In terms of sheer weirdness, ‘Twin Peaks’ will probably never top Episode 8 this season. I doubt any show ever will. This week’s episode is pretty damn odd, though.
A great deal of the episode actually takes place in Twin Peaks this time, so we’ll start there.
Miriam, the girl that Richard Horne left for dead in her trailer, survived his beating after all. She starts this episode crawling out of the woods (missing an eye, it looks like), and is found by some young kids playing catch. This is never referenced again, which is yet another thing to add to the list of police incompetencies in this town.
Becky (Amanda Seyfried) receives a phone call in her trailer and freaks out. She calls her mom screaming that she needs to borrow her car immediately for an emergency and then digs a gun out of the closet. Shelly leaves work at the diner to race over, thinking that her daughter may be hurt. Ungrateful for the help, Becky shoves her out of the way and steals the car. Shelly pulls a T.J. Hooker and jumps onto the hood, but Becky is so blinded with rage that she flings her mother off and speeds away.
Carl Rodd finds Shelly, who asks him for a ride back to town. On the way, Shelly calls Norma for advice, and Norma suggests that she should talk to Bobby. Carl conveniently has a C.B. radio in his VW bus, which connects directly to the police switchboard.
Becky races over to an apartment building and furiously pounds on a door, screaming for her husband, Steven. (I previously assumed he was just her boyfriend, but apparently she’s actually married to the loser.) A neighbor hears the commotion and tells her that nobody’s home; she just missed them. Becky pulls her gun and fires several shots into the door. This triggers a host of 911 calls to the police. Meanwhile, Steven cowers in a stairwell with Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt), last seen (in fact, only ever seen) as an adorable little girl in the first episode of Season 2 in 1990. Now it looks like she’s a homewrecker.
The next we find them, Becky and Shelly have cooled off and are sitting in a booth at the RR with Bobby, who’s confirmed to be the girl’s father. He helplessly expresses concern for her but seems unwilling to take actual action. In fact, he’s been letting Becky and Steven slide on a host of minor criminal offenses for years, hoping that they’d eventually straighten themselves out. Given his own history, I suppose he’d feel like a hypocrite chastising anyone else about having a drug problem. Even when Becky changes attitude and tries to defend her cheating dipshit husband, Bobby offers to loan her money to pay for the door she damaged. Rather than arrest her, as he should be obligated to do as an officer of the law, they resolve the matter with apologies and hugs.
In the middle of this conversation, Shelly spots someone at the window and runs out to jump into the arms of her new boyfriend. She’s positively giddy in his presence. Bobby looks hurt.
After Shelly returns, a gunshot rings out and pierces a window in the diner. Bobby draws his weapon and runs outside expecting trouble. What he finds is a white trash couple in a minivan, the wife screaming about how the idiot husband left a loaded pistol in the back seat with their young son. The kid looks like a psycho. Bobby takes the gun.
Even as he takes control of the situation, a woman in the car behind the minivan won’t stop honking her horn. Bobby orders her to settle down, but she won’t listen. When he approaches, she screams at him about how he’s blocking traffic and she desperately needs to get home for dinner right away. The child in the seat next to her looks like she’s possessed by the Devil and dribbles green vomit from her mouth as Bobby stares in disbelief. This town continues to be quite a freak show.
Back at the sheriff’s department, Frank and Hawk make plans to investigate the coordinates from Major Briggs’ note. Hawk unfurls an ancient map printed on buckskin, which he claims is “very old but always current.” He says that the stars on the map correspond to the same date the Major mentioned in the note. When Frank asks about a black symbol (the same one seen previously with Mr. C), Hawk says that he doesn’t ever want to know about that. The Log Lady then calls with a new message from her log. “There’s a fire where you are going,” she says.
Buckhorn, South Dakota
Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard) leads Gordon, Albert, Tammy and Diane to a lot with a dilapidated house, which he claims is the site where he crossed dimensions and met Major Briggs. Hastings stays locked in the police car with local police Det. Macklay. Diane feigns disinterest and stands off to the side smoking a cigarette. Gordon asks Tammy to stay back and provide cover while he and Albert slip in past a fence and approach the house. They aren’t deterred by the ghostly figure of a bearded hobo skulking around the property, fading in and out of visibility. Gordon asks, “Think there’s one in there?”
As they get close, the world around Gordon goes fuzzy and he sees a gigantic vortex appear in the sky, sucking in everything around it. Nobody else sees anything but an old man comically waving his arms around. Within the vortex, Gordon sees the image of a room with more scary bearded hobos in it. As Gordon begins to disappear himself, Gordon pulls him back. None of this seems too surprising to either of them.
Albert looks around and spots a human arm sticking up from a nearby field. They check it out and find a decapitated nude female body, which they correctly surmise must be Hastings’ dead mistress, Ruth Davenport. Coordinates are written on the arm. Albert takes a photo.
Diane sees the first scary ghost hobo sneak up on the police car, but isn’t sure what she’s looking at as the man fades in and out of sight. She says nothing as he appears to pass through the car door into the back with Hastings, whose head suddenly explodes, terrifying Det. Macklay. Gordon takes a look and helpfully states the obvious: “He is dead.”
Meeting for coffee and donuts later to discuss what they’ve experienced, Gordon and Albert make a point of allowing Diane to see the photo of Ruth Davenport’s arm, giving her enough time to memorize the coordinates, the last few digits of which are smudged (deliberately?). I assume they’re laying a trap for her. Gordon says that he saw “dirty bearded men in a room,” and Diane admits to seeing one of them near the car, then retracts it and says she might not have.
Dougie’s boss, Mr. Mullins, pulls the oblivious Mr. Jackpots into a private meeting and thanks him for his help uncovering organized crime and police corruption though his research. However, he claims that the Mitchum brothers’ insurance claim was actually on the up-and-up. Their casino fire wasn’t arson after all, and he’d like Dougie to personally deliver the good news along with a check for $30 million.
The Mitchums, meanwhile, are still fuming over the story that Anthony fed them, and are eager to kill Dougie.
One their way out of the office, Mr. Jackpots sees a vision of the One-Armed Man beckoning to him, and runs off toward it. Mullins eventually pulls him back and puts him in a waiting limo. He puts the check in Jackpots’ pocket and gives him a box to give the Mitchums. The limo driver (the same one who drove Mr. Jackpots home after his big win at slots) says that he’s taking Dougie to a meeting at a fancy restaurant, but actually drives him out of town way into the desert. In an embarrassingly sloppy bit of editing, an extended driving sequence is awkwardly played to a Shawn Colvin cover of “Viva Las Vegas” on the soundtrack, which then abruptly cuts out in the middle of a verse.
The Mitchums are waiting there. As Rodney (Robert Knepper) prepares to kill Dougie, Bradley (Jim Belushi) gets fixated on a strange dream he had the night before, the details of which appear to be coming true. When he sees the box Mr. Jackpots is holding, he insists that he needs to take a look inside. He makes Rodney swear that if the contents are the same thing he dreamed about, they won’t kill Dougie. He then opens the box and finds a cherry pie, just like his dream. Bradley is amazed and elated. Rodney makes him frisk Mr. Jackpots anyway, and of course he finds the check for $30 million. Both brothers are ecstatic. “I love this guy! Rodney declares.
The Mitchums then bring Mr. Jackpots back to the city and take him out to dinner to celebrate. Mr. Jackpots seems to have his memory stirred by a tune being played by the lounge pianist. The old lady who followed him around the casino then recognizes Mr. Jackpots and thanks him for changing her life. She has a home now, and has been reunited with her estranged son, and credits Mr. Jackpots for everything.
The episode ends with Mr. Jackpots digging into the damn good cherry pie (he finds that he likes it a lot) as the Mitchums raise a toast to their new best friend.
I’m about done with the Dougie/Mr. Jackpots stuff. That plot thread was kind of amusing at first, but has long overstayed its welcome. Every moment of screen time spent with Mr. Jackpots is a further delay to ever seeing the real Dale Cooper again. This week’s storyline spends an excessive amount of time setting up a very simple plot turn gag (that the Mitchums now like Dougie, and Mr. Todd will have to find another way to kill him) that could have been accomplished in a quarter of the time or less.
Becky is also a very unsympathetic and grating character. The more we see of her, the less interesting I find her.
Overall, this is one of the weaker entries of the season. It tries too hard to be weird just for the sake of being weird, and feels burdened with meaningless non-sequiturs that most likely won’t lead to anything. Do you really think we’ll ever find out what was up with the possessed girl in the car? Maybe I’ll have to eat my words on this later, but I doubt it.
Heh…this was one of my favorite episodes. I really liked this one.
This was a great episode and I’ve really enjoyed seeing Dougie Jones slowly make his way back to being Dale Cooper. It’s about the journey, not the destination. In the end, when Dale becomes himself, its going to be more rewarding because it was earned.
You keep trying to apply standard rules to a surrealist work.