Friday, June 9, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 3x04 Recap: "Part 4: ...Brings Back Some Memories" (Blue Rose) [Contributor: Erin Allen]


"Part 4: ...Brings Back Some Memories"
Original Airdate: May 28, 2017

In Part 3 we witnessed an “intercourse between two worlds.” The result of that was an electrical outlet birthing out our beloved Agent Cooper with the mentality of a toddler. While it is so heartbreaking to see Coop this way, David Lynch and Mark Frost present this traumatic transition in both humorous and touching ways.

Cooper is still hitting jackpots at the Silver Mustang Casino. So much so that he’s earned the nickname Mr. Jackpots. The winnings mean nothing to him. He just keeps following around the Black Lodge triangles that float above the machines. He even spreads the wealth to that little old lady. “Thank you, Mr. Jackpots!” She is so cute!

He runs into one of Dougie’s acquaintances played by Ethan Suplee. Through their exchange Cooper learns Dougie’s address which helps to get him home. Well, to Dougie’s home. He eventually tells this to casino security when they give him his jackpot money. I’m surprised they gave him the money. I thought they were going to take him in the back and rough him up or something. They arrange for a limo to take him to where Dougie Jones lives, in Lancelot Court.

When he gets there, we hear a hoot and then an owl flies overhead. The limo driver says, “Damn, those things spook me.” There is a flash of recognition on Cooper’s face before Dougie’s wife comes out of the house. Naomi Watts plays Janey-E Jones. She is not happy with Dougie. Apparently he’s been MIA for three days and missed Sonny Jim’s birthday. She pushes him into the house and questions him. He doesn’t respond besides saying “Mr. Jackpots” when prompted with the word “jackpot.” When she sees the money in the bag, she says, “There’s enough here to pay them back.” This could be referring to the guys who were sent to kill him in Part 3. The money softens her attitude and she tells him that she is glad he’s home.

Back on the east coast, Gordon Cole is waiting to meet with the Chief of Staff of the FBI. In walks Denise Bryson. And what follows is the most delightful scene. I love it so much. David Duchovny is fantastic back in the high heels of Denise, who is now the head of the FBI. Get it, girl! Denise questions Gordon’s choice to bring Agent Tammy Preston with him to South Dakota, insinuating that it is because of her young age and looks.
Gordon: Before you were Denise, when you were still Denis, and I was your boss; when I had you working undercover for the DEA, you were a confused and wild thing sometimes. I had enough dirt on you to fill the Grand Canyon, and I never used a spoonful because you were and are a great agent. And when you became Denise, I told all your colleagues, those clown comics, to fix their hearts or die.  
Denise: Yes, I can never repay you enough for that kindness. 
Gordon: Agent Preston has the stuff. 
Denise: I know. I’m speaking more as a woman now than as the Chief of Staff of the entire Federal Bureau of Investigation. Don’t you just love saying “Federal Bureau of Investigation” like that all at once, unabbreviated? It just gives me such a thrill. 
Gordon: It is thrilling, Denise.
How great is this? Gordon with his unique way of yelling, so matter-of-factly, and Denise so comfortable in her skin as a woman, and a woman in a position of power at that. Not to mention the fact that it has David Duchovny, whose iconic role as Special Agent Fox Mulder, gushing about saying “Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Two things I find odd, though. One is the emphasis put on Gordon’s alleged womanizing. Lynch is known for casting these young, beautiful women. They are the center of most of his work. Gordon also had a special appreciation for them in the original run, taking a particular liking to Shelly. For Denise to find Gordon’s behavior unprincipled and question his judgment was a little strange to me. I think it may be Lynch commenting on what people will think of his casting choice of singer-actress Chrysta Bell. Her performance in Part 3 left quite a bit to be desired, and I feel Lynch knows that the audience won’t be taken with her as much as he is. By having his character defend her character, it’s like he’s telling us all to give her a chance.

Secondly, I didn’t love that Denise expressed feeling competitive with Tammy. She has had to endure the struggle to be seen as a woman, and once she achieves that, she adopts the societal gender norm that women see other women as competition. This was disappointing because I really like the character of Denise, and here Lynch has her perpetuating a problematic idea of female behavior.

In the end, Denise gives Gordon her blessing, and they part ways amicably. Denise even fans her face after he leaves. I felt the same way. I was internally squeeing throughout the whole scene.

Back in Twin Peaks, Lucy is talking to Sheriff Truman on the phone about the thermostat. Now, to be fair, I also am confused by thermostats, but not to the extent that Lucy is. My goodness. But, that’s nothing compared to her complete bewilderment over cellular phones. When Sheriff Truman walks in while she is talking to him on the phone, she flips out. Like, literally flips over in her chair at the sight of him. I remember people talking about how it would be weird to see the residents of Twin Peaks with modern technology, so I guess this is their response to that. It’s over-the-top enough to work for this particular series. Although, newcomers might not think so.

Sheriff Truman has returned from fishing. In Part 1, Lucy referred to two Sheriff Trumans, one was sick and one was fishing. This Sheriff Truman is played by Robert Forster, Sheriff Harry S. Truman’s brother. That means Harry is the one that is sick. I am still upset that Michael Ontkean didn’t sign on to come back, and to hear that his character is ill is sad. I do love Robert Forster, though.

Speaking of original characters that I love, we get reintroduced to Bobby Briggs. Bad boy Bobby Briggs is a cop! I didn’t see that coming, let me tell you. He focuses on drug movement over the border. Sheriff Truman informs him that there was another overdose at the high school, and that he suspects Chinese designer drugs. Bobby assures him that he’s got all known channels from Canada under surveillance. Is Bobby a good cop or a bad cop? Has he cleaned up his rebellious ways or gone back to dealing drugs? I don’t care. I just really love Bobby, and I hope he’s a big part of the rest of the season.

In the conference room, Hawk is debriefing Sheriff Truman on The Log Lady’s log’s message. An officer named Chad gets really sarcastic about it. Nobody appreciates his tactless humor, including myself, but the lines are pretty funny. The look on Andy’s face is perfect. How dare you speak irreverently of The Log Lady!
Chad: I thought that log woman was 10-96, and wasn’t even allowed inside this building. 
Lucy: That’s on account of a kind of gum. 
Chad: Well, I’ll chew on that. 
Sheriff Truman: That’s enough, Chad. 
Andy: She gets messages from her log. 
Chad: Pinocchio’s friend. 
Sheriff Truman: Goodnight, Chad. 
Chad: I’m going to go have a word with my pinecone.
This is some nice levity before an emotional bit with Bobby. He walks into the conference room and sees the prom picture of Laura Palmer. “Laura’s Theme” begins to play and Bobby begins to cry. Dana Ashbrook always played these moments with tough guy Bobby so well on the first two seasons. He continues to do that with him here. This is the first time we hear “Laura’s Theme” on The Return, so that adds to the emotion, too. The score has been minimal as yet. As a result, the familiar music here has a big impact. I think this is a great moment on this episode and out of all four parts that have aired so far.

Upon hearing about Agent Cooper, Bobby tells them that Cooper is the last person to see his father alive. According to his mother, Cooper paid Major Briggs a visit, and the next day, the Major was killed in a fire at his station. Before they can delve into this information, an officer informs them that there is a man outside. Andy and Lucy’s son, Wally Brando, has come to pay his respects to Sheriff Truman.

This is one of the weirdest scenes in an already weird show. But it is wonderfully weird. Michael Cera plays Wally Brando. Wally dresses like Brando’s character in The Wild One, and has a strange way of speaking. It is absolutely hilarious. I thought it was odd when I saw Cera’s name on the cast list that was released, but he is perfect as Andy and Lucy’s son. His weirdness makes total sense. Can you imagine being raised by these two kind-hearted and simple-minded, yet wacky people? Cera really goes for it. He puts his all into this performance. And it is a memorable one — his little poem about his shadow is just sublime.

We finally check back in with Cooper. It is the next day, and he is about to get dressed in one of Dougie’s hideously unfashionable suits. There is a cut to MIKE in The Black Lodge, wandering around looking for something. We cut back to Cooper and the Lodge with MIKE in it materializes in the room. MIKE tells him, “You were tricked. Now one of you must die.” He holds up the gold bead, and then the room fades away.

Janey-E comes in to find Cooper squirming and holding his crotch. He has to pee! “Listen Mr. Dream Weaver. You go potty.” Cooper goes to the bathroom. So, you must not have to go when you’re in The Black Lodge because it looks like Cooper hasn’t peed in 25 years. He also hasn’t seen his own reflection in that time, it seems. Last time we saw him look in a mirror, BOB’s face was reflected back. He takes a good long look at himself.

Once dressed Cooper meets Sonny Jim, who gives him a thumbs-up, prompting Cooper to mimic him back. You can see the recognition and genuine joy the action brings him. He does a little spin, and Sonny Jim laughs.

Cooper shows up to the breakfast table with his tie draped on his head. Sonny Jim guides him through eating his pancakes. Janey-E brings him his coffee, and I’m sure all Twin Peaks fans collectively held their breath. He is fascinated by it. He hasn’t shown much interest in much since he’s been back in the real world. He takes a big gulp, and spits it out. He looks deranged but happy. Poor guy has only had funky Black Lodge brew, and we know how much he loves coffee. I’m guessing he spits it out because it’s hot? Or he is so overcome by having it again after all this time?

Back in Buckhorn, Constance gets a hit on the John Doe prints, but access is restricted by the military. This makes me think that the headless body is Major Briggs’. We saw his disembodied head in Part 3 floating through space.

Gordon, Albert, and Tammy arrive at the prison in South Dakota. The cops had found cocaine, a machine gun, and a severed dog's leg in the trunk of BOB/Cooper’s car when they picked him up. The three of them go in to talk to him. BOB/Cooper gives Gordon a robotic and labored thumbs-up, and speaks with a deep, stilted speech. BOB/Cooper tells them that he has been working undercover with Phillip Jeffries. He wants Gordon to debrief him. “I will tell you the whole story. All its twists and turns.” He also tells him that he left messages. “Messages so Phillip knows it’s safe.” BOB/Cooper looks to Albert at this point, and Albert looks down.

Gordon and Albert discuss their visit with Cooper. The film is tinted blue in this scene. We began The Return in black and white, and the electrical room was awash in purple. These are distinct choices, and whether or not it has significance or is just an aesthetic choice, we don’t know yet. In this scene they bring up Blue Rose, so that could be the reason.

I’ve always liked David Lynch as an actor. Gordon Cole is a great character. In this final scene of Part 4, you can see just how talented he is on screen. His performance here is sincere and real. You can see the feeling in his eyes, and the pauses he takes work so well. I was taken aback a little realizing just how good he is. Miguel Ferrer is wonderful, as well.

Albert reveals that years ago he authorized Phillip Jeffries to give Cooper information of who their man in Columbia was. A week later that man was killed. BOB/Cooper must be responsible for that, I’m guessing. Albert and Gordon are both gravely concerned about what’s going on, but not entirely clear on what that is.

Gordon: I don’t think he greeted me properly, if you take my meaning. Something is very wrong. I hate to admit this, but I don’t understand this situation at all. Do you?
Albert: Blue Rose. 
Gordon: It doesn’t get any bluer.
They say that a certain person can help them, and I am very hopeful that this person is Diane, and that she is played by Laura Dern. Albert says that he knows where she drinks, and then there is a cut to The Roadhouse. Some viewers are thinking that they are talking about a Twin Peaks resident because of this juxtaposition, but I’m almost positive it’s Diane.

The credits roll over another musical guest on stage at The Roadhouse. This time it is Au Revoir Simone.

Stray Observations:
  • “Will Albert be with you?” “Do birds fly?” “Good luck.” “10-4, good buddy.” This scene!
  • What on earth is going on in that Brennan family photo in the thermostat scene? Their faces look distorted, like a bad Snap Chat face swap or something. That has to be intentional, but what could it mean?!
  • “That’s a lovely turn of phrase.” Catch me quoting Wally Brando on the regular. 
  • Albert knew to have a photo of Mt. Rushmore for Gordon since they wouldn’t be near it. “There they are, Albert. Faces of stone.” #FriendshipGoals
  • I love this fandom. Reddit user Sully620 pointed out that BOB/Cooper says, “It’s yrev, very good to see you, old friend.” — with the first “very” backwards like the language of The Black Lodge. It could be that Gordon picked up on it, too. “I don’t think he greeted me properly, if you take my meaning. Something is very wrong.” You can read about this theory, complete with video evidence, here. 
  • I thought Chrysta Bell’s performance on Part 3 was really stiff. It actually made me cringe. She is better in Part 4. I like the bit with Gordon about the wire.
  • This is the third episode out of four that ends with a musical performance. It reminds me of how Jason Priestley would bring on bands he liked to play at The After Dark once he was a producer on the show. But this is like a thousand times cooler than that.


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