Lost in the Movies: The Road House Patrons (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #75)

The Road House Patrons (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #75)

The TWIN PEAKS Character Series surveys one hundred ten characters from the series Twin Peaks (1990-91 on ABC and 2017 on Showtime as The Return), the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), and The Missing Pieces (2014), a collection of deleted scenes from that film. A new character study will appear every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday although patrons will have immediate access to each entry a month before it goes public. There will be spoilers.

Who knows what's going on in the dark booths of the Road House?

during each performance...

Charlotte & Elizabeth w/ Trouble
Four young women, teenagers by the looks of them, sit at their booth and eagerly but nervously eye the young man smoking and sitting by himself in the next booth over. The two on the bench touching this mostly empty booth, Elizabeth and Charlotte, are the most engaged. Charlotte, tall with her hair in low-hanging pigtails, moves first: "Can I have a light?" she asks plaintively. The smoker, with a faint snarl, invites her over and before she's even sat down, he grabs her violently by the waist and throat, snarling insults and threats. Elizabeth demands that he let her go and he sneers at her forthrightness, continuing to physically assault Charlotte as no one else in the bar pays any attention.

Chloe & Ella w/ Hudson Mohawke & Au Revoir Simone
Furiously scratching an underarm rash and chugging a to-all-appearances completely empty beer can, Ella explains her employment situation to her pal Chloe, who she hasn't seen in a while. Fired from a burger joint for reasons that mystify her, Ella is happy to report that she's been hired at another restaurant across the street. The two laugh and banter back and forth using animal names - "Zebra's out again"..."Have you seen that penguin" - which apparently mystify (if also amuse) even them.

Natalie, Abbie & Trick w/ Chromatics
Natalie cheerfully swigs her bottle of beer but becomes infuriated when Abbie tells her that their friend Clark, who's been developing a relationship with Angela, has been making out with Mary in full view of the Road House. Both worry about how this will affect Angela, who's off her meds; their conversation is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Trick, who pops into the booth next to Natalie and describes the recent vehicular near-miss that has him shaken. Apparently a car with its high beams on ran him off the road; desperately needing a drink, Trick offers to buy Natalie and Abbie beers as well. As he leaps out of the booth, Abbie wonders if he's still under house arrest but Natalie informs her that that's "behind him now - he's a free man," with a twinkle in her eye suggesting her interest in the prospect.

Sophie & Morgan w/ MC & Lissie
Against an unusually silent soundscape (the MC only comes on to announce the singer at the end of their exchange), the vaguely surly Sophie pushes her friend Morgan not to "go back to that nuthouse" and worries about her doing drugs there. Not so reassuringly, Morgan says she isn't, but that she's "flying in my own room." She then describes a recent incident involving her mother and uncle, where a man named Billy leapt over their fence and stormed into their kitchen where he bled all over their sink before fleeing again. Morgan notes that her mother and Billy "had a thing" that she only noticed recently, and Sophie presses her on her mother's name - which is apparently Tina. The music kicks in at this moment.

Ruby w/ The Veils
All alone in her booth, the slight, gangly Ruby suddenly finds herself surrounded by two towering bikers. "I'm waiting for someone," she preemptively protests before the burly men, with a surprising combination of gentleness and aggression, lift her out of her seat, place her on the floor, and take the booth for themselves. Ruby sits there for a moment before slowly crawling through the crowd, pausing as the performers reach a crescendo, and letting loose a primordial scream beneath the Road House strobe.

Other characters the Road House patrons interact with onscreen…

Richard Horne w/ Charlotte & Elizabeth

Impressions of TWIN PEAKS through the Road House patrons
Perhaps no character or group of characters offers a purer vision of Twin Peaks than the strangers in this familiar location. Arguably, they are among the most peripheral members of the ensemble...but then again, actually, aren't we the ones who are peripheral in these scenarios? The characters, with their cryptic references and unexplained backstories, are perfectly comfortable with their own lives; we are interlocutors kept at a purposeful distance by David Lynch's affection for obscurity and mystery. With this gesture, the character reinforce a larger tendency in The Return which sets it apart from the original Twin Peaks. The old series was eager to ingratiate us with the townspeople even as it cultivated an aura of uncertainty around them. We learned their secrets and wondered if they were hiding more from us, but we felt like we knew them. Now, twenty-five years later, even those old standbys have grown distant - we eavesdrop on Shelly and Bobby, spy on Norma and Ed, and wonder what Jacoby is up to. How much more pronounced this elusive quality is with the people we've never even met before! The Road House ensemble can trace its roots back to the very earliest Lynch work with dialogue: in the early seventies The Amputee, he shows Catherine Coulson writing a letter stuffed with names and incidents for which we don't have any context. This fondness for oblique drama plays itself out in many of Lynch's subsequent works and arguably reaches its apotheosis in the third season's Road House one-offs. Even the one sequence which appears to play a part in the larger narrative - the smoking babies' encounter with Richard - teases a further plotline which never materializes. (Indeed, it's one of the most esoteric of all these sequences even as it may be in fact be the most key to an outside story, linking up to another Horne and her cast of unseen associates.) If Twin Peaks has always toyed with the borderline between soap operatic character investment and the treatment of dramatic elements as moody abstraction, the Road House patrons decidedly tip the scales toward the latter.

The Road House patrons’ journey
Considering that the first Road House scene involves (indeed, introduces) a character whose storyline will continue throughout the series, we could view the arc of this ensemble as developing from centrality to obscurity. Furthermore, we begin with a fairly crowded scene - at least three important characters, up to seven if we consider everyone who plays any role whatsoever (five if we leave out Chad and the waiter, whom I haven't really considered in this entry). We then end with a pretty pared-own encounter between a single character and two more anonymous presences; Ruby is as alone in her disorientation as Charlotte is both encumbered (Richard) and assisted (Elizabeth) by her compatriots. So the Road House journey could also take us from a shared community to an atomized alienation. Either way, the scenes definitely appear to become stranger as the series unfolds. Dramatically, it's hard to chart a clear trajectory since every sequence involves different characters. Lynch repeatedly inflates a balloon and then quickly lets the air out before inflating another: these interactions don't form any coherent whole, and that's the point. Interestingly, however, the scenes do build toward the climax of Ruby's scream - a release that many other characters seem to long for but are unable to achieve. Moreover, the scenes arguably become more suggestively related to the bigger picture as they proceed (despite the more direct relation of Charlotte/Elizabeth to the mainline characters): Megan alludes to Audrey's storyline (mentioning both Billy and Tina) while Ruby echoes Cooper's crawl across the Jones carpet earlier in that same episode. The further we get from straightforward existence within The Return's chronology, the closer we come to the heart of its thematic concerns.

Actress: Grace Victoria Cox
Cox arrived in L.A. to pursue acting about a decade ago, while still in high school. Inspired by her grandmother, a performer in Kentucky who passed away right before Cox got her big break, the actress' early trajectory reads like a fusion of the two characters in Mulholland Drive. Herself a bright-eyed ingenue chasing a Hollywood dream from far out of town, she quickly landed a prominent role in the 2014 second season of the Stephen King adaptation Under the Dome (2014) as Melanie Cross, an amnesiac whose mysterious past may hold the key to a larger tangled web. What most likely caught Lynch's (or his casting director's) eye, however, was the short commercial film Here Now which Gregg Araki directed for the fashion brand Kenzo that same year; it starred no fewer than three future Peaks actors: Cox, Nicole LaLiberte (who plays Darya), and Jane Levy (see below). In 2016 and 2018, Cox played famous figures associated with serial killers: Manson Family alum and would-be Gerald Ford assassin Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme in the TV movie Manson's Lost Girls and Ted Bundy's would-be victim, the escaped Carol Daronch, in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.

Araki brought her back, along with LaLiberte, for guest appearances in his Peaks-inspired Now Apocalypse and around the same time Cox was cast in her two biggest series roles, both of which ran into major real world roadblocks. The first, a remake of Heathers with Cox as murderous lead Veronica Sawyer (the part Winona Ryder made famous in the eighties), was repeatedly scrapped, re-scheduled, and eventually re-cut due to a run of school shootings throughout 2018. Though a second season was scripted, Paramount announced it had no plans to continue the series despite not officially cancelling it. Cox also starred as Lexie in the The Society, whose Lord of the Flies-esque premise bears some similarity to Under the Dome: teenagers are suddenly left to fend for themselves and establish a social order in their rural small town after everyone older and younger miraculously disappears. A success, the show was commissioned for a second season until Netflix regretfully cancelled those plans in 2020, citing logistical concerns related to the pandemic lockdown and supply shortages. (series pictured: Heathers, 2018)

Actress: Jane Levy
Despite her tiny role in Twin Peaks, Levy was already an acclaimed series lead in 2017 - albeit on a show that was already being written about as a "forgotten masterpiece" a year before The Return even premiered. A talented youth soccer player and Stella Adler Conservatory alum who chose acting over athletics, Levy left a promising recurring role (Mandy Milkovich) on Shameless in 2011 in order to play the re-located Manhattanite Tessa Altman in three seasons of Suburgatory. Despite struggling in the ratings, the droll sitcom received such rapturous media attention that Levy landed on Forbes' "Thirty under 30" along with several similar lists in various publications that year. She also made a name for herself in the horror films of Fede Alvarez, including Evil Dead and Don't Breathe. Despite a steady stream of movie roles, Levy has continued to focus on television. She played Johnny Carson's talent coordinator Joy Greenfield in the one-off season of There's... Johnny! and the small town historian Jackie Torrance in Castle Rock's first season (interesting to note a Shining connection in both shows; intentionally in the latter case, since - mild spoilers, I guess - Jackie turns out to be the famous character's niece). Levy co-starred with Renee Zellweger as a biotech CEO in the miniseries What/If... and then kicked off the 2020s with her most exciting, hyped, high-profile character and series since Suburgatory. In Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, a software developer gets trapped in an MRI during an earthquake and emerges with the ability to hear other people's innermost thoughts in the form of show-stopping musical numbers. While the relatively daring NBC comedy won an enthusiastic following, the network cancelled it after the second season rather than move it to the Peacock streaming service, as many had expected. As silver lining, however, Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas became the Roku Channel's first-ever original film late in 2021. (series pictured: Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, 2020)

Actress: Karolina Wydra
A Polish emigre who moved to Orange County with her parents a few years after the collapse of Communism, Wydra began modeling as a teenager in the late nineties. She shifted to acting in her mid-twenties, debuting in the quirky Michel Gondry comedy Be Kind Rewind (the first film reviewed on this site, incidentally!) and following up with the films Sugar, After (in which she's one of only two people left in her town), Crazy, Stupid, Love., Europa Report, Incarnate, and most recently as a hooker with a heart of gold alongside Nicholas Cage in A Score to Settle. Her steadiest work has been in recurring TV roles, including as Mara Paxton in five episodes of Justified, Karolina in eight episodes of Sneaky Pete, and Sasha Barinov in five episodes of Quantico. She was also part of the regular ensemble in the quickly cancelled Wicked City a couple years before Twin Peaks (as Dianne Gibbons, an undercover cop working vice). Aside from perhaps Justified, her most famous appearances may be Dominika House in six episodes of House (marrying the infamously jaundiced main character for her green card), Violet in fifteen episodes of True Blood (leading to this extended podcast interview detailing her life experience), and Izel in six episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That's her last credit from back in 2019, initially suggesting that Covid interrupted a flourishing career. However, her Instagram reveals another shift in focus for the actress who just turned forty; alongside posts calling attention to Ukraine, Uvalde, Black Lives Matter, and other causes, photos show her pregnant and then holding a newborn child. (series pictured: House M.D., 2011)

Actress: Sky Ferreira
The granddaughter of Michael Jackson's personal hairstylist (she "didn't know how big he was" until she was thirteen), Ferreira was discovered via MySpace as a teenage singer and signed to a label in the late 2000s. Ferreira's early start might suggest a prolific discography over the subsequent dozen years. Instead, as a self-described perfectionist (and also an eclectic artist dabbling or immersing herself in acting, filmmaking, and modeling), Ferreira spent years announcing, delaying, and re-titling her first album and even longer - nearly a decade at this point - on her sophomore effort. The consensus has been that the music is worth the wait, and in 2019 Pitchfork chose "Everything is Embarrassing" as the twelfth-best song of the waning decade, to which Ferreira responded that she would be "releasing new music right before the decade is over" although as Wikipedia drily notes, "This did not come to fruition." (Based on this character series alone, not to mention other projects, I can entirely relate to this tendency to proclaim, punt, proclaim, punt...)

The debut album Night Time, My Time - whose buzz-generating cover is featured above, albeit with an obstructing and removable title label - takes its title from one of Laura Palmer's lines in Fire Walk With Me; initially it was to be titled Wild at Heart. In 2014, Ferreira performed at a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation, noting that Transcendental Meditation "sort of saved my life" and declaring Lynch her "number one person in the world." Prior to working with her idol, she appeared in films like The Green Inferno and Elvis & Nixon; her most prominent role may be the main character's mother in Baby Driver, released around the same time as Peaks. After three back-to-back features in 2018, she returned to cinema in 2022 for the pandemic thriller 18 & Over; she also promised to finally release her second album by the end of the year although at the time of this writing, it remains pending. (album pictured: Night Time My Time, 2013)

Actress: Ana de la Reguera
Daughter of the former Miss Veracruz (who went on to become a TV journalist), de la Reguera became a regular on Mexican telenovelas in the nineties and early zeroes. Although IMDb lists hundreds of episodes of Azul, Pueblo chico, infierno grande, Desencuentro, Tantaciones, and Gitanas, among others, the site has been known to undercount soap operas so the actual number may be in the thousands. She won acclaim and awards for her TV work as well as films like Ladies Night, achieving fame in the Spanish-speaking world. Around thirty, she shifted gears, working in American films and TV as well as international modeling (as one of Cover Girl's new faces in 2008, among other promotions) - and returning to the Mexican stage for a highly-regarded production of Othello. Her English-language breakthrough was the Jack Black comedy Nacho Libre, in which she plays a nun who encourages a cook's dreams of professional wrestling. Comedies like Cop Out, Cowboys & Aliens, and the HBO series Eastbound & Down (in which she played Vida) followed, as did a recurring role as Elisa Alvaro in Narcos and several guest appearances in Jane the Virgin as Paola. De la Reguera's current project stars her as...herself (or at least a version of herself). In the Comedy Central/Amazon Prime series Ana, the creator/producer/actor mocks and exaggerates her own whirlwind acting career and family life - the promotional material shows her in fancy dress, sitting on a toilet. On the show, Ana lands (or becomes trapped in) the role of Morticia on a subpar but popular Addams Family revival only to find herself stifled by the predictability, miserable while everyone around her enjoys her success. In real life, the prolific, adventurous, and restless actress has charted out a third season to follow the recent second but plans to stop there, lest she share the character's fate. (film pictured: Nacho Libre, 2006)

Actress: Elizabeth Anweis
Anweis has been acting in film and TV for over twenty years - her first credit is as a masseuse in Rush Hour 2. But her career journey began much earlier when, as the teenage daughter of a Korean immigrant struggling with her identity, she seized upon modeling as a way to escape her Michigan town and support not just herself but her family. Heading to New York until she felt the siren song of palm trees and Hollywood and turned her car around to go west, Anweis spent several years struggling and doubting herself in L.A. before taking an acting class in a last-ditch effort at following her dream (if it didn't click, she'd return home). From there, she embraced the theater life and went on to big and small screen roles alike. Anweis discusses all of this and more in a rare 2021 interview; otherwise, she's one of the least documented actresses in the Road House. In addition to steady work in genre films, she's appeared as a guest in episodes of Law & Order: L.A., Grey's Anatomy, Parks and Rec, The Young and the Restless, Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, The Affair, 9-1-1, NCIS: Los Angeles, Westworld, and Animal Kingdom. Her biggest roles have been in the past few years, first in nine episodes of Batwoman as the title character's stepmother Catherine Hamilton-Kane and then as Natalie Foster, one of the central cast members of the upcoming Apple+ actioner Echo 3. (series pictured: Batwoman, 2019)

Actor: Scott Coffey
Coffey has had a quintessentially Gen X career - never mind that some demographers would place those born in '64 just outside the generational range (are you really going to call Keanu a boomer?!). After developing his craft in Hawaii (where he was raised), Coffey popped up on the periphery of the Hughesverse - part of Ferris Bueller's infamous roll call and with a small part in Some Kind of Wonderful - and was all over youth cinema of the late eighties in films like SpaceCamp, Satisfaction, Shag, and Zombie High, capping this stretch off in 1990 with six episodes as Randy Anderson on Fox's short-lived adaptation of The Outsiders. In the nineties he appeared in Wayne's World 2, the James Spader/Madchen Amick vehicle Dream Lover, and Tank Girl, where he met and befriended Naomi Watts. Coffey went on to direct her in his debut Ellie Parker a decade later. Comedically covering the trials and travails of a thirtysomething struggling actress, that project grew out of another film in which Watts played a similar character and in which Coffey shows up as well.

Near the end of Mulholland Drive, he's the one seated next to Diane Selwyn at the infamous dinner party, casually twisting the knife a little further to fuel her jealousy and despair. Coffey also appeared in the axed TV version of Mulholland (in a scene cut when the pilot was developed into a feature), his third Lynch appearance after another cut scene in Wild at Heart and as the frosted, spiky-haired member of Pete's entourage in Lost Highway. He has more dialogue in The Return, but his biggest role of all in the Lynchverse is behind a stuffy brown bunny costume, alongside Naomi Watts and Lara Elena Harring in Rabbits and Inland Empire. A verified member of the Lynch mafia who shows up in project after project, Coffey cites the director as a mentor. His own directorial work has continued his immersion in youth culture, this time with millennial and zoomer subjects, including Emma Roberts as a recently graduated writer seeking John Cusack's mentorship in Adult World and Jared Gilman as a teen Cyrano de Bergerac for the social media age in It Takes Three. (film pictured: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986)

Actress: Emily Stofle
If Coffey is the first Road House patron who could be considered a close Lynch acolyte, Stofle is about as a close as one can get - she's been married to the director since 2009 and is the mother of his daughter Lula. The couple met around the early stages of Inland Empire for an online project that Lynch was working on - linked through their mutual friend Eli Roth. Their connection deepened as he cast her in the Greek Chorus-like squad flittering in and out of the Laura Dern character(s') consciousness. Stofle rarely acts outside of occasional appearances for her husband, including several Inland-era digital shorts like Boat and Out Yonder and as a coffee-pouring waitress in his last-to-date film project What Did Jack Do? However, she also showed up in the 2014 meditation drama The Fourth Noble Thing (which stars her fellow Inland Valley Girl Kristen Kerr) and as the fictional "Bundy Victim" in 2001's Ted Bundy which makes her the second - or, chronologically, the first - Road House actress to face that serial killer onscreen, after Grace Victoria Cox in the more recent Bundy movie. Her work has mostly been elsewhere - at a gallery for a French artist in her early thirties and as co-founder of the charity organization Alliance of Moms after that - as well as within the mysterious folds of the Lynch home.

The 2018 Lynch memoir Room to Dream (part autobiography, part authorized biography by Kristine McKenna) offers some insight into the Lynch/Stofle relationship, almost entirely in the McKenna section. (Lynch is cryptic as always, simply stating, "Things change, and they changed when I met Emily.") After the early years of romance, the book describes a respectful, complementary arrangement, distanced by the division of parenting - largely Stofle's responsibility, by mutual understanding - and the pressures of The Return, during which Lynch moved to a separate part of the property to sleep and smoke, never returning to the main house. Published five years ago, prior the pandemic, this may be our last update on the delicate, subtle nature of Lynch's most intimate collaboration. In its pages, Chrysta Bell memorably comments that "Emily is a force of nature and he loves her and she gets it. There are kites and there are kite holders, and she's happy to be the kite holder and let her partner soar." (film pictured: Inland Empire, 2006)

Actress: Shane Lynch
Curiously, Stofle's scene partner is herself a Lynch - in this case, the daughter of Kelly Lynch, whose most famous role in Drugstore Cowboy cast her alongside several soon-to-be Peaksians. This Lynch was raised around the industry from childhood (in addition to her mother, her father Mitch Glazer is a writer) but only decided to pursue a career inside of it after majoring in history and writing her thesis on the French Revolution. Her feature work consists of Passion Play (written by her father) as well the lead role in the French-set thriller The Unlikely Girl (an interview with director and star is one of the few biographical resources online) alongside The Blackout, Men, Women & Children, and The Last Duel. She played Liv in three episodes of 90210 and Susie Klein in two episodes of Magic City, a show about early sixties Miami created by her father and featuring her mother as a regular cast member. Lynch has also shown up in episodes of Ray Donovan, Vikings, and Harry Wild while stepping into the role of script supervisor for three seasons of the animated series She-Ra and the Princess of Power. (series pictured: Magic City, 2013)

Actor: Charlyne Yi
About fifteen years ago, Yi began building a fledgling career as a stand-up comedian and performance artist and jack of all crafts - their website currently features sections for music, artwork, videos, and animations, among other categories. The whimsy of their sensibility perfectly suited the zeitgeist of hip youth subcultures in the late zeroes, inflected by older influences like Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola, expressing itself in phenomena like mumblecore and indie film, just beginning to branch out into the new world of online via blogs and YouTube. When Yi was rumored to be dating Michael Cera, Gawker dubbed them "America's Twee-hearts." The quasi-documentary Paper Hearts, which centered the duo's is-it-or-isn't-it-fictional romance, won Yi and the film's director Nicholas Jasenovec the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival; Vulture declared cheekily, "Sundance Jury Gives Screenwriting Award to Film Without Script." Having already shown up in 30 Rock, Knocked UpCloverfield, and Semi-Pro, Yi became a series regular on the eighth season of House, as Dr. Chi Park. Subsequent credits include This is 40, Jane the Virgin, and Block Party, as well as two or three episodes apiece on Love Bites (as "sex shop manager"), Love (Cori), Good Girls (Lucy), and Lucifer (Ray Ray/Azrael).

In the wake of the #MeToo movement which broke out a few months after the Twin Peaks episode (seemingly prefigured in their particular scene as with several others in the series), Yi began calling out other celebrities on social media for racist comments (David Cross), sexual misconduct (Marilyn Manson), and enablement of abuse (Seth Rogen). After Rogen denounced James Franco's own sexual misconduct, Yi recounted trying to quit Franco's film The Disaster Artist and Rogen offering bigger and more lucrative roles in the future if they stayed. In recent years especially, Yi has focused quite a bit on voiceover work, including Chloe in eighteen episodes of We Bare Bears, Alice and other characters in twenty-two episodes of Summer Camp Island, and Mai in the English dub of Next Gen, for which they received an Annie nomination. And then finally, there's Ruby...not the character lifted from that Road House booth in Twin Peaks but Ruby the Crystal Gem, a fuscia(ish) hothead (like Yi's House character) in eighteen episodes and the film of Steven Universe. (film pictured: Paper Heart, 2009)

Charlotte & Elizabeth in Part 5 (Showtime title: "Case files.")

Chloe & Ella in Part 9 (Showtime title: "This is the chair.")

Natalie, Abby & Trick in Part 12 (Showtime title: "Let's rock.")

Sophie & Megan in Part 14 (Showtime title: "We are like the dreamer.")

*Ruby in Part 15 (Showtime title: "There's some fear in letting go.")

The Road House patrons are onscreen for roughly fourteen minutes. They're in five scenes in five episodes. They're featured the most in part 14, when Sophie questions Megan about Billy and her mother. Their only location is, naturally, the Road House. They share the most screentime with the bands. They are not top ten characters in any episode. Within this category, the rankings are: Sophie and Megan with about three minutes; Chloe and Ella with about three minutes; Natalie, Abby, and Trick without about three minutes; Ruby with about two minutes, and Charlotte and Elizabeth with about a minute.

Best Scene
Part 15: Ruby is pulled from the booth and placed on the floor, where her odyssey only begins.

Best Line

Additional Observations

• Probably one of my more controversial decisions is to include Charlotte and Elizabeth with the other Road House patrons. In many ways, they are distinct: they appear before Part 8 rather than after, they don't have dialogue amongst themselves as most do (other than the solitary Ruby), and most importantly they aren't severed from the main ensemble of the show as the four other sequences are. Indeed, without the Richard scene, one could easily assign the entire Road House ensemble to the same no man's land that Audrey inhabits: a dream space that only touches the rest of Twin Peaks in poetic, allusive fashion. If I had to start from scratch and structure this series again, it's possible I might relegate those two to the minor character round-up and demote the remaining Road House patrons to around #79, between Jeffries and Beverly with about twelve minutes of screentime. Nonetheless, I stand by this decision. Even if they disrupt the standalone nature of the Road House pattern, Charlotte and Elizabeth feel like characters erupting from the side plot into the main narrative. We glimpse them briefly but in full flower as dramatically compelling individuals; for the moment they exist, they are stars rather than supporting players.

• For what it's worth the Charlotte/Elizabeth scene unfolds on Sunday, September 25, 2016; the rest of these interactions don't need to be dated as they don't exist in relation to anything else.

• As Richard strangles Charlotte, a girl in the booth behind them whispers in another girl's ear, in Laura-and-Cooper fashion. I don't know what this means but it feels significant.

• Ella's clearly empty beer can may be the inverse equivalent of Maddy's Cherry Coke in season one, as far as visually frustrating libations go.

• The Chloe and Ella scene is the only one in which it feels like the characters, as well as the viewers, don't really understand what's going on. At the very least, Chloe is mystified by Ella's evocation of the penguin even though she herself brought up the enigmatic zebra. (Both are black-and-white striped animals, make of that what you will...)

• In most of the Road House sequences, the characters' names are listed in the credits but never mentioned onscreen. This all the more ironic given the dialogue that invokes many unseen characters' names (Angela, Clark, Mary, Paula, Billy, Tina...).

• I can't remember which podcast observed this, but back when the season aired there was some suspicion about Megan's reaction to Sophie's question about her mother. Her hesitation before answering "Tina" (a name that Audrey brings up several episodes earlier) suggests that maybe she's lying. Could her mother, the one who "had a thing" with Billy, actually be named...Audrey? When Audrey shows up at the Road House in Part 16 and demands Charlie take her out of there, only to materialize in a mysterious white room, there's an implication that ripples out to all the other standalone Road House scenes. Have we been dipping into an alternate universe? One which is distinctly connected to Audrey's psychodrama? We may never know, and Lynch loves it that way.

Next (active on Wednesday, February 15 at 8am): Becky Burnett

To immediately read a month of upcoming entries, updated weekly to stay a month ahead...

(at the time of publication, this includes full entries on new or revised characters among #74 - 52)

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