Twin Peaks: The Return – Part 16
This is the episode we have been waiting for. The penultimate episode of Twin Peaks: The Return moves all the pieces in place for next week’s two-hour finale. The most important piece of all, Agent Dale Cooper, is finally back! Despite the fact I have been waiting for more than fifteen hours for this to happen, the reveal was surprisingly rewarding. The wait, which tested the patience of many a viewer, made the return which was promised in the season’s title that much sweeter.
But before Coop made his comeback, the episode picked up with the Doppelganger and his presumed son, Richard Horne. Whatever talk they had happened off camera, so we’re still not 100% sure of their relationship. After a Lynchian shot of a highway at night, the two men arrive at a boulder. Dark Coop tells Richard that he received two sets of coordinates from three people. This is the location he received twice. He sends Richard to check it out. Richard climbs atop the boulder and is lit up like a sparkler. After a pyrotechnics display, Richard disappears from existence and probably from the show.
Dark Coop seems more relieved than upset. He shrugs off Richard’s disappearance with a “goodbye, son” which seems like a pretty solid confirmation that Richard was the byproduct of the Doppelganger’s visit to Audrey Horne’s hospital room while she was comatose. Meanwhile, Richard’s great-uncle Jerry witness the event from a distance. He stumbled out of the wilderness just long enough to see Richard light up the sky. Jerry being Jerry, he watched this play out through one lens of a pair of binoculars which he was holding the wrong way.
After sticking a fork in an electric socket last week, Dougie Jones was lying in a hospital room in a coma. Janey-E and Sonny Jim were with him and they were joined by the greatest boss anyone ever had, Bushnell Mullins. Before long, the room gets crowded when the Mitchum brothers arrive with tray after tray of finger sandwiches. The Mitchums aren’t staying long. They ask Janey-E for her house key so they can stock of the Jones’ house as well. As this was all playing out, I realized I had really come to love Dougie’s supporting cast. I’m going to miss them when they are gone.
After hearing the same noises Ben Horne and Beverly heard in the Great Northern, Dougie Jones woke up. Only he wasn’t Dougie Jones. This was very clearly Agent Dale Cooper. He took charge of the room completely. While scarfing down finger sandwiches, he asked the doctor to approve him to be discharged. Coop had a lot to do and he was making up for lost time. When he was informed that the FBI was looking for him, Cooper responded “I am the FBI” and Twin Peaks fans everywhere cheered.
The Joneses hopped in Janey’s new car to drive to the Mitchums’ casino where the brothers were gassing up the jet to take Agent Cooper to Washington. No longer addled, Coop took the wheel. The Twin Peaks theme swelled in the background. All was right in the world. Well, unless you were Janey-E and Sonny Jim who were about to lose the male figure in their family unit. But Coop put in an order with Mike to create another Dougie. He assured his sort-of wife and son that one day Dougie Jones would walk through that red door again. Here’s hoping the new Dougie is more like Cooper than the old one.
Meanwhile, there was chaos at the Jones house. The place was being staked out by Hutch and Chantal. Chantal was onery because she was down to her last bag of Cheetos. The Mitchum brothers arrived as promised with a large shipment of supplies. Candie, Mandie and Sandie begin unloading all kinds of goodies for the family. But violence erupts when Chantal and Hutch get into a parking dispute with a neighbor who is driving a company car for an accounting firm. But based on what he’s packing, I’m guessing he wasn’t an accountant.
The Mitchums and the FBI watch a firefight in the suburban street. Sadly, Hutch and Chantal didn’t make it. One of the brothers speaks my mind when he says, “The fuck kinda neighborhood is this?” His sibling replies “People are under a lot of stress, Bradley.” This was one funny episode.
Of course every episode of Twin Peaks has to have some darkness. After the incident at the boulder, Dark Coop sent Diane a text that read “: – ) ALL”. The text clearly disturbed Diane who checked her firearm before meeting with Gordon, Albert and Tammy. Diane finally told others about the night she was visited by Cooper’s doppelgänger. Her story confirmed what most viewers had assumed, that Diane had been raped by the doppelgänger.
Laura Dern delivers the goods with a mixture of survivor’s strength and the vulnerability of someone who has been violated by a trusted friend. Additionally, Diane is conflicted. In a moment of clarity, Diane warns the others that she is not herself. Then she pulled her gun with the intention of carrying out Dark Coop’s orders. Fortunately, Albert and Tammy were ready. They shoot first, but “Diane” disappears. It turns out, we were dealing with a tulpa all along.
The tulpa reappears in the Red Room where, just like Dougie before her, she is met by Mike. When Mike tells her that she has been manufactured, “Diane” responds with her trademark vulgarity. Then her head cracks open and reveals a seed which Mike retrieves. Bye, bye Tulpa Diane. Time to start speculating about the location and identity of the real deal.
The episode ends at the Road House. Eddie Vedder (introduced under his birth name, Edward Louis Severson) is the musical act. These performances usually signal the end of the show. But this episode wasn’t done yet. It turns out, Audrey and Charlie finally made it to the Roadhouse to look for Billy. The MC comes back on the stage and introduces a new act, Audrey’s Dance. The lights dim and familiar music starts to play. Audrey begins to slowly sway the way she did way back when we were first introduced to her. The audience sways along to the music and for the first time this season, Audrey is recognizable as the girl we knew.
But that doesn’t last long. The reverie is interrupted by an old fashioned bar fight. Audrey runs to Charlie and demands that he get her out of there. Audrey’s wish is granted, sort of. In a flash, Audrey finds herself transported to a white room. Where previously, she was staring into her husband’s face she is not looking into a mirror. One thing is clear, Audrey’s reality was not what it seemed. Is she in some kind of hospital or somewhere more mysterious? I’m sure this and other mysteries will be address in next week’s finale.
This hour was filled with fan service. But Twin Peaks: The Return has never used nostalgia as a crutch. If anything, Lynch and company have been withholding the familiar trappings of the original series. Now that we are at the end of this revival, the show and viewers have earned the right to indulge in a little bit of past glories before heading into the conclusion.