Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 12 ‘Let’s Rock’ Recap
After Episode 11 threatened to reach boiling point for Season 3, the latest chapter -“Let’s Rock”- put the season on a low heat and brought events down to a simmer. Revelations were replaced by intrigue and drama with nuance.
It was also a comparatively slow episode and there is an argument to suggest that certain parts of “Let’s Rock” could have been dispersed into livelier chapters. But, that isn’t to say that there wasn’t plenty to get our teeth into in Episode 12…
A Rose By Any Other Name…
We opened a scene featuring that rarest of creatures in The Return: genuine exposition. As Gordon, Albert, and Tammy enjoy some drinks, Albert begins explaining what “Blue Rose” means to Agent Preston. It’s revealed that “Blue Rose” is a task force that picked up the torch when Project Blue Book was disbanded in 1969 and the term comes from the last words of one of the victims of the Black Lodge, presumably. Albert also notes that he is the only member of the task force that hasn’t disappeared in mysterious circumstances; unlike Philip Jeffries, Chet Desmond, and, of course, Dale Cooper.
Albert then lists off Tammy’s qualifications for the force before Diane makes an entrance through some red velvet curtains (hmmm…). Diane is also asked to join Blue Rose and Laura Dern gets the cookie this week for saying the episode name replete with a reverse synth swell akin to when the ARM said the same thing (hmmm…). She also made a distinctive two finger gesture for some reason (hmmm…).
We will rejoin the Feds later. Meanwhile…
Back in Twin Peaks which -shockingly- is where this episode spent most of its time, we got to see Sarah Palmer doing her weekly shop. As she goes to pay for an entire shelf of Smirnoff, she spies some new jerky behind the counter and questions the cashier about its presence. Unsatisfied with the clerk’s reply, Sarah begins mumbling about “men are coming” (Woodsmen?) before being seemingly taken over by another voice as she starts to self-soothe and refers to herself in the first person.
Later in the episode, Deputy Hawk visits Sarah at the Palmer residence and we are privy to an ominous shot of that ceiling fan which was believed to be the portal BoB used when he inhabited Leland. Hawk kindly asks her Sarah if she’s okay before we hear something move in the house behind her causing yet another personality shift in Sarah as she growls “This a real bad story we’re in, Hawk”.
It’s worth noting that Sarah has proven herself to be a conduit for the Lodges in the past when she told the Major that Cooper was in the Black Lodge in Season 2’s climactic episode. It is highly possible that something from one of the Lodges has found a nesting place in Mrs. Palmer or that she is a spiritual barometer for imminent trouble.
Staying in Twin Peaks, we also got to see Frank Truman speak to Benjamin Horne about the horrendous actions of his grandson, Richard. Ben reveals that Richard has never been right and has had several run ins with Sheriff Harry Truman in the past. He also says that Richard grew up without a father but no further inclinations are given to who are the actual parents of his miscreant grandchild actually are.
The scene ends with Ben giving Frank the key fob for Cooper’s old room to give to Harry before he witters on about a bike he had before he gets Beverly to arrange to pay the hospital fees for Miriam, who we also catch a quick glimpse of in the Twin Peaks hospital.
The moment that fans had been crying out for since The Return began twelve episodes ago finally arrived: Sherilyn Fenn returned to our screens as Audrey Horne. However, fans might want to be careful what they wish for since this lengthy scene that may as well have been taking place in an entirely different show given how much initial relevance it had.
Audrey appears to have chosen a very strange life herself as she berated her “husband”, Charlie (played brilliantly by Clark Middleton). Audrey wants to go to the Roadhouse to look for Billy, who she declares is her lover openly in front of Charlie. Audrey continues her curse ridden tirade that gave Diane a run for her money as Charlie tries to reason with her and refers back to a “contract” that they have.
Finally, Charlie relents and calls Tina (?) to ask if she knows where Billy is. While the names discussed in the phone conversation are unfamiliar, the events being spoken of sound a lot like what happened with a certain truck in Episodes 6 & 9. Charlie ends the phone call and then blankly refuses to tell Audrey what he has learned, prompting Audrey to shriek in frustration (we know exactly how she feels). Could Billy be the truck owner that Andy spoke to in Episode 9?
That is, of course, if what we’re seeing in this scene is actually real. The two competing theories are that Charlie is actually Audrey’s psychiatrist and the two of them are role-playing as part of her therapy or that Audrey is still in a coma and this is her dream inside it. This is very much a case of “answers on a postcard” for the time being…
The Kind of Girl That Makes You Wish You Could Speak a Little French
In our retrospective on Fire Walk With Me, we noted how Gordon relaying the details of the murder case for Teresa Banks via Lil’s strange dancing was a crash-course in interpreting non-verbal Lynchian communication. And in Episode 12, it was time to sit the final exam on the subject.
Mid-way through the episode, we find Cole in his hotel room being fawned over by a beautiful woman. Albert knocks on the door requesting to speak to Gordon about Diane so Cole asks the lady in the red dress to leave. The glamorous dame then engages in a lengthy exit routine that likely contains several hidden messages for Albert to pay attention to.
What each action pertains to is entirely open to interpretation at this stage (e.g. the use of the hand mirror could indicate doppelgangers and the tight, tailored dress should mean drugs are involved). Unfortunately, Chet Desmond is no longer on hand to decode this one so it’s up to us to only speculate.
Once the lady in red has left, Cole all but confirms that it was a warning to Albert by telling a joke with another extrapolated family connection, just like “my mother’s sister girl” in FWWM. Albert then tells Gordon about another intercepted SMS exchange involving Diane: “Have they asked about Vegas?” – “Not Yet”. Gordon seems perturbed that this is something they are unaware of and he tells Albert that he is very worried about him in a surprisingly touching moment.
The SMS exchange does, however, shed a little light on who Diane’s contact is and she must know that Mr. C. has his fingers in some (cherry) pies in Nevada too. Whoever Diane’s allegiance belongs to, it doesn’t seem to be the FBI currently.
The Roadhouse Round-up
Due to the scattershot nature of Episode 12, there were a few other short scenes worth noting:
- The Hutchinses took care of Warden Murphy as he arrived home while the sociopathic couple bickered about going to Wendy’s in a scene that could have just as easily been lifted from a Tarantino film (of course, Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh are both alumni from Quentin’s work).
- Carl Rodd again showed his kindness by paying one of his tenants for some menial work to stop him from donating more blood.
- There was a repeat of Dr. Jacobi (sorry, Dr. Amp) broadcasting his show to seemingly only Nadine (this could have easily been reused footage from Episode 5).
- Diane typed in the coordinates on her phone to reveal that they point to… *drum roll* Twin Peaks!
- And we finally got to catch up with more local gossip at the Roadhouse as the Chromatics played us out for the second time this season.
Episode 12’s subtitle “Let’s Rock” was somewhat of red herring in the end as this was probably the most sedate episode so far. It has caused something of a rift between fans: those who reveled in this chapter’s layered subtext and those that felt events should be moving forward at a faster rate by now.
How did you feel about this divisive episode? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back next week for our take on the forthcoming Episode 13 – “What story is that, Charlie?”