Monday, 17 July 2017

Twin Peaks Season 3: Part 9

Apologies for the delay in delivering my thoughts on Part 9. Life, as it so often does, got in the way and although I watched it on Monday morning as usual, and then once more on Tuesday evening, the rest of the week was a blur of lots of work and lots of fun.

I did manage to find time to listen to the Diane podcast review of Part 9 and flick through the Facebook comments scattered across the various Twin Peaks groups and was honestly surprised to discover that a fair amount of Peakies were not wholly taken with Part 9. I have to admit I particularly loved it as it felt to me like we were really returning to Twin Peaks with some elements that reminded me of the old series and more time spent in the town itself. What seemed like a series of contrived story lines in the beginning now seem to be pointing in a similar direction: five miles South of the Canadian border, twelve miles West of the state line.

The first thing that took me back to Twin Peaks occurred when one of the three brother detectives dropped Dougie/Coop's mug into an evidence bag and that familiar Badalamenti jazz music began to play. I think this could have been a track used in Fire Walk With Me and I've noticed the background music slowly beginning to creep into each part more and more.

This scene was particularly filled with clues and symbols. Many pointed out that Dougie's boss Bushnell Mullins was clenching and opening his fist - a hand gesture used by Lil the dancing girl in Fire Walk With Me which indicated that the local authorities were likely to be aggressive. Bushnell Mullins is an ex pro-boxer so perhaps I am just reading into this a little more than necessary...

I couldn't keep my eyes away from the cowboy painting behind the three detectives as it reminded me so much of the creepy cowboy in Lynch's Mulholland Drive. It will be interesting if he appears twice.

Red shoes also held significance in this scene as Janey-E sported some pretty ballet flats and Dougie/Coop was mesmerised by some red stilettos trotting past him. The red heels look similar to the pair Audrey Horne sported in the first series and many fans are still holding onto the theory that Audrey will be integral to Cooper's 'awakening' but I like to think they more closely symbolise Cooper's journey home. Lynch is a great fan of The Wizard of Oz in which red heels were the key to Dorothy awakening from her post-tornado slumber.

I was filled with joy when, upon cutting to the Sheriff's department, a beautiful exterior shot of the building with a halo of sunlight peaking through the Douglas Fir trees, an oh so familiar guitar twang sounded. Yet another note of familiarity which filled me with nostalgia.

We were then given a heavy dose of classic Twin Peaks soap opera melodrama in a sentimental scene at Bobby Brigg's mother's house. Gorgeous Bobby, the bad boy turned good, visits his mother with Sheriff Truman and Hawk to ask about Major Brigg's visit from Cooper before his death. Betty Briggs wasn't surprised by the visit as her late husband had told her he knew that one day they would arrive asking questions and when they did she was to give them a metal container hidden in a secret compartment inside a chair. The gushing emotion of the scene and the sneaky hiding place containing clues brought me straight back to Blue Pine Lodge where Catherine Martell and the Packards would sneak around, unlocking secret compartments and concealed hiding places.

Bobby, who has aged extremely well and still carries himself like the rebellious teenage boy of his youth, knows exactly how to open his father's contraption and throws it against the ground until it reaches a ringing pitch which allows it to be opened. It turns out that it was about the bunny after all - The Major directs them to Jack Rabbit's Palace, a place where he and Bobby used to play when he was a child. It seems Hawk, Truman and Bobby will be taking a walk in the woods before long...

Away from Twin Peaks the FBI visit Bill Hastings and Agent Tammy Preston interrogates him about his blog The Search For The Zone. Matthew Lillard is absolutely tremendous in this scene, wailing about how he and the now decapitated Ruth Davenport were going to go scuba diving in the Bahamas. I was thrilled to discover that he and Ruth's blog really exists!  is filled with Easter Eggs and is gloriously old school. Bill and Ruth met Major Briggs during their attempts to travel to the other dimension which they were convinced exists. Those pesky kids were meddling in dangerous places and now Bill is in some serious hot water and Ruth certainly won't be sipping any sunset cocktails.

Outside of the interrogation Diane is acting weird... her bad attitude isn't shifting and Gordon seems to suspect something isn't quite right. He follows her outside where she is smoking and appears to be assessing her silently before caving and taking a drag on her cigarette. The scene could be shrugged off for being humorously awkward but Gordon is more intuitive then that. Furthermore, Evil Cooper makes it to 'The Farm' and sends a cryptic txt message to Diane 'Around the dinner table the conversation is lively'. Is Diane still loyal to 'Cooper' and continuing to work for him despite his questionable moral choices over the past 25 years and terrible hair style? Or is Evil Cooper stalking her?

After the wonderful mid-season crescendo from Part 8, Part 9 made me think that the stars are beginning to align. Although Twin Peaks: The Return continues to stand apart from the old series, it no longer feels so far away from that little town we love where everyone has a secret and nothing is what it seems...

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