A Violent Yet Flammable World: Episode 9 Review

After Part 8’s surrealistic tour-de-force, we come back down to Earth for a plot-heavy episode that moves the story along and also manages to tie together some plot threads that have been dangling in the netherworld for a while. It’s been two long weeks without Twin Peaks, let’s jump right in!

IMG_0465GOING UP THE COUNTRY: Bad Cooper has just had one hell of a night. Having survived shoulda-been-fatal gunshot wounds and a visit by otherworldly woodsmen, he arrives at The Farm and meets up with Hutch. Hutch is some sort of backwoods farmer who looks like he just stumbled out of a bluegrass festival. Cooper wants clean phones and he gets one, sending an ominous text to someone: ‘Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.’ It seems like something the Pioneer Woman from Food Network would text. It’s gotta be some bizarre code, right? Chantel the Slut is hanging out at The Farm too. Why does she want to make out with and have sex with Bad Cooper? He has all the charisma of a block of wood. I just don’t get how he is this big ladies’ man. How does he get women nice and wet? He’s scary and soulless.

Bad Cooper calls Mr. Todd and asks him if ‘it is done’, apparently referring to the murder of The Man Formerly Known As Dougie Jones. Mr. Todd seems nervous to tell Cooper that the job hasn’t been completed yet. Cooper then tells Hutch and Chantel that he wants them to kill Warden Murphy. Not sure why he cares if the warden is dead or not, but then maybe Cooper just likes killing people. He also tells them of a couple of murders he wants them to take care of in Vegas afterwards. I’m assuming that one of the intended targets is ‘Dougie’. Who’s the other one? Janey-E? Or maybe Mr. Todd has outlived his usefulness? Guess we will find out. Cooper drives off in the truck and Hutch engages in an activity that small-town teenage boys have fantasized about for years: Firing a few bullets into a cell phone. And that’s it for Bad Cooper’s story this week. Where is he headed? He still needs ‘the numbers’, but who has them now? If the numbers are still written on Ruth Davenport’s hand, this could be bad news for the Buckhorn morgue. But more on that later…

IMG_0466FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA: In Las Vegas, the police question Mr. Bushnell after Dougie’s run-in with Ike The Spike. SIDE NOTE: Who would have thought that Bushnell would have this big of a role? He keeps hanging around and getting these little scenes. David Lynch has an uncanny way of taking side characters and making them fascinating. I don’t know how he does it. BACK TO THE STORY: Bushnell mentions that Dougie’s had a car accident about 12 years ago right before he started work at the insurance company. That would be around 2002, right? Let’s make a note of that in case we need to remember it for the future. After Bushnell leaves, the cops discuss the bizarre fact that Dougie Jones didn’t exist before 1997 — no social security number, no birth certificate, no history whatsoever. They speculate that Dougie may be a member of the witness protection program. Then the cop that is also Ted Packard from The Office gets a bright idea (imagine one of these dunderheaded cops getting a bright idea!) to collect a saliva sample from Dougie’s coffee cup to find out who he really is. COULD THIS FINALLY BE THE MOMENT THAT LEADS TO THE RETURN OF OUR AGENT COOPER? It seems so, but I have been wrong before when it comes to the enigma of Dougie Jones.

Meanwhile, Cooper sits with Janey-E in the station and has a moment of recollection as he stares at the American flag in the corner of the room. As ‘America the Beautiful’ plays softly in his mind, he watches a woman with red shoes pass by, then fixates on the electrical outlet on the wall. More fuzzy pieces of memories, but still no breakthrough. The police connect the attempted shooting to Ike The Spike, then apprehend him at his hotel. Surprisingly, Ike surrenders when he sees the cops arrive. I was totally expecting a shootout.

IMG_0461JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE MIND: Gordon, Albert, Agent Preston, and Lady Diane are on their way back to Philadelphia when Gordon gets a call from Colonel Davis at the Pentagon, informing him of the curious case of Garland Briggs. Gordon decides to visit Buckhorn with his motley crew. First stop — the morgue. We get a short recap of the Ruth Davenport murder mystery (which is understandable since a portion of the audience may have forgotten all of this story from the last time we truly spent time in Buckhorn, way back in the premiere episode). While everyone is examining Briggs’ body, Diane receives a text message. AND IT’S THE MESSAGE THAT BAD COOPER SENT FROM THE FARM. Does this mean that Diane is in cahoots with Bad Cooper? It would sure seem so. She doesn’t bother to mention the cryptic text to Gordon and the others. Was her dramatic confrontation with Cooper a few weeks ago all for show? I admit that I have no idea what is going on.


Agent Preston questions an eternally sobbing Will Hastings and here’s what we find out: Will and Ruth were not only having an affair, but they were secretly investigating and blogging about the existence of something they called The Zone. Two weeks ago, they entered The Zone and met Major Briggs, who had been hiding in there. Briggs wanted to leave The Zone and go to a different place, so he asked Will and Ruth for a set of geographical coordinates, which Ruth promptly stole from a secure military database. When they went to give these numbers to Major Briggs, that’s when all hell broke loose. Some ‘others’ came in and grabbed Hastings, threatening him. Briggs began to float into the air saying ‘Cooper’ and then his head floated away (I suppose this all makes some weird sense after we saw the major’s floating head in space back in Part 3). Then the ‘others’, or one of them, killed Ruth. Will Hastings woke up in his house the next morning, thinking Ruth’s death was just a dream.

What to make of all this? Where was Major Briggs trying to go? Who was after him and what are these ‘others’ that Will spoke of? He said there were so many of them. And if the coordinates were written on Ruth’s hand, then does that mean that they still exist on her dead body? And where is her body anyway? I have a feeling that Bad Cooper is making a beeline for her dead body, unless he has a plan to get them out of Ray first. Once he receives these numbers, I can only imagine what he is going to use them for. He has no desire to return to The Lodge, and Briggs is already dead. My prediction: Get ready for a big reveal soon. One that is going to knock our collective socks off.

IMG_0463WELCOME TO TWIN PEAKS: Let’s attack the crux of the biscuit first — Sheriff Truman’s investigation into the Cooper and Briggs mystery. Truman, Bobby, and Hawk visit Bobby’s mother Betty and find out that Garland had predicted that one day, those three would come asking questions about Agent Cooper. Betty reaches into a secret compartment in a chair in her living room and pulls out a small metal rod. Garland gave her this rod before he died, with his instructions to give it to the three men when they came asking questions. Back at the police station, Bobby recognizes the rod from his childhood and knows how to open it. He goes outside the station, throws the rod against the ground, then picks it up and listens to a high-pitcher frequency that emanates from inside. When the frequency stops, Bobby throws the rod on the ground again, revealing a small, rolled-up piece of paper inside. On the paper — two triangles, a red circle, and the same symbol that Bad Cooper showed to Daria right before he killed her in the hotel room. Also on the paper — instructions to walk 253 yards east of Jack Rabbit’s Place at exactly 2:53 two days from now, then to take soil from this area and put it in your pocket. Bobby recognizes Jack Rabbit’s Place as an area where he and his father used to play make-believe games many years ago. Hmmm…could this be an entrance to the Lodge? Are Bad Cooper and the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department all headed to the same destination at the end of the world? If and when all of these disparate stories converge, it’s going to be beyond epic.

IMG_0459IT’S A STRANGE WORLD: Meanwhile, the rest of Twin Peaks is getting weirder and crazier. Andy and Lucy have a prolonged difference of opinion over the color of the armchair that Lucy plans to buy. Jerry Horne is still high in the woods, freaking out and imagining that his foot is talking to him (saying ‘I AM NOT YOUR FOOT’…then what is it?). Johnny Horne runs through his house like a lunatic and smashes headfirst into a wall. Ben Horne and Beverly continue to investigate the mysterious hum at the Great Northern, and Ben actually gently declines her romantic leanings (‘You’re a good man, Ben’ she tells him. This is the most perplexing line of dialogue in the entire series!). In the final scene of the episode, two unnamed trashy women sit at the Roadhouse and talk about zebras and penguins while one of them scratches an EXTREMELY GROSS AND ITCHY RASH on her armpit. Is it about the armpit? No, it is not about the armpit. I can say with certainty that this is the first episode of television ever to end with a woman sitting in a bar, madly scratching her itchy armpit. I am so glad I had finished eating by the time that scene came on.IMG_0464.JPG


— I really really loved the scene in Betty Briggs’ house. Secret messages passed down through the years. Premonitions of the future. Shadows of the past making their imprint on the present.

— Who the hell was that ignorant, ogre-ish policeman in Vegas who kept laughing? I have turned into a Janey-E fanboy over the course of the past month, and it hurt to watch her glance into the interrogation room and see the officers laughing like they were at a frat party. Officer Shrek was even cracking jokes while arresting Ike The Spike. I hope there is some chance that he is killed in the remaining nine episodes. Hutch and Chantel are coming to Vegas soon. Let’s hope their plans are uninterrupted long enough to see Officer Shrek get a bullet in his head. Is it a bad thing to wish grievous bodily harm to fictional characters?

— Lucy and Andy are such a great couple. They argue over which color to buy their new chair in. Andy senses that Lucy really wants the beige chair, so he gives in and kisses her and tells her to order the beige chair. She is so appreciative and feels so loved by her husband that she secretly orders the red chair for him instead. All relationships should be this selfless and loving. I think I’m going to cry.

— Does anyone think that Jerry Horne in the woods is going to amount to anything? I’m suspicious that his escapades are just some offbeat comic relief.

— How is Chad even an officer in Twin Peaks? He’s a dick and no one seems to like him at all. Don’t Sheriff Truman or Hawk do the hiring?

— How fantastic was the scene where Diane and Gordon share a cigarette? I went back and watched it over and over, paying attention to a different character every time. A scene like this is something you either ‘get’ or you don’t, and which side you are on is the difference between ‘getting’ David Lynch or not.

— Au Revoir Simone turned up at the Roadhouse again to close out the episode. Another great song by them, although I find it weird that we got a repeat performer. Where is Julee Cruise?

That’s it for me this week, friends. We are exactly halfway through the series now. Who could imagine what lays in store for our trip down the other side of the mountain? Hang loose, Haoles, and fruitcake, anyone?

Written by Justin Mazaleski

Justin Mazaleski is a writer who specializes in bizarre screenplays and personal reflections on art. He lives in Eastern Pennsylvania where he has been known to operate a lemonade stand on the sidewalk outside his home. When he’s not writing, sleeping, or dancing, he’s sitting on his couch, taking in the best and worst music and film of the last century.

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