“Twin Peaks: The Return” Review: Part 12
If any two words ring familiar to us diehard Twin Peaks fans, it’s most certainly: “Let’s Rock.” When it became known that the iconic phrase said by “The Man from Another Place,” would be the official synopsis of Part 12, the hype train was real. That being said, we’re talking about David Lynch here, so anything you may have thought about going into this episode, you may want to change those expectations. I say this also knowing that the only people who really watch Twin Peaks are Lynch fans, so you won’t be surprised that “Let’s Rock” is said by Diane, as she agrees to be a temporary FBI agent.
Part 12 of The Return opens to what ended up being my favorite scene of the episode. Albert and Cole formally induct Tammy Preston into “Blue Rose Case.” It’s a quiet, sincere moment that had a softness (pun intended) to it, with some terrific acting from the late Miguel Ferrer, that may be some of his finest work on the show thus far. Diane’s entering the scene, and showing the slightest bit of optimism, makes for another beautiful moment to add to the ever-growing list of Twin Peaks history.
Speaking of history, another brilliant performance from Part 12 was from none other than Grace Zabriskie, as the helplessly tortured Sarah Palmer. Palmer is making her way through a liquor store, when something catches her off guard. At the checkout counter, Sarah sees a brand new line of “Turkey Jerky” next to the original Beef Jerky that the store had always carried. This sends Mrs. Palmer in a Leland-esque tantrum, full of devilish facial expressions and all. Zabriskie’s performance was raw with emotion, and to be frank, she’s never been better in the series to date. Sarah Palmer was always overzealous in her emotional reactions to events, (mainly the death of her daughter, Laura) but here, Zabriskie brings an entirely new layer to the character of Sarah Palmer.
Later on, our favorite spiritual Deputy, Hawk, shows up to the Palmer residence to check up on her. The former residence of Laura Palmer is now an (somewhat) empty reminder of the past, seeing those stairs that Sarah crawled down brought back those moments of fear from season 2, episode 7. Hawk approaches Sarah’s house when he sees a fan in the window of what we assume to be Laura Palmer’s old bedroom. There is a presence in there, something he can not only feel, but see. The pattern from the infamous black lodge floors appear in the window as well. What does this all mean?
I’m thinking it has something to do with Bob’s spirit always being present in the Palmer residence. More than likely, a piece of Bob was left behind, much like the members of the lodge, which haunts Sarah, causing her to slowly migrate into satanic facial expressions and a chilling voice. It’s clear there is more going on with Sarah, and I’m sure we will find out this one sooner than later.
The “biggest” moment from Part 12 is also its most obnoxious, the return of fan favorite, Audrey Horne. With her son, Richard, missing, her concern seems to be the equally missing Billy. She explains to her abnormally-tired husband, Charlie, that Billy gives her sexual satisfaction. It’s pretty clear that this marriage is strictly about the money that Charlie has, as Audrey continues to insult him, calling him a “spineless, no-ball loser,” among other disgusting comments. The return of Audrey, for me at least, was a disappointing one. This is the moment so many fans have been waiting for, and the scene plays out long and drawn-out, like much of Lynch’s work, only here it feels like more of a nuisance than a work of art.
Part 12 is my least favorite episode of The Return so far, but it’s still better than 98% of the stuff you see on any television network nowadays. Not every episode will be a home run, but Part 12 is easily a base hit, setting up the events for the weeks to come.
Twin Peaks: The Return airs Sunday nights on Showtime.