Twin Peaks: The Return – Part 15 Breakdown, Thoughts, and Analysis

Part 15
Written by Mark Frost & David Lynch
Directed by David Lynch

Part 15

We open on a surprisingly bright sunny day, as Nadine Hurley walks with purpose down the highway, a golden shovel over her shoulder. She arrives at the Gas Farm to tell Big Ed she is setting him free from their marriage. Nadine has had an epiphany and realized that he and Norma Jennings should be together, that her jealousy stood in the way. I think she both genuine and has developed feelings for Dr. Amp aka Jacoby based on their last scene together. Ed takes this in and sets off from the station.

Ed shows up at the Double R Diner, excited to talk to Norma. However, they are interrupted by her business partner and burgeoning love interest Walter. Norma tells Walter she looked at their contract and wants to go through with him buying off her seven franchises and she will continue to focus on her home at the original Double R. Walter is shocked and tells her he thinks this is a bad idea. He leaves, and Norma returns to Ed who asks her to marry him. She says yes, and their story gets its happy ending. This will be the last happy moment of this story.

The Cooper Doppelganger drives through the back roads towards Twin Peaks. He ends up at the Convenience Store seen in Part 8, and a burnt woodsman waits for him. This is The Dutchman Ray mentioned a couple episodes ago. Doop is led up a flight of stairs to nowhere then he and the woodsman crackle out of this reality and into the Black Lodge. Another woodsman sits before what looks like the backside of an old tube television, last seen in Fire Walk With Me. Doop tells him he is here to see Phillip Jeffries and the box crackles. We see a brief overlay of the jumping man in the red suit from Fire Walk With Me. A third woodsman appears and escorts Doop down a hallway and up a flight of stairs to a door that seemingly teleports them to a dingy motel parking lot, still in the Black Lodge. A strange woman approaches from the shadows and offers to unlock the door to Jeffries room, speaking backward as she does.

Once inside the chamber, Doop looks towards a wood paneled wall that slides away like a curtain. On the other side is a large bell shaped device, steam comes out of a nozzle into a bubble that hangs in the air. Apparently, Jeffries has become a part of this device in some unexplained way. Jeffries says he is surprised to see Doop but relieved it is him, as though he was expecting someone else. Doop remembers when Jeffries came to the Philadelphia offices in 1989 as seen in Fire Walk With Me, and this confirms he is truly Cooper because he shares all his memories. Doop wants to know who Judy is and Jeffries replies cryptically that he has already met her. He goes on to give him a series of numbers, popping out in the steam that he says will get him in contact with Judy. The room phone begins to ring as electricity crackles and when Doop answers he is ejected to a pay phone outside the Lodge.

Richard Horne is waiting for Doop, having followed him from the Farm in Montana. He pulls a gun on Doop and says he knows him because of his mother, Audrey. She kept a photo of the FBI agent. Doop violently disarms Richard and tells him to get in the truck, that they will talk on the way. Once they drive off, smoke pours from The Dutchman, and we hear clanking mechanical noises as it fades away.

Steven Burnett and Gersten Heyward hide in the woods of Twin Peaks. They talk about some event that happened off screen, Steven stating he committed some act, but Gersten rebutting “she made you do it.” I feel like they may be talking about Steven killing Becky. Steven’s left side is numb, he rubs at his leg, and his speech sounds slurred.This is similar to what was happening to Dougie before he switched places with Cooper, as well as a phenomenon experienced by many people in the last few episodes of Season Two before the gate to the Lodge opened. Teresa Banks was reported to have had such an incident of numbness days before she was murdered. Series co-creator Mark Frost shows up as a character he played in the Season Two premiere, local reporter Cyril Pons. Pons is credited in a couple Twins Peaks Gazette articles in the Secret History of Twins Peaks as well. Here Pons is walking his dog and witnesses Steven handling a weapon. Gersten runs away scared and hears the gunfire, signaling Steven has taken his own life. Pons heads back to the Lazy Trout Trailer Park where he reports what he saw to Carl Rodd, pointing out the trailer Steven shared with Becky.

At the Roadhouse, James approaches Renee while she is with her husband. A fight ensues, and James shows signs of his brain damage from his bike wreck, stuttering as he speaks. Freddie saves James with his gloved pile driver but seriously injures the men.

At Las Vegas FBI HQ, the wrong Dougie and Jane Jones are brought in. Across town, Chantal steps in to take out Duncan Todd and Doop’s Las Vegas arm of the plan.

James and Freddie are arrested for assault and put in lock up, alongside former Deputy Chad, Naido, and the strange drunk. James is the first person to actually point out the strangeness about Naido. At this stage, I believe Freddie is present to protect Naido from whatever is coming. Chad is there to get killed off in a gory moment. It’s becoming apparent that Naido is connected to Laura Palmer, she came from the White Lodge, and the Fireman has said she must be protected. In Part 8, we see The Fireman create the orb that contains Laura’s spirit and send it to Earth. Will James be the one who can understand Naido’s message?

Chantal and Hutch chow down on some fast food, and she mentions how she is sad she hasn’t gotten torture in a long time. I really hope we don’t see Janey-E or Sonny Jim abused.

At the Jones house, Cooper is served caked by Janey who states “All our dreams are coming true.” Cooper is one of the dreamers, and his presence in their home has brought them happiness. What happens when he leaves? Cooper accidentally switches the tv which is playing Sunset Boulevard. One of the characters states, “Get me Gordon Cole” and suddenly Cooper is awakened. He hears the electrical humming and looks at the outlet. Crawling on all fours, he comes up the outlet and inserts a fork, causing the power to go out, Janey to scream and the sound of a shock.

We get to a moment that a lot of fans knew was coming, the final scene of Margaret Lanternman aka The Log Lady. She tells Hawk over the phone that she has fear. She reminds him to stay away from a presence that dwells under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain, this is the Mother figure Hawk warned Truman off of when they were looking at the Nez Perce map. Margaret says “my log is turning gold” and says goodbye one last time to Hawk.

Hawk gathers Lucy, Andy, Truman, and Bobby to tell them Margaret died this evening. The guardian of Twin Peaks is gone, so who is left to protect it?

Audrey continues to be trapped in a Godot-esque conversation with her husband, Charlie. There is a lot of back and forth about identity, distinguishing the identities of two separate people, and how Audrey says she doesn’t know who Charlie is anymore. Charlie gives up and heads to the couch. In a fury, Audrey rushes in and begins choking him.

The episode returns to the Roadhouse where The Veils are onstage performing “Axolotl” a song all about one’s soul and being transformed by forces beyond our world. Ruby, a meek young woman, sits in a booth alone. Two burly dudes approach and she states she’s waiting for someone. They rudely lift her out and set her on the floor taking the booth. She sits for a moment and then begins to crawl on all fours through the forest of legs. I was struck by the similarity of this scene and the overlay shots we got in the convenience store sequence where the woods are shown as Doop walks through the Black Lodge. There also seems to be an (unintentional?) sync of Ruby’s crawl and screams with Cooper’s crawl and electrocution.

Our final shots are of the dingy motel in the black lodge and the caretaker standing in the shadows.

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