Twin Peeks: A Return Recap, Part 7
I'll never forget it.
June 23, 2017 at 10:32 am
Disclaimer: Twin Peeks is a recap/review series about the new season of Twin Peaks — which means there are gonna be spoilers here for everything old and new. If you’re not caught up yet, please do yourself a favor and at least consider it before reading this. If not, you’ll be pretty lost, and you need to get your bearings before diving in. Trust me on this one.
Information-hungry Peaks fans, rejoice! For the second week in a row, it looks like we’ve been getting closer and closer to putting it all together. So far, David Lynch has been taking his time with The Return, refusing to rush into answers fans have been waiting on for literal decades. Fortunately, that has started to change. We’ve received answers — this time in abundance — and it’s made for the strongest episode of the season so far.
As with each passing week, there’s a lot to unpack here: I was right about Laura’s diary (but a page is still missing), familiar faces graced our screens again, Dougie Jones proved/protected himself, Audrey Horne is nowhere to be found (but gets a notable mention) and Diane Evans returned. I’d like to start with Diane.
When Laura Dern made her debut last week as Cooper’s once-potentially-unreal assistant, I was already hooked. Her return in episode seven made sure I was fully invested. After Albert’s unsuccessful trip to Diane’s bar of choice to try and persuade her to help the FBI with their investigation, he seeks Gordon’s help. Together, they go to her apartment and she begrudgingly decides to come along.
Diane’s appearance last week was a shining moment, and seeing Dern take the time to build her into a fully realized character is fantastic. She’s tough, uncompromising, and I absolutely adore her. My instant adoration, however, made one of the most emotional sequences in the episode that much harder to watch.
Diane eventually goes to South Dakota to confront Bad Cooper with Albert, Gordon, Tammy (and hearty “Fuck You”s for each of them) in tow. As the screen goes up, and the soulless eyes of DoppelCooper meet her gaze, it’s clear something is wrong. She asks him when they saw each other last. “At your house.” “Do you remember that night?” He replies, “I’ll always remember that night.” She comes back with a defiant, and stomach turning line: “Same for me. I’ll never forget it.”
The implications of this scene are heartbreaking. Given the history of the show, it’s very possible that Evil Cooper may have sexually assaulted Diane when they last met up. The raw agony in her voice and pain in her face when confronting the monster behind the glass suggest that something traumatic happened that night.
There’s also, arguably, a callback to Fire Walk With Me when Diane goes on to ask repeatedly, “Who are you?” Laura Palmer asked Bob the same question while being assaulted, and realized her abuser was her father all along. I doubt this choice of words was an accident, especially for a character as important as Diane.
If true, Diane’s potentially traumatic past may indicate another violent event for a beloved character: Audrey Horne. As I mentioned earlier, Audrey is still MIA in season three, but there was a hint that she might be showing up soon with a devastating revelation. This hint came in the form of a cameo from Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) as he talks to Sheriff Truman via Skype about the night before Dale Cooper left Twin Peaks. He remembers seeing Cooper leave Audrey’s room in the ICU where she was receiving care after the bank explosion in season two.
Could Evil Cooper have assaulted Audrey and produced Richard Horne? It’s a sickening thought and, honestly, one that didn’t cross my mind until I read this Vanity Fair piece. Lynch has not cared about expectations throughout this journey, so it seems plausible. While it wouldn’t be surprising to see him obliterate the Audrey/Cooper dynamic with such a violent, unforgivable act, it would be cruel; it would spit in the face of one of the most compelling pairings of the original series — and it would do so by subjecting yet another beloved female character to unspeakable violence. The thought alone of this possibility saddens me deeply. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the coming weeks, but for now, I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
While I feel like Diane’s interaction with Evil Cooper held the emotional bulk of the episode as well as laying the groundwork for potential avenues The Return could take, there were some other notable happenings in this episode as well. Dougie dodged Ike “the Spike” Stadtler (aka, the assassin from last week’s episode) with some brazen fighting moves and help from the arm. Old Peaks denizens Ben and Jerry Horne (Richard Beymer and David Patrick Kelly, respectively), Andy (Harry Goaz looking refreshingly authoritative), Jacq— uh, excuse me — Jean-Michel Renault (Walter Olkewicz), and Hawk (Michael Horse) all appeared.
It was a pretty packed episode, but it still managed to upend expectations anyway with an uninterrupted two-minute sweeping sequence at the roadhouse instead of a band, and a dreamy send off from the RR Diner (“Sleep Walk” has since been on repeat in my house throughout the week). It’s been a bewildering ride so far, but we knew what we were getting into when we signed up for this. No matter what happens next week, I’ll be here to guide you through it! See you then.