Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 15 ‘There’s Some Fear in Letting Go’ Recap
Episode 15’s subtitle -“There’s Some Fear in Letting Go”- was incredibly apt for fans’ feelings towards Season 3 at this stage. Throughout this chapter’s running time, there was an unshakeable sensation that we truly are approaching the end now and that is actually something to be a little fearful of.
Whether that’s because there’s still a hell of lot that needs answering in the three hours of television left, the realisation that some characters have evaded The Return’s ever-shifting gaze too often for their arc to be drawn fully, or simply because we STILL don’t have our favourite Special Agent back in a recognisable form.
Of course, the biggest fear is that, in two weeks time, the end of this vividly weird and wonderful journey we’ve been on for the last three months is now very much in sight. So, let’s dally no further and examine what Episode 15 is setting us up for…
True Love Waits
In everything that happened in the final episode of Season 2, it’s quite easy to forget with all the extraordinary events happening inside the Red Room that two of the most beloved Twin Peaks residents had a blissful future ripped from their grasp at the last second. We’ve all known since the start of the show back in 1990 that Norma and Ed belong together, but Nadine had always stood in their way.
It was slightly surprising then that when Ed did finally make an appearance that the two eternal love birds still hadn’t sorted themselves out in the interceding 25 years. Norma seemed to be settling for that corporate creep Walter and we presumed that Ed was either still with Nadine or had somehow messed things up.
So, in what was a bittersweet episode for the fates of the original cast, it was a truly glorious opening scene when Nadine finally set Ed free after being inspired by the “teachings” of Dr. Jacobi/Amp to dig herself out of her own shit (figuratively speaking, thankfully). And just when we thought Ed had actually missed his chance with his first and only love, Norma turns Walter’s corporate ways against him by forcing him to buy her out of the Double R franchise and, apparently, out of her life.
All of this made for a misleadingly sunny opening to an episode that would soon be taking us to some very dark places indeed.
Pots and Kettles
Next, we saw Mr. C. arrive at the Convenience Store by the side of a wooded road presumably on the way to Twin Peaks. The “doppelganger” is guided into the delipidated building by several Woodsmen as they take him to see Philip Jeffries. It would appear that the store acts as some kind of teleportation hub since as Mr. C. walks down a long dark corridor, we also move through a forested area before reaching Jeffries’ hiding place.
That hiding place is the motel in Deer Meadow, where Teresa Banks used to hook up with Leland Palmer (as seen in Fire Walk With Me) and several Lodge denizens had also been seen. Indeed, we even catch a quick glimpse of the Jumping Man in a jarring cut away where it appears that Sarah Palmer’s face is briefly super-imposed on to his mask. Also, this motel is likely the “Dutchman’s” that Ray told Mr. C. about in Episode 13.
Before Mr. C. visits Jeffries, a woman approaches him and unlocks the door to room #8. This woman speaks like a Lodge spirit and is credited as the “bosomy woman”. It also seems like she could have a further part to play as at the very end of this episode’s credits, she can be seen staring at the same room.
Once inside the room, Mr. C. is greeted by a large kettle which proceeds to introduce itself as none other than Philip Jeffries. In a way, this makes sense since Lynch seemingly feels that re-casting absent cast members with actual people is a little too orthodox for him hence why we’ve had Michael J. Andersen replaced an electric tree, Frank Silva with a black bowling ball, and now David Bowie has been substituted by a giant teapot (a decision that the late, great Starman would have surely loved).
What follows this demented revelation, though, is probably the most important conversation to take place in Season 3 so far.
Sucker-Punch and Judy
Apparently unfazed by Philip’s new look, Mr. C. immediately demands to know why Jeffries sent Ray to kill him. Jeffries is elusive on the subject and claims he only called Ray but also said he hadn’t called Mr. C. five days earlier (the phone conversation Mr. C. had in the premiere). Next, we see a flashback to that FWWM scene again when Jeffries ranted about Judy and then things get really weird when Jeffries proclaims that Mr. C. is Cooper!
This revelation, if it is correct, has enough different connotations to make anyone’s head spin. Has the Mr. C. persona just been the real Cooper in deep cover for Blue Rose? Were there already two Coopers when we first met the Special Agent in Season 1 and it was the other Cooper who met Jeffries on that fateful day in the Philadelphia office? Is Cooper the “dreamer”?
While we were still reeling from this, the conversation then turns to Judy, who Philip is a little more willing to talk about this time. Cooper (I guess we can call him that now) asks Jeffries who Judy is and he tells him “you’ve already met her”. The possibilities for Judy’s identity at this juncture are virtually endless and as Cooper grows frustrated with Jeffries oblique attitude, the talking teapot fades away and a phone rings that promptly zaps Cooper back to the exterior of the Convenience Store.
Waiting for him there is Richard Horne, who has followed Cooper from the Farm, and he immediately threatens Cooper with a gun seemingly unconcerned that his target just appeared out of thin air into a phone booth. Richard accuses Cooper of being FBI because he saw him in his Feds outfit in a picture with his mother (Audrey, of course).
Cooper easily disarms the vile youngster, tells him to get in the truck and that they will talk on the way. Their destination will be the same location as Cole & Co are heading to soon since Jeffries also gave Cooper the same coordinates that were discovered on Ruth Davenport’s arm. This begs yet another question: what were the numbers that Ray finally gave Cooper at the Farm then?
Lastly, as Cooper gets in the truck he quickly texts “Las Vegas?” from his phone. This has to be the text that Albert intercepted from Diane in Episode 12 and it now seems apparent that Cooper and Diane are indeed working together in some form. However, Diane categorically denied that Mr. C. was Cooper to Cole in Episode 7 and the two certainly did not seem acquainted in any way during their meeting in prison in the same episode. This must be how Bill Hastings’ head felt when he fell prey to the Woodsman.
After such a succession of bemusement, Episode 15 didn’t let up and gave us what we can only hope will be the bleakest scene of Season 3. After we follow Cyril Pons (played by none other than Mark Frost) walking his dog in the forest, we cut to a distraught Steven Burnett and Gersten Haywood in the same locale.
Steven is obviously suffering from that same rash which also afflicted Ella (Sky Ferreira) at the end of Episode 9, likely caused by an addiction to Red’s Sparkle. In amongst Steven’s feverish and nonsensical rambling, he also mentions a “rhinoceros” that suggests there’s some kind of relationship with the drug and wild animals since fellow addicts Ella and Chloe likewise mentioned a “zebra” and a “penguin”.
Even more distressingly, though, Steven keeps mentioning that he’s done something with the gun in his hand as Gersten desperately tries to convince him otherwise. The youngest of the Haywood daughters doesn’t look in great shape either, though she doesn’t seem to be suffering from the same Sparkle side-effects, and one has to wonder what could have possibly happened to the sweet girl playing piano way back in Season 1.
We aren’t given any specifics on Steven’s actions before Cyril stumbles upon the hapless couple and Gersten hides in a panic. Steven remains in his spot and soon after a gunshot rings out as Gersten realises what her lover has done and becomes overwhelmed by the vastness of the forest in front of her.
Cyril returns to the Fat Trout Trailer Park to speak to Carl about what just happened and motions towards Steven and Becky’s trailer. The chances of Carl discovering Becky murdered are probably very high and, if that is the case, then the earlier happiness at the Double R is going to be short-lived.
If this is the last we see of Steven and, presumably, Becky then it is somewhat regretful that neither of them received more screen time. Maybe their purpose was to show the perils of Sparkle, which even in itself hasn’t formed as pertinent part of The Return’s narrative as it initially seemed it would. With all the plates that Season 3 has been spinning, it was perhaps inevitable that one or two would break prematurely, but, as of the time of writing, this resolution isn’t particularly satisfying. Hopefully, this won’t become a trend during these closing phases, though.
Following on from their little chat in the previous episode, James and Freddie arrive at the Roadhouse, where James can’t help but fawn over Renee in front of her husband, Chuck. A scuffle breaks out on the Roadhouse dance floor to the strains of ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man as James is kicked to the ground before Freddie intervenes with his “green fingers”. It seems Freddie’s gardening gloved fist hits so hard it breaks the sound barrier and he leaves James’ assailants in a very sorry state.
We cut to James and Freddie being consigned to cells in the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department where Naido, Chad, and the Drunk are still residing. Yet again, nobody apart from Chad acknowledges the Drunk’s constant repetition as James turns his dismayed attention towards the chirping Naido, who appears to be sculpting with thin air.
Last week, we predicted that Sarah Palmer would be finding her way to the very same jail after literally chewing that loathsome trucker out and though that didn’t happen this episode, it still looks like this location will be used as an assembly point for the Twin Peaks’ perverse equivalent of the Avengers.
I’m Ready For My Close-up, Mr. Dale Cooper
How’s this for going meta? What starts off as another standard visit to Nevada to watch Dougie-Dale eat some more cake, Dale manages to figure out a TV remote control only to switch the set on to David Lynch’s favourite film, Sunset Boulevard. Peaks obsessives and fans of Billy Wilder’s classic Hollywood satire must have known what was going to happen next.
In a moment of pure serendipity, Dale happens upon the scene where Norma Desmond’s driver, Gordon Cole (!), is asked for by name and Dale suddenly sits bolt upright and stares at the now crackling electric socket. He crawls across the floor and after a few attempts he inserts his fork into the socket and causes an instant blackout as Janey screams in horror.
The last we see of Dale is his body falling flat to the floor. Has he finally woken up? And if he has, will he be the Dale we are expecting given what we learned from Jeffries earlier? Dougie-Dale has undoubtedly been a force for good in his torpid state so far but there was something quite sinister about this scene which left us with an infuriating and fascinating cliff-hanger.
Although Season 3 has warranted some criticism in allocating screen time and development to its characters, both old and new, it has been beyond reproach in handling its most treasured, Margaret Lanterman.
The Log Lady phones Deputy Hawk one last time to inform him that she is about to die and what follows will likely be the most touching and heart rending scene on television this year. The raw sentiment on display in this moment is something not often associated with Lynch’s work but lest we forget this is the man who got many tear ducts flowing in The Elephant Man and The Straight Story, and he does it again here.
Margaret’s final words are made even more poignant by knowing that Catherine E. Coulson passed away herself soon after filming Season 3 and her final lines must have felt all too real to the late actress in her final stages of cancer. This wasn’t just a fitting send off to one of the show’s and television’s most iconic characters, though, as there was plenty of significance to the Log Lady’s final moments.
Firstly, she told Hawk to watch for “that one” “under the moon” on Blue Pine Mountain, who we must presume is Laura given she told Hawk earlier that “Laura is the one”. She also says her Log is turning gold so it’s likely that her inanimate companion was formed from either the Fireman’s golden orb or the golden globule that appeared during the nuclear test in Episode 8, meaning that her husband, Sam, could have been manufactured from the same source also.
Finally, Margaret’s passing here also means that the scene where Hawk was wandering through the woods at night in the season premiere has already taken place, confounding many fans’ theories that that scene was a flash-forward as the Deputy made his way to, or from, Blue Pine Mountain.
The Roadhouse Round-up
With more twists than a contortionist act in Cirque de Soleil in Episode 15, here’s a brief round-up of a few scenes we weren’t able to cover in-depth:
- Raquelle Hutchens completed half of the double header in Vegas by offing Duncan Todd (and his assistant) before enjoying a burger with Hutch in their van. Surely Dougie is the other target given to them by Cooper, so has Dale woken up just in time?
- Agents Wilson and Headley further cemented their status as new fan favourites when Wilson brings in the wrong Jones family for questioning.
- Audrey and Charlie were at it again. Just when it looked like Audrey would cross the “threshold” and hopefully end whatever their charade is, she attacks Charlie after another of his bravura passive-aggressive displays and it looks like they’re back to square one again in Audrey’s comatose dream/role-playing therapy (delete as appropriate).
Finally, it was The Veils playing us out at the Roadhouse this week, but not before Episode 15 managed to somehow eek out some more drama and dread. A young girl, credited as “Ruby”, is sitting alone in a booth before two bikers approach her. She informs them she’s “waiting for someone” but they simply lift her out of her seat and leave her sitting on the floor.
Ruby then begins to crawl, sobbing, onto the dance floor before letting out an anguished scream. It has been noted by some that her actions and movements eerily mirror those of Dougie-Dale as he crawled towards the electric socket earlier (you can see for yourself in this handy comparison video). Coincidence? Possibly, maybe… almost certainly not.
Did Episode 15 leave you as mentally and emotionally drained as we were?
Who is the real Cooper?
Have we already met Judy?
Has Sarah Palmer been possessed by the Jumping Man?
And, what household item will we be seeing instead of Michael Ontkean if Harry Truman does make an appearance?
Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back next week for our take on the forthcoming Episode 16 – “No Knock, No Doorbell”