We stand on the precipice of rebirth in episode 15 of Twin Peaks, which means death is inevitable. Lynch draws us closer to the intimacy of death through Margaret Lanterman, the Log Lady, who tells Deputy Chief Hawk she is dying. “You know about death — that it’s just a change, not an end.” It’s a somber moment when Margaret bids Hawk her final goodbye, and we see the lights of her log cabin fade to black. Lynch dedicates the episode to his wise woodland woman.
Before she leaves us, Margaret warns Hawk about “the one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain,” one of the titular peaks of the series. Readers of Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks know the significance of this locale as it relates to Major Garland Briggs — another one of the show’s characters who was lost between two worlds. Alive, yet dead — just like the long-missing Phillip Jeffries, who is “found” and speaks to Mr. C, Cooper’s doppelgänger, through what looks like a giant, steaming coffee pot. This is the creation of caffeine-loving Lynch, after all. Actor Nathan Frizzell voices the late David Bowie’s mysterious character.
Mr. C finds Jeffries after a surreal trip into the electrified part of Lynch’s universe. Several Woodsmen act as his guide through the gas station and convenience store seen in previous episodes. We wind up back inside the doorway photo seen in Fire Walk With Me, where Laura Palmer once entered and wound up in the Black Lodge, and then what could be Laura’s old house and the Red Diamond City Motel, where Teresa Banks’ sex parties took place with Ronette Pulaski and Laura.
Jeffries’ new mechanical body emits a code through the smoke: 485514. Mr. C demands to know why Jeffries sent Ray to kill him and who Judy is, a character first mentioned in Fire Walk With Me. “You’ve already met Judy,” Jeffries tells him. And before you know it, we’re back in the “real” world where Richard Horne, the sleazy son of Audrey, confronts Mr. C, but is swiftly subdued. “Las Vegas?” Mr. C texts to someone unknown. Is it Diane? Laura Dern’s character is quickly becoming the fan favorite of the series, but is sadly missing from this episode. The gas station vanishes from sight as we are transported to the next scene.
There is also the death of Steven Burnett, whose toxic fling with Gersten Hayward, Donna Hayward’s youngest sister, ends with a gunshot ringing in the forest behind the Fat Trout Trailer Park. In a stoned frenzy, he says his crude goodbyes to Gersten while curled against a towering tree. “I did it,” he sputters shortly before the fatal bullet.
Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Chantal Hutchens is an angel of death in high heels. She shoots Duncan Todd and his assistant, Roger, in the head before they can carry out their hit on Dougie Jones. After, she casually laments with Tim Roth’s Hutch about the absence of torture in their string of murders. They profess their love for one another over greasy fast food.
As the woods around our characters howl with pain, and we pass in and out of the alternate dimensions of Lynch’s world, there is some light. The series opens with a romantic scene between Norma Jennings and Ed Hurley. Nadine, Ed’s drape-obsessed wife, releases him from their strange relationship, inspired by Dr. Jacoby’s gold-shoveling mantra. “Ed, you are free. Go and enjoy,” she tells him. Ed runs to the Double R diner where Norma is already ending her business (and romantic) partnership with Walter. Norma and Ed enjoy a passionate embrace while Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” plays. It’s a nice reprieve from the darkness — but just for a moment.
The biggest cliffhanger comes during a scene with Dougie and Janey-E. “Oh Dougie, its like all our dreams are coming true,” she tells her near comatose husband. The moment hints at the artificiality that Lynch loves to play with — the suburban dream home that rots below the floor boards. A flicker of recognition comes over Dougie when he hears the name “Gordon Cole” in a television broadcast of Sunset Boulevard. Desperate to make a connection, Dougie plunges his fork into an electrical outlet — like the one he came from. The lights go out, Janey-E screams, and we are left wondering if the jolt will awaken Coop and if the FBI agent we all know and love will ever be seen again.
The series ends at the Roadhouse per usual, where earlier James Hurley and Great Northern security guard Freddie Sykes wind up in a nasty fight with Chuck, Renee’s jealous husband. Audrey and her husband Charlie never made it there and continue to argue about nothing. “I never saw you before — like I’m meeting a different person. Who are you Charlie?” Audrey asks before throttling him around the neck. Perhaps Coop is not the only one about to wake from his slumber.
The music of The Veils echoes throughout the Roadhouse: “I’m glowing bright obsidian. . . . A little nightmarish, a little maudlin.” It could be the best way to describe this episode, which hums with anticipation like the flickering lights and electrical wires that buzz around us. Will we descend deeper into hell, or experience the rebirth Lynch seems to be teasing? Charlyne Yi’s Ruby gets kicked out of her Roadhouse booth by two thugs and crawls across the floor, sobbing, then lets out a blood-curdling scream before the credits roll. Just as Margaret tells Hawk, “There’s some fear in letting go.”