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‘Twin Peaks’: While Men Dream, Women Own ‘The Return’ — No Violence Needed

No women were harmed in the latest "Twin Peaks," and it was a better episode for it.

Twin Peaks Episode 14 Laura Dern Part 14

Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for “Twin Peaks: The Return” Episode 14, “Part 14.”]

“We’re like the dreamer who dreams and lives inside the dream. But who is the dreamer?”

The explicit answer to Monica Bellucci’s question from “Part 14” of “Twin Peaks: The Return” is Gordon Cole. David Lynch’s FBI director is describing a dream he had the night prior when his dream girl poses the query. He is the dreamer.

But nothing about the latest episode begs for explicit understanding, so why look for explicit answers? “Part 14” is built on dream logic, as stories are shared and information is given that cannot be trusted. Three scenes stand out for the ideas and reactions they provoke, but also for who’s provoking them. All three center around women, and one may hold a more fitting answer to Bellucci’s question.

For what it’s worth, all three scenes are the peak of “Peaks-ian” excitement, starting with Diane’s newfound connection to Dougie Jones.

Twin Peaks Part 11 David Lynch Laura Dern

Diane Hates Her Family, You Guys!

The newly deputized Diane (Laura Dern) is brought in to discuss the case with FBI Agents Cole, Rosenfield (Albert Ferrer), and Preston (Chrysta Bell), and when told of the ring found in Major Briggs’ stomach — featuring an inscription to Dougie from Janey-E — Diane tells them her half-sister is known as Janey-E (Naomi Watts) and she’s married to a man named Douglas Jones.

This is the kind of whopping connection that makes every “Twin Peaks” fan sit up and scream. Those intent on solving the grand mystery of Season 3 are ecstatic to be given such a solid connection between seemingly disconnected stories. Diane, who’s under the influence of Mr. C (Evil Cooper), could be lying in order to lure the FBI Agents into the doppelgänger’s trap.

Anyone eager for the plot to move forward won’t care if she’s lying or not, just like anyone unconcerned with the narrative of “Twin Peaks” will be enthralled in the comparisons between half-sisters: No matter what, this is an exciting development, but we want to believe. Dern and Watts have delivered towering, intense performances of two women who would not, and apparently do not, like each other. Nevertheless, there’s a bond. Instinctually, the confession makes sense. (If anything, their relationships are flipped: Janey-E’s selfish, cut-throat attitude belongs with Mr. C, and Diane’s good-heart should be working alongside the real Dale Cooper.)

For better or worse, Diane is focused on driving the action, and Cole is busy dreaming. He’s a passive observer, gathering clues; a detective being led to the light by — you better believe it — another woman. Just like Diane got things moving in reality, Monica Bellucci is guiding him in his dream. The entire sequence builds to a flashback: It’s Gordon’s dream of Bellucci, who steers him to Cooper’s dream, which in turn becomes a memory originally depicted in “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.” Bellucci is key, even if there’s no clear reason why she’s there.

Continue reading for a (welcome) gender reversal of victimhood and the true identity of the dreamer.

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