Twin Peaks: 3.04
I have to admit - as big a fan of Twin Peaks as I am - that it wasn't until this part that I finally realised I was enjoying the revival. It's been a vivid, intense and often surreal experience so far, not at all like the original series and yet feeling like a twisted continuation of season two. Perhaps it has taken time to adjust to the realisation that this was far more than just the lives of our favourite characters twenty five years later, most of which have barely been seen, if at all.
And yet, after taking us to Las Vegas, North Dakota and New York for much of the story, not to mention expanding the dream world beyond the Black Lodge, David Lynch shook things up in part four by giving us an episode that felt much more like the original series. There was more kooky humour for sure and for the first time, Laura Palmer's theme, blending in the familiarity with the new.
There was a lot to love about those scenes in the Sheriff's department. Bobby is all grown up and a deputy for starters. He's no longer the cocky, drug-addled jock flirting with the law but a man serving the law and helping track down the never ending drug trafficking along the border with Canada. His tears of shock as he wandered into the conference room and saw the picture of Laura Palmer among the old cases files was heartbreaking, that iconic theme taking us back to where it all began.
We also finally saw Sheriff Truman and it wasn't Harry but his brother Frank, played by Robert Forster. The episode revealed the sad truth that Harry is ill, perhaps terminally, which might explain the absence of the character after Michael Ontkean retired from acting and didn't return for the revival. The scene where Frank entered and Lucy screamed with shock, having just spoken to him on the phone, was silly and adorable in equal measure; it seems that Frank has to share his brother's patience when dealing with his receptionist (this time Lucy failed to comprehend that you can be anywhere on a mobile phone).
But surely the most oddball moment has to be the very long moment where we meet Lucy and Andy's son Wally played by Michael Cera, who has returned from his travels to pay respect to his ill godfather Harry. Dressed exactly like Marlon Brando from The Wild One, he's as idiosyncratic a character as we've ever seen on Twin Peaks.
But the main story focuses on good Cooper's adjustment to the real world after spending those twenty five years in the Black Lodge. He is still a shell of his former self, picking up phrases as he tries to master the English language from scratch again, and after winning a fortune at the casino finds himself driven home in the place of the second doppleganger Dougie, who was of course manufactured and destroyed by the Black Lodge in part three. There's more goofball comedy as his wife Janey (Naomi Watts) fails to realise that the man in her home is not her husband. The $20,000 winnings help to solve some of their financial problems (alluding back to the hitmen from part three) and there's something rather joyful in seeing Cooper experience the pleasure of pancakes for the first time, much to the bemusement of Dougie's son Sonny Boy, his failure to work out how to wear a tie and his mix of disgust and elation at drinking coffee.
I'm enjoying the unusual path the return of good Cooper has taken, though I hope we get back to his old self soon. Hopefully his experience of coffee might help to kickstart some of his dormant brain cells soon. The evil Cooper meanwhile remains locked behind bars, the subject of Gordon Cole, Albert Rosenfeld and Tamara Preston's trip to North Dakota. Albert continues to be a slightly subdued shadow of his former self, though I loved that he brought pictures of Mount Rushmore for Cole to look at and there's some delightful banter between them. They encounter with the Cooper - the first time in 25 years - is a mass of intrigue and tension. Cooper asserts that he has been deep undercover, working with Agent Jeffries but thankfully Cole and Rosenfeld see sense, the latter suggesting that this is all linked to the blue rose killings.
The other thing I'm enjoying about the revival is seeing all the FBI characters from Cooper's old life working together. In the original show, they dipped in and out, referring to each other. But here we get them in on place. As well as Cole and Rosenfeld's reunion with Cooper, we also get a fantastic scene as Cole meets with David Duchovny's Denise Bryson, now the Chief of Staff in the FBI. There is a great sense of history between them and Duchovny continues to play her as a believable transgender character, rather than playing for laughs. It's another highlight in what feels for me the most cohesive part of the revival yet.
As for the moment Cole asks Rosenfeld to get 'her', my money's on the unforeseen Diane, the one woman who seemed to know Cooper best. It certainly sets up an exciting hook for part five. At this stage, it's easy to see why Lynch needed more episodes to tell the story; we still have fourteen parts to go but the mysteries feel as if they have barely been scratched and the various character journeys are just beginning. It's going to be a fun, surreal summer as audiences work their way through the rest of the revival and I cannot wait...