Verdict: 4.5 / 5
So, who ordered the plain cheese? Andy, big of heart and small of mind, ordered it. Of course, he did. That’s what makes him so incredibly special.
In South Dakota, Agent Gordon Cole begins to unravel the mystery of the death of Major Briggs and the existence of two Coopers. Meanwhile, in Twin Peaks, Deputy Bobby Briggs leads Sheriff Truman, Hawk and Andy into the woods where they discover a strange visitor possibly from another world. While Andy is taken through a vortex and meets the giant known as the Fireman, another newcomer to Twin Peaks has met the Fireman too – and his piledriver hand has now become permanently fused with a green rubber gardening glove. And an unwanted meeting in a bar forces Sarah Palmer to remove her own face and reveal the horrors lying behind it…
This episode of Twin Peaks: The Return is all about the characters telling stories and passing on information. For Albert, it’s how he brings Tammy up to speed in the sort of bizarre cases they’re dealing with. For Cole, it’s how he reminds himself and others of events he’s forgotten. For Sarah Palmer, it’s to warn others away, and for Freddie the rubber-gloved security guard it’s his birthday present to James Hurley. For the Fireman, it’s to explain the importance of the woman with no eyes.
And each of those stories has a punchline, a lesson or an action-packed cliffhanger to drive home their importance. They aren’t just tales, they’re vital pieces of knowledge in a way which almost creates an anthology vibe in this episode. Any of these stories would be fascinating individually, but all in one show together they seem magical… and almost completely, overwhelmingly bonkers.
Albert’s message is that with stories you’ve got to realise what the important facts are. Like Cole’s all-powerful hearing aid, it makes more sense to dial it down and focus on what’s relevant as opposed to hearing all the noise of the world. Major Briggs may have told tall tales, but there was some truth in there too. There usually is with any story. And with all the nightmarish and bizarre events unfolding in Twin Peaks, it’s the normal which stands out even more. Like a plain, no-frills cheese sandwich.
Bless you, Deputy Andy Brennan. You’re weirder than any of them just by being normal.
It’s easy to say this is another outstanding episode. David Lynch’s creativity is at overdrive here, the acting is good, the visuals are stunning and the use of sound and music is on point. Plus, the small but powerful flashback featuring the late, great David Bowie was perfectly timed. Does any of this episode make any sense in any logical way? Not really… unless you’re doing what the show suggests and are asking the right questions while the story is being told.