There is quite a lot of Twin Peaks in episode 7. Location and plot both fixate on the original story with an intensity that has yet to be matched. Ben Horne’s new PA, after discovering that a room in the Great Northern Hotel has started to make a humming noise (Josie?), asks her boss ‘who’s Laura Palmer?’ That is a question that Lynch is now ready to try and answer to anyone watching the show without that prior knowledge.
Whether of course the viewing demographic includes anyone other than hardcore Peakies at this point is something we’re yet to find out, but this episode seemed to be for the fans. It was nostalgic whilst containing enough of the current series’ oddness – often different from the original’s oddness – to render it contemporary.
Dale Cooper is still Dougie Jones and Naomi Watts as his wife, Janey-E, still derives a lot of her character’s personality from the way she does that walk with her elbows pointing out in a constantly furious march. But the Special Agent also made an instinctual and reactive re-appearance tonight that will surely excite many.
‘Fire Walk with Me’ has indeed proved invaluable for making sense of some of the key story lines that have been referenced in this series: Philip Jeffries, the location where the little boy was killed last week, and this week a return to the heartland of Laura Palmer’s secret diary.
Episode 6 ended with Deputy Hawk locating, via a sign he believed came from a rolled coin, handwritten notes hidden in the panel of a bathroom stall. Every fan who willed those notes to be the final, missing pages of Palmer’s so-called secret diary were handsomely rewarded, finally, by Lynch. Hawk confirms that Laura Palmer wrote that she had been told in a dream, one of FWWM’s best scenes, that the good Dale was in the Lodge and that she knew who was raping her and who Bob was. Hawk suspects that these entries were ripped out and hidden by Leland Palmer, Laura’s father, and confirms that there is still one page missing.
Diana was introduced last week and Laura Dern returns as the ex-colleague and employee of Cooper’s in order to confirm whether the Dale Cooper currently being held in prison in South Dakota is her Special Agent. This is a showy, highly stylised performance from a hyper-chic Dern, a somewhat functioning alcoholic who hasn’t smiled yet and says ‘fuck you’ to everyone she’s in the company of. Her expressive face and downturned mouth dominates every scene she’s in, especially the chilling face-to-face, almost, with Mr C.
He’s not Cooper she tells Gordon Cole, and in a touching scene he reassures her that she’s done enough, he trusts her and they will talk about her last crucial night with him when she’s ready. It’s thrilling to see Lynch and Dern act together for the first time. Their working history encompasses an enormous range of classic cinema, and here in such an intimate scene and directly looking into one another’s eyes for trust and reassurance – as their characters but also as actors, friends and true collaborators. As Lynch himself would say, it’s a beautiful thing.
The late Dr Hayward and Frank Skype together, as Frank – after speaking with Hawk – tries to establish how Cooper was when he was last seen, following his night at the Black Lodge in the final episode of the second season of the show. Hayward makes two crucial points: that he kept seeing ‘that face’ and that he thought Cooper had visited Audrey Horne who was in intensive care and in a coma following the explosion in the bank. This is the first mention of Audrey and the anticipation of her reappearance in the series, and she is confirmed, is becoming ridiculous. She is possibly, following Cooper himself, the most adored character from the original show and even Sherilyn Fenn herself is airing her frustrations on Twitter as to when she’ll finally show up! We already suspect that the rancid Richard Horne could be her son and now, horribly, we may have an explanation as to who the potential father is – eek!
This of course is even more of a concern now as Mr C has blackmailed his way out of jail and could be heading straight back to Audrey, but that gets us back onto the good Dale, aka Dougie Jones Cooper.
In one of the few otherworldly scenes this week, Janey-E and Dougie encounter Ike ‘The Spike’ from last week, who runs at them with a shotgun but is thrown down to the ground by Cooper. Remembering his FBI training, he is also hissed at by the sudden appearance of the arm-tree who taunts ‘squeeze his hand off!’ Ike drops the gun and dashes and a part of his skin is left on the shooter and peeled of for investigation. The charred man who appeared in the first episode also reappears when the decapitated body is finally confirmed to be Major Brigg’s – except this body belongs to a freshly dead man in his mid -40s and Brigg died 25 years ago.
See, this really is the episode that can’t stop giving. Oh, and what’s with the final scene? Either there’s an a problem with continuity or something incredibly weird, even for this show, has just happened in the Double-R. An excellent episode.