Throughout “The Return,” David Lynch and Mark Frost have paid tribute to cast and crew who have passed away since the original seasons aired — including a dedication to David Bowie in last week’s episode — but “Part 15” felt like an episode-long tribute to Catherine E. Coulson. The woman known fondly as the Log Lady and formally as Margaret Lanterman said her final goodbye near the end of Episode 15, speaking to Hawk (Michael Horse) over the phone, just as she has all season, and reminding him to “watch for that one […] the one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain.”
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It was difficult and largely unnecessary to absorb plot points when her final words meant so much more than the narrative. Coulson passed away in 2015 and she filmed scenes for “The Return” shortly before her death,
With Dougie reaping the rewards of his encounter with Bradley and Rodney Mitchum (John Belushi and Robert Knepper) it seems he brings luck to all of those around him. With the Doppelganger finding out a few surprising things about his escape from prison, he manages to catch the attention of a watching Richard Horne (Eamon Farren).
It may be funny to watch the Dougie scenes, but this week it is the other side of Cooper that gets the best scenes. The arm wrestling that he takes part in with Ranzo (Derek Mears) is a sign of just how much power he has.
History repeating itself on “Twin Peaks” has so far fallen into the category of not learning from or not being able to move on from past mistakes. Shelly (Madchen Amick) married an abusive man when she was too young and is now romantically involved with Red (Balthazar Getty), a man who’s been shown to have violent tendencies. Her daughter Becky (Amanda Seyfried) also married an abusive man.
In this past Sunday’s episode, Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) reveals through a heartbreaking look that he’s still in love with Norma (Peggy Lipton), while she’s involved with someone else. Even Ed’s nephew James (James Marshall) gives viewers major deja vu with his rendition of “Just You,” a song he had crooned in Season 2 of the original series with two dark-haired ladies backing him up.
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The key to this episode is characters, and what they are doing in this episode. Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) is living life with Janey-e (Naomi Watts) who has found a new-found attraction to her slimmed down husband. Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) is further cementing how evil he is by terrorising his grandmother, and Gordon Cole (David Lynch) confirms something to himself about Diane (Laura Dern).
While it may feel like not a lot happens in this episode of Twin Peaks,
“Laura is the one.”
Although Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) has been dead, case closed for over 25 years, the revival series has made sure to keep her identity alive. Even though she has been one of many female victims on the show, she is important, special. We see this in Part 10 when FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) gets a sudden, unexplained vision of her distraught face, and later in the Log Lady’s (Catherine Coulson) message to Hawk (Michael Horse).
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The Log Lady’s speech is the best moment of the episode (although we’re sure the Joneses would disagree). Not only is it a thrill to see the Log Lady back, but the scene fits so well into this Lynchian universe of dreamy portent and lyrical imagery, with only beautiful words used to paint a picture.
Not much was known about Diane to begin with, since Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) only ever left recordings for her. It was a one-way exchange that left viewers in the dark. In “The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes” written by series co-creator Mark Frost, Cooper offers the only real description of Diane:
“I have been assigned a secretary. Her name is Diane. Believe her experience will be a great help. She seems an interesting cross between a saint and a cabaret singer.”
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That summary of the off-screen, off-page character only added more to her air of mystery. Therefore, when we finally meet Dern as Diane, the impact is pronounced, with her striking and unusual appearance: The sleek, platinum blonde bob, the multicolored fingernails that coordinate with her ensemble, and those clothes. The glimpse of each of the three outfits that Diane has worn thus far are showstoppers. They also have a strong Eastern influence in their design.
Diane’s initial look can only be seen from the bust upwards, but its heavy and ornate gold embroidery is Eastern-inflected, and her haircut super-straight styling with heavy bangs is reminiscent of how Asians have been depicted in the past, such as with actress Anna May Wong. While this first glimpse at Diane in Episode 6 isn’t enough to tell her overall aesthetic, Episode 7 certainly gives a clearer idea of her taste.
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When Agents Rosenfield and Cole (Miguel Ferrer, David Lynch) visit Diane’s home, she enters the room in a red, silky, kimono-style robe. At that point, the Asian influences cannot be ignored, especially once you add in her home’s decor. A glance around Diane’s house confirms a mix of mid-century modern and Asian pieces ranging from multi-panel screens/room dividers, vases, decorative cranes and black lacquer objects accented with mother of pearl. Even her third outfit, a red and black leather number shows samurai inspirations that gives the illusion of criss-cross styling and a gathered waist.
Diane’s tastes and styling aren’t the most racist or even overt example of Orientalism on the show, but the series does assign its characters quirks that are often the marks of marginalized people. For example, many characters have some sort of physical disability like an eye patch or hearing loss. Making that the most identifiable mark of their characters creates a vicious cycle of reinforcing the perception of their marginalized status: Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) isn’t described as the woman whose husband is in love with another woman, but as the kook with the eyepatch. Meanwhile, in the current season, the only Asian character is Naido (Nae Yuuki), the woman without eyes who doesn’t speak in the Purple Room.
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Diane’s bold style is used to emphasize her strong personality (“Fuck you, Tammy”) but also her mysterious, exotic qualities that Cooper had tried to encapsulate in his description. Therefore, the Asian trappings are used as costuming and Otherizing to show how interesting and unusual she is. While this practice of using Eastern clothes as costumes was far more prevalent in the past, it still shows up in properties such as “Star Wars” (Princess Amidala’s costumes are very ceremonial Asian, down to the makeup) or critical favorite “Pushing Daisies.”
The Orientalism on “Twin Peaks” was far more pronounced when the show first aired in the 1990s. Although Agent Cooper was a white man teaching Eastern philosophy to solve crimes and Josie Packard (Joan Chen) fulfilled the stereotype of the Asian seductress, the worst affront came in Season 2. Josie’s sister-in-law Catherine Martell for some reason appeared in yellowface for several episodes as a businessman named Mr. Tojamura who sported a samurai hairstyle, spoke in a stereotypical accent and even invoked the bombing of Nagasaki in a conversation. Take a look at that trainwreck below:
“Twin Peaks” has come a long way when it comes to its depiction of Eastern cultures as merely costume or lesser-than. Sadly, it seems to have doubled-down on its brutality towards and objectification of women. But more on that later.
“Twin Peaks” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.
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In the Episode 5 of “Twin Peaks,” we saw more of the town and that included some characters we’ve already reunited with in earlier episodes. Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) has a conspiracy theory webcast in which he’s selling his golden shovels guaranteed to “shovel your way out of the shit,” Shelly (Madchen Amick) has to help out her daughter financially again because that no-good husband of hers can’t keep a job, and Hawk and Andy (Michael Horse, Harry Goaz) are still sifting through the old Laura Palmer case files. Speaking of, Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is still living that Dougie life as an insurance agent and has his own stack of case files to sift through.
We also see a few more familiar faces for the first time this season. Here’s a breakdown of who’s who from the original series that showed up in Episode 5:
Josie Packard (Joan Chen), Doctor Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), Ed (Everett McGill) and Norma (Peggy Lipton), Nadine (Wendy Robie) … these are but a few of the people who were tragically excluded from The Hollywood Reporter's official list of the 20 best Twin Peaks characters.
Ok, maybe it's not so tragic in the case of Nadine, but for everyone else! Our sincerest apologies. There are arguments to be made for most of the...
In the trailer below, some of the familiar faces include Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) driving a car, a grown up Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) hanging out at a bar, Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson) looking cautious and mastermind, writer, director and co-star David Lynch reprising his role as Agent Gordon Cole, sitting side by side with Miguel Ferrer in his final posthumous TV role as Agent Albert Rosenfield.
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We also get glimpses of the newer, younger faces that have joined the cast. There’s also some intriguing dialogue, especially one by a young woman who seems afraid. “He’s coming. I have to get off the phone,
It’s a less sexy, but much more forthright look at the series than other previous glimpses of the series have provided — including plenty of short teasers, a video puzzle, and even pie-hawking billboards — but by now, fans are pretty primed to devour any and all looks at the revived series. And, Dale, it’s good to see you.
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Twin Peaks is set to return to the small screen on Showtime on May 21st with a brand new series of eighteen episodes, all directed by David Lynch. Check out the full cast list for the new season here.
DC Assembles The Justice League
The wait is almost over, as Warner Bros. has announced that the trailer for Justice League is set to arrive online this Saturday, and to whet our appetites the studio is releasing a series of character posters and teasers, beginning with Aquaman, Batman and The Flash. Expect Wonder Woman and Cyborg later today.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Character Posters
Not to let DC steal all the headlines, Marvel has unveiled a series of character posters for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with James Gunn sharing a poster for Kurt Russell’s Ego [see here], which was followed by one-sheets for Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Groot (Vin Diesel), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), along with the villainous Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). Take a look at those here.
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See Also: Showtime celebrates Twin Peaks Day with Agent Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer posters
“Twin Peaks is a cosmology,” states Showtime CEO David Nevins. “What I think is satisfying about the new version is that it’s a deeper exploration of that stuff. What is the Red Room? How does the Red Room work? Where is Agent Cooper? Can he make it back?”
EW promises some first-look images in the coming days,
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