Holy shit… After two lackluster episodes where not a lot happened, “Twin Peaks” came roaring back this episode with so much to unravel it’s hard to know where to begin. The wealth of information dropped here is staggering, and I found myself rendered speechless on more than one occasion, dumbstruck by the revelations taking place on the screen.
Let’s try to unpack all of this because DAMN that was one hell of an episode!
This episode opened with Gordon calling the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station to see what Sheriff Truman had to offer. Here he learns about Harry and meets Frank, who tells him about the missing pages from Laura Palmer’s diary that suggest there may be two Coopers. This information is hugely relevant because Albert and Tammy are discussing the first Blue Rose case, which involved a woman who supposedly killed her doppelgänger, the slain one calling herself a Blue Rose, something that is unnatural and conjured.
Diane joins the three and is asked about Cooper and Major Briggs. She’s shown the ring with the inscription “To Dougie, with love Janey-E.” Diane appears shaken as she has a half-sister in Las Vegas who is married to a Douglas Jones. Gordon calls the Las Vegas office and instructs them to round the pair up in connection with the murder of Major Briggs.
After Diane leaves, Gordon recalls a dream he had about Monica Belluci (who plays herself). He has coffee with her and her friends at a charming cafe with Cooper, whose face is obscured. Belucci tells him “We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream” before hauntingly asking, “But who is the dreamer?” She then has Gordon look over his shoulder, where he sees the scene from Fire Walk With Me when Phillip Jeffries comes into the office and calls out Cooper.
Utilizing haunting and eerie music, something about this entire sequence feels unsettling and unsafe. Even though there is now a strong connection that can see Gordon, Albert, Tammy, and Diane find Cooper, the joy of this possibility is overshadowed by the intense unease that courses throughout this sequence.
The rest of the episode takes place in Twin Peaks, where the mysteries piled up higher than perhaps ever before.
Starting with an easy event, James is shown outside of the Great Northern wearing a security guard’s uniform. He’s sitting next to his coworker Freddy, who has a very interesting tale to tell about why he wears a thick gardening glove on his right hand. Apparently, while he lived in London, he was walking down an alley when he saw a tunnel-like vortex in the air above him, much like the one Gordon saw prior to the death of Bill Hastings. When he went through, he met the giant man, who referred to himself as “The Fireman” and gave him instructions on how to obtain this glove, which gives him superhuman strength. He was also told that he could find his destiny in Twin Peaks, which is why he moved overseas.
In what might be the most terrifying scene throughout the entirety of “Twin Peaks,” and not just this revival, Sarah Palmer goes to a bar for a Bloody Mary. A local man deems it appropriate to harass her after she turns down his advances, assaulting her sexuality and making threats of physical violence. She turns to face him and literally removes her face, revealing a static cloud behind her visage wherein a hand and a mouth can be seen. She puts the face back on and suddenly lashes out, rending half of his throat. He collapses to the floor dead, blood everywhere.
Remember several episodes back when Hawk, Sheriff Truman, and Bobby found that metal tube with the messages inside? The ones that had seemingly strange instructions? This was the episode where those were followed, and the events that stemmed from that are unbelievable.
After arresting Chad at the police station, Hawk, Andy, Truman, and Briggs head into the woods and obey the instructions set forth by Major Briggs. When they get to the mysterious spot, there is fog and the sound of electricity crackling. Inside the fog is a woman, the same woman that Cooper saw fall into the universe in the third episode. She is naked and her face still has her eyes covered by flesh, random gashes present over where her eyes should be. As they see to her, a portal appears above the four of them and it sucks Andy in.
We see him in the Black Lodge, where he sits across from the giant man, who reveals his alias as “The Fireman.” Andy suddenly holds a strange object in his hand and turns his face upward after a pillar of smoke guides his gaze. In the ceiling is a dome that acts as a projection for new and old visuals, including showing Andy the strange humanoid creature from the glass box, Laura Palmer, Bob, the Woodsman (who utters his now iconic phrase “Got a light?”), his wife Lucy, and both Coopers, their images laid over each other before separating into two distinct faces. When the visions end, Andy breathes heavily before disappearing.
Back at the start of the policemen’s wooded journey, Hawk, Briggs, and Truman stand around when suddenly Andy appears carrying the woman. He explains that she is physically fine but that people want to kill her. She will be safest in their holding cells, which Truman agrees to. None of them can seem to remember what just happened.
In the holding cells, Chad is furious at his arrest and he tries to take it out by screaming at a drunk man whose face is badly beaten. This drunk man seems to be able to communicate with the strange woman’s squeaky and chirping dialect, although nothing is revealed as to what is being said.
The episode ends, as almost standard, at the Roadhouse bar, where two women are talking about Billy. Turns out one of them is the daughter of Tina and was there when he was last seen. He apparently crashed into their home, slammed his face against the kitchen counter for several seconds, before fleeing. Is this the same man in the holding cells? It’s not clear but I’m wondering if the connection is there. The musical guest is Lissie, who plays “Wild West,” and the episode is dedicated to David Bowie.
People, I write this a shaken man. David Lynch and Mark Frost have brought us yet another mind-boggling episode that pushes television to the absolute limits. This episode acts as further proof that “Twin Peaks” is a series that embraces horror but uses it in the most clever and terrifying of ways. For all my confusion and desperation for answers, I relish the slow and momentous reveals because they have that much more impact.
Hearing Diane say that Janey is her half-sister was a moment that caused my jaw to drop. Seeing Andy go from the lovable doofus we know him for to becoming the strong-willed and now monumentally vital character after his Black Lodge journey was an unexpected, yet phenomenal decision. The trip into the woods was built up as Bobby’s trek, but it was all a catalyst for Andy to undertake his own voyage.
Nothing has ever been as it seems in “Twin Peaks,” and this episode only proved that. Television has never seen such bold writing, and it certainly has never had this much faith in its audience.