It’s been a long week, Twin Peaks Geeks! This weekend, we’re all waiting for episode 5 to drop, but Kim and Elizabeth are playing catch up before that happens. Earlier this week, they covered the first two episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return. Below they chat about Episode 3, or what Elizabeth likes to refer to as, “TAHT SAW TAHW, KCUF YLOH?”
EG: HEYO! Episode 3 is what's up today!
KN: How did you feel about the beginning of Episode 3? That was full-on, unleashed Lynch weirdness--a solid 10 minutes or so of the surreal abstract bonkers imagery that Twin Peaks is remembered for, but to the extreme.
EG: OMG. I'm so glad you said that. After our last chat, we received a comment from a woman who said that she loved Twin Peaks but is giving up. Her words were "Now it’s just pure weirdness. Where's the story?" The first few minutes of episode 3, I struggled. The show opens with OG Dale Cooper in the mysterious box in New York, or at least I think it’s in New York.
KN: Well, sort of. He enters the box briefly before he's flushed out, and then goes on a journey through some sort of limbo.
EG: It’s a dark and purple world that is fairly quiet. He’s standing out on a balcony of a windowless concrete-ish balcony, where I get the feeling he’s about to belt out Sail Away by Enya.
KN: Then he goes into a room with a woman with no eyes, some sort of unseen danger banging on a wall, an electric box with a number that keeps changing, and some INSANE sound mixing.
EG: She should sue her plastic surgeon. That is a botched eye lift.
KN: She is what I had anxiety dreams about before my LASIK surgery.
EG: I want LASIK, but I’d rather have bad vision than give up a vacation. I can’t tell if she is surprised when she encounters OG Dale Cooper or if she expected him. The two of them get into a fight but you can’t hear what it’s about. I imagine she’s all, “Sing that Enya song! SING IT!” And he’s all, “I can’t. My vocal chords are strained.” Then she takes him to the electrical box with the number 15 on it and frantically points at it. Do you have any history on that for me, KMDB?
KN: Yes! The number keeps changing between 3 and 15. Cooper's room at the Great Northern was 315.
Nerd bomb, dropped. I want to add a quick point about the storytelling vs. the weirdness.
EG: I'm listening!
KN: I think it's important to note that David Lynch was a visual artist before a filmmaker (specifically, a painter).
EG: HELLO ERASERHEAD! Squishy dance realness!
KN: So in scenes like this, he's still telling a story, but through visuals and very specific images which evoke emotions and instinctual reactions. I think it’s challenging to pull off well, as we’ve seen from the countless Twin Peaks knock-offs over the years. Not to mention some wicked sound design and mixing overlaid with the imagery - think Bob Ross crossed with Trent Reznor.
EG: I can see that but I have to say that it didn't evoke much for me but boredom. If Bob and Trent made a record together, I'd buy 10.
KN: Ahh, I love it so hard! But I also did a solo performance piece in art school about Britney Spears and diarrhea, so I can understand how it isn't for everyone.
EG: After the strange fight, the two of them move into space through a door in the ceiling of the room. It's almost like she's trying to save him from the banging danger! While they are in space she pulls a huge lever and essentially kills herself, which sends her spiraling into nothingness, while he's still on the spaceship watching her fall. This is a great metaphor of what dating a man is like - you give up all you can for him and then die, while he just walks back into the world and meets another woman.
KN: These images tie back into the original series. Major Briggs, father to Bobby Briggs's cheekbones, had received messages from space, namely, "The owls are not what they seem," along with Cooper's name repeated. His giant face is what floats beneath Cooper through space, intoning "Blue Rose." Blue Rose is an FBI code word first used in Fire Walk With Me; its meaning is still a mystery to us. And the woman in the room is none other than Ronette Pulaski, who had disappeared the same night as Laura Palmer!
EG: OOOOHHHH!! I knew that people just don't pop in and out of Twin Peaks for no reason. At this point, she shows him the box again and the number is suddenly 3, instead of 15. She continues to point at it and speaks to him in that broken up voice. She tells him he must go.
KN: She says to him, "When you get there, you'll already be there." Which we learn is literally true.
EG: Simultaneously, we see Evil Dale Cooper, aka Neil Diamond Dale Cooper, speeding down a freeway, staring at a clock set just before 3 and OG Dale Cooper gets sucked in by the box. Evil Dale Cooper gets into a car accident and then we're introduced to Wayne Newton Dale Cooper and a hooker named Jade. THREE DALE COOPERS!
KN: It's Kyle MacLachlan's Orphan Black moment! So besides OG Cooper and Evil Cooper, we also have.....Dougie. We learn that you travel back and forth to the Black Lodge via electrical outlets, and creamed corn is involved. Literally the night after I watched this episode, my husband left a can of creamed corn on the counter in the kitchen. I saw it randomly and almost lost my shit. Who leaves garmonbozia just laying around like that???
EG: Creamed corn! I thought they all ate bad Chipotle. It was an extended Team America scene. I was going to die. In the Black Lodge, Dougie appears and is super confused. And frankly, so am I - like how do you travel through an electrical socket and still have great hair? Plus his hands begin to shrink causing him to lose his emerald green ring. Now, c'mon, KMBD - give it to me. What da ya know?
KMDBKN: (stretches, cracks knuckles). The ring was worn by Laura in Fire Walk With Me It has also been worn by Teresa Banks, Agent Phillip Jeffries, BOB, MIKE--basically, you don't want to end up wearing that ring. It doesn't bode well. Right before Dougie shrinks and his head explodes, MIKE tells him "You were manufactured for a purpose, but I think that's been fulfilled..."
EG: ...Which is how Taylor Swift dumps all her boyfriends. After MIKE places the ring on what looks like a car while Jade sees OG Dale Cooper and is like, “What the heck?! How come you so different? Never mind, let’s go.” Next, we get some comic relief from Deputy Chief Hawk. We're moved back to police headquarters where he puts a sign with a donut pictured on it and under the donut it says "disturb" as DO-NUT disturb.HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! Oh, man, DC Hawk, you're a clever one. As a matter of fact, Lynch sends us to a bevy of Dad jokes.
KN: I legit want that sign for my office. Please send etsy links in the comments.
EG: Hawk and his assistants start searching for something that's missing. He knows it related to the evidence on the table and that it’s linked to his heritage, which the Log Lady told him. That's when Lucy informs Hawk that he's Indian, duh. Then she’s got the nerve to confesses that she ate the possibly missing evidence, which may or may not be a chocolate bunny, because SHE HAD GAS! Huh? EXACTLY.
KN: Meanwhile, we get another glimpse of Dr. Jacoby's shovel painting operation. He’s moved away from his obsession with Hawaiiana in the original series to looking like someone who stole their costume from the olde tymey photo place and lives in the woods.
EG: It's a scene where we literally watch him spray paint shovels like he’s Banksy. We move onto Jade pulling up in front of the Silver Mustang Casino. She's all, “Here you go, get out of my car!” My favorite thing about it is that she JUST got paid by Dougie so she has all this money, but only gives OG Cooper $5 and is like, “Go call your mama, but this girl is gonna keep her wages. BAI!” Is it the OG Cooper, though? Because something has seriously gone wrong in the transition.
KN: 25 years in the Black Lodge has done a number on our poor hero. He can't form cohesive sentences, and only repeats words back. Also, someone is out to assassinate him (or Dougie?). But they miss their chance, and instead he winds up at the casino, and begins seeing visions of the Red Room appear above certain slot machines, which kicks off what may be my favorite scene from this season so far. Hellllooooooo, Mr. Jackpot!
EG: Did you catch that Meg Foster is the cashier?! Or who I like to refer to as Vampire LaRue from The Originals. I'm the only person who watched that show so I’m not gonna hyperlink it. Also - OG Cooper helps make some homeless lady rich. We know she's homeless because she's dirty and she looks like she was struck by lightning. Now, she has some money to get the do fixed. That was another thing you could do in the 90s - mock the homeless.
KN: While we're watching the real Cooper unwittingly use some sort of Black Lodge mojo on the slots, FBI agents Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfeld find out that Evil Cooper (who they think is Real Cooper) is being held by authorities in South Dakota. Road trip!
EG: "The absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence." Translation: WTF?? Episode 3 almost lost me, I have to be honest. But, it got me back and I’m looking forward to episode 4, which I need to squeeze in before 5 is released this weekend.
KN: Whereas, I loved this episode. It’s my favorite hour out of the first three. I bet it will appeal to people who loved Fire Walk With Me, and people who miss the vibe of the original series will be more into Episode 4. We’ll find out soon!