Milo Garner reviews the latest chapter of Lynch’s return to Twin Peaks ahead of tomorrow night’s new episode.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers.
Pointing at Agent Cooper, David Bowie’s Phillip Jefferies asks Gordon, ‘who do you think that is there?’ He said this in the 1992 Twin Peaks prequel film, Fire Walk With Me, though in his dreamy recollection of the event Gordon seems to have realized new meaning in this question. And who wouldn’t – the mystery of Coop’s identity seems to be building to a close, and Part 14 pushes many of the necessary pieces into place for (the presumed) reveal to come. One such piece is a revelation from Diane, who reveals she has a sister called Janey-E – yeah, that one (probably). And so the FBI might finally be on the trail of Dougie Coop, though of course that is kept from us for at least another episode. Another comes with Sheriff Truman, Hawk, Andy, and Bobby, who reach the illusive Jackrabbit’s Palace. Once here, a mostly indistinct wooded area, they come upon Naido, that eyeless woman from Part 3 who appeared to live in some kind of interdimensional spaceship from which Coop escaped. She is lying on the floor and looking worse for wear, and so the crew decide to return her to the police station for protection, though not before Andy is transported to the black and white realm last seen in Part 8. Here he is met by images from that past episode, as well as the Giant who delivers some key information to perhaps the show’s least reliable character. Or one would think – immediately after receiving this information and being sent back to his world, Andy seems suddenly assertive and confident. A marked change from the man too squeamish to bear Laura Palmer’s blood back in the series’ initial pilot.
While this main plot steams forth the typical Lynchian aside takes the screen. In this episode the focus is on James, in his most substantial scene yet. He shares the screen with Freddie – Jake Wardle, perhaps better known as YouTuber Truseneye92, personally scouted by Lynch on the back of his first viral hit. He plays a ridiculously cockney security guard at the Great Northern and talks with James about various supernatural events that brought him to be where he was. The general gist is that the Giant told him to buy a glove that has granted him super strength (on the hand he wears it), and that he was told to come to Twin Peaks without explanation, and felt it right to do. In expected style this story is told over a long time without much bother paid to saving time for the other, perhaps more pressing, plotlines at play, but this is no problem. It’s an entertaining and interesting monologue, and one that Wardle gets just right – the cod English accent, complete with a blatant Beatles reference, could easily have fallen flat in less talented hands (or hand). Following this interlude, James travels into the Great Northern, and seems to have found the source of the noise that has been troubling Ben for some time. But what it might be is saved for another episode. Elsewhere in Twin Peaks we revisit Sarah Palmer, who is receiving a lot of screen time toward the end of this series, though to what end is yet unclear. She sits at a bar and is approached by a fairly reprehensible man (complete with a ‘truck off’ t-shirt) – after telling him to back off somewhat nicely, her face detaches and she bites his throat off. Yeah. Her face returns and she unconvincingly tells the barman that she isn’t responsible (how could she be, an unarmed old lady?) As for the audience, Sarah might have had a few strange moments in the last few episodes, but this is unprecedented and, predictably, inexplicable. With very few parts left to this revival series, it does seem many questions will go unanswered, though it seems Lynch is set on posing new ones until the very end.
Twin Peaks: The Return airs Mondays at 2am in simulcast with the U.S. on Sky Atlantic, and is then repeated at 9pm on Tuesdays.