David Lynch will be remembered for many things, but being sentimental isn’t necessarily one of them. While he’s not averse to a happy ending (after all Blue Velvet, despite its subject matter and violence had one), they always come at a cost to someone. So when I say I was moved to tears several times over episodes 15 and 16, it’s made all the more incredible because David Lynch was the reason.
Episode 15 begins with a determined Nadine walking from her store to Big Ed’s gas station. She tells him she’s been nothing but a selfish bitch, and is releasing him so he can be happy with Norma. With her golden shovel slung over her shoulder, and a smile on her face, she walks back home leaving Ed a bit stunned (not an unusual response when dealing with Nadine). He wastes no time and heads to the RR Diner. He tells Norma the news but before they can talk more, her business partner interrupts. In the background Otis Redding’s song “Ive been loving you too long”, about as perfect a song as you could get.
We see Ed sitting at the counter, eyes closed, in a pain only those with a lifetime broken heart will ever know. As Walter the business partner leaves, a smile then creeps across his face. Norma places a hand on his shoulder, and they kiss. There wasn’t enough Kleenex for the waterworks that brought on. It was so unexpected and tender, that I don’t think I’ll ever forget that scene, It’s certainly of the very best of all the TP episodes.
We cut to Bad Coop making his way to the convenience store. He’s led to Phillip Jeffries by the woodsman. Anyone expecting a surprise cameo by Bowie (he was still alive when TP was filmed) will be disappointed, as he turned into an oversized kettle. He tells Bad Coop that Coop knows who Judy is, but when he asks for more info, he gets teleported to a phone booth by the entrance to the store. He’s just in time to see Richard Horne with a gun. After some small talk, Bad Coop kicks the snot out of him and takes him for a ride.
Over at the Roadhouse, James and Freddie arrive. James says hello to a married woman he has a crush on and gets into a fight. The tussle is cut short when Freddie punches the two men beating on James, with his green gloved hand.
Dougie shows up at his home, eating some cake. He turns on the television and Sunset Boulevard is playing. When one character mentions Gordon Cole, something snaps in him, and he crawls to the light socket and sticks the fork in the socket. As soon as he heard Cole’s name, I knew the real Cooper had come back-you could literally see him change. Kyle McLachlan – well, there are no superlatives that adequately describe how amazing he is. It could be one of the greatest performances on TV, bar none.
And then we come to the other tear inducing moment. The Log Lady calls Hawk again and tells him that she’s dying. “My log is turning gold,” she says. When he gathers the others in the conference room, and informs them of her passing, you simply can’t help but to let loose with tears. It’s an absolutely perfect moment that could have been overdone and schmaltzy, but in Lynch’s hands was nothing but perfection.
As unprepared as I was for the emotion in 15, even if I had heard everything occurring in 16, it still wouldn’t have prepared me for one of the more amazing hours of TP. Bad Coop and Richard head to the coordinates he’d been given, and sends Richard up ahead. Just as he gets to the correct spot he’s electrocuted and vaporizes. All of this is seen by Jerry Horne through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. Bad Coop sends a text that doesn’t seem to go through, and takes off.
We then see Dougie in the hospital surrounded by his wife, son, and boss. He’s in a coma and has tubes sticking out of everyplace you can imagine. Before too long the Mitchum brothers come by with a ton of food, and to pay their respects to Dougie. The Mitchum brothers ask Janey-E for her keys so they can stock her place up with food and whatnot. A moment later Sonny Jim has to pee, so Janey-E takes him. That leaves Bushnell alone with Dougie. His eyes snap open and we see Cooper. Even before he says a word, we know its Dale. He sends Bushnell to get a doctor and Dale sees Mike in the lodge. Cooper gets the ring back, and he gives Mike a strand of hair and tells him to make another one, which I’m assuming is another tulpa.
Cooper gets dressed, asks his former boss to get the Mitchums on the line and tells them to have a plane to Washington ready. At one point Bushnell asks, “What should I do when the FBI comes?” Dale says, “I am the FBI” and then we hear Laura’s theme play, and I admit freely the tearwss came and my body was covered in goosebumps. It was an unforgettable moment, and certainly a highlight for me. For most people I think who had been waiting patiently for Dale’s return.
Outside Dougie’s house we see a familiar white van with Hutch and Chantal in it. They get into an argument with a neighbor who sprays their van with bullets from a sub machine gun. The Mitchum brothers look on in confusion, as a nearby FBI agent takes the shooter into custody. I think this is how Lynch plans on tying up many loose ends, by killing the characters. He’s done it several times over the last couple of episodes and I don’t expect that to change much.
Diane gets the message from Bad Coop which visibly shakes her. She goes up to Cole’s room, and very slowly tells the story of the last time she saw Cooper, he had raped her (just as I said many weeks ago). She tells them, “I’m not me,” and pulls a gun to kill them, but Albert is much faster and shoots her, and she vanishes like the other tulpas do.
Episode 16 concludes with Audrey and Charlie at the Roadhouse. Her old song comes on and she dances to it in the middle of the floor as everyone watches. When a fight breaks out, she begs Charlie to take her home, and then we see her looking into the reflection of a mirror. Personally I wasn’t really moved by the return of the dance. At 18 it’s sexy, at middle age, not so much.
There was more scene I want to mention. Cooper, Janey and Sonny Jim go the casino to meet the brothers. He takes his ex family over and tells them he has to go away, but he’ll be back. Watching the expression on Janey and Jim’s faces was almost too painful to look at, and I felt bad for them, but knew Dale would take care of them.
Next essay will be the last, and I’ll be kind of sad about that. I’ve grown to look forward to writing these every couple of weeks, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as well. I have a feeling that what we’ve seen so far, is nothing compared to what the final two hours will have in store.