Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 11 ‘There’s Fire Where You Are Going’ Recap
In many ways, Episode 11 -“There’s Fire Where You Are Going”- was a throwback to the early episodes of The Return. While it may have lacked the abstract imagery of the already legendary episode 8: “Gotta Light?”, Ep. 11 struck the tone of this season’s opening salvo by being pretty damn freaky in its own way and was not short on real world drama either.
Have Gun, Will Unravel
After we learned that Miriam had survived Richard Horne’s attack (it seems Horne Junior’s viciousness is matched only by his incompetence), Episode 11 pulled focus on another member on Twin Peaks’ Millennials: Becky Burnett. Becky receives a phone call informing her of her husband’s whereabouts and calls her mom, Shelley, in a rage to ask her to drive her to Steven.
Once Shelley arrives, Becky hijacks the car (flinging her protesting mother off the hood in the process) and speeds off to confront Steven armed with a handgun. A distraught Shelley is helped by the perennially kind Carl Rodd, who charmingly summons a ride with a tin whistle to set off after the enraged Becky.
When Becky arrives at Steven’s alleged location, she is informed by a neighbour that he just left. Furious, Becky unloads a clip into the apartment door before Lynch’s camera goes all Evil Dead and zooms off down the corridor to find Steven hiding with none other than Gersten Haywood (Doc Haywood’s youngest daughter who played piano for the bereaved Palmers way back in the opening of Season 2). It’s hard to know whether such a dramatic camera manoeuvre was simply expressionistic or whether it signifies something darker is at play here.
Meanwhile, Shelley radios Bobby from Carl’s van to give him the lowdown on Becky’s actions. As an already busy Maggie puts Shelley through in the Sheriff’s department switchboard, we get our first glimpse that the town of Twin Peaks is starting to unravel.
Later, Bobby and Shelley discuss the events of the day with Becky in the Double R. It appears that Becky is indeed the daughter of the former couple but for whatever reason Bobby and Shelley are no longer together because we soon see Red arrive much to the glee of Shelley. As Becky and Bobby look meaningfully at each other as Shelley cavorts with Red outside the diner, a gunshot smashes the window of the Double R and Bobby rushes outside to deal with the situation.
Turns out, a kid had fired the gun after he found under the car seat in the family car. As Bobby tries to calm the parents, a car behind relentlessly sounds its horn as Deputy Holcomb also arrives to help contain the situation. Bobby confronts the driver of the blaring vehicle and is screamed at by the occupant who claims they are late for dinner with their “uncle”. Then shit gets really weird as a young girl emerges in a zombie-like state from the passenger side with a dark green liquid (garmonbozia?) dribbling from her mouth. This seems to terrify the woman driving as much as it perturbs Bobby as we cut back to Maggie at the police switchboard taking call after call as events appear to be going south in the northern town.
Back in Buckhorn, South Dakota, Gordon Cole and his team go to the site where Hastings reported he saw Major Briggs and Ruth Davenport lost her life. Arriving at the dilapidated location at 2240 Sycamore, Gordon and Albert spy a translucent Woodsman creeping around behind the abandoned buildings while Tammy asks Hastings where he saw the Major. Albert and Gordon walk through the fence and Cole approaches the spot that Hastings specified.
As Cole reaches the spot, the sky above him starts to swirl and opens a Donnie Darko-like portal (Lynch calling in one of his debts there) to see a staircase with three Woodsmen waiting ominously on. Eagle-eyed fans will have spotted some very familiar wallpaper behind the three figures here which has the same decaying floral design as the picture of the room Laura was given in FWWM.
It seems only Gordon can see the portal as Albert and Tammy keep watch but soon his arms start reaching to the sky and he begins fading in and out of this reality. Albert decides that his boss has had quite enough inter-dimensional phasing for one day and pulls Cole back from the brink. Immediately, the two of them notice the headless corpse of Ruth Davenport unceremoniously lying in the undergrowth, complete with those oh-so-important coordinates written on her arm.
Meanwhile, the Woodsman from earlier sneaks up to the police car with Hastings in and literally blows the murder suspect’s mind in the traditional Woodsman manner. Interestingly, the charcoaled man was only noticed by Diane who nonchalantly failed to alert either Agent Preston or Detective Mackay to his presence. What qualifies someone to be able to sense these dark spirits is unclear but it is no doubt significant that Diane is able to.
In the aftermath, Cole’s left hand is shaking uncontrollably back at the Buckhorn police department in a similar fashion to residents of Twin Peaks did in the closing stages of Season 2. Albert and Gordon begin discussing the coordinates, all under the ever watchful eye of Diane. Albert says the coordinates point towards “a town in the north” before he’s cut off by Tammy arriving with donuts and coffee. The odds are extremely short on what the name of said town will be.
A Map to the Stars
Back in the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s department, we find Hawk and Frank Truman discussing the destination, Blue Pine Mountain, given to them by Major Brigg’s notes all while pouring over Hawk’s map that is “very old but it’s always current”. In this relatively short scene, there is a treasure trove of Peaksian mythology revealed to us.
As Hawk explains the map to Sheriff Truman (it still doesn’t feel right calling Robert Forster that), the Native American deputy tells him/us the following:
- The fire on the map doesn’t represent fire literally but is more akin to modern electricity. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Fire Walk With Me” and how the word “fire” in general fits into the Twin Peaks’s vernacular given how it’s widely accepted that the spirits of both Lodges use electricity to enter our world.
- The date the Major has given them pertains to the stars on the map and leads to the black corn which symbolises disease and death. Surely this must be referring to Garmonbozia. Directly above the corn is black fire (more on that shortly).
- Finally, Turman points to the circular demon symbol that we have seen on both Mr. C.’s playing card and the Major’s notes. Hawk simply says about this “You don’t ever want to know about that”, giving more credence to the theory that this particular symbol relates to Mother/The Experiment.
Just as Hawk is done with the map, Margret Lanterman, calls him once again and the two engage in their usual cryptic tete a tete. Margret knows that Hawk has found something like she said he would but he can’t tell her what. The Log Lady then gets the cookie two weeks in a row for saying the episode sub-header -“There’s fire where you are going”- as the camera pulls focus onto the black fire on the map. It would appear whatever is waiting at the Major’s destination, it is not going to be fun for anyone involved.
The Life of Pie
The last third of Episode 11 was dominated by events in Las Vegas. The Mitchum brothers have arranged the meeting between themselves and Dougie/Dale with the aim of ending the shambling man-child once and for all. As they meet for breakfast, mid-afternoon, Rodney exclaims he can’t bear to wait until he gets the chance to end Douglas Jones while Bradley tells him he had a vivid dream about meeting Dougie.
We then zip over to Lucky 7 Insurance offices where Bushnell Mullins tells Dougie that the Mitchum Bros. are actually the victims of insurance fraud, not the perpetrators, and preps Dougie/Dale for the meeting by giving him a cheque for $30mil. On the way to the car, Dougie/Dale spies Philip Gerard beckoning him towards the local cafe and he emerges with a large box before being sent off to the meeting like a lamb to the slaughter. As ever with Dougie/Dale’s escapades, though, it appears the Red Room has pulled a few strings in his destiny.
Once Dougie/Dale meets the Mitchums in the Nevada desert, Rodney quickly loses patience with the lack of response from Dougie/Dale and pulls his gun on him. Bradley, however, urges him to hold off until they see what’s in the box. Bradley, looking to confirm the happenings in his dream, inspects the box only to find a cherry pie (of course) which concurs with his dream and then he finds the cheque that makes the siblings very happy indeed. See, these mid-level gangsters who like to solve their problems with violence and murder aren’t that bad after all. More importantly, it would seem that Duncan Todd and Anthony Sinclair have been using the Mitchums as pawns in a game that still has yet to state its purpose.
Overjoyed with their windfall, the brothers take Dougie/Dale to a restaurant where we once again catch a fleeting sighting of the real Cooper coming through awoken by either the cherry pie or the beautiful piano piece which has a similar refrain to Under the Sycamore Trees (Cooper heard this song when he first entered the Red Room in Season 2’s climax). The Mitchums’ Stepford Showgirls make an appearance again with the befuddled Candy wittering on about there being “so much traffic on the strip”. Whether or not this is some kind of psychic inclination to similar events in Twin Peaks is unclear but there is definitely something other-worldly/manufactured about the girl.
Overall, Episode 11 was probably one of the more efficient chapters so far that moved proceedings along with a fresh impetus as we approach the final stretch. What did you think about the events of “There’s Fire Where You Are Going”?
Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back next week for our take on the forthcoming Episode 12, tantalisingly entitled “Let’s Rock”.