Skip to main content

Ladies and gentlemen, Audrey’s dance.

Twin Peaks
3.16: No knock, no doorbell.

(SPOILERS) Well, he’s back. Finally (Mike was speaking for the entire viewing audience there). And he’s 100%! That Lynch faded in the Twin Peaks theme to announce the fully restored Special Agent Dale Cooper is indication enough that Coop’s the show’s emotional anchor, its comfort and strength, and without him, however good the show is – and it has been very, very good – there’s something missing. Not that the show should be mired in formula, but Coop-free, the Twin Peaks-verse is a starker, more forbidding place. The other event of the episode – and No knock, no doorbell is brimming with them, so maybe that’s being a little subjective – is the insight into what is going on with Audrey.


I admitted in the last review that I was coming around to the idea of Audrey in a coma, but the flash we receive here suggests something else, something equally traumatic but not yet entirely discernible. My first thought was a variant on this, that she’s quite in a mental institution, hence the apparently white surroundings and her patient-type garb. One would presume as a result of the actions of habitual rapist Evil Coop (“Goodbye, my son” is the most succinct, no-nonsense version of Darth Vader conceivable). But then, how would Billy factor into this, since it appears he is a real character (perhaps he has been in and out of the same facility, currently residing, or rather drooling, in a prison cell?) And who knows how long Audrey has been in there, if indeed that is what has befallen her? And if it is, what’s the betting Charley’s actually an orderly?


But that reading would be to discount the parallels between Audrey and Diane, and Lynch and Frost are surely presenting them in a manner that is non-coincidental. We now know the Diane we’ve seen this season isn’t real, and yet there appears to be a bleed-through of her real self – wherever she may be – to the Tulpa. So maybe the Audrey we’ve been watching is experiencing something similar. She is Tulpa Audrey, trapped in the Black Lodge like Diane (or the gas station), trying to get out, and as she does so reverberating around the Great Northern. Certainly, the band playing backwards against red drapes over the end credits leaves little room for interpretation. And just as Tulpa Dougie has Janey-E, so Tulpa Audrey has Charlie.


Agent Tammy Preston: They’re real. That was a real tulpa.

Lynch isn’t pulling any punches with Evil Coop’s diabolical behaviour, that much is evident, but the qualities of his thought-form facsimiles are less transparent. The precise nature of the “tulpa” relationships to the original self become more speculative, not clearer, here. Coop appears fully cognisant of everything that occurred to him as Dougie Coop when restored, perhaps even more so, perhaps even from when Tulpa Dougie was still knocking around. At least, he seems entirely conscious of the bond Tulpa Dougie has with his family and the necessity of Dougie, an unnatural being, meriting a place in the world, hence requesting that Mike fashion another body.


With Tulpa Diane, the fate of her original is unclear (the pointers may tend towards her being Naido – “I’m in the sheriff’s station because, because I’m not me” – but maybe Naido’s Judy since she’s the one making monkey noises. Hell, maybe Diane’s also Judy; that would explain why Evil Coop has met her but doesn’t realise it). She remembers the night Evil Coop came by (four years after actual Diane had last seen him: “As soon as his lips locked mine something went wrong, and I felt afraid”), and it seems the message sent by Evil Coop, ostensibly an instruction ­– to kill Gordon Cole, one assumes, making her sending the co-ordinates immediately after (“I hope this works” – the correct coordinates this time?) an attempt to placate him? – triggers her in some way (“I remember. I remember”).


So it seems Tulpa Diane was communicating directly with Evil Coop all along, not via Phillip Jeffries (unless she was working for both). While one can readily see why he’d want an “in” at the FBI, what he’d want Audrey for is less discernible. Unless disposable progeny were on his mind. Whatever the reason, the parallels between but Tulpa Diane’s disclaimers of “I’m not me. I’m not me” before she’s retired to the Red Room and the existential angst Audrey was giving voice to two episodes ago (“Like I’m somewhere else and I’m someone else”) are unavoidable.


Mike: Someone manufactured you.
Tulpa Diane: I know. Fuck you.

Evidently, the tulpa seeds are recyclable (“I need you to make another one”, Coop asks Mike). I’m not sure what Tulpa Diane’s would be used for, following her zany, Gilliam-by-way-of-South Park cartoonish collapse. Mike seems happy to state the bleeding obvious, but presumably there are others about given to tulpa-manufacture since he doesn’t instantly pin it on Evil Coop.


Murkier in this sequence is establishing who provided the wrong co-ordinates and who proffered the right. Two people gave the incorrect ones, and one might reasonably assume Diane was one (meaning she already sent them to Evil Coop prior to this episode). Meaning either she had been fed the wrong info by Albert and Gordon (and text, a kill instruction, was issued as a consequence) or she hadn’t sent ALL the coordinates (and so Evil Coop realises her info was correct, but incomplete). Certainly, it would make more sense if Philip “I’m a teapot” Jeffries and Ray were both being deceptive; Ray was working for Jeffries, so you might reasonably assume they were on the same page. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if Tulpa Diane sent Coop there, since this is evidently some kind of trap, and the only person who could reliably set such a trap is Phillip Jeffries (why would both Jeffries’ and Tulpa Diane have matching false coordinates?)


It isn’t too much of a stretch to assume, however else Season Three concludes, that Tulpa Dougie will be restored as head of household and Mullins’ prime insurance salesman (and friend of the Mitchums?). Possibly a new and improved Dougie at that, more resembling our Coop. If this conjures queasy memories of the final of nu-Doctor Who Season Two, that’s entirely understandable, but fortunately for us, this is not that show.


Bradley Mitchum: What the fuck kind of neighbourhood is this?
Rodney Mitchum: People are under a lot of stress, Bradley.

Lynch loves his random incidents, particularly when it comes to undercutting expectation… I’m assuming this is a random incident, mind, which is probably unwise. So the much-anticipated hit on Dougie Coop by Hutch and Chantal never comes to pass. Chiefly because Coop is in the hospital, but more immediately because of the string of interruptions that cause them increasing bewilderment. First the FBI, and then the procession led by the Mitchum brothers.


And then, entirely excessively, the Polish accountant (Zaraski, if his car is anything to go by, played by Johnny Coyne), who takes exception to the duo parking in his drive, attempting to forcibly manoeuvre their van from the spot when Chantal, hopped up on junk food and E-numbers, becomes abusive (“Go fuck yourself”). When she then pulls out a gun and fires at him, he escalates the proceedings in a manner neither could have anticipated, removing an Uzi from his car boot and first winging her before putting a decisive end to their hit person antics in the style of an action movie set piece.


Agent Wilson: It looks like nobody’s home.
Special Agent Randall Headley: Oh, and how did you deduce that, Sherlock?

A word about my new favourite FBI guy, Special Agent Randall Headley. Seeing as, sadly, Albert Rosenfeld won’t be in any third season, would it be too much to ask that the dyspeptic Randall becomes a new regular? And, of course, faithful Agent Wilson, so he has someone to yell at.


Sonny Jim Jones: Dad sure is talking a lot.
Janey-E Jones: Yeah, he sure is.

Jerry Horne sort of (you can only see so much through the wrong end of binoculyars) witnesses the death of his grandnephew, who decidedly does not end up in an alternative dimension when he is zapped by a bolt of electricity. It’s electricity that sends Richard to his maker and which brings Coop back (“It was like, what? Electricity?” – there was also a now-familiar humming sound before Coop returns).


McLachlan slips back into the cadence of Coop with consummate ease, and Lynch and Frost write him as if he’s never been away, that balance of genuineness, assuredness and formality (“You’re a fine man, Bushnell Mullins. I will not soon forget your kindness and decency”; “I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed spending time with both of you. You’ve made my heart so full”). It’s curious that only now does Janey-E work out that Coop is not Dougie, though (“Whoever you are, thank you”). Mind you, she is the sort of person who would marry Dougie in the first place.


Bushnell Mullins: What about the FBI?
Special Agent Dale Cooper: I AM the FBI.

Coop is also heading for the sheriff’s station, to which end he enlists the Mitchum brothers, who are understandably a little uneasy about going where they’re “not traditionally welcome”. Coop’s response is an absolute classic (“Friends, that’s about to change. I am witness to the fact that you both have hearts of gold”), readily verified by Candie (“They do, they really do”), and Knepper and Belushi are marvellous playing hard guys buoyed by admitting to their soft centres.


MC: Ladies and gentlemen, Audrey’s dance.

So, what will be the repercussions of Audrey’s state of affairs? Will Jerry ever make it back to civilisation? Will there be a farewell spate of shit-shovelling? Will Sarah Palmer show up at the police station? After all, everyone else is going there, with Coop in pole position. It’s good to have him back.








Agree? Disagree? Mildly or vehemently? Let me know in the comments below.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

She writes Twilight fan fiction.

Vampire Academy (2014)
My willingness to give writer Daniel Waters some slack on the grounds of early glories sometimes pays off (Sex and Death 101) and sometimes, as with this messy and indistinct Young Adult adaptation, it doesn’t. If Vampire Academy plods along as a less than innovative smart-mouthed Buffy rip-off that might be because, if you added vampires to Heathers, you would probably get something not so far from the world of Joss Whedon. Unfortunately inspiration is a low ebb throughout, not helped any by tepid direction from Daniel’s sometimes-reliable brother Mark and a couple of hopelessly plankish leads who do their best to dampen down any wit that occasionally attempts to surface.

I can only presume there’s a never-ending pile of Young Adult fiction poised for big screen failure, all of it comprising multi-novel storylines just begging for a moment in the Sun. Every time an adaptation crashes and burns (and the odds are that they will) another one rises, hydra-like, hoping…

Move away from the jams.

Aladdin (2019)
(SPOILERS) I was never overly enamoured by the early ‘90s renaissance of Disney animation, so the raves over Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin left me fairly unphased. On the plus side, that means I came to this live action version fairly fresh (prince); not quite a whole new world but sufficiently unversed in the legend to appreciate it as its own thing. And for the most part, Aladdin can be considered a moderate success. There may not be a whole lot of competition for that crown (I’d give the prize to Pete’s Dragon, except that it was always part-live action), but this one sits fairly comfortably in the lead.

He made me look the wrong way and I cut off my hand. He could make you look the wrong way and you could lose your whole head.

Moonstruck (1987)
(SPOILERS) Moonstruck has the dubious honour of making it to the ninth spot in Premiere magazine’s 2006 list of the 20 Most Overrated Movies of all Time. There are certainly some valid entries (number one is, however, absurd), but I’m not sure that, despite its box office success and Oscar recognition, the picture has a sufficient profile to be labelled with that adjective. It’s a likeable, lightweight romantic comedy that can boast idiosyncratic casting in a key role, but it simply doesn’t endure quotably or as a classic couple matchup the way the titans of the genre (Annie Hall, When Harry Met Sally) do. Even its magical motif is rather feeble.

Why would I turn into a filing cabinet?

Captain Marvel (2019)
(SPOILERS) All superhero movies are formulaic to a greater or lesser degree. Mostly greater. The key to an actually great one – or just a pretty good one – is making that a virtue, rather than something you’re conscious of limiting the whole exercise. The irony of the last two stand-alone MCU pictures is that, while attempting to bring somewhat down-the-line progressive cachet to the series, they’ve delivered rather pedestrian results. Of course, that didn’t dim Black Panther’s cultural cachet (and what do I know, swathes of people also profess to loving it), and Captain Marvel has hit half a billion in its first few days – it seems that, unless you’re poor unloved Ant-Man, an easy $1bn is the new $700m for the MCU – but neither’s protagonist really made that all-important iconic impact.

Bleach smells like bleach.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)
(SPOILERS) I’d like to be able to say it was beyond me how Clint’s misery-porn fest hoodwinked critics and the Academy alike, leading to his second Best Picture and Director double Oscar win. Such feting would naturally lead you to assume Million Dollar Baby was in the same league as Unforgiven, when it really has more in common with The Mule, only the latter is likeably lightweight and nonchalant in its aspirations. This picture has buckled beneath the burden of self-appointed weighty themes and profound musings, which only serve to highlight how crass and manipulative it is.

You're reading a comic book? What are you, retarded?

Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut (2009)
(SPOILERS) It’s a decade since the holy grail of comic books finally fought through decades of development hell to land on the big screen, via Zach Snyder’s faithful but not faithful enough for the devoted adaptation. Many then held the director’s skills with a much more open mind than they do now – following the ravages he has inflicted on the DCEU – coming as he was off the back of the well-received 300. Many subsequently held that his Watchmen, while visually impressive, had entirely missed the point (not least in some of its stylistic and aesthetic choices). I wouldn’t go that far – indeed, for a director whose bombastic approach is often only a few notches down from Michael Bay (who was, alarmingly, also considered to direct at one point), there are sequences in Watchmen that show tremendous sensitivity – but it’s certainly the case that, even or especially in its Ultimate Cut form and for all the furore the change to the end of the story provoked,…

I’d kill you too, Keanu. I’d kill you just for fun, even if I didn’t have to.

Always Be My Maybe (2019)
(SPOILERS) The pun-tastic title of this Netflix romcom is a fair indication of its affably undemanding attributes. An unapologetic riff on When Harry Met Sally, wherein childhood friends rather than college attendees finally agree the best thing to be is together, it’s resolutely determined to cover no new ground, all the way through to its positive compromise finale. That’s never a barrier to a good romcom, though – at their best, their charm is down to ploughing familiar furrows. Always Be My Maybe’s problem is that, decent comedy performers though the two leads may be – and co-writers with Michael Golamco – you don’t really care whether they get together or not. Which isn’t like When Harry Met Sally at all.

You're always sorry, Charles, and there's always a speech, but nobody cares anymore.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)
(SPOILERS) To credit its Rotten Tomatoes score (22%), you’d think X-Men: Dark Phoenix was a travesty that besmirched the name of all good and decent (read: MCU proper) superhero movies, or even last week’s underwhelming creature feature (Godzilla: King of Monsters has somehow reached 40%, despite being a lesser beast in every respect). Is the movie’s fate a self-fulfilling prophecy, what with delayed release dates and extensively reported reshoots? Were critics castigating a fait accompli turkey without giving it a chance? That would be presupposing they’re all sheep, though, and in fairness, other supposed write-offs havecome back from such a brink in the past (World War Z). Whatever the feelings of the majority, Dark Phoenix is actually a mostly okay (twelfth) instalment in the X-franchise – it’s exactly what you’d expect from an X-Men movie at this point, one without any real mojo left and a variable cast struggling to pull its weight. The third act is a bi…

They went out of business, because they were too good.

School for Scoundrels (1960)
(SPOILERS) Possibly the pinnacle of Terry-Thomas’ bounder persona, and certainly the one where it’s put to best caddish use, as he gives eternally feckless mug Ian Carmichael a thorough lesson in one-upmanship, only for the latter to turn the tables when he finds himself a tutor. School for Scoundrels is beautifully written (by an uncredited Peter Ustinov and Frank Tarloff), filled with clever set pieces, a fine supporting cast and a really very pretty object of the competing chaps’ affection (Janette Scott), but it’s Terry-Thomas who is the glue that binds this together. And, while I couldn’t say for sure, this might have the highest “Hard cheese” count of any of his films.

Based on Stephen Potter’s 1947’s humorous self-help bestseller (and subsequent series of -manship books) The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship (or The Art of Winning Games without Actually Cheating), which suggested ungentlemanly methods for besting an opponent in any given field, gam…

I should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
When your hero(es) ride off into the sunset at the end of a film, it’s usually a pretty clear indication that a line is being drawn under their adventures. Sure, rumours surfaced during the ‘90s of various prospective screenplays for a fourth outing for the whip-cracking archeologist. But I’m dubious anyone really expected it to happen. There seemed to be a natural finality to Last Crusade that made the announcement of his 2007 return nostalgically welcome but otherwise unwarranted. That it turned out so tepid merely seemed like confirmation of what we already knew; Indy’s time was past.