Twin Peaks Review by John Keegan

Twin Peaks 3.12: The Return: Part XII

Twin Peaks 3.12: The Return: Part XII

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

We’ve now reached the end of the second act of Twin Peaks: The Return, and in keeping with the defiance of expectations, there’s only the most oblique signs that the narrative is approaching a resolution in the coming weeks.  In fact, this episode spends a lot of time with extended scenes that don’t seem to intersect with what we’ve been shown hardly at all.  It’s a bit frustrating, but perhaps mitigated slightly by the sheer amount of time spent on the denizens of Twin Peaks, signaling that the story is converging there.



One of the highlights comes early: the quick, concise, and straightforward explanation from Albert regarding the Blue Rose taskforce and its purpose.  Sure enough, this formally links Gordon, Albert, Dale Cooper, Chet Desmond, and Philip Jeffries as a team dedicated to investigating the otherworldly truths behind what was uncovered in Project Blue Book.  And of course, this intersects rather nicely with the mythology from the second season, particularly the material with Major Briggs and Windom Earle.  (It doesn’t quite fit with some of the things Cooper found surprising in the first two seasons, but one can write that off as the result of compartmentalization, and Gordon’s profound sense of responsibility for Cooper makes a lot of sense in that context.) 


I’m a bit less sold on the idea that Tammy has been groomed for a place in the Blue Rose squad, or that she’s been monitored from early in her life as a potential recruit.  One might interpret her unusual body language and speech patterns as an outward expression of some unique quality in her thought processes, but she still seems to possess a lot less gravitas than the young Dale Cooper.



The episode also has a lot to say about Diane, adding to what is already suspected.  For example, she comes into the meeting through red curtains, and then echoes the Man From Another Place (aka The Arm) by declaring “Let’s rock!” when deputized into Blue Rose.  It’s very clear that the team is watching her closely, which makes it strange that they can’t think of what they might not have asked her about yet.  There’s a laundry list at this point, and a lot of it pertains to the Black Lodge and Dark Cooper.


It seems that Sarah Palmer is also having visions again, or perhaps even visitations by those from the Lodge.  She definitely seems to be tapping into the weirdness that has been gaining ground in Twin Peaks in recent episodes, so her portents add to the impression that things are going to get very bad.  Of  course, we’ve spent so little time with the characters in Twin Peaks until now that it’s hard to really attach any major stakes to the notion of increased supernatural violence.



But a huge chunk of the episode is devoted to a scene that seems completely disconnected from everything else we’ve seen in the third season to date.  Audrey Horne finally shows up, and it’s an incredibly awkward scene, since we have no idea who she’s going on about or why.  Not only that, but she’s apparently married (and seeking a divorce from) a guy that is decidedly not the kind of man anyone would expect Audrey Horne to marry.  The only thing it seems to underscore is that Audrey might have been through something traumatic enough to set her on this path, which points yet again to the theory that Dark Cooper raped her and fathered Richard in the process.  (Ben’s story to Sheriff Truman adds even more evidence to the theory.)


Like the scene with Audrey, the extended conversation at the Roadhouse involves characters we’ve never seen and probably will never hear about again.  And there’s more of Jacoby’s Alex Jones impression and Nadine’s glowing praise of it.  What’s the purpose?  To make the town seem lived in, full of familiar domestic and social troubles that are escalating as the fateful confrontation draws near?  Earlier in the season it seemed likely that all of these seemingly random pieces would fit together, but it’s getting hard to see how that might be.  It’s becoming as elusive as the return of Dale Cooper himself, and it’s understandable how that might be more and more frustrating as these random scenes intersperse with the content we’re all salivating to see.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Everything pertaining to the Blue Rose mythology, which clears up a few things
  • Albert’s “I’m just done” expression should become an internet meme
The Bad:
  • Audrey’s return appearance is a disappointing exercise in tedious non-sequitur

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 - 8/3/2017 10:02 AM109 views

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