There have been lots of complaints about too much DougieCoop and I get it—I do. Everyone wants to see our beloved special agent back to normal. Me personally? I can definitely hang with DougieCoop a little while longer, but this week he took another large step in his return to himself. Part 7 also let us spend a lot more time in the town of Twin Peaks than we have in previous episodes, and even though many things have changed in the small town, a lot has stayed the same.
We open with an epically stoned Jerry Horne, lost in the woods somewhere having a Dude Where’s My Car? moment. He calls Ben for help and it’s mostly comical, but there’s something about Jerry’s pure terror that, given what we know about the darkness in those old woods, could possibly be a bit more than just the effects of an exceptionally strong edible. Either way, Ben seems more irritated than concerned and I’d wager this isn’t the first time he’s gotten a phone call like this from his brother.
At the sheriff’s department, Hawk is showing Sheriff Truman what he found in the bathroom stall door: three out of four of the missing pages from Laura Palmer’s secret diary (the one she gave to Harold Smith). On these pages is the message that Laura received in a dream from Annie Blackburn in Fire Walk With Me. A refresher: Annie Blackburn is Agent Cooper’s girlfriend, who was taken into the Black Lodge by Coop’s former partner Windom Earle in the original series finale. Annie was in a coma when she came out of the lodge with DoppelCoop and “the Good Dale” was trapped inside.
From the diary pages, Hawk and Truman learn that the Good Cooper was trapped in the Lodge and can’t leave. Hawk believes that this is the missing thing that the Log Lady wanted him to find. Also of note is another page where Laura writes, “Now I know it isn’t BOB. I know who it is.” This is a reference to her father, Leland, who she realized was her rapist and tormentor shortly before he killed her. Hawk believes that it was Leland who hid the pages in the bathroom stall when he was at the station being questioned for the murder of Jacques Renault (which he did, in fact, commit).
Since Cooper disappeared shortly after he came out of the Lodge (although the exact timing is still unknown), the only people that Hawk knows for sure saw Cooper after he came out are Harry Truman and Doc Hayward. Frank calls his brother Harry to talk to him about it but Harry is very ill and undergoing cancer treatment so Frank decides not to upset him with the news. They were, after all, very close and I’m sure that Cooper’s disappearance must have hit Harry pretty hard. It wouldn’t do much to lift the sick Harry’s spirits if he found out that the Cooper who came out of the Lodge may not have been the real Agent Cooper but instead some evil version of his trusted friend.
The town of Twin Peaks enters the 21st century when Sheriff Truman Skypes with Doc Hayward. Truman has a ridiculous computer monitor that rises up out of his desk when he pulls a log-shaped lever—the most unnecessary yet somehow hilarious piece of technology that could exist at the Twin Peaks sheriff’s department. I’m sure it terrifies Lucy. Doc Hayward (played by the late Warren Frost – RIP) tells Truman that after Cooper came out of the Lodge he took him to the hospital to check him out. About an hour later Doc Hayward saw Coop sneaking out to go to intensive care and says he had a strange look about him. Doc Hayward believes that Coop was going to visit Audrey Horne, who was in a coma from the bank explosion. This is the first mention of Audrey in the new series, and it presents us with a fairly horrifying possibility: could Richard Horne be the child of DoppelCoop and a comatose (and therefore non-consenting) Audrey? I seriously hope not, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Elsewhere in Twin Peaks, everyone’s favorite inept police officer Deputy Andy Brennan is out investigating the hit-and-run homicide of the young boy in Part 6. We know it was committed by Richard Horne but he doesn’t. Andy has located the truck that Richard was driving but it belongs to someone else: a man credited only as “The Farmer.” The Farmer is very nervous about something and doesn’t want to be seen talking to Andy at his house so Andy, being the literal worst cop ever, lets him off the hook (without even impounding his truck?!?) and sets a meeting for the two of them later on that day: at 4:30 at the logging road by Sparkwood and 21, near Joneses.
There are some interesting references here: Joneses (like Dougie and Janey-E Jones) and the time (4:30). In the opening scene of the series, ??????? (aka The Giant) told Good Cooper, “Remember 4-3-0.” This being Twin Peaks, these things may have absolutely nothing to do with one another or everything to do with one another, and we’ll just have to wait and see.
Later, Andy waits for The Farmer to no avail. He never shows, and while we don’t see what happened to him, there’s a shot of the door of The Farmer’s house ajar, and Badalamenti’s “Laura’s Theme” plays, giving the scene a very ominous vibe. Also, Andy has a Rolex? Did he win the lottery or something?
Back in Buckhorn, Lieutenant Cindy Knox arrives at the police department to check out the prints attributed to Major Garland Briggs and is surprised to find out that they were not lifted from a crime scene but from an actual body. She goes to the morgue with Detective Mackley and medical examiner Constance Talbot shows her the headless body. Constance tells her that the man was in his late forties and that he died a few days ago. This is impossible considering Major Briggs would have been in his 70s, but in Twin Peaks, the impossible is always possible.
Cindy calls Colonel Davis and tells him that she’s got a body—one with no head and the wrong age—and Davis knows it’s time to call in the FBI. While Cindy is on the phone in the hallway, a strange charred man (similar to but not the same as the charred figure we saw a few cells over from Bill Hastings) walks down the hall. An electric crackling/humming type sound can be heard as he walks toward her. I’m not even going to speculate on this because your guess is as good as mine.
Back in Philly, Albert goes to see Gordon in his office to tell him about his meeting with Diane at the bar, which apparently didn’t go well. Diane knew it was about Cooper and had a few choice words for Albert and that was that. Albert tells Gordon that he has to get involved and the two of them go to Diane’s apartment. She is not happy to see them, to put it nicely.
When they tell her Cooper is in prison, she says, “Good,” which came as a bit of a shock to me. I had assumed she didn’t want to talk about Cooper because his disappearance was the trauma, and that she blamed the FBI for it, but it would seem there’s something more sinister going on here. She finally sits down to hear them out and Gordon tells her that there’s something wrong with Cooper that they can’t quite put their finger on. They need her to take a look at him because she’s one of the only people who knows him well enough to articulate the difference. Gordon makes a cryptic comment to Diane—“it involves something that you know about”—but he leaves it at that.
On the plane to South Dakota, Albert offers Diane a peace offering in the form of a personal size bottle of vodka. He doesn’t judge Diane for her alcoholism and she takes it with a few kind words for him.
In the back of the plane, Tammy Preston shows Gordon and Albert the comparison between Cooper’s old fingerprints and the new set from the prison. There’s a difference in one of the fingerprints, on the left ring finger, which Gordon calls “the spiritual mound.” It is the finger that corresponds to the reversed word of the ten-word greeting that DoppelCoop spoke to Gordon when he first greeted him: “I’m yrev, very happy to see you again, old friend.” This is all very Blue Rose-y and I’m not even going to try to understand how Gordon made this leap, but suffice it to say, they are on to the fact that there’s something yrev, very wrong with Cooper.
Albert pulls out a photo—the only photo of Cooper in the last 25 years, taken at his house outside Rio. It looks like Scarface meets Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and I’m totally obsessed with it (and probably going to make it my desktop background).
When they get to the prison, Diane insists that the meeting be no more than ten minutes, that she be alone with Cooper, and that she has total control over everything that happens. She’s fraught and agitated and she doesn’t take kindly to Tammy’s appreciation for her taking the time to help them.
The meeting between Diane and Cooper is one of my favorite scenes so far in The Return. Laura Dern steals this entire episode but this scene is really chilling to watch and I can’t take my eyes off of her. There’s been some debate about what exactly went on between the two of them, and there’s nothing explicitly said here, but some people have interpreted the scene to mean that DoppelCoop assaulted Diane at some point after he left Twin Peaks. I tend to agree with this theory, given Diane’s physical and emotional reaction to the Cooper she sees in front of her. Add in her years of alcohol abuse as self-medication and it’s not a stretch to assume that she suffered a major trauma at the hands of the man she knew as Special Agent Dale Cooper.
Whether it was a physical assault or a sexual assault (or even an assault at all) is unknown. The only real facts we learn are that the last time the two of them saw each other was at her house one night—a night they will both never forget, and not in a good way on Diane’s part if her demeanor is any indication. Whatever may have happened in the past, Diane knows now for certain that there’s something wrong with Cooper—that this isn’t the Cooper she knew—and it shakes her to her core. The experience of DoppelCoop in the present day is bringing back some very bad memories for her.
Perhaps over the years Diane has tried to suppress the knowledge that she couldn’t really wrap her mind around at the time: that the man she encountered “that night” was not the same Dale Cooper. But face to face with him now, it is all coming back. She sees him for who he is (and who he’s not) and begs him to look at her and answer the question, “Who are you?” It’s very affecting and Dern and MacLachlan’s performances elevate the scene. It also helps that in this scene, more than any other since the one where he looked in the mirror in his cell, DoppelCoop looks very much like BOB.
Diane is so shaken that she has to self-medicate in the parking lot with some more vodka. She tells Gordon that the man in the prison is not the Cooper she knew, not just the way he behaves or looks but that there’s something missing inside—that something being the heart and soul that was so much a part of the Good Dale Cooper. Gordon asks for some clarification about the night they were discussing and she tells him they will talk about it at a later time. She’s in no position to talk about that or anything else at the moment. It’s interesting to note that Diane, who was so standoffish with Gordon until now, is very physical with him, clinging to him and hugging him after her experience in the prison. For a woman who has clearly built some near-impenetrable walls over the years, this is a huge and very significant change in behavior. She’s real spooked and she’s leaning on Gordon here—a man who she was telling to fuck himself only a scene or two before.
When DoppelCoop is returned to his cell, he tells the guard he needs to see Warden Murphy and that he has a message for him: “We need to speak about a strawberry.” This is enough to get the warden’s attention and he agrees to meet with DoppelCoop—alone, with no cameras. The warden has a gun for protection but he doesn’t end up needing it because a few choice words from DoppelCoop about the delivery of the three dead dog legs along with some unstated but clearly sensitive information, as well as the name “Joe McCluskey” and “the late Mr. Strawberry” is enough to get the warden to do whatever DoppelCoop wants. And what he wants is a car for him and Ray Monroe, to be allowed to escape the prison without incident, and a “friend” (aka a gun). The warden agrees to his demands and the plan is executed in the wee hours of the morning—which is great for DoppelCoop, but not so much for Ray because DoppelCoop knows that Ray betrayed him and he’s definitely going to kill him after he gets the information he wants.
And now we’re back in Vegas with DougieCoop, who’s scribbling on some papers in his office while Tony Sinclair tries to get some information out of him about what he told their boss, Bushnell Mullins. A group of detectives (who all have the last name Fusco) arrive to question Dougie about the whereabouts of his car. Janey-E shows up just in time to deal with the police because DougieCoop isn’t doing a great job of answering their questions. He is, however, interested in their badges. Janey-E takes care of business, as usual, and they learn that his car was involved in the explosion at Rancho Rosa.
When Janey-E and DougieCoop get outside the office building, Ike “The Spike” comes running at DougieCoop with a gun. Coop reacts instantly—his muscle memory from his FBI days kicking in—and shoves Janey-E out of the way before karate chopping Ike and wrestling for the gun. Then, a baby version of the Evolution of the Arm appears out of the sidewalk and repeats over and over, “Squeeze his hand off!”
DougieCoop manages to get the gun away from him and Ike runs off. It’s interesting that, when Ike’s hand came off the gun, there was nothing there, but when the cops go to pick it up, there is some flesh attached to it that wasn’t there before—flesh that looks oddly similar to the piece of flesh found in the trunk of Bill Hastings’s car.
Back in Twin Peaks, we find Ben Horne and his employee, Beverly Paige, investigating the source of an odd humming sound which seems to be coming from the walls. They can’t pinpoint the source, but in the process they get a little bit cozier than your average boss and employee—or maybe I just know how much of a disgusting pig Ben Horne is and I’m jumping to conclusions. Regardless, we see that Coop’s room key has arrived at the Great Northern (thanks Jade!). It doesn’t take long for Ben to remember that 315 was Agent Cooper’s room. Beverly doesn’t seem to know anything about Cooper or about Laura Palmer, which strikes me as odd considering that even if she moved to Twin Peaks fairly recently, the murder of Laura Palmer is part of the small town lore—the kind of thing that people talk about in hushed whispers over coffee and pie.
Maybe Beverly was flirting a bit with Ben, because when she goes home we learn that things aren’t all that rosy in the Paige household. Beverly’s husband, Tom, is very ill with cancer and requires in-home care. Tom is very suspicious of Beverly and why she had to work late. Beverly seems tired and frustrated and she snaps at him not to fuck with her. She doesn’t want to be working but she has no choice, and he’s not making it any easier on her. It’s possible that Beverly is actually interested in Ben, for a fling or maybe more, because she’s certainly not happy in her marriage.
We see the sign for the Roadhouse and I’m thinking I’m about to get a band scene and maybe even the return of some old characters. What we get is almost three straight minutes of a man sweeping the floor to the tune of “Green Onions.” It was a massive Fuck You to my expectations and, after I got over the sheer audacity of three minutes of literally nothing happening, I had to laugh because what other show would dare?
The phone rings and Jean Michel Renault picks up. Apparently, the Renault family is still in the prostitution game. Jean Michel gets a call because two of the girls he sent to somebody turned out to be underage. He claims they had ID but let’s be real—the Renault family has not historically been concerned with whether or not their girls are legal. Jean Michel tells whoever is on the other end of the phone that the john has to pay for the two girls anyway, and then hangs up. The whole thing is gross and I was really hoping we were over teenage prostitution in Twin Peaks but same as it ever was, I suppose.
No band this week. Part 7 ends at the Double R, which is busier than it’s ever been in the history of the entire show. Somebody runs in and yells, “Anybody seen Billy?” and it stops all the activity for a moment, but then everybody goes about their business of pie eating and coffee drinking. Norma is busy taking care of the bills in a corner booth. Shelly is working the counter with her million-dollar smile. Heidi is refilling coffee and, presumably, giggling. All is as it should be in the town of Twin Peaks, but with Hawk and Sheriff Truman on the trail of the Good Dale and DoppelCoop on the loose, all that might change yrev, very soon.