Since Showtime began broadcasting its revival of Twin Peaks, I’ve found myself really looking forward to Sunday nights. With the normal disappointment of the weekend slipping by so fast and the depression over the work week looming ahead, I used to hate Sunday nights. Now, though, it’s almost like there’s a reason to live! As early as Friday night, I begin thinking about the excitement of watching a new episode of the show. Then, when it’s a great episode, like hour 14, my imagination keeps me awake at night instead of my worries.
This episode perhaps represents the entire season of Twin Peaks better than any other. If having to recommend only one to watch, this might be it (so far). It includes a mix of things you expect to finally happen, as well as things you never expect to happen. It includes moments you think are going to be meaningless, then end up meaning a lot. It combines humor with horror, both in grounded locations and in otherworldly places. It explains a thing or two, while, with only four hours to go, introduces new characters whom we’re told are “important.”
A few dots are starting to be connected. On a phone call with Gordon Cole (David Lynch), Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) tells him that “something has been found.” These are the missing pages from Laura Palmer’s diary that Hawk (Michael Horse) found way back in the sixth hour and that “could indicate two Coopers.” Hawk found those diary pages so long ago that I had nearly forgotten, even though at the time I expected them to be an important clue about what the heck was happening.
Then, Diane (Laura Dern), still irritated by her role in the proceedings, joins the agents in Buckhorn with a salute, “Deputy Diane reporting.” When Albert (Miguel Ferrer) tells her about the ring found in the stomach of dead Major Briggs, we learn that Janey-E is Diane’s estranged half-sister (“I hate her”), living in Las Vegas with her husband, Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan). Never in my wildest dreams did I think there would be a connection between Janey-E and Diane! What does that even mean?
When Cole announces that he’s had another dream about Monica Belluci, I smiled. However, by the time it ended, I was smiling for another reason: we were directly connected with key events from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and witnessed a posthumous appearance of David Bowie as Agent Phillip Jeffries. In some ways, the entire season has been more connected to the 1992 movie than it has been to the original television series and it’s proven here.It’s hilarious when Cole calls the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s office and Lucy answers. He seems surprised that she answers the phone, “Have you been there all this time?” he asks, meaning the last 25 years, I assume. She answers, “Well, I’ve gone home and took some vacation.” Then, the window washer’s squeegee plays havoc with Cole’s hearing aids.
It’s horrifying when Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) walks into Elk’s Point #9 Bar and orders a Bloody Mary. When a man with a ponytail and “Truck You” t-shirt won’t mind his own business, she opens her face to reveal… I don’t know… a snake’s tongue, hand and mouth, then proceeds to rip out his throat. She says, “He just fell over; I don’t know. Sure is a mystery, huh?”
The most significant event is one I thought might occur in the finale, when Sheriff Truman, Hawk, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) and Andy (Harry Goaz) follow Major Briggs’s instructions to go 253 yards due east of Jackrabbit’s Palace (which, by the way, reminds me of Devil’s Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind) in the woods. No one else who has these coordinates appears, though. Instead, a vortex opens in the sky and Andy pays a visit to a black and white room with the apparition formerly known as “The Giant,” who now says he’s “The Fireman.”
From a round skylight/screen above him, Andy sees a supernatural recap of key images from the series, including: a jerky monster-thing that may have been in the glass box in New York City, a floating woman vomiting a cloudy substance, Bob inside an orb, the woodsman (“Gotta light?”), a young student running past the school on the day Laura Palmer was found dead, Laura herself flanked by angels, two Coopers, a telephone with Line 1 blinking, Andy walking with Lucy while the sheriff’s department shakes, and a utility pole with the number 6 on it.He also sees the Asian woman with eyelids sewn shut that the sheriffs found right before the vortex opened. Back on earth, the other three men find themselves wandering around Jackrabbit’s Palace with no memory of what happened to them, when Andy “fades in” carrying her. “We need to get her back. She’s very important. People want her dead.”
Earlier, Deputy Chad Broxford (John Pirruccello) was arrested. Andy places the Asian woman in a cell close to him and to a strange drunk man drooling blood. She cannot speak, but makes strange noises. The drunk man seems to be able to communicate with her when he’s not repeating what Chad is yelling at him. There’s a cute moment when Andy says, “You’re a very bad lesson, Chad,” and Lucy smiles lovingly at his bravado.
The other new character that seems to be important is Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle), a 23-year old British man who is James Hurley’s (James Marshall) security guard partner. It is James’s birthday and Freddie gifts him with the strange story of how a rubber glove came to be permanently attached to his right hand. Six months ago in the east end of London, he was sucked into a vortex where “The Fireman” told him to go to Twin Peaks, Washington to find his destiny. “Why me,” Freddie asked. The Fireman asked in return, “Why not you?”
Finally, at the Bang Bang Bar, where so many hours have ended, some familiar names are mentioned in a conversation between two young women of whose identities I am not sure. One of them is wearing Paula’s sweater. Since the other tells her she heard she was the last person to see Billy, I assume she is Tina, who was mentioned in an hour 12 exchange between Audrey Horne and her husband, Charlie. No, that’s not right, because this girl says her mother’s name is Tina. You can see why I’m not certain who is who!
This is an hour of Twin Peaks where more seems to actually happen than in previous episodes. I’ll leave you with a question Albert asks Tammy (Chrysta Bell) after telling her the story of the very first “Blue Rose” case from 1975. Found on the floor in her Olympia, Washington hotel room, a woman named Lois Duffy says, “…unlike the blue rose,” then smiles, dies and disappears. The woman holding the gun is also Lois Duffy. What is the first question you should ask?