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You’ve already met Judy.

Television

Twin Peaks
3.15: There’s some fear in letting go.

 

Just two episodes ago, Big Ed was nursing a solitary late-night cup-a-soup and looking as if nothing could ever come right. And even here, it seems as if, having finally been finally let off the leash by Nadine, he’ll be reduced to a coffee and cyanide. So the reparatory hand on his shoulder, signalling Norma is ready to be there with him for evermore, seems too good to be true. I’m wary that Lynch and Frost won’t just pull the rug from under them, and how long Nadine, who thanks to Dr Amp shows no fear in letting go, will remain in her golden, shovelled-up state.

I particularly enjoyed Wendy Robie’s delivery of “But I’ve been a SELFISH BITCH to you all these years”, and several of the characters here – Nadine, Big Ed, Hawk – are proving much more effective in this second wind of the series than they ever did first time round. Michael Horse has a great face for stoic rumination now. But not a horse face.

Hawk’s phone conversations – I say conversations; really, they’re monologues to which he listens attentively – with the very frail Margaret Lanterman have punctuated this season in a quietly affecting manner, and this, her final one, as the Log Lady faces death, even more so. It’s thus a consolation to be helped along by Hawk’s studied reserve. There’s one final clue (“Watch for that one. The one I told you about. The one under the moon, on Blue Pine Mountain”), and then Margaret’s log is turning gold (nothing to do with Dr Amp).

The episode needs these spots of reflection and connection, as elsewhere Twin Peaks (the town) is in violent disarray. We see significantly more of Gersten Hayward but in the most distressing of situations. Partly because she’s with Steve Burnett, and partly because… Well no, entirely because she’s with Steve Burnett, who evidently has a mystifying lure with the ladies. It’s said that if you don’t see a body on a show, you can’t count on the person being dead, so I’ll believe Steve blew his brains out when I see them. As to what they’re discussing, barely coherently, either he’s just completely fried (which he is) or he’s also possibly done something really bad to someone. Really bad.

It was gratifying to see Freddie and his magic glove come to James’ rescue in the Bang Bang Bar. Given the latter’s forward manner, I can only assume that motorbike accident had a subtly adverse effect on his faculties, as he seems oblivious to hubby Chuck when making his introductions Renee (“I was just trying to be polite”). I’m unclear quite why he gets locked up with Freddie, though, since he didn’t render anyone senseless and foaming at the mouth with a fistful of green marigold. Still, it’s quite the gang in there; Mr Echo the Souse, Naido the Monkey Girl, Grumpy Chad, Poor Earnest James and The Green Glovelet. A sequel to The Usual Suspects could be in the works.

CharlieAre you going to put your coat on, or are you going to talk me to death right here on the threshold?

I hadn’t hitherto paid much credence to the popular fan suggestion that Audrey is still in a coma – when exactly is she supposed to have entered this coma, with a son in the scenario? After Evil Coop raped her? – but as her prevarication over leaving her house/mind continues, the idea becomes teasingly more feasible. Which would be a shame, as I don’t want Charlie to disappear in a puff of logic. And also because, as brutally unkind as Lynch and Frost are giving us this version of Audrey, the raped, comatose one sounds even more cruelly devised.

Aside from Chantal and Hutch tying up one of their two loose ends (Todd dies in a splatter of digitally exploding head), the other non-Coop moment of note comes in the last scene as a girl (Ruby, played by Charlyne Yi) is forcibly removed from her stall at the Bang Bang Bar by bikers and proceeds to crawl across the floor before screaming in a manner reminiscent of Laura Palmer in Fire Walk with Me. Which seems about right. I’m not sure how more I could have taken of The Veils either.

I wonder a bit about Chantal and Hutch. Much as I like Roth and Leigh, their characters don’t really click; they’re kind of sub-Tarantino – intentionally? – right down to banal discussions of violence (torture) and philosophical conversations instead of pop culture ones (although they do discuss fast food). Maybe it’s just because they’re both veterans of his productions.

Evil CoopWho is Judy? WHO IS JUDY?

So, Phillip Jefferies is a big steaming kettle (a full body suit iron lung?), puffing out numbers. It was a safe bet that Jefferies would be reincarnated, but who could have foreseen this? Or his rather lacklustre voice double (Nathan Frizzell; I particularly didn’t appreciate the overdubbing of the Fire Walk With Me scene)? Jefferies’ presence is just as mystifying to Evil Coop as it is to us by the look of it, since his confident, in-control manner is replaced by confusion and frustration. Is PJ Just fucking with Evil Coop (“Did you call me five days ago?” asks Evil Coop. “I don’t have your number” replies the kettle)? And if not, who did get him on the blower? Why does Coop want to ask Jefferies about Judy now after all these years, other than it being the first chance Lynch and Frost have had to address the subject? Apparently, Coop has already met Judy, but have we?

It’s a conversation that doesn’t reveal much. Even less how the convenience store – I’m presuming it’s the Dutchman – gets around. At least, I assumed it was dematerialising, TARDIS-like, to pop up somewhere else, but perhaps it just dwindles in and out of phase like its dirty tramp inhabitants (one of whom bears a passing resemblance to Alice Cooper circa Prince of Darkness) and remains geographically in the same place.

Janey-EOh, Dougie. It’s like all our dreams are coming true.

The Sky TV placeholder photo for this episode showed Coop in the Red Room, so I was a little disappointed he didn’t end up back there. Is sticking a fork in an electrical socket his ticket back there? Or will the electric charge cause him to revert to Coop in time for Chantal and Hutch’s visit? Even if he doesn’t, savant Coop will surely somehow persevere.

I’m wondering if Sunset Boulevard has any greater significance on the proceedings than an incidental character having the name Gordon Cole (it is, after all, narrated by a dead person – one theory has the entire season taking place in Audrey’s head, like Bobby Ewing on acid, which I don’t really buy, not least because it would retrospectively diminish scenes such as the Log Lady’s passing). Possibly not, any more than Chantal being able to see Mars. Or spending several minutes watching Coop eating chocolate cake. My favourite scene of the episode, though, returns us to the magnificent ineptitude of the Vegas FBI office, and Special Agent Randall Headley’s fury at Agent Wilson’s inability to locate the correct Dougie Jones (“WILSON!”)

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