Has Diane gone over to the dark side? Is Cooper’s trusty Gal Friday no longer trustworthy? Why is she getting mysterious texts from Evil Cooper? Are they in cahoots? Wasn’t she just yelling at him in the prison and hinting at some horrible misdeeds on his part? Or does she maybe think the texts are coming from somebody else? Why doesn’t she mention all this to her old smoke-buddy Gordon Cole? OK, enough Diane questions, on with the recap of Twin Peaks Episode 9:
ON ‘THE FARM’ IN SOUTH DAKOTA l Evil Coop is just fine, despite taking Ray’s two bullets (and possibly losing the BOB bubble?) He reconnects with Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh, still eating Cheetos) and her husband “Hutch” (Tim Roth, decidedly not taking over David Bowie’s role as Phillip Jeffries, as rumored). They clean Evil Coop up, and provide him with a truck, weapons and phones. He instructs them to kill the prison warden, and two more as-yet-unnamed victims (Dougie and Janey-E?). Then he sends that mysterious text to Diane and calls Las Vegas! A-ha! Evil Coop is in fact the mysterious bad boss sending those “Red Box Kill Commands” to poor, nervous Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler)! This makes me think Evil Coop, and not Audrey Horne, is also the mysterious billionaire behind the glass box in NYC. Frankly, it seems Evil Coop is 10 steps ahead of everybody else, especially if he has tricked foul-mouthed Diane into one of his many schemes.
IN BUCKHORN SOUTH DAKOTA l Cole gets two calls on the plane: one telling him that Evil Coop has escaped prison, and another telling him that Major Briggs’ body has been found in Buckhorn. They divert the jet (to Diane’s displeasure) and Cole, Albert, Diane and Tammy all stumble into the non-smoking Buckhorn morgue to meet up with Lt. Knox from the Pentagon, Detective Macklay and well, well, well… Albert’s potential new love interest, stand-up comedian/coroner Constance Talbot (Jane Adams). Yes, all the characters, narrative threads and puzzle pieces are finally starting to come together. And this episode was pretty much 80 percent connective tissue building (after Part 8’s razzle-dazzle lazer light show), but it gets complicated here so stay with me: Briggs’ headless body (which looks suspiciously fantastic for 72 years old) was found with Ruth Davenport’s head. Ruth Davenport was a high school librarian working with Principal Hastings (Matthew Lillard) to investigate (and blog about) alternate dimensions. (BTW, you can read their actual blog here.) Agent Preston interrogates the sobbing Principal Hastings, who tells us that he and Ruth actually found this “other zone” and that Major Briggs was hibernating inside. He asked them to get him some location coordinates, they did, and then everything went haywire and Ruth and Briggs were killed (perhaps by Woodsmen?). You should remember that Evil Coop’s main focus seems to be learning these coordinates. And that Ray somehow got them from Hastings’ (unseen) secretary, then apparently blew her up in her car, and then shot Evil Coop when he refused to pay top dollar for them. So much trouble for a set of numbers!
IN LAS VEGAS l Ike the Spike is captured, thanks to Dougie’s quick thinking and expert moves back in Part 7. But Dougie and Janey have to sit around in the police station, waiting to be released by the three Fusco Cop Clowns (I am really hoping they are eventually matched up with the “trippleganger” showgirls Mandie, Candie and Sandie). The Fusco Cop Clowns discover that Dougie has no identifiable background or documents before 1997 (and we know that’s because Evil Coop manufactured him). And they learn from Dougie’s boss that Dougie had a car accident about 12 years ago, which left him occasionally nutty (which finally explains why everyone is so forgiving of Dougie’s near-brain-dead behavior). The Fusco Cop Clowns snag Dougie’s fingerprints and decide to reach out to one of their buddies “at Justice.” This will likely ping Gordon Cole, who will soon be faced with yet another Coop. Meanwhile, Dougie sits there with Janey, staring sadly at the American flag, but rousing briefly to ogle a sexy pair of shoes (red pumps that all but scream Audrey Horne) and an ominous electrical outlet (similar to the one from which he was reborn).
IN TWIN PEAKS l Jerry Horne is still high as a kite in the woods and fighting with his (talking) foot. Ben Horne and Beverly are still investigating the Josie hum. They begin to canoodle, but then Ben tells her he just can’t do this. Maybe his mental detour into the deep, deep south back in Season 2 really did change him into a better man. (Also, do we suspect that Beverly is maybe scheming to sleep with and blackmail Ben in order to support her dying husband? Just a thought.) Andy and Lucy are buying a chair (in a tediously paced moment) but then another chair becomes a pivotal prop in the very next scene: Bobby’s mom Betty (welcome back to the wonderful Charlotte Stewart!) has been waiting 25 years to inform Bobby, Hawk and Sherriff Truman that Major Briggs left behind specific instructions and a mysterious metal tube right before he died. Major Briggs seems to have foretold the future: he knew Bobby would be a cop, he knew Bobby would come for this tube, he knew Bobby would know how to open this tube, and he knew Bobby would understand the instructions inside. It was an emotional moment for Bobby and for viewers who remember Major Briggs back in the original Episode 8 telling troubled, drug-dealing-and-addicted Bobby that he had a vision of light for his son, of a happy and bountiful future. We haven’t met Bobby’s (presumed) wife or kids yet, but it looks like his dad was right about everything else. As for the tube, it was a puzzle of its own (not unlike the puzzle box Thomas Eckhardt left for Andrew Packard back in Season 2). The tube opened after a good slam and hum, and it held scraps of paper, one describing two dates and the time 2:53 (the same time we heard from the brain tree, and from Ronette Pulaski in the purple room). The other scrap of paper was cut from the deep space monitoring report that Briggs showed to Cooper near the end of Season 2. Way back when, some space sounds and gibberish suddenly coughed up “COOPER/COOPER/COOPER” and indeed we now have three Coopers: Evil Coop, Good Coop, and Dougie. (It’s a trinity, just like that real nuclear bomb blast back in 1945, which was, yep, actually named “The Trinity”). Briggs only included two Coopers in the tube (because Dougie is dead anyway?) and it seems to me that pretty soon Good Coop and Evil Coop will merge into our one and only Special Agent Dale.
BONUS POINTS l Finally, that overgrown man-child in the blue sweatsuit running through a McMansion in the middle of the episode was Audrey Horne’s brother, Johnny (now played by Erik Rondell, the third actor in this role). You will remember Johnny from the original series wearing an Indian headdress and banging his head against a dollhouse when he discovered that Laura Palmer wouldn’t be coming to tutor him the day she died. The woman chasing and calling after Johnny is his mom, Sylvia Horne (Jan D’Arcy). It is interesting to note that Johnny smashed his head into a picture on the wall (leaving a bloody hole) because this kind of injury is a theme in Twin Peaks. Agent Cooper smashed his head into a mirror in the series finale. Leland Palmer finally killed Maddie Ferguson by smashing her head into a painting of Montana. And Johnny’s dad Ben Horne had his own head bashed into a marble fireplace by Doc Hayward. So, maybe Johnny Horne is dead now (although Ben didn’t seem too upset later that day). Or maybe Johnny will survive (like his dad). And maybe, just maybe, this bonk on the head will finally bring him out of the childish mental state he has been in since Audrey pushed him down the stairs as a child. (If you don’t remember that information, that’s because it was delivered by Sylvia to Dr. Jacoby in a deleted scene way back from Season 2.) Maybe Johnny will wake up reborn and restored. Sure, it’s kooky Gilligan’s Island logic, but it worked for Nadine in the series finale. She thought she was 18 years old until Windom Earle caused that sandbag to clonk her on the noggin. Stranger things have happened. And I’m sure stranger things will, next week in Part 10. (—Written by M.T. Wentz)