Twin Peaks continues to excel in its revival. David Lynch and Mark Frost are now past the halfway point, and things are starting to come together.
In episode 11, we continue the slow build-up to the season’s finale. Lynch succeeds in fleshing out the Twin Peaks regular cast, especially since we haven’t seen them for most of this season’s first half. While Kyle McLachlan is still playing Dougie Jones/Dale Cooper, this episode expands upon the townspeople.
We get more exploration of Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) and Shelly Briggs (Madchen Amick). In the original show, they hid their affair from Shelly’s abusive husband Leo. Now, it appears they did marry after Leo’s death in the second season finale It’s not made clear whether they are now divorced or just separated, but we do know they share a daughter, Becky, played by Amanda Seyfried.
Formerly Twin Peaks‘ bad boy, Bobby is now a deputy for the police department. While he’s no longer a rebel, he is still affected by memories of his late father and Laura Palmer. In one scene, he encounters a camo-wearing child emulating the parent. Bobby’s aware of how mistakes can be passed down from generation to generation. Meanwhile, Shelly is still waitressing at the diner and going from one relationship to another.
The episode begins with three boys discovering an injured Miriam, who’s crawling on the side of the road. Becky learns her husband Steven (Caleb Landry Jones) has been seeing another woman, Gersten. Enraged, she takes Shelly’s car, heads over to Gersten’s apartment and shoots at the door. Luckily, nobody is hurt, but Steven and Gersten are left shaken.
Back the diner, an irate Shelly and Bobby scold their daughter about her behaviour, and it’s clear the Briggs family is a fractured one. When drug dealer Red shows up, Shelly goes outside to give him a kiss, which pains Bobby all the more. After a kid shoots the window of the diner, Bobby discovers a frightened woman holding a child.
Dana Ashbrook does a great job in depicting the older, mature Bobby. Apart from recurring roles on other television shows, Twin Peaks is the one he’s most remembered for. His wistful sadness over Shelly hints that he still loves her.
William Hastings (Matthew Lillard) leads Gordon Cole, Diane, and the FBI to the old 2240 Sycamore property. This is where he and Ruth Davenport saw Major Garland Briggs. Upon arriving, they discover Ruth’s body with a set of coordinates on her arm. Gordon spies a group of men in a black vortex, while Diane spots a woodsman kill Hastings. After pondering an ancient map, Hawk gets a phone call from the mysterious Log Lady. Her cryptic words are: “There’s fire where you are going.”
Watching David Lynch and Laura Dern interact is a gem. Their professional relationship with bickering provides a lighter tone to the show’s darker elements. Special praise must be given to Matthew Lillard for selling the pitiful yet sympathetic Hastings. Although he’s mostly know as a comedic performer, Lillard shows his range as an actor in making you feel sorry for him.
Back in Las Vegas, Dale Cooper/Dougie Jones is still in a daze and having to be guided along. His boss sends him on an assignment to deliver a $30 million check to the Mullins brothers. It looks like Dougie will be a goner, but Bradley Mitchum (Jim Belushi) has a dream of Cooper bringing them pie. Through this vision, he comes to the realization that Dougie is not their enemy. Ultimately, they all go out for a bite to eat.
While still in Dougie mode, Cooper does respond to the serving of cherry pie. We’ve seen him react similarly to words like “case files” and “badge.” Yet he is also drawn to the American flag and black coffee. Could there be something else that brings him back? If it’s not cherry pie or coffee, the question has yet to be answered.
MacLachlan continues to do well as a man who’s trying to make his way out of the fog. We don’t see Naomi Watts’ Janey-E in this episode, because this is focusing on Cooper’s journey Although Belushi’s casting is a bit surprising, he does well with the material he’s given.
To be continued….