We begin with Gordon, Albert, and Tammy, who are drinking wine and discussing the case. The two older agents decide to bring Tammy (and the audience) into the loop regarding the “blue rose” cases, with material that ties into what some of you may have read in Mark Frost’s book The Secret History of Twin Peaks.
He reveals that in 1970 the United States Air Force shut down Project Blue Book (which really existed), their 20-year investigation into UFOs. They concluded that no credible evidence existed, which was a massive cover-up (the project continued in secret with Windom Earle and Major Briggs). A few years later, the military and FBI formed a top-secret taskforce to “explore the troubling abstractions raised by cases Blue Book failed to resolve”. The taskforce was named the Blue Rose after a phrase a woman in one of these cases said just before she died. Gordon suggested Phillip Jeffries to head the squad, who recruited Albert, Chet Desmond, and Dale Cooper. Albert is the only person in the group who has not disappeared without explanation.
They ask Tammy to join the taskforce, and she accepts. Diane arrives, and they offer to deputise her. Her answer? “Let’s rock.”
Meanwhile, in Twin Peaks, Jerry escapes the woods, and Sarah Palmer goes shopping. After spacing out at the checkout, she freaks out and says “The room seems different, and men are coming […] Something happened to me! I don’t feel good!” She leaves without her $133.70 of shopping, and one of the employees suggests he should deliver it to her home.
Carl warns a resident of the trailer park to not sell his blood, and pays him for the work he does for free in the area. Dougie and Sonny Jim play catch. Hawk visits the home of Sarah Palmer, who is acting strangely. He offers his help, but Sarah, who is drunk, refuses. Hawk hears some noise from the kitchen, but she ignores it.
Sheriff Truman visits Ben to let him know that they know Richard was the one who ran over the little boy, and the person who hospitalised Miriam. Ben offers to pay for the operation Miriam needs to survive. He also gives Frank Cooper’s key, which was sent to him from Las Vegas. Once he leaves, Ben deals with the horrible news by escaping into a nostalgic tale of a bicycle his father bought him when he was a child.
Albert intrudes on Gordon, who is entertaining a woman (Bérénice Marlohe, who you might recognise from Skyfall) in his hotel room. He asks her to leave, and she takes her time doing so. Albert tells Gordon about the text conversation Diane is having with an unknown caller. She was asked “Las Vegas?” and replied “THEY HAVEN’T ASKED YET”.
Hutch and Chantal wait for Warden Murphy to turn up at his home at the behest of Mr. C. When he does, Hutch shoots him with a sniper rifle on the steps of his home. His son finds his body. Jacoby continues to sell his golden shovels and Nadine continues to watch. Then, hard cut to Audrey Horne.
Audrey is arguing with her soon to be ex-husband, as she wants to go out looking for her lover Billy, who has disappeared recently. After much debate Charlie relents and rings Tina to ask her whether she was the last to see Billy. He seems to have an informative conversation with her but is sworn to secrecy. After the call, he refuses to tell Audrey anything.
Diane recalls the co-ordinates on Ruth Davenport’s arm from memory, and searches for them on the internet. The co-ordinates, as you would expect, lead her to the town of Twin Peaks. In the Roadhouse, The Chromatics play. Two women drink together and gossip about the friend who may be getting cheated on. A man turns up, rattled after narrowly avoiding being run off the road by another driver.
“Let’s Rock” was the line of dialogue that made it to be Part 12’s caption/title this week, though I don’t think there was much about that familiar phrase that was relevant this week. The phrase was said by The Man From Another Place in his first encounter with Cooper and was written on the windshield of Chet Desmond’s car after he went missing. But for this episode, which is the first episode of the revival I overall disliked, a more appropriate line to use would be Audrey’s “You’re not going to tell me what she said!?”
The episode started strongly enough, with some quick short scenes and some welcome exposition. Even the drawn-out scenes, such as Bérénice Marlohe’s long goodbye, were funny or insightful somehow. But then we get a Jacoby/Nadine scene that is a 95% a repeat of a scene from an earlier episode, then the episode caps off with three people we haven’t seen before talking about three people we have never met.
And before then, our re-introduction to fan-favourite Audrey Horne is in a, frankly, irritating-as-hell scene. I’m glad she’s in the show, though it’s disappointing that I have so little to say about the scene other than it felt punishing to watch. There’s something to say about how this is another subversion of expectations and a refusal to pander to fans, but this felt like it strayed way too far in one direction for me.
I read in a comment section that the “Billy” Audrey is speaking of is actually a band member of Trouble, the band that played at the Roadhouse in Part 5. Another member of that band is Bing, who was supposedly the one who ran into the Double R at the end of Part 7 searching for Billy. Whether that will amount to anything, or is just some background detail, we are yet to see.
Each episode of this show, whether I’ve liked it immediately or not, has grown on me over the proceeding days. The scenes I felt were egregious start to work for me, and I feel at peace with the purpose of that week’s hour. For the first time this week, this isn’t really the case.
Part 12 feels like a collection of deleted scenes that should have either stayed on the cutting room floor or be integrated into other parts rather than lumped together. So many of the scenes feel disconnected from the chronology of the series, it seems strained keeping it together as a singular episode. The fact that this 18-hour movie has worked as a serialised show at all is a miracle, but it seems like this episode has suffered because of it.
The real interesting content we’ve got to dig into is Sarah Palmer’s two brief scenes. We already knew her life was in turmoil, as she smoked and drank all day, alone in the house where her daughter was abused and her niece was murdered, by her husband no less. Her manic behaviour makes sense in this context, but there seems to be something else going on here.
We get two lingering shots of the ceiling fan, which was always a bad omen for BOB in the original series. Her behaviour is of someone fighting demons in private, perhaps even struggling with her own possession by a black lodge spirit. Or if there’s no supernatural presence, there is a definite reminder that this kind of trauma doesn’t get resolved so easily.
Most Valuable Player:
Grace Zabriskie – Sarah Palmer
Grace Zabriskie was always an outstanding performer in the original series, capable of such nervous energy, compassion, and a scream that is one for the hall of fame. Personally, I found her to be the scariest thing about David Lynch’s Inland Empire, too, so it’s great to see her absolutely going for it here. From her overwhelmed spacing out in the supermarket to her demented expressions and voice with Hawk, she is doing some incredible work.
- During the scenes with Sarah Palmer, the score is reminiscent of that which played with the spirits in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, especially with the Man From Another Place
- I’m not sure if the number has come up in other ways, but back in what fans are now calling “The Purple Room” in Part 3, which held the eyeless woman, the outlet through which Cooper escaped was marked ’15’. Before that it was ‘3’. 315 is the number of Cooper’s room in the Great Northern.
- The car that ran Trick off the road – is this Richard leaving town in a hurry?
- “Men are coming! Something happened to me! I don’t feel good!” – these comments by Sarah have me thinking the “men” are the woodsmen we saw walking down the stairs in the previous episode. Perhaps BOB is on his way to attempt a takeover of a 3rd Palmer victim.
- Was the noise in the kitchen the boy delivering her shopping? Is he safe?
- Does the sender suspect that the FBI are monitoring Diane’s phone, and is purposely trying to lead them to Las Vegas?
- I’ve decided I’m not a fan of Chrysta Bell’s performance at all. What some may find interesting I find incredibly distracting the more screentime she is given. It’s a shame, because I was looking forward to seeing the “TP” of The Secret History of Twin Peaks brought to life
- You can tell why Albert has rage issues, since Gordon seems to be an extremely frustrating (if well meaning) person to deal with on a regular basis
- Chester Desmond gets a name drop at least, which is good for me, being one of the few who liked Chris Isaak’s character in Fire Walk With Me
- You should all go check out the bizarre (and hilarious) David Lynch made as an introduction for the comic con panel this year, which Showtime has just uploaded
Line of the week: “Next stop Wendy’s”
Featured Image: Showtime