Twin Peaks: 3.03

For those expecting a return to the town of Twin Peaks after the final Roadhouse scene in part two, you're in for a disappointment. Instead, David Lynch continues to take the journey of the Dale Cooper's in intriguing new directions. We get another brief and frankly odd scene with Jacoby spray painting spades gold and an amusing scene as Hawk, Andy and Lucy search for the thing they missed in Cooper's case files, but otherwise the journey of season three continues to take us far from the Washington town that enchanted us all those years ago.

It really is clear with part three that season three is an eighteen-part film, cut into sizeable viewing chunks but that isn't to say there isn't a narrative to this part; if you could put a synopsis to part three it would be the good Cooper's escape from the Black Lodge into the real world. But in true Lynch fashion, it throws plenty of curveballs at the audience. Any expectations you had about the season should certainly be put aside at this point. Like the dwarf from the Black Lodge evolving into the talking brain in the tree (something I realised after my review of parts 1 and 2) this series has transformed massively from its predecessor.

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The first eighteen minutes are a fascinating exploration of the dream world as Cooper falls from the red curtained corridors of the Black Lodge into a mysterious stone balcony on the edge of a vast, black ocean. It's a fascinating exploration of the spirit world behind the real world of Twin Peaks. His encounter with the blind spirit takes him up into the stars and a giant bell - it makes little sense but remains utterly absorbing while the vision of Major Briggs and another spirit with the face of Ronnette Pulaski help provide some familiar ties to the original.

Cooper's return to the room finds him encountering another spirit sitting before the fireplace, the blue rose of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me on a table and a giant radio transmitter that appears to suck him back into the real world. Meanwhile we encounter the Bob-possessed bad Cooper determined not to return to the Black Lodge as his car crashes in the desert and the red curtains appear around him. At this point it seems clear; the two Coopers are finally going to trade places...

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...Enter Dougie Jones, played by...Kyle MacLachlan. It's so unexpected to see a larger, bouffant-haired version of Cooper convorting with Nafessa Williams' naked prostitute Jade crop out of nowhere. Who he is and possibly why he is is unanswered; all we know is that he wears the green owl ring and finds himself transported to the Black Lodge as the good Cooper emerges from the plug socket. It's so utterly surreal but offers a solution as to how the good and bad Cooper could exist in the real world, because isn't it better if Cooper has to catch his evil doppleganger? Encountering the One armed man, it is revealed that Dougie was manufactured, possibly to take the evil Cooper's place and he is quickly dispatched the moment he arises.

While the bad Cooper is found comatose in his crashed car, having vomited creamed corn and bile in the same manner as Dougie, the good Cooper stumbles into the real world with no semblance of memory or identity and just the key to his room at the Great Northern hotel in his suit pocket. What follows is an amusing scene as Jade drops him off at a nearby casino, narrowly missing two hired killers who had plans to off Dougie. The is an element of Lynchian kooky charm as Cooper is led from one slot machine to another by a vision of the red curtains, winning money for which we assume he'll need in the real world to take down his doppleganger. I hope Cooper returns to his old Norwegian Pine, coffee and cherry pie loving self soon but it's understandable that twenty five years in the Black Lodge have left him somewhat shellshocked.

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After following Cooper's bizarre journey back into the real world, the episode ends with the long awaited return of Lynch's FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole and the wonderful Albert Rosenfeld, played by the late, great Miguel Ferrer. They are joined by a new FBI agent Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell), whose initials will be all too familiar to anyone who has read The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost. I wonder if she'll be the new Dale Cooper of the series, seen investigating the bloody murders of Sam and Tracey in New York and then following Rosenfeld and Cole as they learn of Cooper's return. Of course, which Cooper they find remains to be seen, given that the evil doppelganger has been picked up by the police.

In part three, Lynch continues to raise questions and throw curveballs at the audience while slowly but surely bringing Dale Cooper and the audience back into the world, albeit a very different one. It wasn't the most exciting installment but it was fascinating to follow Cooper's journey and I'm excited to see how events unfold now that he is back. One thing is or certain; there are fifteen more parts to come and I have no idea what is coming next!

Category Episode Review