Well here we are, friends! It’s part 7 of our favorite sprawling epic mystery! This was a surprisingly plot-heavy installment and moved along rather briskly. Let’s get to it.
YEP, HE IS STILL DOUGIE: Agent Dale Cooper is still in bumbling, stumbling zombie-mode, trapped in the guise of Dougie. How much longer will it be until our protagonist ‘wakes up’? Cooper is not nearly as much fun this week as he had been previously. He sits at his desk at work and continues to draw chutes and ladders all over everything while co-worker Tony looks on. Tony questions Cooper about his meeting with the boss, then the police show up to relay information about Dougie’s car, or what’s left of it after the explosion. Wife Of The Year Janey-E arrives at the office just in time to answer the policemen’s questions, which is a good thing because Cooper is still in no condition to do anything other than his usual shtick of standing around and repeating other people’s sentence fragments. Janey-E and Cooper finish with the cops and head out of the building so they can return home and have dinner with Sonny Jim. Suddenly, Ike the Spike comes running at Cooper with a gun! Who gave this guy a gun? Cooper instinctively switches into ninja mode to quickly subdue his attacker and while doing so, he sees a vision of The Arm screaming ‘Squeeze his hand off!’ Cooper very nearly does so and Ike the Spike runs off, leaving a decent hunk of flesh from his hand molded to the gun on the sidewalk.
This is all we get from Cooper’s story this week. He has evaded death this time, but will Ike be back for another ambush? Maybe Ike will be replaced by a more efficient assassin? And isn’t Janey-E such a loyal, capable wife? She is so versatile. She cooks dinner. She negotiates with criminals. She stands up to the police. She punches angry little men in the head. She is easy on the eyes. She’s a keeper.
HEY, REMEMBER THAT MURDER CASE IN BUCKHORN WITH MATTHEW LILLARD?: Lieutenant Knox arrives in Buckhorn and receives the news that the headless body has been identified as Major Garland Briggs. However, it’s the dead body of a man in his 40’s and if Garland Briggs had died recently, he should be in his 70’s. What does this all mean? Bad Cooper could have faked Briggs death in the fire years ago, then forced Briggs to commit a bunch of murders for the next 25 years, all the while somehow preventing Briggs from aging. Does that even make sense? Maybe Briggs has been dead all along and his fingerprints were planted at various murder scenes so Bad Cooper could taunt the military. This plan would involve Briggs’ dead body being frozen somehow. Can you repeatedly freeze and defrost a body that many times in a 25 year span? Or maybe the real answer to this mystery is something we can’t even begin to imagine.
Oh, and apparently the charred man who disappeared from his jail cell back in the premiere is now walking around the halls of the police station. No one seems to notice this except for Lt. Knox, and she doesn’t seem to think it is weird. BUT IT IS OH SO VERY WEIRD.
MEANWHILE, IN TWIN PEAKS: Jerry Horne is high and lost in the woods. Not too sure what the point of this scene was but it’s the first thing that we see in the episode so it’s forcing me to believe that there is some importance to it that I’m just not aware of yet. Andy talks to a local yokel who owns the truck that Richard was driving when he ran down the little boy last week. The flannel-wearing rube sets up a meeting with Andy at Sparkwood & 21 at 4:30pm to discuss the matter further, but Andy is stood up and just spends half an hour at the meeting place standing there and staring at his watch. Well we have our Richard and our Linda and our 430. Those were the premonitions that the Giant gave to Cooper in the Lodge in the very first scene of the season. So why didn’t anything happen at Sparkwood & 21? All of these clues seem to surround the hit-and-run death of the boy. How does Agent Cooper fit into any of this? More and more questions and we don’t have enough information to figure any of this out yet.
At the sheriff’s station, Hawk shows Frank Truman the pages of Laura’s diary that he found hidden in the bathroom stall. THERE IT IS IN THE DIARY, ALL THESE YEARS LATER. Annie’s warning to Laura that ‘The good Dale is in the Lodge and he can’t leave’. Hawk assumes that Leland Palmer must have ripped out the diary pages and hidden them at the station so his secret identity as BOB wouldn’t be discovered. Frank wonders how Laura could have written about Cooper and Annie if she’d never met them. Viewers who haven’t seen ‘Fire Walk With Me’ wonder what the hell is going on.
Frank decides to talk to the two people who saw Cooper after he returned from ‘that place’ all those years ago. He calls his brother but unfortunately, Harry seems to be in the middle of a medical treatment. So he decides to Skype-call Doc Hayward, who is still practicing medicine on the ‘other side of the river’. The good doc tells Frank that the last time he saw Cooper was in the intensive care unit of the hospital, the day after Cooper returned from the Lodge. Doc Hayward speculates that Cooper may have been visiting a comatose Audrey in the hospital. Did Bad Cooper really pay Audrey a visit before leaving town? Fans are already theorizing that Bad Cooper may have raped Audrey as she lay there in a coma, and this act of sexual violence resulted in the birth of…YOU GOT IT…Richard Horne, everyone’s favorite drug-dealing child killer. I admit that this is a possibility, although I really hope this theory does not pan out. Audrey and Dale had one of the most special and enduring non-sexual relationships in television history. It saddens me to think their friendship would have ended with a rape, even if it wasn’t really Dale Cooper committing the crime. There is already so much darkness in Twin Peaks, I would rather not travel down another depressing rapey rabbit hole. The sweet and lovely heroine of our show being raped by an evil doppelgänger of the man she once loved and subsequently giving birth to a half-human, half-Lodge demon? The only bright spot in this theory is that if Audrey DID end up pregnant after Bad Cooper’s visit, she would have been in a coma and unaware of what happened. Which means that she probably just assumed that John Justice Wheeler was the boy’s father. If only Audrey was around town these days to shed some light on all this. Which reminds me, WHERE IS AUDREY? I need to see her angelic face again.
At the Great Northern Hotel, Ben and his assistant Beverly try to find the source of a strange ringing tone that has been been plaguing the hotel for the past week. COME ON, THIS HAS TO BE JOSIE, RIGHT? I will die a happy man if I can just see Joan Chen’s face in the drawer pull again (I do not ask for much in life). Beverly gives Ben the key that Jade the Friendly Hooker sent in the mail. Ben recalls that the key belongs to the room where Cooper was shot, but otherwise he doesn’t think much of the key returning to the hotel after all this time. BEN, PLEASE DON’T DISCARD THE KEY. This key was supposed to be how Hawk and the FBI find Cooper and bring him back to Twin Peaks. THIS KEY MEANS EVERYTHING. I hope that Hawk stops by the Great Northern soon, or else we may be stuck with Dougie Jones forever.
Beverly leaves the hotel and returns home, where she is greeted at her doorstep by Marge. Marge has been looking after a mysterious man who is staying at Beverly’s home. Who could this man be? Harry Truman? Windom Earle? I was on the edge of my seat as Beverly entered her house. AND TO MY SURPRISE, THE MAN IS…Tom, her husband. Some guy we have never seen before who is sick and in a wheelchair and who is angry and suspicious that his wife is coming home late. Tom questions Beverly, Beverly yells back at Tom. Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed by this scene. We are almost halfway through the season and we are being teased with big revelations, but instead we are spending time with yet another new character who we probably won’t see again for three or four episodes. Speaking of characters we haven’t seen for three or four episodes, what happened to James and Bobby and Nadine? I really hope we get to spend some time with our old friends before the season is over.
Suddenly, we are back at the Roadhouse. Booker T and the MG’s song ‘Green Onions’ plays as we watch a man sweep cigarette butts off the floor for what feels like the entire length of the song. I felt like this was all going to lead into some sort of beer commercial. I swear that song has been used to sell beer before, right? However, this scene does serve as an excellent tutorial on how to sweep properly. It is nice to see minimum wage labor so effectively portrayed onscreen. Jean-Michel Renault talks on the phone at the bar, apparently some dude is calling to voice a complaint about the 15-year-old prostitutes he received. How many prostitutes are in this small town anyway? In my hometown, we just had one prostitute. She was about 65 years old and lived in an old ice cream truck. Meanwhile, Twin Peaks has more whores than you can shake a stick at. At least Jean-Michel is carrying on the Renault family traditions of running the Roadhouse and being a creepy pervert.
Last but not least, we are back at the RR Diner. Some guy runs in yelling ‘Has anybody seen Billy?’, then customers eat pie and drink coffee while we listen to ‘Sleep Walk’ by Santo & Johnny. I kept waiting for some other bizarre thing to happen, but it turns out that we just get the end credits.
ENTER DIANE: Gordon and Albert visit Diane at her apartment. Diane is NOT the warm, friendly woman I had imagined her to be for the past 20 odd years. She likes to drink. She likes to smoke. She likes to say ‘fuck’ a lot. Gordon manages to convince her to fly to South Dakota to talk to ‘Cooper’ in prison. During the flight, Agent Preston shows Gordon and Albert the unusual backwards fingerprints that were taken from Bad Cooper. Gordon recognizes a pattern with the whole ‘backwards’ motif that is occurring and tries to explain this to Agent Preston by doing some weird demonstration with her hands. He tells her about the ‘spiritual finger’. Is this a real thing or just Gordon Cole being an oddball?
At Yankton Federal Prison, Diane finally comes face to face with Bad Cooper. She asks him about the last time they saw each other, which was at her apartment many years before. Bad Cooper speaks in monotone to his former secretary: ‘I think you’re upset with me, Diane.’ Diane’s face twists and turns and she achingly pleads ‘WHO ARE YOU?’ The meeting does not last long, and soon Diane is outside the prison and taking comfort in Gordon’s arms. She is convinced that the man in jail is NOT the Dale Cooper she once knew. Something is missing deep inside, something in his heart. Gordon asks Diane about the last time she saw Cooper, and it is suggested that something horrible occurred. Did Bad Cooper take advantage of Diane? Did he beat her or rape her? Could it be something else? Whatever it was, Diane seems scarred by her memories of the past, but promises Gordon that they will have a talk about it later. On his way out of the prison, Gordon tells Warden Murphy to ‘hold this man until you hear from me’. Which is funny because…
WARDEN MURPHY LETS BAD COOPER GO FREE: Bad Cooper requests a meeting with the warden. In the seclusion of the warden’s camera-free office, Bad Cooper presents his knowledge of what happened to ‘the late Mr. Strawberry’ and a man named Joe McCluskey. Whatever these names mean to the warden, the fact that Bad Cooper knows about them scares the hell out of Murphy. ‘Cooper’ is able to blackmail the warden, getting himself a car and a release from jail (along with the release of his co-hort Ray — remember him?). That night, at 1am, Ray and Bad Cooper drive away from the prison and into the night. What could possibly happen next?
MORE THINGS THAT HAPPENED:
— So many references to the original series in this episode: Annie and Leland. Jacques’ murder. Audrey and the bank explosion. Josie shooting Agent Cooper. It was fantastic and it really feels like a homecoming is in order.
— It’s funny to watch Sheriff Truman type on his keyboard, only using one finger.
— What did everyone think of Diane? I thought that Laura Dern was perfect in the role, and I only hope that we see more of her.
— I imagine that ‘Mr. Strawberry’ could be the dog whose legs have been severed. Did Warden Murphy murder a man and his dog? Kill a man if you must, dude, but leave the animals out of it.
— I just want to note how much I love Janey-E. Especially her speech in this episode. ‘There’s more to life than cars! Too many cars, too much going on!’ She is going to be the break-out star of the Dougie Jones spinoff series.
— As amazing as this episode was in its entirety, Warren Frost was the standout for me. It warmed the cockles of my heart to hear him talk about his breakfast: eggs and English muffin with huckleberry jam. Not to mention the two brown trout he found in his pjs.
— I loved Beverly’s question to Ben: ‘Who’s Laura Palmer?’ As memorable as Laura may have been for the past 25 years to fans of the show, in real life she would just be a girl who got murdered a long time ago. A crime that a lot of the townspeople would barely remember or even know about. That’s very true to how things work in this world.
That’s it for this week, friends. If you need me, I’ll be selling huckleberry jam at a roadside stand at the corner of Sparkwood & 21. Hang loose, Haoles!