“I only want to die or change.”
Tom Sizemore here gets the Matthew Lillard treatment: He’s an actor that time has mostly forgotten, handed a juicy but brief role that ends in comedic groveling and tears and no shortage of sniveling. (He is, at least for now, spared a cranial explosion.) And he’s the one who utters the above line, giving the show an undercurrent of whether either of these things is ever exactly voluntary. Life, especially in David Lynch’s world, is sometimes violently taken. But is change ever entirely sincere, or is it equally forced? Tom Sizemore’s character only faces up to his morality when backed into a corner. Audrey Horne changed, but only through skirting death; ditto, in some form or another, for Dale Cooper. Other Twin Peaks characters seem doomed to die rather than change — Shelly, Ben Horne perhaps, Sarah Palmer; Norma has been encouraged to change, but is wary — and poor Dougie Jones changed without anyone even seeming to notice, and of course, it’s because he was dead. I don’t know if David Lynch sees those two things as inexorably tied — change being simply the death of what once was — or if he’s just ruminating on the nature and sincerity of change, or… if he just wrote a pithy line, amusingly delivered by a sniveling man.
Okay, onto the recap.
What’s Dougie doing in Las Vegas these days?
Conga-ing. Well, sort of.
These imbeciles — or Jimbeciles, since Mr. Belushi is part of it — are dancing through town giving presents to everyone who abetted their $30 million windfall. I’m not totally sure how they got RoboDougie to participate in a conga line, but I guess if you can get him to near-climax over coffee and ACTUAL climax if you are Janey-E, then anything is possible.
Speaking of Janey-E, she gets a brand new BMW out of this, and we all know how she feels about the quality of car they drive. She’s practically got stars in her eyes, and asserts her love for Dougie over that and the delivery of a new playground for poor Sonny Jim:
This still makes the playground seem way more fun than it did during the episode. There are lights and music, and Sonny Jim trotting around that thing looked so bizarre — like he’d been given a jungle gym for someone three years or so younger, but is so bored that he was like, “Sure, fine. Nothing else to do but go around in circles here.”
Tom Sizemore, meanwhile, realizes that his scheme to have the Jimbeciles kill Dougie has backfired, and Patrick Fischler basically tells him to f’ing go ahead and DO IT HIMSELF THEN (also, his name is Duncan Todd, which I misremembered as Donald Todd, as in Don Todd’s Monster Golf Safari — a program that I kind of wish David Lynch would decide to make). So Tom makes like Vizzini and poisons Dougie’s coffee, but Dougie is saved by the seductive scent of cherry pie. When Dougie returns to the table, there is some kind of stardust on Tom Sizemore’s back, so Dougie gives him a celestial massage — it amounts to some gentle tapping, like he’s playing a very tender piano — and Tom Sizemore breaks down into anxious tears and dumps the coffee into the urinal. He then confesses to his boss all about his various crimes, and the near-murder, and his boss is like, “WELL your sadness makes you mildly less gross to me.” He also praises Dougie for effectively saving his life and his soul. The moral of the story is, you clearly cannot drink the coffee in front of Dougie, and that Tom Sizemore would be terrible in the revenge game.
I could swear there is a fraction more hardness and judgment to Dougie’s features as he listens to Tom’s confession, as if Dale Cooper is clawing his way back somehow.
Meanwhile, the cops in Las Vegas are bumbling dummies. They seem mildly amused by some all-out screaming in the interrogation room, but mostly ignore everything around them — including the scintillating information that Dougie Jones’s fingerprints match those of both a dead FBI agent and a recent escapee from federal prison. They laugh and laugh and laugh and then throw that in the trash, assuming it’s a hysterical mistake. So I guess the moral of THIS story is, commit all the crimes you can in Las Vegas.
Oh, but the police chief — I think — was in cahoots with Tom Sizemore and Patrick “Duncan Todd” Fischler, against whom the repentant Tom weepily promised his boss he’d testify. We’ll see if you live long enough, Todd. People’s heads tend to blow up on this show an awful lot.
How is Audrey Horne doing?
I have no idea how much time is meant to have passed. But we pick up with Audrey screeching at Charlie about what was said on that phone call, and she’s wearing the same clothes from the previous scene. However, it feels from Charlie’s demeanor as if perhaps they’ve gone around on this one a few times since, and when tells Audrey she’s supposed to go to The Roadhouse to see if Billy is there, she freaks out because she can’t figure out how to get there or where it is. She’s at a constant heightened state of upset. Charlie gets her to sit down by offering to tell her “the story of the little girl who lived down the lane,” which grips her with fear and indecision about whether to leave the house or stay. Charlie seems worn out, slightly impatient, but very… tolerant, like someone who might have lived this day several times over. So possibly, we’re sensing that Audrey did not escape that years-ago explosion mentally intact. Poor Audrey. Just wait until she finds out that she MIGHT have a shibird of a son named Richard with a demon Cooper.
Did anyone buy a gold-sprayed shovel?
Doctor Jacoby is so excited to see it in Nadine’s shop window — “RUN SILENT, RUN DRAPES,” it’s called; not that catchy, Nadine — that he screeches to a halt, and the two of them joyfully reconnect, as if they haven’t seen each other in eons (which, perhaps they haven’t, if he’s been out in the woods digging himself out of the shit for fun and profit). He’s delighted that she’s such a huge fan, and she shows off the motorized drapes she’s developed. “THESE DRAPES ARE TOTALLY SILENT,” she crows, in a hilarious (to me) payoff to the running gag from the first series wherein she was obsessed with the noise hers made. The two of them then just gaze at each other as if they’ve just made a wonderful discovery in each other’s faces. And they DO have a lot in common: They both have exciting facial accessories, for instance, and they both love his Dr. Amp show, and shovels. Get yours, Nadine and Doc.
Is Agent Creeper around?
Oh yes. And whatever those things were that ate his face apparently did NOT suck any evil BOBness out of him, because he’s still freaky as all get-out.
But first: Derek Mears! Jessica and I met him when he was on Sleepy Hollow’s first season as the demon Moloch, and I must tell you that he is the LOVELIEST and most delightful man. Here, he’s playing Ray’s boss — Ray being the dude who was pretending to work with Creeper to get the coordinates, but then tried to shoot Creeper — and of course Creeper has come to find Ray to get his information and exact his revenge. Change or death, y’all: These idiots decide to turn it into a schoolyard game, winner-take-all for the organization.
Ray is honestly clearly too stupid to live in this universe, because he knows Agent Creeper is Not Of This World and yet they still cede enough control to him that Ray’s life hangs in the balance of an arm-wrestling match. It’s a pretty gripping scene, pun fully intended, watching Agent Creeper toy with Derek Mears before finally defeating him handily (pun also intended) and then cracking open his skull for good measure. Oh, Derek. We hardly knew ye.
Apparently his organization is really voyeuristic, too, because everyone who’s summarily dismissed from Arm Wrestling Central gets to watch the ensuing drama on the big screen. It’s like a Buffalo Wild Wings, except without snacks. Anyway, there’s a briefly amusing bit with an accountant cowering in the corner who finally pipes up, “Uh, do you need any money?” before scuttling down the stairs. And then Creeper extracts both the coordinates from Ray, and some info: Philip Jeffries hired Ray to kill Creeper, a mysterious figure gave Ray a ring to place on Creeper’s finger after he killed him (which he obviously failed to do the first time), and Jeffries was last seen “at the Dutchman’s.” Creeper shoots Ray before either of them disclose exactly what that is.
Creepy Richard watches, because I guess… this is his crew? Maybe he is connective tissue between these goons and Balthazar Getty over in Twin Peaks. And of course fan theories abound that he’s the demon spawn of Audrey and Creeper.
Anyway, Creeper watches the ring disappear off Ray’s finger, and we see it clang to the floor of the Red Room. (We also see Ray’s body there, but don’t ever see it transport, or know if anyone else did.) I thought the floor there was usually black chevron. Did someone get bored and undergo a wee renovation while waiting for BOB to return?
A disembodied hand that I assume is MIKE’s places the ring in a marble dish. Almost like an offering to the gods of Stella & Dot.
Hey remember how Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh were on this show for a hot second?
They are on it for an even hotter second again. We cut to them driving at night, through Utah, discussing the things Mormons can’t do — mostly to do with caffeine and booze — and how they’re into polygamy. “Funny there’s not more of them,” JJL drawls, and I think she buttons it with, “I guess it’s the drinks.” And that’s it. That’s seriously all they do here. You blink and you miss them. I know this because I blinked, and missed them.
Are we ever going to see James again?
He pops by the Roadhouse to perform a very Lynchian, slow, falsetto-y, voice-modulated song with two dead-eyed backup singers. It’s… not to my taste. I would suggest that he keep his day job, but I have no idea what said day job even is. However, one person was very impressed:
Jessica Szohr, shown at the end of episode two discussing Jimmy with Shelly, grows tearful as she listens to Jimmy’s song. And it doesn’t seem to be pity. I don’t know if they’re dating by now, or if this moment has made her reconsider being a little dismissive or tentative about him in front of Shelly, but: It would appear that his words have touched Vanessa from Brooklyn in her most private of boroughs.
Okay but did Norma finally get any lines?!?
Yes she did. At long last, Peggy Lipton got to string together more than six words.
We also get Bonus Bobby, who popped by for dinner and is clearly bummed out that Shelly has already left (we know that she ran out to see their daughter, who is six flavors of sad because Steven didn’t come home, although she did try to blow a hole through his lover’s apartment door so I’m not sure why she’s surprised). Big Ed is there with Norma, keeping her company, but only temporarily…
… because Norma is dating this dude now. He’s also the business manager who has managed the Norma’s RR Diner franchise locations that are starting to kick major ass. This scene is a fairly heavy-handed metaphor for David Lynch’s approach to TV: This dude represents profit at any cost, even if the price is the integrity and purity of what goes into your feted pies, and Norma represents the auteur who wants to cling to her standards and what she knows is right, and is fighting the lure of easy money and empty head-pats from a soulless baron of mediocrity (or so I imagine Lynch would describe it). Most noteworthy is the depressed gaze of Big Ed Hurley as he watches Norma chatter, make plans, and kiss this man on the mouth.
Aw. He’s so sad and alone with his soup. Even James has somewhere else to be. But you know, it’s probably really good soup, so maybe it fulfills him and he doesn’t care about the rest. Maybe he is David Lynch: He sees you with your fancy tablet and your bar graphs and your Benjamins, but he’d much rather do things his way, thanks very much. Even if it means cohabitating with whatever that TERRIFYING bear bell contraption is on his desk.
This was the last shot — Big Ed, all alone, gazing at his gas station — and it reminded me again of the Woodsmen and that disjointed black-and-white scene at a similar place in episode eight. I hope we find out that HIS place is where they congregate, and after all this rigamarole, Big Ed just goes up and dumps hot soup on the roof and they’re like, “OH GOD IT BURNS PEACE OUT TWIN PEAKS,” and everything goes back to normal.