Rachel Bellwoar reviews the twelfth episode of Twin Peaks season 3…
How much do you need to understand a conversation to make it worth your time and enjoyment? This isn’t a new question David Lynch asks this week but one worthy of readdressing with the appearance of a character many Twin Peaks fans have been clammering to see: Audrey Horne. Looking none the worse for wear, for having been in the bank when it exploded at the end of season two, we know she’s married Charlie, that she’s having an affair with Billy, and a handful of other names are mentioned, but none are recognizable from her old Peaks days. Charlie gets a face because she’s having the conversation with him but, in setting this conversation late in the season, there’s less pressure to keep track of who’s who.
Many shows throw you into the deep end with names, but it’s a trust exercise. Allow yourself to be confused and it’ll all become clear in time. David Lynch deserves a lot of credit but the show would need to grind to a halt to make every new character that’s been introduced this season somebody important.
Enjoying the show demands being in the present. You could spend the whole hour talking about what doesn’t happen — how Shelly, Bobby, and Becky, so prominent last week, are completely absent, or how the mystery of the drivers outside the Double R remains untouched — but that way leads to trying to make Peaks into something it isn’t. As Audrey asks, “You’re not gonna tell me what she said?” Twin Peaks answers by cutting to the next scene. The show is moving forward and getting stuck on the past doesn’t help. Commit to enjoying what does happen and every extra piece of clarification (the Blue Rose task force) is treasured, not expected.
We haven’t the faintest clue who any of these characters are. it’s a pyramid of names without support, and it’s likely many won’t be spoken of again, but it’s no different from the two women discussing Angela and her two-timing boyfriend, Clark, at the Roadhouse. Unless there’s some strenuous attempt to flesh these characters out in the next six episodes, Twin Peaks doesn’t want us to know. A bar sees dozens of customers every day. Many never return. We’re not meant to get attached just because an episode gives them screen time, but it’s different when you’re dealing with a regular. We can forget the Roadhouse customers ever existed and curtail are investment. That ship has sailed when it comes to Audrey.
Since this episode has Audrey’s father, Ben, finding out Richard’s a murderer, and that he sent a witness to the hospital, Audrey’s appearance could have told us she was Richard’s mother. Instead, Richard doesn’t have a father, but his mother remains nameless. Richard is on the run but the person Audrey’s looking for is named Billy, and where you might’ve expected Billy to be a child, the fact that she tells Charlie they’re having an affair raises the age bracket a smidge.
This is definitely a heavy series regular episode by the Return‘s standards, and one where Dougie appears once: a scene that’s not necessary but irresistible in premise, what does Dougie playing catch with his son, Sonny Jim, look like?
Sarah Palmer continues to be intune to the supernatural, disturbed by the arrival of beef jerky at her grocery store and warning the cashier and bag boy that men are coming. We don’t see the exterior of the store but could it be related to the convenience store-gas station where the woodsmen appeared in episode eight?
Ben gives Cooper’s room key over to Frank, to pass on to Harry.
There’s another commercial for Dr. Jacoby’s golden shovel but this time, when he gets to part in the commercial where he turns a light on to make his shovel shine, you hear the sound of electricity. Is it possible that his shovel could be what saves Cooper and dig him out of his Black Lodge shit, since Margaret mentioned electricity? That Dr. Jacoby’s shovel works and is the key to everything? And if it’s not, can it be, because that sounds perfect?
Lynch’s specificness with names extends to brands this week, with Chantal and Hutch deciding not to torture the Warden so they can get to Wendy’s, and Ben describing his Schwinn bike. It’s a soft moment for Ben (the way he describes the bike being two tones of green) that also feels slightly antiquated in blaming Richard’s criminality on not having a father figure. Having a father is important but Richard’s crimes seem to surpass that at this point.
Diane gets to say, “Let’s rock!”
Harry Dean Stanton’s Carl continues to be incredibly sweet, and too many sweet people get hurt on this show. This time he helps a tenant afford not to sell his blood.
Lynch’s women aren’t willing to be rushed. Following in the footsteps of Candie at the casino, Gordan’s French friend takes her time leaving the room when Albert needs it to tell Gordan something. Where Gordan couldn’t be the least bit bothered by her taking her time, unlike the Mitchum brothers, and Albert, who is used to this by now but no more thrilled about it, possibly the best part is Lynch puckering his lips when she applies her lipstick.
Lynch’s patience with letting scenes sit lingers with FBI Agent Preston this week, and her reaction to being invited to join the Blue Rose task force is a great mixture of honor at being invited, and processing what that means. It’s not too unlike watching Twin Peaks.