13 parts into The Return and I’m worried I’m taking weekly episodes of new Twin Peaks for granted and when I think about this it brings on a sense of panic – how will I cope with life after The Return? If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way. The Return of Twin Peaks has truly been the greatest gift to me. I fear that once it is all over I will be burdened with withdrawal symptoms and my heart will be heavy with loss. Similarly, Part 13 brought a lot of heartbreak and emotional turmoil. As well as the best example of trolling fans in television history.
Part 13 opens in Las Vegas with some frenetic party jazz music playing and the fabulous Mitchum Brothers and crew doing a conga through Lucky 7 Insurance’s offices to present Dougie’s boss, Bushnell Mullins, with some lavish gifts as a sign of gratitude for their multi-million insurance pay-out. Cooper the marshmallow man is happy to join in the festivities and his ‘wife’ Janey-E is even more delighted when she receives a jungle gym set and fancy new car. Things are taking a turn for the worse for Dougie’s colleague Anthony Sinclaire who was supposed to be arranging Dougie’s demise. When he informs the mysterious and intimidating Mr Todd that he has failed and ‘Dougie’ is still alive and well, responsibility moves directly to Sinclaire who is given one day to carry out the deathly deed.
Luckily for Cooper, who continues to be pushed in more or less the right direction by those around him or the smell of a damn good coffee and cherry pie, some dandruff littering Sinclaire’s suit saves him yet again as Sinclaire takes his prodding at the flaky white spots as an odd massage which pushes him to breaking point. He pours the poisoned coffee (if Cooper had been killed by coffee it would have truly broken my heart) into a urinal and confesses the hellish trouble he’s gotten himself into to Bushnell who agrees to help him if he will testify against Mr Todd. Cooper’s been lucky so far and I don’t think he’s going to get out of this identity crisis alone. The FBI were sadly absent in Part 13 and I presume still drinking fine red wine in South Dakota. Will they ever reach Las Vegas and find the real Agent Cooper?
Meanwhile, Mr C is creeping closer to Twin Peaks, arriving in Western Montana at a criminal lair run by a big, hairless boss who is the undefeated arm wrestling champion of the gang. Compared to Mr C, these boys are merely playing at baddies. Ray has been holed up here after trying to kill Mr C on orders of Phillip Jeffries and is fear stricken at the sight of the cold and deadly Mr C’s arrival. In a truly arm bending backwards showdown, Mr C mercilessly toys with the boss man before defeating him with ease and killing him with one lethal smash in the face. The group of baddies quickly retreat - except for a nerdy looking creep who appears to be the gang accountant loyally checking if Mr C needs any cash before returning, presumably, to a cup of tea and some spreadsheets. Ray is powerless to Mr C who after extracting all the information he needs from him (that Phillip Jeffries can be found at The Dutchman’s) shoots him dead. Richard Horne, who could be the spawn of Evil Coop, watches with the rest of the bad guys. Interestingly, Ray had acquired the spooky Owl Cave ring when a prison guard he hadn’t seen before gave it to him before he broke out. Mr C knowingly instructs him to place the ring on the ring finger of his left hand causing Ray to enter The Black Lodge upon his death, the owl cave ring returning to its plinth. Someone needs to get that damned ring on Mr C’s finger before killing him and maybe that would banish him back to The Lodge?
This episode’s time in Twin Peaks is tainted with sorrow and misery, besides a glimmer of golden hope when drapes meet shovels in the form of Dr Jacoby aka Dr Amp and Nadine’s beautiful reunion. Nadine is still a giddy high school girl inside and the two appear a perfect match for one another. Unfortunately, it looks as though Big Ed Hurley is still married to Nadine due to the wedding ring on his finger and the unfortunate knowledge that Norma is still not willing to run off into the sunset with him. Instead, Norma is seeing a slimy business associate whose main interest is turning big profits on her famous cherry pies. She’s never been wise when it comes to the men she chooses to be with and poor Ed looks miserable and lonely without her as his lady. It was such a delight to see Ed again if bittersweet. He’s another original cast member who is looking damn fine after all these years.
Becky, the daughter of Shelly and Bobby, calls her mum with teary eyes because her husband Steven hasn’t been home in two days. We now know that he’s cheating on her just as Leo Johnson cheated on her mother all those years ago, leaving Becky at home alone in their miserable trailer. It’s so sad that Shelly’s unfortunate start in adult life has repeated itself for her own daughter.
Sarah Palmer vegetates at home in the dark with only vodka and cigarettes for company. She watches an old boxing match on the television which repeats the same sequence on a loop. She doesn’t notice or doesn’t care and it looks as though her life at this point has zero joy or purpose.
Even worse is the realisation that something is horribly amiss for Audrey Horne. Sherilyn Fenn really steps up the acting in this heart wrenching and troubling scene in which she tries desperately to remember who she is and what she is. She is completely broken and crumbling before our very eyes. Charlie watches her and there is something very sinister about it all when he asks her, “Are you going to stop playing games or do I have to end your story too?”. Whatever is going on here, it just isn’t right. Audrey appears trapped in her own mind as well as wherever she and Charlie reside and without her Special Agent to come and save her. It was desperately creepy when she asked Charlie if she was in Ghostwood, the dark forest of Twin Peaks where BOB lured Laura.
If all this trauma, misery and heartache wasn’t enough for one episode, Part 13 concludes in The Roadhouse with a melody that I know will make some viewers mute the volume in despair. I howled with laughter when the announcer welcomed the James Hurley to the stage and immediately knew which Twin Peaks classic we would be treated to. For years fans have scorned and stomped their feet atsickly 50s love song ‘Just You and I’ first sang by James with the assistance of Maddy and Donna 25 years ago. Now he’s back, having not developed the already flawless ditty in any way since its premiere, and has recruited two doll eyed Donna look-a-likes for backing vocals. It actually made me miss Donna so much! She was a really central character back in the original and the sight of Renée (yes that is Vanessa from Gossip Girl) weeping and gushing in her booth at the sight of the musical legend was just the cherry in the pie for me. Utter ridiculous, soapy, Twin Peaks silliness and I loved it. Well done Lynch and Frost - you win this round.