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Twin Peaks - The Return, Part 14 - Review: "We're like the dreamer who dreams"



With only four episodes left, "Part 14" did a lot to convince viewers that perhaps this sprawling season of TV will come to a somewhat satisfying conclusion, on that brings the major narrative threads together in a revealing climax. With this episode, the season's previously glacial pace has been thrown out the window in favour of uncharacteristic momentum, as the show's characters come closer to finding the answers they've spent all this time looking for.

As such, this episode is about the characters of Twin Peaks trying to make sense of a world that likely never did in the first place. Throughout the hour a curious motif rears its head on occasion, that being one character telling others a story. Albert tells Tammy about the first Blue Rose case. Gordon tells the two of them about his latest Monica Bellucci dream. The Fireman fills Andy in on...well, everything. Freddie (Jake Wardle) tells James why he's in Twin Peaks and why he wears a glove on his right hand.

Everywhere in this episode, characters are given information, some of it definitely important for episodes to come - such as the fact that Diane and Janey-E are half-sisters - and some of it maybe not - such as the fact that Freddie has a superpowered hand. All of it is completely bizarre, and yet makes a sort of sense nonetheless. It's often said that Lynch's work adheres to a "dream logic". But that is still logic.

Take what is perhaps the craziest scene in an episode full of them. In it, Sarah Palmer walks into a bar (there's another bar in Twin Peaks aside from the Roadhouse ?!?!), is harassed by a man, proceeds to remove her face to reveal some sort of void behind it, and then rips out the man's throat. While we've known for a while now that there's been something not quite right about Sarah Palmer, it's still a startling scene. And yet Lynch plays it completely straight, as if all of this is perfectly logical. At the end of the scene we think, "Well of course that made sense!"

Our protagonists in the Twin Peaks sheriff's department seem to realize the insanity of what they're doing by making the trek into the mountains. But they've lived in Twin Peaks their whole lives, and are now used to that insanity. By going to Jack Rabbit's Palace, they are simply following the logic of the story they exist in.

Continuing on this train of thought, the Monica Bellucci dream takes on greater significance. Was it partly just an excuse for David Lynch to have Monica Bellucci in the show? Yes. But aside from being a terrifically odd bit of filmmaking, it also directly addresses the logic by which the world of Twin Peaks operates. She tells Gordon, "We’re like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream. But who is the dreamer?". In a dream, everything makes sense until you wake up and realise that none of it made sense. The world of Twin Peaks is like a dream, and the characters that find themselves in it must adhere to the logic of it.

This was an episode of Twin Peaks that had a job to do: launch us fully into the season's end game. The FBI finding Dougie now feels achingly close, and seeing Gordon speak on the phone with Lucy and Frank was immensely satisfying. Even removing the episode's most out-there moments, most notably Naido's rescue and Sarah's big moment, "Part 14" provided us with a basic thrill just by bringing the show's many parts even closer together. But it avoided being a mere exposition dump by doing all that with a terrific sense of humour ("This is what we do in the FBI!" may gotten the biggest laugh out of me this season) and some of the most memorable sequences in the show so far.