After Coulson lost her battle with cancer in 2015, there were quiet rumors that the actress filmed scenes for the series in the weeks leading up to her passing. These reports went unsubstantiated until Sunday night, when Coulson reprised her role as the Log Lady in the first two episodes.
In both episodes, the Log Lady calls Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) to share messages her log has for him. The second call, in particular, hits viewers like a punch to the gut. With Coulson's frail hand shaking as she holds the phone to her ear, she pleads with Hawk to visit her after his sojourn into the woods, sweetening the prospect with the promise of coffee and pie.
"I'm too weak to go with you," she tells Hawk. "Please, let me know what happens."
It's rare to see television confront the reality of what a fatal illness looks like as directly as Twin Peaks did in these scenes, with the line between Coulson's real-life illness and her performance of the Log Lady blurred beyond recognition — a situation only made more heartbreaking by the knowledge of Coulson's passing shortly after filming.
It's unknown whether Coulson will return beyond Twin Peaks' first two episodes, but even if those two scenes are the last we'll see of the Log Lady, we are beyond grateful she chose to return to this world and give audiences a chance to say goodbye.
Twin Peaks airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime. Episodes 3 and 4 are available to stream now in advance of Sunday's broadcast debut.