‘Twin Peaks’ Season 3 Episodes 12-13: Over the Top (And Under the Gun)

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Introduction

As we inch ever closer to the end of the season- or the end of the mini-series, if you prefer, as Lynch has said repeatedly that this is actually one long film rather than a proper season- all of the disparate threads of “Twin Peaks” have slowly but surely started to come together, albeit with a new wrinkle or five along the way, as well as the return of even more beloved characters (and a bit of familiar music in the air).

This time around, I want to emphasize the dialogue of the show, and the clever way Lynch uses it to draw viewers in and make them pay attention, even if they don’t have the foggiest notion of what’s going on or who is being discussed and what it has to do with anything. First, a brief synopsis of the most recent episodes.

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Episode 12

We open with a welcoming of Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) into the Blue Rose fold. I love how casually Lynch finally reveals what the deal with the Blue Rose cases is, and how straight-forward it all is, in light of how obtuse everything else can be. Despite the familiar red drapes all around them, the explanation of Blue Rose is anything but dreamy and abstract.

Basically, the Blue Rose cases are akin to “The X-Files” of this show, which is fitting, given that, in a very real sense, there might not be a show like that without a show like this, down to the supporting role played by David Duchovny, who went on to star in that equally beloved cult series.

The Blue Rose Project was formed a few years after the previously referenced Project Blue Book, which was shut down after the government determined that there were no UFOs and unexplained phenomena could be readily explained by science and the like. In other words, as Albert (Miguel Ferrer) states, the group’s findings that couldn’t be explained away were covered up and filed away.

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Enter Gordon Cole, who founded Blue Rose, after a woman who died under mysterious circumstances uttered it just before her death. He formed a task force aiming to get to the bottom of such things, recruiting a handful of people to take part in it, including, of course, Albert himself- the only one to date to have NOT gone missing- as well as Agents Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak in the “Fire Walk with Me” movie), Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie in “FWWM”) and Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), all of whom have been MIA at some point.

Cole and the others felt that answers to these odd cases could only be found by traveling an “alternate path.” Jeffries headed up the team, and the others were recruited over time. The group has been around since the 70’s, with limited amounts of success over the years, no doubt due to the fact that its members keep disappearing without explanation.

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Diane arrives shortly thereafter, and is deputized to help with the current case, that of what is going on with Agent Cooper and where he’s been all this time. Her reaction to this? She says, without skipping a beat: “Let’s Rock!” I shouldn’t have to tell you how significant THOSE words are to the show and the movie.

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After a brief scene showing that Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) has finally made it out of the woods, we check back in with Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), who is at the grocery store, stocking up on booze and cigarettes and not much else. Upon seeing a display of turkey and beef jerky, she flips out. Note that the insignia of the brand of jerky (which is called Albatross and dates back from 1942) looks like the one on the ring, on Hawk’s map and on the playing card Mr. C. showed to Darya before he killed her.

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Mrs. Palmer asks the cashier if she was here when they first came, ostensibly meaning the people who delivered the jerky- but maybe not. She remarks how “the room seems different” and that “men are coming” and says: “I am trying to tell you, you better watch out. Things can happen. They happened to me. I don’t feel good. I don’t FEEL GOOD!”

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Continuing to ramble to herself, she leaves the store without her stuff and the nearby stock boy offers to take it to her, saying he knows where she lives. Note how, unlike the opening scene, this scene could not be more left-of-center and obtuse. About the only thing we know for sure is that something would seem to be going down in this store soon- or maybe already did. We also know that Mrs. Palmer’s visions have a way of coming true, as per the original show.

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After that we get another series of brief scenes: Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) admonishes Kriscol (Bill O’Dell) for selling his blood to make ends meet, giving him some money and telling him next month’s rent is paid in full; and Dougie (MacLachlan) plays catch- sort of- with little Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) in an amusing sight gag.

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Next, Hawk (Michael Horse) pays Mrs. Palmer a visit, understandably, after the grocery store debacle. We get a few glimpses of that notorious ceiling fan being on, and hear some strange noises in the background, as if someone is struggling. Sarah denies anything is wrong, and claims to be fine now, and says no one is there but her, saying that the noises are just the TV. Hawk tells her to call if she needs him for anything, and Sarah says, ominously: “Something goddamn bad is starting, isn’t it?”

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We get a few more brief scenes: Miriam (Sarah Jean Long) has made it to the hospital, where she remains in intensive care; Diane gets a text at the bar, reading “Las Vegas?” She replies back: “They haven’t asked yet.” I’m more convinced than ever that she’s in cahoots with Agent Jeffries, but some think she’s on Team Mr. C. so do with that what you will.

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Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) breaks the news to Ben (Richard Beymer) about his grandson Richard (Eamon Farren) having run down that poor kid at an earlier date, and about the witness who saw it, Miriam, being in critical condition and in dire need of financial help for an operation that could save her life. Ben agrees to finance the operation and frets over his grandson’s state of mind “not being right.” I’ll say.

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Ben agrees to call Truman if Richard contacts him, but says it isn’t likely as he cut him off financially years ago. He also passes along the key to Room 315 that arrived in the mail to give to Harry as a keepsake- Agent Cooper’s room key. Ben also mentions how Richard “never had a father” in his life, leaving his ID a mystery. Could it actually be Mr. C., as many have proposed? Could be.

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The next scene is one of those that delight Lynch fans and infuriate others. We see Cole regaling a French woman (Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe, “Skyfall”) with tales of his past exploits, as Albert knocks on the door and asks to speak to Cole alone. The French girl, who is in town visiting a friend of her mother, whose daughter has gone missing, takes her sweet time leaving, to Albert’s growing and palpable consternation. It’s hilarious, but I’m sure it got on other people’s nerves as much as it did Albert’s.

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“Do you realize, Albert, that there are more than 6000 languages being spoken in the world today?” Cole asks, as Albert stares at him like he’s lost his mind. Unphased, Cole says, “Albert, sometimes I worry about you.” Albert begrudgingly fills Cole in on Diane’s mysterious text and leaves.

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Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) stake out the home of Warden Murphy (James Morrison), debating whether or not to kidnap him and torture him before killing him. Chantal’s hungry and wants to get it over with so they can go eat, so Hutch does as told, taking out Murphy as he arrives home with two shots from a rifle, one in the head, as his son screams out upon finding him dead at the doorstep.

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We get another rant from Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), aka Dr. Amp, this time about politicians and corporations being corrupt, as Nadine (Wendy Robie), ever the fangirl, continues to watch from the confines of her drape-runner store. “It’s 7 o’clock- do you know where your freedom is?” he glowers.

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After that, we get another long, drawn-out scene, this one dialogue-heavy and even more out there than the one with the French woman. Only this one involves a lady we all know: Mrs. Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn). It seems that Audrey has seemingly gotten herself hitched to the workaholic Charlie (Clark Middleton, “The Path”), but is in the midst of obtaining a divorce from him, only he’s hesitant to sign the papers, wanting to show them to his lawyer first, sensing something fishy about them. Or is all not what it seems?

Audrey makes it clear that she doesn’t love him anymore, if she ever did, and says she’s in love with a guy named Billy, who has gone missing. She wants Charlie to go with her to the Roadhouse to look for him, but he has paperwork to do and is tired. Audrey says she dreamed Billy was bleeding from his nose and mouth and is worried about him. She wants him to call Tina, the last person to have seen Billy.

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Audrey hates Tina, but knows that Charlie is on good terms with her. She threatens to involve someone named Paul if he doesn’t do what she says. Audrey says that Charlie gave up his rights to object to any of this, and he calls foul, saying that she is reneging on the agreement they had. Audrey says that indeed she is- and already has, in fact.

Charlie calls Tina, warning Audrey that she won’t be able to talk if her husband Chuck is there, who is “certifiable.” Apparently, Chuck stole Billy’s truck, which was found later on that same afternoon, so Billy didn’t press charges. Charlie is obviously taken aback by what Tina says in the phone call, which we don’t hear her side of, but refuses to tell Audrey what that is, which only upsets her further.

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My guess: Chuck is, in fact, likely her son, Richard- probably a nickname she has for him- and we met Billy in that scene in which Andy talked to a man about his missing truck, which had just been used in a hit-and-run, aka when Richard ran down that kid. I think Charlie is just hearing about what happened with Richard and what he did for the first time, and is hesitant to tell the already high-strung Audrey about it. The fact that Billy has turned up missing isn’t a good sign, either, which might indicate that Richard did something to him.

Back at the Mayfair Hotel, Diane enters in the coordinates from Mary Davenport’s arm that she memorized and is shocked to see where they lead to: Twin Peaks. Back at the Roadhouse, the Chromatics are on stage again, as two girls talk: Abbie (Elizabeth Anweis, “Some Kind of Beautiful”) and Natalie (Ana de la Reguera, “Narcos”). Abbie is surprised to hear that their friend Angela is involved with Clark, who she saw all but making out with Mary at the Roadhouse the other night.

Natalie is also shocked, and notes that she hates Mary, as does Angela, and that Angela will flip out if she finds out about it, having just lost her mom “like that.” She thinks Angela was falling for Clark, and will be devastated if she finds out that Clark was into someone else, under the circumstances.

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Might this be another name-game switcheroo? Could Angela be Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt)? Or could Becky (Amanda Seyfried) actually be Mary? And would that make Clark actually Steven? And the call that Becky received that set her off be from Natalie or Abbie?

A man comes in, frantic, talking about how someone just ran him off the road in his car and he nearly ran into a tree. He offers to buy the girls a beer, and we find out his name is Trick (Scott Coffey, “Mulholland Drive”), and was on house arrest up until recently. That’s where the episode ends.

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Episode 13

The Mitchum Brothers (Robert Knepper, Jim Belushi) are still in party mode with Dougie and come to his office with the girls in tow in a conga line, celebrating their newfound cash flow. They lavish his boss, Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray) with gifts, including a BMW, which they also gave to Dougie. Tony (Tom Sizemore) sees them arrive and ducks under his desk, calling Mr. Todd (Patrick Fischler) to inform him that their plan failed. Duncan tells him that he has one day to kill Dougie or he’s toast.

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Janey-E (Naomi Watts) gets the BMW sent by the Mitchum Bros, along with a flashy jungle gym for Sonny Jim that he has a field day with. Though she was worried about Dougie not coming home last night, all is forgiven by the time he arrives, and they watch as Sonny plays with his new, elaborate gym set.

Mr. C. arrives at the place Ray (George Griffith) is laying low at, the so-called “Farm,” much to Ray’s chagrin, having hoped he was dead. It’s a building in Western Montana. Mr. C. parks the car and the man in charge, Ranzo (horror regular Derek Mears, who played Jason in the last “Friday the 13th”) allows him to come up to where everyone is waiting, heavily armed.

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Ranzo challenges Mr. C. to an arm wrestling contest. If he wins, he gets to be boss, if not, Ranzo becomes his boss. Mr. C. has no desire to be the boss, but instead asks to be given what he came for: Ray. Ranzo agrees and the competition begins. Mr. C. wins, despite the obvious disparity in the two men- Ranzo is a massive, muscular guy, Mr. C. not so much- and Mr. C. then proceeds to kill Ranzo with one punch to his face, which caves it in and sends him crashing to the floor.

He sends everyone out of the room, save Ray- though one out-of-place bookish type asks him if he needs any money before Mr. C. sends him on his way as well. Mr. C. shoots Ray in the leg, then questions him. Ray admits that Philip Jeffries hired him to kill Mr. C. He said that PJ was also the one who set up the thing with Warden Murphy, and that Mr. C. has something inside him that PJ wants. BOB, maybe? Only BOB may not still be inside Mr. C. after what happened.

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Ray says that PJ made no mention of Major Briggs. Ray also has the infamous ring, which Ray says a guard at the prison gave him, just before he was set free. Ray says he was told to put it on Mr. C. after he killed him, which is obviously not going to happen. Mr. C. has him put it on, and asks him for the coordinates he wanted. Ray says he has them written down, but that they could be a lie. He gives them to Mr. C. and tells him he knows who he “really” is. Everyone watches as all this transpires on a closed-circuit TV. At one point, none other than Richard Horne joins them.

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Mr. C. asks where PJ is now, and Ray says he’s at the Dutchman’s, but doesn’t know if it’s a place or a person. Mr. C. says he does, and shoots Ray dead. The ring disappears and reappears at the Black Lodge, along with Ray’s dead body. Someone picks up the ring and seemingly goes to return it to the black Formica table. Mr. C. glances up menacingly at the camera in the room and leaves.

Back in Vegas, the prints on Dougie come back, but they match to one Agent Dale Cooper, a former FBI agent-turned-felon who just escaped prison recently. The Fusco Brothers laugh this off as an impossibility, given what they know of Dougie and throw away the results, chalking it up as a mistake, given that Dougie was both there in Vegas two days ago and too simpleminded to be an FBI agent to boot. As all this is going on, we hear a lot of screaming and ruckus in the next room which is never explained.

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Tony arrives, looking for Detective Clark (John Savage, “The Deer Hunter”). The Fuscos direct him to the back, where Clark is having a smoke. Tony asks him where he can get an undetectable poison, and Clark tells him he can get it- for a price. Tony warns him that the “operation is falling apart” and that “they’re onto them.” Clark labels him a coward, and the two set up a meet for later. Clark tells an associate that Tony’s cracking under pressure, and the man tells him that he’ll inform Mr. Todd.

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After a brief scene in which we see the Hutchens team traveling though Utah that night, it’s the next day, and Janey-E drops off Dougie at work in their new car, beaming at him. Tony is waiting for him, and watches, befuddled, as Dougie runs right into the glass door outside. Tony escorts him to the diner he bought the pie in previously and treats him to some coffee. When Dougie goes in search of more pie, Tony drugs his coffee with the poison he obviously obtained from Clark.

Dougie returns, noticing some dandruff on Tony’s jacket behind his head and grasps at it. Tony mistakes this for a kind gesture and grabs the coffee intended for Dougie and tosses it in the bathroom (“That bad, huh?” remarks someone in the bathroom, lol) into a urinal. He apologies profusely to Dougie for what he was going to do.

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He later confesses to his boss what he did, and that he did it at the behest of a Mr. Todd. Mullins says he already knew, and was going to report him to the cops if he hadn’t come forward. Tony says he’ll testify against Mr. Todd, and even the crooked cops that helped (presumably Clark and his associate). Tony warns them that these aren’t people to be trifled with, however.

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Becky calls her mom at the diner, worried that she hasn’t heard from Steven in days. She tells her to come by the diner for some food and they’ll talk. Meanwhile, Bobby comes in and joins Norma and another familiar face returning for the first time in this new incarnation, Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill), for some food.

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Alas, they are interrupted by another arrival, Walter Lawford (Grant Goodeve, “Dynasty”). We see that, contrary to appearances, Norma and Ed are no longer and item, and Norma is instead involved with this Walter character, who has turned Norma’s restaurant into a burgeoning franchise. While successful, Walter notes that, despite their best efforts, the other restaurants haven’t quite been able to replicate the exact taste of Norma’s famed pies, even with her recipes at their disposal. Damn straight they can’t.

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She attributes it to local produce, but Walter says that her ingredients are too expensive and wants her to start using the same produce at all locations, taste be damned, so that all stores can have the same tasting pies throughout and be more consistent. He also wants her to change the name of the Twin Peaks location to “Norma’s R&R Diner.” Shut your mouth, Walter! I already hate this guy. To her credit, Norma seems dubious of all of this.

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Dr. Jacoby passes by Nadine’s shop and notices the gold shovel prominently displayed in her widow and knocks on the door. She comes out and is thrilled to see him and the two talk for a while. I thought I detected a bit of a love connection there. Might Nadine and Dr. “Amp” end up an item, clearing the way for Ed and Norma to get back together? One can only hope. Lord knows those two could use a break.

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Back at Mrs. Palmer’s house, she’s getting drunk, watching boxing on a loop, seemingly the same scene over and over. I thought I heard them say Mullins at one point- might this be old footage of “Bud” Mullins’ boxing days? Perhaps the supernatural powers that be are pointing Sarah in the direction of Vegas, where the “real” Cooper is currently residing and working.

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Back at Audrey’s, Audrey is still trying to convince Charlie to tell her what Tina said, but he continues to refuse. Audrey says she doesn’t feel like herself, and suddenly can’t remember where the Roadhouse is. Charlie says he’ll take her, but that he’ll “end her story” if she doesn’t settle down, which she refers to as “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.” Audrey is all the sudden afraid to go now, saying it’s like the “Ghostwood” there, and bursts out crying.

My theory? Charlie is her psychiatrist and this is a type of role-playing they’re doing, a la when her father, Ben, went around the bend and thought he was in the Civil War and the South was winning this time around. Not entirely sure what the scenario is this time, but it might account for the changed names and Audrey’s oddball and out-of-character behavior. Perhaps the “LGWLDTL” reference is a clue.

I think that, if the theory going around that Audrey was raped by Mr. C. when she was in a coma from the explosion at the bank is true, and that Mr. C. is, in fact, Richard’s father, then Audrey broke with reality afterwards and has been struggling with her sanity ever since. I’m assuming Dr. Jacoby retired- it’s implied as such in “The Secret History of Twin Peaks”- which would make Charlie now Audrey’s psychiatrist, and the “contract” between them not so much a marriage as something like a guardianship putting her into his care, which she wants out of.

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We end the episode with an appearance by, of all people, James Hurley (James Marshall) at the Roadhouse, where he performs his greatest “hit,” the infamous “Just You & I” song that he once practiced with Maddy and Donna back on the original series. I don’t know if it makes James retroactively “cool” again, but it did give me the feels a bit hearing the song again, as it did Renee (Jessica Szohr), who you’ll recall asking after James in the premiere. She cries as well.

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Back at Big Ed’s Gas Farm, Ed stares forlornly outside at the nothingness, no doubt thinking of Norma. He pulls out a piece of paper and burns it, as the credits roll. Might his gas station be the same location as the ones we saw the Woodsmen gathering? Yes, it was said to be New Mexico, if I recall correctly, but maybe those creepy guys just like convenience stores and gas stations, no matter where they are. In other words, maybe this location is a “hot spot” for supernatural activity. We shall see.

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Conclusions

In a previous review, we discussed how Lynch loves to draw out a scene to almost disturbing degrees, seemingly to troll the viewer to a certain extent. But there is indeed a method to his madness, and it’s been there all along. As a fan, you either go along with it, or have to deal with it, because it’s been present in everything he does.

Another quality Lynch’s work shares is a sort of soap opera-esque vibe, likely inspired by Douglas Sirk, a big influence on Lynch, as well as the likes of Pedro Almodóvar, Wong Kar-wai, Todd Haynes and Quentin Tarantino. Sirk’s work is colorful, melodramatic and often somewhat over the top, which is a quality all of the directors I mentioned share at times.

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Soap operas are known for featuring a lot of exposition in their dialogue, ostensibly to “catch” viewers up on what’s been going on, since they don’t repeat. This is why they reiterate things so much. Here, Lynch flips that notion on its (severed) ear by referencing elaborate back-stories about characters we don’t know doing things we don’t know about, as if we should already know these things from having watched the show.

In doing so, it gives the viewer an uneasy feeling, as if they somehow missed something, even if they religiously watch the show and haven’t missed an episode. Think of that scene in the Season 2 premiere in which Agent Cooper awakens after being shot and is given the rundown on all that happened while he was passed out from a gunshot wound. “How long have I been out?” he asks, incredulously. Indeed.

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This season of “Twin Peaks” is like as if we were Agent Cooper, down for the count, and still recovering from being passed out for so long, i.e. because the show hasn’t been on for some 25+ years. Like Coop-as-Dougie, we’re still gathering our bearings, and everything seems a bit like a waking dream. We’re awake, but not entirely. Some things SEEM real, but others are more on the surreal side.

I think a lot of what has happened on the show is so weird because, with the disappearance of Agent Cooper at the end of Season 2, it has thrown off the general vibe of the town ever since. Even though Cooper isn’t from there, it kind of always felt like he was destined to be there, and his appearance had distinctive repercussions on the town itself, which was likewise never the same once he visited it, or even more so, since the death of Laura Palmer, the other key figure in the series.

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With both of them gone, the town has fallen to ruin somewhat, like Deer Meadow (aka the town in “Fire Walk with Me” that was corrupt and sinister) before it. Evil has taken root, infecting all that live there. It’s why such nasty things keep happening there, and why everyone seems even more off than usual and can seemingly turn on a dime, i.e. Shelly reacting the way she does to Red; Becky flipping out about Steven; Mrs. Palmer losing it at the store.

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There’s another reason as well: things are clearly coming to a head, and soon. As the Giant said: “It is happening again.” What it is this time around has yet to be determined, but you can be sure that it involves Mr. C. and Dougie and the Black Lodge, and likely Laura Palmer as well. Once all of those things converge on Twin Peaks, then expect the even more unexpected. Until then, expect, at the very least, the off-kilter. I wouldn’t have it any other way, personally.

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Sound off down below with any wacky theories of your own, and I’ll see you in a few weeks!