My Thoughts On Showtime’s Twin Peaks Episode 16


Holy shit… I’m trying to wrap my head around everything I just witnessed in the 16th episode of Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” revival and it’s so hard. The past few episodes have been nothing short of incredible but this one took everything to the next level and then some.

I honestly can’t remember the last time a series has had me so invested in it that I make sure nothing gets in the way of my Sunday evenings. I would miss my own wedding for the next two episodes and I’m not even joking. That’s how captivating and ensnaring this experience has become.

In this episode, almost everything has come full circle and it leaves me believing that the tapestry David Lynch and Mark Frost have written will be revealed in its entirety with no threads left untended. After this episode, I am a believer and I feel shame for ever having not been.

Before we dive in, please remember that this is packed full of spoilers, so don’t read it if you want to experience the episode on your own terms.

Let’s get the shortest part out of the way, which incidentally enough happens to be where this episode began. We started off by watching Evil Cooper and Richard Horne driving into the middle of nowhere. They come to a stop at a crossroad, no distinguishable markings of any kind. Getting out of the car, we learn that Evil Cooper was drawn here because of coordinates that were sent to him from three separate people, two of whom sent the same ones, but the third is different.

Evil Cooper makes Richard take the GPS locator and go to the exact spot that was given by the two people. When he gets there, Richard abruptly and shockingly bursts into electricity, sparks, and fire, disappearing in front of Evil Cooper’s eyes. He casually states, “Goodbye, my son,” which confirms my suspicions that he assaulted Audrey during her recovery after the bank explosion and that his evil was genetically passed down to Richard.

Something else to note is that Jerry Horne stumbles over a nearby hill and watches the whole thing through binoculars that he holds backwards. What will happen to him? I’m very curious…

The vast majority of the rest of the episode takes place in Las Vegas, where we see Jane and Jim sitting next to Dougie, who is lying on a hospital bed in a coma after last week’s “shocking” events (I’m funny, get over it). He is visited by both Bushnell, his boss, and the Mitchums, who bring food and flowers as well as take Jane’s keys so they can stock the house.

Jane and Jim leave to go find a bathroom and Bushnell investigates a strange harmonic pitch, which takes him out of the room, leaving Dougie alone. The one-armed man appears in a vision and Dougie suddenly wakes up, sitting straight with a purpose. But this isn’t Dougie anymore… this is Cooper, finally back after so long!

Talking with the one-armed man, Cooper is given “the ring,” after which he asks if the one-armed man has the seed. When shown that he does indeed, Cooper rips out some hair and gives it to the one-armed man, telling him that he’ll need “another one.” Shortly after this, the one-armed man disappears and Jane and Jim come in, whom Cooper clearly remembers. He is adamant to be discharged as quickly as possible, sending Jane and Jim to get the car and asking Bushnell to hand him his clothes… as well as lend him his revolver. He also connects with the Mitchums, asking them to gas up their plane so that he can be flown to Spokane, Washington.

As Cooper is about to leave, Bushnell explains that the FBI are on their way. Cooper turns to him and states, “I AM the FBI,” before heading away.

People, I don’t think you understand what I went through in this moment. I actually screamed for joy. I quite literally pumped my fists in the air and started laughing because I was filled with so much happiness. After such a long, almost interminable wait that extended 15 episodes into the revival, we finally got Coop back! Not only do we have him back, but it’s clearly the same Coop that we fell in love with and cherished so much in the original series. He’s charming, full of optimism, and moves with purpose, yet kindness. He’s the kind of man that I saw as an inspiration, as someone I wished I could be more like, and he’s still here! I was actually emotionally overwhelmed in ways that I thought I had prepared for but clearly didn’t.

Okay, let’s get back to it, shall we?

Cooper takes the wheel from Jane and drives them to the Mitchums’ casino, where he explains to them that he has to leave for a while but promises that he’ll return. It is here that Jane comes to the realization that Cooper and Dougie, while physically almost identical, aren’t the same person. However, she still cherishes him and clearly wants him to be a part of her family’s life, asking him not to go in a sequence that feels like it’s right out of a 50’s romance film.

Leaving with the Mitchums, Cooper gets into their limo and explains everything to them off camera. They are hesitant to help him because he needs to go to the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station, which they say isn’t a place they’re normally welcome. However, Cooper, being his usual optimistic self, assures them that this won’t be the case because “…they have hearts of gold.” Everyone in the limo is touched and the warmth is apparent. This is the last we see of Cooper in this episode.

However, the events in Las Vegas aren’t over yet. While all this was going on, Chantal and Hutch were staked outside of the Jones home. While they were waiting there, FBI agents came up and tried to see if anyone was home (this took place before Cooper woke up). Seeing that there wasn’t, a couple of agents were tasked with staking the location. So now there are two vehicles that are keeping an eye on the Jones home.

While they are waiting, a car pulls up to Chantal and Hutch’s van and a man gets out to tell them that they are in his driveway. Things ramp up quickly and a gunfight breaks out in which the man shoots Chantal and Hutch, killing them both before he surrenders to the FBI agents. It’s a shocking sequence that feels both wildly out of place and yet so perfectly at place in the world of “Twin Peaks.” Another thread finds its end.

Now, let’s talk about Diane because she had a major role in this episode. We first see her – where else? – at the hotel bar, drinking and smoking. She gets a strange text from Evil Cooper, which reads, “: – ) ALL.” Clearly, this message has a serious effect on her, shocking her to her core. She states to herself, “Oh, Coop, I remember,” before sending a string of numbers back as a reply. As she puts away her phone, we see inside her purse and spy a revolver. The music becomes intense and Diane goes up to Gordon’s room, where Tammy and Albert are also sitting. Gordon invites her in before she can even knock, somehow sensing her presence behind the door.

Inside, she sits down and receives a drink from Albert before telling her story about the night she was visited by Coop, where she reveals that he raped her. She attempts to shoot Gordon, but Tammy and Albert kill her first, only for her body to spasm beyond physical human possibilities and vanish into thin air, just like the first case of the Blue Rose.

We then see her in the Black Lodge, in the red-curtained waiting room, where the one-armed man tells her that she was manufactured. She defiantly admits it and tells him, just like the Diane we have come to know this season, “Fuck you!” Suddenly, her body starts to break apart like something out of a David Firth video and her seed emerges as she bursts into electricity, leaving the tiny gold ball in her place. Yet another thread has found its end.

The episode ends at the Roadhouse, where we first get a performance from Eddie Vedder, introduced as Edward Louis Severson, who plays “Out of Sand,” a beautiful, folky solo piece. During his song, Audrey and Charles come into the bar, finally having been able to come to a decision to leave their house.

After Vedder’s song ends, the announcer reveals that it’s time for “Audrey’s Dance” and the entire floor clears. As that wonderful, mysterious, hypnotic music begins playing, Audrey is lulled into a trance and enters the center of the floor, sashaying and swaying to the music, her arms weaving sinuously as the crowd sways back and forth in unison. Her joy is apparent and her smile illuminates her face, making her look just like she did back in Norma’s diner, all those years ago.

However, a man suddenly attacks another man in what is seemingly a marital dispute, shattering the scene. Audrey runs to Charles and begs him to take her away only for the entire scene to flash to a blindingly white room where Audrey is looking in the mirror at her own reflection. The episode then ends with the same band that played “Audrey’s Dance” playing it again, only this time in reverse as the credits roll.

Immediately, Monica Belluci’s line “We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream” comes to mind. Is Audrey somehow the key to it all? What happened to her? What is this world that she’s in, who is this Billy that she is so desperately seeking, and what is the truth to her story?

As you can clearly see, this episode catapulted the events of the previous 15 episodes into high gear. Everything that we’ve been waiting for has begun, and now it’s a race to get all the answers possible.

As I stated above, the return of Special Agent Dale Cooper was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had with a TV show. The exultation that coursed through my body cannot be described. It was a moment that was a long time coming, and even through all my impatience and frustrations that it was taking so long to happen, it felt so right in this moment. To have had it any other way would’ve cheapened the experience. The cherry on top of the sundae was having the Twin Peaks theme play once Cooper really got his stride going. Those who have waited over a quarter of a century, myself included, witnessed everything come full circle in the most magical and wonderful of ways.

The characters of “Twin Peaks” aren’t just a collection of actors and actresses playing roles; they feel like family. Some may annoy me, some may frustrate me, and some I might simply hate, but I can’t imagine my life without them.

As usual, a “Twin Peaks” episode wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t make viewers say, “What the hell just happened?” at least once or twice; and this episode certainly did its job. What happened with Diane and who manufactured her? What was the trap that Richard triggered that was clearly meant for Evil Cooper and who set it? What happened to Audrey?

Next week brings us a two-part finale that will wrap up Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” revival. Well, unless a second season is given the green light, of course. It’s been a journey across decades but also across generations. My parents introduced me to “Twin Peaks” at a young age and I know those who are my age who are introducing it to their children.

No matter what comes next, I will remain forever grateful to David Lynch and Mark Frost for a return to a world that uses the great mysteries of life to showcase the very best that’s capable within each and everyone of us.



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