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Twin Peaks: The Return (Episode 10)

Twin Peaks: The Return is here and Remi is watching every episode! This time: Episode 10. (And needless to say: Herein are spoilers.)

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I would frankly have been happy if this episode only consisted of Harry Dean Stanton strumming his guitar and Rebekah Del Rio and Moby jammin’ at the Bang Bang Room. Of course, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Part ten — aka «Laura Is the One» — was a whole lot more part nine than it was part eight, though with a larger chasm between the funny and the dark, presumably by design. The renewed focus on casino gangsters Knepper and Belushi was welcomed, and it’s particularly interesting seeing the former providing comic relief. Knepper tends to portray more nefarious characters, be it in Prison Break or iZombie, and it’s nice to see him break out a little bit into something different. (Albeit still as a mobster.)

Also, did they make a quick reference to Brando? One can’t help but wonder if Michael Cera will make a reappearance.

On the other end was Richard Horne, probably the most flagitious character Twin Peaks has had to offer. As he beats his grandma — which for all intents and purpose revealed he is Audrey’s son — and murders a witness to his hit-and-run, I am not certain if what we’re seeing is a b-plot, or if it somehow will tie into the greater Twin Peaks lore. If Audrey is the mom, I can’t help but think there is more to the storyline than what we’ve seen so far, and Richard actually leaves town.

Gordon, meanwhile, provided the episode’s most eerie moment, with a vision of Laura’s crying face taking up the entirety of a doorway, disolving into a puzzled looking Albert. With text messages having been intercepted between Diane and Mr. C, I’ll be curious to see where that storyline goes. When the two met earlier in the season, I got the impression Diane truly didn’t know who or what Mr. C was, and one can speculate that she does not know who she has been communicating with.

And most importantly, will Jerry Horne ever get out of the woods?

As weird and surreal this season is — ratings have been middling at best — things are starting to come together to one coherent story. New questions arise, but they are very much attached to a greater picture. Will we ever see Cooper again? At this point I’d be surprised if he would return before the last two episodes, which will air back to back.

I wouldn’t put too much stock in that opinion, though, seeing I’ve been wrong about pretty much everything so far.

Twin Peaks: The Return (Episode 9)

Twin Peaks: The Return is here and Remi is watching every episode! This time: Episode 9. (And needless to say: Herein are spoilers.)

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Matthew Lillard: Scooby Doo’s Shaggy; Scream’s killer1; Twin Peaks’s fruitcake!

This episode was a cruel joke on those who would have abandoned this season for its (admittedly accurately perceived) weirdness. While there are different characters and different locations, the vibe of «Major Meetings» — as the episode officially is dubbed by Showtime — is the most classic Twin Peaks thus far, and it could have been slotted in one of the two first seasons without much change. The previous episode was full on Frost/Lynch-lore; this one was all Frost/Lynch-quirk.

Don Davis might have been dead for years, but his presence is still in the show as much as it was 25 years ago. Gone as he is, Major Briggs is pulling the two investigations together, and we’re seeing his message to Truman, Hawk, and Bobby and his… well… body to Cole, Albert, and Preston getting close to mesh up. Two Coopers? Both groups are getting the message.

And good grief, could Laura Dern be any better? «It’s a fucking morgue!» followed by the cigarette-stand-off with Cole… Dern has stated on many occasions that Lynch is her favorite director, and the way they’re riffing in this episode is proof positive of that.

Really, though, it is the small things that give the nith episode that classic Twin Peaks panache. Jerry Horne’s random drug-induced foot grabbing; Tim Roth literally killing the phone with a shotgun; the mystery added with Mr. C contacting Diane; Dougie not existing until 20 years ago. The wrapping is 2017, but the contents are 1991. And hey, Badalamenti was back in full force for this one — I keep going between missing his soundtrack to loving Lynch’s current sound design. We got the best of both.

Dougie-turning-to-Cooper is obviously slower than it is steady, and while parts of me would have loved to see Coop return with «America, the Beautiful» squaking out in the background, I’m still pretty good with the use of Kyle MacLachlan in the show. Mr. C is still a superbly sleazy ball of awesome.

I had expected to be able to read stuff into the going-ons this season, but I doubt we will get much to read from until the end, and even then, multiple 18-hour rewatches will probably be required.

And yet again, I’m loving every minute of The Return.

1 Spoiler warning!

Twin Peaks: The Return (Episode 8)

Twin Peaks: The Return is here and Remi is watching every episode! This time: Episode 8. (And needless to say: Herein are spoilers.)

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Yeah, I don’t even know…

What does one say about this episode? It was clearly conceived by Mark Frost — big on Twin Peaks mythology — but I can’t help but wonder if the script was five pages long, and the rest was up to Lynch. Actual mythology aside, the episode was certainly the most Lynchian, avant-garde art movie style since the third episode.

And I absolutely loved it.

Reading too much into anything right now is pointless, and I’m not sure if many questions will ever properly be answered. Nor if they should be answered. On face value, certain things can be considered on the nose, but I truly think there are too many layers to even start speculating what something like the inclusion of the first nuclear bomb explosion means. The birth of evil? That seems to be rather banal, and I highly doubt it was the actual intention of the scene. Did it open a rift between this world and the Black Lodge, letting a new type of evil in? Or was it simply David Lynch just liking the imagery? Stranger things have happened.

If the explosion launched Bob into the world (and into Sarah Palmer?), and The Giant sent Laura as a countermeasure, it all is still more complex than good vs. evil. Laura would have lost the battle, and quite likely was infested with Bob at any rate. Nothing in this episode explains much of anything, other than perhaps — perhaps — The Giant is an inhabitant of the White Lodge.

Frost and Lynch would not have glossed over a major plot point of the original show, where Leland remembered having seen Bob as a child. That would have been right around when Sarah Palmer (I assume it was her) had a bug crawl into her mouth. Again, making heads or tails from this is a lost cause, at least for now.

That potentially Lynch has created his own version of a shared universe, meanwhile, seems increasingly plausible. Not the Marvel of DC kind, but rather some bizarre parallel world type. Laura was in Mulholland Drive, and one can compare that movie’s monster behind the diner to The Woodsman here. Maybe. Either way, there certainly were a lot of visual and audible similarities with Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive.

All in all, though, once again, as abstract and strange and who knows as this all is, the overall story is fairly easy to follow. Falling into the trap of reading too much into things can dilute the overall point of the nuclear bomb, worlds potentially connecting, Bob being born or reborn… As far as understanding the gist of what’s going on, just grab on to what you see, and that’s really all you need to know. Details may or may not come later; getting into the nitty-gritty will likely require re-watching the entire season.

I love mythology, and this episode seriously creeped me out. That’s what’s important to me.

Twin Peaks: The Return (Episode 7)

Twin Peaks: The Return is here and Remi is watching every episode! This time: Episode 7. (And needless to say: Herein are spoilers.)

As far as writing goes, this was very much Mark Frost’s episode, but Lynch provided what was probably the scene of the show, so far. That slow, out-of-focus… who knows what it is… in the morgue, walking toward Lieutenant Knox?

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That is some creepy, disturbing stuff.

I have no clue who or what it is, but echoes of the monster behind the diner in Mulholland Drive comes to mind.

Mark Frost clearly helmed the writing, and we got an episode relatively close to something from the original first season. Maybe part of it is the focus on Twin Peaks and its old characters. That served as a nice little gear change from the previous two slow-moving episodes.

That is not a slight. How everything seamlessly is stitched together certainly is something season two was unable to do.

Lynch seemed to have the time of his life both directing and acting in the episode. Be it small details like him turning up his hearing aid or calling Diane a «tough cookie», his Cole is quickly turning into the star of the season.

The stars of the episode, though, were all the women. Laura Dern delivered exactly what we had expected—awesomeness—and her Diane conveys a tough, damaged woman. What had happened between her and (one of the) Cooper(s—who knows which one) is anyone’s guess, but Dern sure as hell made it seem like something significantly awful.

Plus, «Fuck you, Tammy!» Perfectly timed delivery, to a lady who is back to functioning as something more than a trope.

Naomi Watts’s Janey-E is, for all intents and purposes, Dougie’s mouth as this point, and she delivered monologs to the police with flashes of brilliance, particularly about the hated «stolen» car.

Yeah, a lot was packed into this episode… Truman on Skype with Doc Hayward was a scene for the ages, if only for the monitor appearing from the desk. Andy? He made a mistake, but there was something more to what was going on… Why was it OK waiting two hours to see the owner of the truck which was involved in the hit and run? He showed more of a weary assertiveness than what we’re used to seeing from him, and there must be more going on than Andy being Andy, making mistakes.

Walter Olkewicz portraying his previous Renault’s twin cousin goes to prove they’re the sleaziest French-Canadian family in North America, and the long, long scene with only him and the cleaner, set to « Green Onions» was frustratingly both-love-and-hate-it awesome.

Finally, Richard Beymer’s Ben Horne is mixing up the over-the-top silliness of his original portrayal with a more intense Ray Wise quality. He’s quickly becoming my favorite returning second billed character.

So, so much happening in this episode. Dougie’s taking down Ike while receiving advice to (and I paraphrase) «rip off his hand» was… Odd. It also serves as a reminder that not one being from the Black Lodge is good.

Great episode, funny episode, creepy episode, and I have no idea where this will go next. I’m OK just being along for the ride.

Twin Peaks: The Return (Episode 6)

Twin Peaks: The Return is here and Remi is watching every episode! This time: Episode 6. (And needless to say: Herein are spoilers.)

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«Fuck Gene Kelly, you motherfucker!»

God bless Albert for being Albert, and for Albert finding Laura Dern as Diane in Max Von Bar1. I was in the camp that did not want the character to be revealed on screen, but if it had to happen, hell… What better choice than Dern, who already exhumes her inner femme fatale after only three seconds on screen.

I was hoping Cooper of yore would have returned by now, but you know… The pacing still works for me. Here we are in the sixth episode, and while Cooper is slowly (slowly) coming back to life, I really enjoy the Mr. Jackpot shell. It’s interesting to see old Coop stuck in Dougie, yet still showing glimpses of his real self with Cooper-isms and all. What did his ladders and stairs mean? Who knows, but it clearly meant something to Dougie’s boss, and that’s what matters.

I am still doubling down on a larger transformation next week; multiple plot twists suggest the actual Cooper has to return to stitch together the increasing number of sub-plots. The glue is Dougie, but now that the Twin Peaks traffic light is turning red again, something is about to happen.

Hawk — and Michael Horse is hitting a home-run with his portrayal — made what, going by Fire Walk With Me, likely is the discovery of Laura’s hidden diary pages2, the ones where it is revealed Cooper is stuck in the Black Lodge. Somewhat amusingly, after the Log Lady suggested he had to search for something related to his heritage, he found them in a Nez Perce-labeled toilet stall doors.

And other than that, the episode seemed to consist mostly of some pretty graphic carnage. One of the scenes seemed unnecessary to me, but we at least got to see Harry Dean Stanton (last/first seen in Fire Walk With Me) make a rare gentle performance.

Ike «The Spike» Stadtler taking out Lorraine seemed apt to the main arc. Having been nervous during last episode after hearing Dougie was still alive, it is clear Mr. Jackpot is a valuable target, further suggesting Mr. C (as we apparently still call the Bob infested Cooper) to be on top of the pyramid. The man really does not want to return to the Black Lodge.

In the end it was kind of a slow individual episode. I’m not so sure judging these individually makes sense, though. The flow certainly has little in common with the original series. Being too analytical is difficult with what is more or less looking like an 18 hour movie, and while it’s easy to complain we’re not seeing enough of the Twin Peaks residents — the most common gripe I keep seeing — we still have 12 hours to go. The town’s increased screen time suggests the geographical scope is about to change.

For consideration: How many Black Lodge doppelgängers, other than the Coopers, have we seen so far? Red seems likely, and I maintain Richard Horne does too. Somewhat disturbingly, Sonny Jim is a contender, which makes Janey-E another real possibility. A whole family of doppelgängers, good grief.

The season might be slow as molasses, then, but I will unapologetically admit to loving every minute of it.

1 An obvious reference to Max von Sydow, who was featured in Lynch’s Dune.

2 This must be, what? The sixth set of hidden pages?