Welcome back to “The Waiting Room”. As we’ve announced through our social media, we are splitting up coverage of the many plot threads currently happening in Twin Peaks: The Return and in case you’ve missed it, here’s the schedule. On Mondays, this feature will cover all of the happenings in the actual town of Twin Peaks as well as the FBI’s story (which Doppel-Coop/Mr C / Sailor Ripley’s older brother falls into by way of Parts 3 & 4). On Tuesdays Eileen will be following Agent Cooper Classic in his post-Red Room adventures, currently as Dougie Jones (Hellllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooo!) in a feature called “Homeward Bound”. On Wednesdays, our newest staff member Laura, will be following the South Dakota murder mystery in a feature called “Who Killed Ruth Davenport?” This is all in addition to the actual episode reviews that the amazingly talented Justin will be putting out every Tuesday. Since Justin provides the blow by blow detail in his recap, I will not be doing that here. In this weekly feature, I will be doing light recapping with an emphasis on analysis and theorizing. With no further ado, lets tackle Parts 1-4.
Those were more simple days. You know, back when Sheriff Harry S. Truman and the gang were solving the murder of the molested by her Dad / Demon Killer Homecoming Queen. Back when it was easy to figure out who was running drugs across the Canadian border. Back when…you get the point. Most of our time spent in Twin Peaks was spent with the Harry S. Truman-less police department. There is a new Sheriff Truman in town though and whether he’s responsible for it or just adapted with, there’s been a lot of changes in the police department. Hawk is now Deputy Chief, which is a good change.
Former coke dealing murderer Bobby Briggs is currently donning a uniform, which is a change I’m really enjoying so far. That’s about it for the good though. The police department has a wide divide (accidental rhyme but I’m rolling with it) between the old regime and the new. When Sheriff Frank Truman finally arrives on the scene in Part 4, he dismisses Lucy’s Lucy-ness in a way Harry never would have. Frank has a very modern day looking team working behind the scenes at the station he seems much more invested in than the stalwarts from his brother’s time in charge. This divide most certainly is playing into the larger theme of small-town values, quirks and charm being lost in today’s world. Twin Peaks was always considered immune from that. Perhaps “The Return” will shed light on whether or not Twin Peaks is actually different from every other town in this country.
In Parts 1 & 2, The Log Lady reaches out to Hawk in an attempt to have Hawk find something that is missing in the Agent Cooper disappearance case. The Log Lady tells Hawk that only he can figure this out and it’s because of his heritage. For those keeping score at home, this was the first of many times that Mark Frost let us know that his book The Secret History of Twin Peaks was important and should be treated as such. Hawk takes this message seriously and is up to the challenge. During his personal investigation, Hawk found himself at the circle of Sycamore’s and saw the same red curtains our beloved Coop walked into and never walked out of 25 years ago. Hawk did not go in. Prediction: Cooper will find his way back to Twin Peaks before he’s found himself again. Hawk is going to know what to do when Cooper makes it back to town.
The brothers Horne have thus far only had one scene in the first four parts but damn was it memorable. I have gone on the record and called their scene “The Return’s version of the smashed TV at the beginning of Fire Walk With Me“. I stand by that a week later and one more viewing down. In this scene – one of the very first scene of Part 1—the Horne brothers told the audience the score on “The Return”. Yeah, the faces are the same. Yeah, some old storylines are going to pay off. But don’t be fooled: We are not going back to do a reunion special. Ben and Jerry have evolved, and the show has too. Just like how Ben now speaks of his secretary’s beautiful soul instead of trying to sleep with her, Twin Peaks is going to Buckhorn, SD instead of the Double R Diner. That doesn’t mean that Ben might not change his tune later and the show will definitely stop by to see Norma but a nostalgia act, this isn’t. This is something fresh, something new and not a greatest hits tour.
Jumping back to Bobby Briggs as a police officer. There was a moment when he stopped in the conference room and saw Laura Palmer’s picture as part of Hawk’s assorted evidence. For how groundbreaking and forward thinking the show has been thus far, to have Bobby breakdown and cry at the sight of Laura’s picture brought the show back to its original emotional core. In that scene right there with Bobby crying while Angelo’s haunting “Laura’s Theme” struck us harder than it has since the Pilot episode, David Lynch and Mark Frost made us a promise: Laura Palmer is still crucial to this show, even 25 years later. She is still our core.
So what’s up with Dr Jacoby and the golden shovels? Working on theories for that one still. Hopefully Googling “golden shovels” does not give me search results for “golden showers” because that would just be weird. Jacoby living in a very rural setup with his homemade contraptions was certainly a far cry from how we last saw him. Was the death of Laura Palmer the beginning of a change in him? Or is this another result of changes in society and the older generation not liking where things are headed, digging their heels in opposition to the direction the next generation wants to go?
I’ve loved how all four parts have ended at the Roadhouse with a different musical act. It’s been a bit of bummer that we haven’t seen more familiar faces since the end of Part 2 when we saw Shelly talking about her daughter’s dating troubles ( has Shelly’s daughter found herself a next-gen Leo?) and James arrived on the scene, prompting Shelly to drop the line the entire Twin Peaks community knows was a shot at the James haters of the world: “James has always been cool”. The long-deceased Jacques was tending bar in that scene (with a different first name in the credits). Let’s face it: Lynch had a soft spot for the actor an gave him a cameo. No theory here. I think David Lynch just did a beautiful thing. For my money, that scene in the closing act of Part 2 was perfection. Lynch and Frost had just taken us for a ride, taking us far outside both Twin Peaks and our comfort zone. We finally got to breathe and smile with James and Shelly, 25 years later and a song that could not have been any more perfect. That fact that is was James and Shelly—two characters that had no relationship whatsoever made the scene even better. We weren’t speculating as to what they were thinking and what had happened in all the missing years. We were just happy to be home.
Now for the next part of this feature, let’s hang out with Doppel-Coop or Mr C as he’s known in some circles.
Doppel-Coop’s adventures have been well documented and theorized about both here on this site as well as all over the internet. (If you want to read some amazing analysis on this character, please check out https://25yearslatersite.com/2017/05/25/a-first-look-into-doppelganger-cooper-and-bob-and-what-that-says-about-leland-palmer/. and also https://25yearslatersite.com/2017/05/29/the-magician-longs-to-see-a-theoretical-framework-for-season-3/. Both John and Brien are two incredible writers we are lucky to have working on the site. For the purposes of what I’m writing about, its Doppel-Coop’s connection to the FBI.
We saw a series of scenes in Parts 1 & 2 where Doppel-Coop was obviously using low level, way under the radar criminals to help him carry out his plans. Part of those plans we came to find out included not being forced to return to the Black Lodge. After killing Darya, one of the low-level criminals he had been using to carry out his plans, Doppel-Coop logged on to an FBI database and had a conversation with someone he at first to believe was the long lost Phillip Jefferies. During the course of that conversation, the man on the other end of the line lost Doppel-Coop’s trust by saying things like “I can’t wait to be reunited with Bob once again”.
Now, let’s stop and ask ourselves how many people would want to be reunited with Bob? At first, there was only one name that popped out to me: Mike, the one-armed man himself and Bob’s former partner. Then I thought about it further. Perhaps someone wants to be reunited with Bob because they want revenge. Maybe its someone desperately seeking atonement for his actions in years past—actions Bob had a hand in. That same someone who told Agent Cooper to find Laura when he left the Lodge. Leland Palmer is on a quest for redemption folks, in my humble opinion at least. I believe he was on the other end of the phone and wants Bob to come home so he can seek his revenge and perhaps salvation.
Doppel-Coop nearly was forced back into the Black Lodge but alas, his plan involving my new favorite character Dougie Jones worked. (For more on Dougie, please check out Eileen’s feature Homeward Bound, due out on Tuesdays). Staying out of the Lodge had its price though: Doppel-Coop wrecked his car, leading to incarceration and the return of our favorite G-Men (and women) to the story.
We picked up with the FBI team, lead by Gordon Cole and flanked by his most trusty longtime companion Albert—along with new addition to the team, Agent Tammy Preston. For those keeping score at home, Mark Frost heard every single criticism you had of Agent Preston in his book and referred you to Parts 3 & 4 of the series. Was she young and perhaps inexperienced? Yes. Did the returning and ever so amazing Denise Bryson question Cole’s motives on bringing her along? Yes, she did. Does Agent Preston seem to be just outside the loop but close enough that Gordon wants her to work her way in? Absolutely. I do believe Cole’s motives are pure, even when Albert admires her very shapely presence shaking and moving in ways that could light socks on fire. I am convinced now more so than ever that Cole gave her the assignment in The Secret History of Twin Peaks for the same reason she came along with Cole and Albert here: she’s getting a chance to earn her spot. Unfortunately for her, given the track record of agents close to Cole and Albert, would you really want to earn a spot on that team?
Before our beloved FBI agents went to South Dakota to meet the man we know as Doppel-Coop, Agent Preston presented crime scene photos of the “Glass Box Killings” in New York City. How much of a crossover we get between those storylines remains to be seen, but it gives me hope as I’m really intrigued by what’s happening in the Big Apple. The FBI was also investigating a Senator that murdered his wife, which may or may not have been political or social commentary. I’ll let you be the judge of that.
When Gordon and the gang arrive to see the man they have been told is Agent Cooper but is actually his much more evil doppelganger, the writing is on the wall that something is up. Cole and Albert are clearly uneasy at how in-Cooper like Doppel-Coop is, who claims to have been working undercover with Phillip Jefferies for all these years and says he needs to be debriefed on everything having to do with Jefferies. At this point, it’s hard to come to any conclusions as to the relationship between Doppel-Coop and Jefferies but its one to monitor. Albert threw fuel on the fire in the final scene when he revealed to Gordon that many years ago he released information to Cooper about “their man in Columbia” and the man wound up dead a few days later. The scene ends with Gordon and Albert discussing how this situation can only be described as “Blue Rose”. Our heroes know the score now. How it unfolds from here is anyone’s guess.
To wrap things up here, we got a lot in Parts 1-4 that explored new territory, played with concepts we had dreamt about for years and then our heartstrings were tugged at. I wanted to conclude “The Waiting Room” with an acknowledgement that if those were the final scenes we get to see with The Log Lady, then what a way to go. Her scenes with Hawk would have been emotional without the knowledge that she had passed. Knowing that she is no longer with us took it to another level. In a world full of truck drivers, there was only one Log Lady, and I’m grateful we got to say goodbye. Until next week…