Last week, we saw FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch), Agent Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) and Agent Preston (Chrysta Bell) get as close as they’ve ever come to realizing that Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) literally has an evil twin — a leather-jacket-wearing doppelgänger created in the Black Lodge. We also learned that Janey-E, wife to Dougie (and Dougie is currently still a catatonic Agent Cooper), is Diane’s (Laura Dern) half-sister. In the same episode, the Twin Peaks deputies found an eyeless nude woman in the forest and Andy (Harry Goaz) became the next character to fall into the dimension of the Giant. Also, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) is a paranormal badass — but lots of fans probably already knew that.
This week begins with a scene of Nadine (Wendy Robie) marching down the roads of Twin Peaks smiling and wielding a golden shovel — all the way from her home to the corner where Ed (Everett McGill), her husband, works. She declares to him that she’s known for years about Ed’s love for Norma — spoiler for those who didn’t watch the original series, Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Ed have been in love for decades, but Ed’s been married to Nadine, not that that ever really kept them apart. She confesses feeling as though she guilted him into staying with her (after she lost her eye in a hunting accident during their honeymoon — hence the eyepatch over her left eye).
The shovel, she says, is for “shoveling (herself) out of the shit.”
Nadine, still with a smile on her face, tells Ed to run to Norma and be with her forever. All the while, Ed’s calm demeanor never wavers — he doesn’t believe that Nadine can really mean what she’s saying to him. His longing look after Norma tells us that, while he does want and probably always has wanted to be with Norma, he is sad to see his years of affection with Nadine end — even if the passion has been a little one-sided.
Ed does exactly as Nadine says — he runs to Norma at the Double-R and tells her he finally can be with her, only to be brushed off when her lover and business partner, Walter Lawford (Grant Goodeve) arrives. Norma forfeits control of the non-Twin Peaks diners to Walter and he storms out. All of this leads up to a way-too-long shot of Ed, smiling as he realizes that Norma and he can be together — she embraces him slowly as he proposes to her — all to the tune of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.”
“Twin Peaks” fans can be heard swooning everywhere.
But the happy magic can’t last too long — it quickly cuts to a darker shot of the doppelgänger (Kyle MacLachlan) driving down a windy road to the corner store we saw in the nightmarish “Part VIII.” Unsurprisingly, he and the mysterious man awaiting him soon vanish into another dimension — where a zombie-like man now awaits them. Apparently, the doppelganger is looking for Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie in the original series). After a few electrical flashes, the zombie-like man and the doppelgänger fade into space that is simultaneously an indoor hallway and tree-filled forest (it’s “Twin Peaks,” we have to be a little forgiving with our hold on realism). Eventually they arrive at a set of stairs leading to a door to the outside world, where the doppelgänger finds another door — but this one is locked.
Good thing there’s a suspicious woman waiting to unlock the door — and she speaks like those inside the Red Room of the Black Lodge — a result of pseudo-reversed dialogue tracks — signaling that we might be in the same alternate reality in which the Black Lodge exists. (We can only hope that it also signals the potential demise of the doppelgänger and return of Agent Cooper to his true self.)
In case you were wondering how David Lynch would bring the deceased David Bowie back to portray Jeffries, have no fear: there’s no hologram or revived previously-shot scene of Bowie. Instead, he appears in the fog of a teapot-looking machine in a dark hotel room.
The doppelgänger accuses Jeffries of sending Ray to kill him, and from their exchange, it appears that the doppelgänger is posing as the real Cooper in order to gain information from Jeffries. The doppelgänger is looking for a “Judy,” a woman Jeffries spoke of in Cole’s flashback last week in “Part XIV.” It’s unclear whether the doppelgänger got the information he wanted, but he leaves the room anyway.
As the doppelgänger steps out from the dark convenience store, he sees Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) waiting, pointing a gun at him. Richard also believes the doppelgänger is the real Cooper — the man his mother, Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn), fell in love with twenty-five years ago. After kicking Richard down, he invites Richard to drive with him to who-knows-where.
When the pair drive away, the convenience store lights up, as if being electrocuted from the inside, as the air fills with smoke. The convenience store begins to flash and fade from view before eventually disappearing, as if it was never there — confirming its belonging to the same space as the Black Lodge.
Back in the real Twin Peaks, Steven Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones) — who’s married to Shelly’s (Mädchen Amick) daughter, Becky (Amanda Seyfried) — is seen having some sort of manic moment in the woods with the woman he’s been having an affair with. It appears he’s taken some sort of drug that made him do something he regrets — which can’t be good, given that he’s holding a gun. We have to assume that, when Steven leaves the woman’s side, he commits suicide — given that he’s been threatening to do so for the entire scene — when we hear a gunshot in the distance.
At the Bang Bang Bar, also known as The Roadhouse, James Hurley (James Marshall) and his pal Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle) are hanging out when they come upon Renee (Jessica Szohr), sitting with her husband and a few friends. When James approaches the table, he gets the crap kicked out of him by Renee’s husband — reaffirming the idea that there might be a past between Renee and James. Freddie, though, punches the husband right in the nose using his green-gloved hand — hitting him so hard that he begins to seize, and the music skips.
Meanwhile, at the FBI agency in Las Vegas, agents are able to get someone to come in for questioning, but it’s not Dougie and Janey-E — or at least not the right Douglas and Jane. (These agents are clearly not as competent as Cole and Rosenfield.)
In case anyone was worried for Anthony, the coworker who tried to poison Dougie in “Part XIII,” Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) is looking for him — which would be a bad thing, except that within a minute of his being on screen, Todd is shot dead by Chantal Hutchens (Jennifer Jason Leigh), one of the doppelgänger’s accomplices.
And back at the Twin Peaks jail, Hawk (Michael Horse) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) have just arrested James and Freddie. From their cells, they spot the eyeless woman that Andy brought back to the jail for protection last week.
In Las Vegas, Dougie enjoys a slice of chocolate cake Janey-E served to him. Janey-E appears particularly satisfied with the man she thinks is her husband, after he won them a ton of cash at the casino in “Part III” and received a reward from the wealthy Mitchum brothers in “Part XI.” As he eats his cake, his face is overtaken with a look of shock, as if he’s had a realization — one that sends him crawling to the nearest electrical outlet with a fork, which he uses to electrocute himself.
Later, in the sheriff’s office, Hawk receives a call from Margaret, the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson), who calls to tell him that she’s dying and that she misses the times in which the two could speak in person. In an emotional moment — made all the more poignant by the recent death of Coulson herself — Margaret describes her full transition into the spiritual world she so magnificently bridged with the physical world, during her time on Earth.
A moment later, we see Audrey and her husband Charlie (Clark Middleton) on their way to The Roadhouse, bickering as usual, it seems. In fact, they fight so much that Charlie decides not to leave the house anymore, prompting a screaming fit from Audrey, which ends with her shaking him by the throat on their couch.
At the Bang Bang Bar that night, The Veils are performing “Axolotl” — it’s a shame Audrey and her husband missed the chilling performance — while a solemn girl is removed from a booth she sat at alone, by two large motorcycle-men. She cries for a while, crawling on the floor through the crowd before screaming violently, as The Veil’s performance rages on.
“Part XV” may have brought the worlds of the doppelgänger and Cooper himself closer than they’ve ever been — though each time it feels we’re getting closer to answers, we are sometimes pulled right back into confusion and darkness, so we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Despite this, it’s promising to see that Cooper is having revelatory moments, particularly one that struck his contact with electricity that could bring him back to the Black Lodge. We’ll just have to wait for next week to find out where the electric surge takes him.
Sophie-Marie Prime covers “Twin Peaks: The Return.” Contact her at [email protected].