In Twin Peaks, Nadine approaches Ed at the Gas Farm, having walked all the way from town with her golden shovel. She reveals to Ed that she has had an epiphany: she has been manipulating him for years and guilting him into staying with her, but now she wants him to be free.
Once Ed works past his disbelief, he heads straight to the Double R Diner to find Norma. Once he finds her, as is always the way for this couple, they are kept apart by the arrival of Walter. As Otis Redding’s Montery Pop Festival performance of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” Ed waits while Norma tells Walter she’s selling her shares of the other diners. Walter leaves, and Ed asks Norma to marry him. They kiss, and it’s the best thing that has happened in 2017.
From the blue skies of Twin Peaks to pylons, darkness, and the open road, we catch up with Mr. C. He arrives at the convenience store we glimpsed in Part 8, where he is taken by a woodsman spirit “upstairs” and into a different world. He enters the same space that Laura saw in her painting in Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me (and later entered in a dream). He asks for Phillip Jeffries, and is taken up the stairs (seen in Cole’s vision), and into a motel courtyard.
A woman walks over to open the door to Jeffries room, speaking backwards. Inside, the man he is looking for has now become an object resembling a large industrial kettle of sorts. Jeffries doesn’t give much information, other than to reveal that Mr. C has already met Judy.
Confused and angry, Mr. C finds himself outside the convenience store after answering a ringing phone. He encounters Richard Horne, who tells him he knows he is Special Agent Cooper, and that his mother (Audrey Horne) had a photo of him. Mr. C roughs him up, tells him to get in the truck, then sends “Las Vegas?” to an unknown number. This is likely the text that Diane received in Part 12. The convenience store fades away.
In the woods of Twin Peaks, Steven and Gersten hide together. Both seem agitated, drugged up, and Steven carries a gun with him. Steven is on the edge, suicidal and fearful. A dog walker discovers them and Gersten runs away. A gunshot rings out, and the walker rushes to the trailer park to let Carl know.
At the Roundhouse, the MC plays ZZ Top’s “Sharp-Dressed Man.” I don’t know any other show that would put these two scenes together and make it work. James tries to talk to Renee, which agitates her husband Chuck. James is beaten by Chuck and his friend until Freddy intervenes, punching them so hard that the music skips. James and Freddy are taken to jail, alongside the eyeless woman, drooling drunk, and scumbag Chad.
In the Las Vegas FBI offices, the always welcome Wilson and Hedley sitcom continues as the wrong Douglas and Janey-E are brought in for questioning. Meanwhile, both Duncan Todd and his assistant are assassinated by Chantal. She shares a meal with Hutch and discuss torture, murder and dessert.
Janey-E gives Dougie some cake, which he eats for a full two minutes and I am still somehow riveted. He turns on the TV (a complex task for him), and Sunset Boulevard is on. He hears the name ‘Gordon Cole’ and is completely overwhelmed. He hears sounds coming from the plug socket and crawls over to it. He shoves his fork into it, the lights go out and Janey-E screams.
In Twin Peaks, the Log Lady calls Hawk for the final time. She tells him that she is dying, but believes that death is not the end, and that he should watch out for the “one under the moon on blue pine mountain”. She tells him her log is turning gold and wishes him goodnight. Hawk calls the rest of the force into the meeting room, where Frank is staring at a low-res image of a fish on his laptop. He lets them all know that Margaret Lanterman passed away that evening. The light in her cabin goes out.
Audrey and Charlie continue to bicker, in a way that is a lot funnier than normal, but still a strange inactive refusal to cross a threshold. Charlie takes off his coat, and in a rage Audrey begins to strangle him.
At the Roadhouse, The Veils play “Axolotl.” A woman named Ruby watches the band from a booth. Two men approach her and she tells them that she’s waiting for someone, but they just pick her up and place her on the floor. Distraught, she crawls towards the crowd, sobbing. As she becomes enveloped by the crowd on all fours, she begins to scream.
The story of Ed and Norma has been a long and difficult one. After the bizarre tangent arc that involved Nadine thinking she was a teenager in season 2, things looked like they might have worked out for the two of them. But then came the kicker: Nadine regained her memories, and with it the madness and jealousy that kept the lovers apart.
Seeing Ed in the same position now, with Norma dating a slightly sleazy business type, was sad to see. And even as Nadine gave Ed the best gift she could possibly give him in a moment of clarity, I expected there to be a cruel joke. Nadine would change her mind last minute or Norma will stay with the other man.
Instead, we got one of the most pure and lovely moments in the entire show, as a kiss and embrace many have waited 27 years for came to pass. The entire moment, mostly down to the acting talent of Everett McGill, was overwhelming in the best way.
On the other side of the emotional spectrum, we have what seems to be the end of Steven’s time on the show. It’s hard to decipher a lot of what he’s saying, and what we know of his relationship with Gersten and the inciting incident that got Becky so mad at him is only really inferred. Despite this, and the fact that Steven was always such a reprehensible character, I felt for him here.
He is so lost in the fog of a drug-addled guilt-ridden depression, having made the decision to die but nonetheless terrified of heading there. Meanwhile, Gersten clings to him desperately, trying to pull him back from the edge with love and affection, when he would never have done the same to her. And when that gunshot rings out, she’s left with the same terror and sadness that he just escaped. Both the performances from Alicia Witt and Caleb Landry Jones were phenomenal.
Despite the build up, I don’t have much to say about the confrontation with Phillip Jeffries. His appearance suggests an evolution similar to that The Man From Another Place underwent, as both have become less mobile, more object-like. He doesn’t really give any answers or seem as in control as he has done all season. He is locked in a room that is guarded by woodsmen, but it is unclear whether he is a prisoner or not.
“Judy” is still a mystery. Given Lynch’s frequent references to the Wizard of Oz throughout his work I can’t help but think of Judy Garland, which again makes me think of the orb sent down from the white lodge in Part 8, or of Garland Briggs. The nature of the world is actually getting more complicated as the show nears its end, and I feel like we won’t be getting many more answers from this particular kettle.
I absolutely loved the ending this week, which may be my favourite Roadhouse scene so far. Charlyne Yi is fantastic going through three major emotions in such a short space of time. When the two men approach, we are expecting the misogyny of Richard in the same venue, or that of the now-throatless asshole who confronted Sarah Palmer last week. Instead they place her on the floor and take her seat.
People at the Roadhouse are often affected by events outside it. One of my favourite moments in the original series was after Maddy’s death, when a veil of sadness fell over the characters there without them knowing exactly why. This might be what’s happening with Ruby, whose descent into a scream may be a reaction to something else. In fact, one Youtuber synced up Dougie’s scene this week with Ruby’s, and it fits surprisingly well.
The first time watching the scene I laughed as she was picked up, my smile slowly fading as she began crawling, then screaming. Second time around, it didn’t read as funny at all. The way they drop her down is so disrespectful, so dismissive of her right to be there, her following actions starts to make sense.
She already looks depressed as she sits there, and this manhandling broke the barrier to all the abuse and bad deeds in the world, and she just can’t take it. The most unsettling thing of all, is that we stay with her screams long enough to see that no one reacts, happy to let her scream in fear.
Most Valuable Player:
Catherine Coulson – Margaret Lanterman
It couldn’t be anyone else, could it? Catherine Coulson has put in such an astounding, heartbreaking performance in this show that only becomes more powerful with context. The actress is a long term collaborator with David Lynch, meeting him in 1971 and working with him as back as far as Eraserhead.
Coulson died of complications from cancer in her home in 2015, and given the secrecy of the show, it came as a shock to see her appear at all. Not only did she give her character a send-off, but she gave a soul-bearing performance, wrestling with belief and the fear of death, all when she knew that her’s was just around the corner.
The premiere was dedicated to the actress, and this episode, her last, is dedicated to the character.
- This video slows down The Jumping Man appearance, revealing a voice that says: “Back away, don’t go in there.” If you look closely, it also potentially superimposes the face of Sarah Palmer onto his. Maybe that’s the new darkness inside her
- The number Jeffries gives Mr. C looks to be at least the beginning of the co-ordinates that were written on Ruth Davenports arm
- Jeffries tells Mr. C: “So you ARE Cooper”
- My bet is that Judy is Laura, or at least the force within her that was sent down from the white lodge.
- The motel courtyard looks similar to the one Leland visited Theresa in in Fire Walk With Me
- It’s unclear if the awful thing that Steven claims he did is important or if he’s just high
- Was Freddy’s Fireman-bestowed-destiny to be where he is right now – capable of protecting Naido from those that wish her harm?
- This might be my favourite episode of the revival, with the exception of the unsurpassable Part 8
- The fade from Hawk looking down with solemnity into a shot of the forest is beautiful
- Sunset Boulevard is one of David Lynch’s favourite movies, and where he got the name for Gordon Cole
- Chuck, who punches James in the bar, is Renee’s husband. Back in Part 12 we heard Chuck referenced by Audrey and Charlie. He apparently stole Billy’s truck, which was later returned. Then, he told Audrey that Tina was the last to see him, though she didn’t know whether he was trustworthy
- When Mr. C approaches the convenience store, ‘Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima’ plays again, which we first heard during the atomic bomb
- I believe the phone that rings in Jeffries’ room is the same one Andy saw in his vision last week
- The man walking his dog in the woods was played by Mark Frost
- The explosion effects on the shootings in Las Vegas were bizarre. They go by so quick that even frame-by-frame they look strange
- James seems to have some mental problems from the way he speaks some times, likely related to the accident they reference back in Part 2
Line of the week: “Cup of coffee… and a cyanide tablet”
Featured Image: Showtime