Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Twin Peaks Season 3: Part 11

When watching Twin Peaks in the UK on Sky Atlantic, before the episode begins, a lady announces warnings about the content of the following programme. Flashing images, scenes of a sexual nature and strong language don't bother me but when she announces "scenes which some viewers may find disturbing" I am worryingly thrilled. I think it's the thought that what I am about to watch will be challenging and quintessentially Lynchian due to the presence of unsettling imagery. This is likely also why I remain single.

The announcement from Sky Atlantic had me on edge so when Part 11 opened with three young boys innocently playing ball, I assumed they were about to be ploughed down by a speeding truck. Thankfully this wasn't the case but instead the disturbing scene took the form of a bloodied Miriam crawling like a zombie through the undergrowth. I was amazed she escaped her trailer where Richard Horne had left her in a pool of blood and with a burning candle and the gas on. She sure is a survivor.

After the disturbing discovery of Miriam alive and crawling, Part 11 continued on a kinetic trajectory. Becky, the daughter of Double R waitress Shelly, shrieks at the top of her lungs and begs her mother to drive over to The New Fat Trout Trailer Park so she can use her car. It's clear that Shelly will do anything for her distressed daughter but in an act of madness Becky screeches away in her mother's car with Shelly thrown across the windshield. I found myself nearly tearing up, my heart racing, at the thought of something nasty happening to Shelly. I really hold the old characters close to my heart and it was just too much to consider only 5 minutes into the episode. The scene was loaded with manic energy and reminded me of the screaming, car revving, furiously frenzied scene in Fire Walk With Me when The One Armed Man confronts Leland and Laura as they drive by. I could almost smell the burnt engine oil.

Shelly's red heels go flying into the air but Shelly lands like a cat with 9 lives and the wonderful Carl comes to her rescue. With one toot on his whistle, his van (complete with radio link to the Sheriff's department) arrives. It came as no surprise that although Shelly and Bobby are no longer together, Becky is their daughter and the two had been or still are married. Bobby seems such a well adjusted and brilliant man now, it's a great shame their relationship together ended.

Becky storms into the apartment building where her no-good husband Stephen is doing the dirty with none other than supper club goody two shoes Gersten Hayward played by Alicia Witt. The two hide down stairs whilst Becky fires shots into Gersten's apartment door in a rage. I'm not sure what the women of Twin Peaks find appealing about drug addled Stephen but perhaps being such a small town there are slim pickings in the eligible bachelor department (although still an abundance of beautiful women).

Later at a beautifully neon lit Double R Diner Becky sits with her parents who hope to find a solution to her ongoing relationship problems. Bobby proves that he really has changed his ways and matured into a fair, hard working and caring individual who his father would have been proud of. He's got to be the most desirable man in town but Shelly's lustful heart now belongs to the coin tossing smoothy Red. As soon as Shelly sees him at the diner window she ditches the family crisis meeting without a word and dashes off to make out with her beau, leaving Bobby to demonstrate those puppy dog eyes to full effect. Bobby has changed but Shelly is still as boy crazy as ever.

The diner scene dissolves into chaos when a gunshot is fired right into the diner and Deputy Bobby Briggs dashes outside to investigate. A little boy found the gun in the back of his parents car and let it off accidentally, although he stares down Bobby as if he is the spawn of Satan. Bobby is perplexed by the punk attitude of the child and his colleague Jesse turns up to assist with the ensuing chaos. A ridiculously outraged woman who has absolutely no chill will not stop honking her car horn and is outraged by the hold up the scene has caused. She babbles on about how she is visiting a relative and someone being sick when suddenly a hideously vile girl lurks into the shot from the passenger seat, green bile leaking from her mouth. It was a "I hate to admit this, but I don't understand this situation at all" moment and all I can think is that the Sparkle drug doing the rounds, causing itchy armpit rashes, may be the cause...???

Elsewhere in Twin Peaks, Hawk and Frank observe an old and beautiful map of the area, littered with symbols and which Hawk describes as a living thing. The funny little black bob with ears hovers above the Twin Peaks mountains and Hawk warns Frank that he should never want to know what it represents. We know this is what Mr C is looking for and The Log Lady calls Hawk to warn him "There's fire where you are going". I don't think it will be too long before Mr C and his crew show up in Twin Peaks and I hope Hawk, who seems to be making the most investigative progress, will be ready for the perils that loom ahead.

Their meeting is interrupted by Jesse who wants to show off his new car to the Sheriff. Jesse's appearance at both the crime scene outside the Double R Diner, and at the Sheriff's department leads me to conclude that we cannot presume that anything we see is on the same timeline. It makes no sense for Jesse to appear in both scenes and seemed a clear indication that events are not occurring simultaneously.

In Buckhorn, South Dakota, the FBI take Bill Hastings to 2240 Sycamore, the destination where he saw Major Briggs. This desolate spot is a hotbed of other worldly activity. Both Gordon and Albert spot a shadowy woodsmen lurking nearby who creeps up on Bill and crushes his head into a bloody mess. Unlike Miriam, I think it's safe to say that he is 100% dead (thanks to Gordon for the confirmation) and I will be terribly sorry not to see him again. Matthew Lillard has been a wonderful addition to the Twin Peaks family. Bill's partner, Ruth Davenport's headless corpse lies decomposing nearby. A sad fate for the curious couple who took their hobby too far.

Gordon ventures the furthest forward and witnesses a vortex in the sky. Through the vortex he sees three shadowy woodsmen standing on a staircase staring at him. The staircase somewhat resembles the staircase in Laura Palmer's home and the wallpaper looks like the murky floral pattern of the walls in the nightmare Laura has in Fire Walk With Me. Gordon is nearly sucked in but Albert grabs him back just in time. Without doubt, this long shot that shows Gordon waving his arms in the air at the vortex which can only be seen by him, is my favourite shot of The Return so far:

Back at the police station the FBI crew indulge in the "policeman's dream" combination of coffee and donuts. Gordon's hand is shaking just like the townsfolk's hands shook in Season 2 when BOB's spirit was on the loose. And Diane is certainly proving to be suspicious. She says nothing when she sees the woodsman stalking Bill Hastings and can be seen taking notes of the co-ordinates written on Ruth Davenport's arm when Albert shows them to Cole. These are very important co-ordinates - they were given to Bill and Ruth by Major Briggs before he floated up into the air saying the words "Cooper, Cooper". I suspect they will lead the team closer to Twin Peaks and The Black Lodge entrance but I presume Mr C, who likely killed Ruth Davenport, might already be on his way.

Part 11 ends with a show down in the dessert. The Mitchum Brothers begin their day leisurely in the middle of the afternoon. They take their coffee and breakfast in silk pyjamas and discuss the murder they are soon to commit at 5.30pm when they will finally meet Dougie Jones, the man who has been declared their enemy. Cooper is gormlessly sent in the right direction for his meeting by his boss Bud Mullins who sticks a $30 million insurance pay out cheque for the brothers into Cooper's suit pocket. Bud isn't the only one looking out for Coop, The One Armed Man beckons him to collect a mysterious box to bring along with him.

As the brothers wait for the arrival of their so called enemy, Bradley obsesses over a dream he had. In his dream Rodney's cut from Candie's remote control slap had miraculously healed and low and behold so it has in reality. Rodney is sceptical but when Bradley sees 'Dougie' carrying a brown box he pleads with him to listen - if a CHERRY PIE is in that box then Dougie Jones is not their enemy. This was a wonderful scene - Bradley and Rodney are fantastic together. They are the epiphany of those charismatic yet deadly gangsters I have loved from Scorsese films yet utterly hilarious in the strange story lines Lynch and Frost put them in. When it is revealed to be iconic cherry pie in the box I squealed with delight.

To celebrate their new found $30 million fortune and friendship with the slow but pleasant 'Dougie Jones', the Mitchum Brothers take him out to a swanky restaurant to drink champagne and eat more damn fine cherry pie. A pianist plays in the corner and one note in particular stirs some familiarity in Cooper who for just a split second looks like he might be about to snap out of his Dougie coma. But nope, we'll have to wait. Someone else has had a transformation though, the mad old lady from the Casino who gave Coop the Mr Jackpots nickname returns dripping in jewels and dressed up like a Hollywood star. It looks to me like money probably can buy you happiness, and so can cherry pie.

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