Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 15 Recap: Turns Out, Those Golden Shovels Are Useful

There was a purpose to the golden shovels! And there was a purpose to Freddie's (Jake Wardle) green gardening glove! Gardening tools, it seems, are more magical than they appear.
The shovels kick off the episode — Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) finally purchased one, and she's using it to shovel her way out of the shit. She marches over to the gas station where her husband Ed (Everett McGill) works, and proposes that he go ahead and marry his high school sweetheart, Norma. Ed and Norma! Norma and Ed! (Norma, played by Peggy Lipton, dated Ed in high school. It didn't end well. In fact, it ended with Nadine losing an eye.)
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The shovel facilitates the best sort of romantic resurgence. After a lifetime of being married to the wrong person, Ed heads to the RR Diner, where Norma works — only to find an apologetic Norma.
"I'm sorry," she tells him before going to speak to her beau Walter (Grand Goodeve). Last episode, Walter, that money-mongering pile of douche, plead with Norma to change the name of the RR diner. He also wanted to know how to replicate Norma's pies in all of his six diners.
It's a fake-out, though. Thank the evil Twin Peaks hellmouth. Norma pulls Walter aside only to say that no, she's not changing the name of the diner. And, for that matter, she wants her diner and her diner only. She doesn't want to own shares in the other six diners that Walter owns. After delivering this stern rejection, Norma places a hand on Ed's shoulder.
"Marry me," he asks her. Oh, boy. And we thought Ross and Rachel were TV's most epic romance. Ed and Norma have been chasing this relationship for well over a quarter of a century. And it took a golden shovel for it all to happen. (I solemnly apologize for any and all jokes I made about the absurdity of the golden shovel plotline. If spray-painted gardening tools appeared in every romantic comedy from now on I would not complain.)
In less enchanting parts of this narrative, the evil Cooper is getting to business. He makes his way to the coordinates he squeezed out of Ray last week. They lead him to the gas station where it all started — where specters of men in beanies flicker in the darkness. It's a portal of sorts, or a vessel between worlds. There, Cooper asks to see Phillip Jeffries. (David Bowie played Jeffries originally. I have spent most of this series wondering when and how he'll make his return.)
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One woodsman leads Cooper through a courtyard, where a woman in a nightgown says, in the broken speech of someone from another dimension, "I'll unlock the door for you." Inside, there's a large pipe, or what looks like an ancient refrigerator. It's a version of Phillip Jeffries, voiced by Nathan Frizzell, who speaks directly to Cooper.
This is turning into a bit of bureaucratic runaround. Because Jeffries can't really help Cooper. Cooper just wants to know why Jeffries wanted him killed — though Jeffries doesn't admit to doing this. When Cooper asks who "Judy" is, Jeffries says, "Why don't you ask Judy yourself?"
So, Cooper goes to speak to Judy. That is, he grabs a phone which teleports him to the outside of the gas station and he flutters a bit, moving his lips. We can't hear what he's saying into the receiver.
Just as he does this, though, reality intervenes. It's Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), who following Cooper from the Farm. He recognizes Cooper. Where from, you ask? His mother's photographs. Horne has a gun; Cooper snatches it, and instructs him to "get in the car." Now they're buddies, I guess. Makes sense — they have similar hobbies. (Killing people and such.)
That other Very Violent Man, Steven (Caleb Landry Jones, who has a knack for playing unhinged men) is very high and trembling like a wet chihuahua. He has a gun, and he can't stop rubbing his leg. He's sitting with Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt), the woman he's been having an affair with, and he's just about ready to kill himself. He seems to be sitting in Jackrabbit's Palace, the very same place where Andy last episode found himself traveling to another dimension. (This is also where the Twin Peaks police department found Naido, the eyeless woman.)
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"You didn't do anything," Gersten reassures Steven. He sure did, though. This is the guy who hollered and threatened Becky Burnett (Amanda Seyfried) not too long ago. She's been looking for Steven; it appears he's been slobbering and shivering in the forest this whole time.
A friendly dog walker chances upon Steven, and both Steven and Gersten panic — bystanders don't bode well for two junkies and a gun. The bystander then struts back to Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) and informs him of Steven's whereabouts. Though, hey, if Steven found himself slurped into the Beyond, I wouldn't mind.
It's rare we get to see a mid-episode Roadhouse scene — usually, these scenes take place at the end of the episode, little aesthetic palate cleansers. But tonight, there's a fight. James Hurley (James Marshall) has the gall to say hello to Renée (Jessica Szohr) at the bar; her husband Chuck (Rod Rowland) is present, and asks very politely, "Do you have a death wish?"
Then, they rumble. Chuck takes a swing. Then, Freddie steps in with his magic glove. What wonder! It knocks Chuck to the floor, and he starts frothing at the mouth. It seems the glove is a vessel for good — Chuck certainly didn't seem like a good guy in this situation. It's so deliciously comical, though, that the tool to save James Hurley is a plastic gardening glove. And never forget those lovemongering shovels!
James and Fred end up in prison as a result; they are now in the same place as Naido, the eyeless woman. They're intrigued. I'm intrigued how these three — James, Naido, and Freddie — are going to figure out this knotty situation. Surely they've been put together for a reason.
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Then, too much happens. Too many major events in rapid succession.
It goes like this: Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) murders Mr. Todd (Patrick Fischler). Then, Dougie sees Cyril Pons (David Frost) on television. Sensing his former life, he electrocutes himself using the wall socket, which is how he got there in the first place.
Eek, egads, then the worst thing happens: Margaret Lanterman takes her leave of Twin Peaks.
"Hawk, I'm dying." She says over the phone. But not without a warning. "Watch for that one. The one I told you about. The one under the moon on Blue Kind Mountain." Her log is turning gold, too. Like the shovels, perhaps?
The episode ends with hysterical women. There's Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn), who's still distressed about the disappearance of Billy. There's no real update here; she appeared in this episode as if to remind us purely that she exists, although her son brought her up earlier in the episode, too.
Then, a woman (Charlyne Yi) waits alone at the Roadhouse. She's lonely; she says she's waiting for someone. Two men forcibly remove her from her seat because one person can't occupy an entire booth. She takes a seat on the floor and starts crawling towards the feet on the dance floor. She begins hollering. Can someone hand her a golden shovel? That seemed to work for Nadine Hurley.
Leftover Thoughts
- Why did Mr. Todd die so soon? I was sure he'd be instrumental in some impending climax.
- I grow more and more delighted by Chantal and Hutch's extreme love for fast food. Characters in this show tend to have food obsessions (never forget "damn good coffee"), and I'm glad these two have taken on the mantle.
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- The bloody drunk in the prison hasn't stopped bleeding since last episode. Is he actually there or a figment of some character's imagination?
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