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Twin Peaks - The Return, Part 12 - Review

While this is likely not intentional on behalf of Frost and Lynch, much of "Part 12" seemed designed to frustrate viewers.

The episode opened with one of the bigger exposition dumps we've ever gotten from the show, as Albert and Gordon sit Tammy down and explain Project Blue Book to her, before asking her to become a member of the Blue Rose taskforce.

Of course, as with any scene in Twin Peaks, the opening of this episode is not just one thing. The presence of the red curtains and Diane's line "Let's rock" curiously tie the scene to the Red Room and the show's mystical elements. But what this scene is is a rare example of Lynch and Frost being forthcoming with viewers.

They then start to spoil us with two terrific scenes featuring Sarah Palmer, who we haven't seen since this season's premiere, which now feels like so long ago. The Sarah Palmer parts of this episode were some of the best material in the revival so far, equal parts sad and unsettling and weird, while also providing the great Grace Zabriskie with some worthy material to work with.

But as the episode wore on, Lynch and Frost seemed to begin to test viewers' patience, with scenes that seemed to go on forever, with little or no significance to the actual plot.

Some of these scenes worked well, such as the one in the Great Northern. This scene did feature some plot progression, as Ben finally gave Frank Cooper's room key, but then the scene continued long after Frank left, as Ben thought about the monster his grandson is or perhaps always has been before before reminiscing about his childhood. This scene could have been a challenge but wasn't, and instead ended up being quite moving, proving to be an excellent showcase for Lynch's ability to hit an emotional nerve out of nowhere.

Another scene that worked well was the one in Gordon's hotel room. Albert arrives to discuss Diane's text messages with him, and then has to wait several minutes for the French woman who's company Gordon was enjoying to slowly leave the room. The woman taking forever to leave could have been unbearable, but instead gave the episode one of its better comedic moments. The scene then becomes something much more powerful, as the lines between fiction and reality blur when Lynch rests his hands on Miguel Ferrer's shoulder, a moment working both as Gordon worrying about Albert and one friend worrying about the health of the other.

One scene that was a challenge was the long-awaited return of Sherilyn Fenn's fan-favourite Audrey Horne. Lasting over ten minutes but feeling like eternity, we were re-introduced to Audrey with a scene that saw her argue with her husband Charlie (Clark Middleton) about characters we don't know and likely never will know. It's a bizarre scene, and one that doesn't quite hit the mark.

But while this episode might not have entirely worked, and was at times a chore to sit through, it did a great job of continuing the season's theme of aging, and not being able to return to the way things were. Everyone, from Sarah to Ben to Audrey, are very different people now, and will never resemble who they once were. The same can be said of the new Twin Peaks. As much as we want to return to the vibe of the original, Lynch and Frost know that going backwards isn't an option. The past will always be a place impossible to reach.

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