Things are really starting to coalesce on Twin Peaks--last night's episode set the stage for next week's finale with victories for both the forces of good and bad. At the same time questions were answered and other answers were teased with ominous implications. The show continues to be a discussion on the lifelong effects of trauma while also continuing to focus on the unpredictability and strangeness of life.
Spoilers after the screenshot
And it looks like we've seen the end of Hutch (Tim Roth) and Chantal (Jennifer Jason Lee). A couple of assassins whose scenes of drifting non-sequitor dialogue, maybe it was their destiny to be taken out by a random nuisance. It seems both a reflection of the fact that you can't plan for everything and that the secret forces of the universe might be helping Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) at every turn.
As one of the FBI agents on the scene mentions, Dougie's home is located on a street called Lancelot Court. It occurred to me again how David Lynch and Mark Frost have seeded references to Arthurian legend throughout the series. If you remember, the entrance to the Black Lodge is located in Glastonbury Grove, the name excitedly noted by Cooper as being that of "the legendary burial place of King Arthur!" One could draw a lot of parallels--Cooper's backstory involved an affair with Caroline, the wife of his mentor, Wyndom Earle. It's not precisely Guinevere and Arthur, but it's close. Like Lancelot, who went mad and lived under another identity in exile, Cooper has spent this past season in exile from all who knew his real self, as a sleep walker going by the name Dougie Jones. Janey E (Naomi Watts) could be seen as an analogue of Elaine of Corbenic, thus perhaps explaining the "E" in her name.
The FBI agents that form Gordon Cole's (David Lynch) team tend to be people of extraordinary ability. As we saw last night, Cooper was immediately displaying his powers, somehow knowing immediately that Bushnell (Don Murray) was carrying a pistol and formulating plans and implementing them with incredible speed. I think this is also why Lynch tends to cast singers with a striking, otherworldly stage presence as agents--Chris Isaak, David Bowie, and Chrysta Bell. He casts real legends as legendary figures.
Cooper's parting with Janey E and Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon) was bittersweet and I felt bad for the two of them. But it's the gentlest incidence on the show of someone learning their lover is not who he or she appears to be.
Watching Twin Peaks next to Game of Thrones is an interesting contrast in how the two shows deal with the impact of trauma, especially rape. While Game of Thrones tends to show that the experience makes people nicer (Theon) or smarter (Sansa), Twin Peaks is more interested in how a violation of trust can destabilise a personality. We finally learn for sure that Richard (Eamon Farren) is the product of Mr. C (Kyle MacLachlan) having raped Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn)--Mr. C and Richard together both embody aspects of Morgan Le Fay and Mordred.
Both Audrey and Diane (Laura Dern) are dealing with the effects of having their trust in Cooper violated, the violation made more severely disturbing by how good we know Cooper is. How much either one consciously knows about the doppelganger can be questioned--the badness in Diane's experience happens before the rape when she can tell something is wrong in Cooper's kiss. Like the identities Diane and Audrey had created through what they believed was the nature of their relationship with, and appearance from the perspective of, the other person, there's a disturbing disconnect between what is felt and what is known.
The lyrics to the song performed by Eddie Vedder in the episode could not have been more appropriate.
One liar's promise drained the blood from my heart
Came a message in the dark
. . .
I stare at my reflection to the bone
Blurred eyes look back at me
. . .
Fearful of dreams, there'll be no sleep tonight
Fine at dinner, dead by dessert
Victim or witness, we're gonna get hurt
A fragile existence with echoes of wrath
I can't stop the bleeding nor the tears from thine eye
There's another us around somewhere with much better lives
This is followed by "Audrey's Dance" and she gets up as if in a pantomime of her old identity but of course she's interrupted, once again by a pair of strangers having a problem in their relationship. And we could say this all goes back to the strange cockroach frog that crawled into the girl's mouth in episode eight.
The whole episode was brilliant but my favourite scene was Diane talking to Gordon, Albert (Miguel Ferrer), and Tammy (Chrysta Bell). That gun in her purse was a potent reminder of why Lynch was once so often compared to Hitchcock--it's hard to think of a better example of Hitchcock's "bomb under the table" philosophy of suspense. I was really worried she was going to shoot Gordon but, of course, two legendary knights were much quicker on the draw.