Saturday, June 24, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 3x06 Recap: "Part 6: Don’t Die" (Diane!) [Contributor: Erin Allen]


"Part 6: Don’t Die"
Original Airdate: June 11, 2017

For an episode titled “Don’t Die” there was quite a bit of death, including an extremely tragic one that will not be leaving my mind any time soon. That particular scene and some lengthy ones of Cooper struggling in the real world (or this dimension or wherever this is) gave Part 6 a somber mood. There are some quirky, madcap moments, and a long-awaited character reveal is made.

The episode picks up where Part 5 left off, Cooper is still standing by the statue with an armful of case files. A friendly security officer brings him home. Janey-E fixes them sandwiches (which are weirdly loud and crunchy), and finally decides to take Dougie to the doctor. What must Dougie have been like that it takes her this long to make that assessment.

She sends him up to say goodnight to Sonny Jim who is reading a Hardy Boys book in bed — The Secret of the Old Mill, to be precise! They share a sweet moment with chips and a clap on/clap off cowboy lamp before Janey-E yells for Dougie to come downstairs.

When Cooper was brought home, the officer noticed an envelope on their doorstep. Janey-E had opened it while Cooper was upstairs, and was not happy with its contents. Cooper did not make arrangements to pay off Dougie’s debt because, well, he can’t even figure out how to find a bathroom on his own. Along with the threat, is a photo of Jade and Dougie. “Jade give two rides.” “Yeah, I bet she did.”

The phone rings and Janey-E jokes that maybe it’s Jade calling. Cooper smiles at the thought, and so do I. It’s the thugs who want their money. Janey-E takes command and tells them that she will meet them the next day. She tells Cooper that he better get to work on the work he brought home, and kisses him on top of his head despite being so angry with him.

There’s a cut to a Twin Peaks stoplight and MIKE in the Red Room before going back to Cooper and the files. MIKE appears before Cooper like he did in Part 4. He tells him to “wake up” and “don’t die.” Cooper starts doodling on the files, drawing ladders and stairs, and nondescript scribbles. At one point, pinpoints of light appear on the page. I don’t know what any of it means, but I was captivated watching him do this.

Albert pulls up to Max Von’s Bar. As he makes his way through the crowded place I’m chanting, “please be Diane, please be Diane.” After he says, “Diane,” I start chanting, “please be Laura Dern, please be Laura Dern.” It is! Laura Dern plays the mysterious, fan favorite Diane, Cooper’s trusted confidant. I could not be more pleased with this casting. I don’t think anyone else could’ve filled this important role better than Dern. She is a veteran of Lynch’s films, and a very gifted actor. All we got was a turn of the head and a “Hello, Albert,” and I was over the moon. Also, her whole look is fabulous. I don’t think I ever pictured anything in my head about how Diane would look, she was that much of an enigma. The white platinum bob and Egyptian-esque eyeliner is very cool and unexpected.

Turns out the guy who was making eyes at Shelly at The Roadhouse on Part 2 is a drug dealer, and a tricky one too. Richard Horne is testing the drugs that Red will supply him to sell in Twin Peaks. Red messes with him by calling him “kid,” and doing a coin trick that scares the crap out of him. It would scare me, too. It is some freaky magic trick. Red also mentions wanting to stick around town. I wonder if that has anything to do with Shelly? Balthazar Getty plays Red as an eccentric and menacing bad guy reminiscent of Blue Velvet’s Frank Booth. It was satisfying to see Richard on the receiving end of his peculiar intimidation. Richard leaves crying, angry, and emasculated.

The next few scenes end up converging at one intersection where that tragic death occurs. First, we see Carl getting a ride into town from his trailer park. Mickey, one of Carl’s neighbors, tags along so he can pick up Linda’s mail. Remember “Richard and Linda?” He talks with Carl about Linda, and it seems she is in a wheelchair, maybe because of a war injury?

Next, we meet Miriam at the Double R. She is raving to Heidi, the giggling waitress from the original series, about Norma’s pies.

There is a quick cut to Richard speeding down the road and then to Carl sitting on a bench in the park looking up at the tree tops. He smiles at a mother and son who pass by. Richard approaches cars stopped at a stop sign and he speeds up to pass them. I’m hoping that what I suspect happens next doesn’t happen, but it does. Richard runs over the boy right in front of his mother. It is truly horrific. If they are trying to show that Richard is borne of evil, this certainly sells that. First assaulting a woman and now killing a child exemplifies pure evil, in my opinion. As he drives away from the accident, Miriam with her Double R coffees watches as he passes. I don’t know if she is in enough proximity to know what happened, but the look on her face is complete horror. Carl comes out to see what the sound was, and watches as the boys spirit leaves his body, in the form of a yellow flame-like cloud. He goes to the grief stricken mother who is cradling her son, and they look at each other. Dang it, I’m sobbing again. It is just so awful and sad. The scene ends on a shot of a telephone pole and electricity crackling in the lines.

We have seen either this pole or one similar before. In fact, I believe this is the same intersection where Mike meets Leland and Laura in Fire Walk With Me. These callbacks along with the presence of Carl are all very significant, but I don’t know exactly why yet. Carl’s background from FWWM and in Mark Frost’s book The Secret History of Twin Peaks is as mysterious as the show. Is he somehow connected to Black Lodge or White Lodge spirits?

Mr. Todd, who we haven’t seen since Part 1, is working on his computer. A red square appears on his screen. It’s a signal of some kind. He goes to a safe and takes out a large white envelope with a black dot on it.

Back in Rancho Rosa, Dougie’s charred car is being towed away, and the drugged-out mom is still yelling, “1-1-9!”

At a motel, a man is playing dice by himself. The envelope with the dot is slipped under his door. As he opens it, hip hop music starts to play. He studies the two photos inside. One is of the worried Lorraine, the woman at the beginning of Part 5, and the other is Dougie. The man stabs the photos with an awl and the music stops.

Cooper shows up at Dougie’s office for another day of work. He can’t figure out how to exit the elevator, but he’s got coffee, so he has a big smile on his face. His boss goes over the work he did on the files, and he is bewildered at the doodles. He begins to chastise him about it, but takes a closer look. He sees something, because he thanks Cooper for his work. “I want you to keep this information to yourself. This is disturbing, to say the least. I’ll take it from here. But I may need your help again. You’ve certainly given me a lot to think about.” Mind sharing with the rest of us, kind sir?

Janey-E pays off Dougie’s debt when she meets the thugs at a park, but not before giving them a piece of her mind. “What kind of world are we living in where people can behave like this, treat other people this way without any compassion or feeling for their suffering?” She tells them to take a good hard look at themselves, and leaves them stunned. “Tough dame.” I’ll say!

That hip hop music plays as we see the hallway outside Lorraine’s office. Yeah, I don’t think she is going to be alive for much longer. The hit man rounds the corner, awl in hand. He brutally stabs her. The violence is very graphic.

Hawk drops a coin in the bathroom at the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station, which seems innocuous enough, but leads to what could be a huge clue. The coin he drops has an Indian chief head on it. He glances over at the bathroom stall door that has the logo of Nez Perce Manufacturing which is also an Indian chief head. He notices the metal on the door is bent back at the corner. He pries it open and finds notebook pages with writing on them. Could these be the pages from Laura’s diary when she wrote what Annie told her in her vision?

Doris shows up mad about her father’s car and lays into Frank about it. Chad mocks them, and the dispatcher sticks up for Doris and Frank. “She didn’t used to be like this. Don’t you know their son committed suicide?” Chad continues to be an insensitive jerk saying that he knows their son couldn’t handle being a soldier. Is this related to Linda and that war that Carl alluded to?

Once again, the end credits roll over a performance at The Roadhouse.

Stray Observations: 
  • I’ve never been so excited over a shot of a stoplight before.
  • We met Diane, you guys!
  • Tony, Dougie’s co-worker played by Tom Sizemore, looked really nervous when Cooper went in to talk to the boss. 
  • Characters I would like to see more of: Jade, Miriam, and the dispatcher.
  • This part’s musical guest is Sharon Van Etten with a mournful song befitting of this episode, especially with a lyric like “Send in the owl, tell me I’m not a child.”


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