Oh, how I love thee Part 11 of Twin Peaks the Return – you have embodied everything brilliant about this series in one episode; terrifying, weird as hell, grotesque and really, really funny. I’ll be covering, as always, the trail of clues in Buckhorn, South Dakota.
Two cars pull up on a dusty road and park outside a fenced-off area where a pinky-peach run-down bungalow sits, abandoned shipping crates are strewn around. Out of the first car steps Gordon Cole, Albert Rosenfield, Tammy Preston and Diane Evans. In the second, Detective Mackley and Bill Hastings sit. Hastings is handcuffed, still considered a murder suspect.
This is the site. This is where Bill said he met Major Briggs, where Ruth lost her head and from where Brigg’s floated up in the air and into the purple-hued space where he delivered a message to Agent Cooper. This is the entrance to The Zone? It’s not quite the dramatic entrance we were expecting.
Gordon asks Tammy to speak to Hastings to find out what he saw. “William, is this where you saw Major Briggs?” she asks. Bill, who looks devastated, incredulous and beyond scared now, almost as if he’s accepted his fate, tells her that he went in through the hole in the wire fence, about 15 to 20 feet; admits he can’t even remember what happened after that.
Hastings sees then a blackened woodsman lurking at the side of the pink house. Bill turns away nervously but raises no alarm, probably thinking it’s all in his head and that he has lost his mind. But Gordon and Albert see him too.
“Do you think there’s one in there?” Gordon asks Albert. Now at first, I thought he meant Woodsman, was there a Woodsman in the house? But no, I think they know what to expect from this place; they have seen or heard something about a place like this before. Gordon steps forward towards the pink house. There’s a hum of electricity getting louder the closer they get. Everything starts to blur – this image is one of the first-ever teasers we saw in the lead up to The Return. Seeing it in context is a thrill – we all wondered what on earth this could all mean back then. And now we know just how important it was.
As Gordon gets closer, he looks up into the sky, and a vortex appears; the wild whooshing of the wind seems to scoop up the trees in a whirlwind. Gordon raises his arms in a bizarre stance, reaching up to the hole appearing in the middle. We flash to the others’ perspective. They can see Gordon’s arms raised, but they do not see the vortex. How is Gordon able to see this? Is it just because of his proximity to the house? Or does he have a second sight, a special ability to do this? Hastings was able to access this place too. Could anyone stumble across this place? Or do you have to be chosen?
Gordon looks deeper into the centre of the vortex, a black space emerges with flashes of electricity, and inside that space, we see a flash of white, three Woodsmen, in contrast, standing on a staircase. That staircase we have seen many times before, you may not have realised it, but it’s a rotten, run-down version of Laura Palmer’s house. At the top, there might even be a ceiling fan. In between the Woodsmen is a pattern we have seen before too – it’s the wallpaper in the picture that Mrs Tremond and her Grandson gave Laura, a gift to assist her access into that room, in her dream, where she took the owl cave ring against Agent Cooper’s advice.
How is this possible? Is this really Laura’s house? Was her house a portal? What came first, the Portal or BOB?
The spin of the ceiling fan, the electricity, we always knew this was how BOB was getting in, but now it makes more sense. That inanimate object became something more sinister, a vortex, and we saw Laura in the Missing Pieces being lured inside from those stairs, spellbound as she stared into the void, an evil and grotesque grin spreading across her face. Sometimes the urge to do bad is almost overwhelming.
When Laura visited this place in her dream, she almost went inside. We saw her peering in, and then the picture showed her looking back into her bedroom. Her mother’s muffled wailing of her name was perhaps what kept her safe that night, pulled her back into our world.
Gordon, with his arms still raised, starts flickering, disappearing, but Albert luckily pulls him back before he’s sucked in.
Diane sees a Woodsman, but look closely at this scene — it is also one we have seen before. It is a flipped image of the Woodsman that Cole and Albert saw earlier. What is this? Just an editing mistake? An intentional error? Or something more? I think the latter. I refuse to believe that there are any accidents when it comes to David Lynch; no one will have poured over every single frame for longer than Lynch. Either something had happened when this portal opened that created a duplicate, mirror-imaged pink house, or and this may be more likely, this is the vision that Diane sees, and Diane sees in reverse.
Is this not really Diane, but her doppelganger? She’s the mirror image of her, but not the real Diane. Which, if true, makes you wonder what happened to the real Diane? Is the original her still alive or stuck in a lodge or between two worlds somewhere? And when did this happen? Pre or post-Coopers own imprisonment? If she listened to all the tapes Cooper sent her, Diane is perhaps the person to have more insight into the lodge than anyone else. It would have been very clever of Doppelcooper, who would obviously have known this, to find her, find her tapes and have her replaced. Killing her would have alerted the FBI to the then AWOL Agent Cooper, so replacing her with a fake was a wise move.
When Diane asks Doppelcooper at Yankton Prison if she remembered the last time they saw each other, he responds, “at your house”, heavily implying that Doppelcooper did something terrible to Diane that night and sexual assault was the first thing on everyone’s mind — mine included. But maybe this is not what happened – perhaps he killed her or at least the good part of her, leaving only the bad side of Diane. Cooper always said she was ‘an interesting cross between a saint and a cabaret singer’ it seems the cabaret singer is all that remains.
Albert notices something in the grass and alerts Gordon. It is the headless body of Ruth Davenport. Now I know that this is probably an inappropriate reaction, but I squealed with glee! I mean, we all knew she was very dead; it was just great after all the hours of wondering to see the rest of her finally. And she brought with her some clues. Her right arm in rigor mortis was bent, her fingers pointing – this reminds me of the first Woodsman we saw in the jail cell way back when. He was solidified almost, pointing, his head disappeared. This appears now to be a re-enactment of Ruth’s final moments. How creepy. Was this Who Killed Ruth Davenport? Do I finally have my answer?
On her left arm are numbers, the coordinates that Doppelcooper is looking for. Does this lead to Jack Rabbits Palace? Some of the numbers are a little smudged, but I think the Blue Rose Crew will end up at the same place as the Bookhouse Boys at 2.53 on October 1st.
My heart flutters at the thought of seeing the Bookhouse Boys back in action. The Truman Bros (a girl can dream), Hawk, Big Ed, Andy, Joey Paulson, Cappy, Toad and James (yes Laura, James is very sweet and very gorgeous) and I would hope that Bobby Briggs is a member now, and maybe even Jerry Horne is still enrolled! Will he stumble across, or more likely will his/not his foot drag him there to whatever is going to go down in those woods and help save the day?
Special Edit: 119! Stop the press! Carl Rodd is an original Bookhouse Boy! Confirmed by Mark Frost himself.
Of course, they are missing their honorary member, Agent Dale Cooper – will it be the assembling of his old friends that brings him back to ‘life’? What a moment of pure joy that would be to savour. Patience, my dear friends, whatever Lynch and Frost have in store for us is going to be bigger and better than we could ever imagine, and probably utterly heartbreaking too. Brace yourselves.
Diane watches as a particularly terrifying woodsman, his white eyes gleaming with evil, as he creeps up to the car in which Hastings and Mackley sit. She says nothing as he gets inside and becomes invisible. Hastings stunned and rattling face tells us something terrible is happening. We have seen this look before, the same look we saw on the radio DJ’s face as the ‘Got a Light?’ Woodsman crushed his skull. Thankfully, we don’t see what happens, but we hear the pop and see the blood splash against Mackley’s face.
Mackley screams with terror and calls on the radio control for backup to 2240 Sycamore. That’s an interesting address.
Diane coolly sidles up to the windscreen and says, “There’s no back up for this”. She’s not shocked or horrified at all. Has she seen it all before? Or is she just so numb to what has happened in her life that she just doesn’t care anymore? Does she know the Woodsmen’s method of murder so knew exactly what was going to happen? It seems that Doppelcooper has this power too. Poor Jack, the mechanic, was murdered by a jaw rub at Doppelcoopers hands. He too was unable to move, scream or call for help while it was happening—what a horrific way to go, paralysed by evil until your skull caves in.
Oddly enough, it was this action that seemed to be a reminder to DougieCoop over in Las Vegas. Mullins squeezes his face but with affection, and somehow Dougie recognises this action – something in his subconscious knows. And you know I’m still holding on to my ‘squeeze’ theory – there is something about this word; it’s used in such a bizarre way. Squeezing is something the lodge folk appear to do to kill, and even Dougie managed to squeeze part of Ike’s hand off. What does that say about Dougie?
Gordon, Albert and Tammy run over to the car. They peer into the window. “He’s dead”, says Gordon deadpan. Well, that is for sure! Poor Bill, only the bottom half of his head remains; the rest is caved in, looks almost like it’s melting. Is this what the Woodsmen do, set your brain on fire from the inside? What’s left of Hasting’s head looks remarkably like the leftovers of Sam and Tracey in Part 1 & 2, but we know that a Woodsman did not do that; that was ‘the experiment’, and it used more of a slicing motion than a crush. Surely Tammy, Albert or Gordon will notice the similarities? What is the experiment exactly? Are they combining many sources of evil into one?
I am sad that Hastings is gone. His character was brilliant, Matthew Lillard’s performance was spectacular, he will be honoured in the Twin Peaks community forever.
Why did Hastings have to die? And why now? The Woodsmen had plenty of opportunities to do this earlier; why let him lead the FBI to the portal/the Zone? Ruth’s body with the coordinates has been lying there for a while now. Surely they could have retrieved it before? There must be more to the plan. Is BOB the boss of the Woodsmen, or do they have their own M.O.? If BOB is no longer with Doppelcooper, where is he now? The Woodsmen appeared to dig the black orb of BOB from Dopplecooper and take it away, but perhaps they did not. Did they revive Doppelcooper so that he could continue being his host, and now he’s safely back inside?
Doppelcooper still wants to find the coordinates, but it seems he also wants Gordon and the team to know them too. Why is this? It appears that he needs to have everyone there at Jack Rabbits Palace on the day of reckoning. For what purpose, we do not know yet.
Back at Buckhorn PD, we see a hand shaking. It’s Gordon’s. “Cat on a hot tin roof! That’s never happened before”, he exclaims. Maybe not to him, but this did happen a lot at the end of Series 2. Even Cooper himself was inflicted with this strange phenomenon, albeit that when this happened to the others, there was also a rattling sort of noise which we do not hear with Gordon. The others were Harold Smith, who died shortly after that (officially by hanging, but I think otherwise). Then there was Pete Martell, who died shortly after in the bank explosion. We don’t know the fate of the Diner lady, but I imagine the worst. So does this forecast something terrible for Gordon Cole?
“We’re supposed to get some coffee, but I don’t think that’s a good idea”, Albert says after seeing Gordon’s hand tremble. Gordon says he would like some coffee. Albert replies, “maybe some warm milk…for the cat… on the roof,” which Gordon appears to mishear as “the picture you took of Ruth”. Albert glances at Diane and takes out the picture of the arm of Ruth Davenport with the coordinates displayed. Albert catches Diane peeking to look and mouthing the numbers. This is all a little odd. Did Gordon really mishear? Or was this a trick? They know that Diane is up to no good, so it seems they are intentionally leading her on. “What place do those coordinates represent”? Gordon asks. Albert explains that the last few numbers are smudged but that the numbers indicate a small town in the North… then Tammy enters with coffee and doughnuts. “Ah the Policeman’s dream”, smiles Gordon as Tammy lays down the tray in front of him.
After allowing Diane to smoke, Mackley reflects on the day’s events. No suspects were found in the area, but they did get a positive ID on Ruth Davenport. Albert asks if they found Major Briggs head, but there’s no trace. There wouldn’t be! It floated off into space, perhaps never to be seen again. Hopefully, it’s safe in the White Lodge now. Mackley says that nobody heard anything, no shots. Gordon tells them that he and Albert saw someone. Tammy looks a little startled at this revelation. Diane asks what he looked like, and Albert tells them that he looked like a homeless man, old clothes, beard, wool cap. Diane then tells them that she thinks she saw someone like that getting OUT of the police car. Of course, she has to lie here; if she told them the truth that she saw him get in, they’d know she didn’t do anything to stop Hastings’ murder.
Mackley and Tammy say they didn’t see them — Mackley was in the car, so should have. Then Gordon remembers, he saw them, in a room, he saw the bearded men. The same type he and Albert saw. Dirty, bearded men in a room. Sounds like my local.
At Twin Peaks Sheriffs Station, Hawk and Frank Truman discuss the information that Briggs left for them on the piece of paper. Hawk has a map that he tells Frank is very old and almost like a living thing. He shows him Blue Pine Mountain, which is close to where Briggs worked at Listening Post Alpha. There is a fire symbol that Hawk explains is a type of fire, like modern-day electricity. Frank asks if it’s good, and Hawk says that it depends on the intention.
Hawk says that the stars on the map reveal a date, the same date that Briggs had written, 1st/October 2nd. Then he explains the image of blackened corn, corn meaning fertility, but this is diseased and unnatural; this is death. The two images of fire and corn combined equal Black Fire.
Frank asks what the strange black shape on the map and Briggs note means — Hawk tells him that he doesn’t ever want to know about that. Really? No, Hawk, we really, really do want to know about that!
The phone rings; it’s Margaret Lanterman. Twice she asks Hawk if she can hear her. The second time she asks feels more like, ‘do you understand what I am saying?’. He assures her he does. “You found something didn’t you? What did you find Hawk? My log is afraid of fire. There’s fire where you are going. There’s fire where you are going“. Margaret’s voice crackles as she says this. She knows that something terrible is going to happen, and I have serious concerns for our dear Hawk.
There is so much going on here in this map that is left open to interpretation. That it’s ‘like a living thing’ suggests that it tells a story and can change depending on circumstance, destiny, events that happen in the future or are changed in the past; what it currently shows is the path our heroes are on.
So what next for them? It seems they are on a path to Jack Rabbits Palace now, as are the Blue Rose Crew. Dougie Coop has ‘friends’ now, and to be fair, the Mitchum Brothers are pretty good backup to have. What is Candie’s role in all this? Why is she like she is? She’s not unlike Dougie herself, but is she really someone else? Or has her past just been so awful that she no longer thinks, just sees, and obeys?
Dougie needs to find a way to get back to Twin Peaks — to be there for whatever is about to happen at 2.53 on the 1st and 2nd of October.
It seems to be the case that only the gifted or the damned can see the Woodsmen, which means that Tammy, Cynthia Knox and Detective Mackley should be safe. But what does it mean for the others? Gordon, Albert, Diane and Ray? Are they gifted or damned? What part does Phillip Jeffries play in all this?
Until next week…
All images courtesy of Showtime/CBS unless stated otherwise.