Chris Burgess is back to declare “Holy Jesus Christ” and give his take on an hour of mind bending, ground breaking television courtesy of Twin Peaks.
Spoiler alert – this articles is full of spoilers. Don’t read it unless you’ve seen episodes seven and eight. Preferably at least twice. Then had a good night’s sleep and watched them again.
Holy Jesus Christ what the freaking heck was THAT?!
I’ll be honest, I don’t quite know where to start with this review of episodes 7 and 8. I think I need a cup of tea and a nice sit down.
Let’s just recap the action of episode 7 – think we can all agree that we can skim through that as we have bigger things to think about.
So we saw a brief glimpse of the old Cooper, in his skirmish with Ike ‘The Spike’, we saw Bad Cooper leave jail after being outed as an imposter by Diane, and we saw him hop into a rental car with his friend Ray.
That’s all I’m going to say. Not because a lot didn’t take place – it did – but it kinda feels like talking about having an itchy leg after you’ve just been hit by a ten ton truck.
In episode 8 we start – quite normally enough – with Bad Coop and Ray (who may or may not be a special agent, double agent or something else altogether) driving along the highway.
They pull over. Ray decides to play his hand and shoots Bad Coop in the chest. We then ascend to the most avant-garde, ‘out there’ hour of prime time television that the world has possibly ever seen.
We had a presumably dead Bad Coop surrounded by the oil-faced vagrants we’ve already had glimpses of during the series – once in the jail cell, disappearing into smoke, once again stalking the mortuary halls in episode 7. They seem to be the key to this entire episode and possibly a portent of evil throughout the new series.
They perform some kind of strange ritual, rubbing Bad Coop’s blood all over him until a balloon with Bob’s face on it appears – a demonic, primitive-feeling ritual that feels in some way like an exorcism.
‘The’ Nine Inch Nails perform at the Roadhouse. Pretty decent song I thought.
Bad Coop wakes up, still alive, and we flashback to 1945 and all that jazz. There’s no way to explain it here succinctly, but it’s all been foreshadowed to some degree.
The atomic bomb appears in Gordon’s office, in a picture on his wall that you simply cannot fail to miss. What could slip by though is the light fittings in that same office, which are shaped identically to the bell-alarm we see The Giant step out from behind in the music hall.
What we know from the original series and Fire Walk With Me is that the Black Lodge appears whenever there is conflict, or violence. So it stands to reason that perhaps one of the most violent and evil actions the world has seen – the A-bomb – has perhaps opened the Black Lodge, or at least created Bob.
So what does make The Giant’s steampunk hangout? Are we finally seeing the White Lodge? Are we to believe that Laura Palmer has been sent from the White Lodge to somehow fight against Bob?
The Log Lady might have some clues (see video below).
I know everyone seems to have at least one theory, but this is mine – I think what we’re seeing one level is Lynch trying to evoke memories from and aspects of his childhood. I believe this whole series has been Lynch meditating on his life, using stories from co-creator Mark Frost to do so.
The Giant and his missus appear to be watching the explosion from inside a television, yet appear like a silent black and white movie. And the Radio DJ and young couple are from 1956, so are we seeing Lynch’s childhood memories here? Does the oily woodsman reciting poetry represent the ‘threat’ of 1950’s rock and roll – hence the old people fainting from shock?
We may never know for sure, which is beautiful.
What’s becoming clear though is that The Return, as a series, has confounded all expectations so far. We started with a new case, yet have veered and lurched all over the road before jumping back in time. If I had to put money on it, I’d say that The Return was actually meant to mean the return of Agent Cooper – rather than the return of the show.
I wouldn’t be surprised if proper Cooper, our Cooper doesn’t appear until the very end, with all of the events of the series so far culminating in one truly epic finale.
Having said that, we could just as easily jet off to the year 3017 or something just as nuts.
Some other thoughts:
Ray’s call to Philip (maybe Philip Jeffries, David Bowie’s character from Fire Walk With Me) was the understatement of the century – “I think he’s dead but he has some kind of help”.
The floating figure who appear to give birth to Bob is the same that appeared in the box in New York, before killing the young couple watching.
The line in the poem “this is the water and this is the well” echoes The Arm’s quote from Fire Walk With Me, “As they were born through fire and they walk with fire, we are the water. We are the source of fear and sorrow”.
That young couple from 1956 are blatantly Laura Palmer’s parents, right?
Log Lady Clues….