*WARNING: SPOILERS FOR TWIN PEAKS SEASON 3, EPISODE 15*
Amongst the mystery, a deep sadness. The jubilation of Twin Peaks’ return has been touched, multiple times, by loss: Catherine E Coulson (The Log Lady), Warren Frost (Will Hayward), and Miguel Ferrer (Albert Rosenfield) all passed away after filming, while David Bowie (Phillip Jeffries) had planned to film a cameo before his death.
This week, we said goodbye to The Log Lady. “In Memory of Margaret Lanterman”, the credits read, in tribute to the character’s real name; it seems fitting for a show that so often intermixes truth and dreams. Catherine E Coulson made us fall in love with The Log Lady, and The Log Lady made us fall in love with Catherine E Coulson.
“It’s just a change. Not an end. Hawk, it’s time. There’s some fear. Some fear of letting go,” Margaret whispers down the phone to Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse). It’s the saddest moment of Twin Peaks’ entire return so far, since the shadow of those words seems so all-consuming, In a way, it’s all been about letting go. All of this.
So many of Twin Peaks’ residents are shackled to their own pasts, to the point that actually witnessing anyone let go feels so triumphantly sweet – even suspiciously dreamlike in its perfection. After years and years of pining, Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Big Ed (Everett McGill) were finally free to love each other: Nadine (Wendy Robie) let him go, as part of her effort to shovel “myself out of the sh*t” and adhere to Dr. Jacoby’s teachings.
Is it right to question whether we’re watching reality here? It's a love story that wraps up as neatly as a TV movie, as Norma ditches her business-obsessed boyfriend and the two embrace in the middle of the Double R. It’s a contrast, certainly, to what then feels like a nightmare: the scratchy, shaking camera cuts to Bad Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) at the maintenance store from episode 8, a lair of the woodsmen.
It’s clear the location is another portal to the alternate dimension; as they walk through and trees flicker at the sides of the frame, we’re reminded that all of this comes back to Twin Peaks. It’s beyond the portal that we are finally reintroduced to Phillip Jeffries. Presumably, this would have been David Bowie’s cameo in the show, but his absence leaves a bizarre substitute: a sputtering teakettle.
Voiced by Nathan Frizzel, Jeffries in such an obtuse, intimidating form finally feels like a match for Bad Cooper. Their exchange brings to the surface our new, big mystery to obsess over: who is Judy? Jeffries in Fire Walk With Me insisted that he would not talk about Judy, but now comes a new revelation, “you’ve already met Judy”. Bad Cooper stepped back into the world only to discover Richard Horne, his probable son, had followed him. Bad things are brewing.
If we’ve seen dreams and nightmares, then what is Audrey Horne in? Purgatory? It seems probable, as another conversation with her husband Charlie proved even more disorientating than what we’d seen before. “You’ll talk me to death right here on the threshold,” Audrey spits. Yet, death would let her leave the threshold, at least.
Also in purgatory, it appears, are the new generation of Twin Peaks. Our original residents may be clinging on to morsels of the past, but at the cost of leaving their children like forgotten ghosts. Steven Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones) is in a desperate place, on the run from his raging wife (Amanda Seyfried), as Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt) tries to prevent him from committing suicide.
We’re introduced to Ruby (Charlyne Yi), too, ejected from her table at the Roadhouse by two men who pick her up and drop her on the floor. She crawls into the crowd of dancers, and lets out a scream as anguished as those of Laura Palmer. No one sees her. And no one cares.
Is everyone in Twin Peaks lost: inside of their own dreams, their own nightmares, their purgatories? What would it take to awaken them? And so we come to Dougie, who switches on the TV as it plays a scene from Sunset Boulevard, the moment Cecil B. DeMille calls out “get Gordon Cole” (Lynch’s character is named after Sunset Boulevard’s).
Something changes. The electricity in the outlet starts humming again. He crawls towards it with his fork and plunges it in. He is electrocuted, obviously. But what happens next?
Twin Peaks airs 2am on Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV with the Entertainment Pass, in a simulcast with the US. The episode will then be shown again at 9pm on the following day. You can catch up now on season one and two via Sky Box Sets and NOW TV.
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