This week, Twin Peaks atoned for its anti-woman sins — sort of. The episode gives Becky Burnett (Amanda Seyfried) an actual shot at being a developed character.
It all begins with Miriam (Sarah Jean Long), who fell victim to Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) last episode for bearing witness to his hit-and-run. He beat her up and left her to die in her trailer; fighter that she is, she crawls her way to a meadow where two boys are playing ball. (Note to self: Never trust anything idyllic in Twin Peaks. Anything sweet — like two boys playing catch — is probably a lure for something terrible.)
The violence from last episode earns repercussions!
Becky receives a phone call about her boyfriend Stephen that leads to hysteria. There are times when the histrionics of the characters in Twin Peaks tickle me — it's campy, and it can be refreshing to see actors explore their range. This is one of those times. Becky, after all, has been a silent character for the most part. Usually, she sits silently with her boyfriend, waiting for something to happen. She borrows money from her mother, Shelly (Mädchen Amick), and seems to be dawdling in her young adult life. (We've all been there.) So, to see Becky scream at the top of her lungs and demand a car to pick up Stephen is a welcome change. It is unfortunate that it seems Stephen's merciless violence
When Shelly arrives to lend Becky her car — bad news; Becky doesn't have a car — Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) is hanging around.
"I know there's been trouble in that trailer," he says, which starts with T which rhymes with P and that stands for Peaks!
Using her mother's car, Becky frantically runs to the hotel room where Stephen is (ostensibly). She has a gun, which I find comforting — at least she has something to defend herself. He's gone, though. Poor Becky.
In Buckhorn, South Dakota, things are also coming to a head. William Hastings (Matthew Lillard) brings the FBI agents the place where he found the next dimension — where he found Major Briggs. Turns out, if you want to find a demon hotbed, you just have to ask for directions. Because it's a hotbed. The FBI arrive at what looks like a storage facility, and the translucent charcoal-covered men are creeping. Diane (Laura Dern), who just wants to sit and smoke her cigarette, sees one and doesn't comment on it. (Again: Diane observing the action on Twin Peaks represents the audience observing the action on Twin Peaks.)
It's clear something's up at this place — FBI Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) is very nearly pulled up into the demon-place. (Is it the Black Lodge? Not clear.) And, most importantly, there's a body.
"Ruth Davenport, I presume," Cole says. It's her body, headless and naked and bearing another set of coordinates. This is going to be a fun otherworldly scavenger hunt.
As the FBI agents mull over the scene, a demon sneaks into the car, where Hastings presides. The demon has his way with Hastings; that is to say, his head explodes, and the FBI agents are baffled. One tries to call for backup, before Diane says, "There's no backup for this." She's right — how do you call for reinforcements when there's another dimension involved?
Back in Twin Peaks, Becky's parents have a heart-to-heart with their dismayed daughter. Her father is Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), who seems dismayed that he and Shelly are no longer together. (So are we!) During this conversation, though, a gun goes off, as if to remind us that violence in this world is inevitable, even when you have two great (albeit separated) parents. It's just a kid playing with a gun in a car. He didn't hurt anyone, but it's still scary, and a nice little anti-gun PSA.
When Bobby investigates the scene, though, something strange occurs. A woman in a nearby car honking furiously has a "sick child" with her. As she hollers this at Bobby — "She's sick!" — the child rises from the seats as if possessed, vomiting in a steady rhythm. Bobby is appropriately disturbed.
Sheriff Hawk, meanwhile, is digging into his map. The map, as well as Briggs' info, is giving him, "Black fire." Sounds awful familiar to the Black Lodge. As he consults the map, Margaret Lanterman calls, asking, "You found something, didn't you?"
She adds, "My log is afraid of fire. There's fire where you are going."
Fire Walk with Me, much?
It's nice to see these characters put things together. The FBI are doing the same work as Hawk; they're consulting each other about Hastings' death; Diane confirms that she saw a "dirty bearded man" headed towards the car. There's a small scuffle about whether or not she should smoke. (The FBI don't want her to smoke in the room. But Diane is going to do what Diane wants to do.) Clearly, something's up. And it's all connected to Agent Cooper.
The episode ends with good news: Dougie is going to be okay. Mr. Todd foiled again! The plan was to sic the Mitchums on our vegetated protagonist. But the Mitchums have second thoughts about it, as does the insurance company where Dougie works. The insurance company wants to give the Mitchums a $30 million dollar payout, which is a sweet deal. They send Dougie to deliver the check — with a cherry pie, no less.
The Mitchums planned to kill Dougie. This is something they seem fairly comfortable doing, but when it comes to the deed, they have second thoughts. Bradley (Jim Belushi) has a dream about killing Dougie, one that seems to warn that he shouldn't kill him.
So, after meeting ominously in the middle of the Nevada desert, the Mitchums decide not to kill Dougie. In fact, they take him to a restaurant. They pop champagne and celebrate their $30 million payout. At the restaurant, the woman from the casino recognizes him and squeals, "Mr. Jackpots!"
Dougie, in his comatose state, is sowing good. Somehow. Despite the fact that he does not do a thing. Twin Peaks seems to reward passiveness.
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