Slead Score: A
Heaven and hell are just a convenience store away.
As Nadine marches toward Big Ed's auto shop in Twin Peaks, it's hard to crack a smile seeing her determined and confident demeanor. Even with that golden shovel thrown over her shoulder, nothing is menacing in her focus to get to Ed. Of course, we quickly learn she actually has made the trek for a definite reason, and that's to give Ed what he's always wanted: Norma. In some kind of fairytale, Ed rides triumphantly to the Double-R to give Norma the good news, but before anything can be celebrated, Norma must slay the dragon.
Her business partner turned supposed lover is still lurking around, hoping to turn the diner chain into something Norma could never have her face or name attached. So she gives it all up to stay in Twin Peaks and run the diner that we've seen her work in since we first met her. It feels right and somehow peaceful, especially when she saunters over to Ed to put the bow on the whole affair. "Marry me," says Ed, and just like Shelly standing dumbfounded with a coffee pot in her hand, we too are in awe of this love story finally getting a happy ending.
Hold onto that joy while it lasts, though.
Episode 15 begins as a dream and ends in a similar fashion. From Ed and Norma's declaration of love to a screaming girl in the Roadhouse, every scene has something to do and say, particularly with death. Right after we get a dose of sweet joy, Mr. C is on the case, hunting down any sign of Phillip Jeffries. Harkening back to episode 8 and Fire Walk With Me, Mr. C makes his way to the apartment above the convenience store, where one of the Charcoalmen are awaiting his arrival. This seems to be the same area we were shown in the atomic bomb hour, tying together a few different ideas that the community has been questioning. For one, that blast that set off the good and evil in town somehow opened a gate to the Black Lodge here, which allows Mr. C to communicate with people like Jeffries, who seems to be neither here nor there. In true Lynch editing, there's a quick flash of Sarah Palmer's face as Mr. C makes his way to the room Jeffries is hiding in, bringing up the interesting idea that this area really does connect to the Palmer house. That staircase in the home has always had such an ominous feel and tying that together with the one in the apartment, it just seems like a picture perfect fit.
Thre is another piece of information this episode that jumped out like a road flare on a highway. While Mr. C and a large mechanical pot version of Jeffries discuss a mysterious woman named Judy, Jeffries says, "so you really are Cooper." Maybe we're not supposed to read too far into that, but what if Mr. C really is Cooper? Fast forward a bit to a later scene with Dougie, and this could actually start to make some sense. As Dougie does what he does best by sitting and staring blankly into space, he flips on the TV to hear the name Gordon Cole uttered. His reaction is odd, not entirely one of excitement, and this is further accented by the fact that he takes a fork and jams it into the electrical socket by the TV. We don't see what happens to Dougie, other than a blood-curdling scream from Janey-E. Was this Dougie's attempt to end it all? It's far fetched and odd like Twin Peaks typically wants to be, but there's something more to Mr. C and Dougie than just one of them being Bob and the other a comatose Cooper. Perhaps both Cooper and Bob's spirits are actually divided into both bodies.
Keeping on track with the theme of the episode, we get more of Steven and his drug-fueled life. It seems he and his lover Gersten are still riding high on something and sadly this time it's going to have deadly consequences. As a man walking a dog stumbles across the two in the woods, Steven flips out. This sends Gersten running followed by the sound of a gun shot. We saw that Steven was planning on shooting himself to "end things in his head," but maybe he shot at the man walking the dog instead. On the flip side, Chantal takes care of her duty with precision and little effort by taking out Duncan Todd in Las Vegas. Another dead body in an episode filled with them. Even at the Roadhouse, sweet James is just trying to say hello to a former flame, when her boyfriend launches up to attack him. James' new sidekick and rubber-gloved partner, Freddie, steps in to silence the boyfriend, but it seems he sends him into critical care with one punch.
Lynch has so many people lined up for slaughter that it can seem a tad comical, but right when it starts to get goofy, he pulls hard on the reigns to remind us that when a beloved character dies, it hurts. The Log Lady makes one final call to Hawk, reminding him that he needs to be wary of everything she's told him up until that point. It's heartbreaking to watch her struggle to get the words out, especially knowing the actual actress who played Margaret, Catherine E. Coulson, died after shooting her scenes for The Return from cancer. She was an iconic and beloved part of the series, and having her sign off in this way had the meta heartache I believe Lynch wanted us to feel.
Perhaps the most confusing portions of the last several episodes have revolved around the ending Roadhouse scenes. When the season first began, we simply saw a band performing to signify we were done for that week. However, there's an entire side plot about Billy, Tina, and a slew of others that we most likely haven't met yet. Even though we see different people each week talk about these unknown characters, the stories all seem to line up, and it even sounds like Audrey and her husband are involved in the same situation, as they repeatedly bring up both Billy and Tina. While everything else in The Return could be considered confusing due to surrealist filmmaking and non-chronological storytelling, it's this side plot that really confuses me.
How important can Billy and all of those people be in the end? What does it mean that we visit this story at the end of each episode?