Plenty more twists and turns and fan pleasing moments in an episode that set up the two-part finale in style…
As the Twin Peaks revival nears its end game, fans were treated to another momentous episode, one that gave use plenty more answers and set all the characters on a collision course to the Washington town where it all began.
David Lynch has certainly defied expectations, delivering an eighteen-part odyssey of the good Dale Cooper’s escape from the Black Lodge in unexpected ways. This was not just a chance to revisit old faces – it was many episodes before we found out what happened to Bobby and Shelley while it took until last week’s episode to finally unite Norma and Ed. It also didn’t play on what audiences were thinking was happening. Bobby and Shelley’s daughter Becky (Amanda Seyfried) was teased as the next Laura Palmer but with two episodes to go, her fate has not been sealed. We assumed the series would see good Cooper escape and reunite with Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield to fight his evil doppleganger but that still hasn’t happened.
Frankly no one expected Dougie Jones and the journey Cooper’s second doppelganger would take him. It’s been an amusing and often frustrating journey, seeing Cooper trapped in Dougie’s body slowly, very slowly, adjusting to the world. But that patience has been rewarded and after electrocuting himself last week, Cooper emerged his former self, awakening from a coma and was straight back to business. He wasted no time recruiting the Mitchum brothers in charting a plane to Washington, while delivering a fond farewell to Janey-E and Sonny Jim.
But it was the moment Cooper turned to Bushnell Mullins after being asked about contacting the FBI and announced “I am the FBI” while the classic Twin Peaks theme kicked in that I cheered with joy. It was an awakening that was a long time coming, not just for Cooper who was off to Twin Peaks by the episode’s end, having sent message to Cole, but also for Diane.
Yes, we learned this week the full truth behind Diane and it was truly heartbreaking. As Cooper awoke, so it seemed did she, revealing to Gordon, Albert and Tammy the shocking truth behind what happened that night, four years after the end of season two, when Cooper visited her at her home. After grilling her for information on the FBI, he raped her and dragged her to the mysterious convenience store we saw last week, where it seemed she was replaced with a tupla. Like Dougie Jones, this version of Diane was built with the sole purpose to aid the evil Bob-possessed Cooper.
And so when the truth was revealed, she turned her gun on Cole but was promptly shot and killed by Albert and Tammy. It was a shocking turn of events, capped by her disappearance in a puff of smoke before she reappeared in the Black Lodge and was vaporised into a gold ball bearing like Dougie. It was a very sad ending for what has been a fantastically performed character by Laura Dern. That glimpse of her real self before her death was harrowing as was the suggestion that the real Diane was killed years ago.
Another character to meet a nasty end was Richard Horne, the son of Audrey – and it seems evil Cooper. As they converged on a hill outside Twin Peaks, observed by the still high Jerry Horne, Richard walked to the co-ordinates given to him by Diane and was consumed by electricity. I assume this was another trap to destroy the evil Cooper. Though while he survived, the presence of the returning good Cooper suggests a deadly showdown in the final two episodes.
It was also an episode that seemed to reveal the horrible fate of Audrey. Finally coming to the Roadhouse with Charlie the compare announced ‘Audrey’s Dance’ and fans saw her recreate her infamous dance to evocative music from season one. Except it was all a lie and in the episode’s final moments we saw the real Audrey wake up from whatever hallucination she was living in what was likely a psychiatric ward.
The episode also delivered plenty of action as everyone converged on Dougie’s house; the Mitchum brothers, the FBI and hitmen Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) came face to face with an aggressive neighbour while staking out Dougie’s return and and the two killers died in a spectacular shootout. There was a nice bit of humour in the interplay between the two Mitchum Brothers. “What the fuck kind of neighborhood is this?” and “People are under a lot of stress, Bradley.” I will miss these two characters more than I expected to.
Part 16 finally brought us back the real Agent Dale Cooper and it disappoint. After existing for so long as the comatose Dougie, it was nice to finally have his sharp witted, aimable self back and it sets up his return to Twin Peaks in the final two parts in style. I just hope next week’s final two installments aren’t the last time we’ll see him…
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