Those of us who've stuck with this incredible (and incredibly difficult) season of television each have our own reasons for doing so. Some revel in David Lynch's darkest imagery, some want to laugh at his joyful absurdism. Maybe some simply just want to be contrarians toward the Game of Thrones hype. Personally I will forever love David Lynch's work for those first two reasons, sure, but also the tremendous sense of humanity and heart that he's always brought to his work without ever truly getting recognized for it. Lynch may seek to lay bare the darkest impulses of humanity, but he's no misanthrope. He clearly loves his characters, and when they hurt, we're meant to hurt also, a thing that wouldn't be possible if we didn't care about them as people. In "Part 15" Lynch and co-writer Mark Frost wrenched our hearts twice... Once in the name of a heartwarming reconciliation, and once to say farewell to an iconic character who transitioned to another state much too soon. Let's talk about it!
We began on a beautiful day in an occasionally idyllic Pacific Northwest logging community where a one-eyed eccentric was marching with a golden shovel.
It was just another Tuesday in Twin Peaks, and Nadine (Wendy Robie) had somewhere to BE. Specifically, she had to be at her estranged husband Big Ed's (Everett McGill) filling station to inform him that he should feel free to pursue a romance with Norma (Peggy Lipton) at the diner. Apparently she'd been so inspired by Dr. Jacoby's (Russ Tamblyn) rantings and ravings that she wanted to get her life in order, and setting Ed free romantically was first on the list. Considering how strange the entire scene was, it was also so moving? Especially when Ed made a bee-line for the diner only to find Norma already on a lunch date with her business partner.
Poor Ed! Fortunately Norma wasn't feeling her lunch date and after swiftly selling off most of her diner franchises with one handshake, she returned to Ed and they rekindled on the spot.
A simple moment, but brimming with emotion. Even Shelly (Madchen Amick) could do little else but stand there teary-eyed while attempting to not drop a pot of coffee. As wild as this season has been, never let it be said that it hasn't been rewarding for longtime viewers. Norma and Big Ed are finally together!
So then it was time to get dark again, and that meant it was Dark Cooper's (Kyle MacLachlan) time to shine. He needed to speak with Agent Jeffries (the late David Bowie in flashbacks), so he arrived at what appeared to be an IRL version of that one "convenience store" we saw crawling with demons back in the instantly legendary "Part 8." And sure enough, inside he encountered multiple sooty-faced woodsmen just sort of loitering everywhere.
Evil Cooper was led through an empty house, then across a motel courtyard somehow, and then into one of the rooms where he encountered Agent Jeffries, or at least what he looks like NOW. A giant, steaming tea kettle, basically. It's not clear if this was a last-minute casting decision after David Bowie passed away or if David Lynch always envisioned for this character to transcend human form, but here we were.
After "Agent Jeffries" gave Evil Cooper some mysterious coordinates, Evil Cooper was confronted in the driveway by a total piece of sh*t with a gun. Yes, it was Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) who'd followed Evil Cooper here from that Montana warehouse where he'd murdered the arm wrestler. But the big, shocking, non-revelation here was that Richard confirmed his mother was indeed Audrey Horne! So that settles that, finally. Anyway, Evil Cooper disarmed Richard hilariously quickly and then invited him to ride along with him to Las Vegas. Is a friendship brewing? Is a father-son relationship brewing? We'll see!
As if that wasn't an unsettling enough concept, then the convenience store itself simply disappeared. I don't know about you guys, but something strange is going on in this town! I can't quite put my finger on it yet though.
Back in the woods of Twin Peaks, a drug addicted and alarmingly gun-toting Caleb Landry-Jones was hiding out in a grove of redwoods with his girlfriend (whom I had earlier mistaken for his mother), Alicia Witt. They were frantically whispering sweet nothings at each other while he fingered the gun in a possibly suicidal way. Eventually they were interrupted by a dog walker, Alicia Witt ran for cover, and a gunshot rang through the woods. Did he commit suicide? Would anybody be upset at all? Stay tuned!
That night at the roadhouse, James arrived with his young friend with the super-strong hand. Almost immediately James was set upon by the jealous fella of a local lady, and even quicker, stronghanded boy punched two men nearly to death!
These were sort of one-and-done type punches, and judging from the foaming-at-the-mouth seizure one of them had, some brain damage may have ensued. Still, I halfway expected heads to be caved in (holes in heads are sort of the main motif of this season), so consider these dudes lucky!
Somewhat less lucky were this shady mob boss and his stressed-out assistant, who both met the business end of a silencer! But, again, there are worse ways to go than being murdered by Jennifer Jason Leigh, you know?
Yep, Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh were still running their clandestine hitman-for-hire business, and apparently targeting Evil Cooper's enemies? Friends? It's still unclear. I may need a flowchart to completely understand how all these plotlines intersect, but I do appreciate Twin Peaks continuing to take players off the table. Also, it's hard to be mad at hitmen who eat cheap hamburgers in their van immediately after a double homicide. Relatable!
Also relatable was Dougie's fondness for eating cake and pawing at a TV remote. But after accidentally turning on the TV and finding himself triggered by footage from an old movie, he had the sudden impulse to crawl across the living room floor and jam his fork into an outlet!
All we know is, he shorted the power in the house and freaked out Sonny Jim. But whether the electricity de-fried his brain or not will be answered next week, hopefully.
We were then treated to a beguiling and lovely farewell to the Log Lady, Margaret Lanterman. Now, we knew that Catherine Coulson passed away in real life shortly after filming these scenes, so her mere presence throughout the season had always been poignant and layered with urgency. But here David Lynch took the time and care to send the actual character off into the night. In her final moment, the Log Lady phoned Hawk (Michael Horse) and informed him that she was dying, and even though she knew it was merely a transition and nothing to be afraid of, she nonetheless was afraid. She told him her log was turning gold, and even gave him one last warning to be careful as he confronted the evil that he knew was coming. And then, teary-eyed, she bid him goodnight, he hung up and bid her goodbye, and in one stirring, wide shot, the light in her cabin went out.
That scene was followed by Hawk alerting the others in the Sheriff's station that Margaret had passed away, and they all stood in tearful silence for a moment. And just so we really knew the importance of this iconic character to the franchise, David Lynch saw fit to include "In Memory of Margaret Lanterman" in the closing credits, in the spot where only deceased real-life actors had been listed. Guys, I'm crying just typing this. What a lovely tribute to an incredible character and actress. It's hard to overstate just how important the Log Lady was to the initial mystique and good-humored weirdness of Twin Peaks, but she was. And perhaps more than even the impending series finale, the death of the Log Lady feels like a farewell to Twin Peaks itself. So lovely.
Elsewhere (and I simply do not know where), Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) and her husband fought once more about whether they would go to the Roadhouse or not, and Audrey seemingly shouted him into refusing to go, which caused her to really lose her cool.
Yeah, I'm still intrigued by what exactly is going on here. Audrey seems incapable of actually leaving this place, or handling basic human interactions well. But now that Richard Horne actually referred to her as his mom in the present tense, maybe she is still in his life somehow? Who knows. (I wanna!)
The episode closed out with an absurd moment that quickly went dark. A young woman (Charlyne Yi) sat alone at a booth listening to the band (The Veils) and a couple of bikers physically picked her up and set her onto the floor so that they could have her booth. It was a cartoonish and childish move on their part, but her humiliation was real. She then crawled across the floor sobbing and confused.
I truly related to her here. Sometimes live music venues are just not worth it.
"Part 15" was perfect Twin Peaks. It boasted weirdness, darkness, forward momentum, and most of all, surprisingly deep emotions. It also felt like, for better or worse, this season is coming to a close. Sure, there are three hours left, but they promise to further tie things together, or at least leave us with satisfying conclusions to the characters we've cherished for so long. And if David Lynch's treatment of the Log Lady is any indication, his tremendous affection for their hearts and lives will be the light that continues to guide us all home.
Twin Peaks airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
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