In yet another complex, tortured episode of the Twin Peaks revival, David Lynch took time for a couple of tender moments. One was sad, the other was happy — for the moment.
The episode was dedicated to Margaret Lanterman, the proper name of the character better known as “the Log Lady” due to her preferred companion. She’s played by Catherine Coulson, who died after filming several scenes for the new season. Coulson herself was already quite ill when she shot her scenes, lending a special poignancy to the moment when she says goodbye to her friend Hawk.
“You know about death,” she says. “It’s just a change, not an end.”
Another change, possibly less permanent, involves the status of Ed’s long-running romance with Double R owner Norma. It’s been clear that Ed still has feelings for Norma after all these years, but he’s still married to Nadine, while Norma’s taken up with Walter — the man who’s also franchising her diner.
That stalemate changes at the beginning of this episode, as Nadine walks proudly up to Ed’s body shop and declares that she wants to grant his freedom. “True love is giving the other what makes them happy,” says Nadine, wielding the gold shovel that symbolizes the self-actualization she’s achieved listening to what Ed dismissively calls “that show of Jacoby’s.”
Of course, Nadine’s recent meeting with Jacoby himself — at which there seemed to be a mutual attraction — might have something to do with her willingness to send Ed on his way. We’ve seen something like this before, back in the original series when an addled Nadine announced that she wanted to divorce Ed and marry her high-school sweetheart. In that case, things changed when she came to her senses and realized she wasn’t actually in high school any more. Will her flirtation with “Dr. Amp” be any more permanent?
The episode’s proper musical guests are the Veils, who rock their way through “Axolotl” while a woman named Ruby (actor/writer/comedian Charlyne Yi) crawls through the crowd and screams in desperation. They’re inevitably overshadowed, though, by yet another return of David Bowie by way of footage from 1992’s Fire Walk With Me.
His character, Phillip Jeffries, actually has an extended conversation with Mr. C, who reaches him by way of a series of rooms accessed via that ghostly service station. In a similar vein to Michael J. Anderson’s character the Arm being revived as “the Evolution of the Arm” (a brain on a tree), Agent Jeffries comes back in the form of a talking boiler with the ability to toot legible latitude and longitude coordinates.
Those coordinates pinpoint the location of Judy, the woman named by Bowie in the scene revisited here. Who’s Judy? The doppelgänger wants to know, and so do we — but the Evolution of Jeffries gives him a hint. “You’ve already met Judy.” Hmmm.
The episode’s other most striking scene extends the significance of the color red, often seen in contrast against black or other background colors. Here, it’s the hue of the jacket worn by Steven Burnett as he huddles in the mossy forest with his girlfriend Gersten, pleading with him not to kill himself. She runs and hides on the other side of the tree as one of the Burnetts’ trailer-park neighbors arrives, and a shot rings out. We don’t see what happens, but it’s hard not to think that Twin Peaks wouldn’t be a hell of a lot poorer for the lack of Steven.
Meanwhile, James and his ultra-strong coworker Freddie are in the slammer. Why? They tussled with Chuck, whose wife Renee seems to be appreciative of James’s musical gifts. Maybe James didn’t mean for Chuck and his pal to end up in intensive care, but you don’t bring a green garden glove to a fistfight unless you want to do some serious damage. The Twin Peaks jail is getting pretty packed by now — what with James, Freddie, Chad, the woman from the woods, and presumably-Billy.
(Billy’s a mess, but Audrey still likes him better than Charlie. “Sensational,” says Charlie, taking off his coat.)
It wouldn’t be an episode of Twin Peaks without a couple of assassinations, and in this case the victims are Duncan Todd and one of his employees. The shooter is Chantal, who celebrates by enjoying a romantic fast-food dinner with her beloved Hutch. Since Todd is a rival of the Mitchum brothers, it seems like they’ll have another excuse to form a conga line — except that their new best friend, Dougie Jones, just stuck a fork in a light socket.