Twin Peaks: 3.09

And so here we are at the halfway point in the Twin Peaks revival; the show took a week's break after the momentous and very unique eighth part and with good reason too. It was unlike anything audiences had seen on television before and we needed time to absorb it. But here things are back to normal, or at least as normal as the season has been and like part seven, it starts to weave the various plots into a cohesive structure.

Gordon, Albert, Tammy and Diane finally met the detectives involved in the Ruth Davenport murder case from the first part, encountered Lieutenant Cynthia Knox in her investigation into Briggs' headless corpse; clues were offered to his demise and Dougie's wedding ring was mentioned. All the while, the detectives investigating the assault on Dougie discovered he didn't exist before 1997. There was a definite sense of momentum without there really being any progression. Cooper is still in his virtual comatose state, though his focus on the woman wearing the red stilettos was sure a reminder of the (still unseen) Audrey.

Still, I rather enjoyed it and it was nice to see that the momentum of part seven wasn't lost.

I'm continuing to enjoy the FBI portion of the show, though Tammy still feels a bit of a sexy walking mannequin without much personality. David Lynch is clearly having fun as Gordon Cole, the late Miguel Ferrer still as grumpy as ever as Albert Rosenfield and Laura Dern continues to delight as the always angry Diane. They might have lost the bad Cooper, learning too late of his escape, but the next step in their investigation will hopefully lead them to the good Cooper. There was also some fascinating exposition in Tammy's interrogation of Matthew Lillard's William Hastings. His 'research' into alternate worlds with Ruth led to an encounter with Briggs who may have been in hiding in a spirit world (the White Lodge?) for the last thirty years. The numbers Briggs asked for obviously had dire consequences for all involved.

There was also some well deserved progression in Twin Peaks itself as Bobby (getting a much bigger role finally), accompanied Hawk and Truman to his mother's house to unearth the secrets about his father's death. It was lovely to see Charlotte Stewart as Betty again while Dana Ashbrook is totally engaging as an older, more mature Bobby, albeit with a little bit of a mischievous streak; watching him bemused as Hawk and Truman tried to open the puzzle box his father has left with his mother 25 years ago and then clearly delighting in trying to open it and relieving his childhood memories in the process. 

As for the message inside, it certainly harks back to the coded transmissions Briggs gave Cooper back in season two and the two Coopers may have awoken Hawk (who fans will remember was deeply knowledgeable of the myths behind the White and Black Lodges) to the fact there is a good and bad Cooper out there. I'm also enjoying see how Lynch weaves the deceased Major Briggs into the story, though it makes me sad to know we can't have the late Don S. Davis in the revival.

As with all these reviews, I could loose myself discussing everything that happened, so here are some of my brief thoughts on the rest. The brief cameo of Johnny Horne and was I assume with his mother Sylvia added more returns of former characters, but Audrey was still, frustratingly absent (though she may have been teased with those red shoes). The other thing I noticed was how much of a resurgence there was of Angelo Badalamenti's score, which seems largely absent until part eight.

It was a surprise to see actors of the calibre of Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh pop up as criminal cohorts of Bad Cooper. I suspect we haven't seen the last of Hutch and Chantal. Also, I wonder what bad Cooper texting Diane means, particularly as she kept checking her phone on the plane. Is she on Bad Cooper's side or is she playing her own game?

There were even moments of Lynchian absurdist comedy, some more funny than others. I'm not sure I found the 'argument' over the purchase of a chair between Andy and Lucy amusing, but perhaps it's because they seem just a little too senile. Though Jerry on a high in the woods was fantastic as his shoe spoke back to him. "I. Am. Not. Your. Foot." It didn't add much but it certainly made me laugh.

A lot of what we saw this week was confirming to the characters what we knew or at least suspected, but the cohesion of plots was certainly needed and it certainly it starting to feel of a mix of old and new Twin Peaks. I still have no idea where the show is going and I'm getting a little frustrated that Cooper isn't back to his old self yet. But halfway through the revival I am well and truly hooked.

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