Twin Peaks part 9 review

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

I’m not sure if David Lynch and Mark Frost knew there would be a weeklong break after the wild surrealism of part 8 of Twin Peaks, but I’m sure some fans appreciated the opportunity to have some extra time to process and digest one of the most audacious hours of television ever produced. And if things like the birth of Bob in an atomic blast were too much to handle, you probably appreciated last night’s episode, which returned to a more straightforward storytelling style and gave us a handful of hints about what happened to Major Briggs and the surprising person who seems to be working with Agent Cooper’s evil doppelganger (Kyle MacLachlan).

The Best Scene in Part 9

This show has an appreciation for unique mystery boxes, as evidenced by part 9’s best scene. Twin Peaks sheriff’s deputy Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) takes Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) and Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) to see Bobby’s mother, and Mrs. Briggs reveals that before Major Briggs died, he told her this exact situation would happen and instructed her to give to the men something when they came asking about his final conversation with Dale Cooper: a contraption that looks like an impenetrable cigar case. Thankfully, Major Briggs once showed young Bobby how to open this types of device – it involves hurling it onto the ground and listening for a ringing tone – and the message hidden inside puts the men even further along the path to discovering the truth about Cooper and where he’s been for the past 25 years.

(I was reminded me of a similarly mysterious contraption in season 2, which ultimately led Pete Martell and Andrew Packard to their deaths courtesy of an explosion at the Savings and Loan.)

Following the events of his resurrection, DoppelCooper makes his way to the Ranch, a hideout of sorts for his gang, and meets up with characters played by The Hateful Eight co-stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth. He sends a coded text message to an unknown person, loads up with weapons, orders Roth to kill the warden who set DoppelCooper free, and hits the road. Later in the episode, we discover that Diane (Laura Dern) is the recipient of the text, which presents a whole host of new questions. Why is Diane working with DoppelCooper? What’s their goal? Does she know the truth about the real Cooper? I didn’t love this episode, but this is one of the storylines I’m most looking forward to seeing play out in the weeks to come.

FBI agents Gordon Cole (David Lynch), Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), and Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell), with Diane in tow, travel to Buckhorn, South Dakota to check out Briggs’ headless body and interrogate William Hastings (Matthew Lillard), who you’d be forgiven for totally forgetting about since he hasn’t popped up in what feels like forever. A distraught Hastings confirms that he and murder victim Ruth Davenport wrote a blog about alternate dimensions, and he claims they met Major Briggs – who was supposed to have died in a fire 25 years before – in one of these dimensions before Briggs’ head disappeared (which is likely why Cooper saw that head during his travels through dimensions earlier this season).

There’s still an awful lot of handsy stuff going on with Lynch’s Gordon Cole and the female characters on the show – notice how he manhandles Diane’s shoulder on the plane – and it’s well past the point of rubbing me the wrong way. I doubt they’ll present an in-story reason for that behavior, and considering how progressive Lynch was and continues to be with his portrayal of transgender characters, his treatment of women still leaves a lot to be desired.

Getting back to Cooper, he seems to finally be making some progress with his mental state and is mercifully inching back toward becoming his former self. The combination of hot coffee, an American flag, red high heels (memories of Audrey Horne, perhaps?), and the sight of a power outlet has a flicker in his eyes that tells us he’s at least beginning to process his surroundings in an active way.

Everyone around him still believes he’s Dougie Jones, including his boss Bushnell Mullins (Don Murray), who answers questions about “Dougie” during an interrogation. (A sweet moment in a show that isn’t often sweet: Mullins forming a protective fist when he realizes he’s not being told the whole story about Dougie, which is a remnant of his past as a boxer [which we knew because of the promo poster that hangs in his office]). David Koechner‘s Detective Fusco and his brothers – they all share a last name, but who the hell knows with this show – find out that Dougie was entirely off the grid before 1997. Sounds like that’s when DoppelCooper created him to take his place if the Black Lodge ever came calling. The Fuscos end up apprehending the now-palmless Ike “The Spike” Stadtler (Christophe Zajac-Denek), the assassin who stabbed Lorraine and attempted to kill Dougie.

Back in Twin Peaks, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) rebuffs the advances of his secretary (Ashley Judd), and Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly) has a strange encounter with a talking foot in the woods. It’s his own foot, and it’s unclear whether he’s accidentally tapping into something supernatural or just on drugs he can’t quite handle.

The episode ends at the Roadhouse, with two shabby-looking female characters I don’t think we’ve seen before chatting about zebras and penguins, which I have to assume is some sort of drug lingo with which I’m unfamiliar. One of them – the one who is drinking a can of beer that clearly doesn’t have anything in it – has a nasty rash under her armpit. If this were a traditional television show, I’d be certain we’d see these characters again and get a further look into their world, but I would not be the least bit surprised if we never see these two again and instead just hear about a shipment of drugs that went bad or something along those lines. Maybe we’ll find out next week, but in the meantime, what did you think of part 9? Do you prefer this sort of narrative consistency to the “pure heroin” version of David Lynch we got in part 8?

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