‘Twin Peaks’ Season 3, Episodes 10 & 11: Cracks in the Ice

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Intro

As I suggested in previous articles, as the series progresses, we’re starting to get closer and closer to “Twin Peaks” proper, which is to say, the show is starting to feel more and more like the original series. There is indeed a method to Lynch and Frost’s madness, and, as I suspected, they’ve known exactly where they were headed with all this all along.

Granted, they might have scared off more than a few Peaker-come-latelys in the process, but that’s their problem. For the rest of us, it’s been one hell of a ride, and we’re inching ever closer to the payoff. I think I might have previously mentioned my theory that, like Deer Meadow before it, the town of Twin Peaks has basically gone to seed in the intervening 25 years since we last saw it.

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As with that town, as seen in the prequel film “Fire Walk with Me,” drugs have run amuck in Twin Peaks, the local law enforcement is powerless to stop it- and in at least one case, is actively in on it (that would be Chad, of course)- and it would seem that no place is safe, even the local park, where an innocent child is run down in the street. Violence pervades Twin Peaks, arguably even more so than before.

Back in the day, it was mainly Laura that was the victim. Her death, and Agent Cooper’s subsequent disappearance, has left the town defenseless to stop the evil from spreading, despite the valiant efforts of a few (the Trumans- one of which, our beloved Harry, is tellingly beset by some sort of illness- Hawk, the Log Lady).

As such, you can see violence almost everywhere you look. It’s in the trailer park, where Becky (Amanda Seyfried) and husband Steven (Caleb Landry Jones) fight tooth and nail over something or the other, riddled out of their mind on drugs.

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It’s in the suburbs, where a frenzied Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) assaults his grandmother and steals her money and valuables. It’s even in the local diner, the R&R, where a stray bullet delivered by a mere child almost takes out several members of a (tellingly fractured) family in one fell swoop. Hell, it’s even creeping around in one citizen’s car on the floorboards, spewing bile from its mouth like some creature from a Stephen King novel.

Critics of the show say this isn’t like the Twin Peaks we remember. Damn straight it isn’t. That’s kind of the point. In many ways, the show, whether intended or not, is a perfect metaphor for what the country has become in recent years, with everyone constantly at each other’s throats, where even the smallest thing can set someone off, and where violence is lurking around every corner, ready to explode, without warning.

I can’t even watch the local news without dreading that it will be all about the latest murder, shooting, assault, rape, and so on- and it usually is, and often right off the bat. Great TV, like great movies, often reflect the times in which they were made, and boy does the new iteration of “Twin Peaks” ever do that.

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It may not be overtly political, save perhaps the gleefully unhinged ranting of Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn)- which, cynically, is as much about selling a product as it is about his venting his frustrations with what the world has become- but it definitely feels of its time, where the original series felt a bit out of time, as if it were hovering somewhere in the 50’s or early 60’s, trapped in a bubble.

I think that’s what the naysayers of the new series are missing, when it comes down to it: that hazy nostalgia of times gone past. Here’s the thing, though. For those paying attention, Lynch’s work has ALWAYS been about the cracks appearing in the surface of a seemingly perfect façade. By skipping ahead in time, it’s simply allowed him and Frost to show what happens when that darkness pervades the very atmosphere of a place we all love, and not just Twin Peaks, either- I mean America.

I did a lot of theorizing last time out, but this time, we’re going to take a closer look at the characters and what they may or may not represent. First, a quick recap of the last two episodes, then we’ll meet up at the end for a summation of what I think the show is headed towards, and with obviously increasing speed and momentum.

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Episode 10

We open with precisely the sort of violence I was talking about, the first of a series of such scenes, as Richard Horne threatens Miriam (Sarah Jean Long) for daring to reveal to the police that she saw him speeding away from the hit-and-run that took the life of a child, and even went so far as to send a letter when she didn’t immediately hear back from them.

Richard explodes at this revelation, and breaks into her trailer and beats her, seemingly to death, leaving behind a lit candle and an open gas stove to finish the job and cover up any evidence in the process. As we will see, though, he didn’t succeed as much as he thought.

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He also calls up Deputy Chad to intercept Miriam’s letter, which he does- but is it the right one? As we see in the credits, Miriam’s last name is Sullivan, but the Miriam he pulls out of the stack of incoming mail is Miriam Hodges, I believe. This may be the first show in history that I’m aware of where you can actually glean clues from the credits!

I can’t remember if I mentioned that before, but it’s not the first time the show has done so, either. Indeed, me and my fellow eagle-eyed viewers also discovered who Richard Horne was that way, among other characters, one of which will surface in the next episode, marking the return of another original cast member that some of you might have missed.

Meanwhile, at the “new” Fat Trout trailer park, the lonesome serenade of Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) is rudely interrupted by a flying coffee mug, as residents Becky and Steven Burnett have at it in their trailer, over some perceived slight. But who did the wrongdoing, and who is the victim here? As we will see, Becky is maybe not as powerless and abused as she seems.

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In typically Lynchian fashion, the next scenario, which seems to be rife with the opportunity for violence, given the participants, is actually a set-up for some broad comedy, as the hapless Candie (Amy Shiels), out to get a rogue fly, swats at it with a handy nearby remote control, and accidentally ends up slamming it right into the face of casino magnate and accused mob boss Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper).

In almost any other TV show/movie, Mitchum would beat the crap out of Candie for her dopey mistake, but here, Robert actually immediately forgives Candie and even consoles her a bit. It’s implied that it might be because Candie is a bit slow, perhaps because of past abuse- brother Bradley (Jim Belushi) implies that she was a street kid and homeless when they found her- but nonetheless, he doesn’t do as expected. Few do in Lynch-land.

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Dougie (the indispensable Kyle MacLachlan, who is the only one to get his own boldly-listed credit at the end of each episode) goes into the doctor at long last for a check-up, only to find he’s in tip-top shape. So much so that Janey-E (Naomi Watts, also killing it) finds herself all hot and bothered for the first time in a while. In a scene that may rival MacLachlan’s similarly helpless sex scene in “Showgirls” for sheer comedic value, she all but ravages him in the bedroom, as Dougie grins from ear to ear and their son freaks out down the hall.

We need these two lighter-hearted moments after the grim violence of the opening scenes, and I think Lynch knows that. However, I also think he’s setting us up to think that all will soon get back to normal, when I think it will be anything but- at least at first. Note also that the two scenes in question take place in Las Vegas, not Twin Peaks, which is sort of winkingly ironic, given the city’s reputation. (It only gets better from there in the next episode.)

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After a brief interlude featuring another amusing rant from Dr. Jacoby, in which we also see that avid watcher Nadine (Wendy Robie) is not only the owner of one of Jacoby’s patented golden shovels, but proudly displays it in the widow of her seemingly successful business, “Run Silent Run Drapes” (a tongue-in-cheek reference to the war novel/movie “Run Silent Run Deep”); we check in with Jerry in the woods, still ranting and raving at his foot, which brings me such joy for some reason.

Note also the mention of red balloons in Jacoby’s rant, a recurring motif in the series, which has cropped up both at Dougie’s house and in the outside foyer of his office building by the enormous sculpture. In Jacoby’s rant it is connected with the soul- perhaps Lynch means it as a metaphor for Cooper being trapped not only in Dougie’s body, but in his own mind, to a large extent?

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In another horrific scene, which hit a bit close to home for me- I once witnessed a similar scene at a friend’s house, when his drugged-out, strung-out brother came home in a frenzy, demanding money and threatening violence to his parents before my friend ran him off- Sylvia (Jan D’Arcy) and Johnny Horne (Erik Rondell) find their breezy if surreal afternoon rudely interrupted by Richard, demanding she empty her safe and give him everything in it.

It’s a quintessential Lynch scene, as this horrific scenario plays out while a “DumbLand”-character-faced teddy bear drones on and on, over and over again “Hello Johnny, how are you today?” As Richard chokes out his own grandmother, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t give him what he wants, and poor Johnny, tied to the chair, jaw wired shut, so as to not hurt himself again, is left powerless and flailing on the floor, unable to come to his mother’s defense.

Note another recurring motif, in that the teddy bear has had its real head switched out with another one, making it the stuff of nightmares in the process, like a Teddy Ruxpin from Hell. This also reminded me of when my friends and I used to torture and scare my little sister by inserting a death metal tape into her Teddy Ruxpin and hitting play on it when we left the room, knowing she was about to come in and get freaked out by it. It would seemingly mime along to the lyrics of the songs, such as they were, which was more than a little creepy.

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Word of Ike’s bust spreads throughout Vegas, first reaching the ears of the Mitchell brothers, who decided to call off a hit on him to save themselves some money, in light of his being locked up; while it inspires dread in Duncan (Patrick Fischler), who tells lackey Anthony (Tom Sizemore) to frame Dougie for the insurance fraud he himself helped to perpetuate, thus setting him up to be killed by the Mitchell brothers. If he fails, then Anthony has to do the killing honors himself.

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In another sweet moment, Albert (Miguel Ferrer), having found a potential love connection in the similarly-bent coroner Constance (Jane Adams), has dinner with her- where the conversation is lively, one might say- as Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) gleefully spy on them, completely charmed by this out-of-character display on Albert’s part. Good for you, Albert. I completely support this ‘ship.

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Anthony shows up at the Mitchell Brothers’ casino to feed them some false information, as per his instructions, pinning the blame for his own actions on Dougie, who they already had a bone to pick with after all that money he won at their casino. Though they trust Anthony about as far as they can throw him, it seems to add up, given what they do know. Count on all this to backfire big-time on Anthony in the near-future, mark my words. In the meantime, the bros set up a meet with Dougie to see what’s what.

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As Cole doodles what appears to be a reindeer with a hand reaching out for it- no idea what any of THAT means, it could well be Lynch trolling viewers again or then again, maybe not- he hears a knock on the door. When he opens it, he sees a crying Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee)- in a moment plucked from “TPFWWM,” just after she discovers BOB was Leland, her father- which then dissolves into Albert, armed with some new information.

It seems that she received a text from Mexico (from Phillip Jeffries, maybe?) reading “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.” As we know, it was Mr. C. who sent that text originally, but was it to Diane (Laura Dern)? Given that the look of it changed, I don’t think so. I think it was sent to someone else, then Jeffries or someone else intercepted it, and then later relayed to Diane.

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In other words, I don’t necessarily think Diane is Team Mr. C. as some have theorized. Quite the opposite, I think. Given her reaction to him, I think it’s safe to say she has a bone to pick with Mr. C. and that she knows it wasn’t the “real” Cooper, and whatever he did to her was pretty bad. Be that as it may, she’s going to have some explaining to do when Cole gets a chance. For now, though, Cole says to keep their eyes open, their mouths shut and to listen close to whatever she might be up to. (More on that later.)

Tammy also comes by and has even more disturbing news. It seems that Mr. C. was also spotted at the New York loft with the glass box where the murders occurred earlier in the season. We see a picture of him meeting with at least one, possibly two unknown people, one of which is a bald man in either a lab coat or a trench-coat. The conversation here does not look very lively, but rather, pretty intense.

Clearly, formerly disparate and seemingly unrelated things are starting to slowly-but-surely come together, though I never doubted for a second that they would, quite frankly. The only thing I’m truly unsure of is how much of an explanation we’ll get in general for everything- or how much of one I really want. I don’t mind a little filling-in-the-blanks myself, but some might. I think Lynch and Frost will also lean a bit more in the direction of leaving certain things open to interpretation as well. We shall see.

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After a quick check-in with Ben, whose dismay over Sylvia’s report of Richard’s attack is palpable, possibly leading him to forgo his more righteous path in exchange for falling back into old habits- note he asks the married Beverly out to dinner after previously spurring her advances- we get another one of the Log Lady’s ever-mysterious and cryptic calls to Hawk (Michael Horse). I’ll do my best to interpret.

Margaret (Catherine E. Coulson) tells Hawk that electricity is in the air, all over. We already know that’s never a good thing, as the buzzing of electricity tends to preconfigure some of the show’s worst events, including the murders of both Laura and Maddy and the disappearance of Agents Desmond and Jeffries. On the plus side, Margaret says the electricity is fading…but what will remain?

She says that the Truman brothers are both “true men” and are his brothers-in-arms, as are the other “good ones” he’s been close to over the years. She says the circle is almost complete. I think that means that most of the players are on the stage, but not quite. Once they are though, then the real endgame can begin. But who is missing? The obvious answer is Cooper, but I don’t think that’s it.

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Instead, I think all of this is about saving Cooper and defeating Mr. C. and by extension, BOB. But they need someone else to do it properly. Maybe the long-lost Ed Hurley, who has yet to make an appearance? Or perhaps Audrey Horne, who many suspect is the mother of the wily Richard, with potential papa being John “Justice” Wheeler, or perhaps even Mr. C. while she was in a coma, who was spotted at the hospital by Dr. Hayward just before he disappeared, “checking in” on Audrey. We all know what BOB likes to do when he checks in with the ladies, and it’s nothing good.

Margaret tells Hawk to “watch and listen to the dream of time and space,” and that “it all comes out now, flowing like a river,” “that which is, and is not,” before informing him that “Laura is the one.” After that, we get another lovely closing song from Rebekah Del Rio called “No Stars,” which was co-written by Lynch himself, and may be a harbinger of things to come. Note that Rio also showed up to sing just before the shit hit the fan in “Mulholland Drive.” She also has a familiar design embedded in her dress. Oh, and Moby was there, too. (Maybe he represents the bald dude in the pic with Mr. C.? Lol.)

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Episode Eleven

As I suspected, Richard didn’t quite finish the job with Miriam, who creeps out of the woods, bloodied and unable to speak, in a scene that reminded me of Stephen King’s “IT,” though that just may be because that movie is about to come out and it’s on my brain as of late. Still, horror interrupting a group of kids playing? It’s all very Stephen King territory. Either way, this can’t be good for Richard.

We see Becky freaking out in her trailer about something, but she can’t do anything about it because she has no car. She calls her mom, Shelly (Mädchen Amick), who comes right over, only to see Becky storm out with a gun, who then proceeds to steal her mother’s car- with her still on it, clutching to the hood, trying to stop her, before Becky tosses her off of it like a rag doll onto the grass and speeds out of there.

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Carl helps Shelly up and summons the van via a flute, because of course he does- shades of the humming device that Major Briggs left behind for Bobby and company- and gives her a ride back to the R&R diner, calling ex Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) for help on a CB radio along the way. Becky, clearly following up on a lead she got from someone, rushes into an apartment complex and beats on a door, before a neighbor informs her that no one’s there.

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Nonplussed, she fires an entire round of shots into the door before rushing off in a huff. In no time, everyone in the vicinity has called and reported the fuss to the police department. In the meantime, we see the cowardly Steven cowering in a stairwell downstairs. Clearly, someone tipped him off as well.

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What’s interesting is who he’s with, which, as the credits reveal, is yet another old-school vet of the original series- none other than Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt), (step)sister of Donna and daughter of Dr. Hayward, she of the piano playing to wacked-out poetry and fairy tale princess outfits. Are the two having an affair, as Becky clearly suspects- or is something else going on here? Hard to say, but obviously something is going on, and it doesn’t look good.

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Meanwhile, back in Buckhorn, Cole and company arrive at the site where Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard) claims Ruth disappeared and Major Briggs appeared. He also claims that the location is a portal to another dimension, which it does indeed appear to be. As those creepy blackened-faced hobo/woodsmen type lurk about, and electricity hums in the air, Cole spots a swirling mass in the air, seeming to suck a flock of birds into it as he approaches the right spot.

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As he begins to disappear, he has a vision of the woodsmen types gathered on the stairs, coming towards him, before Albert snatches him back into reality, probably saving him from a similar fate as Major Briggs. We also see what appears to be a flame arise as this happens, as in “Fire Walk with Me,” no doubt. Fire will also come up again later on in the episode.

Albert spots a naked woman in the weeds. Sure enough, it’s the body of Ruth Davenport, as is later confirmed, only sans her head, which was already found. (Still no sign of the Major’s head.) Albert takes note of the coordinates scrawled on her arm, taking photos, as Diane spots one of the woodsmen sneaking up on the cop car containing Detective Macklay (Brent Briscoe) and Hastings.

The former cries out and Lynch keeps what’s happened under wraps until the last possible minute, as we see that the top half of Hastings’ head has been sheared clean off, killing him instantly. Macklay calls for back-up, and we discover that the location is 2240 Sycamore, which should have some significance to “Peaks” fans, for obvious reasons.

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Back at the R&R, Becky cries to her parents, apologizing for her actions, and admitting that her and Steven are a mess, but that he’s a good person who loves her and has never hit her, and as such, she still wants to work things out. Obviously, all of this should hit close to home for mother Shelly, who had a similar relationship with the dastardly Leo, so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Even worse, old habits die hard, as we see that Shelly, much to Bobby’s chagrin, has taken up with Red (Balthazar Getty), the magical drug dealer we saw conspiring with Richard earlier in the season. That can’t end well, either. Becky agrees to stay with her mother for the night at least, as Bobby vows to protect her if Steven ever does get violent with her.

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Suddenly, shots ring out at the diner, nearly hitting the family in the process. Thankfully, no one is hurt, but Bobby rushes out to find that the culprit is…a little boy, who discovered his father’s gun in the back seat and decided to have himself a little target practice, which goes over about as well as you’d expect with the kid’s mother. Note how still and grim the father and son were during all of this. Also, was it me, or did the kid look an awful lot like Dougie’s son? Perhaps it was intended as his “evil” doppelgänger?

Once again, this scene is pure Lynchian madness, as a woman continuously lays on her horn during all of this, unnerving the viewer in the process- or this viewer anyway. Turns out there’s a reason for this, as Lynch has yet another surprise in store for the audience. As Bobby goes to tell the woman to lay off the horn, she frets about needing to get to her destination, as she’s already late.

Then, out of nowhere, a zombie-like kid rises from the floorboards, spewing greenish fluid from its mouth. Is this a foreshadowing? A call-back to the kid that was killed earlier in the series, a nod that his soul is not at rest, given his untimely demise? (As we saw Carl witness what appeared to be the kid’s soul rising to the heavens, I don’t think it’s that.) Whatever the case, the woman in the driver seat screams as we cut to another scene, leaving that insanity to be explained- or not- on another episode.

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Hawk and Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) meet up in the conference room, where Hawk shows him an old map he has. He says he suspects that the messages Major Briggs left for them will lead to the Big Pine Mountains, literally the twin peaks of “Twin Peaks.” He says it’s a sacred place to the local tribe of Indians.

Truman notes what looks like a campfire, but Hawk corrects him, saying that it’s actually a symbol for fire, which represents electricity in more modern interpretations. He says it can be used for good things- but also for bad things, depending on the intention of the one using it. Obviously, this should be significant to viewers as well, given all the references to electricity in the series, though one has to wonder why this deus ex machina hasn’t come up before, as it would have come in handy earlier in the series.

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I suspect it is Lynch having a bit of fun with the viewer, given all the stuff scattered on the map, which also includes a little creature that could be the one we saw going into that girl’s mouth in the now-infamous episode 8. Hawk also says that the dates the Major gave them correspond to a constellation of stars on the convenient map, which lead to a specific place, which is marked by the symbol of blackened corn stalks, which represent dark, diseased fertility or death.

Taken together with the fire symbol, the two things represent “black fire.” Truman also notes the presence of another familiar symbol, that which we saw on the green ring worn by Teresa Banks and Laura Palmer, on the piece of paper shared by Briggs, and most ominously, on the playing card shown to Darya by Mr. C. just before he killed her. Hawk says that Truman doesn’t ever want to know what that is, and they leave it there.

The Log Lady calls and asks Hawk if they found something. He says they have, and it is helpful, but he can’t tell her what it is. She tells him her log is afraid of fire, and that there will be fire where he is going. That’s not good- in this case, apparently. Also not good- the fact that Cole’s hand is spasming like a “cat on a hot tin roof” ever since his semi-visit to the alternate dimension at the site Hastings led them to before his untimely demise.

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Note that the same thing happened to various people throughout the series previously as well. My guess is that it indicated that something is trying to get into someone, a la BOB into Leland, and more recently, Mr. C. That might not be good news for Gordon, now that he exposed himself to the “Zone.”

Albert says the coordinates on Ruth’s arm were partially smeared, but that they seem to point to a specific location, a small town in North…somewhere. We never find out, as Albert is interrupted by a cop’s best friends: coffee and doughnuts. Please also note what is at least the second occurrence of Diane seeming to whisper something to Cole.

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My prediction? Just as Gordon was able to hear Shelly’s voice loud and clear, despite his hearing loss, so is he able to hear Diane’s, who is imparting info to him on the sly about something or the other. I think this connection between the two of them is why Cole has noticed something off about Diane in the first place. The real question is: what in the world is Diane whispering? And why is she doing it that way instead of saying it out loud?

Albert, Cole and Diane all confirm having seen the woodsmen/hobo types at the scene of Hasting’s murder, with Diane pinpointing her sighting to the area of Macklay’s car, just before Hastings’ death, though Macklay himself saw nothing. Cole tells them about the vision he had of the same men at the site, coming out of a room onto the stairs. No one knows what to make of any of this, understandably.

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Bud Mullins (Don Murray) calls Dougie into his office, which gets Anthony’s attention. He says that Dougie’s investigation has led to the exposure of a ring of organized crime and possible police corruption, which just goes to show you can’t keep a good agent down, try as you might. This in turn explains why people have been trying to kill Dougie. Mullins says that the Mitchell Brothers were falsely accused of a crime and that they are innocent- their arson claim (more fire) was legit, and likely the work of a rival mob faction, probably the one run by Mr. C.

As such, Mullins directs Dougie to deliver a $30 million check to the Brothers, which the company is also covered for, as Mullins smartly took out a policy protecting them from precisely such an event, enough to cover the loss and then some. In other words, Dougie did good- really good. He informs them he has a meet with the Brothers later on, who, at this point, still want to kill Dougie.

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As Mullins escorts Dougie to the limo the Brothers sent, Dougie insists on stopping off at a nearby shop for some reason, as he spots a beckoning Mike (Al Strobel) there. They return to the limo with a big box in hand, and off Dougie goes to the meet. Of note is the fact that the driver is the same one that escorted Dougie from the casino the night he became “Mr. Jackpots.” The two head deep into the desert, which is rarely, if ever, good.

Once again, though, Lynch subverts our expectations. Of course, I don’t think anyone expected Cooper to die this way, but still, it’s a great scene, once again reminiscent of a funhouse mirror version of a scene in “Mullholland Drive”- the one with Patrick Fischler’s character behind the diner, as he recounts a dream he had and it proceeds to come true. Here, the outcome is much more favorable, obviously.

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In this case, it’s Bradley who has the dream, and he tells brother Rodney to back off when he sees Dougie with the box, saying that he saw Dougie with it in his dream. He says that if what he thinks is in the box is really in it, then Dougie is a friend, not a foe and they’ve been duped. They take a look inside, and sure enough, it’s what Bradley thought it was. Nope, not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head, but a cherry pie, naturally.

A quick frisk later and the check is found, and it’s celebration time for the Mitchell Brothers, who have their cash back. They take Dougie out to dinner, where he runs into none other than the old lady he helped to win cash that night at the casino, who thanks him profusely for changing her life, which led to her buying a house and reconnecting with her son. She informs the beaming Mitchell Brothers how special Dougie is and gives him a kiss.

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After a quick toast to, heart be still, the “pie that saved his life,” it’s time to dig into the cherry pie in question, and you just know what’s coming next. Given that this episode was previewed a day early at Comic-Con, I can only imagine that cheers that arose when Cooper muttered his signature phrase about “damn fine pie,” or at the sight of the pie in the box, for that matter.

There is a strangely melancholy moment in which Dougie/Cooper reacts to the familiar piano music coming from the lounge performer in the restaurant, but overall, this is a cause for celebration all around. Dougie now has some new, powerful friends, and I’ll just bet they won’t take kindly to anyone messing with him from here on out, least of all a certain insurance agent. That’s where we leave things for now.

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Conclusions

“Twin Peaks” is in full swing mode and the show is really starting to move. After bombarding us with a host of new characters, we’re finally starting to get a sense of who they all are, at the same time the show is closing in on the town of Twin Peaks more and more. What once felt like a bunch of randoms we had no reason to care about now feels much more alive and lived in, despite the limited time we’ve gotten to spend with each of them.

I’m reminded again of Stephen King, in the sense that few can establish a character in such a short amount of time with such efficiency as King. Add Lynch to that list as well. I can already tell that, as with the original series, this is a group of characters I’m going to want to revisit again and again over time, getting to know them better as the series progresses. And, if the series is renewed, perhaps we’ll get to spend even more time with them. One can only hope.

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I also like how, even with the “evil” characters, there’s no judgement from Lynch. Just as Becky refuses to judge her wayward hubby for his actions in one episode, before hauling off and doing some questionable stuff her own damn self in another, we don’t know everything about these characters, and until we know exactly what’s going on with them, we can’t really judge their actions. Well, maybe Richard. He’s kind of the worst. At this point, his being the son of Audrey’s rape by Evil Cooper and BOB would explain a lot, really.

I also love the sheer diversity of characters we’re meeting here. Sure, a lot of them are white, but they’re all different, and of different ages and each has their own vibe. Lynch has no problem casting the right actor for the role, even when they aren’t conventionally “Hollywood” and I love that. Legend has it he doesn’t have actors read for a role, he simply talks to them and decides if he can work with what they have to offer. If he can, he hires them on the spot, and often tailors the roles to their specific qualities.

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That’s pretty cool, and I’m sure the actors themselves appreciate it, given their effusive praise for the director and the unorthodox way he works. Rumor has it he rarely does more than a couple of takes, so as to keep the material fresh. It might be a tough approach for some actors that need a little warming up, as it becomes a sink-or-swim (or should I say scuba dive?) situation for them, but I get what he’s going for as well. He’s looking for reality in an unreal scenario, and by striking when the iron’s hot, he mostly achieves it.

Yes, the characters sometimes seem a bit like caricatures, but even that, I think, is intentional. It also makes them pretty damn memorable at times, i.e. the Log Lady, aka the “Doomsayer”-type character; Sheriff Truman, a “true man”; Lucy, the ditzy receptionist; etc. I love all of these characters, even the cliched or annoying ones, and I think Lynch has a lot to do with that by casting them correctly. It’s a great quality to have in a director.

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To say nothing of the fact that some characters we felt like we know even before we really knew them, notably Laura Palmer herself. Many questioned Lynch’s thinking at the time for doing what amounted to a prequel- albeit one with some sequel-esque qualities- in “Fire Walk with Me,” but it makes perfect sense in retrospect: Laura’s story deserved to be told, without being filtered through the prism that was the original series.

There, we only got a second-hand account of who Laura was- we saw her through other people’s eyes, as it were. In the movie, we got the full spectrum of who she was, and it wasn’t pretty, like Bobby pointed out in a memorable scene in the original series. It wasn’t a murderer who killed Laura, it was the town itself, people turning a blind eye to what they knew was going on beneath the surface.

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You can either step up, like Agent Cooper did, or sit back and play your guitar and groan to yourself as a coffee cup flies past your head, like Carl did. (Though at least he gave Shelly a ride later on, so better late than never.) But sometimes the worst crime is when “good” people do nothing.

One other thing I wanted to mention, theory-wise, and it certainly relates to character. Something Mädchen Amick said in an interview about the show stuck with me, and it’s that some people may not be who they appear to be. I thought she was talking about Kyle MacLachlan at the time, but what if that extends to others as well? Note Diane’s actions, for instance.

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I was recalling how, in the original series, a lot of the Black Lodge/White Lodge types had counterparts in the “real” world, such as The Man from Another Place being Mike’s severed arm, the Giant being the old bellhop and BOB being Leland, of course, and now evil Coop, aka Mr. C. What if that’s still the case? What if Diane isn’t really Diane, for instance, but possessed by someone else?

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I was also thinking that maybe Tammy wasn’t who she appeared to be as well. If you read the book “The Secret Life of Twin Peaks,” you know that Tammy annotated the book, with some exceptional researching skills. The Tammy we see here is certainly capable, but she also seems a bit off somehow. Might she be the Giant in disguise- note how tall she is, as was the bellhop- keeping an eye on things and making sure to steer everyone in the right direction, much as Mike is doing with Dougie? You never know. Something to think about, that’s for sure.

Only seven more episodes to go- we’re more than halfway home, people! Despite some complaints about Lynch moving things a bit too slowly for their own good, I actually like the pacing, and I suspect some will miss it now that things are clearly heating up and beginning to move faster. Remember, some complained that the show lost its “dreamy” vibe in the second season, but I suspect that won’t happen as much here, as Lynch and Frost seem to know exactly where they are headed with all this. Let’s hope so, at least.

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Either way, it’s been a great journey so far, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out in the end. Be sure to comment at the bottom of the page with any crazy theories you might have or any clues I might have missed. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another review. Thanks for reading!