Spoilers ahead for Twin Peaks: The Return.
The short version: "This is the chair."
Well, Part 8 of The Return was always going to be a very tough act to follow. Part 9 doesn't ever climb to that level of ambitious television, but it does give us plenty of juicy new plot developments. The biggest of which is that we're finally getting somewhere concrete when it comes to the mystery of Major Garland Briggs.
Remember William Hastings, the guy arrested for the apparent double murder that led off the revival? Well, he wasn't just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was investigating an alternate universe he calls "The Zone," and somehow that led to him encountering Major Garland Briggs, who was there in some kind of hibernation state. How Major Briggs and poor Ruth, who was also aware of an alternate universe, wound up dead as a result of this encounter still isn't clear, but it does explain why Major Briggs hadn't aged naturally. So Gordon, Albert and Tammy are on the trailer of The Zone, with Diane reluctantly tagging along. The "Blue Rose" case Gordon's been investigating well before we ever met him is finally moving forward.
Meanwhile, in Twin Peaks, Mrs. Briggs has revealed that somehow, after the Major met with Cooper and then seemingly perished when his station caught fire 25 years ago, he predicted that Sheriff Truman, Hawk and Bobby would come looking for information and had a secret message ready for them. That message included a strip of code with the word "Cooper" embedded among the numbers twice, as well as two dates (10/1 and 10/2) and a time (2:53, a time specifically mentioned by The Arm in a past episode). Now, Truman, Hawk and Bobby will be at the appointed place at the appointed time. Let the theorizing begin. Will they find the entrance to The Lodge? Are The Lodge and The Zone the same place? Will we return to the place where we first saw Major Briggs' floating head and heard him say "Blue Rose?" This is Twin Peaks, so it could be all of those things or none of them, but this is an absolutely thrilling storyline right now.
As for DoppelDale, he's alive and seemingly well after his encounter with the Woodsmen last episode, and while we still don't know exactly what happened or whether BOB is still in there, he hasn't slowed down with his plans. He's already back on the road, ordering executions and still looking for the information Ray kept from him (perhaps the same coordinates William and Ruth discovered before Ruth's death?). We've known that DoppelDale is driven from the moment we saw him in The Return, but what we still don't know is exactly what he's after and why. With the evil Cooper back out in the world again, we may not be closer to understanding him, but it feels like we're leaning in that direction, which makes for another satisfying subplot this week. Oh, and Ike the Spike is now in police custody, so perhaps he'll be able to fill us in on how he's connected to this whole mess.
Then there's perhaps the most haunting development of the episode: DoppelDale has Diane's number, and he sent her a foreboding coded message. Diane's reaction after reading the message certainly did not look like confusion, and we know that she and DoppelDale had some kind of interaction at her home years ago that she has so far refused to tell Gordon about. Whose side is Diane on?
As much as I usually love the Andy and Lucy comedy, their little battle over a chair tonight was a little too slow and stilted for me. They have such great chemistry most of the time that the scene was jarring. Obviously to be jarring is sometimes the point of these odd displays of Lynchian comedy, but Andy and Lucy have never ground the show to a halt before, and their conversation about the chocolate bunny a few weeks ago was one of the funniest Twin Peaks moments ever. So ... this was strange.
- Early on in the series, it became clear that Dougie Jones was somehow engineered by the Lodge or someone Lodge-related for a purpose, which he seemingly fulfilled when he traded places with Dale Cooper. Now we know that no records of his existence are available before 1997, suggesting that he did indeed arrive in our world fully formed and ready to be some kind of doppelganger balance. Why the records start in 1997 as opposed to, say, 1990 is anybody's guess at this point, but we may get some answers soon. We also may be on the verge of the Las Vegas police realizing that they're dealing with Dale Cooper and not Dougie Jones. Remember, they have his prints now.
- The humming in the Great Northern continues ...
- "Cooper flew the coop!" is one of the all-time great Gordon Cole lines.
- The "Johnny" who got out of his room and ran into the wall is Johnny Horne, Ben Horne's mentally disabled son and Audrey Horne's brother. Years ago, he was tutored by Laura Palmer, and while he's never had a huge role to play in the show, it seems clear we're destined to learn a little more about him soon. Perhaps Audrey will finally show up as well.
And that's it for this week! Join us next Sunday for Part 10.