Part 16 of Twin Peaks, The Return is the best hour of television ever made thus far. Yes, it is. This week we were treated to such glorious storytelling and visual beauty that the whole thing felt about 5 minutes long, made me shout at the TV several times, gasp with genuine surprise and total glee, and I cried several times. I watched it three times in 3 hours. It was THAT good. I laugh when I think back to May, I was nervous that it might not live up to expectations. I have never been more wrong.
We start the show with Dopplecooper/Mr. C night driving, yes again! this time with Richard Horne. They don’t speak for a long while. Had they spoken before we caught up with them? Did Mr C tell him about how he knew his mother as he promised?
They pull up on a dirt road, a large hill in front of them. Mr C turns on the beams of the truck to light up the hill ahead of them. “So we are here, what now?” Richard asks him. “Pay attention. I am looking for a place, do you understand place?” Mr C replies. “Three people have given me coordinates to the place. Two of the coordinates match. What would you do Richard?”. “I’d check out the two that match“, Richard replies. “You are a very bright young man. We are very close to the two that match, it says its right up there,” he says, looking at a mobile device screen and pointing towards a rock on the hill. “We’re going up there?” Richard asks. “Yeah, we’re going up there right now”.
Next, we see Jerry Horne, who appears to have been running for a very long time now and very far away from home. Of course, we don’t know how far this place is from The Farm in Western Montana. That would mean Jerry has travelled over state lines from Washington and Idaho to get here, which is pretty unlikely. It was dark when Mr C and Richard left the Convenience Store, we don’t know how long they have travelled, but I would guess this place is closer to Twin Peaks than the Farm. Jerry apparently has no understanding of why he is running or where he is going. Whatever he’s been smoking is some serious stuff! But it’s having this effect for a good reason; it has perhaps tuned him into his subconscious 100%.
Jerry sees Mr C and Richard Horne in the distance. He has no idea who either of them are, that it’s his Great Nephew is on top of that hill. He takes a pair of binoculars from his bag and proceeds to look through the bottom lens, which of course, does not help him see more closely at all. “Dear God“. He utters.
Mr C and Richard walk to the top of the hill where a large rock lies. “Is this it?” Richard asks. “I bet it’s right up there on that rock”, Mr C replies. “I’m 25 years your senior. Take this and get up there, it will beep when you’re close and make a continuous tone when you’re on it”. Mr C tells Richard as he hands him the locator device. Richard climbs up onto the rock. Jerry is watching still through the wrong end of the binoculars. Richard reaches the point the device tones alerts that this is the place. “I’m here!” he calls, and with that, a lightning bolt shoots from the sky, electrocuting Richard for several seconds, his pained screams echo through the hills, and then he explodes into tiny sparks. He is completely obliterated. Jerry saw this happen, and it is perhaps a good thing that he wasn’t looking through the correct eyepiece; he might have been blinded. Is the White Lodge playing a part here, helping Jerry? He screams, “Bad binoculars!” repeatedly, but Jerry, they did you a favour really, you didn’t want to see your nephew go down like that.
Jerry sees through the lens is a human shape, black within the shocking white light, and at this moment, I couldn’t help but think of the Woodsmen. They look like shadows. While I am in no doubt that Richard as a human is very dead, the way his final shadow was projected in the light, I wonder if his soul was captured forever at that moment. Is that how the Woodsmen come to exist? Are they literally the shadows of their former selves?
Jerry witnessed this happen for a reason. His knowledge of this place might come in handy later on. Let us not forget The Fireman’s first words to ‘Cooper’ at the very beginning of this series. “Remember 430. Richard and Linda, two birds, one stone.” Well, one done, one to go? We still haven’t met Linda. We have perhaps heard about her. Mickey tells Carl Rodd back at the Fat Trout Trailer Park that Linda, who is a veteran, needs a new wheelchair. Is that the Linda we should be wondering about? In a series of many doubles, god knows how many Bills, I’m not sure that the Linda we have heard about is the one we need to look out for. Or perhaps the fact that we have only heard that name once is exactly why we should take note. Does Linda need to be at the same place at the same time for fate to take its course? Could Linda be the New Mexico Girl? After being sent to sleep by the Woodsman’s lullaby, has she been dreaming the whole time? Does she need electricity to jolt her awake?
Mr C watches Richard’s explosive demise and tuts, “Goodbye my son“. My first gasp of the evening. While this one was expected, the revelation was still astonishing. And the coldness of Mr C at the death of his son, of course we didn’t expect tears or tantrums, this may have been the first time they met, but still, even for an evil guy that’s pretty cold. You can see why he and Chantal got on so well. Not that Richard was a loss to anyone, of course, he was about as psychopathic as you can get. The hit and run was truly shocking; the attempted murder of the witness Miriam was downright evil, his treatment of his Grandmother and Uncle unforgivable. He had to go.
What on earth happened to Audrey? Did Mr C visit her in hospital and rape the unconscious high school girl? I certainly wouldn’t put it past him. But I have a feeling there is more to this story. BOB/Mr.C are pretty evil; where would be the fun in raping someone who knew nothing of her trauma? No, they’d want her to know about it, to create as much pain and suffering as possible. So did the vulnerable young girl welcome who she thought was her ‘Special Agent’ into her loving arms? Was what he did to her enough to send her to the ‘nuthouse?’. We know that Audrey showed Richard a picture of Dale Cooper and told him he was an FBI Agent. We know nothing else of what she told him. Did Richard know he was his father? Did Audrey gush about him when she told her son the story? Or did she tell him he was a very evil man? Did Audrey herself believe Cooper to be Richards father? Did she finish things with Jack Wheeler because of her pregnancy? Was this the end of any potential happiness she could have had with Jack?
Mr C walks down the hill to his truck. He takes out a phone and attempts to text, presumably Diane, ‘🙂 ALL.‘ The time on his phone states 2.05 am. The message fails to deliver. He gets back in the truck and drives off.
In Buckhorn at Donovans Restaurant & Pub, Gordon, Albert, Tammy, and Diane are still working. Gordon stands in his room, a hub of electronic equipment. He looks as if he’s receiving messages from numerous sources; he’s taking it all in. Does his hearing aid assist with this? Does he struggle with human sounds as he mostly hears from other dimensions, is he tuned into another space and time?
Diane sits at the bar as usual. She receives a text. ‘🙂 ALL.‘ The time on her phone shows that the message was sent at 16.31; she received it at 16.32. Pay close attention. One of two things happened here. Either the message did get sent but not until 14 hours and 26 minutes later, perhaps when Mr C was in a better signal range. They were in a very remote area, so that could easily be the case, but I doubt they were that remote that it would take that long to travel to a well-covered area. The other possibility is that Mr C is not texting Diane, but his texts are being intercepted, even the unsent, and passed on. That is perhaps unlikely considering what happens next. But note that the time Diane received the message was one minute after 4.30 — one minute earlier in real-time was when Richard died. Remember 430. Are we supposed to note the time of death or the time of text receipt because that message shakes Diane up for sure.
The message shakes her to the core, and she begins to tremble physically and downs her drink. “I remember. Oh Coop, I remember“. She replies with the coordinates — 48551420117163956. What does the message Mr C sent mean? We immediately start to worry about Gordon, Albert & Tammy. Diane opens her purse, and we see a gun in there. This does not bode well. As she gets up from the bar ‘American Woman’, the slowed-down Lynch version plays, the same music we heard the first time we ever saw Mr C. He’s in control here. I feel it now. As much as I’d hoped I was wrong, Diane really is evil.
Diane walks to the elevator and then the corridor to the ‘hub’. Gordon senses her coming and looks worried. “Come in Diane!” he shouts as she arrives outside the closed door. She enters and sits down. “You asked me about the night Coop came to visit me. Well I’m going to tell you.” Tammy and Albert raise their eyebrows. “Wanna drink?” Albert asks. Of course she does! Watching this was painstaking. Every second I thought she would take out that gun and shoot the three of them. Is that what ‘ALL’ meant? Kill them ALL? Diane takes out a pack of cigarettes from her purse.
“Well it was three, maybe four years after I stopped hearing from Cooper. I was still working at the Bureau. One night, no knock, no doorbell, he just walked in. He was standing in my living room. I was so happy to see him, I held him so close, and we sat on my sofa and started talking. I just wanted to hear everything about where he’d been, what he’d been doing. He only wanted to know about what had been going on at the Bureau“, she holds her hands around her neck, “it felt like he was grilling me, but I told myself he was just excited to hear about Bureau news. And then he leaned in, leaned in to kiss me, it only happened once before, but as soon as his lips touched mine, something went wrong and I felt afraid, and he saw the fear in me and he smiled, he smiled and his face….” She makes a hand gesture across her face showing it changed; she saw BOB in him. “That’s when it started. He raped me. He raped me“.
“Afterward he took me somewhere, an old Gas Station” she reads the text on her phone again, which now reads the time 15.50 — is time going backwards? Note also that message now reads 🙂 ALL – no full stop. Weird! Is this a different message? From someone else?
She starts panting, “I’m in the Sheriffs Station, I’m in the Sheriffs station. I sent him those coordinates, I’m at the Sheriffs station? I’m not me! I’m not!“, she takes the gun out of her purse, and as she’s about to pull the trigger, both Albert and Tammy shoot her. In a flash, she is whisked away, completely gone.
The three FBI Agents sit in shock. “Woah, they’re real. That was a real Tulpa“, Tammy says, bemused. “Sheriffs Station?” Gordon asks quizzically.
Red drapes flow, and we see Diane sit in a chair in the red room/black lodge. The same chair we saw the real Dougie Jones sit in. The One-Armed Man/Gerard appears. “Someone manufactured you“. “I know, fuck you“, she replies. Her face starts to crack like an egg, her body quivers and her head collapses inward to produce a golden ball bearing — what we now know to be a seed. She explodes with an electric bolt and disappears in a puff of black smoke, just like Dougie Jones did.
I really wasn’t expecting that. I knew she was not what she seemed, but I didn’t expect her to be anything but human, perhaps tainted by evil or even doing bad bidding for the greater good. Well done, Lynch and Frost, for keeping this mystery alive for so long!
So this Diane was a Tulpa. In Tibetan mythology, Tulpas are thought forms, a being created from the collective thoughts of separate individuals — extra bodies that were created from one person’s mind in order to travel to spiritual realms. Does that mean that what we see in some parts is not what is happening in our spiritual realm? Are there several other similar worlds to our own? It would also go a long way to explaining the inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks.
Did the original Diane create herself? If so, why? Or did someone else create her? If Mr C did this, I would imagine it would have been to use her as a spy. But it appears that if the absolutely triumphant scenes at the Las Vegas hospital are anything to go by, then a physical piece of the original person is required to make a copy. A seed. Agent Cooper plucked his hair from his head and gave it to the One-Armed Man to make another version of himself to live with Janey-E and Sonny-Jim so as not to leave them alone. This is not good news for Diane though, at least part of her was used to create her Tulpa.
My feeling is that the smiley face in the text is what made Diane tremble. The smile — she remembered BOBs grinning face as he raped her. I believe this did happen, and everything she told them after that was the actual memories of the real Diane. The ALL may have been an order to kill them all, but the real Diane was in there somewhere, fighting to send them a message. That message was that she was at the Sheriff’s Station.
Ok, who do we know is at the Sheriff’s Station right now? That’s correct, Naido! Are her chirps and squawks her trying to send a message? Now Naido looks absolutely nothing like Diane. The exact opposite, if anything. Yes, it is true that Naido backwards is Odian — very similar, but I am not sure if this means anything. If Diane was a Tulpa created in her original image, then Naido cannot be the original Diane. We never saw Diane in series 1 or 2, she was just a dictaphone, but Gordon and Albert would recognise her for sure. The Tulpa must have looked identical; how else would Albert have found her at the bar that rainy night?
But maybe the real Diane is trapped in Naido’s body — she said, ‘I’m not me!’. Perhaps only her soul survives. Tulpas don’t have to look the same as the person they are made from. They are imagined so they can look any way their creator wishes. Can two people create or control one Tulpa? Did Naido change her to be more like she imagined? Diane’s choice of wearing Japanese style clothing may hint at that.
I never quite understood how Annie Blackburn and Caroline wore the same (hideous) flowery dress in the Lodge. Annie was still wearing that dress when she was released at Glastonberry Grove. Was that Annie a Tulpa? Was Annie always a Tulpa, programmed and created by Windom Earle? A new version of Caroline, Coops first true love? Earle knew he wouldn’t be able to resist! But that she couldn’t look exactly the same. Is this why Norma doesn’t seem to care about her before or after her arrival in Twin Peaks?
The night Mr C/BOB raped Diane, he took her to the Convenience Store. There it seems he created her Tulpa. This Tulpa appears to be the angry, alcoholic, chain-smoking version of Diane, the original being, ‘somewhere between a Saint and a Cabaret singer’. Was the real Diane killed that night? I am afraid to say I think that is probably the case. Diane’s Tulpa said that she was estranged from her half-sister Janey-E. Estranged is a strange word to use about a relative; it’s more commonly used in relation to marriage. I feel that what she was really telling us is that their relationship ended when she died. But her soul may have ended up in the purple place. So Naido is not Diane, but she used the Tulpa of Diane to get a message to Gordon, Albert and Tammy. If anyone has the power to invoke a message, it would be Gordon Cole and his super-duper hearing device. They need to get to the Sheriff’s station, and pronto!
Everyone important is heading to the same place now, Twin Peaks. Mr C has the correct coordinates from Diane. Gordon et al. know that they need to head to the Sheriff’s station and our beloved Agent Cooper is on a plane, heading home! They all need to be there. It’s their destiny. The ‘living map’ most likely tells us precisely who needs to be where and when.
I can’t write this piece without mentioning this part of the story. I am not going to delve too deep but tonight was the night it finally happened. Agent Dale Cooper came BACK! As I said last week, I am pretty sure Dale ‘woke up’ in Part 15 — he instinctively went for the electric socket, as he needed to be shocked back to life. Electricity—it can be your saviour, or it can kill you. As Hawk would say, it depends on the intention. Cooper’s intention was good, Richard’s was very, very bad, and it obliterated his soul.
The One-Armed Man tells Coop that, “The other one, he didn’t go back in. He’s still out. Take this”. He hands him the green owl ring. Interestingly he does not put it on but holds it and puts it in his pocket. It appears that the ring is to be used as a weapon against Mr.C. Ray was ordered by ‘someone’ to kill Mr C and put the ring on his dead finger. We know that his body would have been transported to the Lodge in doing that, and they really want him back there. We can now assume then that The One-Armed Man was the one that told Ray to do this — has it been him impersonating Phillip Jeffries this whole time?
Before Cooper’s awakening, Bushnell Mullins has been keeping watch at his bedside. He hears the same ringing that can be heard at the Great Northern. He goes to look for its source, which gives Coop the chance to wake up. Who or what is this noise? It feels like it is a spirit trapped in the walls, but now that it has moved, location not just within the hotel’s walls but across entire states does not suggest entrapment. This is something that can move freely and has a message to tell. It seems angelic, almost.
Bushnell tells Cooper that the FBI is looking for him, which he says is ‘perfect’ — no doubt because once he has fled the scene and the Agents tell Gordon Cole that he’s left by private jet to Twin Peaks, they will be hot on his trail, which is exactly what he wants and needs. Backup. Coop speaks to the Mitchums on the phone who sort out the plane, and halfway through the conversation, in a joyously unpredictable moment, the Theme Music/Falling starts to play. Instant tears from me, and I think thousands if not every Twin Peaks fan across the world. We are going home. Are we falling in love? Yes, we are, time and time again.
“I have a feeling a man named Gordon Cole will call. If he does read him this message“, Coop gives a piece of paper to Bushnell. He shakes his hand, “You’re a fine man Bushnell Mullins, I will not forget your kindness and decency“. He starts to leave the hospital bedroom. “What about the FBI?” Bushnell asks. “I AM THE FBI“. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! YESSSSS!! Yes, you are!! This is without a shadow of a doubt the most triumphant moments of television history. I was already blubbing; now I’m weeping.
Cooper heartbreakingly says his goodbyes to Janey-E and Sonny-Jim. Janey knows he wasn’t the real Dougie, but she doesn’t question it too much. He promises her that he’ll return, he will walk through that ‘red door’, and he’ll be home for good. The Dougie that returns to play husband and father may be another Tulpa, but let’s hope for their sake this one is made more in line with the original. But is he also telling us a secret, a future prophecy? Does he know that he will return to the Red Room? Is that the place he belongs?
In Vegas, Chantal and Hutch pick on the wrong Polish Accountant and end up getting shot to pieces. Well, they had run out of crisps, so maybe for the best. The Polish Accountant had a very nice white car, and his choice of shirt interested me. Burgundy in colour. So far, those dressed in burgundy have been ‘good’ and perhaps from the White Lodge/Purple room. Naido wore a burgundy dress, American girl (formerly Ronette), Gersten Hayward, and The French Woman — who I still think was a ‘key’ especially after Chantal wore the same Louboutin shoes. The fact that the Polish man killed them, and he really went to town on them, in a public street and then didn’t even attempt to flee, just put his hands up and allowed the FBI to arrest him. Very fishy indeed! I think he was a White Lodge Agent, sent to save Dougiecoop should he have returned home. The Mitchum Bros reaction was brilliant, “People are under a lot of stress!” What a reflection of the world we live in.
“The Roadhouse is proud to present, Edward Louis Severson!” calls the MC. Seeing the Bang Bang Bar sign lit up this week made me shout “No!” at my telly. It can’t be close to the end already?! Eddie Vedder sings his beautiful and apt ‘Out of Sand’, then quite by surprise into the Roadhouse walk Charlie and Audrey. They finally left ‘the house’. They drink martini’s, and Charlie raises his glass, “Here’s to us Audrey“, “Here’s to Billy“, Audrey replies.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Audrey’s Dance“. Audrey looks startled. Her theme song starts to play (tears yet again as the music starts); it takes over her and lulls her into a hypnotic state. She gets up off her stool, and the crowds clear the dance floor. Purple lights wash over her as she dances underneath them. She’s in her happy place now. Isn’t it too dreamy? The crowd sways in a circle around her, like trees blowing in the wind. Like she’s dancing in the middle of Ghostwood Forest. Charlie watches on stupefied. Her dream state is rudely awakened as one reveller smashes a glass over another’s head. Audrey, now in a panic, runs at Charlie, “Get me out of here!”
Then suddenly, we see her staring at herself in a bathroom mirror. White walls, she is wearing white. “What? What? Oh!” She’s breathing heavily in panic. Has Audrey too just woken up? But from what? Did Cooper have to be awake for Audrey to be able to?
Has Audrey been in a coma all this time? I don’t personally think so. She had a chance to tell Richard about Agent Cooper for a start, so she must have come out of it at some point to be able to do that. The white walls look clinical. My personal feeling is that she has been in ‘therapy’ this whole time. Charlie probably is her Psychiatrist; she made up a story about him being her husband. The contract in her mind was a marriage. In reality, it was perhaps her sectioning at the hospital, maybe paid for by Ben Horne. She wasn’t allowed to leave until she had recovered. It appears she has recovered just in time.
Has anything in the Roadhouse been real? Or have all the Roadhouse scenes been Audrey’s dream? Snippets of information she can hear between other patients in the ‘nuthouse’? Let’s face it, none of the conversations we’ve listened to have been exactly ‘normal’. I don’t think this is the case really. We have seen Shelly, James and Freddie there, who all seem to exist in the ‘real world’ too. So who was Billy to Audrey? Did she invent him from stories of other patients? Or does he really exist? Is he the drunk in the prison cell, did escape from the hospital, run through the wire? Did she need to be in love with someone to break free from her psychological state? Perhaps love really is enough to save you.
What will happen to Audrey next? Will discovering the death of her son put her back into an emotional black hole? Will she be reunited with her true love Agent Cooper? Now that they are both adults, could they be together? Or has what Mr C did to her ruined any chance of a relationship? What about Annie? Will we ever find out how she is, dammit!? Will we ever meet the real Diane?
There are only two hours left. I am deeply saddened, and I don’t want this to end. The Summer of 2017 has been really quite extraordinary because of Twin Peaks. It has actually changed my life. That may sound absurd to most people; I get that. But it is more than a TV show. It is friends, it is therapy, it is escapism, it’s a brain exercise, it is belonging somewhere. The 3rd/4th of September will be an emotional event for us as we say goodbye. I hope and pray it’s not for the last time.