Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Homeward Bound programming. Things are starting to ramp up and wind down all at the same time with only five parts left to go in TWIN PEAKS The Return. Take a walk with me.
It took a rewatch to realize that the Mitchums did not actually have a boombox with them playing that excessively strange song while they conga‘d into the Lucky Seven Insurance offices. If there was one ultimate moment, in terms of humour, for me, it was Dale repeating the word “wife” in a lilting manner traditionally indicative of a question, and the Mitchums laughing their asses off in response. But it’s actually Bradley Mitchum’s line which stuck with me the most “A wrong has been made right, and the sun in shining bright.” I’ve seen a lot of discussion happening about the role Dale is fulfilling while knocking about in Dougie’s shoes, how he seems to be fixing everything for everyone…except himself that is. He’s ‘fixing’ the way Janey-E and Sonny Jim were treated, fixing how Dougie is viewed at work, making friends with the Mitchums and giving them the money they deserved, however knowingly or unknowingly the whole ordeal must have been, and finally, in this part, keeping Anthony from becoming a murderer. Everything awful that DoppelCoop does has an equal and opposite action performed by Dale to benefit the people whose lives were destroyed or nearly so by the real Dougie Jones.
There were some creepier elements to this episode, but I think that the jungle gym was the most unsettling of them all. It was but one instance of what appears to be a timeloop, but the setting is also just so disturbing. It plays the tune (on chilling musicbox no less) from Swan Lake, contains carnival lights and – most indicative and terrifying of all – a spotlight, far too reminiscent of pre-Black Lodge scenes in the Ghostwood. I really think the Mitchum brothers mean well – despite being violent, vengeful gangsters, they’re really sweet people and I really really love them – but holy shit what were they thinking???! Also of note, we have another instance of ‘seven’ when Janey-E says that Sonny Jim is in seventh heaven and Dale replies “Seven. Heaven.” instead. Of merit? Maybe, maybe not. I’m starting to think that, like the red balloons, the number seven is most likely just a motif being used by Lynch and Frost to gain a certain perspective.
Back at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department we meet back up with the Brothers Fusco, Smiley on the phone with their mother of all people. Apparently the brothers must really enjoy their job because they have a good laugh about the fact that it is unlikely that there won’t be another murder that weekend, which is what the success of the dinner with their mother would like to have is dependent upon. For as happy as these brothers seem to be, they delight particularly in certain facets of their job. Laughing at the prospect of murder…Are they just desensitized to the regularity of such an occurrence in Vegas, or are they just that fond of their jobs? To be honest I’m not sure which is worse.
Either way, I spent this segment – the segment that comes after the off screen struggle between an unknown, shrieking woman and another cop – moaning dramatically in my recliner chair, much to the amusement of my foreign visitors, who more ‘watched me watch TWIN PEAKS’ than ‘watched TWIN PEAKS with me.’ If you recall way back when it became a possibility that Dale could be discovered by these bozos, I immediately speculated that they could be the reason that the FBI is able to find Dale. But NO they couldn’t believe the strangeness of reality – that (one version of Dale) escaped from prison “two days ago” – we finally have some solid indication of time relativity for this plot thread in relation to the others thank God! – and that he is a missing FBI agent. When they crumpled up the report, and I began to moan, my German guests had a very good time pointing and laughing.
Now for the big questions – will they run the prints again, since they believe it’s a mistake? Will their running the prints be flagged, considering that Gordon and Albert and Tammy are currently working on Dale’s case, thus still leading to the FBI discovering Dale in such a manner?
We can only guess. I have absolutely no idea, at this point, but it seems like in order for everything to ‘meet’ back up at Twin Peaks, this will eventually have to become a reality. This is the second time, however, that something which could have led Dale back to Twin Peaks hasn’t worked out (remember the key?) but is it because he’s unlucky or because it just isn’t the right time yet? Maybe the Lodge still has work for him to do in Las Vegas. Hopefully, things will work out the way they are supposed to, and, at this point, the loss of these two particular avenues is perhaps a protection against evil forces still?
One of the things that I love about The Return is how casually plots brush up against one another, as if what we’ve just seen becomes background for someone else’s story, as it does when Anthony Sinclair creeps his way into the Police Department looking for a different detective, directly after the Brothers Fusco finish their conversation about Dale. The deliberate timing of those moments always strikes me as beautiful, because, at least in that, it is mimicking life, and successfully to boot.
Anthony’s meeting with the “Jim Gordon” detective is about Poison! Not what I anticipated, but then, things rarely are, as I didn’t believe the other cop watching them was in on the gig, rather a curious good cop, but of course that couldn’t be the case. Where Anthony got the money is something else I think I’ll always wonder. Who is this Mr. Todd really? – well, we mostly know the answer to that, but DoppelCoop is getting up to rather a lot of other things at the moment, like dying and winning at fistfights and interrogating the man who killed him…
Back to our portion of the story.
Janey-E is no longer exasperated by her husbands in-capabilities. Now, she’s placated by the jungle gym and the nice – not cheap or terrible – BMW convertible. She undoes his seatbelt and opens the car door and pushes Dale out of it, all with a self satisfied smile on her face. She’s finally getting what she wants out of life.
Now, don’t hate me for this, but, I genuinely believe that she loves the things she has more than she really loves ‘Dougie’. She loves what he’s become and what he can do for her, not who he is, because, at the moment, he’s pretty much no one. We can love Dale, in the form, because we know he’s Dale and that makes all the difference. But she only knows real Dougie, as far as personality goes, and Dale hasn’t got a personality at the moment. Of course she ‘loves’ him. Janey-E, in this scenario, finally gets to receive, after giving and giving (or so that one gif goes) so much of herself for so little in return. She looks at the car with more love than she does Dale. I don’t blame her for this mindset but I really cringe at it. Dale just seems to exist to make others happy and I just want him to be happy, and very little of this is what I imagine will make him so. Simple physical pleasure is not life fulfillment.
Honestly? I just want Cooper to have a nice long vacation in Tibet after all this. (He can take Audrey with him. Or not. Just a suggestion.)
Kaffee und Kuchen (read “Pie”) with Dale and Anthony is what my guests really got the biggest kick out of. Dale walking right into the glass door garnered more than a fewlaughs in my household, mine, of course, being one of them. Subsequent to his viewing, one of my guests now infrequently utters the word ‘pie’ or ‘coffee’ in Dale’s Dougie-tone at random moments, just for a laugh. As a little background, there is no equivalent to pie in Germany, and I just had made them a cherry one a few days ago, so he’s properly in love with the All–American dessert now, which I suppose is partially why he enjoyed Dale’s antics so much.
The whole while I was praying that Philip Gerard would show up to help Dale, but I guess, this time he didn’t need it. Pie is lure enough on its own, apparently. That’s twice now that Pie has actually saved Dale’s life. Crazy. (Or not.) Actually, I wonder how Anthony thought he was going to poison Dale – if he hadn’t recognized the store for being a place that sells pie, he’d most likely never have let go of the mug, much less looked away long enough for something to be slipped in his drink. Maybe it was his subconscious desire to not kill Dale that prompted him to suggest the coffee sit down. If I were him, I’d have slipped it in his to-go coffee and implicated the nice young man that always guides Dale around. Easy as pie. Good thing I don’t want to kill Dale. It isn’t incompetence on Anthony’s part (okay well it’s that too) he just really doesn’t want to be a killer, which was already obvious a couple weeks ago.
I’m still pretty oblivious as to why dandruff catches Dale’s eye though, but the moment when Anthony realized that Dale was essentially rubbing his shoulders was priceless.
Kudos to Tom Sizemore for the performance – I have to say it reminded me a bit of Matthew Lillard’s phenomenal monologue (I want to go Scuba Diving! is t-shirt worthy in my opinion) but both are uncanny fits for the David Lynch School of Ugly Crying graduates.
Back to Bushnell’s office, Dale stands like a sentry to the side, paying absolutely zero attention to anything of course. Somehow, I don’t think that this is ever going to come to trial. Somehow, I think that Anthony is probably going to end up dead, if his fear of those cops is any indication. Did he even pay the money for the poison yet, or is that still a work in progress?
I have to hand it to Bushnell though. He’s kind of like the school Principal. He rules through praise and disappointment. Really makes me miss Season Two Maj. Briggs. Meanwhile Anthony plays the counterpoint beautifully. It’s like watching a contrite teen Bobby (was Bobby ever truly contrite about anything back then?) or James sobbing in Season One.
My favourite line from this segment “I’ve been vomiting blood,”
Yikes. I think you have ulcers, Anthony.
At any rate, things have got to start moving towards Twin Peaks, and even though I’ve been proven wrong thus far about Dale returning to himself before the end, that a) doesn’t mean it can’t still happen and b) isn’t the end of the world if it does. I know that there are still a lot of people who are unhappy about his state, and many who don’t mind. Not minding doesn’t mean we don’t want him back, rather, that we are trusting the trajectory of the story. Everything will happen when it needs to. Besides, waiting makes the moment all the more sweet. As much as I am desperate to know how all of this pans out, I am still loathe to see it end.
What will be important from the ‘Dougie’ storyline and what won’t?
How will Dale make it back? (I still think he can’t be right without his shoes and lapel pin)
Will Janey-E Jones regret her life choices after she opens up that electric bill (that’s one hell of a jungle gym)?
What do you think about my theories? Did I miss something? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know what you think! Leave your thoughts a comment!
Some images Courtesy of Showtime