In part 11, we were back in Twin Peaks for perhaps longer than we have been in a while. In fact, we seem to be spending more time in the town as each episode goes by, which suggests that all scattered characters and identities will eventually make their way back somehow and there will be some sort of denouement in the town at some point. Although let’s face it, trying to predict anything in this series is such a futile exercise. I’ve said it before and I’ll said it again, every time you think you know what might happen does the rug is well and truly pulled beneath you. And this is one of the reasons why it’s so watchable: you tune in desperate to see Good Coop emerge from his catatonic Dougie Jones state only to see teases of his old self.
This is what happened to tonight, at least at the end of the back end of the episode. We knew that the Mitchum brothers were after him and in this instalment, there was to be a reckoning – but no reckoning anyone apart from David Lych could have conceived. In the end, with a gun pointed at Good Coop/Dougie Jones, he managed to turn a potentially and fatally dangerous situation around… without doing anything at all. His boss at Lucky 7 had given him a cheque of $30,000,000 dollars to give to the Mitchums, along with the contents of a box. They had arranged a meeting point in the middle of the Nevada desert, and, after a ride through the gaudy streets of Las Vegas, Dougie reached his destination and perhaps his expiration. It felt like a classic showdown in the desert; Sergio Leone mixed with Quentin Tarantino. Except this is David Lynch, and he this familiar and tense situation was shot through his own, surreal prism.On seeing the box, Bradley Mitchum bolted, saying that he had had a dream the night before, which featured Dougie Jones and a box. If a certain something was inside the box, they couldn’t kill him because it would signify that Dougie Jones was not their enemy. Inside the box? A cherry pie. The same cherry pie Bradley had seen in his dream.
On seeing the box, Bradley Mitchum recoiled, grabbing his brother to have a frantic, whispered conversation while Good Coop/Dougie sttod there oblivious to any threat (or anything at all actually): Bradley hissed that he had had a dream the night before, which featured Dougie Jones and a box. In the dream the box contained something benign, suggesting that he was there friend.
What could it have been?
Bradley urged his brother not to shoot Good Coop/Dougie and told him that if the contents of the box matched his dream, then there was no need to shoot him down.
Inside the box was a cherry pie. The same cherry pie Bradley had seen in his dream.
Dougie Jones was off the hook, thanks to Good Coop’s favourite dessert.
As they adjourned to the Mitchums’ club and sat in a booth, toasting their new-found fortune, new-found friend and new-found pastry-based product, Rodney asked if Good Coop/Dougie – who was wolfing down the pie at a rate of knots – agreed it was ‘damn good’. Good Coop/Dougie nodded and repeated: damn good.
And there it was. Another flicker of Good Coop.
(There was another choice line during this scene as Bradley Mitchum was making small-talk with their new favourite person: they were talking about gym sets, and when a stone-faced Good Coop/Dougie sat uncomprehending when he was asked whether he had one, Bradley said, “even our orphanage had a gym set”.)
Elsewhere, there was the same bricolage approach to scene making, which again, produced unsettling yet seemingly banal and unrelated sequences. Becky Burnett went nuts with a gun and went after her ne’er do well husband Steve (who was cowering in a stairwell with his mistress, played by Alicia Witt), while her father Bobby Briggs was called to rescue the situation, sat with Becky and his-ex Shelley in the Double R. Inexplicably, a gun went off and its bullet ripped through the diner. When Deputy Briggs went to investigate he found an accidental shooting coming from the car of a family, but behind them he found a disproportionately angry woman and child in her seat, oozing green fluid from his mouth, zombie like.
As ever, these scenes were punctuated with extended silences and slightly stilted dialogue. Every scene, every line of dialogue seems loaded with tension and some sort of portent, every pause a strange stylistic device to put us on edge. Even if they feel of little consequence, they add to the overall feeling of discombobulation.
These small vignettes of familiar characters who circle the main ‘story’ seem to be a nod to nostalgia, their mere presence constantly alluding to Laura Palmer and Twin Peaks of old. But they’re living their lives – not all successfully – as things and strange shifts swirl around them. They’re participants but also victims.
Elsewhere, there was some progress with Gordon, Albert and Tammy’s investigation into Will Hastings’ contention that he and Ruth Davenport were called by Major Briggs to an interdimensional place. That place, they found out, was a run-down suburban shack. As Hasting sat in the back of a car with the local sheriff, Albert and Gordon cased the place out. Gordon, taking one step closer to the shack than his colleague, seemed to step into something – a world where the sky spun in a vortex and The Woodsmen gathered and sauntered, looking menacing. Indeed, one of them sneaked into the back of the car and caved in Hastings’ skull. As their ordeal concluded, Albert found the body of Ruth Davenport by the side of the house.
It was terrifying.
Back in Twin Peaks, Truman and Hawk discussed the coordinates given to them by the widow Briggs. Hawks unfurled an old native American map, and matched the coordinates with symbols that foretold fire – black fire – and evil, and something that not even he wanted to explain. Fire walk with me, indeed.
As police station telephonist Maggie kept saying over and over: “Someone’s on the way”. I don’t think this repeated line was a coincidence – someone or something is on the way. It’s just a matter of when it or they get there.
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