“My log is turning gold. The wind is moaning. I’m dying.”
As with Twin Peaks itself, I’m unclear of the exact timeline here — of whether David Lynch wrote it in its entirety before it was shot, and at what point he knew Catherine E. Coulson was going to die. What a thing for Coulson to be brought back to televisual life after her own death, only for us to see her essentially saying her final goodbyes on-camera, as both actress and character rasped the words above. It was touching and terribly sad to see her essentially acknowledging a death that clearly was not far away from coming to claim her. The episode was dedicated to her character Margaret Lanterman, and a reader pointed out that episodes 1 and 2 were dedicated to Coulson, and it was a lovely mark of respect for a character who to Lynch was more than kitsch. All season there was something serene in the reverent and thoughtful way Hawk dealt with her. It was almost tender. Aw.
Where exactly was the romance this week?
A couple places. You could argue there’s romance, of a non-sexual nature, between Hawk and Margaret and the quiet affection of their goodbye. There’s a twisted romance to Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth, who are two truly awful people who’ve found each other and seem to delight in each other’s casual attitude toward heinous crimes. But the big hit comes courtesy of a lady in an eyepatch, just as in life itself obviously. Nadine is marching through the streets clutching her gold shovel, until she reaches Ed, when she delivers a very big — in performance and in feeling — speech about how she’s held him back for too long out of jealousy, and he needs to go be with Norma. Ed’s reaction is what anyone’s would be after the woman who represents his emotional prison marches up with a painted shovel and says the words he’s wanted to hear his whole life: Namely, “Whaaaaaaaat?”
Ed correctly diagnoses this as Nadine’s obsession with Dr. Jacoby’s Crackpot Hour, but she insists she’s just shoveling her way out of the shit and that it’s saving her soul and making her happy — so Ed should be, too. And she does seem happy. I guess two crackpots make a right. Ed, bless him, does not question this. The reality dawns on him and he immediately hops in his truck and drives to the diner, walking straight up to Norma and breathlessly telling her, “She’s given me my freedom.” Norma smiles and pats his arm awkwardly, then ushers her boyfriend past him and to a table. The confusion and devastation on Ed’s face… y’all, I had never laid eyes on this person before two episodes ago, and I was grabbing at my aching heart. He slumps into a seat at the bar and orders coffee and a cyanide pill, then closes his eyes and wishes it all away. But what ho: Norma is quietly dumping her man via selling her shares in the franchise, and she sidles up to Ed as he silently prays either for The End or for a miracle, and slides her hands over his shoulders. Overjoyed, he proposes and she accepts, and the joy that washes over him had me pawing at my chest again.
I know Twin Peaks was not done for me, the casual viewer who had no idea that these three had any history at all. But the fans did. And beyond seeing Nadine watching Dr. Jacoby’s Nutbag Show, we got no references to what became of her and Ed, really, and it took until episode 13 to realize Ed and Norma were not mutually fulfilling each other all these years. I know David Lynch prides himself on being unorthodox, but there are so many genre-pushing shows now that honestly it might be just as subversive at this point to tell a freaking story with some breath and pacing and agony. This little nugget of work was wonderful in its simplicity, but how much more satisfying it might have been if we’d gotten a bit more time to lament Ed’s loneliness and Nadine’s continued hold over him. In other words, sometimes, JUST BE A SOAP. IT’S OKAY.
Where is Agent Creeper?
He drops by the convenience store where the Woodsmen live — a store whose analog in the Twin Peaks world I’ve been trying to find, but I guess there wasn’t one. It just… is what it is, I guess? Agent Cooper finds it easily with Ray’s coordinates, and it looks almost unchanged. A Woodsman silently zaps Creeper into another dimension where the gas station suddenly looks more like really awful run-down condos in a desert ghost town, and there is a lot of Creeper being led hither and yon by various filthy guides, but the net is: Creeper is there to see Philip Jeffries. (“He’s at The Dutchman,” is what Ray told Creeper before Creeper shot him; is this “The Dutchman”? That’s a very strange name for a shitbag convenience store that is Satan’s way station and frankly The Netherlands may take issue.) Philip, sadly, cannot take the corporeal form of David Bowie, so instead he is a gigantic teapot, and now I am DEEPLY SAD that David Bowie never performed “I’m A Little Teapot.”
He’s also a sassy teapot. “Oh, it’s you,” he sighs when he sees Agent Creeper. Their conversation reveals: the scene in which Creeper shot Daria in episode one happened five days ago in Creeper’s timeline; Creeper remembers the 1989 FBI scene — which came back to Gordon in a dream last week — in which Jeffries ran in and said some weird stuff, though Gordon remembered Jeffries hinting at the two Coopers, and Creeper recalls him drawling, “We’re not gonna talk about Judy.” While Mrs. Potts puts Chip to bed, Jeffries rasps, “So you ARE Cooper.” Creeper doesn’t respond. And despite repeated screams of “WHO IS JUDY,” Jeffries doesn’t answer; he just says he’s met Judy before and shoots some coordinates out of his spout. Creeper seems perturbed, but GPS codes sound pretty helpful to me, dude. Lower your standards. “WHO IS JUDYYYYY,” Creeper yells over and over again, because I guess he’s never heard of Judge Judith Sheindlin. Then Mr. Potts-Jeffries vanishes from the room as a phone rings; Creeper answers it and it zaps him back out to the front of the store.
Where he is greeted with an unpleasant surprise:
Richard Horne is NOT going to be the one to bring down Agent Creeper. He’s just too… The Worst. Richard says he recognized Creeper at “the farm” — the site of the arm-wrestling — and that he knows Creeper is FBI because he’s seen the photo of him in a suit at Audrey’s house. And, yes, he confirms that he’s Audrey’s son; clearly he must think Dale is his father who presumably left him (given that we know Dale hasn’t been around), but he doesn’t know anything about Cooper/Creeper’s duality, so of course he thinks this is Dale. Maybe it is. Wouldn’t that be a twist. Creeper thoughtfully beats the shit out of Richard — I am not a proponent of violence but OH MY GOD that kid deserved it — and then tells him to get in the car so they can talk while he drives. Kyle MacLachlan is really, really good at this stone-cold chilly evil thing. I never would have guessed it.
Are we ever going to see Amanda Seyfriend’s character — Shelly’s daughter — again?
No idea. The last time we did, she was sobbing about her druggie husband Steven being missing and now we know why.
Steven is, as the kids say, tripping balls. Alicia “Gersten Hayward” Witt is trying to calm him down, but she’s doing a lot of crying and panting, so I’m thinking she would make a terrible therapist and/or medical professional. He keeps insisting he needs to kill himself and wondering whether he’ll see her in the afterlife. “Will I be with the rhinocerous? The lighting in the bottle?” he pants. (“You’re stoned. What did she give you?” Alicia asks at one point.) He also whispers wonderful compliments like, “I liked f**cking you,” and, “I loved your c*nt. Like, sometimes, it was amazing.” But, you know, just sometimes. Isn’t that what we all want on our gravestones?
Just then, a dog-walker scares her into scattering behind a tree. That dog walker is newscaster Cyril Pons, most featured I believe in season two of Twin Peaks, and he sees Steven with the gun so I assume that’s why Alicia ran. Otherwise, I am not sure why they care THAT much if they’re seen; literally only like three people in town appear to give a shit about either of them. Also, maybe don’t leave your suicidal boyfriend alone with his gun? Because guess what? We hear a gunshot before she can get back to him. I wonder if he’s actually going to turn up dead, or if it’ll be a failed suicide, or if he just shot his own foot in a literal or metaphorical way. It seems a waste of Amanda Seyfried to have fired up this story and then end it here, and now, without her? So… Shrug. When Alicia hears the gunshot, she freaks out in a way that suggests she TOO might have been tripping… oh, at LEAST demi-balls.
Cyril Pons reports the incident to Harry Dean Stanton and points out Steven’s trailer, but he left before the gunshot I believe.
Is poor James/Jimmy Heyward getting anywhere with Jessica Szohr?
Not likely now, if he ever was. Turns out she’s married.
And when Jimmy stops to talk to her at a bar, her husband Chuck pummels him until Jimmy’s friend Bionic Fist punches Chuck in the face, there is a thunder sound — a crackle; this show loves electricity — and Chuck’s whole face basically goes haywire. He foams at the mouth and everything. “His eyes do not look right,” Jimmy understates. He tells everyone to call 911 immediately, but this backfires because he and Bionic Fist get thrown in the clink with Bad Chad, Bleeding Billy (Maybe), and the sad eyeless lady who is still grasping at empty air in her cell. Yes, that is quite a sentence I just wrote.
Is Dougie Jones still alive?
Let me back up: Jennifer Jason Leigh pops by and murders Patrick Fischler and his assistant.
Fischler must’ve shot all his scenes in half a day, because he only ever sat at this desk and said two or three lines. Nice work if you can get it, eh? At least he got a glory shot of half his face melting off (needless to say I did not screengrab that one).
Then, JJL — blase as can be: “One down, one to go,” that being Dougie I assume — orders ketchup and fries from Tim Roth, and the two of them sit in the truck discussing how the Christian motto really ought to be, “Thou shalt kill,” and “Show no mercy,” because the government is a bunch of murders. And how depressed she is that she hasn’t gotten to torture anyone. “It’s no fun torturing a corpse,” she sighs.
She also REALLY hates ketchup packets with her fast food, so don’t even be playing that with her, McDonald’s.
Okay, but Dougie?
He WAS fine, other than maybe imperiling his health with another giant slab of chocolate cake.
I wonder how many spit buckets Kyle MacLachlah had on set. He’s been eating his heart out in just about every scene, and imagine how many takes each one required. I want to know if they had a giant dessert table JUST for Dougie Jones days, a la Mayor Lavon Hayes but with more repetition and less sharing.
Then, during an old-timey movie he “happened” to turn on while jabbing at the remote, he hears the phrases “getting the old gang back together” and “get Gordon Cole.” This is his response.
He immediately becomes drawn to the electrical outlet, beginning an agonizing dance in which he jabs at it with his fork. Until SNAP: He shocks himself.
And you can see from his face that even as the electrocution was happening, he was determined to keep jabbing it in there until he collapsed. So maybe Dale Cooper came to the fore once more and was trying to… I don’t even know, but with all the buzzing outlets and electrical pulses in Twin Peaks, I hope he shows up there and not in the Red Room again.
Next up: The sad farewell of Catherine E. Coulson.
“Watch for that one. The one I told you about. The one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain,” she says to Hawk. (Is that the eyeless lady?) Also: “You know about death,” she says. “That it’s just a change, not an end.” Compare that to Tom Sizemore saying he only wants to die or change, and note that Dale Cooper/Dougie Jones may have just tried to die so he could change. David Lynch seems hot on Death or Change right now.
“There’s some fear,” she adds. “Some fear in letting go.” Oh, it’s so hard to see her say these words. Rest in peace, milady.
Is Audrey Horne still preparing to leave the house?
Yes. In the same clothes.
And her husband Charlie seems DEEPLY skeptical that it’ll happen. When he reminds her that he has his coat on because she wanted to go to the Roadhouse, she acts as if she’s hearing that for the first time but pretending she remembers it. She never actually gets her coat on to leave. He keeps prodding her, and every time, she delays leaving to pick a fight instead. “You’re the one that wanted to go to the Roadhouse,” he says, and she just responds again and again with things about how cruel he is until he gives up and realizes she’s not leaving. Either this is just one long fight, or he’s her exhausted keeper and she’s stuck in some kind of mental loop where she’s living the same basic day over and over and they’re having the same fight over and over, and she gets closer and closer to leaving but never actually does — and he knows this which is why he’s so eye-rolly and aggravated and positive she won’t go through with it. I almost wonder if the whole Billy thing isn’t real and Charlie is just playing along with it to get her out of the house? I don’t know. Audrey is in a bad place either way.
That is a lot. Was that it?
Yes and no. Who the hell know why, or to what end, but Charlyne Yi showed up at the Roadhouse during the musical number.
She completely ignores the gigantic dudes who come sniffing around her booth, so they lift her out in this exact position and deposit her on the floor. Where she stays, overlooked like a piece of detritus from a night of drinking, slowly inching through people’s legs without anyone even reacting until she finally lets out a piercing scream. I don’t even know. Put THAT in your David Lynch’s Bizarre Treatment of Women On Film and in TV thesis.