It is incredibly jolting, after last episode’s bonkers experimental film project, and then a week off, to be shoved right back into the narrative thrust of this show (such as it is), but that is exactly how this episode begins — and why are we surprised? As Julie Chen so often says of Big Brother, so could she say of Twin Peaks: Expect the unexpected. So, what happened? WHO KNOWS. As ever, let’s run down what we know (very little), what we don’t know (a whole lot), and our lingering questions (WILL ANYONE EVER TAKE FUGUE STATE DOUGIE TO THE DOCTOR?).
WHAT’S UP WITH AGENT COOPER?
As noted, still in a fugue state in Nevada, guzzling coffee and staring longingly at the American flag in the wake of almost getting shot by that stabby hitman (who has been apprehended by the cops). Also, this is surely the only show on TV wherein the protagonist gazes meaningfully at an electrical socket, thinking — maybe?? — of that time he got sucked out of an alternate universe via one.
My primarily thought at this point is that David Lynch is REALLY making us work for that moment where Cooper finally reenters his proper body, and if he decides to deny us that moment as a way to jack with narrative form and structure, I won’t be surprised, but I will be moderately annoyed. However! It does seems like the various arms of investigation are creeping ever so slightly closer to figuring out that there ARE two Coopers out in the world, thanks mostly to Major Briggs and his Many Mysterious Messages. Here’s my question: Sure, it’s fun to write things on tiny pieces of paper and hide them in a difficult-to-open cylinder and communicate in code from an alternate universe, and I understand why this is happening from a narrative perspective, but if YOU had intel that there are two Agent Coopers running around and one of them is possessed by a demon and the other is in a fugue state, wouldn’t you JUST TELL PEOPLE THAT DIRECTLY? Instead of saying, “Cooper Cooper,” you could just say, “THERE ARE TWO COOPERS, BYE!” Must everything be a riddle?
WHAT’S UP WITH AGENT CREEPER?
The usual. He lurched up from his outing in the desert (where we all saw Bob, like, pop out of his torso or whatever the fuck happened) to a farm that has been taken over by Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh, both of whom are in full-on Slacked Jawed Yokel Killer mode and operating at maximum grossity. He’s also sending cryptic texts to Diane on a girlish flip phone that Tim Roth later shoots. With a gun.
SO HOW IS DIANE?
Crabby, but still chic. She’s also been forced to take a detour to Buckhorn, South Dakota, so that Agent Tammy Preston can question poor Matthew Lillard, who is REAL traumatized because the floating head of Agent Briggs told him some super confusing shit before everyone in South Dakota started dropping dead under EXTREMELY MYSTERIOUS circumstances. It also turns out that Matthew Lillard and his Dead Librarian Mistress literally entered this alternate universe that Matthew Lillard had previously only been writing about on his crackpot blog. CRACKPOT BLOGGERS ARE RIGHT SOMETIMES!
HOW’S THAT WEIRD LAMP IN ASHLEY JUDD’S OFFICE?
Still weirdly buzzing, in much the same manner that the Mysterious Cylinder that Major Briggs left for Bobby was buzzing before Bobby opened it. Is Ashley Judd gonna end up cracking open her lamp to get words of wisdom from the great beyond? She’ll have plenty of time to do this, as Ben Horne has wistfully told her that they cannot bang. Why?
WHY CAN’T THEY BANG?
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING IN TWIN PEAKS?
Lucy and Andy bought a chair. And Bobby, Sheriff Truman, and Hawk have gotten directions from, as I mentioned, the Great Beyond via Bobby’s mom and a trick chair (lots of chairs in this episode) and plan to meet up at some mysterious coordinates in two days — which could be god knows how many episodes from now — to continue investigating The Case of the Two Coopers (and bless them for immediately realizing that “Cooper Cooper” means “there are two Coopers” right off the bat). Additionally: Dana Ashbrook is really, really natural and good in this part, still. When I revisited the pilot of the original series recently, I noted how much better he was than I remembered, and that holds true. He’s excellent, in a way that stands out when compared to some of the other secondary original characters.
WHERE IS ANYONE ELSE FROM THE ORIGINAL SERIES?
Shrug! Jerry Horne is still out in the woods tripping balls — his foot is talking to him — if that helps? Is Mrs Palmer still cackling over violent animal documentaries? I hope so.
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE ROADHOUSE?
Someone has a rash that I fear may prove to be an important plot point.
[All Photos: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME]