‘Twin Peaks’ Part 12 Recap: The Ex-Files

By Caitlin Malcuit

The circular conversations and repetitions that fill “Twin Peaks: The Return” wrings out every last drop of patience that the audience can endure. We wait and wait and wait, but when we get something new, what a slap in the face it is. After all, things can happen!

Agent Preston is officially welcomed into the ranks of the Blue Rose Task Force. Albert explains to her it stemmed from Project Blue Book, the U.S. Air Force’s UFO study. Spearheaded by Philip Jeffries, agents Chester Desmond, Dale Cooper, and Albert were chosen to investigate the cases that Blue Book couldn’t answer—Albert wryly notes that he’s the only one of the group who hasn’t disappeared. Despite Gordon Cole’s reluctance to bring new folks into the fold, they think Preston’s got the right stuff. Diane enters through the red drapes of the den and is deputized to assist, because they really need her, and doesn’t she want to know what happened to her dear friend Cooper? After a moment, Diane pierces through the silence by wagging a two-finger salute: “Let’s rock.”

Diane is still under suspicion: she receives a text asking, “Las Vegas?” and replies, “THEY HAVEN’T ASKED YET.” Albert intercepts the message. This brings him to Cole, regaling a French woman with FBI tales. She exits after what feels like an eternity, but for all of the waiting David Lynch has us endure, this feels like the moment he knew Miguel Ferrer’s time was short. Through a blinking and misting stare, Cole throws his hand on his colleagues shoulder and says, “Albert…sometimes I really worry about you.”

In Twin Peaks, Truman and Hawk make separate visits to town denizens. The Sheriff has the unpleasant task of telling Ben Horne that his grandson Richard struck and killed the little boy at the crosswalk and is on the run. Miriam, now in intensive care, provided her witness account and awaits surgery. Ben offers his financial assistance to cover her medical expenses, as well as Cooper’s old Great Northern hotel key as a memento for the ailing Harry Truman.

Hawk stops at Sarah Palmer’s house after a breakdown in the grocery store. After clearing the Smirnoff stock and picking up a carton of Salems, the sight of brand new turkey jerky sets her off. Sarah screams at the clerks that men are coming and they have to watch out. This is enough to warrant a well-being check. A large thump rattles the Palmer house (and liquor bottles), and when Hawk asks if anyone is inside, Sarah says it’s just something in the kitchen. The deputy chief assures Sarah that if she needs help—help of any kind—just call.

Some story threads are condensed in “Part 12:” Cooper plays catch with his face outside with Sonny Jim. Jerry Horne runs through a field and trips. Carl helps out a trailer park resident who’s trying to make ends meet. Chantal and Hutch assassinate the Warden before a trip to Wendy’s.

After another Dr. Amp broadcast, we’re abruptly sent to a study where Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) stands, scowling at a man behind a desk (Clark Middleton). No longer the mischief-maker-turned-activist, she berates Charlie, her apparent husband, to come with her to the Roadhouse to find a man named Billy. Billy has been missing for two days. Charlie says he’s too tired and has a deadline, but Audrey leans in: she is sleeping with Billy. She even had a dream about him where he bled from his nose and mouth, and sometimes dreams harken a truth! If the Audrey of the original series was like a young Elizabeth Taylor, the Audrey of the return is the Martha to Charlie’s George.

The scene provides a mess of new names. Tina is the last person to see Billy, according to someone named Chuck, but Charlie was supposed to call Tina because Audrey can’t stand her. Chuck also stole Billy’s truck! Anyway, the two are in some sort of contract which Audrey threatens to renege on, and so Charlie calls Tina. He receives horrible news over the phone, but he refuses to share, seemingly at Tina’s behest. Billy, for what it’s worth, may be the farmer who was supposed to meet Andy in “Part 7.” Audrey is grinding her teeth, and ours are worn down to the root.

At the Roadhouse, we don’t see Audrey, but two new women: Natalie (Ana de la Reguera) and Abbie (Elizabeth Anweis). They’re waiting for someone too—their friend Angela. Angela’s going out with Clark, but Clark was seen with Mary. Suddenly, Natalie’s boyfriend Trick (Scott Coffey) dashes into their booth. Someone came at him headlong on the highway and ran him off the road. Could it have been Richard? If it is, he won’t get far—Red will find him and he’ll realize, as Diane did when plugging in the coordinates, all roads lead to Twin Peaks.

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