Twin Peaks Review by John Keegan

Twin Peaks 3.11: The Return: Part XI

Twin Peaks 3.11: The Return: Part XI

Written By:
Mark Frost and David Lynch
Directed By:
David Lynch

With the middle act of this long serialized third season coming to a close very soon, we are finally seeing some of the pieces fitting together in the larger tapestry.  There’s still some bizarre meandering along the way, but it’s also moving into more familiar territory in the same moments.  In other words, some of the patience is, perhaps, finally starting to be paid off.



It’s one of the stranger moments of the episode, but it is also perhaps one of the more thrilling, when Gordon Cole comes face to face with one of the places where the veil between the “real world” and the Lodges is thin.  Encounters with the Woodsmen are a direct connection to the intervention seen in the 1940s following the Trinity tests in “Part VIII”, as well as Dark Cooper and whatever his current goals may be.  It certainly seems as if the balance in the universe is pushing for Dark Cooper to be returned to the Black Lodge, but its denizens are trying to keep him active. 


Some have already pointed out how the strange encounter that Bobby Briggs has with the impatient and distraught mother outside the RR Diner is a metaphor for the audience.  The mother is screaming about how there’s so far to go and all she wants is to get home already, and how many of us just want to see where this is all going in the end?  Meanwhile, the daughter is having quite a bizarre episode (something that seems to be escalating in the town of Twin Peaks again, similar to the portents before the second season finale), and the mother is completely ignoring it.  David Lynch almost seems to be saying: “Stop worrying about the destination, pay attention to the strangeness along the journey!”



Episodes like this make it easier to reconcile that the return of Twin Peaks could never be a return to what was, and the same is inevitably going to be true of Dale Cooper.  It’s not just his time as Dougie Jones, which seems to be culminating as the mobster subplot begins turning inevitably towards a showdown between the Mitchums (as Cooper’s unwitting allies) and Dark Cooper.  And that brings the story closer to the confrontation between Cooper’s incarnations.  Once the third act begins with “Part XIII”, I can’t help but think that the sense of resolution will kick into higher gear as the complicating factors are slowly but surely eliminated.


I’m definitely beginning to think that one of those complicating factors is Diane.  With the connection to Dark Cooper now exposed to the audience, every reaction (or lack thereof) takes on a different meaning.  Just what are her motives?  The address on Sycamore seems very meaningful (a certain song from the second season finale comes to mind), and I wouldn’t be surprised if those coordinates on Ruth’s arm ultimately lead to the exact same spot that Hawk and Sheriff Truman are supposed to find, based on Major Briggs’ message and the “living map”.



That map, of course, has a ton of references to the mythology as well.  Fire is a central component, and when Hawk mentions that the fire is good or bad based on the intention behind the fire, it links back to the idea of how interaction with the Lodges is supposed to work.  The corn field echoes how garmonbozia, the “pain and suffering” that the Black Lodge entities consume, has factored into the narrative.  And of course, the symbol of the owl is directly linked to Killer Bob, and therefore Dark Cooper.


There’s plenty more to dig into in this episode: the revelations about Shelly and Bobby, Gersten Hayward’s apparent relationship to Stephen and Becky’s plight, and how prophetic dreams continue to play a role.  We’re seeing more and more of the familiar elements of Twin Peaks emerge as the third and final act draws near, and it will be interesting to see how those elements connect to all that we’ve seen to this point.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • More scenes with familiar old characters than we’ve had up to this point
The Bad:
  • At the current pace, we might see the real Dale Cooper in a bonus scene after the final credits roll

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Twin Peaks by - 7/26/2017 10:44 AM131 views

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