Fire and Electricity play a huge part in the mythos of TWIN PEAKS, and we are close to learning the similarities and significance of the two. Becky’s father is revealed after she goes off of the deep end, and a cherry pie saves Cooper’s life.
Electricity has been a portent of both good and evil in the world of Twin Peaks, but it usually signifies something otherworldly is either about to, or is taking place. The hum of electrical wires, the flickering of lights, these all occur throughout the original series, the movie, the return to Twin Peaks, and they are significant. In Part Eight, the camera takes us inside the Trinity Atomic bomb test’s mushroom cloud, filled with lightning, fire, and electrical static in what may have very well been the birth of true evil in our world, or the rendering of the barriers between what we know as the Black Lodge and Earth. It’s through this dimensional rent that the head squishing lumberjack creatures first arrive, and it also because of this occurrence that the Giant from another place breathes the antidote into the world in the form of a golden bubble with Laura Palmer’s face on it. The struggle between light and dark is wound into the electrical grid, which acts as a portal through which these beings from another world are able to travel.
Before man harnessed the power of electricity, there was fire. Fire has also been significant throughout the Twin Peaks mythos, and is another, earlier way for these extra dimensional beings to find their way into our world. When Bob first emerges on the scene in Twin Peaks, the phrase “Fire, walk with me” was an important signifier or clue of how to reach through worlds. Walls of fire have appeared in the film Fire, Walk With Me, as well as smaller instances of fire during important moments. When Bob took Windom Earle’s soul, a shaft of fire issued out of his head. There was also fire present in the new episodes when Laura and Cooper ran into each other before Cooper escaped the Black Lodge. During this episode when Hawk shows Sheriff Truman an ancient map of the area made by his ancestors, we learn there are two kinds of fire, similar to modern day electricity, but depending on your intention. Black fire symbolizes death and destruction, and probably the Black Lodge. The map helps guide them along with the clues left for them by Major Briggs, but what will they find there? Will a fire and their pure intentions help them access something to free Cooper from the stupor he’s in? If electricity and fire are the roadways the beings use to travel, can it also be used to send Bob and the lumberjacks back to their own dimension?
In Buckhorn, South Dakota, Albert, Gordon, Tammy, and Diane all go out to the place Bill Hastings said the portal between dimensions was. He points to a hole in the fence he went into that brought him to the place Major Briggs was hiding or hibernating. Gordon and Albert go in, but before they reach the spot, both of them see one of the lumberjack/shadow people creeping around. When Gordon walks near enough, a portal in the sky begins swirling above him, Albert is right behind him watching it all happen. This really is a bridge between dimensions, and Gordon sees into it. There’s a group of dirty bearded men in a room, with looks of menace on their faces. Gordon is about to disappear inside of it, in fact, he begins flashing in and out of existence, but Albert pulls him back from the brink saving him from what would have likely been a terrible fate. While they are distracted with the portal, Diane witnesses one of the lumberjack’s sneak toward the cop car Bill Hastings is in, and suddenly Bill’s head is crushed, killing him like we saw the lumberjack in Part Eight do to the employees of the radio station.
Albert discovers the headless body of Ruth in the same empty lot. On her arm are written coordinates that point to a location near Ann Arbor. Are these the same coordinates Mr. C (or Evil Cooper) is so intensely looking for? Is this location another dimensional portal, and if so, to where? It’s clearly incredibly important in Mr. C’s attempt to stay on Earth and not go back to the Black Lodge. Several people have already been killed by either Mr. C or his associates in order to get those coordinates. Since Albert and Gordon know Diane is working with Mr. C they keep her close, in fact Albert catches her trying to memorize the numbers while showing a picture of Ruth’s arm with the coordinates to Gordon. What will they find when they go there? Will Mr. C get there before them?
Becky’s relationship with her husband Steven makes Shelly and Leo’s marriage look like wedded bliss. At least Leo was gainfully employed, not that it made things better for them back in the original series, but Steven is a violent lay about with an incredible coke habit. Becky has the love/hate relationship of someone emotionally and probably physically abused. She can’t stand being with Steven, and also can’t stand being without him. When she finds out Steven has shacked up with Donna Hayward’s little sister Gersten, she goes ballistic, steals Shelly’s car while almost killing her in the process, and then arrives at Gersten’s in a blind rage brandishing a gun. She fires several shots into the apartment while Steven and Gersten cower in a stairwell nearby. We’ve known for a while that Becky is Shelly’s daughter, but it was unclear who her father is until tonight’s episode, when Bobby arrives to talk to his daughter. He’s been covering for her, keeping Steven out of jail, but no more. She needs to leave Steven, and if that means Bobby throwing him in jail will help ease her transition, then so be it. During the family meeting it’s clear Bobby still carries a torch for Shelly, especially when Red shows up at the diner. Bobby can see the excitement on Shelly’s face when she sees him. What happened to turn their romance sour and send Bobby on the path of becoming a cop?
Back in Las Vegas, the Mitchum brothers plan to kill Cooper/Dougie after Anthony sold them on the lie that Dougie has a vendetta against them, and is responsible for denying their $30 million insurance claim. A meeting is arranged between Dougie’s firm and the Mitchum’s. They want to see Dougie face to face, but Dougie’s boss realizes the claim was legit, so he sends Cooper/Dougie with a check for the Mitchum’s, and Dougie takes a box with a cherry pie in it to the meeting. In classic Lynch fashion, Bradley Mitchum (James Belushi) is troubled by a dream he’s had about Dougie. His brother Rodney shakes it off, but when things from Bradley’s dream begin to take place in reality, he tells his brother if what’s in the box Cooper brings with him is the same thing as in the dream, there’s no way they can kill him. Cooper’s life hangs in the balance, and it all depends on if there’s a cherry pie in the box, which there is. In a hilarious Lynchian twist, a cherry pie saves Cooper/Dougie’s life, and after the Mitchum’s get their check, they celebrate with Cooper by taking him out to a nice restaurant and eating the “damn good pie.”
- Miriam isn’t dead. Richard botched her murder, and some kids playing catch find Miriam bloodied, crawling on her hands and knees, begging for help. Will this be Richard’s undoing? Will Audrey find out what Richard has been up to and come to town?
- What was the deal with the woman Bobby see’s in the car rolling around like a zombie, vomiting everywhere?
- Shelly and Red have a relationship, but he may be even more dangerous than anyone Shelly has ever dated before. Will things end badly, or will Bobby save the day?
- How much paperwork does Norma do? Every time we see her she’s sitting at a table with a huge stack of bills and receipts.
- While Cooper eats cherry pie with the Mitchum’s (who remind me a lot of the Horne brothers in the original series), he’s distracted by Angelo Badalamenti playing piano.
Season 3, Episode 11 (S03E11)
Twin Peaks airs Sundays at 8PM on Showtime
For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
Follow Jeff on Twitter: @OfSoundnVision
Keep up with all of Jeff’s reviews here.
Jeff Iblings | Contributor