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TWIN PEAKS: UFOs, Fine Wine, and a Familiar Face

In episode 12 of Twin Peaks, director David Lynch is slightly less weird and more exposition heavy than usual, but he’s still David Lynch… so even a non-weird episode from him is still pretty uniquely oddball. Join us as we break down the 7 most Lynchian moments in chapter 12, starting with an explanation (of sorts) after all these years about just what a “Blue Rose Case” really means.

Welcome To The Blue Rose Task Force

In the opening scene of episode 12, Agents Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) share a couple of bottle of wine with Special Agent Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell) and expplain something they call the Blue Rose Task Force. It turns out that back in 1970, after the Air Force shut down Project Blue Book, their official twenty year investigation into UFOs, the military and the FBI formed a secret task force to explore “the troubling cases Blue Book failed to resolve.”

The Blue Rose name came from a phrase uttered by a woman involved in one of these cases just before shed died. Gordon Cole chose four agents to head the FBI portion of the squad – Agents Phillip Jeffries, Chet Desmond, Albert Rosenfield, and Dale Cooper. Much like the Book House Boys in the original series, Lynch loves his secret societies .

Now, here’s where things connect to Fire Walk With Me — in the prequel film, Agent Jeffries, played by David Bowie, vanished while on a case, only to reappear briefly before vanishing once again. Agent Chet Desmond, played by Chris Isaak, also vanished while investigating the murder of Teresa Banks in FWWM. And Dale Cooper vanished after the end of the original Twin Peaks series. Only Albert Rosenfield didn’t vanish without a trace, which is why Cole didn’t want to bring new Agents into the Blue Rose fold. But due to the current circumstances with Coop, they decide it’s time for Tammy to join in.

Following this scene, Diane (Laura Dern) is officially deputized as part of the FBI, mostly because Gordon and Albert know that she is still in cahoots – and feeding info to – Evil Coop. Diane agrees, and tell’s Cole “Let’s rock“…words that have a definite meaning to longtime Peaks fans.

Sarah Palmer’s Grocery Store Meltdown

We haven’t seen her since the series’ first episode, but in episode 12 we catch up with Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) shopping at the local grocery store, mostly buying tons of alcohol and cigarettes. It seems that after her husband Leland murdered her daughter and niece, then killed himself, she’s been slowly drinking and smoking her life away these past 25 years. It’s kind of hard to blame her.

But at the check out line, for some reason, Sarah suddenly becomes despondent when seeing a new rack of beef jerky on the wall behind the register. She starts to lose it, and berates the girl at the register, asking her if the jerky is smoked, and when did it arrive, etc. She tells the check out girl “your room seems different…and men are coming.” She raises her voice to the confused grocery store clerks, telling them “You have to watch out! Things can happen! Something happened to me!”

She leaves the store without her groceries, leaving two very confused teenagers at the checkout counter. Are the men that are “coming” the Woodsmen from ep.8? In the original series, Sarah Palmer had visions, and was tapped into the supernatural world. Who exactly is she seeing coming to town?

“It’s A Goddamn Bad Story, Isn’t It Hawk?”

After the grocery store Palmer freak out, Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) goes to visit Sarah Palmer’s house to make sure she’s OK. As he approaches the house, we see the ominous ceiling fan still spinning from the window – and Lynch focuses on the ceiling fan again before the scene is over. In the series and in Fire Walk With Me, the ceiling fan was BOB’s way of letting Laura know he was approaching.

While talking to Sarah at the front door, Hawk hears some noise coming from inside the house, but Sarah dismisses it. When he asks if someone is in the house, she says it’s no one. But I somehow doubt it. Bad things happen in the Palmer house, and always have. Before Hawk leaves, Sarah angrily tells him “It’s a goddamn bad story, isn’t it Hawk?” Is she referring to the horrible story we knew about her daughter’s murder…or a story we don’t know yet? Lynch, as usual, keeps things mysterious. But that ceiling fan can only mean trouble.

Gordon And The French Woman

At his hotel room in South Dakota, Gordon Cole is on his couch with a gorgeous French woman (Skyfall’s Bond Girl, Bérénice Marlohe), as he brags about his FBI exploits while the share a bottle of wine, and she coos all over him. Albert interrupts them with crucial information that are not for non-FBI ears (Diane has received another text from Evil Coop), and asks the woman to go downstairs to the bar while they talks official business.

In true Lynchian fashion, the woman makes sure to take her damn time leaving, putting on her make-up ever so slowly, kicking up her leg to show off her pumps, and making sure to have one more sip of wine, which she declares as “très bon.” The stunning woman then exists the hotel room (or should I say she slinks away like she’s Catwoman in the ’60s Batman series?). Maybe the best part of this whole scene is Albert’s wtf look on his face during all of this.

“Next Stop, Wendy’s”

Evil Coop’s associates Gary Hutchens (Tim Roth) and Chantal Hutchens (Jennifer Jason Leigh) are shooting the shit inside their black van, complaining about how hungry they are, all while staking out the suburban home of the warden of the prison evil Coop was held in.

Evil Coop had tasked them a few episodes back with killing the warden, so they shoot him from their black van on the front porch of his house, rights as he pre-teen son walks out and finds his father bleeding to death on the steps of their home. In typical Lynchian form, the killers are unfazed, and as soon as the bloody job is done, Roth take off and says “next stop, Wendy’s.”

When ya gotta eat, ya gotta eat.

Audrey Horne Returns (Finally)

So it took twelve whole episodes, but Sherilyn Fenn finally returns in this chapter as the sarcastic and sassy bombshell Audrey Horne. We see her in the office of a little bald guy named Charlie (Clark Middleton), who she is apparently married to…. and she then totally goes off on him, going on about someone named Billy who has been missing for two days. Charlie wants to wait till morning to go looking for this Billy character, but Audrey isn’t having it. “You’re nothing but a spineless, no balls loser”  she tells Charlie – and that’s among the nicer things she says to him.

We learn that Audrey and Billy have been having an affair, and that Charlie heard from Tina (who the hell is Tina now?) that Billy was last seen by someone named Chuck (Chuck who now?) I have no idea who these people are, or why Audrey is married to this weird little bald dude, but it seems like she’s not lost an ounce of her sass and “takes zero crap” attitude in the intervening 25 years. It also seems that Audrey is under some sort of contract with her husband, but who knows what that’s about. All I know is that Twin Peaks is all that much better with Audrey Horne back in the mix.

The Mysterious Coordinates Lead To Twin Peaks

As episode 12 wraps up, we find Diane alone in the hotel bar late at night, as she punches in the coordinates she found on the dearly departed Ruth Davenport’s arm into Google Maps…and lo and behold, they are leading to a certain small town in the Pacific Northwest. This is hardly a surprise, but it means that somehow, the weird dimensional portal in South Dakota somehow leads back to Twin Peaks. Is this the Black Lodge, or something else entirely in the woods we have not heard of till now? Only 6 more episodes left to find out.

What did you think of chapter 12 of Twin Peaks? With only six episodes left, how do you think Lynch and Frost will wrap everything up? Or is “wrapping up” beside the point? Let us know down below in the comments.

Images: Showtime

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