Twin Peaks Episode 11 Review


By: Eric Flapjack Ashley (@flapjackashley)

Recapping an episode of Twin Peaks has never been easy, and will never be easy. We’re at a point now that so much goes on that recalls past storylines from episodes that aired weeks ago, but also current ones, as well as ones that started back in the original series. It’s all over the place, and really, is there any other way for Twin Peaks to be?

Anyway, let’s recap episode 11!

Loose Ends

Some kids playing catch immediately makes me uneasy since this show has a history of abrupt random adolescent murders. So when the ball goes bouncing across the street, I brace for the worst. But instead of more kids being mowed down, they discover a beaten and bloodied Miriam who ended up surviving being left for dead after the brutal attack by Richard Horne last week. Business is picking up.

Family Matters and the Children of the Corn

Becky gets some disturbing information about her two-timing lowlife husband, Steven. She immediately rushes to confront him, but has no car to do so. She calls her mom, Shelly, at the Double R Diner to tell her to hurry over. Once there, a heat-packing Becky steals Shelly’s car – with Shelly still clutching onto the hood until she is discarded onto the ground. Shelly gets a ride with Carl (Harry Dean Stanton), marking – I believe – the first time someone the original series interacted with someone from the movie Fire Walk With Me. It reminds me how seamlessly the revival series ties together both and makes it feel so natural to the point that it goes almost unnoticed. Becky arrives and shoots holes through the door of the homewrecker, who happens to be Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt), the piano-playing little sister of the yet unseen and unmentioned Donna Hayward, Laura Palmer’s best friend.

Finally revealing who Becky’s father is, Shelly and Bobby Briggs have a sit-down with her at the Double R. Bobby and Shelly can’t get Becky to admit that Steven has beaten her, and she won’t yet leave him. But when she is reminded of how her out-of-control father could have killed her mother, Becky is quite remorseful. Bobby and Shelly (also revealed to be previously married according to the end credits) seem to have made a breakthrough, until Red shows up and Shelly reverts back to being a high school girl with an attraction to the Bad Boy. Bobby is heartbroken, and Shelly clearly hasn’t learned much in the past 25 years. This also gives a reason behind Shelly’s visual interactions with Red in hour two at the Roadhouse after she was talking about how James had “always been cool.” Given Red’s involvement with Richard Horne now tying into this story, any doubt that these seemingly unrelated plots won’t be brought together is being laid to rest.

The Children of Twin Peaks, however, could rival any from Stephen King’s fictional short story. First, a few gunshots interrupt the Briggs family moment and Deputy Bobby discovers a kid outside being berated by his panicked mother about shooting off a gun. She’s screaming that he didn’t know what he was doing, but the look he gives Bobby would suggest otherwise. Meanwhile, a crazy lady is laying on her horn like there’s no tomorrow…and when Bobby goes to calm her, she begins ranting and raving about her sick daughter and getting home in time for something. The sick girl rises up in her seat like a zombie, drooling puke while crazy lady starts screaming her head off. The look on Bobby’s face is the same that the audience has at this point.

Deputy Hawk gets another phone call from the Log Lady, saying, “There’s fire where you are going.” Much like the vomiting zombie kid in the scene just before it, we don’t know what it means, but smart money is on it being something bad.

Well, he’s dead.

In South Dakota, Gordon Cole, Albert, Diane (Laura Dern), and Tammy bring in Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard), and discover the headless corpse of Ruth Davenport. She won’t be the only one without her head for long though as the Shadowmen (from the bizarre hour eight) make a return, and one of them literally rips Bill’s head wide open. Agent Cole, who was saved from being swept up into a vortex in the sky by Albert, makes the announcement that Bill, well, “He’s dead.”

Later, Cole and Albert talk about a specific clue left behind, setting a trap for Diane. She knows more than she lets on, but Albert observes her body language. In a callback to the second season – and on that only diehard fans will remember as it came after most viewers abandoned the show – Cole’s hand begins to shake uncontrollably. This also happened for a single episode back in 1991 when various residents (including Agent Cooper, Pete Martell, and more) experienced unexplained hand jitters that were never brought up again – until now.

What’s in the Box?

Bradley Mitchum (Jim Belushi) is ready to take care of his Dougie problem once and for all. But first, he relays a dream that is bizarre at first, but plays out to perfection later in the episode. Dougie is tasked with carrying a big cardboard box on his way to a set up meeting with the Mitchum brothers. As opposed to a pregnant wife’s decapitated head, the box contains a Cherry Pie, and a check for $30 million. As it turns out, Bradley’s dream involved him being told that if Dougie’s box had cherry pie in it, he should not be killed. Both overjoy the Mitchums and, instead of killing Dougie, take their new best friend out to dinner and pie. The older lady from the casino in hour three recognizes Mr. Jackpots and hugs and thanks him for helping change and save her life. She tells the Mitchums what a special person Dougie is, and they seem touched. Dougie scarfs down the pie, and says the pie is “damn good,” Not only is cherry pie damn good in the Twin Peaks Universe, it apparently is also life saving. A very odd resolution to this story, but also, strangely satisfying.

Recap and Looking Ahead

It was a neat touch to get Alicia Witt to reprise a minor role that fans will remember from the original series. I still think there are too many stories going on at once – but this episode is one of the best ones to date. You know why I think so? Most of it took place in the town of Twin Peaks. A big problem I had with the multiple storylines is that they took place all over – and the small, intimate feel of Twin Peaks was missing. I mentioned before that this didn’t “feel” like Twin Peaks, and it didn’t. That’s not to say it was bad, but it just wasn’t Twin Peaks.

With only seven episodes left, it is not only beginning to feel like Twin Peaks, but everything seems to be coming together, for better or worse. Case in point: the resolution of the Bradley Mitchum/casino story was quirky and it gave us another glimpse of Cooper making his way back, but conversely, it just seemed to wrap up a little too easily.

And if anything, Twin Peaks has taught me that nothing ever comes easy.

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