Reaction to Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 16 ‘No Knock, No Doorbell’
Probably the best way to sum up the penultimate episode of The Return would be to paraphrase Gordon Cole earlier this season: “That really was something”. Fears that The Return would continue and climax with the nebulous ambiguity of earlier episodes were thoroughly banished over a superb hour of television.
Episode 16 leaves us with no doubts that we are in the endgame now as answers and revelations came thick and fast before leaving us on the precipice with the cruelest of cliffhangers.
Now, we’re not gonna talk about specifics, we’re not gonna talk about specifics at all in this review. However, there will inevitably be spoilers ahead, so consider yourself warned if you haven’t watched Episode 16 yet.
Episode 16 kicked off with Richard and Doppel Coop heading towards the position the latter has ascertained from the coordinates he’s been given. In what was the first of a series of unbearably tense scenes this episode, Bad Coop decides to let Richard do reconnaissance as the coordinates point to a large rock on a hill in the middle of nowhere.
After Richard springs a trap that was presumably left for Cooper, the doppelganger reveals that Richard was indeed his son all along. This has been long suspected by many fans, but it still begs the question how this actually came to be, especially given what we find out at the end of the episode.
Mr. C. then sends a text that triggers Diane back in Buckthorn to confess to Cole & Co what happened “that night” before she admits that she’s not really been feeling herself lately and is dispatched by Tammy and Albert. Laura Dern could well have earned herself an Emmy with her performance in this tension ladened scene and this might not be the last we’ve seen of Diane (in some form) either.
Back in Vegas, the Hutchenses arrive in Lancelot Court to complete their double header, but a series of unfortunate/hilarious events demonstrates once again that the criminals in The Return are just as lacking in competency as they are in moral fibre. We also get to see our favourite new double act of Agents Headley and Wilson in action again and there’s a slight twinge of regret here since this could be the last we see of their bickering.
Indeed, it could be that we’re done with Vegas now as a certain someone has finally come to their senses and must immediately head north. Yes, that’s right, he’s back! Special Agent Dale Cooper has recovered his faculties at last and he has a brief and revealing chat with Philip Gerard as he comes out of his electric shock induced coma. With the Mitchum Brothers still fawning over the former Dougie Jones, Coop’s path back to Twin Peaks looks like it will be both rapid and expedient.
Of course, Janey E. and Sunny Jim are utterly bewildered by their husband’s/father’s new identity, but it seems Coop has grown quite fond of them during his stupor and aims to return to them once his mission is complete. Is this setting us up for an actual happy ending? To every fan, just seeing Dale Cooper finally back in action is surely the only happy ending we need.
And just as we seemed to be reaching the height of the episode’s crescendo, we get that sinking feeling when we see the inevitable establishing shot of The Roadhouse and it looks like Eddie Vedder (curiously playing under his birth name of “Edward Louis Severson III”) is going to play us out. However, Episode 16 isn’t done with us yet, because guess who’s finally made it to the Roadhouse?
In what is perhaps The Return’s best “bait and switch” to date, Audrey and Charlie saunter into the bar and suddenly we feel ourselves coming to terms with the idea that maybe we should have been applying to Occam’s Razor to their previously cryptic tete-a-tete’s. But just as it seems as though these two have been legit all along, a familiar piece of music is played by the house band and Audrey is revealed to be not what she seems; as much to her own surprise as ours.
After all the meanderings and red herrings of this season’s earlier episodes, Lynch & Frost have given us an almost perfect penultimate episode of which the only complaint can be that we have to wait an unbearable seven days to find out exactly WTF has been going on the whole time. And perhaps the most bizarre aspect now of Twin Peaks: The Return is that we might just find out…
So, how many chills and thrills did this unrelenting episode give you?
Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back soon for our comprehensive Episode Summary “WTF Just Happened in Twin Peaks?” later in the week.