After this 12th part of series three of Twin Peaks, there are only six episodes left, and there’s still a huge amount to tie up – if David Lynch is indeed in the mood to tie things up at all. Who knows what’s going to happen? Will the Dougie Jones/Good Coop issue be resolved – or at least begin to be resolved – in this episode? Of course not.
Let’s get this out there straight away: this was the moment that Audrey Horne returned to our TV screens. The teenage femme fatale from series one and two was one of Twin Peaks’ most memorable characters. And that’s saying something when you consider how many memorable characters were introduced to us all those years ago. No, Audrey Horne was The One (for me, at least). She was dangerous, sexy and vulnerable all at once, and she turned my teenage mind inside out when I first saw her on screen back in 1990.
When it was announced that she would indeed be coming back for this third series, many fans wondered – after sighing, wistfully – how she would fit into the story. Did Audrey survive her coma fully compos mentis? How would she act/look? Would she still be pining after Cooper? Would she remember what happened? Throughout the series Lynch has been toying with our ideas of nostalgia, almost teasing us – instead of basking in the glow of fan obsession, he’s taken us down incredible, terrifying, baffling tangents that have little or nothing to do with the old Twin Peaks. He’s taken our expectations and hopes, and, like Agent Dale Cooper’s current identity, shattered them and reformed them into something strange and new.
And so it was with Audrey Horne. She appeared towards the end of another odd episode – an episode that saw Gordon and Albert do more fantastic work (the scene in which Gordon tried to explain to Albert his corny turnip joke to his impossibly glamorous French date was absolutely bloody hilarious) – and she wasn’t quite the coquettish tease we remembered. She was shrill, foul-mouthed, bitter and thoroughly unlikeable. And this character development was entirely plausible – of course it was – because age and experience do whither and poison and twist someone’s personality.
Audrey Horne was putting the heat on her ‘husband’ Charlie. Here again, Lynch toyed with our expectations – if Audrey Horne was to settle down with anyone, you might have thought it would be with the baddest boy on the block, someone impossibly beautiful and sassy. Not so. Charlie was, shall we say, a human of the smaller variety, someone who was devoted but henpecked. It was a marriage of convenience, and as much was said. What else was said? They mentioned names of characters that hadn’t even been in the show yet – a Billy, who, she said, she had been fucking, and a Tina and a Paul. Their conversation was intense and indecipherable, like listening to two strangers have an argument about people and situations you don’t know (which essentially this was). What was clear was that Audrey Horne was emasculating this poor fellow, and she was used to doing so.
These strange combinations of new characters and their snatched conversations about other characters we had yet to meet and may not meet continued towards the end in the The Roadhouse when two women – Natalie and Abbie, according to the credits – and, later, a man (Trick), talk about love triangles, a mother’s health, a road crash… snippets of conversations about people we don’t know. It was a strange disorientating experience.
Elsewhere, the undoubted highlights featured Gordon, Albert and Tammy (aside from one short scene, there was no Dougie Jones/Good Coop this week). They had gathered to invite Tammy to become part of the Blue Rose squad, Twin Peaks’ very own version of The X-Files. A derivative of Project Blue Book – a disbanded US Air Force investigation into the existence of UFOs that featured Windom Earle and Garland Briggs and, after Blue Book was disbanded and the FBI’s Blue Rose started up to carry on the good work, Gordon Cole, Albert Rosenfeld, Chester Desmond and Dale Cooper. Tammy – with her over-accentuated mannerisms – was delighted and honoured to be asked and accepted with enthusiasm.
Diane, meanwhile, snaked in and poured herself a vodka while the others drank expensive red wine. These scenes still had those just-too-long pauses in between utterances, which just knocks you off-centre. It’s another way – this time a subtle way – to throw you off guard.
She was still texting her unknown contact with progress of the case, this time mentioning Las Vegas. Could we (please, please, please) see the Blue Rose squad head to Vegas and finally find Dougie Jones/Good Coop next week?
Don’t hold your breath.
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