Twin Peaks Hour 15: A Change, Not an End, for the Log Lady

It seemed like the 15th hour of Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival moved quicker than any of the previous 14.  At this point in its run, I am so completely invested and devoted to it, that I savor every moment.  The hour provided two particularly emotional scenes for longtime fans and, in them, elicited a sense that the series is moving toward its conclusion.  If they’re any indication, David Lynch and Mark Frost are going to tie up at least some loose ends for characters that have been with the series since it originally began in 1990.

Spoiler(s) alert! I can’t discuss the impact of these scenes without revealing what happens in them.

First up, the long-awaited coupling of Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) and Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) finally happened! As a prelude, in the hour’s opening scene, Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie), golden shovel over her shoulder, marches down the middle of the street to Big Ed’s Gas Farm where she releases Ed him from any obligation he’s been keeping toward her for the last 25+ years.  “I’ve been a selfish bitch to you all these years.  I’ve kept you and Norma apart because of my jealousy.  Don’t worry about me; run to her…”

Following the last hour’s deeply moving conclusion with Ed Hurley, McGill delivers another magnificent performance, his face transitioning from the relief of a huge burden lifted to the uncertainty about what to do now that it has. As Otis Redding sings “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” he pulls up to the Double R Diner and tells Norma that everything’s changed.  However, when she says, “Ed, I’m so sorry, Walter’s here,” he sits despondently at the counter and orders a cup of coffee.

Closing his eyes to meditate/gather his strength, a hand gently touches his shoulder. Now comes the long-awaited coupling as they embrace and enjoy deep, long, hard kisses.  With the music swelling, it’s a calculated moment that, as mentioned, rewards long-time fans of the characters and the show.  However, it’s perhaps not-so-vaguely manipulative and I wonder if it’s Lynch’s spoof of such romantic reunions in other movies, hearkening back to the origins of Twin Peaks, which, we must remember, was partially a satire of prime time soap operas.Next, we say goodbye to Margaret Lanterman (Catherine E. Coulson), the “Log Lady.” She places a final call to Hawk (Michael Horse), which, coincidentally rings on line 1 of the phone, as it did in Andy’s vision during the last hour.  “Hawk, I’m dying.  You know about death, that it’s just a change, not an end.  There’s some fear… some fear in letting go.  Remember what I told you… from our talks when we were able to talk face to face.  Watch for the one I told you about.  My log is turning gold, the wind is moaning, I’m dying.  Good night, Hawk.”

Hawk replies, “Good night, Margaret.” Then he hangs up and whispers, “Goodbye, Margaret.”  Outside the crescent moon is covered by dark clouds.  At the sheriff’s station, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), Andy (Harry Goaz) and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) join Frank (Robert Forster) in the conference room.  Hawk enters to announce, “Margaret Lanterman passed away tonight.”  Lucy is the only one who speaks, asking, “The log lady’s dead?”  Somewhere in the woods, the light goes out inside a cabin.

Lynch is spoofing nothing here. It’s a sad, heartfelt series of events.  I’ve felt similar sadness in other scenes that have featured the Log Lady.  In real life, Coulson was suffering from the effects of cancer, so seeing her with little hair and oxygen tubes in her nose was almost painful to watch.  Catherine E. Coulson died in Ashland, Oregon at the age of 71, subsequent to filming her scenes for Twin Peaks.  The first hour of the revival was dedicated to her.  This hour was dedicated to Margaret Lanterman.  Rest in peace, Log Lady… Long live the Log Lady!

Developments were eventful not only for original characters, but also for ones new to the revival. Bad Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) arrives at the spooky convenience story from many a dream to look for Phillip Jeffries.  Various woodsmen lead him up a staircase to nowhere, through a hallway with the woods flashing in and out around them, up another staircase that reminds me of the one inside the Palmer house, then finally through a door into a motel parking lot and inside room #8, electricity crackling around them all the while.

Jeffries, played by David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and in flashback here, now takes the form of… a big teapot?  Bad Cooper asks him why he sent Ray to kill him and if he called him five days ago.  “I don’t have your number,” Jeffries-pot replies.  “So it was someone else,” Bad Cooper says.  When he reminds Jeffries-pot that he showed up in Philadelphia stating he met Judy, he replies, “So, you are Cooper.”  Is there something to be made of that comment?  Is Bad Cooper somehow the real Cooper?  Or was the Cooper in Philadelphia his doppelganger?

Let’s not go there right now. Instead, let’s focus on Judy.  Bad Cooper asks Jeffries-pot, “Why don’t you want to talk about Judy?  Who is Judy?  Does Judy want something from me?”  Jeffries-pot replies, “You’ve already met Judy.”  A phone rings and the Jeffries-pot fades away.  Suddenly, Bad Cooper is on a pay phone in the convenience store parking lot… with a gun pointed at him by Richard Horne (Eamon Farren).  “You’re FBI; I saw your picture at my mom’s.”  He then reveals what I don’t think is a surprise at this point: Audrey Horne is his mom.

Bad Cooper distracts him, knocks the gun out of his hands and tells him never to threaten him again. “Get in the truck; we’ll talk on the way.”  He then sends a text message to a mystery person, possibly Diane, “Las Vegas?”  After they drive away, a lot of smoke comes out of the convenience story and it fades away in a series of very bright flashes, leaving the quiet woods.  I’d like to note here that this is an hour that heavily features the nature of the Pacific Northwest.  Many scenes begin with beautiful shots of the woods and mountains…

…such as the one where a man walking his Boston Terrier happens upon Stephen (Caleb Landry Jones) and Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt) having either a bad trip or a mental breakdown on the ground next to a tree. I could barely understand what Stephen was saying, but he seems to blame himself for something, then loads his gun.  When the dog-walker sees them, Gersten runs behind the tree and hears a gunshot.  The dog-walker then hurries out of there, walks into the trailer park and points Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton) toward Stephen and Becky’s trailer.At the Bang Bang Bar, but not in the final scene of the hour, MC (J.R. Starr) turns a handmade volume dial past 10 and introduces the ZZ Top song, “Sharp-Dressed Man.” James Hurley (James Marshall) says hello to Renee (Jessica Szohr), which upsets her husband, who begins beating on James.  Luckily, Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle) is there with his green rubber glove hand to punch him and his buddy in the face hard enough to land them in intensive care.  “These guys are really hurt,” James says, “Call 911.  His eyes don’t look good.”

Later, James and Freddie are placed in cells where, during the last hour, Chad (John Pirruccello), a drunk man with a torn-up face, and the Asian woman with no eyes first met each other. “What the hell?” asks James.  That’s a great question.  However, for those of you paying attention, this does place two potentially important characters together:  the Asian woman with no eyes, whom the Fireman told Andy was important and people wanted to kill, and Freddie, whom the Fireman told to go to Twin Peaks to find his fate.

There’s even more! Chantal Hutchens (Jennifer Jason Leigh) assassinates Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) and Roger (Joe Adler).  “One down, one to go.”  She then enjoys a burger with Gary “Hutch” Hutchens (Tim Roth) in their van.  He says, “Might as well be thou SHALT kill.”  She replies, “My fun’s over when I kill someone.  I haven’t got to torture someone in a long time.”  But it is a beautiful night, Gary got her dessert, and when she looks up into the sky, says that she can see Mars.

Finally, in the most promising of promising scenes that might finally cause the real Agent Cooper to emerge from the body of Dougie Jones, he enjoys a piece of cake in the kitchen of the house with the red door. Randomly pressing buttons on the television remote control, he’s startled when one turns on the TV.  He seems shocked by the bald man in a black and white movie, then crawls on all fours toward a crackling outlet, metal fork in hand.  Yes, he sticks it in, the kitchen lights up, Dougie shakes and Janey-E (Naomi Watts) screams.

So that I don’t spoil the remaining pleasures of an hour filled with pleasures, I won’t detail another increasingly insane exchange between Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) and Charlie (Clark Middleton or the final scene at the Bang Bang Bar. Neither are as significant (of which I’m aware) as all the others.  So, sit back, enjoy the song by The Veils and pay close attention to the background of the end credits.  It’s not the band performing as per usual.  It’s the parking lot of the motel… but who (or what) might you see standing there?

Twin Peaks Hour 15
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