Another signature transition shot of The Return greets our return to Twin Peaks. Lynch has his camera drift over the woods at night. They’re barely distinguishable. Figures in the dark. There’s an ever so gradual tilt of perspective, too. We lean in, look down on the trees, as though trying to pick out a person on the ground in between them…
though we never do. This lonely image will recur throughout the show and is often used immediately before, after or even during sequences infused with the otherworldly.
Cut to a flashlight passing over tree branches at ground level.
Immediately this calls to mind a very similar scene in the second episode of the first season, in which Mike (Gary Hershberger) and Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) meet Leo (Eric DaRe) to discuss their mutual money problems.
A reverse shot of the torch blinds us to who is holding it, and the cool music makes us fear something. But what is not confirmed upfront it whether we are to feat the traveller in the woods or the woods themselves. In Twin Peaks the odds are about equal on this one. The eagle-eyed will briefly spot Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) behind the light, but I’d say he’s probably easier to discern on the rewatch when you know whose flashlight this is.
We cut to Margaret Lanterman aka The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson), sat as before in her darkened room beside the red lampshade, cradling her log. She is placing another phone call – to the traveller in the woods.
Hawk answers, and Margaret asks, “Hawk, where are you walking tonight?”
Margeret’s clairvoyance has been one of her most distinguishing character traits, so its no surprise that she has this feeling about his whereabouts.
Hawk doesn’t answer specifically, but he does advise that, “There is supposed to be something happening here tonight.” It is not made clear what it is that is supposed to be happening, or indeed, how Hawk has this information. It is too early in the story for Hawk to have made any substantive connections to the Laura Palmer / Dale Cooper case. However, Hawk does refer to Margaret’s log being on the “same page” as him. This suggests that the “something” is in line with the more supernatural forces surrounding the town. It also suggests that Hawk is another of the show’s mildly psychic characters. He has always been open to ideas, so this tracks.
The stirring up of the Laura Palmer case will no doubt also have reminded Hawk of the mysterious events that occurred out at Glastonbury Grove the night Cooper went in to the Black Lodge. There is a portal there. This is, it transpires, Hawk’s destination.
Lynch and Frost putting Hawk in this area is something of a mislead for first-time viewers who might expect Cooper’s release from the Black Lodge to take place here in Twin Peaks, and that Hawk will be the one to welcome him back into the fold. This will not be the case.
“The stars turn and a time presents itself,” Margaret advises him. Each Part of The Return is given a name by a line of dialogue held within it. This is the line that names Part 2. One wonders if these titles are intended to act as clues, rather like the set issued with Mulholland Drive as part of its press pack back in 2001. That they point to significant lines of dialogue in the show.
This is a rather poetic line; the kind of expression Margaret is quite apt to deliver. The stars don’t turn, of course – only our perception of them changes as we revolve and pirouette through the infinite in our orbit of the sun. Yet the meaning is clear and aligns with Hawk’s assertions that something is due to happen. The event which is supposed to lead to Cooper’s return appears preordained and known about in our reality. Quite how is a mystery. Margaret’s words are prophecy; an event is due; it’s time is near, and this can be read in the constellations.
Old methods of divinity have credence in the world of Twin Peaks.
They end their call on good terms and Hawk arrives at his destination; Glastonbury Grove. Hawk very briefly sees the red curtains of the Black Lodge moving in and out of visual range behind the sycamore trees. It is near. His flashlight swoops across the camera, blinding us, and this is used to transition us to the Black Lodge…
Next time: Are you Laura Palmer?