3.11: There’s fire where you are going.
(SPOILERS) A damn good episode. Perhaps the lesser part of it is the still great FBI plotline, but that’s only because – despite having the most overtly weird elements – it is more linear and less inimitable than the other claims to fame: Bobby and the shooting incident, and Dougie-Dale’s encounter with the Mitchum Brothers. Yes, it’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally come around to silver fox Bobby. Or should that be Becky’s pops.
What impressed me most about this sequence was the way it develops – escalated would be the wrong word. You think the scene is about one thing but then it becomes about something else, and then it becomes about something else entirely. During the build-up to this we’ve had the ominous, Blue Velvet-esque scene in which a boy playing ball sights Miriam crawling bloodied from the woods. Followed by Shelly riding the bonnet of her car until Becky throws her off.
There’s something very matter-of-fact procedural about the lengths Lynch goes to show Maggie at the switchboard being called (courtesy of dear old Carl Rodd) and Bobby getting back to his ex – it’s Lynch most noticeable aesthetic in this third season, slowing everything right down, but here lending an air of the ‘50s cop show to the proceedings, such that it could almost be a public information film. Most shocking is that weasely Steve is having an affair with none other than Alicia Witt (Gersten Hayward). Not that can you can blame him, but her appalling lapse of taste is frankly deplorable (I was just waiting to hear a Steve-sized body hit the floor when Becky fired those shots through the door).
Shelly: Becky, we know you’re a grown, married woman, but we’re your parents, and we love you.
Once we’re in the diner, the shifts in emphasis become downright riveting. For some reason, it simply didn’t occur to me that Bobby might be Becky’s dad, and I was completely on the side of sad-faced Briggs when Shelly skips out with her latest bad choice, Red (Norma can well look on disapprovingly, as Shelly’s surrogate ma, since he’s definitely a Hank Jennings type, just with more tricks up his sleeve, and with Becky that makes three generations of poor decisions in men).
And then we shift again, as shots are fired through the diner window, but rather than an enraged Steve, or an enraged anyone, it’s just a kid who found his dad’s gun. A disturbing kid, whose posture is exactly that of his unconcerned dad, hands in pockets while mom does the remonstrating.
And after a while of this, all to the background blare of a car horn, Bobby finally goes to ask the vehicle’s occupant to hush. He gets a hysterical meltdown in response, and you can only feel for his stunned response, as the woman announces “We have to get home! She’s sick!” while her daughter rises from the floor, spewing something bilious and looking for all the world like Linda Blair’s little sister. It’s a bizarre, brilliant series of encounters, and I’d have been just as aghast as Bobby at the final one.
Hawk: You don’t ever want to know about that.
Sheriff Truman: Really?
Also up: the wisdom of Hawk, with his living map, and its black fire and strange bug head – which we’ve seen before on Evil Coop’s playing card – as he instructs Sheriff Truman he really doesn’t want to know about the latter, before Margaret calls and underlines matters nicely (“There’s fire where you are going. My log is afraid of fire”). The Twin Peaks-focused plotlines have gathered pace enough that they’re as intriguing as those elsewhere now, and there’s even some light relief from oblivious Deputy Holcomb (“Sheriff Truman, are you interested in seeing my new car?”)
Bushnell Mullins: Dougie, now that I’ve had time to think about this, it’s clear that your investigative work has exposed a ring of organised crime and possible police corruption flowing through this office.
There was more than enough there to be getting on with, but we’re also treated to Dougie-Coop vs the Mitchum brothers. That Dougie-Coop pulls through with absolute lack of effort on his part comes as no surprise, but the manner in which this unfolds is a delight, from the brothers’ “I can’t wait to kill this guy” to the gradual revealing of Bradley’s premonitory dream, complete with Rodney’s healed Candie-cut and Dougie-Coop carrying a box, which, rather than Gwyneth Paltrow’s head, conceals a cherry pie (it’s safe to say the cheque for $30m wasn’t part of his twinkle time). Mike was obviously aware of the magical properties of cherry pie, but how far his influence spans (Bradley’s dream is a safe bet, but Candie’s cuckoo state?) is open to debate.
Rodney Mitchum: This pie is damn good.
Dougie-Coop: Damn good.
How much longer can all the things Coop loves fail to entirely reintegrate his mental state? Coffee, now cherry pie. It’s a marvellous twist to have Dougie-Coop the new best pal of the Mitchums, and one can only wonder how long it will last, and where it will lead. Candie, in her distracted state, seems like the ideal foil for Dougie-Coop, but they’re both too distracted – by eating pie or serving it – to pay much attention to each other. And Lady-Slot-Addict’s arrival (“I hope you realise what a special person you have dining with you”) is the perfect send-off to Coop blithely trailing light wherever he goes, like an idiot messiah.
Gordon Cole: He’s dead.
FBI-wise, we see William Hastings lose his head, or half of it, at the hands of the devil tramps who were evidently in the room (“Dirty, bearded men, in a room”) we heard about last week (rather than it being the room in Fire Walk with Me); their modus operandi being the same as the thing in the penthouse.
Gordon is further into his vision quest (again, this would have been earmarked as Coop material if he’d been compos mentis), Diane (“There’s no back up for this”) is digging herself a deeper hole as she memorises coordinates very obviously – coordinates that more than likely will lead to that intersection of FBI and local law enforcement I mooted a few weeks back – and Albert gets a pithy line (“I don’t suppose you found Major Briggs’ head anywhere?”) Curiously, no one seems willing to observe that the dirty bearded men were phasing in and out of corporeal form, but I guess that comes with the territory, or it could just lead to further suspicions.
So yeah, go Bobby Briggs. I’m rooting for ya.
Agree? Disagree? Mildly or vehemently? Let me know in the comments below.