This put up discusses the plot of Twin Peaks’ newest episode, “Half 16.”
Numerous persons are feeling it, however no one’s saying it higher than Mike:
FBI Particular Agent Dale Cooper is again to his outdated self, simply in time for Twin Peaks’ two-part capper. My response to this information is itself a two-parter, Mike’s aid mingling with an acceptance of the sequence’ forthcoming conclusion. “Half 16” is an exhilarating hour of Twin Peaks, with Coop’s long-awaited return to consciousness and a surprising conclusion to a dose of Roadhouse fan service. Season three nonetheless has some surprises, however loads of “Half 16” is about tying up free ends. Some contain hunches which have circulated because the early components of the season: that Richard Horne is the spawn of Doppel-Cooper; that Doppel-Cooper raped Diane when he visited her in Philadelphia all these years in the past. Though each spring from the identical heinous, Bob-induced trauma, the revelations are handled with differing ranges of gravity, the previous taken care of in a throwaway line, whereas the latter is on the heart of a dynamic Laura Dern monologue. Richard’s true parentage involves mild on the identical evening as Jon Snow’s, but Twin Peaks didn’t really feel the necessity to construct a time-hopping, portentous montage round it. Richard was manufactured, he served his goal, and now he’s no extra.
However that’s all burying the lede, as a result of crucial factor that “Half 16” ties up can also be probably the most electrifying. It’s outstanding what an influence a 100-percent-awake Coop has on the present, his presence like a stiff belt of espresso from the second Kyle MacLachlan rips the respirator from his mouth. My persistence with Douglas Jones wavered all through season three: I used to be within the “it’s a must to get up” camp again in episode six, however I got here to admire Dougie as a logo of the present’s resurrection. He was one thing acquainted that felt a bit off, all of the whereas offering David Lynch and Mark Frost new avenues for thriller and mayhem, suspense and slapstick. I’m grateful for Particular Agent Dale Cooper’s return, however I’m additionally grateful for Dougie’s beautiful near-awakening in “Half 9,” that vignette of Twin Peaks symbolism that ends on the vessel of his deliverance: socket.
“Half 16” is a fragile steadiness of payoff and anticlimax. Our personal Emily L. Stephens breaks it down in her recap: Richard Horne connects so lots of season three’s ongoing threads, and but there he’s, zapped into nothingness on the prime of the episode. Hutch and Chantal, who’ve been two of probably the most persistently pleasant additions to the forged, are gunned down not by their boss or any of his doppelgänger’s allies from the bureau, the Silver Mustang On line casino, or Fortunate 7 Insurance coverage, however by an extravagantly strapped “accountant” who simply desires to park in his personal driveway. There’s been loads of that going round in the previous couple of episodes, as characters who gave the impression to be a part of a higher Twin Peaks universe past the unique forged—Invoice Hastings, Duncan Todd, Becky’s coke-addled squeeze Steven—have been dispatched in equally unceremonious style.
However that’s simply Twin Peaks: It’s Lynch insisting that life is random, unpredictable, and never assured to own a comforting sense of closure, and Frost countering that with slightly, “Yeah, however there are nonetheless a number of narrative guidelines a TV present has to abide by.” It’s the nostalgic rush of seeing Sherilyn Fenn swaying to an Angelo Badalamenti tune one second, and a sudden surge of violence slicing by way of the ecstasy the subsequent. It’s the horrible realization that the Diane we lastly met two months in the past isn’t the true Diane in any respect. It’s listening to Kyle MacLachlan converse as soon as extra within the commanding, clipped tones of FBI Particular Agent Dale Cooper, with out actually committing any of the acts of heroism we all know Coop by, except his farewell deal with to Janey-E and Sonny Jim. To echo that speech: Regardless of all of the frustrations, the tangents, the coordinates, and the cul-de-sacs, I need to inform Twin Peaks how a lot I’ve loved spending time with it. It’s made my coronary heart so full. [Erik Adams]
To answer Erik’s commentary that this episode of Twin Peaks had little use for sentiment when dispatching new characters—versus the loving send-off given to Catherine Coulson’s Log Woman in “Half 15”—permit me to cite finger-sandwich- and pink-satin-loving on line casino co-owner Rodney Mitchum: “Individuals are beneath loads of stress, Bradley.” That’s the world we reside in now; it’s extra violent, extra chaotic, and fewer harmless than the world of 25 years in the past. Not even Twin Peaks, the Eden the place everybody will converge within the finale, is secure from its creeping affect. The stakes are greater, the evil is deeper, and our hero has returned, simply in time.
A part of what made this episode so satisfying for me was not solely that it lastly indicated that we most likely will get that long-awaited reunion of fan-favorite characters within the finale, however that it lastly started to elucidate—“clarify” being a relative time period in Lynch’s work, in fact—why issues have been so off all through the season. Diane’s been beneath loads of stress. In “Half 16,” she lastly opens up in Laura Dern’s heartbreaking, fantastically acted monologue, however we additionally discover out about her journey to the “fuel station,” including a terrifying cosmic dimension to the very actual feeling of disassociation that may come after sexual assault. (Her cries of “I’m not me! I’m not me!” hit me actually onerous.) Audrey’s been beneath loads of stress. In “Half 16,” she briefly returns to the Audrey we used to know dancing beneath a highlight, solely to be ripped out of her reverie and again into the white room the place she’s apparently been trapped this entire complicated, irritating time. This time, although, she took us together with her, if just for a second.
Though I’ve loved every episode of the revived Twin Peaks by itself deserves, as episodic tv I admit to getting annoyed someplace between the overstuffed chair within the Briggs’ lounge in “Half 9” and Cole’s French paramour in “Half 12.” “Is that this going wherever or is Lynch simply messing with us?” I questioned. I’d nonetheless respect him if it was the latter, and even take some secret amusement in such a daring lack of regard for the narrative “guidelines” of TV. However I’m solely human. I needed the previous. I needed Coop to come back again and convey some plainspoken goodness to this very demanding, very chaotic, very sinister world.
However yea, o ye Twin Peaks trustworthy, the reply has arrived, and our persistence has been rewarded. The reply is each. We get each the arthouse mindfuck of “Half eight” and the fist-pumping pleasure of Cooper sitting up within the hospital mattress and speaking like himself once more in “Half 16.” Subsequent week’s two-part finale might as soon as once more check that religion, however I received’t doubt Lynch and Frost once more. [Katie Rife]
As wonderful as Mike’s “lastly” was, let’s speak for a second about what Cooper mentioned to elicit that: the ironclad assertion that he was again “100 %.” This season has, for higher or worse, meandered, rooted out useless ends, tossed pink herrings, and so forth; we’d gotten used to having fun with incremental shifts in Cooper’s awakening, a share level or two at a time. I had half-suspected that the complete sequence could be main as much as his return in its precise closing moments, a really literal tackle the present’s subtitle. However for him to jerk to consideration—not partially there or nonetheless piecing collectively recollections, however “100 %” prepared for motion—was the form of narrative satisfaction I believed this present wasn’t involved in delivering. I yelped.
As affecting as Dern’s monologue was, I additionally need to mild a candle for Naomi Watts, who has been one of many richest additions to the Twin Peaks roster. As proven in Mulholland Drive, she is the consummate Lynchian actress, able to crossing nice gaps of showy playacting (as a hectoring, brassy spouse) after which creating moments of unforced tenderness. Her aching goodbye with Cooper this week was shocking however weirdly merited, permitting Watts one closing transformation right into a form of shocked witness on the present’s transdimensional mysteries. Lynchian weirdness usually occurs as a form of terrible secret amongst its characters; not often does somebody gaze on in grateful gratitude at it, with a way of virtually Spielbergian surprise. However then, that’s the attraction of Cooper, a light-weight of goodness in a world bereft of it. It’s price arguing whether or not the 16 hours main as much as that second have been price it, however in a method, that second wouldn’t have occurred with out the 16 hours of preamble. In comparison with, say, Recreation Of Thrones, which has shrunk in runtime with a view to pack ever-more spectacle into every episode, this season of Twin Peaks stands as a reminder of the virtues of gradual TV when being helmed masterfully.
As for what’s subsequent, I’ve a structural thought. It had appeared unusual to me that the season’s most outstanding episode—“Half eight”—didn’t occur on the midway mark, which might have been “Half 9.” However maybe we must always have a look at this as a 16-episode preamble to the two-hour finale. My guess is that the present’s defining slowness, efficient because it has been, is over.
And, for what it’s price, Audrey’s dance was a hell of an addition to the present’s musical callbacks. [Clayton Purdom]
“I cannot quickly neglect your kindness and decency.” That’s how the risen Coop thanks Don Murray’s startled Bushnell Mullins as Badalamenti’s traditional theme swells on the soundtrack and the third season of Twin Peaks lastly makes good on its subtitle. Enjoyable information for Lynch-verse spotters: The physician on this scene is performed by Bellina Logan, who additionally appeared in Inland Empire and within the second season (in a distinct position), in addition to some reduce scenes in Wild At Coronary heart, and Bushnell himself is known as after the painter Bushnell Keeler, Lynch’s mentor in his days as a younger artwork pupil, who first pushed him towards movie. (Word the bodily resemblance between Murray and Keeler as seen in Crusing With Bushnell Keeler, a house film Lynch shot on 16mm in 1967.)
So there’s a deeply private dimension to this second. I introduced this up when the season began, however Dale Cooper is in some respects Lynch’s idealized alter ego, and Twin Peaks: The Return has to some extent been about what it means to be an artist in a scary world. However in fact it’s about loads of issues, dissociated by Lynch and Frost by way of a cleaning soap opera of the American unconscious. Suburban developments, the atomic bomb, darkish highways, company drudgery, Las Vegas, small-town cops, the FBI, mobsters—they’re all there as subplots, inching us towards what looks as if a cosmic battle of excellent and evil. And good has arrived fashionably late: the true Coop, the monomythic sleeping hero, the absent artist stand-in who has come again to battle his doppelgänger. However let’s get again to these phrases, “kindness and decency.” That’s all that actually issues, proper?
We affiliate Twin Peaks with traumas and ominous otherworldly forces lurking or hiding behind the surreal veneer of on a regular basis life. However although the pathologically respectable Coop springs into motion instantly, planning for a presumed showdown in Twin Peaks, he takes trip to make Bushnell, Janey-E and Sonny Jim, and the Mitchum brothers really feel appreciated and to remind them that they’re good folks. (“I’m witness to the truth that you each have hearts of gold,” he tells the Mitchums in an particularly Lynchian flip of phrase.) In a darkish universe, folks must be reminded of the higher angels of their nature. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]