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Twin Peaks: Throwbacks and References You Might Have Missed

David Lynch and Miguel Ferrer in Twin Peaks Showtime

Agent Tamara Preston

One of the absolute highlights of part 3, was the return of Lynch as FBI Agent Gordon Cole, and Agent Arthur Rosenfield, played by the late Miguel Ferrer. Together, they are absolute comedy gold, helped largely by Agent Cole’s hearing impediment and his refusal to turn his hearing aid up. When Rosenfield tells Cole their colleague feels car sick, he bellows “This is South Dakota. Cossacks are from Russia.”

The colleague that Rosenfield is referring to, is Agent Tamara Preston. It’s easily assumed that Agent Preston is merely brought in to even out the gender imbalance slightly, but in fact, the character features as the main character in Frost’s 2016 novel, “The Secret History of Twin Peaks.”

Phillip Jeffries

Played briefly by the late, great David Bowie in Fire Walk With Me, Phillip Jeffries is mentioned several times in the first 4 parts of Twin Peaks season 3. Rumor has it that Bowie was set to reprise his role, but sadly that wasn’t to be. Right now, no one knows if the role has been recast, but there is over 200 cast names on the list, so chances are it has been. That aside, Jeffries is an FBI Agent who has been missing for 2 years. He returns to the fold in Fire Walk With Me, talking about the Black Lodge.

In part 1, we see evil Cooper on the phone, talking to Jeffries. When he is captured in part 4 and Cole and Rosenfield go to talk with him, evil Cooper claims that he and Jeffries have been working undercover. That now leads to the possibility of Jeffries also being an evil twin, and possessed by BOB. If that’s the case, where’s the real one? Has he been in the Black Lodge even longer than Agent Cooper?

Bobby’s Overacting

Some things never change. Dana Ashbrook became renowned for his overacting in Twin Peaks, though we’re assuming it was intentional since Lynch wanted it played like a melodrama or soap opera. He reappears in part 4, now working as a deputy, and seemingly much more mature and sensible than he was (it is 25 years on, to be fair). All is going well until he walks into the room where Hawk has all of the Laura Palmer files laid out, and her prom picture propped up on the table.

Bobby breaks down, with Ashbrook displaying some delightfully cringe-worthy ham-acting. Again, we’re assuming this was intentional on Lynch’s part; a dig at some of the awful work we see in soaps, maybe? A joke about how characters overreact to everyday situations? We find it hard to believe that Bobby hasn’t managed to get a grip in 25 years. Still, it’s a fun moment, and a great nod to the quirkiness of season one.

Sheriff Truman

Twin Peaks Casting Season 3
Robert Forster

Which one? Well, we’re asking ourselves the same question. Apparently, one is sick, and one’s out fishing. In part 4, we meet the one who’s been out fishing. For whatever reason, Michael Ontkean does not appear in season 3 as Sheriff Truman. How do you get round that? Simple, cast the man who was Lynch’s first choice to play Sheriff Truman- Robert Forster- as another Sheriff Truman.

We can imagine that this will be a running gag throughout the season, and if it’s not, it should be. Technically, Forster is playing Sheriff Truman’s brother, Frank, while Ontkean’s character was Harry S. Truman. There might never be an explanation for his absence, and we’re entirely okay with that.

Michael Cera as Wally Brando

Finally, we couldn’t let this list pass without mentioning Michael Cera’s performance of a lifetime. Rocking up in part 4 as Wally Brando, son of Andy and Lucy, Cera is brilliantly funny, channelling his inner Marlon Brando. Outer, too, since he is dressed exactly as Marlon Brando from The Wild One. He even has the lisp, and tells Sheriff Frank Truman, that he’s come to pay his respects to his Godfather, Harry Truman.

The amount of Brando references packed into his short speech is more than impressive, and undoubtedly Andy and Lucy’s love for the method actor goes a long way towards their son’s obsession; they tell Deputy Hawk that they nearly named him Marlon.

The long, uncomfortable silences as Frank Truman tries to think of something to say other than “good seeing you again, Wally,” are toe-curling, further exacerbated by the sheer pride Andy and Lucy have for their lisping son and his jauntily placed cap. Lynch is a master of horror and surrealism, but also humor, and this short scene steals the show.

Next: Twin Peaks: Why is Dale Cooper Evil?

 

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