Throughout this run of Twin Peaks it’s seemed as though its creators have enjoyed a glacial pace of storytelling, characters and plots are introduced, and sometimes they’re followed up on immediately, and sometimes they’re forgotten for entire stretches of episodes. By comparison, the twelfth episode of the series was positively A.D.D. There were some parts where David Lynch‘s tendencies to draw out a scene for all the ticks and awkward looks and pauses was still intact, but for the most part, Lynch rolled us through one scene after another, and in the process brought back an old face who’s long been amiss.
We spent a lot of time in the company of the FBI this week as Gordon, Albert, Tammy and Diane remain in South Dakota, dealing with the fallout of last week’s revelation of the black hole, the remains of Ruth Davenport, and the mysterious murder of William Hastings. Considering all that horridness, you could hardly blame the FBI for stopping for a drink, but Gordon and Company seemed like they were living in a weird version of Sideways this week as Gordon, being a true connoisseur, travels with some selections from his own wine cellar because nothing goes better with talk about UFOs then a nice Bordeaux.
So the “Blue Rose” mentioned way back in one of the first episodes was a team-up between the Air Force and the FBI to investigate UFO-related cases after the end of Project: Blue Book; the name “Blue Rose” was uttered by a woman who died shortly after a close encounter. The last agents that Gordon recruited into the Blue Rose were Phillip Jeffries, Chet Desmond, Dale Cooper and Albert, and as Albert notes, he’s the only one that hasn’t disappeared mysteriously. Now Tammy has been inducted into the Blue Rose, which is an assignment she eagerly accepts even though it was very unclear what the present turn of events has to do with UFOs or little green men.
One person kept out of the UFO loop was Diane, who Albert is keeping careful tabs on, including monitoring her texts. Diane gets another one, presumably from Bob/Cooper who asks if the others are on to Las Vegas yet, to which Diane says that she’s not yet aware of any avenue of their investigation taking them to Sin City. (Remember, the LVPD took “Dougie’s” prints, so it’s only a matter of time.) As Albert and Gordon marinate on that, Diane inputs the co-ordinates left on Ruth’s arm into her phone and learns where they point to, and it’s none other than Twin Peaks, WA.
In that sleepy little hamlet things were hopping. Frank Truman paid a visit to Ben Horne to tell him that his grandson Richard has killed a little boy in a hit and run, and then tried to beat the only witness to death. Yes, as we learned last week, Miriam is alive and in intensive care, and she seems to have had some words with Sheriff Truman at some point. Ben is understandably upset to hear this, but admits that he doesn’t have much to do with Richard anymore since he refused to give his grandson anymore money, but he did pledge to pay for Miriam’s medical bills, and he also gave Sheriff Truman a gift for his brother: Dale Cooper’s old room key.
Let us pause here for the real reveal of the episode, coming at the exact two-thirds point of the series, the return of Audrey Horne. Now there’s long been a belief that Audrey was Richard’s mother, and it seemed as though the show was sitting on that reveal for maximum dramatic effect, but if that’s true, then why is Audrey seen so disinterested in finding her son now that he’s wanted for murdering a child? Instead, we see Audrey and her husband Charlie arguing over why Charlie would rather do his paperwork and then go to bed than help her find Billy. “Who’s Billy?” you may ask. Great question.
I did try and find out if there was any significance to Billy, but I came up empty, which means this is likely some new character we’ve never seen, or it could be an alias from some other character we’ve already seen. Either way, what can be inferred is that Billy is a gentleman that Audrey has been having an affair with, and that it’s serious enough to prompt her to ask for a divorce from Charlie despite whatever arrangement they previously had. Why Billy is missing is not explained, but a call to someone called Tina, who Audrey hates but Charlie is on good terms with, lends insight. We don’t hear the Tina side of the conversation, but it’s clear Audrey’s not going to like what she had to say.
There were some quick hits too, and that was quite literal in one sense. We see Hutch and Chantal kill the warden on Bob/Cooper’s instruction and quietly drive off to the cries of mourning from the warden’s young son. It’s a stark contrast to a lovely game of catch between Dougie and Sunny-Jim, which goes about as well as you’d think and was also, surprisingly, the only bit we saw of the OG Cooper this week. Then, in the Fat Trout Trailer Park, Carl told a man named Kriscol that he doesn’t have to give blood to get money to pay for his rent, another act of quiet decency on Carl’s part.
The last big piece of the week was Sarah Palmer, who was seen buying liquor and cigarettes because if your husband killed your daughter and niece and then died in police custody, why not? She has a kind of breakdown in the store, which considering her age and trauma might make you think she was afflicted with dementia or something similar. When Hawk drops by later though, Sarah seems perfectly fine, except for the sound of something rustling in her home though Sarah claims she’s alone. It’s worth remembering that one of the last scenes featuring Sarah in the original series was in the Double-R with Garland Briggs where she said in a weird voice, “I’m in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper. I’m waiting for you.”
So that’s fascinating, but it’s a reminder that there’s still so much ground to cover in these final six hours, and though we covered a lot of ground this week, it feels like very little has been resolved. I wonder if the pace of reveals this week was meant to squeeze in as many new questions as possible because next week we start to tie everything together. If I were watching any other series, I feel that would be a safe assumption, but this has been no ordinary series, and something tells me we’ll be asking questions right up until the bitter end.