Part 8 (Twin Peaks)
|Twin Peaks episode|
|Directed by||David Lynch|
|Featured music||Angelo Badalamenti|
|Cinematography by||Peter Deming|
|Editing by||Duwayne Dunham|
|Original air date||June 25, 2017|
|Running time||58 minutes|
"Part 8", also known as "The Return, Part 8", is the eighth episode of Twin Peaks' revival series. It was written by Mark Frost and David Lynch and directed by Lynch. "Part 8" was broadcast on June 25, 2017, on Showtime and was watched by an audience of 246,000 viewers in the United States. The episode was composed of lengthy, surreal scenes, with very little dialogue throughout. It received critical acclaim.
Gotta Light?— Woodsman (used as a promotional tagline for the episode)
The small town of Twin Peaks, Washington, has been shocked by the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and the attempted murder of her friend Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine). FBI special agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) has been sent to the town to investigate and has come to the realization that the killer was the father of Laura, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), who acted while possessed by a demonic entity—Killer BOB (Frank Silva). At the end of the original series, Cooper was trapped in the Black Lodge, an extra-dimensional place, by BOB, who let out Cooper's doppelgänger to use him as his physical access to the world. Twenty-five years after the events, Cooper manages to escape the Lodge by traveling through a portal between worlds; during this process, Cooper was supposed to replace the doppelgänger (now known as Mr. C), but instead he takes the place of a second doppelgänger (known as Dougie Jones), fabricated by the first as a patsy for the exchange. Mr. C, exhausted from the process, crashes his car and passes out, allowing the police to capture him; at the station, he uses the information in his possession to blackmail Warden Murphy (James Morrison) into releasing him and his partner, Ray Monroe (George Griffith).
Ray Monroe and Mr. C are travelling in a car which was prepared for their escape by the prison warden. Using his phone, Mr. C spots several trackers on the car, which he sends to a nearby truck to confuse the wardens. When Mr. C asks him whether he wants to go to a place called "the farm", Ray responds affirmatively; when asked about Darya's fate, Mr. C lies and tells Ray that she's still alive. On their way through, Ray stops to urinate; Mr. C uses this occasion to attempt to extort the information he was seeking from him, and, when he refuses to cooperate, to kill him, but the gun he uses has been deliberately loaded with blanks by Ray. Ray then shoots Mr. C twice, preparing to deliver his final hit. In that moment, ghostly men (known as the woodsmen) appear and begin to tear at Mr. C's body, revealing a sac with Killer BOB's face. Other ghostly figures run in circle around Ray, who flees terrified; on his way through, he sends to Phillip Jeffries a message that the doppelgänger may have survived the attack. In the Roadhouse, an MC (JR Starr) introduces "the" Nine Inch Nails; the group performs their song "She's Gone Away". Later, Mr. C awakens.
In 1945 New Mexico, the first atomic bomb is detonated. Around and inside a building labelled "convenience store", a procession of woodsmen takes place. Floating in a void, the Experiment (Erica Eynon) spews a stream of fluid; one globule manifests BOB's face. Red and gold imagery follows. In a building above a purple sea, Señorita Dido (Joy Nash) sits next to a bell shaped machine, listening to the music of a phonograph. When the machine begins to buzz loudly, the Fireman (Carel Struycken) enters and turns it off, then moves upstairs, to a room with a film projector. On the screen, images from the detonation, the convenience store, and the Experiment sprouting BOB play as the Fireman watches. He then begins to levitate, light emanating from his head. Señorita Dido enters, and the Fireman emits an orb with Laura Palmer's face inside; the orb floats down to her. After kissing the orb, she sends it to Earth (which appears on the screen) through a golden tube.
In 1956 New Mexico, a creature hatches from an egg on the bomb's explosion site and crawls through the desert. A boy (Xolo Maridueña) and a girl (Tikaeni Faircrest) walk in front of a gas station; the girl finds a face-up penny. Two woodsmen descend on a street, stopping a husband (Tad Griffith) and wife's (Leslie Berger) car. One of the woodsmen (Robert Broski) repeatedly asks the couple in the car "Gotta light?", which prompts them to flee terrified. Meanwhile, the young couple reaches the girl's home; they share a brief kiss before she walks in. The Woodsman enters a radio station and kills the receptionist (Tracy Phillips); overpowering the disc jockey (Cullen Douglas), he repeatedly broadcasts the words "This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within." During the broadcast, numerous listeners fall unconscious, including the girl from the young couple; the creature enters the unconscious girl's room and climbs down her throat. The woodsman kills the disc jockey and leaves.
"Part 8", like the rest of the limited series, was written by Mark Frost and David Lynch. Frost had already written ten episodes of the original series — the "Pilot" and Episodes 1, 2 and 8 with Lynch, plus Episodes 5, 7, 12, 14, 16, 26 and the original series finale, Episode 29. On the writing of this episode, Mark Frost declared:
The idea obviously — or, well, not obviously — was that we'd never done anything close to what you might describe as a "Twin Peaks" origin story, [showing] where this pervasive sense of darkness and evil had come from. On the page, we wrote it in great detail. I think it was maybe 12, 15 pages. But as we were putting down the descriptions, I knew David was going to take that as the blueprint for something extraordinary. He ran with it and elevated it to a whole other level [...] the atomic explosion was probably half a page as written, but I knew that, in David's hands, it could run as long as 10 or 12 minutes, and it would be riveting. It was certainly a narrative departure from what we had done before. There was no question about that. But it needed to stand apart, and it needed to blow your mind. So mission accomplished.
In his autobiography "Room to Dream," Lynch called the creature crawling in Sarah's mouth a "frog-moth," and explained that the idea for it came from his travel in Europe with Jack Fisk during the mid-1960s:
[T]he frog-moth [...] came from Yugoslavia. When Jack and I were in Europe, we caught the Orient Express in Athens to take us back to Paris, so we're going up through Yugoslavia and it's really, really dark. At a certain point the train came to a stop and there was no station but we could see people getting off the train. [...] When I got off the train I stepped into this soft dust that was like eight inches deep and it was blowing, and out of the earth these huge moths, like frogs, were leaping up, and they'd fly and flip and go back down again. So that was the frog-moth — things just sort of show up in the world of "Twin Peaks."
On May 9, 2018, a page from the episode's script was shown in a documentary about Dean Hurley, the series' sound design. The page (numbered #195) translates on-screen to the Woodsman breaking inside the radio station: differently from the final cut, the spelling of the episode's titular line was "Got a light?", and the Woodsman was supposed to "speak disturbing, atonal word-like mechanical sounds into the mic, going out over the air in a strange monotone", part of which composed the mantra that was eventually performed in the final episode. The page does not resemble the script that was given to the cast members while filming.
Part 8 was directed by David Lynch, who had also directed the rest of the limited series and six episodes of the original series — the "Pilot", "Episode 2", "Episode 8", "Episode 9", "Episode 14" and "Episode 29". The scenes inside the Fireman's house were filmed inside the Tower Theatre in Los Angeles, a location Lynch had used before in a pivotal scene in Mulholland Drive. On-set, Lynch showed Joy Nash how to hold the Laura Palmer orb, kissing it and giving it "so much love" before letting it go into the film; he also demonstrated her how to walk through the theatre, with bouncing steps like a "little cherub." The scenes inside the KPJK station were filmed in a specially constructed set in New Mexico. Upon visiting the set for the first time, series' director David Lynch stated that he envisioned a simple set for one shot, but instead they had built an authentic radio station, which he joked could be on the air by the following week.
Almost every episode of the 2017 Twin Peaks series featured a live performance by various bands at the Roadhouse. In this episode, American rock band Nine Inch Nails performed "She's Gone Away". Nine Inch Nails' frontman Trent Reznor had previously collaborated with Lynch on the soundtrack for Lost Highway, and Lynch had directed the music video for the Nine Inch Nails song "Came Back Haunted". During the scene in which Ray Monroe shoots Mr. C, it is possible to hear a severely slowed down version of Ludwig van Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. The atomic bomb sequence is underscored by the musical composition Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Penderecki. Two original compositions were used in the course of the episode, during the scenes in the structure over the purple sea: "Slow '30s Room", a remixed excerpt of the seventh movement in the 2007 David Lynch and Dean Hurley's album The Air Is on Fire, and "The Fireman" by Angelo Badalamenti; both compositions were eventually released in the September 2017 soundtrack album Twin Peaks: Limited Event Series Original Soundtrack. Additionally, the song "My Prayer" by The Platters is used in the final scene of the episode. One of the founding members of the group is a singer called David Lynch.
"Part 8" received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the episode received a 100% rating with an average score of 8.67 out of 10 based on 23 reviews, with a critical consensus stating, "'Part 8' adds yet another masterful chapter to Twin Peaks' return – and arguably one of the finest hours of creator David Lynch's incredible career." Writing for IndieWire, Liz Shannon Miller gave the episode a "B" expressing disappointment at the "disturbingly retro" special effects in the opening sequence and calling the Trinity Nuclear Test sequence "beautiful nonsense" while calling the scenes with Señorita Dido and the Fireman "captivating". She ultimately called the episode "truly polarizing" and "one that challenges viewers to appreciate its beauty, even if we don't understand it. Wherever you land on it, there's one thing that can't be argued: You've never seen this before on television."
The New York Times' Noel Murray gave the episode a positive review, drawing favorable comparisons to the end sequence of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin ultimately calling the episode "phenomenal". In his recap for Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Jensen called Part 8 "a mesmerizing rush of pure-cut WTF."
In her positive review of the episode, The A.V. Club's Emily L. Stephens gave the episode an "A" stating that she may not have been as impressed with it if it was taken as a discrete 1-hour experimental film but "both as a piece of Twin Peaks backstory and as an episode of television, "The Return, Part 8" is as unexpected, as shocking, as thrilling as anything [she's] ever seen." In a roundtable discussion on the website, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky described the episode as "one of the most artistically daring episodes in the history of American television." On December 11, 2017, Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture declared "Part 8" as the best television episode of the year, writing that "upon reflection, I think this might be the single most impressive episode of television drama I've seen in the 20 years I've been writing full-time about the medium, not to mention a compact encyclopedia of 20th-century film styles (including music videos and experimental shorts)".
The episode was nominated for several awards. Along with "Part 1" and "Part 15", the Art Directors Guild nominated it for the award for One-Hour Contemporary Single-Camera Series. The Cinema Audio Society nominated the episode for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movie or Mini-Series and the Motion Picture Sound Editors nominated it for a Golden Reel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing.
For the 70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the episode is nominated in the Limited Series categories for Outstanding Cinematography, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing, Outstanding Sound Editing, and Outstanding Sound Mixing.
- The series does not identify the girl; she is revealed to be Sarah Palmer in the novel Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier.
- These actors appear only in archival footage.
- In the episode's credits, Struycken's character was listed as "???????". His name was revealed as "The Fireman" in Part 14.
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