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TWIN PEAKS’ Latest Episode Gives Us 2 Good Cries (One Happy, One Sad)

As we approach the conclusion of Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks, creators David Lynch and Mark Frost appear to be ramping up the surreal strangeness that is their stock in trade big time. In episode 15, we have another classic Lynch scene, which takes the evil doppelgänger of Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) known as “Mr. C” into a strange dimension above a convenience store, one where David Bowie’s Fire Walk with Me character Phillip Jeffries has been recast as a giant air diffuser. I mean, why not? Who else could really fill Bowie’s iconic shoes?

The episode also treats us to a couple of physical scuffles (one involving James Hurley and his British friend Freddie Sykes), and one involving Audrey Horne and her husband Charlie. But the best (and most Lynchian) material in this episode wasn’t the camp comedy or the surreality, but the two scenes that no doubt brought most viewers to tears–granted, for entirely different reasons. Let’s start with the happy tears first.

“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”

The episode opens with Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) walking a long stretch of road to her husband Ed’s gas station, carrying one of Dr. Jacoby’s golden “dig yourselves out of the shit” shovels. She tells her husband that she’s changed, blaing herself for taking advantage of Ed’s guilt over accidentally shooting her eye out decades ago to keep him apart from his true love, Norma. It seems thanks to Dr. Jacoby’s program, she’s finally achieved inner peace, and has decided to encourage Ed to be with the woman he really loves.

Ed wastes no time, and goes to the Double R Diner to propose to Norma, though is interrupted by Walter (Grant Goodeve), her business partner… and, as it has seemed so far, possible romantic interest. As soon as Ed tells Norma he’s “free” from Nadine, she simply tells him she’s sorry and that she needs to attend to Walter. Otis Redding sings “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” on the jukebox, as a rattled Ed sits with his coffee, heartbroken over having lost his final shot with the love of his life. “My love is growing stronger as our affair grows old” goes the song, and our heart breaks once again for poor Ed.

But then Norma tells this Walter guy that she wants him to buy her out, as she has no further interest in franchising the diner–she’s more than happy with her one Double R in Twin Peaks. Of course Walter tells her that she’s making a huge mistake, but Norma persists. It’s then, after Walter leaves in a huff, then Norma walks over to forlorn Ed, puts her hand on his shoulder, and they share a look of unmistakable love. Ed says, “Marry me” to which Norma responds, “Of course I will.” As Shelly (Madchen Amick) looks at the newly happy couple with tears in her eyes, and we cut to blue sky with white fluffy clouds as Otis Redding keeps singing.

Yes, Lynch loves his darkness, and his themes are more often than not about the dark underside to the American dream. But he also believe that true love conquers all, as shown by the finales of his films Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. So it’s not just fan service that after all these years, Ed and Norma finally made it work. In Lynch’s mind, true love sometimes does win out.

“There’s Some Fear in Letting Go”

This episode also treats us to one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the new series. Twin Peaks: The Return has thus far featured a number of scenes in which Margaret Lanterman, better known as the Log Lady, make a series of late night phone calls to Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse), giving him clues to the ongoing mystery of the two Dale Coopers. In this chapter, she makes her final call to the sheriff’s station.

“Hawk, I’m dying,” says the frail Margaret, every word clearly a struggle. She continues, saying “You know about death, but it’s just a change. Not an end. Hawk, it’s time. There’s some fear, some fear in letting go.” She also reminds Hawk, “Watch for that one. The one I told you about. The one under the moon on Blue Pine mountain.” Is that one the evil Cooper? Is it Laura Palmer, who Margaret recently also called “the one”?

Of course, what makes these scenes (which close out with Margaret’s final words to her friend: “Hawk, my log is turning gold. The wind is moaning. I’m dying.”) so very heartbreaking is that Catherine E. Coulson, who played the Log Lady, was actually dying of cancer while shooting these scenes. In fact, she died a mere few weeks after they were shot. As such, her anguish, tears, and words carry with them an extra weight, rendering this one of the saddest, yet most emotionally resonant, scenes in all of David Lynch’s work.

Which emotional Peaks moment got to you? Be sure to chime in down below in the comments.

Images: Showtime

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