Notes on Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 6

  • Part 6 picks up where Part 5 left off. Some time has passed, but Johnny Jewel’s ‘Windswept’ continues to play as a confused Dougie pulls on his sleeve like a distracted schoolboy. Officer Reynaldo (Juan Carlos Cantu), who had earlier tried in vain to move Dougie on, tries again.
  • Dougie, fascinated by the lawman’s badge, once again appears to remember something of his past. Again, this recognition is instinctive. He doesn’t recall anything in detail.
  • Dougie gets a ride home from Officer Reynaldo. ‘I’m gonna fix you a sandwich’ declares Janey-E (Naomi Watts). Fixing Dougie a sandwich is not just one of the ways Janey-E expresses love for her husband; it’s code for ‘let’s both sit down so I can think about what to do next’.
  • Janey’s plan to make Dougie an appointment with a ‘Dr. Ben’ gets put on hold because of a blackmail and extortion scheme the original Dougie was caught up in. If the doctor’s appointment does go ahead it might trigger a significant development in the Dougie plot.
  • Janey asks her husband what it is that he’s brought home with him. His reply – ‘case files’ – is, for him, an unusually firm response. It also seems that Dougie can now follow basic verbal commands (‘Upstairs!’). He’s learning new things every day. Just slowly. Very slowly.
  • The book Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) is reading is The Secret of the Old Mill, one of the earliest Hardy Boys Mystery Stories. The original version of this book was written by Franklin W. Dixon and published in 1927. A heavily revised edition by Alistair Hunter was published in 1962. According to the Wikipedia summary, it’s a story about counterfeit money, national security, a creepy old mill and missile-development. Not only does the book’s plot resonate with the series, it’s just the sort of book one can imagine a young Dale Cooper reading – the same Dale Cooper who had a poster of Jimmy Stewart in The FBI Story (dir. Mervyn LeRoy, 1959) on his bedroom wall. Sonny Jim really does take after his old man.
  • Sonny Jim asks Dougie if he can keep his cowboy light on. Between that and his cowboy curtains it would seem that cowboys loom large in Sonny’s imagination. When one recalls how taken Dougie was with the cowboy statue outside his workplace it seems, again, as if Sonny may be a chip off the old Dale Cooper block.

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  • ‘Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?’ Sonny seems a bit old for nightlights and parental supervision, doesn’t he? Is there a special reason for his fear of the dark…?
  • Dougie is fascinated by how clapping turns the nightlight on and off, as if by magic. Indeed, it’s worth remembering that electricity in Twin Peaks is synonymous with magic.
  • Perhaps I’m reading too much into things, but I read that picture of the space rocket on Sonny Jim’s bedroom wall as a call-out to Cooper’s spiritual odyssey in Part 3. Sci-fi, westerns, crime, mysteries… The contents of Sonny Jim’s bedroom allude to all the major genres that make up Twin Peaks. In addition, his fear of the dark could be read as an allusion to horror, while his mother’s intrusive shouting adds a touch of Twin Peaks’ original soap opera melodrama to the mix.
  • Janey-E takes the initiative and arranges to meet the extortionists ‘at the corner of Guinevere and Merlin’. And she and Dougie live in ‘Lancelot Court’… Now, this isn’t the first time Arthurian mythology has been referenced in Twin Peaks. Season two introduced Glastonbury Grove, located in Twin Peaks’ woods and named after the ancient burial site of King Arthur. Arthurian mythology played a big role in the original draft of the season two finale but, beyond the naming of the Grove and a humorous exchange with Jack Nance’s Pete Martell (‘King Arthur’s buried in England! At least, last I heard’), it was roundly ignored by Lynch who went off and did his own thing. The use of these names could later prove to be of significant to the plot, but I suspect it won’t be in a direct or obvious way.

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  • Now here’s a returning character I wasn’t expecting to see: the stop light at Sparkwood and 21 (where Laura Palmer was last seen alive, at least by James Hurley). But something has changed. One can now hear, in place of the howling silence that once defined this image, the crackle and thrum associated with the spirit world. ‘Something is happening…’
  • We next see Mike/Philip Gerard (Al Strobel) in the Red Room. He is reaching out to Dougie, appearing before him again in another vision. ‘You have to wake up… wake up… Don’t die. Don’t die. Don’t die.’ What does he mean by this? Is it a warning? If so, what sort of danger is Dougie/Cooper in? Is he in physical peril, or spiritual peril?
  • Dougie goes through each of the case files. As before, spots of light appear to guide him intuitively. This leads Dougie to drag his pencil across the pages before him, making lines and what appear to be steps and ladders – though no snakes, unless you count Anthony Sinclair (Tom Sizemore), whose name keeps popping up in these files. Dougie was clearly on to something when he accused Anthony of lying in the previous episode. Eagle-eyed observers of these documents will spot the names of the Mitchum brothers, the gangsters behind the Silver Mustang Casino. This suggests that, sooner or later, the two Vegas plotlines will converge.
  • Elsewhere, Albert (Miguel Ferrer) enters Max Von’s Bar (presumably a reference to the actor Max Von Sydow). There, he meets Diane Evans (Laura Dern). But this isn’t a This is the Diane. The original, you might say! For me this was a lovely reveal. As soon as I saw the character sitting at the bar I knew it was going to be Diane. But from behind I didn’t think the figure looked like Laura Dern. The wig was as good as a mask. And then she turns, and there she is. It takes a lot of skill to make a surprise out of something that fans had been calling ever since Dern’s involvement was announced. ‘Hello Albert’ is all that we hear from Diane in this episode, leaving viewers a week to ponder what transpired in their meeting.

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  • In Scott Frost’s Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (1991), Dale describes Diane as ‘an interesting cross between a saint and a cabaret singer’. She sure looks it!
  • Back in Twin Peaks we see a meeting go down between Red (Balthazar Getty) and Richard Horne (Eamon Farren). This struck me as being a very different Richard Horne to the one introduced in Part 5. The Richard Horne in Part 5 could’ve been the son of Mr. C/BOB, or Blue Velvet’s Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). In other words, evil incarnate. The Richard in Part 6 is ‘small time’, just the kind of dumb punk-ass kid who says ‘don’t call me kid’. Richard commits a terrible crime in this episode, but where his behaviour in Part 5 seemed knowingly evil, deliberately diabolical, what we get from him in Part 6 is the banality of evil. He could be the protagonist of one of those cheesy PSA films they show in high schools about the wrongs of doing drugs.
  • Red is responsible for introducing a drug to Twin Peaks called ‘sparkle’. ‘Sparkle’ made me think of ‘Sparkwood and 21’ and of the sparking of fire and electricity. Is there a connection between ‘sparkle’ and Twin Peaks’ spirit world? Does it establish one?
  • Red tells Richard that he can ‘pick the rest up at Mary-Ann’s’. Who is Mary-Ann? Is she the new Laura Palmer (that is, if there is one)?

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  • ‘Have you ever studied your hand?’ asks Red, punching the air as if practicing some martial arts moves. He then proceeds to stomp the ground with his foot (‘have a problem with my liver’). Everything about his behaviour seems weird, to say the least. Is Red as high as Richard? Or are we seeing Red from Richard’s strung-out perspective? Is there something more to Red than meets the eye (see below)?
  • ‘Did you ever see the movie The King and I?’ asks Red. ‘What?’ says Richard. ‘I said I like it’, says Red, even though he didn’t – at least, as far as we can tell. It could be that he did, and the fact that we didn’t see or hear him say it could, again, be because we’re seeing it from Richard’s drug-addled perspective. But there’s another reason to be weirded out by Red’s reference to the film.
  • The King and I is a 1951 musical by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Red refers to the 1956 film adaptation starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner and directed by Walter Lang. A song from The King and I, ‘Getting to Know You’, was sung by Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) in the Great Northern in episode 13 of the original Twin Peaks (dir. Lesli Linka Glatter; writ. Harley Peyton and Robert Engels). Pete Martell (Jack Nance), who was sitting at the hotel bar during Leland’s performance, exclaimed ‘The King and I!’ the moment he recognised the tune. Red could be alluding to the song when he says to Richard ‘I don’t know you yet’, but he’s being really obscure it if he is. Suffice to say it’s a moment that resonates with Twin Peaks’ past, though it’s unclear what, if anything, should be read into it.
  • Red gives Richard this dire warning: ‘I will saw your head open and eat your brains if you fuck me over’. You know, I’m inclined to believe him.
  • Now comes the weirdest moment in this scene: Red’s magic trick. Note that this isn’t a normal magic trick. What we see happen is literally impossible. A flipped coin freezes in the air when it reaches its highest point, and remains there for several seconds until Richard gets distracted by something caught in his throat. It turns out to be the coin. Richard is seriously fucked up by this – or, again, so fucked up by drugs that an ordinary magic trick appears to him as something else.
  • Alternatively, the magic trick could be intended as a sign that there’s more to Red than meets the eye – that there’s something otherworldly about him. By my own I reached a conclusion that, it turned out, a good many people online had already reached: that Red could be Pierre Tremond/Chalfont, the grandson of Mrs. Tremond/Chalfont. This is because a similarly impossible magic trick was performed by Pierre in episode 9 of the original Twin Peaks. Balthazar Getty would’ve been around 17 at that time. Lynch’s son, Austin Jack Lynch, who originally played Pierre, would’ve been about 8. That nine-year age gap might be enough to dissuade people from making the connection, but then Twin Peaks has never been a stickler for making actors and their characters’ ages correlate (just look at the number of twenty-somethings playing high schoolers in the original series). So I’d say that it’s still possible that they’re the same character – but, as ever, we’ll have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

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  • We move to the ‘New’ Fat Trout Trailer Park for the next scene, which reintroduces the Fat Trout’s original owner and proprietor, Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton). Rodd first appeared, and was last seen in, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. A trailer park resident, Mickey (Jeremy Lindholm), catches a ride with Carl into town. Carl asks after Linda. It’s unclear who Linda is, exactly, but Part 1 began with the Giant – or ‘???????’ (Carel Struycken) – telling Cooper to remember ‘Richard and Linda’. Do we now have our Richard and Linda…?
  • We learn that Linda is a veteran who has recently, though not without difficulty, acquired an electric wheelchair. This is all we learn about Linda. There is nothing, as yet, to connect her to Richard Horne or Dale Cooper.

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  • In the RR Diner we’re treated to what might just be the longest scene to ever feature Heidi (Andrea Hays). Heidi is having a pleasant conversation (punctuated by her infectious trademark giggle) with Miriam Sullivan (Sarah Jean Long). Miriam, it turns out, is the RR’s best pie customer and one of its best tippers. But, according to Heidi, Miriam can’t afford such a big tip (a sign of her kindness and generosity of spirit). So Heidi and Shelly (Mädchen Amick) decide to treat Miriam the next time she’s in. How lovely. Alarm bells should have been ringing at this point: such a warm, gentle and lovely scene must be the prelude to something awful. In Twin Peaks ‘wonderful dreams’ are always accompanied by ‘terrible nightmares’.
  • We cut to Carl in the park, sitting with a cup of RR2GO coffee and looking up at the trees branching overhead. This moment reminded me of Carl’s strangest line in FWWM: ‘You see, I’ve already gone places… I just want to stay where I am.’ According to Mark Frost’s Secret History of Twin Peaks, Carl shared an abduction experience as a child with Margaret Lanterman, the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson). If that experience changed Carl anything like the way it changed Margaret, he does his best not to let on. In this moment we see Carl staying where he is, and in the next, enjoying where he is.

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  • Carl laughs in delight whilst watching a mother (Lisa Coronado) and son (Hunter Sanchez) play a game in which the mother chases the little boy. The pair stop at the nearby crossing. They follow the rules and continue their game when they get the signal that it’s safe to cross. But life isn’t playing fair today.
  • This is the same road where, 25 years earlier, Mike/Philip Gerard harassed Laura and Leland Palmer (again, in FWWM). This new scene simultaneously echoes and inverts that earlier one. There is an eerie contrast between the old person being helped across the road, and avoiding near disaster, and the young person being chased across it.
  • The kid runs out only to be run down by Richard, who responds with anger and frustration. It doesn’t seem as if he’s registered the fact that he’s just killed someone.
  • Miriam is the only bystander who appears to recognise Richard. Will she report who she saw to the police, or will Richard do what he can to prevent that from happening?
  • Carl, the only person who steps forward to comfort the mother, sees a yellow cloud ascend into the sky before fading into the blue. Is this the boy’s soul, ascending to heaven? Or is it garmonbozia, ‘pain and sorrow’, set free from its traditional creamed corn signifier?
  • The music in this scene, ‘Accident/Farewell Theme’, is a rare new piece by the series’ main composer, Angelo Badalamenti. It was written before a single scene was shot for the new series.
  • The scene ends with a close-up on what looks like the electrical pole from the old Fat Trout Trailer Park in FWWM – though what it’s doing here is anyone’s guess. Again, as with the stop light at Sparkwood and 21, we hear that ominous crackle and thrum. Something is happening. Something is building, charging up, in anticipation of… what, exactly?

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  • We next join Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) in his office, just as a red square materialises on his laptop screen – another classic ‘stop’ signal. Todd takes this as his cue to remove an envelope from a nearby safe. Unusually, we’ll learn what the envelope contains in the very same episode it first appears in!
  • We return to the Rancho Rosa estate, where ‘Drugged-out Mother’ (Hailey Gates) continues to yell ‘119. 119.’ That’s because her part in this scene recycles footage from Part 3, with just the sound of the officer (Jay Jee) on the roof added in. This uncanny repetition of footage might not mean anything by itself. Then again, it might lend some credence to the theory that the mother and her boy are similar to, or perhaps even a modern incarnation of, Mrs. Tremond/Chalfont and her grandson. It does seem significant that no one consults the woman before going onto the roof. Is she not supposed to be there?
  • In a motel room in Las Vegas, Ike ‘The Spike’ Stadtler (Christophe Zajac-Denek) rolls dice and takes a note of the number produced by each roll. Some of the other Vegas characters – including Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray) and Lorraine (Tammie Baird) – have representations of dice on their desks. Is it a visual short hand for Las Vegas, or something more? Dice are random number generators… That is, if the numbers are random. Perhaps Ike knows something we don’t? Perhaps it’s possible to use dice to divine, say, co-ordinates, or other numbers that might possess some sort of cosmic significance. It’s all about the numbers, this season…

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  • The envelope from Duncan Todd’s office is delivered to Ike’s room. Ike is an assassin and the envelope contains his next two targets: Lorraine (Tammie Baird) and the former Dougie Jones.
  • Meanwhile, at Lucky 7 Insurance, Dougie has switched back to Dale Cooper’s suit. He looks delighted with himself (see top image), clutching his case files and coffee. Black suit, case files, coffee, an ongoing investigation… This is the closest he’s been to being Dale Cooper in a long, long time.
  • Bushnell Mullins calls Dougie into his office. Anthony looks anxious. It’s clear that he’s been up to no good and that he’s worried about being caught.
  • One small and easy-to-miss detail to take note of: there’s a red balloon in a black and white picture on Anthony’s wall. There’s also a strange white sculpture (if that’s the word for it) outside the office building that is covered in red balloons. And there’s a red balloon in Drugged-out Mother’s house. Also, Dougie’s house has a red door. And then there’s the Red Room. Oh, and let’s not forget Red (Balthazar Getty) from earlier in the episode. Okay, I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Or rather, I’m not sure where Lynch is going with this and/or if Frost is in on it.
  • What might the red balloons signify? Does it matter that they’re balloons, or is it the colour that’s of most significance? Just as the red door on Dougie’s house reminded me of the red door in the Insidious films, so too did the red balloons remind me of the red balloons featured in the trailers for It (dir. Andrés Muschietti, 2017). Both times I’m reminded of a potent image in a supernatural horror film. But whilst the ubiquitous presence of red balloons in Twin Peaks: The Return might conceivably be hinting at something otherworldly, they haven’t yet been associated with horror on screen. At least, not yet. All signifiers are floating signifiers in Twin Peaks, until proven otherwise. In Twin Peaks, ‘they all float’

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  • Mullins is, understandably, confounded by Dougie’s childish scribbles when he looks over the case files. How is he supposed to make sense of it? Dougie tells him to ‘Make sense of it’ (his emphasis). Again, Dougie’s repeating what someone else has said, but this time I really did get the sense that he wasn’t just parroting Mullins; he was responding to him. And that firm prompt from Dougie was all that Mullins needed. He deciphers Dougie’s scribbles well enough that he can begin to understand what’s been going on with Anthony. Most viewers may still be in the dark as to what it’s all about, but something has come to light that will, no doubt, pay off at a future date.
  • As Mullins mulls over the documents, Dougie’s attention is once again drawn to the poster of Mullins in his former career as a prize-fighter. One detail worth noting, that many eagle-eyed observers had already picked up, is that the date of the fight on the poster, June 18th, was when Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 was scheduled to air. A coincidence? Maybe. But many chose to read it as teasing something for Part 7 – most likely a confrontation of some kind. Perhaps a round of fisticuffs between Dougie and a disgraced Anthony?
  • It finally appears to dawn on Dougie that the old man in the office and the young man in the poster are, to quote the Giant, ‘one and the same.’ Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it seems like Dougie has made his first deduction here, independently of his apparently supernatural powers of intuition. ‘Observation, deduction, conclusion’. That’s the three-stage process followed by Mark Frost’s beloved Sherlock Holmes. Dougie has the first two bases covered; I’m guessing that ‘conclusion’ will come when he finally points to the poster and Mullins and yells ‘SAME’.

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  • The next scene brings us Janey-E’s epic rant, levelled at the extortioners (Ronnie Gene Blevins and Jeremy Davies) in a face-to-face confrontation, if that’s not too strong a word given how quickly they crumble. Janey’s reference to the ‘99 percenters’ is, for Twin Peaks, an unusually specific and remarkably recent historical detail, one that only makes sense within the last five or six years. Mark Frost’s Secret History did much to marry the world of Twin Peaks to the history of the United States, but it’s still strange to see a show that, until now, dealt in ‘mythic time’ and not ‘real time’ engage with the world as we know it. ‘We’re living in a dark, dark age!’ says Janey, and ain’t that the truth. It’s a line that underlines the apocalyptic tone of this new series and which speaks directly to our Current Cultural Moment.
  • Ike the Spike visits the office of Lorraine, wherever that is, and assassinates her – though I’m not sure ‘assassinates’ is the best way of describing what he does to her. Executes? Butchers? However you choose to describe it, it’s an utterly horrific scene that I’ve been unable to look at directly.
  • I’ll leave it to others more qualified than myself to determine if Ike the Spike’s depiction in the show, or at least in certain scenes, is ableist or not. I haven’t been able to find any articles regarding the subject (Ike’s depiction I mean), but if anyone knows of any please let me know in a comment below!

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  • Now let’s distract ourselves from the horror of this scene for a moment by focusing instead on the piece of cardboard taped onto the wall of Lorraine’s office. It’s already been the subject of much discussion, but for now we can only speculate as to its meaning. And even then, it could turn out to be like the oven mitts Lynch had Michael Horse wear for the famous rock-throwing scene in episode two of the original series – i.e. it doesn’t mean anything at all, it’s just that Lynch happened to like the look of it. ‘Art for art’s sake’!
  • So what might the cardboard on the wall mean? Well, its markings are a match for the shipping boxes seen in the mysterious New York ‘glass room’ in Parts 1 and 2. So it could be connected to the business in New York in some way. Some theorise that it conceals a hidden camera. That might explain Lorraine’s paranoia but, let’s be honest, it’s not exactly the best way to go about hiding something. Unless, of course, you choose to tie it to another theory that’s been doing the rounds: that it’s an abstract work of art (a theory more in keeping with the ‘Lynch just liked the look of it’ angle). It might conceal a wall safe, or something we can’t yet begin to guess at. Suffice to say, if there is something strange going on with the cardboard on the wall, one would think that any police investigating Lorraine’s brutal murder would be inclined to examine it. It’s the most suspicious-looking thing in the room after all.
  • Okay, now I can say it: I don’t like this scene. It’s too nasty. I am, I’ll admit, incredibly squeamish, but I don’t think that’s the only reason why it bothers me. I’ve heard others compare the scene to splatter cinema, so maybe there’s an interesting way of reading it in terms of that. But for me it’s just an incredibly gross scene that seemed to be revelling in misogynistic violence (and it is misogynistic: driving a phallic spike into women’s bodies is always going to be misogynistic, it’s just a question of where the misogyny lies). I know that sounds like the kind of lazy criticism that’s been levelled against Lynch for years, but this is the first time I’ve ever felt inclined to agree.
  • It’s been said that the fate of the office worker who happens to see Ike at work is far worse because it takes place off-screen, thereby leaving her murder entirely to the imagination. But the murder of Lorraine beforehand left nothing to the imagination. It’s hard to imagine how this second kill could be any different, or any worse, than what’s just happened on screen. And I don’t feel inclined to try.
  • Violence towards women is a recurring theme in Lynch’s work but its treatment is usually a lot more interesting than this. What we have here is a scene that feels downright prurient. Something Quentin Tarantino might make if he’s in the mood to be especially tasteless. Is this the weakest scene, creatively speaking, in the new Twin Peaks so far?
  • We return to Twin Peaks for the remainder of the episode. And once again we hear, albeit very briefly, that familiar crackle and thrum as Richard parks the truck in an unfamiliar location. It’s the third time this sound has been featured in the episode. In the first two instances it was linked to some of Twin Peaks’ classic iconography: the stop light at Sparkwood and 21, and the Fat Trout electrical pole. This time, however, it’s unclear where the sound is located. Is it in the truck? Is it connected to Richard? Is it the location?
  • The sound appears to stop when Richard stops and gets out of the truck. So maybe it is connected to the truck…? I’m reminded of how Mr. C’s cigarette lighter almost drew him back into the Red Room in Part 3. It’s possible that something is happening in the truck that Richard is unaware of.
  • Richard slings some water over the blood on the front of the truck. He doesn’t appear to be thinking this through. It’s like a Leo Johnson-level of dumb. Crap, what if Leo broke out of Windom Earle’s cabin and is Richard’s father and that explains it?!

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  • Meanwhile, at the Sheriff Station, we’re introduced to the second magic coin of the episode. This coin belongs to Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse). When he drops the coin it rolls into a toilet cubicle. After bending down to retrieve it he notices a small metal plate attached to the back of the cubicle door: ‘Nez Perce Manufacturing’. The Log Lady told Hawk that something was missing, and that the process of finding it would have ‘something to do with your heritage.’ According to Mark Frost’s Secret History, the Nez Perce – Hawk’s ancestors – were a tribe of Native Americans that lived in the region.
  • Hawk manages to peel off the back of the cubicle door. Tucked away inside were the missing pages from Laura Palmer’s secret diary. The plot thickens!
  • Elsewhere in the station Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) is confronted by his wife Doris (Candy Clark), who proves to be just as inconsolable as she was in Part 5. After they leave Chad (John Pirruccello) makes a predictably sexist remark causing dispatcher Maggie (Jodee Thelen) to look at him disapprovingly. ‘It’s a free world!’ says Chad. ‘I can voice my opinion!’ ‘You sure can’ says Maggie, in her brilliantly withering comeback. It’s like Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid all over again.
  • Maggie tells Chad something he couldn’t possibly have known: that Frank and Doris’s son committed suicide, which might explain why Doris is the way she is. But as it turns out Chad did know. He was just being an asshole. In his words – accompanied by grossly insensitive mock-weeping – Frank and Doris’s son ‘couldn’t take being a soldier.’ Talk about toxic masculinity.
  • When-oh-when will Chad get his comeuppance? And which classic Twin Peaks character should get the chance to deck him? I think Albert should do it. It would call to mind that time Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean) gave Albert a well-earned sock to the jaw and might similarly kick-start Chad’s reformation. Oh, who am I kidding? You can’t reform Chad. Chad’s an asshole through and through.
  • There have been two references in this episode to off-screen characters who were formerly soldiers. Was Frank and Doris’s son in any way connected to Linda? Did they work together? Did something happen to them whilst on duty? This might later prove to be relevant to the main plot. Alternatively, it could be that Frost – who is more politically-minded and dare I say angrier than Lynch – is trying to say something about the state of America. The fate of these soldiers and Janey-E’s lines about the ‘99 percenters’ and how this is a ‘dark, dark age’ may have no bearing on the plot but they play a significant role in advancing the melancholic and apocalyptic tone of the new series.

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  • The episode ends on Deputy Jesse Holcomb (James Grixoni) staring off into space. This is a strange note to end the episode on. It either lends credence to the view that this is an eighteen-hour movie that’s been cut up arbitrarily, or it puts a spotlight on a character we know nothing about. And in this scene I find the character of Jesse Holcomb impossible to read.
  • Playing us out at the Roadhouse is Sharon Van Etten with ‘Tarifa’, a gentle, melancholy yet lively number that cast my mind back to the hit and run – maybe because the first line is ‘hit the ground’. Ouch.
  • The song also put me in mind of Carl Rodd, ‘looking across the sky’. Carl Rodd, who ‘can’t remember’, ‘can’t recall’, ‘can’t remember anything at all’ about the things he’s seen and the places he’s been.
  • Repetition of the number 7 in the song’s lyrics recalls the lucky number 7 embraced by the Lucky 7 Insurance Company.
  • ‘Send in the owl’: a cryptic line that, I have to say, spooked me a little. After all, ‘the owls are not what they seem’ in Twin Peaks.
  • The song’s final words, ‘figure it out’, remind me of Dougie telling Mullins to ‘make sense of it’ – a sensible message to send the series’ viewers, as they will have to actively engage with Frost and Lynch’s work in order to make sense of it.

 

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