Late in the third hour of Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival, “Detective” Gordon Cole (David Lynch) sees pictures of the aftermath of the “glass box massacre” in New York City and exclaims, “What the hell?!?” It’s as if Lynch himself doesn’t understand what he sees. I can relate. As straightforward as the first two hours seemed to be, Lynch unleashed in the latest chapter a relentless and unprecedented barrage of crazy.
Most of the episode is spent with Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) as he continues his descent after falling out of the Black Lodge and momentarily stopping in the glass box. This time he lands on the ledge of a cement building overlooking a purple sea. In fact, most of the sequence exists in a purple hue. He climbs in a window to encounter a woman with no eyes who fears the sound of someone banging on the metal door.
He asks, “Where is this?” and “Where are we?” but she responds only with unintelligible noises. He notices something on the wall that looks like a safe, yet has two slits, as if a giant plug could be placed into them. The number “15” is printed above. She leads him out another door and they climb a ladder. At the top, they stand on a metal box not nearly large enough to contain the world below. It floats in space and the woman pulls a lever that restores the color to normal.
She shakes and is sucked into space. Then the transparent face of Major Briggs (the late Don S. Davis) floats by slowly and says, “moon rose.” Cooper climbs back down the ladder and the number above the safe/outlet is now “3.” A woman (with eyes) sits on the couch and turns to Cooper. She looks at her watch as the minute hand moves from 2:52 to 2:53. A desk lamp lights and there’s a low whistling sound.
From here, we alternate among this setting and two others. In the first, “Bad Cooper” drives along the road looking sweaty and ill. The clock in his Lincoln (not Mercedes as in the first two hours) reads 2:53. In the second, a third Cooper/MacLachlan doppelganger named “Dougie” pays a prostitute, then becomes sick. In relatively short order, light flashes from the prong holes, sucking in Agent Cooper and leaving his shoes on the floor, Bad Cooper suffers from double vision and flips his car, and Dougie vomits in front of a red curtain and disappears.
I think what happened as a result of all this is that Agent Cooper returned to the real world and Dougie took his place in the Black Lodge. Indeed, we see Dougie sitting in Cooper’s chair in the Black Lodge with the one-armed man. I’m not sure what happens to Bad Cooper. The red curtain materializes in front of his car and he vomits an impossible amount of thick, yellow bile. (Later, the police will find the car and discover a horrible smell, but we don’t see what’s inside.)
As Lynch himself would say, “What the hell?!?” Is there more to make of the purple world than the simple fact that it’s just another place through which Cooper has to pass on his way home? The woman with eyes, who I think is the woman without eyes rejuvenated after pulling the lever in space, tells him, “When you get there you will already be there” and then “You’d better hurry; my mother’s coming.”
I feel like Dougie is an important piece of the puzzle. He’s wearing the ring from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; well, that is until he shrinks in the Black Lodge and it falls off his finger. The one-armed man tells him, “Someone manufactured you. For a purpose, but I think now that’s been fulfilled.” In a puff of black smoke he disappears, replaced by an orb which transforms into a small gold ball.
All is not well with Cooper in the real world, though. Although he finds a key to room 15 of the Great Northern Hotel, he has no memory and seems to be in a daze. The prostitute delivers him to the Silver Mustang Casino with a five dollar bill. He holds it up and says, “Call for help.” Long story short, he ends up following images of the red curtain and floor from the Black Lodge to slot machines that net him huge jackpots. I loved this lengthy sequence.
There’s more detail to it, but I don’t want to spoil everything. Meanwhile, a brief portion of the final part of the hour does actually take place in Twin Peaks. Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse), Andy (Harry Goaz) and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) review evidence to find what’s missing. Lucy shrieks when she thinks it’s the chocolate bunny she ate. Hawk says, “It’s not about the bunny” then asks, “Is it about the bunny?”
Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) and his shovels return. Outside his trailer, he’s rigged an elaborate foot pedal and pully system so that he can spray paint them gold. That’s it. I guess he’s going to play a bigger part than I originally thought following his first scene in the first hour. Instead of simply a one-time check-in to see what’s up with him, I anticipate further development with the garden tool subplot.
Then it’s off to yet another location: Philadelphia. At FBI headquarters, Cole’s briefing is interrupted by a phone call, “It’s Cooper on the line.” This causes great urgency with Cole and Agent Albert Rosenfeld (the late Miguel Ferrer) as they learn he’s been discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The next morning, the two men and an agent named “Tammy” will be flying to meet him, anticipating trouble when they get there.
Before the episode ends with another band performance in the Bang Bang Bar (this time by The Cactus Blossoms), Albert comments, “The strange mystery of the forces of existence…” Yes, that’s what I might tell someone who asks what Twin Peaks is all about. He then asks Tammy, “How about a truckload of Valium?” Yes, that’s almost what I needed after experiencing this hour of the show!