Hour 12 of Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival does virtually nothing to advance its multiple storylines. It does, however, give us 54 minutes of David Lynch wackiness. It’s an episode with fewer, longer scenes than usual and one scene that seems entirely repetitive. With only six episodes to go, it seems like an odd time to introduce eight new characters, yet a perfect time to finally feature two familiar ones.
The first scene is misleading about how the hour is going to proceed. Albert (Miguel Ferrer), Gordon (Lynch) and Tammy (Chrysta Bell) toast the Bureau in their hotel room, then Albert says to Tammy, “Here what you need to know.” Years of speculation by fans about the show’s mythology is answered in a few rapid-fire sentences. I could barely keep up. In essence, the “Blue Rose” cases about which we keep hearing are…
…the result of a task force created when Project Blue Book was shut down in 1970. (The three agents raise their glasses to the massive cover-up.) Agents Philip Jeffries (David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me), Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak in TP: FWwM) and Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) were on this task force, and Albert and Gordon now want to welcome Tammy to the team.
Further, with her insight into Blue Rose from working with Cooper, they want to deputize Diane (Laura Dern) to assist in the current investigation. “What’s in it for me?” she asks, but then says, “Let’s rock!” Wow, so much is revealed! Surely this episode is going to continue to move us forward. Uh, no… Other than Diane later entering the coordinates from the arm of Ruth Davenport into a phone app (duh, they are for Twin Peaks) everything else in this hour is superfluous.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a fun hour, though. Well, in the case of Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), I guess you can’t say “fun.” She shops the liquor aisle, clearing the shelf of vodka, then has a mental breakdown at checkout when the appearance of turkey jerky behind the cashier throws her off balance. “Were you here when they first came? Your room seems different. The men are coming,” she babbles, then says, “Something happened to me. I don’t feel good.”Later, Hawk (Michael Horse) goes to check on her. It sounds like there may be someone else in the house, but she denies it. I loved this scene. In it, we see two unique angles of the famous ceiling fan in the Palmer house that was so prominent in the show’s original run, usually when bad things were happening and Bob possessed Laura’s father, Leland. Music from the original run was also used, something that has been surprisingly rare in the revival.
Let the long, uncomfortable scenes begin. First up, Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) arrives at the Great Northern Lodge to tell Benjamin Horne (Richard Beymer) that his grandson ran over and killed “that little boy,” then tried to kill the only witness, Miriam Sullivan (Sarah Jean Long). Miriam is in the hospital and needs money to pay for an operation. Ben says he will pay all her bills and later instructs Beverly (Ashley Judd) to make the arrangements.
He also (finally) gives the sheriff the room key that belonged to Agent Cooper almost twenty years ago. He thinks the sick Harry Truman might like it as a memento, but doesn’t realize that it’s vital evidence in the old case that’s been re-opened. Seemingly significant, Lynch is more interested her in Ben’s memories of a two-tone green bicycle his father gave him as a child. “I loved that bike that my father got for me.”
Next up, Gordon is telling a beautiful French woman stories on the couch when Albert knocks on his door. “Would you ask your friend to wait downstairs?” he asks Gordon, then proceeds to give this woman the most hilarious evil eye I’ve seen as she takes what seems like ten minutes to put on her shoes and makeup and tell Gordon goodbye. The scene ends with Gordon saying he wants to get back to his Bordeaux, Albert asking, “What kind is it?” and Gordon responding, “11:05.”Before the final long, head-scratching scene, Dr. Jacobi (Russ Tamblyn) once again broadcasts his Dr. Amp show and Nadine once again watches, ooh-ing and ah-ing about how wonderful he is. “It’s working for me, Dr. Amp,” she says seductively. This is the third time in the series run that we’ve seen the same scene. At this point, I don’t know what it’s adding, but I’m sure there’s an intended point there somewhere.
So, finally, we welcome Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) to the revival! I’m not sure how I feel about what she’s become. She’s apparently married to a small, bald man named Charlie (Clark Middleton) who is “so tired” (as he repeatedly says) that he can’t go with her to the roadhouse to look for her lover, Billy. She stands in one spot and yells at him in a shrill voice. She’s not the quiet, mysterious and mischievous young woman we used to know.
In the second verbal exchange that I could barely follow during the hour, a story unfolds that I have to believe is absolutely irrelevant. Billy has been missing for two days. Tina, with whom Audrey cannot stand to be in the same room, was the last person to see her. Maybe Audrey should have Paul come see Charlie. Chuck is certifiable; they can’t rely on him. He stole Billy’s truck last week. What?!? Charlie calls Tina, gets an earful, but then refuses to tell Audrey what she said on the phone.
Who are these people? Does it matter? Well, they’re not the only ones to question. In the hour’s last scene at the Bang Bang Bar, one girl asks another, “Where’s Angela?” She may be with Clark, but she saw Clark with Mary there two nights ago. “I hate her.” A guy named, “Trick” joins them. He was almost run off road and feels lucky to be alive. When he leaves to get a drink, one of the girls asks, “Isn’t he under house arrest?” The other replies, “He’s got that behind him.”
The end… and not a moment too soon. As its plot points are just starting to come together, Twin Peaks virtually ignores them. We even see Dougie (MacLachlan) for only one micro-scene, as he’s hit in the head with a baseball while playing catch with Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon). It’s a frustrating episode. Somehow, though, it’s not my least favorite of the run. You never know what you’re going to get, and a little nonsense from Lynch is better than none at all.