While both parts 3 and 4 are available, I’m going to do them both separately. So, to be clear, this is not going to be the behemoth post last week’s turned out to be. And that’s not surprising really, there’s a little less to chew on this time around.
I’ve got to say, this title sequence is excellent. You’d think they wouldn’t touch the original, but I believe they’ve created something incredible. I still can’t get over those waves fading into flowing red velvet fading into a dizzying shot of the red room’s floor pattern. I might end up saying this every week.
We start off right where we left Cooper, falling through an endless abyss. As places go, it’s a little bleak. The look of his fall is decidedly lo-fi, but cuts to a gorgeous and detailed shot of pink smoke unfurling like a flower. All of a sudden he’s back on solid ground, landing on the balcony of a purple-tinged building overlooking an endless sea. This is the kind of location that seems straight out of a dream, and therefore perfect for this world and this director.
Inside is a woman with no eyes, trapped in the dimly-lit room. Time jitters back and forth in an uncomfortable way, and the blinded woman seems to be shocked to have an companion. There’s a loud knocking at the door, and the woman urges Cooper to stay quiet and follow her out of the room. Cooper notices that there is some kind of industrial object on the wall (looks like cross between a safe and a circuit to me) with the number ’15’ printed on it. The woman desperately urges that he stay away with it, and takes him up and out of the room.
Outside, it turns out we’ve got a TARDIS-like situation, with the huge room appearing to be contained within a smaller battery, floating in space. The woman turns pulls a lever, which a sacrifice which electrocutes her and throws off the side. The knocking at the door stops. Looking below, Cooper sees the face of Garland Briggs appear below him, saying the words “blue rose”. Heading back in, Cooper sees the room has changed. There is a blue rose on the table and the number of the safe has changed to ‘3’. There is another woman, with eyes intact, sat in the same place. At exactly 2:53 the lamp turns on.
At the same time, Coop’s doppelganger is driving, but there is some sort of connection between the ‘3’ circuit and the cigarette lighter in Coop 2’s car as he drives through the desert. There is some kind of electric field that fries Coop 1 as he tries to get through, to some kind of gateway. The woman tells him to hurry, because “My mother is coming”. C1 passes through the socket, and C2 crashes his car. In the aftermath, he covers his mouth as if trying to stop something from escaping. He sees the Red Room’s curtains appear in front of his car.
Cut to Rancho Rosa, looking a lot like Arrested Development‘s Sudden Valley. Just to confuse this recap further, there is a third Cooper, but luckily enough he’s identified as ‘Dougie’ by Jade, the prostitute he has hired. Dougie has a numb arm, the same arm whose hand features a green ring. Both Dougie and C2 are sick now, but it’s Dougie who throws up blood and vomit, disappearing in a flash. C2 also throws up the grossest shit ever, and passes out, but it seems like Dougie is the one to take his place in the Red Room.
After last week’s seeming disintegration of the black lodge, it seems to be doing fine. The adorable Dougie is caught in the Red Room with Gerard, who notes that “someone manufactured you for a purpose, but I think now that’s been fulfilled”. It seems like this was C2’s failsafe, to create something that would take his place when it came to return to the lodge. Dougie begins to shrink, before turning into a floating gold sphere, then a black tumorous stone (Lynch’s liking for imbuing inorganic matter with fleshiness is back in style), then the gold ball once again, which Gerard collects along with the ring.
Cooper emerges from the socket, just in time for Jade to find him lying on the floor and assume he’s Dougie. She find he only has a key for the Great Northern in his pocket, so helps him out of the house into a car. Two men wait for Cooper to emerge so they can assassinate him, perhaps on the behest of Coop 2. Coop 1 narrowly avoids being killed, despite seemingly having fried brains from the journey back to the real world. They place a tracer on Dougie’s car (license plate reads: DUGE LV) while a boy opposite watches from his window. His mother, a drug addict, pours herself some whiskey while shouting “119” The police arrive at the scene of Coop 2’s crash, where the smell of the car is overwhelming.
Back to Twin Peaks, Hawk is still on the lookout for the “something is missing”. This leads to an all-timer scene with Lucy and Andy, who are beginning to look more and more like Dr. Seuss characters as time goes on. They struggle with the minimal clues they have, with Hawk leaving more confused than anything. Meanwhile, Dr. Jacoby sprays those shovels he bought in the first part. That’s about it.
Cooper is dropped off at the Silver Mustang Casino by Jade. Like a lost child, Cooper walks around the casino until he sees a man win at the slot machines. A little window to the Red Room, flickering like a flame in the air, guides him to a different machine. Copying the man he has just seen, he plays the machine and shouts “Hellooooo,” winning piles of change and breaking the machine. He repeats this on a number of systems, until security begin to get suspicious.
Cut to FBI Headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Albert (Yes!) and Gordon Cole (YES!!) are discussing an absurd case as usual, before Gordon dismisses the agents, except for Albert and Tammy. The latter agent shows gory photos of the couple who were massacred in New York last episode. The couple were identified, but the identity of the building’s purpose and owner is unknown to them. Looking through the footage, which displays the shape in the cube we saw last time (“What the hell!?”), but no Cooper.
But then the call comes through in Cole’s office – Cooper has been found, but not in a casino – but South Dakota. The doppelganger has been found. “The absurd mysteries of the strange forces of existence,” Albert growls in a voice that only became cooler with age, “how about a truck full of Valium?”
Back in the Roadhouse, which appears to have fully converted from sad sack bar for bike gangs into full-on hipster joint, The Cactus Blossoms play “Mississippi.”
Okay, so we have a few answers, and a whole lot more questions, but that’s how I like it to be. First off, we should mention Dougie – the world’s cutest doppelganger. This guy has no clue what is going on, but it turns out he was Coop 2’s fail safe, a double to be drawn into the black lodge in his place. And the thing they both throw up? Looks like a gorier version of “Garmonbozia” to me, aka the “pain and suffering” that the MFAP adores so much.
I should mention the Man From Another Place – y’know, the one who evolved into a tree? Well he’s not around this episode, but his presence is definitely felt. First of all, the presence of electricity is something which is often associated with The Man From Another Place. In Fire Walk With Me the MFAP says “I am the arm, and I sound like this,” making a whooping sound that is heard in the pylons. It is the buzzing of cigarette lighter that attempts to draw Cooper’s doppelganger into the black lodge, and it is through an outlet that the real Cooper emerges.
It has been said that accepting and wearing the MFAP’s green ring allows him (the spirit MIKE) to possess you. Gerard is seen wearing the ring, who explained once that he was an accomplice of BOB, but cut his own arm off to avoid possession by MIKE. Laura is offered the ring in Fire Walk With Me, and takes it in the climax to BOB’s anger. In a fit of rage he kills her. When we first meet Dougie, he has a numb arm and is wearing the same ring. Like most things in Twin Peaks, there’s enough pieces to see a pattern, but no clear solution.
The appearance of Garland Briggs is interesting, as the actor died well before filming so is definitely not going to appear alive. Canonically, the last we hear of him is in Mark Frost’s book The Secret History of Twin Peaks, where he rushes to an emergency at his forest-based UFO listening post after meeting with Coop’s doppelganger. In this vision, he says “blue rose,”which may refer to “Cole’s blue rose cases” from Fire Walk With Me. These cases included a number of murders leading to the death of Teresa Banks by Leland Palmer/BOB, and then of course – Laura Palmer. Fans have long speculated that “blue rose” is code for cases that are supernatural in some way. The blue rose appears on the table after the eyeless woman sacrifices herself, in room #3. The woman in this room, I only found out afterwards, is none other than Ronette Pulaski. Last time we left Ronette she was alive, and her mother wasn’t fleshed out at all before now, so the threat outside the door remains unexplained.
Speaking of The Secret History of Twin Peaks, it seems that we’re finally meeting the “TP” of the book. For those not in the know, Tamara “TP” Preston was the FBI agent ordered by Gordon Cole to look through an old dossier of files about Twin Peaks, detailing everything from satanic rituals to UFO sightings. She discovers through reading these documents that its archivist was Major Garland Briggs, who has since disappeared.
In all honesty, this week was all about the scene at the Sheriff’s department. The chocolate bunny sequence was hilarious and playfully self-aware, as it makes fun of the show’s love of absurd mysteries. Even the characters don’t know where to draw the line, with the no-nonsense Deputy Hawk so uncertain about what to do he doesn’t know whether to draw the line at chocolate bunnies or not. Aside from that, I liked the opening sequence, which felt a lot like a short film Lynch has been dying to get made. “You better hurry my mother’s coming” feels like it plays on the limited understanding and primal fears of childhood (see also: the fear that inspired Blue Velvet), rather than any hint to the workings of this world.
And aside from those two scenes, as well as the return of Gordon “What the hell!?” Cole, this episode was a little light for me, and didn’t hit me nearly as hard as I wanted it to. As much as I’m game for anything Lynch and Frost throw our way, I’m missing the basics. I’m getting antsy to stay in Twin Peaks for a few scenes a little longer, for more music, and a little less of the cheap look of some of the scenes with Cooper’s doppelganger. But to end on a positive note, I am really digging the choice to end on a full performance at the Roadhouse each episode.
Most Valuable Player:
Lucy Brennan (Kimmy Robertson)
There isn’t much to this, but the out of the hilarious trio that Hawk, Andy and Lucy turned out to be, Lucy was the best of the bunch. Robertson has such good comedic timing it’s kind of shocking. There were so many characters I loved in the original series that I had somehow overlooked how perfect she was in the role.
- The safe was initially marked ’15’ when it was dangerous; it was marked ‘3’ when it was safe to pass through
- “The blue rose” refers to ” Cole’s the blue rose cases” from Fire Walk With Me, which at the time included Teresa Banks, but went on to include Laura Palmer
- Here’s one solved from last week: the tree’s “253 time and time again”. The time when Cooper emerges back into the world is 2:53
- Cooper’s fall through space recalls Laura and Donna’s conversation in Fire Walk With Me: “Do you think that if you were falling in space that you would slow down after a while or go faster and faster?”
- This episode is dedicated to the memory of Don S. Davis (Garland Briggs) and Miguel Ferrer (Albert)
- “This is here”
- The side-eye that Lucy gives when she doesn’t understand something is perfect
- “Do chocolate bunnies have anything to do with your heritage?”
- In Gordon Cole’s office there is a photo of the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb, on the opposite wall is a portrait of Franz Kafka
- “Rancho Rosa,” where we meet Dougie, seems to get its name from the production company
Featured Image: Showtime