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

He’s probably paranoid, high-strung, doesn’t like daylight. You know, has a lot of crumbs in his beard, if he has a beard.

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) (SPOILERS) I’d like to report I had a blast with Godzilla vs. Kong . It’s lighter on its oversized, city-stomping feet than its slog of a MonsterVerse predecessor, Godzilla: King of the Monsters , and there are flashes of visual inspiration along with several engaging core ideas (which, to be fair, the series had already laid the seeds for). But this sequel still stumbles in its chief task: assembling an engaging, lively story that successfully integrates both tiny humans and towering titans.

You stink, my friend.

Mulan (2020) (SPOILERS) Let that be a lesson to Disney. It’s a fool’s errand to try and beat the Chinese at their own game, no matter how painstakingly respectful – or rather, pandering – you are. Indeed, Mulan ’s abysmal $40m box office take in the country – where it did get a proper release, so no plandemic excuses can be cited – feels like a direct rebuke; don’t try and tell us how to suck eggs. There’s an additional explanation too, of course. That Mulan sucks.

Roswell was a smokescreen, we've had a half a dozen better salvage operations.

The X-Files 1.24: The Erlenmeyer Flask The Erlenmeyer Flask makes for a fast-paced, tense and eventful ride, but does it make any sense? That less than mattered at the time, but revisiting the mythology arc (for probably the fourth or fifth time) reveals increasingly tenuous internal coherence as the various conspiracy elements begin to pile up and the situations become ever-more convoluted. This will become the Chris Carter’s signature: don’t examine the details too closely, go with the flow. Trust Chris implicitly.

By heaven, I’d thrash the life out of you… if I didn’t have to read the Nine O’Clock News.

The Green Man (1956) (SPOILERS) The Green movie from Launder and Gilliat starring Alastair Sim that isn’t Green for Danger. Which is to say, The Green Man can’t quite scale the heady heights of that decade-earlier murder mystery triumph, but neither is it any slouch. Sim is the antagonist this time – albeit a very affable, Sim-ish one – and his sometime protégée, a young George Cole, the hero. If the plot is entirely absurd, Robert Day’s movie wastes no time probing such insufficiencies, ensuring it is very funny, lively and beautifully performed.

It's Dark Age, by Jupiter!

The Dig (2021) (SPOILERS) An account of the greatest archaeological find Britain would know until Professor Horner opened the barrow at Devil’s End. And should you scoff at such “ fiction ”, that’s nothing on this adaptation of John Preston’s 2007 novel concerning the Sutton Hoo excavations of the late 1930s. The Dig , as is the onus of any compelling fictional account, takes liberties with the source material, but the erring from the straight and narrow in this case is less an issue than the shift in focus from characters and elements successfully established during the first hour.

UFO IN MOSSINGHAM?

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2020) (SPOILERS) One might reasonably suggest the recourse of the ailing or desperate franchise is to resort, seemingly out of nowhere, to space aliens. Even Police Academy didn’t go that far (to Moscow, yes, but not to space). Perhaps animators think kids have no skills of discernment and will swallow any old sugar-coated crap. Perhaps they don’t, and they will. Ice Age had been enjoying absurd success until Collision Course sent Scrat spinning into the cosmos and grosses tumbled. Shaun the Sheep has been around for a quarter of a century, but this is only his second movie outing and already he’s pulling an E.T. on us. Of course, this may all be part of the grand scheme, and Nick Park is simply doing his bit to familiarise the tots in time for Project Blue Beam.

Careful how much boat you’re eating.

Onward (2020) (SPOILERS) Pixar’s Bright , or thereabouts. The interesting thing – perhaps the only interesting thing – about Onward is that it’s almost indiscernible from a DreamWorks Animation effort, where once they cocked a snook at such cheap-seats fare, seeing themselves as better class of animation house altogether. Just about everything in Onward is shamelessly derivative, from the Harry Potter /fantasy genre cash-in to the use of the standard Pixar formula whereby any scenario remotely eccentric or exotic is buried beneath the banal signifiers of modern society: because anything you can imagine must be dragged down to tangible everyday reference points or kids won’t be able to assimilate it. And then there’s the choice of lead voices, in-Disney star-slaves Chris Pratt and Tom Holland.

Farewell, dear shithead, farewell.

Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) (SPOILERS) I saw Highlander II: The Quickening at the cinema. Yes, I actually paid money to see one of the worst mainstream sequels ever on the big screen. I didn’t bother investigating the Director’s Cut until now, since the movie struck me as entirely unsalvageable. I was sufficiently disenchanted with all things Highlander that I skipped the TV series and slipshod sequels, eventually catching Christopher Lambert’s last appearance as Connor MacLeod in Highlander: End Game by accident rather than design. But Highlander II ’s on YouTube , and the quality is decent, so maybe the Director’s Cut improve matters and is worth a reappraisal? Not really. It’s still a fundamentally, mystifyingly botched retcon enabling the further adventures of MacLeod, just not quite as transparently shredded in the editing room.

A subterranean Loch Ness Monster?

Doctor Who The Silurians No, I’m not going to refer to The Silurians as Doctor Who and the Silurians . I’m going to refer to it as Doctor Who and the Eocenes . The Silurians plays a blinder. Because both this and Inferno know the secret of an extended – some might say overlong – story is to keep the plot moving, they barely drag at all and are consequently much fleeter of foot than many a four parter. Unlike Malcolm Hulke’s sequel The Sea Devils , The Silurians has more than enough plot and deals it out judiciously (the plague, when it comes, kicks the story up a gear at the precarious burn-out stage of a typical four-plus parter). What’s most notable, though, is how engaging those first four episodes are, building the story slowly but absorbingly and with persuasive confidence.

Suspicions of destiny. We all have them. A deep, wordless knowledge that our time has come.

Damien: Omen II (1978) (SPOILERS) There’s an undercurrent of unfulfilled potential with the Omen series, an opportunity to explore the machinations of the Antichrist and his minions largely ignored in favour of Final Destination deaths every twenty minutes or so. Of the exploration there is, however, the better part is found in Damien: Omen II , where we’re privy to the parallel efforts of a twelve or thirteen-year-old Damien at military school and those of Thorn Industries. The natural home of the diabolical is, after all, big business. Consequently, while this sequel is much less slick than the original, it is also more engaging dramatically.