Twin Peaks: The Return, Part Sixteen

The gun has fired.

With episode sixteen we have arrived at was can only be described as the "payoff" of the series, and the show has shifted from the psychedelic Eraserheadesque fare to something very much resembling the original show. I wasn't sure we'd get here in this manner, but boy, am I happy about it.

The installment picks up with Twooper and Richard Horne arriving at Twooper's "coordinates". Here, we get confirmation that "Bob" really is the father of Richard, which itself is more of a payoff than most episodes of this season. We also get some sort of weird "father-and-son" interaction if only for a short exchange before Twooper sends him off as a guinea pig to investigate a rock and get burned alive.

Now, David Lynch has a weird fetish for electricity. As someone who once thought of inventing a pseudo-religion devoted to the worship of electricity, I can certainly sympathize. In Lynch's world, electricity can bring life, death, madness, sanity. (Actually, that's pretty much how it works in our world as well.) Thus I can't say if Richard is ultimately dead or alive. Will we revisit him in the final two chapters of the series?

But, of course, the real story of the evening is the awakening of the true Dale Cooper. If you recall, I had my doubts that Dale could still serve as an effective emotional anchor back to the old show for the audience, given how much the actor's changed in appearance... Well, I was dead wrong. After watching Kyle slip back into his "Special Agent Dale Cooper" it's suddenly as if no time has passed at all. (Well, alright, so maybe he's even more peculiar, but I'll take that.)

The first thing of note here is how Dale says goodbye to his family. He doesn't expect to survive; in fact, he seems to welcome death, as he hands the One-Armed Man a lock of hair to create a new "Dougie" to return to his new family after all is said and done. Yet, this is a scene of compassion and mercy that instantly pins him as his "old self." He does love them but after twenty five years of Hell he's tired of living. Wouldn't you be?

The second is how "Evil Cooper" instructs Diane to ":-) all" - I can only assume that means "kill all" - and how she's shot dead after telling her story then disappears into thin air. So, as Tammy exclaims, she was a tulpa - she was not herself. Where is the original Diane? Is she dead? That's most likely.

The third is Audrey, who seems trapped in a dreamland, never interacting with anyone but her "husband" and waking up to stare into a mirror in a completely different place in the final minutes. Where is she, really? I have no idea.

Now, Dale has teamed up with the Mitchum brothers to return to Twin Peaks. All in all, this is an episode where so much happens, despite its slow pacing, that Chantal and Hutch getting shot to death by a loony neighbor of Douglas seems a mere afterthought. As I wrote to my co-reviewer, this one "deserves a damn good review." I'm probably not the right person to give it, but for me, the last two installments have effectively redeemed the series. All the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place and I am very much looking forward to the finale.

1 comment:

Josie Kafka said...

So jealous!

Not only did you get Dale Cooper's return, you also got Eddie Vedder. And you didn't just get Eddie Vedder, you got him introduced by the Roadhouse MC with his childhood name. (Is Eddie Vedder a tulpa?)