Twin Peaks has always been sprinkled with David Lynch’s unique sense of humor, but I’ve never felt as if I could/would necessarily call it “funny.” In hour nine of Showtime’s revival series, though, I experienced a literal laugh-out-loud moment. Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) is still lost in the woods when a high-pitched voice speaks to him and subtitles read, “I am not your foot.” Indeed, his right foot does not seem to be cooperating with him. It’s firmly planted to the ground as he stretches to pull his body away from it. Finally, he reaches down and pulls hard, causing him to flip backwards and fall down.
It’s the type of slapstick that would normally cause me to cringe, but in the context of not only this hour, but also the previous eight, it was perfectly placed, timed and filmed. Besides, after the assault on the senses of hour eight, it provided some much needed comedy relief. Hour nine also delivers some much needed plot development, reminiscent of hour seven. There’s nothing conclusive, but there are more baby steps for the Buckhorn investigation, Bad Cooper, Douglas “Dougie ” Jones, and, perhaps most significantly, the mythology in Twin Peaks regarding the real Agent Cooper’s disappearance and the death of Major Garland Briggs.
I daresay that disparate plot points may be coming together. On an FBI airplane returning to Philadelphia, Deputy Director Gordon Cole (Lynch) gets a phone call that causes him to request an unexpected landing in Buckhorn to meet with Lieutenant Cynthia Knox (Adele Rene) and Detective Dave Macklay (Brent Briscoe). Diane (Laura Dern) is not happy about the detour, but is placated with tiny bottles of liquor. When they arrive at the morgue, she chooses to sit in the lobby and smoke. “I’m not in the mood to see a dead body this morning,” she says. She then receives a mysterious text message. More about that later…
Cole had received a second call on the airplane. This one is from Warden Murphy, who tells him that Bad Cooper has escaped. “What?!? How the hell did that happen?” asks Cole, before hanging up and telling Diane and agents Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell ) and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) that “Cooper flew the coop.” Intercut with these scenes are scenes of Bad Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) reuniting with his “associates,” Gary “Hutch” Hutchens (Tim Roth) and Chantal Hutchens (Jennifer Jason Leigh). After telling them that he wants them to kill a warden and that he has a double header for them in Vegas, he sends a mysterious text message…“Around the dinner table the conversation is lively.” Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) receives the text, and then a phone call from Bad Cooper, who asks, “Did you do it?” When Todd replies, “Not yet,” Bad Cooper tells him “It better be done the next time I call.” I’ve never been clear about Todd’s location, but I think it’s Vegas, so I wonder if he’s one-half of the double header mentioned earlier. Why does Diane receive the same text message? Maybe Bad Cooper didn’t send it directly to her; perhaps Todd did it. It all makes me yearn for the moment we discover what exactly happened (or is happening) between Cooper and Diane.
Speaking of Vegas, at the police station, the Detective Fusco brothers, T. (Larry Clarke), “Smiley” (Eric Edelstein) and D. (David Koechner) interrogate Dougie’s boss, Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray) about Dougie. We learn he’s worked for Lucky 7 Insurance for 12 years and has never been the same since a car accident. However, there is no trace of his existence prior to 1997. (One of them speculates, “witness protection?”) It’s a “damn strange business” that “first his car blows up then someone tries to kill him.” They’re reluctant to interview Dougie and his wife, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) because, “It’s like talking to a dog and she does all the barking.”
When one of the detectives takes Dougie a cup of coffee, he places his dirty mug into a plastic bag for a fingerprint and DNA search. At the same time, a lab technician reports that he retrieved not only palm prints, but the entire palm, of Ike “The Spike” Stadtler (Christophe Zajac-Denek) from the gun used to attack Dougie in front of his office. Most interesting here, though, is that as Dougie is drawn to the red shoes of a woman who passes in front of him as he stares at an American flag, he then becomes aware of, and keenly interested in, an outlet on the wall. Remember, the real Agent Cooper may have entered Dougie’s body from a similar outlet.The aforementioned developments in the mythology of the show unfold simultaneously in Twin Peaks as Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) and deputies Hawk (Michael Horse) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) meet with Betty Briggs (Charlotte Stewart) while in Buckhorn, Gordon Cole and company meet with the coroner, Constance Talbot (Adams). Apparently Major Briggs foresaw the moment that the three officers would come to his wife asking about Agent Cooper and directed her to give them an oddly-hidden steel cylinder. This happens as the headless body is identified as belonging to Major Briggs.
Then, as the investigators in Buckhorn learn that detained suspect William Hastings (Matthew Lillard) is the author of a blog called, “Search for the Zone,” which is all about another dimension, the investigators in Twin Peaks open the cylinder to find instructions for entering another dimension with a specific time and place… that is only two days away. Also in the cylinder is a tiny piece of paper with some type of code written on it. In the center of the code reads, “Cooper/Cooper,” and Hawk states something that we’ve known almost from the beginning: “Two Coopers.”
This part of the hour ends with Tammy interviewing Hastings in a holding cell in Buckhorn. Amid non-stop weeping, Hastings shares that the subject of his blog is all real. He and the librarian he’s accused of murdering entered “the zone” and found Major Briggs hiding. Briggs asked them to get numbers for him… important numbers… coordinates. When they delivered these numbers, “others, so many others” arrived, pushing him down and asking for his wife’s name. “They killed her.” After Briggs read the numbers, he started floating up until his head disappeared, saying, “Cooper…”
I started this week’s recap/review writing about the humor of Twin Peaks, so I’m going to end it talking about one of its consistent sources of humor, Albert Rosenfeld. He’s always there with a sarcastic quip, whether it be in response to a recap of a convoluted mystery (“What happens in season two?”) or after witnessing the bizarre confession of William Hastings (“Fruitcake, anyone?”) In these instances, he represents what casual viewers might be asking about events on the show. However, he does not represent those of us who know that every moment, no matter how ridiculous, is a vital clue toward solving the mysteries of the show.