He’s back, y’all. This is not a drill. Our beloved Agent Cooper has returned to us and he’s 100 percent, allaying my fear that when he did return, he would be in some way changed from the original series Coop. But no. Special Agent Dale Cooper is back and headed to Twin Peaks, and I couldn’t be happier. Also, Diane is a tulpa, so we’ve got lots to talk about.
The episode begins with DoppelCoop and Richard on their way to the location of the coordinates DoppelCoop received. We learn that three people—Ray, Jeffries, and Diane—gave him coordinates, but only two of those sets match. The location Richard and DoppelCoop arrive at is the site of the two matching coordinates (or at least that’s what DoppelCoop tells Richard). Some distance away, Jerry Horne comes running over a ridge and sees them from afar.
Jerry is still all fucked up and he can’t manage to use his binoculars properly. Instead of seeing Richard and the man he knew as Agent Cooper up close, he uses the wrong end and can’t see much of anything. Meanwhile, DoppelCoop sends Richard up to investigate the coordinates, which seem to be at the location of a large rock. When Richard reaches the exact coordinates, there’s flash and he is struck by some kind of electrical force. From the back, we can see him as only a shadow, but from the front it appears his body is just roasted down to ash.
Jerry watches all of this happen through the wrong end of his binoculars and freaks out, smashing the “bad, bad binoculars” on the ground. DoppelCoop watches, emotionless as always, and when Richard is obliterated he says, “Goodbye, my son”—finally putting to rest any doubt some fans had about whether DoppelCoop raped a comatose Audrey to produce the Satan spawn that was Richard. He did it. Case closed.
DoppelCoop returns to the truck and sends a text that says “: – ) ALL.” but he’s not getting service so it doesn’t go through. I have to say, I did enjoy the fact that DoppelCoop uses emoticons to communicate, even it if is some sort of code.
It’s also interesting to note that Richard just got roasted on a rock (AKA a stone), and the Fireman’s message to Coop in the very first episode was, “Richard and Linda. Two birds with one stone.” Is Linda, whoever she is, meant to come to this stone as well? Linda’s identity is just one of many remaining mysteries in The Return. I don’t expect all of them to be revealed but the Linda question is one I hope we get an answer to in the final two hours of the series.
We go to Vegas where my favorite polyamorous murder couple are chillin’ in the van outside the Jones house, waiting to take out Dougie—the second half of their double-header. I absolutely love the stakeout banter between Hutch and Chantal, which is at times deep and at times very food-centric. This time, Chantal is almost out of Cheetos and it’s making her super cranky..
The Vegas FBI shows up at the house and Chantal and Hutch watch from the van. There’s no one home and Stan from Mad Men (who I refuse to call by his character name) is, as always, displeased. He tells Wilson to park down the street and stake out the house and he heads to Lucky 7 Insurance to look for Dougie.
But Dougie isn’t there; he’s at the hospital in an electricity-induced coma. Janey-E, Sonny Jim, and Bushnell are at his bedside. His vital signs are strong but, as Janey-E points out, when people go into a coma they can stay there for years. We know of at least one other person (Audrey) who went into a coma, and this may be a bit of foreshadowing for what’s still to come in the episode.
Sonny Jim asks his mom whether a coma has something to do with electricity. In this case, it most certainly does. Electricity itself has become a huge part of Twin Peaks mythology in The Return—a means of transportation between dimensions.
The Mitchums arrive with the Pink Ladies, bearing flowers, food, and sympathy. Janey-E and Sonny Jim are meeting them for the first time and Janey-E is very thankful for all they’ve done—especially Sonny Jim’s new gym set. Candie offers Sonny Jim some finger sandwiches and the Mitchums take a look at Dougie.
The Mitchums and crew don’t overstay their welcome. Instead, they ask Janey-E for a key to her house so they can go stock their fridge. They want her and Sonny Jim to have it as easy as possible. Just when I thought I couldn’t love the Mitchums more, they go and do this.
We take a quick trip to Buckhorn where Gordon stands in the room surrounded by FBI machines, which sound exactly like the monitors in DougieCoop’s hospital room, and then it’s back to Vegas. Janey-E takes Sonny Jim to the little boys’ room and Bushnell gets a call from Phil Bisby at the office. Phil reports that the FBI showed up looking for Dougie about ten minutes earlier and they are on their way to the hospital.
Back at the Jones house, Chantal and Hutch (and Wilson and his partner) are still on their stake out when the Mitchums and Co. show up with the Pink Ladies and a truck full of food for the house.
Soon a man (credited as “Polish Accountant”) pulls up right in front of Chantal and Hutch’s van and tells them they are blocking his driveway. Chantal is still hangry due to lack of Cheetos and she tells the guy to fuck off. He proceeds to get back in his car and try to ram the van out of the way, at which point Chantal decides to whip out her piece and start shooting. Polish Accountant returns fire and Chantal takes one in the arm, then Hutch joins in and soon it’s an all out fire fight on the quiet suburban street that ends with both Chantal and Hutch dead as they try to drive away in a hail of bullets.
The FBI guys watch and do nothing. Bradley and Rodney emerge from the house with guns drawn and watch this all unfold, and then have the single funniest exchange in the entirety of The Return:
The FBI finally decides to take some action, demanding Polish Accountant drop his weapon and put his hands up, and that’s the Mitchum Brothers’ cue to exit.
Back in DougieCoop’s hospital room, Bushnell hears a ringing sound—the same ringing we’ve heard previously in the Great Northern—and leaves the room to investigate. And then it’s the moment we’ve been waiting 16 hours for: our beloved Agent Cooper wakes up.
A vision of the One-Armed Man in the Red Room appears on the chair next to Coop’s bed and he is all of us when he says:
Some fans, myself included, wondered what Coop would be like once he snapped out of his Dougie state, but when he utters his first words since waking up—”100 percent”—there is no doubt that the Good Dale is back. The One-Armed Man tells him that DoppelCoop didn’t go back into the Lodge and gives Coop the Owl Cave Ring. Coop asks if he still has “the seed”—the little gold ball that came out of the manufactured Dougie when he went to the Red Room. Coop says, “I need you to make another,” and gives the One-Armed Man a piece of his hair.
Janey-E and Sonny Jim return to find “Dougie” fully awake and more vital than ever. He greets Sonny Jim and Janey-E warmly and he’s in full Coop mode when he sends them to get a doctor and asks Bushnell to pass him some sandwiches. He starts ripping out his IVs and insisting the doctor release him and, since he’s perfectly fine, he gets the all-clear from the doc. He sends Janey-E and Sonny Jim down to bring the car around and as they walk down the hallway, Sonny Jim notes that his dad is talking more than usual, which is the understatement of the century.
Coop gets dressed and asks to borrow Bushnell’s concealed gun, which is the first of many indications that Cooper was fully present the whole time he was “Dougie,” just not able to communicate or control his body. He asks Bushnell to get the Mitchum Brothers on the phone and Coop tells them he’s bringing his family to the casino and needs a plane to Spokane, Washington. The Mitchums are on top of it and they have their jet gassed up and readied to take their friend “Dougie” wherever he needs to go.
And then the most wonderful thing happens: the Twin Peaks theme “Falling” begins to play as Coop tells Bushnell to give Gordon Cole a message. There’s a very touching moment between them. Coop tells Bushnell he’s a fine man and that he won’t soon forget his kindness and decency. Coop goes to leave and when Bushnell asks, “What about the FBI,” we get perhaps the single most satisfying moment in The Return.
I still get chills watching it and I expect I always will.
Coop meets Janey-E and Sonny Jim out front but this time, he’s driving. “Falling” continues to play as Coop drives away from the hospital (just missing the Vegas FBI agents) and cruises in the BMW with the top down towards the Silver Mustang. Sonny Jim and Janey-E are impressed with his driving and, even though Janey-E clearly senses that something weird is going on, she allows herself to be happy in that moment.
We go to Buckhorn where Diane is sitting at the bar. “Falling” ends abruptly as she receives DoppelCoop’s “: – ) ALL.” text, which triggers some repressed memories—really, really bad ones.
She sends him a set of coordinates and says, “I hope this works,” and then we see that she’s got a gun in her purse. She stands up and Muddy Magnolias’ “American Woman” remix starts to play—the same dark and ominous tune that was used during the introduction of Mr. C in Part 1. She slowly makes her way up to the Blue Rose Squad’s room and Gordon knows she’s there before she makes her presence known.
She sits down and proceeds to tell Gordon, Albert, and Tammy about the night that Cooper came to visit her. Three or four years after he disappeared, Cooper (i.e. DoppelCoop) entered Diane’s house (“no knock, no doorbell”) and, after grilling her about FBI matters, he leaned in for a kiss and Diane felt he was different. She was afraid of him, and he smiled at her fear, and then—as many of us have long suspected—he raped her. This is another debate that can thankfully come to an end. He did it. Case closed.
Afterwards, she says, DoppelCoop took her to “an old gas station” (i.e. the convenience store), and at this point in her story she seems to have another revelation. She looks at the text on her phone again and remembers more about herself and what was done to her. She repeats, “I’m in the sheriff’s station,” and then, sobbing, she claims she’s not herself.
She breaks down and then suddenly pulls out her gun, but before she can get a shot off, Albert and Tammy shoot her and she flies off—much in the same way that Laura flew up out of the Red Room. Yes, that’s right, the Diane we thought we knew is actually a tulpa, which means that we STILL haven’t met the real Diane and we may not ever meet her. It is interesting to note that Diane’s claim to be in the sheriff’s station could point to a connection between her and Naido (which is the backwards, Japanese spelling of Diane). This is one of the mysteries that may or may not be solved as we enter the final two parts of the series.
Diane, or should I say Diane’s tulpa, appears in the Red Room. She’s in the same place we saw the other known tulpa, Dougie Jones, when he entered. Much the same thing happens here as happened with Dougie. The One-Armed Man tells her she’s been manufactured, but she gives us a bit of that Diane flair before she goes.
Like Dougie, her tulpa form starts to crack and open up to emit black smoke as the gold seed emerges. Her form disappears with a flash and a cloud of smoke and only the seed is left.
Back at the Silver Mustang, it’s time for Coop to say goodbye to Janey-E and Sonny Jim. It’s one of the more emotional moments of the series as Cooper tells them how they have made his heart full, assures Sonny Jim that he is his dad, and tells them how much he loves them both. All signs point to Cooper manufacturing a new-and-improved Dougie to send back to them, and at this point Janey-E knows that Coop isn’t the Dougie she once knew, but she’s still so grateful to him for all he did for them while he was around.
But Coop has got to get to Twin Peaks and he’s on his way with the Mitchums’ help. In the limo on the way to the jet, Coop tells them the truth about who he is. Bradley is no stranger to weird supernatural phenomena, considering the dream he had that convinced him not to kill Dougie, so with the help of a Bloody Mary he is able to come to terms with the whole situation. There is, however, a problem: the Mitchums are not usually accepted by “law enforcement types.” Coop assures them it won’t be a problem—they are his friends and he’s witnessed the fact that they have “hearts of gold.” Candie couldn’t agree more.
Then we’re back at the Roadhouse, where the MC introduces Edward Louis Severson (aka Eddie Vedder), who performs “Out of Sand.” About halfway through the performance, Audrey and Charlie finally make it to the Roadhouse. They sit at the bar and order martinis but just after they cheers, things get really weird. The MC announces “Audrey’s Dance,” played by a whole new band set up on stage almost immediately after Vedder ends, and the entire floor clears to make way for Audrey. Just when we thought that Audrey, having made it to the Roadhouse, was actually living in the real world, things get wonky again.
Audrey does her dance, which was such an iconic part of the original series, but she’s interrupted as a bar fight breaks out. She rushes over to Charlie and grabs him and says, “Get me out of here!” and then in a flash we see her, wearing what looks from the top like a hospital gown, staring at herself in a mirror in an empty, white room. There is a crackling electricity sound and she’s shocked and confused and then the episode ends.
The credits roll over the band playing “Audrey’s Dance” backwards, which strongly indicates that, whatever is going on with Audrey, there’s some Lodge energy at work here. It also calls into question the reality of many of the Roadhouse scenes we’ve seen over the course of The Return, many of which were very bizarre, and it would not surprise me to find out a lot of that stuff wasn’t real. At the very least, we know for sure that the Audrey/Charlie situation is not just your average, extra-weird marital strife. What we don’t know, and what I suspect will play a role in the last two hours of the series, is where the hell Audrey is and how she got there.
We’ve almost reached the end of what has been a weird and wonderful ride and there are still so many questions to be answered. I don’t think we’ll get more than a few of those answers in the finale, but I suspect that whatever happens on our final Twin Peaks Sunday will be memorable and satisfying in the way that only Twin Peaks can be.