Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 13 ‘What Story is that, Charlie?’ Recap
Episode 13 -“What Story is that, Charlie?”- gave us a welcome change of pace from the ponderings of the previous chapter. While we were deprived of any further developments from the FBI, we did get to finally catch up with Mr. C. and get an inkling into what time means, or doesn’t, in The Return.
But first, we head off to visit the “Great Dougie Jones” in Nevada…
What Happens in Vegas…
Episode 13 opened with the elated Mitchum brothers leading a conga line through the offices of Lucky 7 to show their gratitude to Bushnell Mullins. Seeing this spectacle, the sniveling Anthony Sinclair realises that Dougie is still alive and well, meaning the demise of the savant man-child now falls to himself.
The Mitchums have been splashing their insurance windfall far and wide as they not only shower Mullins with extravagant gifts but also buy Cooper a new BMW (which Janey is obviously thrilled by) and a Jungle Gym set for Sonny Jim. Cooper and Janey watch S.J. clamber around his new kit with a music box version of Tchaikovsky’s Black Swan scoring the scene as a spotlight roams around the garden.
Spotlights are generally a bad omen in Twin Peaks and the tinkling music gives what should be a joyous scene a sinister edge. This suggests that the happiness will be shortlived for the Joneses, especially since we see the Hutchenses heading west through Utah later in the episode.
…Stays in Vegas
Later in the episode, Sinclair heads to the police department to seek assistance from his Duncan Todd sponsored cronies. He speaks to Detective Clark to see if the dirty cop can provide him with some untraceable poison to use on Dougie. But not before those giggling buffoons, the Fusco brothers, incredulously throw away the results of Dougie’s fingerprints, which probably means we’re going to be stuck with Cooper in Dougie mode for the foreseeable future *sigh*.
Soon after, Sinclair greets Cooper on his way into the office and grabs him for a coffee. The two sit in silence briefly before Cooper spies some cherry pie and follows his nose to the cake counter. Grabbing his chance, Sinclair pours the poison into Cooper’s coffee before he returns. Once he does, he begins prodding Sinclair’s back (prompted by Anthony’s dandruff, of all things) and Sinclair has a severe attack of guilt, bursts into tears and pours the toxic coffee away.
Sinclair then confesses his crimes to Mullins and swears he will testify against Todd. Interestingly, Sinclair is more concerned about the dirty cops Todd has at his disposal so they may yet have a bigger role to play in proceedings. And while it may seem as though Dougie/Dale’s work may be done here, with Cole & co still unaware of his existence and darker forces gathering against him, he will likely face many more obstacles in fulfilling Gerard’s instruction of “don’t die”.
The Evolution of the Arm Wrestle
Oh, hi, Ray! It has been five f*cking episodes since we last saw Ray flee the Woodsmen tending to Mr. C.’s gunshot wound, but now we finally meet up with him at the “farm” he mentioned to Philip Jeffries on the phone. And we weren’t the only ones to find him there as Mr. C. also caught up with Jeffries’ stooge.
The Farm is a hive of scum and villainy where the only thing lower than the occupants’ morals are their IQ scores. We learn this quickly once we ascertain that the leader of this motley crew, Renzo, bases his authority on his ability to overcome anyone at arm wrestling(?!).
Mr. C. takes Renzo up on his challenge, toying with him during the arm wrestle itself before easily beating him and then promptly punching Renzo’s nose into his brain (if he had one). This leaves a desperate Ray at the doppelganger’s mercy and provides Mr. C. with a veritable army of deplorable lackeys.
It’s also worth noting that Mr. C.’s skin tone is starting to take on a dark hue since his near-death experience. This is likely either due to his exposure to the Woodsmen, or, perhaps he is becoming one himself.
One Ring to Find Them…
Ray attempts to flee, but Mr. C. puts a bullet in his knee and begins to question him on what he knows about Philip Jeffries. Ray confesses that Jeffries organised the prison break double-cross and that the disappeared FBI agent is after what is inside Mr. C. (Bad Coop’s expression when told this suggests that his hosting days may be over, though). Ray also admits that he has never actually met Jeffries but he believes that Philip is now at the “Dutchman’s”, a place that Mr. C. is already aware of.
The most significant part of the exchange, though, is that Ray was supposed to put the Owl Cave Ring on the doppelganger when he shot him. The ring was given to Ray by a prison guard before they escaped and Mr. C. insists Ray puts it on his left ring finger right before he finishes him off.
The ring then fades from Ray’s finger and drops to the floor of the Red Room before Ray’s body follows suit, which is possibly Mr. C. sending a message of defiance to the Lodge. The exact powers of the O.C. Ring are still a little unclear but it now seems certain that wearing it on the left ring finger near death results in the wearer being transported to the Red Room.
And lastly, Richard Horne made an appearance just as Mr. C. executed Ray and he was strangely drawn to the seemingly invincible doppelganger. The idea that Mr. C. could be Richard’s father has been doing the rounds among fans for a few weeks now but the mechanics of that possibility do not bear thinking about. Whatever the attraction is, though, it can only be bad news if these two are to combine forces.
A Double Shift at the Double R?
We learned quite a few things at our visit to the Double R this week. Not least of all, we got to see Big Ed after all these years and it was disappointing, but not surprising, to see his love for Norma going unrequited still. Norma is with a new beau, Walter, who is also her business partner and the two of them are now running five Double R diners across the country.
Bobby also made an appearance and told Ed that he found from stuff from his dad (Major Briggs) today. Likewise, Shelley took a call from Becky who told her that Steven hadn’t been home for two nights and she was really worried this time. All of which would be fine and dandy had we seen these moments three episodes ago but it seems this scene was taking place before the events of Episode 11.
Becky didn’t know where Steven was and didn’t accuse him of cheating, despite what she learned two episodes ago, and Bobby found the notes from his father way back in Episode 9. Also, things appeared surprisingly calm considering the bizarre events at the Double R in Episode 11 and nor was there any mention of those highly unusual incidents.
So, we must assume, that this scene in the Double R was taking place before what we saw in Episode 11, meaning Lynch is deliberately playing scenes out of sequence. The connotations of this could be huge at the final reckoning; perhaps we should consider that other scenes have also been defying their chronology.
It could be telling, then, that in a brief visit to the Palmer household, Sarah was gulping down vodka while a boxing match on her television played out on a short loop repeatedly. For all intents and purposes, it felt like Lynch was trying to tell us that time has been fractured in Twin Peaks but for how long this has been happening is anyone’s guess.
We Live Within a Dream
Speaking of events out of time, we also re-visited Audrey and her “husband”, Charlie. This week’s exchange between the two of them was a little more civil, but no less out of sorts.
Something is definitely out of place in Audrey’s scenes so far. The decor and technology present in both of them seem to only be consistent with what would be found in the 1940’s or 50’s and there’s still no direct connection to happenings elsewhere.
Audrey was still demanding to know what Tina told Charlie on the phone in Episode 12 but her “spouse” remains stoic in his silence on the matter and appears to have the upper-hand in the dispute. Audrey says she feels like she’s “somewhere else and somebody else”, which he describes as “existentialism 101”.
Charlie tells her she needs to go to the Roadhouse but Audrey says she doesn’t know where it is. Audrey also mentions Ghostwood -now there’s a blast from the past (still too soon for that joke?)- and Charlie threatens Audrey with “ending her story”. Audrey gets this week’s E.T.C. (Episode Title Cookie) by replying “What story is that, Charlie?” as she looks increasingly worried.
The two competing theories of Audrey remaining in a coma or Charlie being her psychiatrist still fit in almost equal measure, but the needle is starting to lean towards Ms. Horne being comatose. And whether these scenes will have relevance to other developments or are merely sadistic fan service is also equally debatable.
The Roadhouse Round-up
Of course, there were several other moments in Episode 13 worthy of consideration:
- Dr. Jacobi paid a visit to his biggest -and perhaps only- fan, Nadine, after seeing one his golden shovels in the window of Run Silent, Run Drapes.
- It was none other than James Hurley playing us out this week. After 25 years, it seems no one has had the heart to tell James that his soppy love song is still even more boring than the Evelyn Marsh subplot from Season 2.
- And finally, the credits rolled over a morose Big Ed sitting alone in his gas station, playing with matches. This is not prudent at the best of times, but that goes double when a certain denim-clad demon’s whereabouts are unbeknownst.
So, what did you make of the seemingly deliberate inconsistencies of Episode 13:
Has David Lynch really been bending time as well as our minds throughout Season 3?
Was that Battling Bud in the boxing match Sarah was watching?
And have we been watching Charlie’s “story” for the entirety of the series?
Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back next week for our take on the forthcoming Episode 14 – “We Are Like The Dreamer”