[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Twin Peaks: The Return” Episode 14, “Part 14.”]
Monica Bellucci solves crimes in David Lynch’s dreams, Diane is Janey-E’s half-sister, and Andy is newly enlightened after taking a trip to the other side — phew! “Part 14” certainly isn’t short on talking points, but to claim reasonable comprehension would be a long shot. But that’s OK. Lynch’s black-and-white dream sequence foreshadowed an episode that played out just like it: Much was said, much was seen, but it’s not the literal interpretation of clues that matters: It’s learning how to believe in the impossible.
David Lynch’s Inception
Like an inverse interpretation of the series’ more introspective dream episodes (i.e., “Part 3” and “Part 8”), this hour was filled with exposition while Lynch’s imagination ran amok. The former served as a distraction from the latter; all that information was really just set-up for events to come, while the true meaning of “Part 14” came from the unknown.
Similar to “Part 12,” the hour kicked off with dialogue between Albert (Miguel Ferrer) and Tammy (Chrysta Bell), but the seemingly blunt answers aren’t all that informative. The questions — “What is the significance of the blue rose?” — are ones viewers have been asking for weeks, if not years, but the answers — “It’s not a natural thing.” — aren’t absolute. They’re extending the conversation, nodding to the audience that they’re on the right track.
From there, Lynch launches into an “Inception”-esque dream within a dream. Cole tells his group of FBI deputies about his dream the night before, where Monica Bellucci (played by Monica Bellucci) asks the highlighted quote of the week: “We are like the dreamer who dreams and lives inside the dream, but who is the dreamer?” She points over Cole’s shoulder, to a vision of Cole as a younger man. Is he the dreamer? Are we living inside his dream? Is this all taking place in Cole’s head?
Not exactly, but remembering what he feels during these dreams is vital. Her guidance acts like more of a warning; a reminder of memories long forgotten and relevance lost to time. Bellucci is pointing back, over Cole’s shoulder, to a moment before things fell apart. She’s reminding him of a time when he felt “uneasy” and connecting the present to the past through dreams. Cooper is sitting in front of Cole, recounting a dream from long ago, just as Cole is now sitting in front of Albert and Tammy, telling them about a dream he just had. They missed something before that they can’t afford to miss again.
The scene is as much about misplaced identity as it is society’s growing disconnection from reality. Jeffries is challenging the very notion of Cooper: “Who do you think that is there?” In reality, when it actually happened, the question sounds ridiculous. Looking at Cooper, you know who he is. But If Cole asks himself the same question today, he’d be much closer to discovering the truth: that Mr. C is not Cooper, as much as he might look like him.
Reality lives by laws that dreams do not. There’s something uneasy in Cole’s dream, and he’s reminded to trust that feeling; to believe in his instincts over the reality presented to him.
Fuck You, Janey-E
But enough about what we don’t know: Let’s talk about Diane. The one puzzle piece that came slamming down during “Part 14” was the familiar connection between Diane (Laura Dern) and Janey-E Jones (Naomi Watts): They’re half-sisters!
Retrospectively, this feels unbearably obvious. The performances are on similar wavelengths, as Diane’s aggressive lack of caring goes hand-in-hand with Janey-E’s selfish over-investment. Of course Diane hates her. Diane, no matter how she’s been corrupted, is a good person who lived her life helping Agent Cooper in his fight for justice. Janey-E is taking advantage of her husband’s good fortune in whatever way she can: financially, emotionally, and even in the bedroom.
Janey-E puts up the false front of a good, suburban wife. Diane lays it all on the table, smoking, drinking, and swearing every chance she gets. Janey-E cares about all the wrong things, and Diane cares about all the right things. Even if she’s doing something bad right now, Diane is inherently good. She is deeply conflicted about the secret she’s keeping from Gordon, but couldn’t care less about how she looks. Janey-E is the opposite.
Continue reading for two trips through the portal and a final grade for “Part 14.”