As happens frequently on Twin Peaks, a character speaks words that the audience is thinking. In the seventh hour of Showtime’s revival series, Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) opens the show by calling his brother Benjamin (Richard Beymer) and declaring, “I think I’m high. I don’t know where I am.” If you’ve survived the first six hours, you may very well be experiencing the same confused feeling.
However, even though it repeats the pattern of advancing the story slowly, if at all, this hour at least delivers four moments that have been building (or have been introduced, then ignored) since the new “season” began. Also, this hour spends more time in Twin Peaks itself than it has in any other episode yet. It felt like a lot more happened this week. Perhaps hitting the 1/3 mark last week, it’s checking in to see how far we’ve really come.
First, the papers Hawk (Michael Horse) found in the stall door of the men’s bathroom are indeed three pages from Laura Palmer’s diary. One is still missing. They reveal that Laura had a dream that Annie told her “good Dale” was still in the lodge and can’t come out. She also wrote, “Now I know it isn’t Bob. I know who it is.” Hawk interprets this to mean that the man who came out of the Black Lodge with Annie at the end of the regular series run was not “good Cooper.”
For newcomers to Twin Peaks, this scene is also a refresher about the entire Laura Palmer story. As Hawk presents this evidence to Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster), he provides a summary of what happened. They also speculate about when Leland Palmer may have placed the diary pages in the stall door. In doing so, the show is being very faithful to the continuity and mythology of the entire endeavor.
In a subsequent scene, Frank talks with Doc Will Hayward (the late Warren Frost) via Skype and we learn a little more about what happened since the original series ended. Hayward says he remembers examining Agent Cooper after he returned from the Black Lodge. While he was making his rounds, he thought he noticed Cooper looking in on Audrey Horne, who was in a coma following “that terrible business at the bank.”Second, in Buckhorn, South Dakota, Lieutenant Cynthia Knox (Adele Rene) arrives to examine the headless body. The fingerprints of Major Briggs that set off alarms were lifted directly from the body. She calls Colonel Davis (Ernie Hudson) to tell him, “It’s not just prints this time. There’s a body.” They discuss how the body is the wrong age to belong to Briggs. Knox then tells Constance Talbot (Jane Adams), “I don’t think this is going to be your investigation for too much longer.”
Third, when Albert’s (Miguel Ferrer) attempt to talk with Diane (Laura Dern) failed, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) decides to give it a try. After asking Albert to “please” come with him, the two men visit Diane at her home. When Cole tells her that her former boss is in federal lockup, she says, “Good.” He replies, “Tough cookie, always was.” Yeah, she’s tough and apparently very bitter about something.
He somehow reaches her when he says, “We have a feeling something’s wrong. It involves something you know about, and that’s enough said about that.” Soon, they’re all on a plane with Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) heading to Yankton Federal Prison in Sioux Falls. She agrees to ten minutes with him, after which she tells Cole that he isn’t the Cooper she knows. “That’s good enough for me,” he says, and they hug.
Immediately afterwards, Bad Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) tells a prison guard to tell Warden Dwight Murphy (James Morrison) that he needs to speak to him in his office about “a strawberry.” As suspected, Bad Cooper has something with which he can blackmail the warden… something that has to do with the three dog legs that go with the one found in Bad Cooper’s trunk. This results in a late-night release for him and Ray Monroe (George Griffith).
Just as I thought this would be an episode without Dougie, we see the office of Lucky 7 Insurance as Janey-E Jones (Naomi Watts) arrives to pick up her husband. At the same time, three detectives arrive to inquire about his missing car. It was found burned to a crisp with the bodies of members of a car theft gang littered about. Cooper seems to be becoming more alert within Dougie’s body. He repeats more words and looks up more than down. Also…
…when attacked outside by Ike “The Spike” Stadtler (Christophe Zajac-Denek), he suddenly goes into FBI agent mode and beats him down. At one point, while lying on the ground trying to knock the gun out of his hand, the arm of the Man from Another Place (or, the brain on a tree) appears and tells Dougie/Cooper to “squeeze his hand off.” Witnesses later say that Dougie “moved like a cobra. All I saw was a blur.”Back at the Great Northern, as Ben tries to help his assistant, Beverly Paige (Ashley Judd), locate the high-pitched hum that she’s been hearing, she tells him that an old room key came in the mail today. Even though it’s been 20 years since they switched from keys to access cards, Ben remembers it’s from the room where Agent Cooper was shot when he was investigating the murder of Laura Palmer. Beverly asks, “Who’s Laura Palmer,” and Ben replies, “That, my dear, is a long story.”
Apparently, Judd’s character is not just appearing in the series as a cameo. She returns home to find out from his nurse that her husband, Tom Paige (Hugh Dillon) had a rough day. She had to give him extra medication. We don’t know whom either of them really are, but it’s intriguing when he grills her about being late and she tells him, “I know you’re sick and suffering, but do not fuck with me!”
At about 50-minutes into the hour, the exterior of the Bang Bang Bar appeared onscreen and I thought, “Oh, it’s going to be a shorter episode.” Then, when the camera lingered for a long, long time on the man sweeping the floor, I thought, “Oh, they’re going to spend ten minutes showing this.” Instead, we got a short phone call with Jean Michel Renault (Walter Olkewicz) and somebody who owes him payment for two whores.
This hour of Twin Peaks requires either knowledge of what’s happened before, or a willingness to accept brief, vague recaps relayed from familiar characters to new characters. It feels like the most historically-driven hour yet. If you’ve been impatient with everything that’s new about the revival, you are probably appreciative. I don’t want to say it’s the best hour yet, because there’s not as much Lynchian weirdness, but it is one of the most narratively satisfying ones.
Note: Due to “summer vacation,” next week’s recap/review may run a day late.