Twin Peaks: 3.12
This week's installment was a strange one. We got quite a few answers and we finally saw the return of Sherlyn Fenn's Audrey but it was also a very long and often baffling affair. We've seen David Lynch employ drawn out scenes before and there were flashes of brilliant comic timing this week, but it also, sadly, tested my patience.
It was really noticeable that part 12 was just a segment in one long movie, the next portion of the 150 page script that is the Twin Peaks revival. The end Roadhouse scene with new characters Angela, Mary and a man called Clark that had just been run off the road came out of nowhere, seemingly having no connection to what came before, though I assume we'll get some connection as the rest of the season progresses.
And Audrey, well I was torn between loving it and being completely underwhelmed by what was happening in her 'debut' scene. Any suggestion that her return would be linked to Cooper's 'awakening' or still traumatised by what happened to her at the end of the second season was thrown out as she was shown to be alive and well and living in Twin Peaks - just disconnected to everything else that was happening. She is apparently in a very unhappy, bizarre marriage to Charlie (Clark Middleton), is having an affair with the missing Billy and wants her husband to phone Tina to find him. Oh and there's a Chuck involved too. Fenn played the role with gusto and it was wonderful to see Audrey again after all these years, but the scene was just a mess of confusing narrative.
And she didn't even know anything about her (we assume?) evil son Richard. At least in that narrative, things continued to progress as Sheriff Truman visited Ben Horne to tell him about his estranged grandson's actions and ask for coverage of medical costs for the poor school teacher Richard brutally assaulted trying to cover up his actions in killing the boy with his truck. The Ben Horne of the revival is a much gentler, warmer character than the original series and we saw that as he reminisced to Beverly about the bike his father brought him. The fact that he refers to Richard never having a father adds weight to some rather disturbing fan theories about what happened to Audrey which I won't discuss here.
There was more talk of poor dying Harry and Ben handing Truman Cooper's room key from twenty five years ago; will this prompt his and Hawk's quest further? We also saw Jacoby again and his previously delightful broadcast that seemed a little more tired when repeated here. Nadine is still watching though - and I forgot to mention last time that she seems to have made a financial success of her silent drape runners! Oh and Jerry seems to have finally escaped the woods.
But possibly the best moments of the Twin Peaks-based content centred on Sarah Palmer. We saw her briefly at the beginning of the revival but she was more prominent here as we saw her haunted by what might have been a vision of the evil woodsmen spirits while purchasing several bottles of vodka in the supermarket. There was something very nostalgic in seeing Hawk visit the Palmer home to check on her, the infamous ceiling fan whirring, the familiar haunting Angelo Badalamenti score while Sarah was as tortured as ever.
The FBI scenes were the highlight of the episode, even if we did get another drawn out scene as Albert came to give Gordon news on Diane and was forced to wait uncomfortably as his boss's French date took an excruciating amount of time to leave the hotel room. The difference here is that Lynch's goofball comedy seemed to work, Albert giving the same, long despairing stare while Gordon seemed oblivious.
Talking of Diane, her allegiances continued to be questioned as Albert tracked her texts to evil Cooper and possibly fed her the information found tattooed on Ruth Daveport's arm from last week; the coordinates to Twin Peaks. I'm not sure that was a big surprise but it does give momentum to bringing everyone back to where the show started.
Where we finally got some big answers, was in the mystery of the Blue Rose cases. Albert initiating Agent Tammy Preston into the secret group, revealed the creation of a secret FBI / military taskforce several years after the closure of project Blue Book; the military investigation into UFOs. Anyone who has read Mark Frost's The Secret History of Twin Peaks will likely know where this is going but it certainly brings Brigg's investigations into the fore too, as well as revealing that the other three agents besides Albert were Dale Cooper, Philip Jeffries and Chester Desmond, the last two disappearing in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. This is Twin Peaks's very own The X Files and sets everything on an intriguing new direction as the show heads towards it end game.
There was no Cooper this week, aside for a brief but amusing moment as he failed to play ball with Dougie's son, but there was plenty of old faces and progression on the FBI angle too. Saldy, the reintroduction of Audrey seemed mishandled and there were a few baffling moments, making it a sometimes frustrating experience. Let's hope things take an upward turn next week.