It goes without saying that I am an extreme fan of Twin Peaks. There has been a great many of us that have been divided over Twin Peaks: The Return and its unfamiliar pacing, material, approach. I have embraced every frame as I did the original, even though this was not the Twin Peaks I remembered. I love that about The Return. It was new. Mark and David came up with a story that included our old friends, and introduced us to many, many new ones. I believe Part 11 gave the fans divided a taste of that OG Twin Peaks. Sure there are moments that scream this new version of Peaks. Gordon almost getting sucked up into a vortex that no one but he and Albert can see and Bobby’s run in with green liquid pouring out of the mouth of Zombie Car Girl for starters; but from the intro to the heartbreaking ending, it had me. Get it, ‘Heartbreaking’? Classic Twin Peaks was all over Part 11.
We get a little bit of everything in this episode. From the beginning where the three boys play ball innocently enough, we all know that something sinister is going to show up in due time. What shows up may not be sinister, it’s Miriam. She survived the vicious attack brought upon her by that heathen Richard Horne. God, I hate him. Interesting Casting Note #1: One of Mark Frost’s sons, Travis, is one of the three boys that find Miriam. From then we get propelled into Becky’s mess of a marriage. Amanda Seyfried’s scream upon getting off the phone has been all of us at one time or another. Though we probably wouldn’t drive off in our mother’s car with a gun while said mother is still on top of the car to go shoot our husband who happens to be shacking up with little piano playing princess Gersten Hayward. Interesting Casting Note #2: For those of you who are old enough to remember The Love Boat, Lauren Tewes who played Julie McCoy is the neighbor that comes out in her bathrobe and tells Becky that they (Stephen & Gersten) are no longer in the apartment.
From there we get thrust back into the Vortex that is Buckhorn, SD; and to the Albert, Gordon, Tammy, Diane, Detective Mackley, Woodsmen exploding Bill Hastings head show. A couple things I picked up on the Rewatch of this scene in particular was the sound surrounding the Vortex. We hear the ominous whooshing, of course, but the tone of the music and you can ‘hear’ the electricity very specifically. Also maybe because I thoroughly tried to soak in every moment of every part, but I failed to notice the fire and flames the first go round when Gordon fades away before Albert pulls him out. One mysterious moment that came to me, who is controlling the Woodsmen’s action to kill Bill? We know Diane is in touch with Mr. C. We know that she has been feeding him information. Though, it is not like Mr. C can telephone up to the Lodge and ask to speak to Bearded Woodsmen? “Hey, dark and evil apparition of an old timey logger, could you go to South Dakota, enter this guy who found the Zone’s body and explode his head for me?” So if not Mr. C, is it Judy? Best line of this scene: Gordon: “He’s dead.” That line gets me every time.
We then head over to Twin Peaks. My first thought upon looking at the Briggs family reunion, the more things change, the more things stay the same. When Red comes into the picture, framed perfectly I might add between our family unit, Red looks like old Bobby to a ‘T’. With his Leather jacket, white t-shirt, not a care in the world attitude, he’s just like Bobby used to be. The look on Bobby’s face as Shelly goes running after him breaks my heart. Bobby is all of us longing for a little more of a nostalgic take, but also realizing things are not like they used to be. I also still wonder what is Shelly and Red’s place. The Roadhouse, is where we saw them both in Part 2, but is that where they rendezvous? Maybe we do not need to know, but darn it, I want to know. This moment is interrupted by gun shots raining into the Double R, and Bobby runs out to save the day. When we first encountered this scene I took it at face value. Kid finds gun in back of his parent’s minivan, it is loaded and it goes off. During this rewatch, I had a completely different take on the scene. To me, this scene has a very Frostian feel, and that is because this whole scene is a statement on gun control in our country. From the stance of the little kid after the shooting, he is staring Bobby down extremely strangely. When Bobby looks over to the mother and the father, the father is looking away as the mother lambastes him, screaming and yelling that he (the son) could have killed somebody. The mother is that helpless feeling after another shooting. The father, not wanting to take responsibility (as many have not), and choosing to ignore the situation that is plainly in front of him. We then get sidetracked by Deputy Jesse saying he was at Big Ed’s and heard shots. What struck me again was the use of sound to be distracting. The beeping, as we soon find out from the woman with the sick girl, keeps pace with the scene. It is very distracting, pulls your focus. Like the next issue we are having in our country, drug addiction. The sick girl and the woman who states, “We have miles to go. Please, we’ve got to get home. She’s sick!” Yes, she is and we do have miles to go dealing with the epidemic we have on our hands. This whole scene is a take on the bigger picture, but showcasing it to us fans as how Twin Peaks has changed and also making us aware to the fact, we cannot go home.
We next get to be back in the Sheriff’s station with Hawk and Frank. I love these scenes, because they make me feel back into our Twin Peaks. The one we remember, time has changed, but Hawk is still sharing his Native American knowledge with all of us. He is also explaining to Frank what they are going to encounter going to Jack Rabbit’s Palace. Though my heart is here for the Margaret/Hawk conversation, their friendship is feeling the closest to going back home for me until her log turns gold, but that is another part and for another writer to share their thoughts.
Back in Buckhorn, Gordon’s hand is shaking. I do not know about any of you, but I immediately recalled Cooper’s, Pete’s, and nice little old pie lady at the Double R’s hands shaking in S2. What does this mean? Are these people sensitive to the ‘fire’ or electricity in the air? Are these people that have been to the Lodge or been around Lodgian beings? Albert tries to talk in code (at least that was my original thinking) but Gordon goes right for it. At this point, I believe Albert and Gordon know exactly what they are doing when it comes to Diane. It is a set up to see if she bites, and of course she does. Mouthing the coordinates to herself to remember so she can text them to Mr. C. later on. The interesting thing is that Albert starts to say they lead to Twin Peaks, but gets cut off. I remember when upon first watch all the speculation about who had the correct coordinates, well it looks like Ruth’s body did the whole time.
The rest of Part 11 was probably my most favorite of the whole run. It had laughs, it touched my heart, and it made me feel as though I was watching an original episode. I felt that many times when watching the Mitchum Brothers on screen. It was like watching a Mafioso version of Ben and Jerry. The comic timing and situations are perfect. They are my second favorite duo of the whole run, after Coop and Harry. So Dougie Coop is set to meet them with a 30 million dollar check in his pocket, and a last minute detour to get a cherry pie. I still say that Szymon’s was a franchise of Norma’s Double R. That’s why Mike can easily show up inside to Dougie Coop and get him to follow into the shop. We soon see our trusty Limo driver pick up Dougie and bring him to where the Mitchums are anxiously awaiting his arrival. Bradley had a dream that seems to be unfolding to be true. Dreams, little did we know how dreams were going to play out in S3. So to catch you up and get to the best scene in this whole part, Dougie shows up with a cardboard box. Bradley says to Rodney if there is a cherry pie in the box, he’s our friend and we can’t kill him. Rodney pulls his gun anyhow and demands Dougie tell him what’s in the box. Cherry pie. Bradley finds the check. There is much rejoicing, and Dougie Coop does get to see Santino’s after all.
This is the part that most affected me. The subtle nuances that come from Dougie Coop’s interactions with the Mitchums were beautiful. Then that moment comes. You all know what moment I’m talking about. We hear the music change. Cooper, yes I am calling him Cooper to explain this part here for good reason. As he turns toward the piano, it is like something is alive and waking in him, Cooper is remembering. I have had disagreements on this part before, but to me Cooper mumbles the name “Laura” right before he is approached by Jackpot Lady. That is what it looks like he is mouthing to me. I could be wrong, probably am, but how interesting would that be? The tenderness that Jackpot Lady shares with Cooper is so touching. He has saved her life. He gave her life back. She even goes as far to tell him this. Could this be the start of Cooper thinking he could save Laura? Is Cooper remembering the moment Leland says to ‘Find Laura” here? Once the music changes, Cooper goes back into Dougie Coop, but he’s not gone completely. I cannot be the only one that when Rod says, “This pie is so damn good.” And Dougie Coop repeats it, “Damn good.” and remembers, jumped around their bedroom like a lunatic and woke up their sleeping spouse, right?
Part 11 for me is the one that brought things into brighter focus. Well at least in more focus an episode of Twin Peaks is capable of doing. It made me smile to myself and say, “There you are, Twin Peaks! I knew you were in there somewhere.” Do not misinterpret that statement, I absolutely loved all of S3. To me though, Part 11 has everything in it we loved about Twin Peaks. Laughter, mystery, Lodgian goings-on, and cherry pie. I would say that is pretty damn fine, wouldn’t you?