Twin Peaks: The Return – Part 5
Hey guys! It’s your old pal Daffy Stardust filling in for Lebeau on the new season of Twin Peaks this week as he and his family are out of town for a well-deserved vacation at Universal Florida. I’m sure he’ll be filling you in on all the fun they had, but in the meantime he asked me to share my own thoughts about David Lynch’s continuation of his classic TV show from the early ’90s.
Unlike the original series, this third season does not exclusively, or even mainly, take place in the little timber town that gives it its title. We have been instead jumping around from place to place, including New York City, Las Vegas, Arlington, and even a quick scene in Buenos Aries tonight. Through what I can only surmise is computer wizardry, they manage to show us scenes from the original series in the current widescreen format instead of the more compact aspect ratio that was the standard twenty-seven years ago. Early on in this episode this is how we’re reminded that the “Evil Cooper” that is currently in jail is still harboring the murderous spirit Bob who possessed Leland Palmer through a huge chunk of both the original series and the prequel film Fire Walk with Me.
Evil Cooper gets his one phone call from federal prison and uses it to let one of his jailers know his secrets aren’t safe, cause a prison-wide panic, and apparently cause some sort of mysterious piece of technology to shrink in a crawl space in Argentina. Meanwhile, the young FBI agent Gordon Cole brought along is inspecting his fingerprints. Since we’re shown her doing this, we have to assume it has some sort of significance. His behavior is not likely to go a long way to convincing them that he’s the real thing. If there’s something to be seen in his fingerprints, the history of Twin Peaks suggests they’ll find it eventually.
The first big reveal of episode 5 is that the headless dead body which was paired with the head of a murdered woman was found with Dougie’s wedding ring inside its stomach. This is the same Dougie whose shoes Dale Cooper has been wandering around in since making his return from the Black Lodge a couple of episodes ago. He is still a little loopy and lacking in language, which is a real bummer if you remember the wit and charm of the Cooper character from the original series, but I guess it makes sense considering what he’s been through over the last quarter century. We saw Dougie’s head disappear from his body shortly after he got to the Black Lodge, but the timeline doesn’t suggest to me that the body Jane Adams’ character is doing an autopsy on is his. So why is his ring inside that body? And why are they confusing us by introducing a second ring attached to the guy after we saw the notorious Owl Cave ring fall off his hand inside the Black Lodge? The other Dougie from Twin Peaks appeared in the second season and died in bed right after marrying a younger woman. I wouldn’t bet on any connection there.
- Dougie/Coop’s co-worker Frank appears to really like the Latte he groused about getting stuck with. At least a cup of joe is appealing again to Cooper.
- Twin Peaks continues its obsession with cocaine as its recreational drug of choice for the young and irresponsible. I don’t remember that at all from any part of my mis-spent youth.
- The goons on Dougie’s trail manage to blow up his car along with a couple of guys trying to steal it while a neighborhood kid watches. That was pretty suspenseful.
- Dougie/Coop is showing signs of coming out of his stupor this week. First, he instinctively calls out a liar in a meeting, then he seems pretty comfortable with the words “case file” coming out of his mouth. Finally, he becomes fixated on a statue of a lawman.
If Cooper does come back to us in earnest and make his way to the eponymous burg, then we might start recognizing Twin Peaks the television show. For the time being, the glimpses we’re getting of the logging town don’t have much to do with the central storyline and are perhaps only there to reassure longtime fans that it’s the same show and to satisfy the returning cast that they’re being used. The soap opera elements of the show have only appeared very minimally, and the creepy, insular, but retro feel that was so well established before just doesn’t exist here yet. I’m being patient for the time being, but I’m not going to continue tuning in to see the world of a Las Vegas insurance office. That beautiful and horrifying cliffhanger ending to season 2 might just turn out to be a preferable conclusion to the story.