Yes, we all want to explore the origins of evil. Yes, we want to witness the birth of BOB when he was first vomited up by an interdimensional albino demon. And yes, we want David Lynch to do literally anything he wants with Showtime's money. But also — and I'm almost embarrassed to admit this — sometimes I want a show about Twin Peaks the town? It just seems so cozy there, you know? I agree that living there means dealing with a nonstop parade of nightmare and depravity, but those vistas! Those steaming cups of joe! And most of all, those familiar faces who, despite all they've been through, still greet each other with warmth and understanding. Twin Peaks, WA, seems like a nice, cozy place to be, and in "Part 13" it felt like the show finally remembered that. Let's talk about it!
We began in a Las Vegas office park where the local businesses suddenly came under attack by a rogue conga line!
The local mob brothers who'd set out to murder Doug-E (Kyle MacLachlan) had instead found a new best friend and were celebrating the $30 million payout Doug-E's company had bestowed upon them. So it was gifts, gifts for everyone! Including a white BMW for Janey-E (Naomi Watts) and whatever THIS was for Sonny Jim:
David Lynch has done a lot of weird things in his long and varied career, but what ON EARTH was this jungle gym? Why the rope lights? Why the arch? Why the spotlight? And why the Swan Lake theme? All rhetorical questions because the answers don't matter, only that Sonny Jim was having a h*ck of a time out there! Get it, boy! Do it!
Things got more serious at a warehouse in Montana when Dark Cooper showed up to resolve some unfinished business with Ray (George Griffith). But before that could happen, the biggest and scariest dude in Ray's gang (Derek Mears) challenged Dark Cooper to an arm-wrestling match to the death. Even after a pre-match sucker punch to the base of his skull, Dark Cooper had zero problem defeating the thug, even toying with him throughout in a truly hilarious way. ("It hurts when my arm bends like this.") I think you already knew what would happen next: Yup, Dark Cooper won the match then punched A HOLE in the man's head. If there's one thing David Lynch likes more than coffee, it's graphic head trauma.
The entire gang ran off and left Ray to fend for himself. There he revealed some coordinates (probably the same ones the other characters have had) and then got himself really killed moments later. Also, loved this well-dressed member of the gang trying to cozy up to Dark Cooper by offering him cash:
Anyway, the intriguing thing was that Ray admitted he'd been tasked to kill Dark Cooper by Agent Phillip Jeffries (the late David Bowie) and upon killing him was supposed to place that same green ring on his finger that we'd seen the original recipe Doug-E wear in his first episode. Ray was wearing it when he died, so then his corpse transported back to the Black Lodge:
So at least now we know a little more about how the forces of the Black Lodge were hoping to reclaim Dark Cooper. Despite all these setbacks, at least we know how it works. But something tells me we're facing a pretty festive meet-up at the Black Lodge entrance first. So many people are figuring out the coordinates now.
Another delightful subplot concerned Doug-E's coworker (Tom Sizemore) yet again attempting to murder Doug-E at the behest of a shadowy crime boss. He went so far as to poison Doug-E's coffee, only to completely own up to the attempt when Doug-E became suddenly obsessed with some white powder on the man's collar. Believing perhaps that Doug-E was trying to massage his neck out of friendship, he broke out into guilty sobs, jumped up and disposed of the tainted coffee in a urinal, and apologized to everybody. What a strange storyline this has been!
We're probably all still haunted by the sight of Shelly flying off the hood of her own car and landing on a trailer park lawn with both of her shoes flying off. It's the last thing I think about before I fall asleep and the first thing I think about when I wake up. Well, just for the record, she and her daughter are on better terms now.
Sure, Amanda Seyfried (Amanda Seyfried) is still scream-sobbing about her terrible, terrible boyfriend. But at least she can still get jazzed about some cherry pie over at the RR Diner. See, these are the cozy moments I'm talking about. Angst and nightmares aside, this is a town where simple pleasures often win out. Is this a larger metaphor for the battle of good and evil brewing in all of our hearts? Guys, this ain't no think piece. It's a thank-piece. Thank G for this show.
Did you know that Norma fully owns the diner and they are franchised AND there are a total of FIVE diners in the franchise? The other ones are actually called "Norma's RR Diner" but she felt uncomfortable changing the name of this one. This scene was hilariously dry and business-oriented, as though we really want to look at profit spreadsheets for this place. But it maintained Norma's sense of decency in the face of modern entrepreneurship (she didn't want to raise the price of pie) and also re-established that she's a single lady on the scene.
Unfortunately, Ed (Everett McGill) was keeping his distance, which I guess means they didn't end up together. And while it's equally mysterious as to whether he's still married to Nadine (Wendy Robie), I think we could tell from the episode's heartbreaking final image of him working the night shift alone at his gas station that he's a lonely man these days. Aw, c'mon Norma. Take him back!
For her part, Nadine had a fun visit from her idol, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), who'd been attracted to her silent drape runner shop by the golden shovel she'd been proudly displaying in the window. Again, did we have a love connection here? Despite Dr. Jacoby being a legitimate crackpot, he seemed so smitten with Nadine. As weird as this scene was, I kind of wanted to live in it for a little while. These people are so cute!
Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) was not having quite as cute a night, mostly because she'd run out of vodka and was watching a loop of an old boxing match over and over. Sarah Palmer is not exactly a party these days. Still though, that familiar living room really works for me.
Can we talk about Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) for a sec? Once again she berated her husband for not giving her the whereabouts of her lover Billy... except she seemed unable or unwilling to actually leave the house. Between this and how the rest of the characters have never referred to her existence beyond that one coma she'd been in, I'm starting to get the impression she's trapped in some kind of alternate realm. Guys, is she still in that coma? Be honest. I feel like there's a twist coming up here, and my guess is she's still in that coma. Quote me on that.
We concluded with something ANY Twin Peaks fan can get behind: James Hurley (James Marshall) reprising his song from Season 2, "Just You" (which, of course, originally featured Donna and Maddy on backup). I've always loved that scene with all my heart (the way it's shot is a marvel) and the way it made me feel. This was a lovely, and somewhat sadder version what with the passage of time, and the woman sobbing in the audience. And also because the two characters who'd been with him that first time are now dead or MIA. But as a fan it was a lovely surprise.
"Part 13" was a surprisingly emotional and even cozy hour of Twin Peaks. Sure, a man had his head punched apart, but this still felt pretty charming overall. There's something irresistible about characters who have known each other for this long enjoying each others' company in a simple, sincere way. David Lynch loves to explore darkness, but he deserves more credit for all the things he lets remain in light.
Twin Peaks airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
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