dream, she follows a story that when questioned doesn’t hold up. She wants to go to the Roadhouse but doesn’t know where it is, and in a moment of panicked clarity, she says “I feel like I’m somewhere else and somebody else”.

Most Valuable Player:

Everett McGill – Big Ed

McGill has always been the master of understatement on the show, and I was dying to see him come back. While he had little to do this episode, his forlorn glances to Norma in the diner were pretty damn heartbreaking. And the slow pull in to his face in the final scene truly showed how much the actor can do with so little.

Clues:

  • Going by this series and Fire Walk With Me, it seems as if the golden ring is a promise of your soul to the black lodge. Laura, Ray, and Dougie all wore the ring before they were taken there
  • The spiritual finger is where the ring must be worn. BOB planted a letter on his victims, under the nail of this finger
  • This confirms that Phillip Jeffries is involved with the spirits of the lodge in some way
  • What Jeffries wants from Mr. C is likely BOB, who is still inside of him. I initially thought the woodsmen spirits removed BOB after Ray shot Mr. C back in Part 8, but after re-watching it it seems like he isn’t completely removed.

Extra:

  • This isn’t related to this episode, but I only just discovered this theory about the spirits of Mrs. Tremonde and her grandson. I might just be late to this, but it sound correct to me.
  • For those that don’t know, the man playing Renzo is Derek Mears aka the actor who (brilliantly) played Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th remake
  • Was anyone else watching the mirrors in the Palmer household? You can never trust those things
  • Anthony saying “I only want to die or change” is reminiscent of Gordon’s “fix your hearts or die” from earlier in the season
  • Janet-E’s smile when she sees Sonny Jim with the gym set is sure to be heartbroken, just like Watts’ character in Mulholland Drive
  • Does something seem a little different about Dougie? It’s minor, but he seems a little more serious, a little less child-like this week
  • The congo line at the beginning of the episode is an all-timer, right alongside Jerry and Ben’s dancing to Leland’s rendition of “Mairzy Doats”
  • There has been a lot of headlines this week about the possibility of more Twin Peaks after this wraps up. As far as I’ve read, the only thing any of these articles are basing this on is Showtime saying they have had zero discussions with Lynch/Frost about it, but would be happy to if the duo were interested
  • If you want to Russ Tamblyn as a young man, performing acrobatic dancing with some shovels – you’re in luck

Line of the week: “Why are you so against me?”