We’re a dozen episodes into the summer of Twin Peaks, kids. How often can you say that for a prestige show in the era of the limited series? Although we’re starting to wonder: Did it really need to be this long?
Twin Peaks is all about information—who has it and who doesn’t. This is the show that spawned, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” Well, now we know, but this season raises the question of what exactly is that “who.”
In that regard, this is one of the weakest episodes yet, with lots of padded scenes and lackluster joke bits. We do get lots and lots of scenes in Twin Peaks with old fan favorites (Audrey!) but almost all the new information this week is up top, in the very first scene. The rest is gorgeously rendered noise. And while clues could definitely have been woven in, they could just as well be red herrings. That being said, people would still watch if it were just hours on end of the Red Room. (I personally would have liked that more some weeks.) Read on for the latest.
The FBI is still around, drinking some fine red wine. Super casual. Albert fills Tammy in: In 1970, the U.S. air force shut down Project Blue Book, a 20-year investigation into UFOs. In its place, a task force looked into cases Blue Book failed to resolve—they called it the Blue Rose. Ding ding. It was a phrase uttered by a woman in one of these cases just before she died, Albert explains to Tammy. (We will also remember that the ghost of Major Briggs said it to Cooper on his way out of the Red Room.) Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie in Fire Walk with Me) was brought in along with three other agents: Albert, Desmond (he disappeared in Fire Walk, too), and Cooper. Albert is the only one of that group who hasn’t disappeared without explanation. For that reason, there’s been reluctance to bring new blood into the fold—until tonight. They want Tammy. Is Tammy the new Cooper? Watch out, Tammy.
Tammy is in. They toast. Diane enters, and Gordon and Albert ask about her “more than a passing insight” into the Blue Rose. They want to deputize her on a temporary basis given her relationship with Cooper. What’s in it for her? Some cash. Maybe the satisfaction of knowing what happened to Cooper, Albert notes. Later at the bar, Diane chomps down on a martini olive. An unknown number texts her “Las Vegas?” She writes back they haven’t asked yet. We know from earlier episodes that this is Bob in Cooper’s body.
Later, Diane is at the bar, again, wearing a super cool outfit, yet again. She looks on a map, and we flash back to her trying to memorize the numbers on Ruth Davenport’s arm. She types it in, and what do you know? The coordinates lead to Twin Peaks. Everybody now!
In his hotel room, Gordon is wooing a pretty young consort when Albert comes in to talk to him about something serious. Gordon asks the woman to leave and she takes a ridiculously long time. It’s extremely annoying. She’s French, I guess? Or fake French. Anyway, who cares. I don’t like this character. Or rather, I don’t like that David Lynch should put her in here for his character to hook up with while it takes up five precious minutes of Twin Peaks time.
Of course, Albert’s news is that Diane’s been texting with that unknown number again– they’re tracking her phone. Hmm, what’s in Vegas, they wonder. Super important!
Back near the prison, Hutch and Chantal stake out the warren to carry out their hit from Bob/Cooper. Hutch shoots him dead with a sniper gun, and they drive off.
We open over here on Jerry Horne running through a field. That’s all from that front.
At the market, a deranged Sarah Palmer buys a ton of vodka. She has a weird reaction after seeing some new turkey jerky (ha) at the checkout. “Were you here when they first came?” she asks the checkout girl. She’s obviously talking about something else—maybe Bob and the murders. “Men are coming,” she continues. “I am trying to tell you that you have to watch out.” She has a full-on freak out and runs out of the store.
Over at the Fat Trout, Carl dissuades a tenant with money problems from selling his blood. He offers him free rent this month. “I don’t like people selling their blood to eat,” he adds. Sort of sinister, out of place—but doesn’t seem quite so random. We’ll note it for later.
Deputy Hawk goes to Sarah’s house after her episode to see if she’s OK. She definitely does not seem OK, but she shoes him away after some small talk. She seems to be hiding something.
Then we’re with Benjamin Horne and Beverly at the hotel as Sheriff Truman comes to pay a visit. He tells Ben that his grandson Richard was the one who ran over and killed the little boy and that it looks like he tried to kill the only witness, Miriam. Truman is hoping that Ben can pay for her operation since she’s in intensive care. “That boy has never been right,” Ben says about Richard, who is on the run. Ben brings up the key that showed up in the mail that hasn’t been used in more than twenty years–we know that Jade sent it from Vegas when it turned up in Cooper/Dougie’s pocket. It’s to room 315, which Ben remembers as the key to agent Cooper’s old room. That’s “interesting because were just opening up an old case involving agent Cooper,” Truman notes. Yep. Interesting.
“Richard never had a father,” Ben tells Beverly after Truman leaves. He also tells her to arrange things at the hospital so that he will pay for Miriam’s care. Ok, so I know that Twin Peaks is Twin Peaks and the deadweight can be funny for the sake of its drollness, but this is an example of when it just doesn’t work. We then hear him repeat the same information we just got from Hawk to Beverly. Yes, we know!
Next up is Dr. Jacoby’s for his crazy-person podcast. “It’s 7 o’clock: do you know where your freedom is?” Nadine is very intrigued by those gold shovels of his. He goes on a rant about multinational corporations filled with vermin. Drain the swamp, anyone? Definite Infowars vibes here; or is it Bernie Bro? There’ve been quite a few points made in the news lately that the far left and far right meet up in this fanatical, antiestablishment territory and Dr. Jacoby is right there… we just don’t quite know what it is he really believes in. Maybe that’s the point.
And most importantly we meet up with… Audrey!!! (Sherilyn Fenn is back!) She’s waiting for the phone to ring because she’s looking for someone—let’s assume now she’s Richard’s mom. But she’s not looking for him, it’s for someone named Billy. Her husband, Charlie, is a boring, hapless, bald man who won’t get up from his desk to help, and she’s just as impetuous that as ever. She also tells him that she’s been fucking Billy—so who is Billy? We don’t know. She wants to look at the Roadhouse. They have some bitter banter that goes on a long time, and he finally agrees to go with her. These two seem pretty happy. Just kidding.
Audrey mentions that “Tina” was the last one to see Billy, so her husband calls her. “Chuck” is the one who told her that “Tina” is the last one to of seen Billy—Charlie points out Chuck stole Billy’s truck. (Oh! This is from a few episodes ago where someone was scared about people coming for him and asked Andy meet with him. Then later someone ran into the Double R looking for “Billy.”) Either way, this scene is long and confusing, and these people are randoms we don’t really know much about.
Charlie has an extremely long conversation with Tina where he finds out some important information, but it’s only on the other end and we don’t know what it is. An extremely frustrated Audrey try to get him off the phone, becoming anxious then desperate. He gets off the phone but doesn’t tell her what was said. Audrey throws a tantrum. We are all Audrey right now.
And as most of these end: Lastly, the Bang Bang Bar. Two randoms, Abbie and Natalie, are having beers, listening to the Chromatics. Their friend Angela is dating a guy named Clark who is apparently with another woman the other night at the bar. This girl Angela is really on edge: she’s off her meds, her mom just died. Natalie’s boyfriend, Trick, arrives. Apparently he almost got run off the road and he’s furious. Isn’t he under house arrest, Abbie asks? Natalie says that’s behind him. If there’s a couple in Twin Peaks there’s something wrong with them, as usual.
Oh. Sonny Jim tries to play catch with his dad, Dougie, aka Cooper, who lets the ball hit him in the face. That’s all we get from Vegas. Hey, Kyle MacLachlan has that top billing—got to work him in somehow. This scene is a good meme. That’s all for now.
A Field Guide to Recognizing Your Favorite Twin Peaks Actors Now, 26 Years Later
Though Kyle MacLachlan has since starred in other cult series, even when he was Charlotte’s impotent husband on Sex and the City and a murderer on Desperate Housewives, he’ll always be known as Special Agent Dale Cooper, a man never too far away from a slice of cherry pie or cup of strong, black joe. (No word yet on whether Diane will be returning, too.)
Death be damned, Laura Palmer is coming back with a bang by starring in all 18 episodes of the new series—that is, unless Sheryl Lee, whose first post-Peaks role was Salome opposite Al Pacino, and who has since showed up in Winter’s Bone and Woody Allen’s Café Society, is simply reprising her role as Laura’s suspiciously identical cousin, Maddy.
Dana Ashbrook has kept up acting with a steady roster of smaller films, including 2012’s The Agression Scale with Ray Wise, aka Leland Palmer, and more than a few appearances on Dawson’s Creek, presumably making him more than up to the job in reprising his role as the annoying ultimate bad boy Bobby Briggs—even now that his hair’s gone gray.
Though she’s now a long way from a schoolgirl, the ever flirtatious Audrey Horne may have a chance at getting together with Coop after all, especially since actress Sherilyn Fenn has been keeping up her acting chops on shows like Gilmore Girls and Shameless (not to mention appearing on the cover of Playboy in the ’90s).
At 70, Peggy Lipton scarcely seems to have aged since she last played Norma Jennings, the owner of the Double R Diner, though she has since raised another actress, her daughter Rashida Jones.
Richard Beymer‘s eyes seem only bluer than ever since the now 79-year-old actor last turned up as Benjamin Horne, Audrey’s father and the owner of the Great Northern Hotel (not to mention an appearance in West Side Story, which helped to earn him a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year that he shared with Warren Beatty). Not that viewers have been able to appreciate them: Twin Peaks is only Beymer’s fourth on-screen appearance so far in the 2000s.
From blue streaks to twin top knots, Kimmy Robertson seems to have as much appreciation for an out-there hairdo as Lucy Moran, her curly-haired secretary in the sheriff’s office. Robertson has since lent her high-pitched voice to shows like Batman and The Simpsons, plus appeared onscreen on an episode of Drake & Josh—all good practice for appearing on all 18 episodes this season.
Like Leland Palmer, Laura’s potentially murderous father, actor Ray Wise has since gone gray, a new look he’s shown off in shows like Mad Men, Fresh Off the Boat, Gilmore Girls, 24, and How I Met Your Mother. That’s range.
Another face who’ll be showing up in the full series, Mädchen Amick has lately turned up on Riverdale, plus a host of cult shows like Mad Men, Gossip Girl, ER, Gilmore Girls, and Dawson’s Creek. Fortunately for her character, the waitress Shelley Johnson, though, her abusive husband Leo won’t be back.
Since playing Deputy Hawk, one of the most reasoned voices in the sheriff’s office, Michael Horse has gone on to not only appear in shows like Malcolm in the Middle, but pick up a full-on artistic career as a jeweler and painter.
Though Michael Ontkean has maintained his curly head of locks since starring as Sheriff Harry S. Truman, the actor, who last showed up in The Descendants in 2011, has decided to leave Coop hanging and won’t be returning to Twin Peaks.
Lara Flynn Boyle won’t be returning to this season but she’ll always live on as Donna Hayward, Laura’s best friend of sorts who was never short on spectacular sweaters.
Russ Tamblyn‘s daughter Amber has since gone on to become an actor and even director herself, but Tamblyn has kept up an acting career of his own since playing the ever eccentrically-outfitted psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, recently picking up roles in films like Django Unchained.
Like the actor who plays fellow bad boy Bobby Briggs, James Marshall, aka James Hurley, Big Ed’s nephew who can’t get enough of riding his bike, has also gone gray, but still showed up on-screen with a few films and an appearance on CSI.
Like her on-screen daughter, Laura, the grief-stricken Sarah Palmer will be returning for all 18 episodes, although actor Grace Zabriskie has turned up in shows like Charmed and Big Love.
Fittingly, like her beau Sheriff Harry S. Truman, sawmill owner Josie Packard won’t be returning to the series—like fellow mill worker Piper Laurie, aka Catherine Martell, David Lynch apparently never asked her back. But actor Joan Chen has been looking young as ever lately in shows like Netflix’s Marco Polo.
Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Patricia Arquette, and Hailey Gates Open Up About Working with Legendary Director David Lynch: