Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Twin Peaks Season 3: Part 6

We have now seen exactly one third of Twin Peaks The Return and it's been utterly wonderful and strange so far. I am delighted that it's being drip fed to us week to week. Can you imagine if all 18 parts had been uploaded to a streaming service and we all binge watched it? This is definitely a show which needs time to percolate, to be re-watched and endlessly discussed. It's fascinating how many different takes on the same scenes people have, the details that mean a lot to one person but can be overlooked by someone else and the myriad of clues the sharp minded are honing in on.

We follow Coop/Dougie for the first 20 minutes of Part 6 as he ever so slowly bumbles through the life of Dougie Jones with the much needed assistance of everyone around him. Still nobody questions his odd behaviour. I have to admit I am a big fan of the Coop/Dougie story line. Many fans are getting frustrated by the slow pace and lack of Special Agent Cooper as we know him but I find Coop/Dougie so adorable and hilarious. The slow pacing ensures that every time we get a glimmer of the real Cooper peeking through the lime green suit I feel completely elated. It just wouldn't be the same if a few parts in he simply snapped out of it and imagine the pay off that will come if he does.

It also makes me wonder if there is more at play here then meets the eye. The One Armed Man contacts Dougie from The Black Lodge and urges him to "wake up". Could it be that Cooper is in a coma and the experiences he is having as Dougie will provide him with the clues and tools needed when he awakes to track down and defeat his evil Doppelganger? Ever so subtly signs that he is finding himself emerge. He ends Part 6 dressed flawlessly in his classic black suit and the guiding lights and symbols he is able to see are pointing him in the direction he needs to go in. Rather than get fired by his boss for scribbling ladders, stairs and circles all over the insurance claims he was asked to investigate, he has made sense of it all and I presume his colleague has been rumbled for foul play.

I'm unsure how anyone can complain about the pacing of The Return when in the following scene one of the most significant reveals of Twin Peaks is gifted to us when Albert heads to a bar in the pouring rain ("fuck Gene Kelly you motherfucker" has to be my favourite line yet) to find, who other, than DIANE herself! As he approaches a glamorous and mysterious figure at the bar, martini glass in one hand, cigarette in the other, she turns and we finally find out that the utterly brilliant and long time Lynch muse Laura Dern is playing this pivotal role. The faceless tape recipient is faceless no more and wow is she not at all what I expected. I'm really feeling her platinum blonde hair, multi-coloured manicure and Cleopatra eyeliner - she definitely isn't a typical FBI administrative employee, even judging by the cocktail bar she drinks at where I cannot imagine Gordon Cole would frequent for a glass of Bordeaux. I am so excited to see more or her and learn who the lady on the other side of the tape recorder is.

The following scene has to be one of my absolute favourites so far. We meet Red played by the divine Balthazar Getty. He sure is a guy that makes you wish you spoke a little HellooOoooOooo! The dweeby Richard Horne discusses drug dealing for Red in Twin Peaks and Red certainly puts him in his place with a concoction of intimidation, charm, karate moves and magic tricks. The coin trick he performs is utterly eerie and reminded me of Mrs Tremond's magician in training grandson who can vanish creamed corn. It's an impressive trick but threateningly inauspicious. "I will saw your head off and eat your brains" Red warns Richard but it's the fact that he called him a kid that causes Richard to throw a snivelling tantrum.

Just when I thought that Richard is actually a lot more pathetic and a lot less dangerous than The Roadhouse scene in Part 5 suggested, he commits an atrocity so horrific it's still playing over continuously in my mind. In the most heart wrenching and traumatic scene of The Return so far, Richard ploughs down a small boy who had been innocently playing with his mother before crossing the road. His lifeless, bloodied body is scooped up into his shocked mother's arms and Richard speeds off without a second thought. There are plenty of witnesses to the scene, specifically a school teacher with a penchant for pie who locks eyes with him as he speeds passed. Hopefully Richard will receive his comeuppance in an appropriately miserable way.

This scene holds so much more weight than tragic melodrama. The crossing where it takes place is the same crossing where in Fire Walk With Me, Leland and Laura Palmer were confronted in by The One Armed Man. We also see the same electricity pylon shown in the prequel film and many of the shots include the presence of pylons and electric wires. Electricity has been a strong, recurring motif in the Twin Peaks series since the beginning and arguably provides a pathway into The Black Lodge and other dimensions. Cooper did arrive in Rancho Rosa through the electric socket and when Phillip Jeffries visited the FBI HQ in Fire Walk With Me his dialogue was interrupted heavily by electrical static.

The tragic hit and run is witnessed by Carl Rodd, owner of The New Fat Trout Trailer Park - many have been confused by the location move from Deer Meadow to Twin Peaks but the sign suggests a relocation. Carl, played by the tremendous Harry Dean Stanton, was the last man to have seen Agent Desmond alive before he disappeared in Fire Walk With Me. He's a man who has seen things, "I've already gone places, I just want to stay where I am." he tells the FBI Agents who visited him 25 years previously. Now, Carl rides into town every day to enjoy a coffee and a smoke and get out of the dingy trailer park. When he sees the horrific accident on the crossing, he witnesses the boy's soul float upwards into the atmosphere and unlike all of the bystanders, is urged to be with the grieving mother, staring deeply into her eyes during her distress. This scene has left my brain in meltdown - the heightened emotion, terrible acting from the extras, mythical reference to Fire Walk With Me and Carl's role in this horrible disaster leaves a lot to ponder...

Lynch and Frost are really taking advantage of having no censorship constraints this time around. The hit and run is gruesome but it gets worse when a hitman known as Ike 'The Spike' storms into an office in broad daylight and stabs to death the woman who was attempting to arrange a hit on Dougie Jones. The juxtaposition of a mundane office, hip hop beats playing on the soundtrack and the bloodthirsty ice pick murder is truly disturbing. Next on The Spike's hit list is Dougie Jones so I really hope Cooper listens to The One Armed Man and wakes up before it's too late.

Part 6 ends with another magic coin trick, leading Hawk to discover what I can only assume are the missing pages of Laura Palmer's secret diary. If Laura did what Annie told her to do in her dream and wrote down that "the good Dale is in The Lodge and he can't leave" then maybe Hawk is the man who will find him. I feel that we have been left hovering on a gigantic precipice and events are about to turn really insane. Janey-E was right when she said "this is a dark, dark age we're living in". 

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