After a two-week absence, Showtime’s revival of “Twin Peaks” has returned and we’re given an episode that is nothing like the absolute and utter mind fuck of Episode 8. It’s a return to the more traditional form of storytelling that’s been taking place over the several episodes in this season, although we’re still no closer to any real answers about what is going on.
Still, this episode makes some big strides in trying to bring us closer to a satisfying conclusion to some of the threads we’ve had so far. So, in the words of Good Mythical Morning, let’s talk about that.
After the eighth episode, having a return to normality – well, whatever that means when it comes to “Twin Peaks” – is a welcome return indeed. While I cannot deny my fascination with the previous episode and all its haunting symbolism, I do want to follow the characters we’ve been getting to know and love along with the ones we are already so familiar with. Luckily, this episode offered precisely that.
We open with Evil Cooper making his way down a country dirt driveway where he eventually meets with Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Covered in blood and filth, he wipes himself off and gets patched up so that he can continue going on whatever dark path he walks. He sends a text message to an unknown phone number that reads “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.” He also calls Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) to ask if “…it’s done“, with “it” apparently not having been completed. He insists that it be completed by the next time he calls. That’s all we see of Evil Cooper in this episode.
Meanwhile, Gordon, Tammy, Albert, and Diane are on their own adventure as they are flying back to Philadelphia when Gordon receives a call from Colonel Davis (Ernie Hudson) about the body in Buckhorn, South Dakota. Making a detour, they all stop there to see what they can make of the situation.
At the morgue where Major Briggs’ body is being held, Tammy, Gordon, and Albert leave Diane to her own devices while they go to check the body. It is then that we see Diane check her phone’s messages where she received Evil Coopers text. Nothing more about the relationship between the two is unveiled but it seems that Diane and “Cooper” have never really gone their separate ways in the past 25 years.
In the morgue, Gordon, Tammy, and Albert investigate Briggs’ body, which they still can’t fathom how it appears to be in its late 40’s but the Major should be 72. They hear about William Hastings (Matthew Lillard) and the situation in which the body was found, so they decide that they need to interview him. Hastings explains that he runs a blog (which is real and can be found here) where he and Ruth (the deceased librarian) dive into the world of alternate dimensions. He claims that they actually went into one and it was there that they met Major Briggs, who asked for some coordinates before floating up into the air and losing his head…literally. Hastings is able to pick out Major Briggs from a series of photographs, lending credence to the possibility that all of this actually happened. The scene ends with Hastings pleading that people believe him, swearing his innocence to the murder of Ruth, and Albert being the classic dick that he is.
When it comes to Dougie/Good Cooper, there’s nothing much to report. He, Jane, and his boss are at the Las Vegas police department where the boss is being questioned, although nothing of substance comes up. We find out that there are no records of Dougie prior to 1997. We also see Cooper staring at an American flag while “America the Beautiful” plays softly underneath only for a very eerie tone to hover over this while Dougie’s attention gets drawn to an electrical outlet. Perhaps he fears it after coming through one in the third episode?
Meanwhile, the three police officers from the seventh episode get a tip that “Ike the Spike”, the murderous dwarf, has been found, so they set up a sting and arrest him.
The real meat of this episode focused on the investigations of Officer Bobby Briggs, Deputy Hawk, and Sheriff Truman, who are trying to figure out what’s going on with all the Special Agent Cooper hints they’ve been getting. To that end, the three visit Bobby’s mother, Betty, to ask her some questions. Just as they are about to inquire about the night that Agent Cooper met with Major Briggs, she holds up her hand and explains that she’s been waiting for this for a long, long time. She says that Briggs told her this day would come and gave her explicit instructions on what to do.
She leads the three into the living room where she clicks a button on a red chair, opening a secret compartment on the top. Inside is a thin metal tube that she gives to the three. In this moment, Betty explains to Bobby that his father, Major Briggs, somehow knew that he would grow up to be in this position. It’s a wonderful and emotional moment between the two, even though Bobby doesn’t start crying as he did when he saw the picture of Laura.
Back at the sheriff’s station, Truman and Hawk try to figure out the metal tube but it turns out that Bobby knows exactly what to do. Outside, he throws it against the ground and quickly picks it up to show them that it’s begun ringing, almost like a tuning fork. He throws it again and this time it has opened, revealing rolled up sheets of paper inside. These sheets bear strange, cryptic instructions that, once again, are written directly for Bobby and no one else.
This whole storyline with Bobby is absolutely beautiful because it’s a direct continuation of the “Vision of Light” moment between Major Briggs and Bobby from the original series. Major Briggs always had faith that his son would grow up to be a good, strong, honorable man and he wasn’t wrong. Bobby is now proof that his father’s visions came true and there is something so touching about that.
The episode ends at the Bang Bang bar where we meet two young ladies, one who is obviously a drug addict with a severe armpit rash. They talk about their work but nothing of too much substance is brought up. We end with a performance of “A Violent Yet Flammable World” by Au Revoir Simone to bring up the credits.
Some side events that took place that aren’t of specific importance (at least not yet) but are worth mentioning:
-The other officers obviously hate Chad, the dickhead police officer. Just had to throw that out there because it put a smile on my face.
-We see Jerry Horne again and this time he’s convinced that his foot isn’t really a part of his body. It’s a humorous scene but I’m beginning to feel very scared for him as he always seems to be frightened or terrified. I wish he’d seek some help.
-In the Horne house, we see Johnny Horne running from room to room only to slam headfirst into a wall, creating a large hole and causing a bloody contusion on his forehead.
-In Benjamin Horne’s office, he and Beverly are still trying to find the source of the harmonious ringing but to no avail. They brush against each other at one point and it seems like something is going to happen only for – and color me very surprised here – Ben to put a halt to the tension, which he does with a tender and gentle approach.
-Andy and Lucy have a bit of a lightly heated debate about which color fabric they want to get on a new chair. The former wants red while the latter wants beige. Andy acquiesces only for Lucy to order the red one, clearly delighting in the surprise she’s going to give Andy when it arrives.
So what to make of this episode… Well, it definitely pushed the mysteries forward and offered us more insight into all those threads that started episodes ago only to seemingly be cast to the side.
We returned to the character of Bill Hastings and his importance in this story, which now seems paramount as he was the last person to “see” Major Briggs “alive”. We found out that Diane and Evil Cooper have some sort of connection, although we don’t know what it is. We dove deeper into the mysteries that are still abound in Twin Peaks itself. And we’ve been given the briefest reason to think that Good Cooper is still in trouble of being sucked back into the Black Lodge (I really didn’t like the look of that electrical outlet).
As always, if you’re looking for answers or something neat and tidy, you’re not going to get it here. But I feel like this episode saw significant forward movement in the story and that the puzzle pieces are starting to come together. Halfway through Showtime’s revival, I’m beginning to have hope for a satisfying conclusion, something us “Twin Peaks” fans aren’t all too familiar with.