Part 8 of Twin Peaks was like nothing ever seen on television before. It’s something far more suited to a big screen — and I hope I get the chance to see it on a big screen someday. But this hour of television was like Eraserhead on steroids. The visuals, the music, the sound, everything was just bonkers. In a great way.
So, what the hell happened in Part 8?
Well, the more linear part of the story happened in the beginning. BobCooper and Ray are out of prison and on their way to a place called the Farm. And we get some of my favorite visuals here that are quite reminiscent of Lost Highway. Anyhoo, Ray has information from Phillip Jeffries that BobCooper wants and is attempting to extort him for it. Ray pulls the car over to take a leak because, as Cooper says, “There’s nothing quite like urinating out in the open air!” BobCooper retrieves his “friend” from the glove compartment and he and Ray have a standoff. Ray somehow got the upper hand there, and he shoots BobCooper after a nice “Tricked ya, fucker.” BobCooper falls to the ground — and then everything becomes insanity.
Several of those soot men we’ve been seeing randomly materialize from the forest and move all over BobCooper’s body. They seem to be rubbing blood all around his body and face. If you look closely, there’s an orb with BOB’s face in it that seems to be hovering by Cooper’s chest. But everything is flashing and confusing, and Ray is freaking the fuck out. (As are we, the viewers, most likely.) It appears these soot men are agents of the Black Lodge and are saving and/or restoring BOB’s life. Well, the life of his vessel.
Ray drives away and calls Jeffries to report that he might have killed him but he’s found some help, so he can’t be sure. If he’s still alive, Ray figures he’ll get him at the Farm. After “The” Nine Inch Nails perform “She’s Gone Away” at the Roadhouse, BobCooper wakes up, alive and well. (I hope they perform this song when I see them at Riot Fest in September so I’ll be transported to Twin Peaks.)
But that leads us to the gooey center of the episode. I will attempt to break down what the various pieces mean:
The Atomic Bomb – July 16, 1945, White Sands, New Mexico
Setting off an atomic bomb ripped a hole in the fabric of our reality and brought forth the evil from the Black Lodge. I recall a line from Albert in the original series: “Maybe that’s all BOB is. The evil that men do.” And something manmade of this caliber definitely has enough power to bring forth such a strong force of evil. In the same vein, the bomb seemed to summon “Mother.” This is the figure from the Glass Box that murdered the man and Tracey, as well as the person pounding on the door when Cooper was in the Purple Room. (“You’d better hurry, my mother’s coming.”) Mother seems to give birth to these seeds of evil, one of which held BOB.
The Convenience Store
If you recall from Fire Walk With Me and even some things that The One-Armed Man says in the original series, the Black Lodge spirits meet above a convenience store. And in Fire Walk With Me, we see at least three different men that match the soot men in appearance (minus soot). They’re called the Woodsmen. And we see them shuffling in and out, perhaps spreading the seeds from Mother, helping them find hosts, and returning to the meeting room over and over again.
??????? and Senorita Dido
We return to the black and white place that opened season 3 with Cooper and the man we know as The Giant but who is credited as “???????” in this series. It seems he and the woman in the flapper outfit are standing sentry. I’m not sure if this is another waiting room or if this is the White Lodge. But I believe these two are guardians, stationed to protect the world from entities like BOB. When the bomb goes off, they’re alerted and know they have to combat this overwhelming evil by sending a source of pure good to the earth.
??????? manifests a golden orb and when Senorita Dido catches it, we see Laura Palmer’s face inside. She sends it to the earth. To me, this means Laura is a pure White Lodge spirit and her purpose was to fight BOB. And it’s possible BOB knew that, which is why he targeted her from an early age. He wanted to drive her to the brink and attempt to control her body before she could destroy him. So, it’s possible that Laura is trapped in the Black Lodge because she was unable to fulfill her purpose. Maybe she can go back to the angels in the White Lodge once BOB has been destroyed — which I think is illustrated beautifully at the end of Fire Walk With Me.
Another way I read this scene is that they sent Laura Palmer back to the present day to combat current BOB inside of Cooper’s body. That could be what she meant by, “I am dead but alive.” All we can do is wait and see.
The Woodsman and The Girl – 1956
In the desert, we see one of Mother’s seeds hatching. A locust frog creature emerges from the strange egg rock and crawls through the sand.
A girl and a boy take a walk at night. The girl finds a penny on the ground, heads up. She hopes it will bring her good luck. The boy walks her home. They share a very chaste kiss before she becomes bashful and heads inside.
A woodsman (played by a professional Abraham Lincoln impersonator, FYI, which is funny considering the penny) is searching for something. He approaches an old couple in a car: “Gotta light?” I love how the sound is crazy distorted and crackly during this scene. (One of my favorite things Lynch does is when he slows down people’s cries of terror, like he did with the woman in the car and Ray earlier.) He continues searching. Won’t someone just light this dude’s cigarette!? He finds a radio station and asks a woman in the lobby: “Gotta light?” She is terrified, so he crushes her head and blood gushes down her face. He heads into the control room and asks the announcer: “Gotta light?” The woodsman holds the announcer’s head as he stops the music and takes over the microphone.
This is the water
And this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes
And dark within.”
(I hear “drink full and ascend” but I think “descend” is the general consensus of what he’s saying, so I’ll leave it at that.) People listening to his words on the radio slowly drift to sleep. As the girl falls asleep in her room, the locust frog crawls through her window. It kind of pokes her, so she opens her mouth. The creature crawls inside her mouth, and she swallows it whole. Once satisfied that his work is done, the Woodman kills the radio guy — and blood splatters like someone dumped a bucket of it on the ground. It reminds me of when BOB took the blood from Leland and threw it on the floor of the Black Lodge. Gotta collect your garmonbozia!
I’ve seen many theories about who the girl is and what the hell crawled into her mouth. The most prevailing one seems to be Sarah Palmer. Buuuuut, why does she have to be someone we already know? And there are several problems with this theory: Why would beautiful golden orb Laura Palmer manifest out of one of Mother’s eggs? Why would the Woodman be helping spread something good when he is an agent of the Black Lodge? Plus, while I don’t think it is ever explicitly stated, I bet Sarah Palmer grew up in Twin Peaks, so this New Mexico location would not line up. And no, it’s not the Log Lady either (another theory I keep seeing). She grew up in Twin Peaks and was abducted with Carl Rodd in the forests when she was a young girl.
It’s possible the locust frog was BOB. I think that’s a more reasonable theory. That BOB will be born from this girl. Or that she was maybe his first host before he found Leland as a young boy. Maybe that boy is Leland and when this girl kisses him, BOB will be transferred to Leland. But that doesn’t really line up either since Leland first saw BOB as a man named Robertson near his vacation home.
Another theory I had is that this is Dougie Jones’ mother. The location tracks and when Dougie’s head went POP! we saw that weird egg suspended over his body. Since BOB came in 1946 and knew someone was going to thwart him, maybe he had Dougie at the ready. Time is not linear in the Lodges, so who knows when the Cooper and Laura stuff happened in relation to this timeline. We could all spend hours guessing but we won’t know the truth until the show reveals more pieces of this increasingly interesting and bizarre puzzle. So, at this point: WHO KNOWS! Who knows who the girl is, who knows what exactly crawled into her mouth.
The important thing about this episode is we saw the origin of the Black Lodge and how both BOB and Laura were brought forth. I think that’s insanely cool.