Twin Peaks: The Return – Part 11 Recap

Part 11 was one of my favorite episodes so far, due in large part to the amount of screen time given to Bobby and Shelly. I have been wondering this entire series what happened between them (and if Becky was Bobby’s daughter) and Part 11 gave me some answers. But as usual, with those answers came a bunch more questions. This episode also provided some moments of classic Twin Peaks weirdness and the mystical appearance of a damn good cherry pie, so what’s not to love?

Part 11 opens with three young boys playing catch outside their house. They see Miriam Sullivan, bloody and badly beaten, crawling out of the woods to the road. While I didn’t think Richard’s attempt at blowing up her trailer would succeed, I really thought Miriam was a goner, but I’m happy to be wrong. Miriam’s survival brings us one step closer to Richard Horne getting busted, and since he’s The Worst, I’d really like to see him get what’s coming to him.

311 miriam
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

At the Fat Trout Trailer Park, Becky is on the phone with someone and she’s in an absolute rage. Whoever is on the other end of the phone is telling her about Steven’s whereabouts but Becky doesn’t have a car to got after him. She hangs up the phone and screams. It’s no Sheryl Lee/Laura Palmer scream, but it’s pretty good.

311 becky scream
Source: GIPHY

Becky calls her mom at the Double R and Shelly runs out the door to come to her daughter’s aid. But Becky only wants Shelly there so she can steal her car. She comes out of her trailer with a gun in her hand and snatches the keys from Shelly before she has a chance to do anything. Shelly jumps on the front of her car to try to stop Becky but she is crazed and putting Shelly in very real danger seemingly without a care. She is single-mindedly focused on getting to Steven and when Shelly finally goes flying off the car, Becky just speeds away.

311 shelly on car
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

Carl comes over to help Shelly and she asks for a ride to the Double R, at which point Carl pulls out a whistle and summons the Carlmobile. There are several truly hilarious moments in Part 11, and this is definitely one of them.

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Source: GIPHY

In the van, Carl tries to comfort Shelly but he’s honest with her when he says, “there’s been trouble in that trailer”—some of which we saw in Part 10. Shelly calls Norma and we find out, at long last, that Bobby and Shelly were married and that Becky is their daughter. As we learn later, they seem to be either separated or divorced, but Shelly’s last name is still Briggs. Carl has a police radio and can contact the Sheriff’s Department directly, and he asks Maggie the dispatcher to get Bobby on the line. I had wondered why Carl had a direct line to the police and Mark Frost confirmed on Twitter that Carl Rodd is actually one of the original Bookhouse Boys, which is awesome and not all that surprising when you think about it.

Becky shows up at what initially looks like a house, with a long shot of a staircase that I couldn’t help but associate with the staircase in the Palmer house. It seems to be an apartment complex, because there’s a number on the door that Becky arrives at (#208). She bangs on the door, screaming for Steven and even after the neighbor tells her that “they just left,” Becky empties her gun into the door of #208. The camera moves down the hallway and staircase to reveal Steven hiding with a woman—Gersten Hayward, the youngest sister of Donna Hayward.

311 gersten steven
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

In Buckhorn, the FBI Squad—including Diane, who is still being “kept close” by Gordon and Albert—go out to the site where Bill Hastings and Ruth Davenport met the Major. Bill tells Tammy where he entered and that he went about 15 or 20 feet past the fence but he can’t remember anything else. Hastings sees one of the Woodsmen appear, and Gordon and Albert see him as well. Gordon asks Albert if he thinks “there’s one in there” and they enter through the fence—what “one” is Gordon talking about here? With every new episode, I come to believe that Gordon and Albert know a lot more about the true nature of the Blue Rose cases than I initially thought.

Albert and Gordon go through the fence and the sound of electricity crackling gets louder and louder the further they go. Albert hangs back a bit but Gordon seems drawn to a particular spot. He looks up and a swirling vortex appears in the sky—a portal to the other world—but it seems as if only he can see it. He raises his arms to it as the rest look on and it’s pretty comical in the wide shot to see Gordon just waving his arms around at nothing—at least, from everyone else’s perspective it’s nothing. But Gordon sees the sky opening up, with white light flashing, and a black hole opening up in the center.

311 vortex
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

As the black hole grows larger, Gordon sees a vision of three of the Woodsmen on a staircase. Note that there is a small patch of color next to the Woodman at the top of the staircase that matches the wallpaper in the painting that Laura was given by the Tremonds in Fire Walk With Me. In FWWM, Laura was able to enter the painting—could she have met the Woodsmen on the other side? And, if so, is this staircase somehow related to the one in the Palmer house that featured so prominently in the original series and in FWWM?

311 woodsmen stairs
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime
FWWM painting
Source: MK2 / Twin Peaks Productions

We return to Albert’s perspective and see Gordon fading in and out, with what looks like fire burning over him. Albert is able to grab Gordon before he’s sucked inside, but it seems like it was a pretty close call. I can’t help but wonder, since Gordon is the only one who was able to see the vortex and seemed drawn to it—has Gordon traveled to the other side before? Regardless, Gordon and Albert found out the answer to their question: there was definitely “one in there.”

Albert looks over and finds the naked, headless body of Ruth Davenport, which has the coordinates written on the arm where Bill Hastings said they would be. As Albert is photographing the body, Diane—who has been standing back, smoking a cigarette—sees the same Woodsman that Hastings saw. He is approaching the car where Mackley and Hastings are sitting. This doesn’t seem to shock her as much as one might expect—another clue that Diane may not be what she seems.

311 woodsman approaching car
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

We don’t see it happen, only the aftermath, but the Woodsman enters the car and kills Hastings. The Woodsman in Part 8 did a lot of head crushing but it’s worth noting that Hastings’ head ends up looking a lot like the heads of the young couple in the New York penthouse. Mackley calls for backup and Diane looks in at Hastings. She remains surprisingly calm about the whole things and seems like she may be in some way familiar with the Woodsmen. At the very least. she’s not shocked by their existence.

311 diane no backup
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

It’s interesting that the address of the Buckhorn vortex location is 2240 Sycamore. This is just one more instance of a portal being located in a place having to do with sycamores, including the circle of Sycamore trees in Twin Peaks and Sycamore Street in the Rancho Rosa development in Las Vegas.

Gordon, Albert, and Tammy approach the car to investigate and, after a gruesome shot of what is left of Hastings’ head, Gordon states the obvious. I know we all throw out “LOL” a lot but Lynch delivers the line in a way that legitimately made me laugh out loud.

311 gordon hes dead
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

Back in Twin Peaks, Bobby, Shelly and Becky are having a family conference at the Double R. Bobby, being deputy, has managed to get Becky off the hook for what she did at Gersten’s apartment but Bobby tells her she’s got to pay for the door. Shelly, who is no stranger to giving Becky money, tells her that she’ll pay for it but Becky refuses since Steven spends all her money anyway. Bobby offers to lend her the money but he tells her that he’s not going to look the other way when it comes to Steven’s illegal activities anymore. Becky can’t make up her mind about whether or not she wants to divorce Steven. She still holds out hope that he can change but Bobby and Shelly aren’t convinced.

When Shelly tells Bobby what Carl said about things not being right in Becky’s trailer, Bobby asks Becky if Steven has ever hit her. She denies it but it’s fairly obvious she’s lying to protect him. There’s a brief glance between Bobby and Shelly that speaks volumes. Bobby knows all too well that Shelly was the victim of spousal abuse at Leo’s hands and the look he gives her is a sad reminder that Becky is very much her mother’s daughter in that regard.

The whole time this conversation is happening, Norma is watching from behind the counter. Shelly breaks down into tears when she tells Becky how worried they are about her and Norma gives Becky a look. It seems to flip a switch in Becky, who is suddenly (and seemingly for the first time) aware of and sorry that she nearly killed her mother. It’s a very strange moment and one I don’t entirely understand. Perhaps Norma has played a maternal (grandmaternal?) role in Becky’s life because they certainly seem to have a connection.

311 norma look
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

Just as soon as Becky and Shelly hug it out, Shelly switches gears when she sees Red in the window. She’s like a giddy schoolgirl as she leaves Bobby and Becky at the table to go outside and meet Red. The look on Bobby’s face as he watched this is just heartbreaking and it’s clear that—whatever happened between them—Bobby still loves Shelly.

311 bobby sad diner
Source: GIPHY

Shelly and Red make plans to meet up later, which is odd considering Shelly just insisted that Becky stay with her that night. Shelly seems to be much the same as was as a young woman in the original series and it’s disappointing, especially in contrast with how much Bobby has grown up. Shelly is still excited by the bad boys and making bad decisions while Bobby has matured and grown into a good man. I’m not saying that Shelly is a bad person, she just doesn’t make the best life choices and it’s clearly rubbed off on her daughter.

As soon as Shelly gets back inside, someone starts shooting into the Double R. Bobby snaps into deputy mode and goes outside to investigate and he sees that the assailant is just a young boy who found a gun in his parents’ car. The wife is screaming at the husband for putting a gun in the car without telling her and he just stands there, dressed in camo, not seeming to care much. The young boy is the spitting image of his father and stands there with a scowl on his face. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t an accident at all and he meant to shoot up the diner.

311 gun kid
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

While Bobby tries to get the situation under control, there’s someone laying on their horn in the traffic jam. Jesse arrives and says he heard the shots from Big Ed’s Gas Farm and Bobby tells him to get IDs from the parents while he deals with the horn honking situation. [Sidenote: everyone is waiting for Audrey to show up but I’m dying for some Big Ed Hurley.]

What follows is the most bizarre and horrific part of Part 11. The woman in the car is absolutely losing it, screaming at Bobby that they have to get home, and then a young girl rises up like a zombie in the passenger seat, seemingly out of nowhere. She’s vomiting some gross green liquid the whole time and the driver lady is screaming and Bobby is just sort of staring through the window, watching it all happen. His lack of reaction is quite strange, although this is the town of Twin Peaks, so the definition of “strange” is different. Bobby’s father was Major Briggs, after all. Who knows what kind of things he’s seen and heard.

311 vomit kid
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

From there we go to the sheriff’s department, where Truman has located Jack Rabbit’s Palace on Google Maps. Hawk shows him his own map, which he says is very old but always current, “a living thing.”

311 hawk map
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

Hawk believes that Major Briggs’ note is going to lead them to a sacred site at Blue Pine Mountain, which is where Briggs’ station was. He also points out another symbol, which looks like a campfire but, as he explains to Truman, is actually more like modern electricity. This type of fire is not intrinsically bad or good but is defined by the intention behind the fire. Hawk shows Frank that the dates the Major gave them are the same as the dates that can be read in the stars on the map. The date corresponds to another symbol on the map—black corn—which Hawk describes as fertility that is diseased or unnatural (i.e. death). Combining the two symbols—the fire and the corn—gives you black fire. When Frank points out the symbol that they saw on Major Briggs’ note (and that we saw on DoppelCoop’s playing card), Hawk won’t tell him what it is.

311 hawk symbol
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

They are interrupted by Lucy on the intercom, rambling about furniture before putting Margaret through to Hawk. He receives another cryptic message from the Log Lady that assures him he’s on the right track, however dangerous that might be.

311 log lady fire
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

We return to Buckhorn where the FBI Squad is gathered at the police station. Gordon’s hand is shaking and he and Albert have what I believe is a coded conversation, the point of which is to try to expose Diane in some way. Albert takes out a photograph of the coordinates on Ruth Davenport’s arm and makes sure that Diane can see it. She is very obviously memorizing them and, if she’s trying to hide that fact, she’s doing a terrible job. Albert says that the coordinates lead to “a small town in the north-” but he’s cut off when Tammy and Mackley arrive with coffee and donuts.

311 policemans dream
Source: GIPHY

Gordon tells Mackley that he and Albert saw somebody (i.e. the Woodsman) at the scene and Diane says she saw him as well, although she says she saw him getting out of the car, not getting in. Tammy and Mackley seem to be the only ones who could not see him. Gordon also remembers the vision he had of the “dirty, bearded men in a room” when he was looking into the vortex.

We return to Vegas and it’s another day at Lucky 7 Insurance. Bushnell calls Dougie into his office and Phil Bisby, World’s Greatest Assistant, uses a tray full of coffee to lure DougieCoop to Bushnell’s office while “Battling Bud” does some push ups on his desk.

311 phil dougie coffee
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Bushnell has come to the conclusion that Dougie’s “investigative work” has uncovered a ring of corruption at the agency and that the two attempts on Dougie’s life are related. Since Dougie’s “work” showed that the Mitchum Brothers’ claim was legit, Bushnell thinks it has nothing to do with them and has no problem sending Dougie alone to meet them with a $30 million check. Apparently, “Battling Bud always punched above his weight class,” and Lucky 7 is actually going to make money on the Mitchums’ claim because Bushnell took out a secondary policy to cover their potential losses.

The Mitchums are at home, eating breakfast cereal at 2:30 in the afternoon, and Bradley is very upset about a dream that he had all night. The dream was about killing Dougie, which Bradley is very eager to do, but something is troubling him about it. He can’t even eat his Raisin Bran.

311 mitchums breakfast
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

On his way out of the building with Bushnell, DougieCoop has a vision of the One-Armed Man in the Red Room, summoning him. The he appears and then disappears in the entrance to Szymonds coffee shop, and DougieCoop takes a little detour there before being picked up by the limo driver from the Silver Mustang.

311 MIKE vision
Source: Twin Peaks / Showtime

DougieCoop comes out holding a large box and before Bushnell puts him in the limo, he says, “Knock ‘em dead, champ,” and then boxes him on the jaw. DougieCoop’s response is not exactly a mimic of the action; he says, “dead,” but he squeezes his own face in a way that is reminiscent of the way DoppelCoop killed Jack after he worked on his car. This presents an interesting question: could DougieCoop and DoppelCoop have some sort of mental connection with one another?

311 dougie face squeeze
Source: GIPHY

The driver, who recognizes Dougie from the night he drove him home from the casino, cruises along to Shawn Colvin’s version of “Viva Las Vegas” as he takes DougieCoop out of the city. The Mitchums are waiting for them out in the desert somewhere but Bradley’s dream is still troubling him. He’s starting to remember more details about it, one of which is that in the dream, Rodney’s cut from where Candie hit him with the remote control was completely healed. Somehow, magically, this ends up being true. Bradley knows there’s more to the dream but he can’t remember it until he sees Dougie get out of the car with the box. Bradley pulls Rodney aside and tells him that the box was in his dream and that, if there is one very specific thing inside the box, they can’t kill Dougie. That very specific thing?

311 mitchums cherry pie
Source: GIPHY

But a cherry pie isn’t the only thing Bradley finds on DougieCoop. He also finds their check for $30 million. Not only is Dougie no longer their enemy, he’s their new best friend. I have to say, I didn’t think I would find the Mitchum Brothers plot as entertaining as I do, nor could I imagine Jim Belushi as part of the Twin Peaks universe, but he is absolutely killing it and cracks me up in every scene he’s in.

311 mitchums money
Source: GIPHY

The Mitchums take DougieCoop for a celebratory dinner, where he fumbles through a toast. The piano player is playing an upbeat tune but when it turns a bit melancholy it seems to have an effect on DougieCoop.

311 dougie hears music
Source: GIPHY

The old lady DougieCoop helped win at the casino comes over, dressed to the nines, and thanks him for what he did for her. She’s since gotten her life completely together thanks to him and she sings his praises to the Mitchums. This seems to reassure the Mitchum Brothers that Dougie Jones is a good guy, and maybe even a friend. DougieCoop is sort of staring off into the distance while the old lady talks to him, but he seems touched nonetheless. It could be the music still affecting him or a combination of the two.

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Source: GIPHY

The music picks back up again and Dougie snaps out of it a bit when the cherry pie is brought to the table. The Pink Ladies show up too, and Candie tells them, in her roundabout way, that they were late because of traffic on the Strip. When DougieCoop tastes the pie, we get one of those flashes of the old Agent Cooper. Rodney says the pie is “damn good,” and when DougieCoop repeats “damn good,” it is Agent Cooper’s voice we hear and his mannerisms we see—if just for that brief moment. He even has a second piece of pie, courtesy of Candie. The episode ends with the piano player continuing the same song, which is a Angelo Badalamenti original called “Heartbreaking.”

311 dougie eating pie
Source: GIPHY

The Bobby x Shelly content alone made Part 11 one of my favorite episodes but it’s also brought a lot of the various threads—Buckhorn, Vegas, and Twin Peaks—closer to coming together. The FBI Squad has Ruth’s coordinates, which may or may not lead them to Twin Peaks. Hawk and Truman are about a day away from heading to Jack Rabbit’s Palace. And DougieCoop, who is still being targeted by Mr. C and crew, now has the Mitchums on his side. I still don’t know what exactly is going to bring Cooper back, and I’m starting to think it’s not going to happen until the very end, but Part 11 gave us a little slice of the Agent Cooper that we used to know. If you showed me the GIF of DougieCoop eating pie before this season started, with zero context or knowledge of “Dougie Jones,” I would have thought that was normal Agent Cooper. Some people have started to think that he’s not ever coming back but I’m holding out hope that he will, in fact, return. While cherry pie didn’t do the trick, as I speculated earlier in the season that it might, it brought us as close as we’ve come to Special Agent Dale Cooper and I have to say, it was damn good to see him.

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Author: Ali Sciarabba

Twitter: @alimscribbles

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