David Lynch is a tinkerer. He may be best known as a filmmaker, but he’s also a prolific artist and photographer, a musician and producer in this regard, and he also builds things. He has a well kitted-out workspace at his home where he builds furniture and lamps (lamps are a favourite of his). This is well-documented behaviour of his. You can even see him in action mixing paints in a 30 minute short entitled Lamp which features plenty of breaks for coffee and cigarettes.
There’s a wry genius at work when this man gets working with his hands. You should see the quick fix he’s set-up in case he gets caught-short in his workshop. With that in mind one can’t help but wonder how much he had to do with the tremendous invention we are presented with next as we rejoin Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) in his office at the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department.
Frank sits in his office and speaks on the phone with Doc Hayward (Warren Frost), updating him briefly on Harry’s situation. Frank suggests that they speak over Skype
(ah, 2017, a time before the inexorable rise of Zoom…).When Doc Hayward gives him his username (MiddleburyDoc), Frank flips a lever on his desk that causes a wood-framed monitor to rise up out of it, making him the envy of office-bound employees the world over. It’s a wondrous little quirk that has Lynch’s tinkerer’s habit written all over it. A neat bit of craftsmanship, especially for how the monitor has been framed to aesthetically compliment and even blend in with the desk itself. I can’t lie; I gasped with joy the first time I saw this.
In a charming touch, we watch Frank type with his index-fingers only. He might be computer savvy, but he’s still not entirely proficient or casual with such technology.
Doc Hayward appears on his screen and the two of them converse about the night ‘Dale Cooper’ (Mr. C) returned from the Black Lodge. Hayward’s memory isn’t too good but he does recall that night. He notes that on his return, ‘Cooper’ (Kyle MacLachlan) acted, “mighty strange”. Doc Hayward took him to the hospital and had him checked out while he made his rounds. An hour later Cooper was seen sneaking out of intensive case fully dressed.
“He turned and he looked at me and (I) saw that strange face again,” Doc tells him It’s unclear if he is just talking about the expression on Mr. C’s face – the odd look that differentiates the doppelganger from the real Agent Cooper, largely typified by the black pools of his eyes and a lack of animation in his face – or whether Doc actually saw the face of BOB lurking within.
“I called out to him. He didn’t say a word, he just turned around and walked out,” Doc Hayward tells Frank.
When Frank presses him on why Cooper was in intensive care, Doc presumes that he was looking in on Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn). “That terrible business at the bank”. We learn that, following the explosion at the bank which served as one of season 2’s multiple cliffhangers, Audrey was left in a coma. This is a long-sought after piece of information on Audrey; a fan-favourite whose absence from the opening few parts of The Return was conversed about at length online, as the story was slowly revealed to us. Many suspected or hoped that it would be Audrey that Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield were hoping to contact to confirm the identity of the incarcerated Mr. C. While little in the narrative suggested this – we still didn’t know if she’s survived the blast, even – the full cast list for The Return had already been made available, confirming the presence of Sherilyn Fenn… at some point… For now we are left not knowing Audrey’s fate…
We’ll catch up with Audrey in Part 12 as one of the most controversial storylines of The Return begins to reveal itself. For more information on what happened to Audrey in the interval between season 2 and The Return, Mark Frost’s books provide some crucial exposition (all in all a tragic story, and for many not one befitting one of the show’s most beloved characters). But we’ll save those details for later…
Frank sighs and changes the subject to fishing. Doc relays a funny story about a fish making its way into his pyjamas that fondly recalls the eronious fish that made it into Pete Martell’s coffee percolator in the early says of the first season. Doc Hayward wears a baseball cap embroidered with the legend, “Got trout?”
“Keep working the sunny side of the river,” Frank wishes him well and ends the call; the monitor smartly sliding back down into the desk for him. God I want that desk.
It’s a brief appearance for Warren Frost as Doc Hayward in The Return, and a bittersweet one seeing as Frost passed away before the show went to air. He looks a little frail in this scene and one wonders if the Skype conversation was written as seen in order to make allowances for his ailing condition.
Frank plays with his pen and contemplates what to do next and what to make of what he’s learned.
Next time: There’s a body all right