Twin Peaks part 16 review

(Each week, we’re going to kick off a discussion about Twin Peaks: The Return by answering one question: what was the best scene of the episode?)

The world’s attention may have been focused on Game of Thrones‘ season 7 finale last night, but an hour beforehand, David Lynch and Mark Frost headed into the home stretch of Twin Peaks by delivering one of the most satisfying moments of the season so far.

Warning: major spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t caught up yet, turn back now.

The Best Scene in Part 16

Agent Dale Cooper is back! It took fifteen hours and some change, but after shocking himself in last week’s episode, Coop wakes from a coma and he’s finally his old self again. If you’ve been watching along this whole time, I don’t have to tell you what a joy it was to see him speaking full sentences; a part of me honestly wondered if Frost and Lynch were going to hold his return until one of the last shots in the final episode, but thankfully we get to spend two more hours with the real thing in next week’s two-hour season finale.

So there’s no contest this week: for me, the scene in which Cooper wakes up and we get to see Kyle MacLachlan play the character we’ve wanted to see this whole time is the best scene in the episode by default. He sees a vision of Mike from the Red Room, who tells him that DoppelCooper is still out there somewhere before giving Cooper the ring to protect himself with. Cooper, always the sensitive soul, immediately asks for another copy of himself to be made so Janey-E and Sonny Jim can have a new Dougie since Cooper has to return to his old life. The triumphant use of the theme song in the middle of this episode made me pump my fist in the air; that’s not the only time an old song is called back in this episode.

Watching MacLachlan slip back into that role put a huge smile on my face. His request for Bushnell to hand him sandwiches made me laugh out loud, and it’s an immeasurable relief to see him back to his old ways again. Even though I largely hated the Dougie Jones storyline, MacLachlan has been absolutely killing it this season with an unexpected variety of performances, and I’m thrilled we get to see him return to that all-American FBI agent one more time.

The episode opens with DoppelCooper leading Richard Horne (who is indeed Doppel’s son) to one of the coordinates he’s looking for, and after climbing atop a rock, Richard is promptly fried with supernatural electricity. Is this location not far from Twin Peaks? Because Jerry Horne is a witness, and he’s been around wandering in the woods out there for what seems like the entire season. But after DoppelCooper receives a text from Diane (I’ll get to that in a second), it seems like those coordinates are the ones that align with the ones Major Briggs bequeathed to the Twin Peaks sheriff’s department.

When Hutch and Chantal rolled up outside Dougie’s house to kill him, I certainly wasn’t expecting that to be the busiest location of the episode. The Vegas branch of the FBI are also staking the place out looking for Dougie, and the Mitchum brothers, still grateful to “Dougie” for giving them a $30 million insurance check, drop by to stock the place up for Janey-E. But the action really picks up when a gun-toting homeowner confronts Hutch and Chantal about parking in his driveway, and a firefight ensues. It’s the kind of banal detail that Twin Peaks loves to spin into a heightened situation, and if Cooper hadn’t have returned this episode, I may have listed this as my favorite sequence. RIP Hutch and Chantal.

And while DoppelCooper didn’t physically interact with any more characters this episode, he managed to do some more damage from afar. He texted Diane what appeared to be a code that unlocked her memories (presumably to force her to text him the coordinates she sends him) and as she spills her guts to Gordon Cole and the Blue Rose unit in the hotel room, we find out that this isn’t actually the real Diane at all, but a copy just like DoppelCooper himself. She reveals she was raped by DoppelCooper, and when she pulls her gun, Albert and Tammy beat her to the draw, and when they shoot her, “Diane” gets sucked into the Red Room, where she’s converted back into a seed (one of those little golden balls). Before that, she saw DoppelCooper’s message again and seemed to unlock more memories, which led to her repeating the phrase, “I’m in the sheriff’s station.” Does this mean we’ll see her reunite with the real Cooper next week, since (after his touching goodbye to Dougie’s family) he’s heading back to the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station?

And finally, after an Eddie Vedder performance in the Roadhouse, Audrey and Charlie arrive and the whole place makes room for Audrey to do her dance, a callback to an older episode:

Did you catch what she said there? “God, I love this music. Isn’t it too dreamy?” Pair those words with the reveal at the very end of this episode that Audrey is, in reality, standing in a white room and staring in a mirror, and it seems as if everything in the Roadhouse this season may have been inside one of her dreams. Lynch (who is clearly interested in dreams and dream logic as a filmmaker) even had his character, Gordon Cole, go on an extended monologue describing a dream he had a couple of episodes ago, complete with the repeated phrase, “We are like the dreamer who dreams, and then lives inside the dream.”

We’ll almost certainly find out more next week, but in the meantime, I’d love to know what you all thought about the revelations in this episode.

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