The best show on television delivered again this week with one of its funniest and brilliant episodes yet! As usual, some storylines were completely ignored (what has Bad Cooper been up to since leaving the farm?) while others story threads were resurrected (we finally get to see Sheriff Truman and Hawk move their investigation forward ever so slightly). Let’s enter The Zone AKA Part 11 of Twin Peaks!
FACES OF DEATH: The FBI crew arrives at the location where Bill Hastings entered another dimension and met Major Briggs. As Hastings waits in the car with Detective Mackley, Diane smokes a cigarette while Albert, Gordon, and Agent Preston approach a fenced-in shack and a rundown trailer. Albert sees one of the dugpas (or ‘woodsmen’ as they are being referred to on the show) disappear behind the trailer. Gordon enters the area alone just as a huge swirling vortex appears in the sky. He reaches out to it, waving his arms, almost seeming like he is trying to communicate with it and understand where it is coming from. For a split second, he sees a glimpse in the center of the vortex — a small group of dugpas standing on a staircase. Gordon starts to flicker, beginning to get sucked into the pull of this powerful force, until Albert steps over to grab his arm and ground him in the earthly realm. Then Albert notices a body laying in the field nearby — it’s Ruth Davenport’s headless corpse! If the pieces of this sprawling story are not quite coming together yet, at least the dismembered body parts are. While Albert takes pictures of the coordinates written on Ruth’s arm, Diane sees one of the dugpas approach the car in which Mackley and Hastings are sitting. She doesn’t scream out any sort of warning, which has to be proof that she’s gone to the ‘dark side’ and is working alongside Bad Cooper, right? Then in one fell swoop, the dugpa totally annihilates Bill Hastings’ head and quickly disappears. Mackley starts freaking out and everyone runs over to the car to check out the remains of Mr. Hastings. This leads to the best line of the episode as Gordon takes one look at the obliterated man in the back seat and shouts ‘He’s dead!’ DO YA THINK SO, GORDON?
Back in Mackley’s office, everyone sits and tries to process what they just saw (over coffee and donuts, of course). Albert shows Gordon the picture of Ruth’s arm with the coordinates on it, and he notices when Diane fixates on the numbers, trying to memorize them. THE JIG IS UP, DIANE, EVERYONE IS ON TO YOU. They all compare notes about seeing the dugpas at the site. Diane convinces Mackley to let her smoke a cigarette in his office, and that’s pretty much the end of the scene.
So what happened at the abandoned trailer? I’m trying to figure out what caused the vortex to open up when Gordon approached. Maybe it’s always there? However it didn’t seem like anyone could see it unless they were standing exactly where Gordon was. The dugpas were definitely guarding this place, but they only chose to kill Hastings when they probably could have taken out everyone. And what is the FBI’s game plan for dealing with The Diane Problem? Are they just going to let her be privy to all of this inside information? STAY TUNED, FRIENDS. We are turning the corner to the homestretch and I think it’s about to get crazy here.
WELL I WAS BORN IN A SMALL TOWN: In Twin Peaks, Becky gets a phone call about Steven and totally loses her shit. A woman scorned is one thing, but I haven’t seen fury like hers in a very long time. She frantically calls her mother Shelly and screams that she needs a car. Shelly leaves work and races to the Fat Trout Trailer Park but before she can even decipher what her daughter’s crisis is, Becky runs outside holding a gun and starts to drive away in the car. Shelly jumps on the hood of the car as Becky drives around wildly, trying to throw her mother off of the car. How many of you were clutching your couches, afraid that Shelly was going to be killed? I know that I was. Eventually Shelly flies to the ground and Becky speeds away to a hotel, racing upstairs to one of the rooms. Upon finding that Steven isn’t there, she fires a few shots into the door and runs off. But where is Steven? He’s hiding under the stairwell with Gersten Hayward, who has gone from playing sweet songs on the piano to having an affair with a crazed drug dealer. I honestly did not realize it was Gersten under the stairs until I saw her name in the credits. Meanwhile, Carl Rodd helps Shelly get a ride back into town and contact Bobby to inform him of the situation.
Later that night, Bobby and Shelly sit with Becky at the RR Diner and try to convince her to leave her idiot husband. But she is on the fence: She wants out of the marriage yet she still ‘loves him’. Shelly must feel pretty weird in this situation, considering that she was in a similar abusive relationship with Leo all those years ago. The Steven issue doesn’t really get resolved and ends with Becky agreeing to spend the night at her mom’s house. Red AKA Crazy Drug-Dealing Magician shows up at the diner and Shelly goes outside to kiss him and make plans for later. When she returns to the others in the diner, gunshots ring out and bullets start flying in the diner, coming from outside. Everyone drops to the floor for cover while Bobby runs outside to assess the situation. A minivan is stopped in the middle of the street. A boy about 8 or 9 years old stands on the street while his mother berates his father for leaving a loaded gun in the vehicle where their son got hold of it. The boy just stands there in his camouflage (a redneck boy recklessly playing around with firearms? HOW UNUSUAL.) and blankly stares at Bobby. This entire scene takes place amid furious car horn honking from just offscreen. There are a few sounds in life that make people feel anxious and unsettled, and continuous horn honking is one of them (another one is a barking dog, which I know from firsthand experience). Bobby goes over to the honking car and is confronted by the driver, an angry woman who is just trying to get home for dinner. While she loudly complains to Bobby, a young girl in the passenger seat starts shaking and sitting up like a zombie. Her eyes roll back in her head and she starts spewing vile green liquid from her mouth. This causes Angry Driving Woman to start screaming, while Bobby just looks on helplessly. Then, just at the peak of horror, END OF SCENE.
At the sheriff’s station, Truman and Hawk look over an old, hand-drawn map. Hawk points out that the date written on the map is the same date Major Briggs wrote in his message to Bobby, just a couple of days from now. Also on the map — the same symbol that Bad Cooper showed Darya in the premiere. When Truman asks about the symbol, Hawk tells him ‘You don’t ever wanna know about that’. The Log Lady calls again to give Hawk an ominous message from the log — ‘There’s fire where you are going’. I cannot wait for this sojourn to Jack Rabbit’s place. Has it been a couple of days yet? And in somewhat related news, a group of boys playing catch find Miriam crawling out of the woods. SHE’S ALIVE! Richard couldn’t even finish the job, fortunately for us. I wanna see this little punk get what’s coming to him.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS, STAYS IN VEGAS: The Mitchum Brothers eat breakfast and are chomping at the bit to kill Dougie in a few hours. Meanwhile, Mr. Mullins sends Dougie off to an isolated meeting in the desert with the brothers. Sure, Dougie has their 30 million dollar check in his pocket, but how can Bushnell think that a meeting in the middle of the desert with two known gangsters is a good idea? Isn’t there a Starbucks around where this could all take place? On his way out of the office, Cooper (should I just call him Dougie now?) sees a vision of Mike in the Lodge that leads him to a shop in the plaza. He exits the shop holding a large cardboard box, gets in his limo, and is on his way to the middle of nowhere. As the Mitchum brothers sit in their car and prepare to murder Dougie, Bradley tells of the strange dream he had the night before. The first prophecy in the dream — that Rodney’s forehead cut would be magically healed. Bradley rips off his brother’s bandage and sees that this omen has come to pass. When they see Cooper arrive holding the box, Bradley tells Rodney of the other part of his dream where Dougie arrived at the meeting with that very same box. He says that if a certain item is in that box, it means that Dougie is not their enemy and they can’t kill him. This leads to what is one of the most wonderful moments of the series — Rodney Mitchum running up to Dougie, pulling his gun and demanding to know if there is a cherry pie in the box. Bradley runs over to check the contents and yep, IT’S A CHERRY PIE. Soon he finds the check in Dougie’s pocket and suddenly, Dougie is their new best friend. Cue happiness and much rejoicing.
The brothers take Dougie out to a fancy dinner where the haggard woman from the casino runs into her ‘Mr. Jackpots’ and thanks him for changing her life. Everyone starts eating the cherry pie, and when Bradley mentions that it’s ‘damn good’, Dougie repeats this phrase and we genuinely see Cooper come back for a few seconds. It’s all there in the eyes, that’s our special agent! But as quick as he appeared, he is gone again and it is just Dougie scarfing down a pie.
MORE THINGS THAT HAPPENED:
— I like how the very tense and dramatic scene of Truman and Hawk discussing the map is broken up by Officer Jessie knocking on the door to see if Truman wants to see his new car. Jessie keeps having these little weird moments peppered throughout the series. Is he just an oddball or is it something more?
— Bushnell Mullins is a damn workhorse. He does push-ups against his desk while he waits for Dougie to arrive. I think I’d be a bit afraid to step into the ring with him, even at his advanced age.
— I wonder what happened to bring about Bobby and Shelly’s divorce. She was happy with him back when he was a drug-dealing loser, then he turned his life around but somehow it just didn’t work out. Are they recently divorced or did this happen years ago? Hopefully we will find out.
— The pink ladies who follow the Mitchum Brothers around are as vapid as hell. Candie can’t stop thinking about the traffic outside. TRAFFIC IN VEGAS? SAY IT AIN’T SO. Plus they are always fondling the air and I have a feeling they wouldn’t know how to spell their own names on the top of an IQ test, much less be able to complete one.
— I was hoping that the coordinates on Ruth’s arm would lead the FBI to Jack Rabbit’s place. The FBI would meet up with the Twin Peaks sheriff department and compare notes. But apparently the coordinates lead to a small town in New York, so it looks like this isn’t going to happen.
— I was not a big fan of Shawn Colvin’s cover of ‘Viva Las Vegas’. It was merely ok, and a bit forgettable. I would have much rather heard Elvis’ classic version of the song, or even the Dead Kennedys. Come to think of it, the Dead Kennedys’ cover would have been perfect to me. The Angelo Badalamenti piano tune at the end was the real musical highlight this week, though.
— Carl Rodd has a little whistle that he blows when he wants his van to pick him up. This is the best idea I’ve seen all week. Someone get me one of these whistles because I am currently without a vehicle and I need reliable van service.
That’s it for Part 11! This may have been one of the best episodes of the series! It showcased all of the things we love about the show: absurd humor, horror, a few dashes of surrealism and mystery, banal family drama. I’ll be back next week and until then, hang loose, Haoles! May a cherry pie show you the way…