A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks: Part Eleven

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Cooper's Return regained the Share of Voice in Part Eleven but Shelly's Daughter Wrong Guy got the volume turned way up!

Cooper's Return regained the Share of Voice in Part Eleven but Shelly's Daughter Wrong Guy got the volume turned way up!

New Narrative Conflicts Introduced

No new narratives were introduced in this episode and none were merged.

Episodic Structure

By comparison, this was a tight and focused episode. There were essentially five narratives that were densely packed together. In a standard move, the primary narrative of Cooper Escapes wasn't introduced until the final scene and captured 42% of the Share of Voice for Part Eleven. Second, and a major escalation, as Shelly's Daughter Wrong Guy, which got amplified 220% over average so far, capturing 26% Share of Voice for the episode. Next is the FBI Finds Cooper, which caught 21% SOV. Next was Hawk is Missing Something at 9% SOV. Finally, Richard Horne is Evil got the remainders with 2% SOV with poor Miriam hanging on by a thread.

Episodic Part Summary By Scene and Focus

Scene 1 Washington, Twin Peaks, Rural Home (0:01:40 - 0:03:02)

Three boys are throwing a baseball outside of a rural home. One boy overthrows a ball and it bounces across the road. As the other boy runs to retrieve it, a moaning from across the street, catches his attention. He hunches down and looks closer, then says, “There’s someone there. Go tell Mom!” It’s Miriam is she has definitely looked better. She has managed to crawl from her trailer to the side of the road. She needs medical attention if she’s going to make it.

Richard Horne is Evil

Scene 2 Washington, Twin Peaks, Fat Trout Trailer Park / RR / Sheriff’s Department / Apartment / Sheriff’s Department (0:03:02 - 0:08:50)

Becky has learned something outrageous and she, “Doesn’t have a fucking car!” She screams and calls her mother, telling her that it’s Steven and she needs her car. Shelly runs out of the RR, telling Norma she has to go. Becky pulls a gun from under the couch and runs out to meet her mother, repeating that she hates him. She gets in Shelly’s car and reverses quickly, throwing Shelly from the hood and tearing off. Carl Rodd comes to Shelly’s aid and hails a car with a metal whistle. She tells him that Becky and Steven are fighting again.Shelly wants them to go faster and he says he wants to get them there in one piece. He also tells her they’ve all heard the trouble in the trailer and he feels for her and her girl. Shelly calls Norma and tells her that Becky took off. Norma tells her to call Bobby. Carl picks up a CB and calls into the Sheriff’s Dispatcher. She gets connected to Deputy Briggs and tells him that she’s taken off with her car and has a gun. Carl Rodd says, “Oh God.”

A car screeches to a halt outside an apartment complex. Becky runs up stairs with a gun and starts banging on a door, calling Steven a, “Fucking coward.” A neighbor opens her door and tells her they just left, sees the gun and says that there is no one in there. Shelly considers her options, stands back, yells, “Fuck you, Steven,” and shoots five bullets into the door.

Cut to a fast moving camera going up the hallways of the apartment building with brooding music playing, then down a stairwell, where we see Steven waiting with an older Gersten Hayward. They are both looking up, listening to the scene unfolding above them and Gersten puts her hand on his shoulder in a familiar way.

Cut to the dispatcher who is taking inbound calls and assuring people that someone is on the way. There seems to be a lot of trouble in Twin Peaks today.

Shelly’s Daughter Wrong Guy

Scene 3 South Dakota, Buckhorn, The Zone (0:08:50 - 0:16:24)

Macklay and the FBI pull up to a dilapidated house near a lot of shipping containers. Macklay asks Hastings if this is the place and he nods. Gordon gets out of the car and asks Tammy to work with Hastings and find out exactly where they went. Diane says this is as far as she goes. William confirms this is where they saw Major Briggs and that they got inside through the hole in the fence over there. She asks how far he went and he says about 15 or 20 feet but he doesn’t remember what happened after that. As Hastings is looking in the yard, a Woodsman appears towards the back of the house, near a shipping container in the side yard. He looks away. Gordon and Albert also see the man. Tammy confirms all Hastings info with Gordon and Albert, who then enter. Gordon asks, “Think there’s one in there, Albert.” He says they’ll soon find out. Gordon tells Tammy to cover them and they enter the yard, both men guns drawn. Electricity stirs and hums. Gordon stops just outside the front door, standing in place and looking up to the sky. Albert’s view of Gordon becomes obscured, hazy and out of focus. The sky is swirling inward into a black hole. Gordon stares upward at it. It’s now a wormhole that fades to white. Albert can still see Gordon reaching upwards but it’s very blurry. Gordon is reaching up with both hands and a black dot is now moving towards them in the center of the swirling vortex in the sky. When it takes over the screen, we see three Woodsmen standing on a dilapidated stairwell. As Albert looks at Gordon, he appears to be moving in slow motion. Fire is transposed on the screen while Gordon moves in stutters. Albert steps forward and grabs Cole, pulling him back into their dimension, to “thunderous reverberation.” They stare up at the sky, a power line running through the middle of their view. Albert says, “Well, I guess we found out.” Cole says, “We sure did, Albert.” Hastings is still very upset. Albert looks into the side yard and sees a bloated corpse. He calls Gordon’s attention to it. It’s Ruth Davenport’s body. Diane sees a Woodsman disappear from behind the shipping container and moving towards the car with Bill Hastings inside. Albert says, “Looks like coordinates are written on her arm.” He got a picture of it. We see Hastings start phasing in time as the Woodsman does his gruesome murder. Macklay is disgusted and jumps out of his car with his gun drawn, screaming, “Oh, my God!” Macklay calls for backup. Diane looks into the car and says, “There’s no backup for this.” Cole asks what the hell happened, looks into the car with Albert and Tammy, then says, “He’s dead.”

The FBI Finds Cooper

Scene 4 Washington, Twin Peaks, RR Diner (0:16:24 - 0:24:56)

Shelly, Bobby and Becky are drinking coffee and talking about the situation in a booth at the RR. Bobby asks what she wants to do. She says that she hates him and wants out. Bobby asks her if she wants a divorce. She waffles and says she doesn’t know, she loves him. He tells her she’s going to have to pay for the door and the damage to the apartment. Becky says she’s not paying for her apartment, that she doesn’t have any money. Shelly offers. Becky refuses. Bobby offers and this seems like an unexpected gesture by Shelly. Norma is watching all of this with unspoken opinions. Bobby assures Becky that if he didn’t work for the Sheriff, she’d be in jail right now. But she has to pay Bobby back and she has to make this right. Shelly says they have to get her out of that trailer and away from him. Becky says that he’s just going through a bad time right now. Bobby tells her the only reason he hasn’t busted him is he was hoping he’d come around, for her, but he doesn’t think it’s going to happen. Becky says she knows it’s going to happen, that he’s good inside, that he goes out every day looking for work; at least she thought he did. Shelly tells Bobby that Carl said things aren’t right in that trailer. Bobby’s sensitivity to domestic violence flares and he asks if he’s ever hit her. She is repulsed by the accusation and denies it, saying, “He’s not...like that.” Bobby says he hopes she’s right and that from now on if he touches her or breaks the law in any way, he’s going to bring him down. Shelly says, “Becky, look we know you’re a grown, married woman but we’re your parents and we love you.” She’s crying. She says they don’t want to lose her. Norma is satisfied with this line of parenting and nods her head in approval. Now, suddenly Becky remembers that her mother flew off the windshield and is concerned if she got hurt. Bobby seems genuinely moved by this scene. Shelly says that Becky is staying with her tonight. Red walks up to the RR and approaches Shelly. She immediately jumps up from the table and runs out to meet him, leaving her family completely behind. She kisses him outside the door while Bobby looks on, dejected. Shelly agrees to meet Red later at the same place. Red runs down the street and Shelly walks back in smiling and sits back down. Then a bullet is shot into the RR. Bobby calls for everyone to get down. Norma calls for Toad to hit the lights. Bobby gets outside, gun drawn, and starts looking for the shooter. A family is arguing, pouring out of a minivan. A woman is asking her husband if he put a gun in the car and what he was thinking. He says it was in the front seat in a box. She didn’t know it was a gun. The boy could have killed all of them. It was by her feet and she moved it to get it out of the way. “Are you a fucking moron? What is wrong with you?” A woman is honking, very annoyingly. Bobby secures the weapon and asks for identification. The honking continues. He looks at the boy, who looks dead in the eyes, just like his father, hands on hips, going down with the sinking ship of Twin Peaks. The Deputy Holcomb approaches and tells Bobby, “I was at Big Ed’s Gas Farm and you know what? I heard shots.” Something is off with this guy. Bobby tells him what happened and puts him to work. Bobby walks around to the driver’s door. A woman, filled with hatred, shouts, “What are you doing? We’re trying to get home. We’re already late. We’re late for dinner. It’s way past 6:30. Why is this happening? I saw that gun go shooting out the window. Her uncle is joining us. She hasn’t seen him in a very long while. We’re late! We’ve got miles to go! Please, we have to get home! She’s sick!” A low gurgling happens with a young girl in the passenger seat, who rises like a zombie and pukes all over the driver, who is screaming. Bobby watches all of this happen in horror.

Shelly’s Daughter Wrong Guy

Meet New Twin Peaks

Scene 5 Washington, Twin Peaks, Sheriff’s Station (0:24:56 - 0:29:49)

Sheriff Truman and Hawk are in the conference room, looking at a digital map on the computer. Truman zooms in to dropped pin and says, “By my reckoning, this is where we’re headed. But there’s no road. The road’s gone.” Hawk says, “The information that Major Briggs gave got me thinking. You’ll understand a lot more when I explain my map.” He unrolls a very old map and says, “This map is very old but it is always current. It’s a living thing.” He points to the right of two mountains and says, “This is where Major Briggs station was. This is Blue Pine Mountain and a very revered sacred site. I think that the information the Major gave us is going to take us here.” Truman points at a fire symbol and says, “Looks like a campfire. What is this?” Hawk says, “It’s not a campfire. It’s a fire symbol.” Truman asks what that means. Hawk says, “It’s a type of fire. More like modern-day electricity.” Truman asks if it’s good. Hawks says, “Depends, depends upon the intention, the intention behind the fire. The major also gave us a date. The day after tomorrow. If you read these stars [gestures to the stars drawn on the map], you find that same date and it refers you to here [points at black corn symbol].” Truman asks what it is. Hawk says, “It’s corn. It’s a fertility symbol but it’s black, diseased or unnatural. Death.” Hawk says that if you put the black corn symbol together with the fire symbol, you get black fire. Truman points at the black circle with the horns and says, “We saw this on that little slip of paper we took out of Major Brigg’s tube. What is this?” Hawk says, “Frank, you don’t ever want to know about that.” Truman asks, “Really?” Hawk nods and says, “Really.” Lucy beeps in on the intercom and says, “I don’t know why I’m even thinking about furniture. Andy and I hardly ever get home.” Hawk asks her what’s up. It’s the Log Lady on line 2. Hawk says hello and Margaret asks twice if he can hear her. She asks if he found something. He says he did but he can’t share it with her. She says, “My log is afraid of fire. There’s fire where you are going.” Truman looks at the black fire symbol. Margaret says, “Hawk, there’s fire where you are going” Hawk says, “Okay, Margaret.” The say goodnight and Hawk thanks her. Truman and Hawk look at each other and there is a knock at the door. It’s the goofy deputy who wants Truman to see his new car but they are busy and Truman offers to look at it tomorrow.

Hawk is Missing Something

Scene 6 South Dakota, Buckhorn, Police Station (0:29:49 - 0:33:48)

Gordon Cole’s hand is jumping around the table. He says, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. It’s never done that before.” Albert, Diane and Gordon are sitting in the police station. Albert says, “We’re supposed to get some coffee but I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Cole says, “Coffee? I would like some coffee.” Albert suggest warm milk, for the cat...on the roof. Cole says, “Yes, the picture you took of Ruth. I would like to see it, Albert.” Albert gives Diane a look and pulls a photo of her arm out. Diane leans in and starts memorizing numbers. Albert sees her doing this. They look at each other. Diane asks if she can smoke in here. Cole says to ask Macklay when he gets back. Another Fuck You Albert exchange happens. Cole asks what place those coordinates represent. Albert says, “Well the last three digits are smudged but the numbers indicate a small town in the north--” Macklay and Preston enter and interrupts Alberts sentence, carrying trays of coffee and donuts, which Gordon sees and refers to as, “The Policeman’s Dream.” Gordon thanks Macklay and Diane asks him if she can smoke. Macklay says no and Diane presses and asks, “Detective Macklay, you know how good a cigarette would taste with this coffee?”. Macklay gives in with, “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.” Macklay confirms that no suspects were found in the area. It’s a positive ID on Ruth Davenport. Albert asks about Major Briggs head. They looked. No trace. Nobody heard anything. No shot. Albert said a bullet didn’t do that to Hastings. Macklay confirms they are still cleaning the vehicle. Cole confirms they saw someone, he and Albert, out back where they found Ruth Davenport’s body. Diane asks what he looked like. Albert says he looked like a homeless man, old clothes, beard, wool cap. Diane says she thinks she saw somebody like that getting out of the police car but she could be mistaken. Macklay leans forward and says that he was in the car and didn’t see anybody. Preston says she didn’t see anyone either. Gordon remembers he saw the dirty, bearded in a room in the vortex also.

The FBI Finds Cooper

Scene 7 Nevada, Las Vegas, Lucky 7 Insurance / Mitchum Brothers Home / Desert Kill Spot / Santino’s Restaurant (0:33:48 - 0:57:01)

Bushnell Mullins calls Dougie into his office. Phil brings Dougie in, leading him with coffee. Mullins tells Dougie that he helped uncover an organized crime ring coming through his office. He also confirms that it’s not the Mitchum Brothers doing it, since they were the victims. He says they asked for a meeting and that Dougie is to deliver a $30M check to them, which should thrill them. Mullins believes that the recent attempts on Dougie’s life confirm this. This suggest the shots are being called by somebody else. Mullins took out a secondary policy to cover the loss, and then some. Battling Bud always punched above his weight class. They want to see Dougie at 5:30 and they are sending a car. Dougie nods at Bushnell.

Cut to the Mitchum Brothers breakfast nook. Rodney is eating cereal and reading the paper. Candy announces that he’s coming out of the bathroom now. Bradley sits down in his bathrobe and drinks coffee from a clear cup. He pours Raisin Bran and looks at the back of the box. He tells Rodney that he had a dream, “All fuckin’ night. I dreamt about killing that Douglas Jones fuck. I just hate him so bad. I can’t wait to kill this guy.” Rodney asks if he can last three more hours. He says barely and that he can’t eat this.

Cut to Mullins walking Cooper out of the building. Dougie looks to his right and sees Philip Gerard beckoning him from the Red Room, superimposed over the Szymon’s Famous Coffees store. Cooper walks towards the store and Mullins says it’s 5:30 and asks where he’s going. He follows him. Cut to the statue with a gun. Dougie has a box he is walking with and Mullins has him by the arm. The same limo driver from the Silver Mustang is taking him. Mullins asks if he has the check and checks him for it. He asks the driver where he’s taking him and the driver says, “Santino’s.” Mullins pats Cooper on the shoulder and tells him he’s going to like that. He tells him, “I’m in your corner, Champ. Knock ‘em dead.” He playfully punches Cooper’s chin and Cooper grabs his chin and says, “Dead.” The driver gets Cooper settled in the car and snaps then says, “Red door.” Cooper looks out his window and then looks at the driver. He’s still holding the box as Mullins salutes the car, driving away. Viva Las Vegas starts as they drive down the strip and out to the desert, the lyrics are:

Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn so get those stakes up higher there’s a thousand pretty women living out there they’re all living devil-may care and I’m just a devil with love to spare so viva Las Vegas Viva Las Vegas How I wish that there were more than 24 hours in a day Now even if there 40 more I wouldn’t a minute away Oh there’s blackjack and poker and the roulette wheel and fortune won and lost…

Cut to the Mitchum brothers in their car in the desert. Rodney asks, “What is with you, Bradley? Be happy. We’re about to rid ourselves of an asshole who has majorly, majorly fucked us over.” Bradley says he nailed Ike the Spike for us. Rodney says he didn’t do that for them. Plus he took their 30 million and hit their casino for $472 grand. Bradley says he’s right.

The driver pulls off onto a deserted desert road. He looks back and Cooper with a sad look on his face.

Bradley is talking about his dream. He says that in the dream, Rodney’s Candy cut was completely healed. He takes the bandage off and it is indeed completely healed. Rodney is amazed. Bradley says, “There’s more but I can’t remember.”

They are out of the car now, waiting for the driver to pull up. The driver pulls up, gets Dougie out of the car and Rodney prepares to shoot him but Bradley sees the box and tells him to wait. Bradley says he had a box in his dream and if there is a certain something in it, they can’t kill him, because he’s not their enemy. A cherry pie. Turns out, it’s a cherry pie. Bradley searches him and find the $30M check but he doesn’t even have a wallet. Now Dougie’s their best friend and they are howling with joy.

Cut to Santino’s. A piano player is playing an upbeat tune while the Mitchum brothers pour champagne into Cooper’s glass. Bradley asks, “Do you mean to say that your kid doesn’t have one? No gym set?” Rodney says, “Even our fuckin’ orphanage had a gym set.” A toast. Cooper tries to take Rodney’s glass. “Here’s to you Dougie.” He drinks and stares at the glass. The piano player strikes a new note and gets Cooper’s attention. He’s playing Threnody to Hiroshima. The old hag from the Casino recognizes Mr. Jackpots and she has turned her life around. Her son is back in her life. She has a dog and a house. She has her life back again. She tells the Mitchum brothers that she hopes they realize what a special person they are dining with. She kisses him on the cheek and expresses her deep gratitude. Both brothers smile at this display. The girls arrive as the servers are dishing out the pie. Candy doesn’t respond to Rodney at first when he asks her where they’ve been. She says that there was so much traffic on the strip, there were cars everywhere. Cooper is eating pie and smiling. This pie is so damn good. Cooper repeats, “Damn good.” Another toast. Another reach for Rodney’s glass. “Here’s to the pie that saved your life, Dougie. And our money.” Cooper is all in on the pie. Bradley asks Candy to cut him piece of pie for our friend.

Cooper Escapes


Kyle McLachlan:Special Agent Dale Cooper

Madchen Amick:Shelly Briggs

Dana Ashbrook:Deputy Bobby Briggs

Chrysta Bell:FBI Agent Tammy Preston

Jim Belushi:Bradley Mitchum

Brent Briscoe:Detective Dave Macklay

Catherine Coulson: Margaret Lanterman (The Log Lady)

Giselle Daimer:Sandie

Laura Dern:Diane Evans

Josh Fadam:Phil Bisby

Miguel Ferrer:FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield

Robert Forster:Sheriff Frank Truman

Travis Frost:Boy Playing Catch

Balthazar Getty:Red

James Grixoni:Deputy Jesse Holcomb

Michael Horse:Deputy Chief Tommy “Hawk” Hill

Caleb Landry Jones:Steven Burnett

Laura Kenny:Woman In Car

Robert Knepper:Rodney Mitchum

Jay Larson:Limo Driver

Andrea Leal:Mandie

Sheryl Lee:Laura Palmer

Matthew Lillard:William Hastings

Peggy Lipton:Norma Jennings

Sarah Jean Long:Miriam Sullivan

David Lynch:FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole

Don Murray:Bushnell Mullins

Priya Diane Niehaus:Sick Girl

Charity Parenzini:Carrie

Elias Parenzini:Ralph

Linas Phillips:Russ

Linda Porter:Lady Slot-Addict

Kimmy Robertson:Lucy Brennan

Marv Rosand:Toad

Amanda Seyfried:Rebecca (Becky) Burnett

Amy Shiels:Candie

Tom Sizemore:Anthony Sinclair

Harry Dean Stanton:Carl Rodd

Mary Stofle:Ruth Davenport

Al Strobel:Phillip Gerard

Cynthia Lauren Tewes:Neigbor

Jodee Thelen:Maggie

Alicia Witt:Gersten Hayward


  • “Frank 2000” : Written by Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch : Performed by Thought Gang
  • “Viva Las Vegas” : Written by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus : Performed by Shawn Colvin
  • “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” : Written by Krzysztof Penderecki : Performed by Warsaw National Philharmonic : Conductor : Witold Rowicki
  • “Heartbreaking” : Composed and Performed by Angelo Badalamenti

Voice of The Return (Summary)

Share of Voice Part 11.png

The narrative for Cooper Returns was amplified 32% over average, The FBI Finds Cooper was amplified 36% over average, Hawk is Missing Something got turned down 5%, and Richard Horne is Evil got turned down 79% over average. Finally, Shelly's Daughter Wrong Guy was turned way, way up 220% over average. Something is clearly wrong in Twin Peaks and this story line has fast become the focus, which makes sense because it lets us see this change by using Bobby and Shelly as a measuring stick against what is happening between Becky and Steven. How far Twin Peaks is falling! 

CLICK HERE to read A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks Returns Part Twelve

JB Minton is the author of POETRYSEXLIFE..AND THE THIRD FLOOR MAGISTRATES TOOK THE RAPE and is a Technologist, Podcaster and Twitch Streamer. Follow JB on FacebookTwitter and the Web.

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