Beginning the hour with what feels like a short dedicated to the series’ most distended, frustrating love triangle.
A bright, shiny morning in Twin Peaks.
At last inspired by the piss and vinegar speeches of none other than Dr. Amp, Nadine at last comes to clarity to tell Big Ed that he could at last move forward.
It’s a huge gimme to longtime fans, one that feels a bit on the easy side. But considering how long this triangle has suffered from day one of the original, it seems like Frost and Lynch, know that this is as bright a moment as we could possibly have before matters proceed. It’s vindication for sweet ol’ Ed Hurley, and a much needed wake up for Norma, as she seemed almost ready to waver on everything she has held dear with the RR. Sure, her arc lasted no longer than an episode, but her lack of confidence about going full franchise should have been a glaring hint.
That protracted shot of Ed at the counter, eyes closed, feels like something our creators had long envisioned. There’s true catharsis in clocking McGill’s age, and the use of Otis Redding in the background as a certain hand reaches out for him. It’s a moment many fans have waited for, and it is well-deserved.
The climax has begun.
Through the darkened highway, mere miles from Peaks, Evil Coop has at last come to Washington where he finally arrives off the path to the fabled Convenience Store. Heralded by several of the soot covered men we know and fear, his walk from his vehicle, deep through numerous stairs, doorways, and courtyards, we also see what seems to be the motel Leland Palmer once used to spend time with Teresa Banks. A darkened, dusty, nightmare world rendition of the place in easily what is one of the most unwelcoming in Lynch’s entire film history. Penderecki’s Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima, erupts again, signaling that we are at last reaching the belly of the beast.
Mr. C’s reason for stopping by is simple; he needs to meet with Philip Jeffries.
A meeting that I admittedly have been awaiting since the voice reveal of the character in lieu of the painful passing of one David Bowie.
But before that, the man at the switch..And the being in the red mask. Sarah Palmer? Again, imagery we have only seen in FWWM. At last, this is all coming together? The meeting itself between Mr C., and Jeffries plays out in what I can only describe is the last motel vacancy in hell. Their face off is comprised of questions that C can’t seem to gather any answers to, further frustrating our villain as his one time comrade seems to have taken on the guise of a giant coffee kettle, complete with steam billowing out, not to mention further puzzling statements. Power cuts in and out, electric humming switches from on to off, and a phone rings, further leaving Mr. C, and us to more fervently ask, “Who is Judy?” After all, Judy was someone Jeffries refused to talk about back in Philadelphia in 1989 with Gordon and Albert present. We were going to keep her out of this. But now, C has to see her himself. And has been granted some coordinates. (Similar to ones previously shared? Or..The Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department?)It is hard to describe the utterly uncompromising nature of this entire sequence, as it is the epitome of one filmmaker’s ability to render an entire environment into an unsettling statement in atmosphere. When thinking of the influence Lynch has had on popular culture over the years, moments like these are why the Silent Hill game series at the start left such a deep impression. And even that franchise pales in comparison to what is presented here. Evil Coop’s return is something that sticks to the back of the mind days after we leave it. Just as soon as he leaves, and at last comes to meet possible son, Richard Horne, taking him along for the remaining ride, the Convenience Store, and all of its denizens, back into non-existence.
Then we’re whiplashed back to daylight, where a desperate, and horribly strung out Steven is ready to commit the unthinkable with almost as wired Gersten Hayward in tow. A misty morning suicide jag, isn’t what a lot of us expected, but here it is. So this, is what has become of Becky’s husband. Becky, daughter of Shelly and Bobby. It’s a wrenching scene considering how little screen time we actually had with him. It’s confirmation again that Peaks, in the wake of all that has happened, has become this desolate place where desperation consumes families, and leaves so much potential dead in a ditch. There was one witness to this seeming awful, pathetic ending(Hey, is that Mark Frost?), but what this means to the rest of our friends in town, remains to be seen.
Back at the Roadhouse, we get our first real look at the Hand Of Justice in action as silly James walks over to gawk at very married Renee, which only naturally ends in disaster. And Freddie, being the spry pal he is, unleashes the power of his White Lodge given new power a spin. And it is a scary wallop to witness. Yikes. Hope he didn’t kill anyone.
Meanwhile, in Vegas..
FBI continues to seek out Dougie Jones, but to little success while Chantal and Hutch begin to close up loose ends in killing Duncan Todd(Patrick Fischler), and his assistant. Apparently, they’re down to one last target? Dougie? Again, the hands seem to be reaching a clock’s ultimate toll with this accelerated narrative. There’s an almost Terminator-eque race to see who will reach our hapless golden boy in time-
And yet, nothing this amazing episode has already dished out, can compare with a pair of bombs designed to amp the emotional stakes to the highest possible plateau. I’m of course speaking of the passing of the one and only Margaret Lanterman, also known as The Log Lady. Her final words piercing numerous levels of reality, thereby proving that Peaks above all else is a direct, personal interaction between writer and director and performer and audience. With her words to Hawk that she is moments from death, and the warning that follows, her ascension is akin to the intense sunlight of the hour’s beginning being quietly snuffed out. The vigil in the sheriff’s station afterward, is a moment we are all invited in sharing. It’s a strong blurring of the lines between real and fiction, that finally sets the stage for a three-hour finale that could at last close a book twenty seven years in the reading. It’s an unbelievable amalgam of time, life, and creation regardless of the bumps, and pauses along the way.
The second? As recently hinted at in interviews, the final hour of half-present Cooper in Dougie’s shoes, may at last be at an end. Please. For the love of Pete, never do what he did. As basic a home safety tip as that has always been, few things are as nerve-rending as seeing a curious party approach a power outlet with such curiosity. It’s the scratching away at a most domestic of horrors, and yet perhaps the charmed life he had indeed been living was more than enough. Poor Janey. Poor Sonny Jim. Welcome to reality.
A stunner of an hour that feels a little late in the earning, but survives by way of sheer love for these characters, new and old. (Okay, maybe not Steven), and a deep need to remain an outlaw piece of surreal cinema. It's a gift that only has three hours left, and with that, I choose to enjoy every remaining second.