But Who Is the Dreamer? Why Twin Peaks "Part XIV" Is a Revelation

("The Return," Part XIV)

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But Who Is the Dreamer? Why <i>Twin Peaks</i> "Part XIV" Is a Revelation

They say—the shadowy “they” who render the opinions on large matters—that we don’t store memories, or invent dreams, in our minds. Some folks believe that we receive them, like radio signals.

I’m pretty sure that’s how David Lynch sees it. And last night’s episode of Twin Peaks was certainly not dissuasive.

We’re set up for nostalgia right away when Lynch’s Gordon Cole places a call to the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station and has an awkward chat with Lucy, and eventually Other Truman (adding Michael Ontkean to the list of characters he’s managing to keep alive even though their actors have left the profession. Or the mortal coil). Albert explains the etymology of the “Blue Rose” cases to Tammy. Diane casually lets it drop that Janey-E Jones, wife of Dougie, is her estranged sister.

Cole describes a dream in which he meets Monica Bellucci in Paris, and brings up the weird scene in Fire Walk with Me where Philip Jeffries (ah, David Bowie) shows up and time gets all bendy. Recapping this more specifically would be a lot like that annoying friend who insists on describing their dreams to you even though the person’s dream-logic is incomprehensible to you and only meaningful to the dreamer. (But who is the dreamer? Monica Bellucchi wants us to consider it.) So let me just say dreams are important to Lynch as plot devices, and also as image generators, and also as reminders that logic and problem solving and image generation are both universal and personal. We good? Good.

Back in Twin Peaks, Truman busts the screws to screwy bad-deputy Chad and locks him up in the Big House. Then he, Hawk, Andy and Bobby go to Jackrabbit’s palace, a huge ruin of what looks to have once been a massive spruce tree. They find the eyeless, voiceless woman from “Part III,” naked on the forest floor. Andy goes to scoop her up. One of those dimensional vortices opens again (you saw that part coming, at least, right?) and Andy ends up in the cosmic way-station sitting with the Giant, or as he introduces himself, “The Fireman.” (I think he starts them rather than putting them out, and we can expect one pretty damn soon.)

Andy receives a flood of disjointed images. They seem to be speaking to the Two Coopers phenomenon and Laura Palmer’s death and we could discuss that scene for pages as well, so let’s table that for a sec. What you need to know here is that Andy emerges from the Lodge a changed man and quite possibly a major player in the final showdown against the Black Lodge and its creepypants inhabitants.

OK: James Hurley’s working as a security guard and gets treated to a lengthy exegesis by a British co-worker—the episode is one massive roll after another between almost pure image and almost pure verbal exposition, and it’s really pretty fascinating. Freddie, the co-worker, has been to the Black Lodge, been given the secret to superhero strength by the Giant (it’s a gardening glove) and told he was to fulfill his destiny in Twin Peaks, Washington, USA.

Oh, so this is where Sarah Palmer is in this bar and a douchey guy in a “Truck You” t-shirt starts harassing her. Here’s why you don’t want a face-off with Sarah Palmer: She can in fact take her freaking face off. Underneath is a swirling vortex of Black Lodge garmonbozia and when she has revealed this she will then rip your throat out in one move. Wow Bob Wow? That was scary.

Andy puts the eyeless woman in a cozy bathrobe and into a cell near Bad Chad and a drunk asshole “because she is important and there are people who want her dead.” Remember the scene in Season One where Mike and Bobby start barking like rabid dogs at James Hurley? Yeah, me too.

At the Roadhouse, two other peculiarly unknown women discuss… Billy! Apparently he’s been seen vaulting over a fence with blood coming out of his face? That can’t have been good.

Maybe it was a dream? Maybe it all is?

Look, to be honest, we have a lot to talk about here, more than a recap’s worth. About symbol and sign and consciousness and reality and dimensions and Two Coopers and twin everythings and… and lots of stuff. But for now, we’ll just say that this was revelatory on an equal but inverted scale to “Part VIII”—no explosions, no fireworks, but a ton of information that will lead us toward a conclusion, all deployed so casually and gently you could easily not have noticed. Even Sarah Palmer taking her face off and eating someone’s head seemed… calm, soft, easy to miss. There’s something to that. What? Maybe next week I’ll be able to tell you. Right now, I’m still digesting.

Oh, and David? Thanks for the hour’s respite from barfing. We only had to deal with the puking space zombie for a few frames this time. Appreciate it, pal.

Amy Glynn is a poet, essayist and fiction writer who really likes that you can multi-task by reviewing television and glasses of Cabernet simultaneously. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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