Deaths, resurrections and reunions made this latest installment of Twin Peaks a rollercoaster of emotions for viewers…
This week’s Twin Peaks was a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with moments of elation, horror and sadness and a few twists and turns that left fans more desperate than ever for next week. But I want to start by talking about the last ever scene with the Log Lady, Margaret Lanterman.
Catherine Coulson was incredibly ill when the show begun filing, but her final scenes have been emotionally bittersweet. Her calls to Hawk, scattered throughout the series, have set him on the path to learn more secrets about Cooper and Laura Palmer, fulfilling her role from the original run. But it has also been harrowing to watch, knowing the actress died shortly into filming. These moments have been a gift and that culminated in this episode. Her anguished cry of “I’m dying” was heartbreaking. It was at that moment I knew this was the last time she would be on screen. It’s a credit to both Coulson and David Lynch that we got this final present for the fans.
On the other end of the scale, we had a moment so joyous I actually cheered out loud. Fuelled by her newfound spirit and golden shovel courtesy of Jacoby, Nadine marched up to Ed, told him she had been a selfish bitch and finally released him to go to his true love Norma. After that incredibly sad ending two weeks ago, my heart fell again when Ed marched into the diner to declare his love for Norma only for her to go off with her new boyfriend. Thankfully it lasted just long enough for her to get him to buy her out of her franchise and allow her to keep the Twin Peaks original RR diner. With him out of the way, there was nothing left stopping them and the shot of Norma embracing Ed and their joyous smiles made me (and I’m sure many Twin Peaks fans) very, very happy.
There were also some big moments in the tale of two Coopers this week. Bob-possessed Mr C travelled to the [surprise!] convenience store, first introduced of sorts in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and then seen blasted / created by nuclear devastation witnessed back in the 1940s in Part Eight. Travelling into the spirit world, we saw a mysterious mirror world where a female spirit guarded the door to a mysterious motel room that housed none other than Phillip Jeffries.
David Bowie’s death last year prevented his return, though his character, first introduced in the prequel movie, has been a shadowy influence. First the FBI agent who stumbled upon the Blue Rose killings with Gordon Cole and then disappearing, reappearing and vanishing again until his unholy alliance with evil Cooper was revealed in the revival. This episode saw Jeffries transformed into…a bell spouting balls of smoke and talking in the former FBI agent’s southern drawl.
It was frankly bizarre but not unexpected in Lynch’s unique storytelling. He managed to get around the lack of Michael J Anderson by transforming the Man From Another Place into a pulsating piece of talking flesh in a tree, so why not make Jeffries a talking bell? What we did learn was that Jeffries was not the one to send Ray to kill him, despite the what Cooper had been told. Jeffries also sent him on the path to find ‘Judy’, a woman he may have already met. And finally, evil Cooper met the psychopathic Richard Horne (his son?) who revealed that Audrey was in fact his mother.
As for good Cooper, we might have just witnessed his awakening from within his Dougie Jones persona. After hearing the name Gordon Cole while watching Sunset Boulevard on television, he became transfixed on a plug socket (his mode of transport for travelling from the spirit world / White Lodge) and jammed a metal fork inside, electrocuting himself. It would be a cruel twist if he died; I’m hoping Janey-E might find herself encountering the real Dale Cooper next episode, just in time to reunite with Gordon, Albert and Diane.
The episode was scattered with plenty of other moments, some more successful than others. Audrey is still arguing with Charlie; I have no idea if this is a coma-related dream or whether time is moving differently but Sherilyn Fenn is really feeling wasted here, even if she is giving a good performance. Absent Donna Hayward’s sister Gersten was trying to escape drug-fuelled, gun -toting Steven in the woods, while we really got to see what Freddie’s rubber green glove was made off when he smashed in the faces while helping James in a fight in the Roadhouse.
There was some great stuff this week with evil Cooper and Jeffries, but what I’m really taking from this episode is the long-awaited joy of seeing Norma and Ed reunited and the incredibly sad demise of the Log Lady.
Catherine Coulson, you are a legend and you will be missed…