Home / Arts & Life / ‘Twin Peaks’ Season 3, Episode 16: Doppelgängers and Dancers

‘Twin Peaks’ Season 3, Episode 16: Doppelgängers and Dancers

Dougie’s coma keeps him away from his house, where the local F.B.I., the Hutchenses and the Mitchums’ crew have all converged to wait for him to return — planning to arrest, assassinate or coddle him. In his absence, Hutch and Chantal get into a dispute with one of the Jones family’s neighbors: a man in a vehicle labeled “Zawaski Accounting.” Soon they’re exchanging gunfire, and the Hutchenses wind up riddled with bullets.

As all this is going on, the F.B.I. deputy director, Gordon Cole, monitors the situation from his outpost in South Dakota. But he gets distracted when Diane knocks on his door, and tells him and Agents Preston and Rosenfield the story of how Mr. C came to see her and sexually assaulted her a few years after Dale Cooper disappeared. She begins to break down, describing a visit with Mr. C to a place that sounds a lot like the Convenience Store. Then she suddenly shifts her description from “gas station” to “sheriff’s station,” before repeating, “It’s not… uh… me.” She pulls a gun, Tammy and Albert shoot her, she disappears, and she rematerializes in front of Gerard in the Black Lodge, where he describes her as “manufactured” and watches her face crack open while another of those “seed” balls spills out.


A scene from “Twin Peaks: The Return.”


Before this version of Diane leaves our plane of existence, she receives a text message from Mr. C with a smiley emoticon followed by the word “ALL” in all caps. He sends this after arriving in the middle of the night in the desert with Richard Horne, whom he instructs to hike up to the exact location of the coordinates he has been seeking throughout the series. Once Richard gets to the spot — as his Uncle Jerry watches through binoculars in the distance — he’s instantly zapped with supernatural electricity, then disintegrates. Once he’s gone, Mr. C sighs, “Goodbye, my son.”

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So what did we learn from what amounts to four lengthy scenes? Mainly, we now know that Cooper’s back and has a mysterious but confident plan to defeat his double and that Mr. C’s still using any tricks at his disposal to avoid being sucked back into the dimension that spawned him. We also know that Diane — or perhaps a Diane doppelgänger — was dragged apparently against her will into the extradimensional demons’s nefarious scheme.

As for Mr. C’s elegiac “my son” comment to the departed Richard Horne… well, that may not just be a figure of speech. It’s very possible that he visited Audrey decades ago in the same way that he once visited Diane and that he got Ms. Horne pregnant, perhaps as part of his larger plot to blow past his term of service to his Black Lodge benefactors — by sacrificing someone else in his place.

There’s also this: The last time we saw Mr. C driving through the middle of nowhere in the black of night was when he rode with Ray Monroe, who then tried to assassinate him once they got where they were going. What followed was a daring and brilliant hour of TV, as “Twin Peaks: The Return” jumped back to the mid-20th century to offer an abstract depiction of an ancient sickness infiltrating the atomic age.

This week’s episode begins the same, with one of David Lynch’s signature shots of headlights shooting narrow beams through one of America’s darkest stretches of roadway. The headlights serve as an overture to an episode that’s every bit as momentous as the one with the atom bomb — except that this time, instead of the origin of our contemporary malaise, we witness the return of the man who may vanquish it. This odyssey is nearing its finish line, and there’s still a chance that it may end happily.

Extra Doughnuts:

• Edward Louis Severson III (a.k.a. Eddie Vedder) performs his new song “Out of Sand” at the roadhouse in what seems like is going to be a typical ending to the episode. But then there’s a sort of epilogue, as the M.C. at the Bang Bar asks Audrey Horne to reprise her “Isn’t this music too dreamy?” dance from the original series. She gyrates in a trance for a minute or two, then is interrupted by someone rushing into the club to start a fight (while shouting, “That’s my wife!”), after which Audrey walks up to her husband, Charlie, whispers, “Get me out of here,” and then abruptly appears in a featureless white room, staring into a mirror.

It’s unclear yet what any of this means, but the suggestion seems to be that either Audrey has been dreaming her whole “Twin Peaks” story line this whole time, or that she too has a doppelgänger and that her real self has been imprisoned somewhere else for years. At the least, it’s obvious now that there’s been more going these past few weeks than just a multiepisode spat with the cuckolded Charlie.

• Jerry Horne waddles into the desert unexpectedly while Mr. C is sending Richard to his doom. Before it’s clear who he is, from a distance it looks as if he may be a Woodsman. This can’t be coincidental, can it? Is it possible that Jerry has become a part of whatever organization the Woodsmen represent?

• There was a lot of memorable dialogue this week, such as when Rodney Mitchum witnessed the Hutchens road range incident and shrugged, “People are under a lot of stress, Bradley.” But my favorite line came via the now-deceased Hutch, who during his stakeout with Chantal suddenly says, “Remember that guy? Sammy? He passed away. He was a good guy. I owed him money.” The Hutchenses … They were weird, and they will be missed.

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