As if a magical pixie fog had descended on the town overnight, romance is a-bloomin' in Twin Peaks, with newbies Heather Graham & Billy Zane moving in like Peregrine Falcons on Coop & Audrey. And who can blame them? As two of the most interesting and distinctive characters on the show, I suspect the two of them find their answering machines overflowing with advances when the weekend comes around. Nonetheless, nothing can keep Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) from releasing all of her sublimely honed feminine charms on Billy Zane, A.K.A. Jonathan Wheeler. The chemistry created by Zane & Fenn is a true testament to their inventive talents, and it is a delight to listen to the effortless flow of their conversation. Meanwhile, Coop and Gordon Cole find true love of their own, but not with each other, surprisingly. Cole discovers Shelley is the only one he can hear properly, and thank God, otherwise we would have to continue to endure his humorous albeit relentless yelling, played with abandon by David Lynch himself. Coop finds himself beaming at Annie (Graham), Norma's sister who fled her convent to discover, as Arrested Development puts it, the "secular world", takes a clumsy swing at Cooper, flashing her pretty blues and playing coy. Graham occasionally rolls through her lines with the singsong fakeness of a bad high school actor, but she does have a few nice moments chatting with Coop, which may fill the void created by the (temporary?) squelching of Coop & Audrey's verboten romance. Although the romantic elements of the show occasionally grind the momentum to a halt, for the most part it works in this episode.
Director Duwayne Dunham, or 3D as he'd like to be called, paints a crisp, dark, yet graceful portrait of the mystical scenes surrounding the show. The opening panning shot creeps slowly across a detailed background, allowing the viewer to participate three-dimensionally (so 3D, its official now, right?). The spelunking scenes in the Owl Cave have an appropriate amount of tension, enhanced by the sensual delights of the textured shots within the cave, no small feat considering the lighting difficulties. Dunham fosters a mysterious ambience with a lush and stimulating visual environment. His directorial talents prove an excellent fit for the eccentric artistic stylings of David Lynch & his band of misfits.
The spelunking trip provides a much needed injection of mysticism & suspense, with what appear to be significant clues to revealing the driving force behind the violence in Twin Peaks, specifically the significance of the markings reported on Major Briggs and the Log Lady. It is refreshing after moments of malaise in the middle of the second season, mostly due to the show getting bogged down in its sillier elements. Most importantly, "On the Wings of Love" rewards the loyal Twin Peaks fan, occasionally battered through the challenge of such an eccentric show, with the elements which attracted the viewers originally: mystical enigmas & cheeky pop drama, all wrapped in a stylish Lynch package.