Following the action-packed deluge of information in “Part 11”, this week’s installment seemed like it might be smooth sailing when, halfway through, nothing major seemed to be happening aside from The Gordon Cole Comedy hour and Sarah Palmer’s (Grace Zabriskie) signature freak-outs. But then, in the last few moments, David Lynch and Mark Frost were like, “Wait, here’s this,” and dumped a double-thick Sudoku activity book’s worth of problems to be solved in our laps. Most of them stemming from the tragically messy life that Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) has found herself stuck in. After waiting for 12 “parts” to reconnect with this beloved character, who last we heard was in a coma after an explosion at the bank, feeling the satisfaction of finally seeing her on screen caused me to pause the show, throw my hands in the air, and scream. Once the show was un-paused, all celebrating was over. What has happened to Audrey in the past 25+ years to make her so hateful seeming? What is the town of Twin Peaks doing to people? Hopefully we’re about to find out, but we sure as shit didn’t this week.
“Part 12” opens with a bit of housekeeping when Gordon (Lynch) and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) meet with Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) in a red curtain-lined room somewhere in their South Dakota hotel. The two give her a bit of background on the Blue Rose Task Force, and then ask if she’d like to join them. Albert runs it down like this: Project Blue Book was a government-operated study of UFOs put into motion in 1952, and officially retired in 1970. Unofficially (both in Twin Peaks, as well as in real life), secret organizations picked up the work where Project Blue Book left off, and in TP, one of those organizations was the Blue Rose Task Force, led by Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) who then brought Albert, Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak), and Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the fold. Since Albert is the only one who hasn’t gone missing (either physically or, in Cooper’s case, mentally), more help is needed, which is why Tammy has been offered a slot.
Now, over the past couple of months, Tammy has received some harsh criticism in “The Return”, and we’ve even made some lighthearted jabs at her overacting here in past recaps, but after reading a recent Vulture interview with Chrysta Bell I’m personally going to give her a pass from here on out. So far, she’s only ever acted in a few things aside from this and those include a small role in a Chinese film called Once Upon a Time in China and America, a bit part in the TV series Switched!, and a Ford commercial. She’s primarily a singer/songwriter who’s collaborated with Lynch on music-related projects since they first met in 1999, so who can fault her for not being the best actress in the world? She’s got a lead role in one of the coolest shows to ever exist and shares most of her scenes with David Lynch. Let the woman live. Okay, end of rant.
So, after Gordon and Albert bring Tammy into the Blue Rose Task Force, Diane Evans (Laura Dern) comes in, fixes herself a vodka on the rocks, and reluctantly accepts their invitation to be deputized, with a shoot of her fingers and a throaty “Let’s rock.” Not only is this the unofficial title of this episode, but also a reference to the original catchphrase by the Arm/Man From Another Place’s (Michael J. Anderson) from the original series and Fire Walk With Me. Nevertheless, Gordon and Albert need her previous intel regarding Project Blue Book and Blue Rose, and she, we can only guess, wants to get her hands on extra private access to help with what she and Evil Cooper are sneaking around about.
From here, we pay a quick visit to Twin Peaks proper, just long enough to uncomfortably watch the train wreck that is Sarah Palmer shopping for bloody mary fixins. She walks down the liquor aisle in a daze with two bottles of mix in her cart and then idles in front of the vodka, making a stink face over the fact that they only have three bottles left. At the register, she adds on a carton of Salems, and then becomes visibly upset over the dual display of jerky offered behind the cashier. There’s beef, and then there’s turkey. The turkey option throws her into a spiral for some reason and she quizzes the cashier about it, who, if you could read her thoughts, can’t wait till Sarah leaves so she can tweet about what has transpired during her work shift.
“The room looks different, and men are coming,” Sarah yells at the confused teens in front of her. “You have to watch out! Things can happen! Something happened to me!” Sarah then proclaims that she doesn’t feel good and quietly coaches herself in how to find her keys and get in the car. She leaves her comfort groceries behind at the store, meaning: No turkey jerky in the Palmer cabinets. No way, no day. Later on, Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) checks in on her at home and she appears almost demonic. There’s an eerie clattering coming from the kitchen that Hawk asks about, but doesn’t get an answer for, which makes the scene all the more foreboding. Poor Sarah. Poor everyone.
Meanwhile in Vegas, Dougie/Cooper (MacLachlan) is led into the backyard of his home by Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) who’s eager to play a game of catch, but doing such a thing with his temporary Mr. Potato head daddy stand-in is a bust. Sonny Jim tosses the ball and it bounces off Dougie/Cooper and lands in the grass. We don’t see him again for the rest of the episode. So much for him being on the road to a “return” to true form.
Back in South Dakota, Albert visits Gordon’s hotel room to speak to him and finds that his colleague is entertaining a lady friend, played hilariously by Berenice Marlohe. Gordon politely asks her if she’ll wait for him by the bar so the two men can speak privately. She agrees, though not before she indulges in a Chaplin-esque bit, mugging, winking, and cooing at the camera as she takes her sweet time to leave the room. She puts on her shawl, fixes her lipstick, and even kicks up her shoe to expose the tell-tale red sole of a Louboutin pump, which elicits a “TRES CHIC!” from Gordon. Finally, she makes her way out, and an enchanted Gordon talks her up to a very non-plussed Albert, explaining: “She’s here visiting a friend of her mother whose daughter has gone missing. The mother owns a turnip farm. I told her to tell her mother that her daughter will turnip eventually.”
When this gets zero response from Albert, Gordon adds that “she didn’t get it either.” Now that he finally has the floor to speak, Albert digresses on why he came to Gordon’s room and explains that Diane received yet another text from Evil Cooper (so far as we know), asking “Las Vegas?”, to which she replies: “They haven’t asked yet.” Gordon ponders what it is that they haven’t asked her yet about Vegas while we wonder the same. Is this about Dougie/Cooper and the cherry pie escape? Is this about Mr. C wondering if Gordon has gotten Dougie/Cooper’s prints back and realized that Dougie is Cooper? We’ll have to wait on this for more clues.
Back in Twin Peaks, Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) pays a visit to Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) at the Great Northern to tell him that his grandson Richard (Eamon Farren) is a killer, and is on the run from the law. Ben seems genuinely sad about this saying, “Richard … that boy has never been right.” Respectfully, he offers to pay Miriam Sullivan’s (Sarah Jean Long) ICU bills, where she’s laid up in need of a surgery after Richard tried to kill her in her trailer. Ben mentions that Richard never had a father of any kind, as though that’s an excuse for his behavior, and sends Frank off with a story about the bike his own father gave him as a child and, even better, Cooper’s old hotel room key, to give Harry Truman as a memento of his time spent with Dale.
You remember Gary “Hutch” Hutchens (Tim Roth) and his swinging wife Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh), right? Good. As we all expected, the two take out Warden Murphy (James Morrison) per Evil Cooper’s instructions, leaving his dead body in the walkway of his front yard for his young son to come out and find. It’s a jarring sequence sprinkled with dark humor by the fact that the two then head off to Wendy’s for dinner. As we awkwardly laugh at this, we roll in and out of a new installment of the Dr. Amp Show, whose only fan — Nadine (Wendy Robie) — watches with glee. The feeling is not so mutual.
That’s fine, though, because then we get…
Audrey Horne. What. Has. Happened. To. You? Now, in the past, Audrey Horne has always been known as a saddle shoe-tapping, red lipstick-wearing, cigarette-sneaking sass-box, but this version is … well, she’s just mean … and seems broken … you know, like almost everyone else in Twin Peaks. She’s also married to a man named Charlie (Clark Middleton). No last name is given for Charlie in the credits, which keeps us hanging just a tad bit longer in the whole “Who the hell is Richard’s dad?” debate. (We know it’s Evil Cooper, right?) Anyways, as we learn through some extra chunky exposition, Audrey and Charlie have some sort of contract in their marriage that leaves them tied, but loveless — and it shows. Audrey not only calls Charlie a “spineless, no balls loser” but also pleads with him to join her in the search for her lover, Billy, who’s been missing for three days.
Now, remember a few “parts” back where a kid came running into the RR and we were all like, “Did he say Bing? Billy? Butterscotch? What the hell is happening?” Okay, well, I’m pretty sure he was looking for Billy, and this is the Billy in question. Audrey tells Charlie she had a dream about Billy the other night and that he was bleeding from the nose and mouth. This is probably crucial information surrounding Billy seeing how we’ve since learned that dreams in Twin Peaks should be taken seriously. As the scene persists, Audrey then goes on to say that someone named Chuck told her that someone named Tina was the last person to see Billy. Charlie mentions that Chuck stole Billy’s car (confused yet?) and gets Tina on the phone and seems to receive an earful of information, which he then hangs up and refuses to relay to a fuming Audrey.
That feeling is mutual.
Eventually, some stuff happens over at the Roadhouse, including a funny cameo by Scott Coffey playing a frantic man named Trick who almost got killed by a driver who drove him off the road on the way over. But let’s end things with Diane. Back at the bar of her hotel in South Dakota, she plugs the coordinates she memorized from the picture of Ruth Davenport’s corpse arm into the maps app on her phone and they bring up Twin Peaks. All trouble, at all times, is pointing back to Twin Peaks. And there’s only six “parts” left to tie it all together. “Fuck you, Tammy.” Just kidding.
DAMN FINE QUOTES
“I don’t like people selling their blood to eat.” –Carl Rodd
“Tres Chic!” –Gordon Cole
“Next stop, Wendy’s” –Hutch
“You’re nothing but a spineless, no balls loser.” –Audrey (she so nasty) Horne
NEXT WEEK ON TWIN PEAKS
— Are we ever gonna find out about “Richard and Linda?”
— Who’s Billy?
— Who’s Tina?
— Who’s Charlie?
— Is Laura Palmer the “mother” that American Girl said was coming in “Part Three?” The Internet seems to think “Experiment” (AKA the thing in the glass box) is the “mother” mentioned here, but someone’s got two thumbs and thinks it ain’t and it’s (points thumbs at self) THIS GIRL. Laura is “the one” after all, right? Think about it …
TONIGHT AT THE ROADHOUSE
Chromatic return to perform “Saturday”…