Twin Peaks: In Hour 9, the conversation around the dinner table is lively

By JORDAN MUSHENO

jmusheno@

sungazette.com

After a week off and plenty of time to recover from Hour 8’s incredibly disturbing and surreal experience, Hour 9 offers up not only additional reprieve but it marks the halfway point of our dear return to Twin Peaks. It’s a return to normal, in perhaps the only way “Twin Peaks” can be described that way. And it’s the turning point for the show, where we’re finally getting some followup on something brought up in the earliest episodes.

The only direct connection from our last episode involves Bad Coop, who we saw most recently getting that dreaded Bob sac pulled out of him by the Woodsmen after Ray shoots him. Bad Coop gets up and walks to the farm, where both he and Ray were initially headed. There he meets up with Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh returning for first time since the premiere, I believe) and Hutch (Tim Roth). They clean up the boss man, give him a truck and a gun. He gives them some orders: Kill the Warden. And sends an alarming text message to Diane: “The conversation around the dinner table is lively.” When Diane finally receives it later in the episode, shivers ran down my spine. What happened between Diane and DoppelDale is still very much a thing of mystery, but the way Lynch and Frost have hinted and showcased its impact has been another key component of developing the dread and fear this season has brought upon us.

DoppelDale, which is what I’m going to start calling Bad Coop, also makes a call to Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler), and asks if it is done yet. “Not yet,” Todd replies. DoppelDale then threatens, “It better be finished the next time I call.” I believe they are referring to Ike “The Spike’s” attempted hit on Dougie, which failed miserably after Dougie kicked into gear and squeezed Ike’s entire palm off. The Las Vegas police discover that that palm print does in fact belong to Ike and they arrest him at a motel just before Ike makes a phone call to a “JT” and claims to be going on medical leave. At the police department, suspicions about why Dougie has been involved in a missing car case and an attempted murder have risen. Their background check shows how long he has been working at the insurance agency, but that records of him exist prior to 1997. They learn about a bad car accident he was once in and believe it is the reason behind his behavior. They also then discreetly swap out his coffee mugs to test his DNA.

The hope of the Coop we all know and love returning continues to rise in Hour 9. Not only do we suspect the DNA test will come up with Dale Cooper’s name on it, rather than Dougie Jones, but in Coop’s final moments in the police station he looks fondly over the American Flag, a women’s red shoes and then into an outlet, which is what brought him back into this world. Later on, when Gordon Cole, Albert, Diane and Tammy emergency land their plane to investigate Garland Brigg’s body in Buckhorn they discover Dougie Jones and Janey-E’s wedding band. The gang has the same questions about the body as we did before — how could this body, which appears to be from a man in his 40s who just died, belong to Garland Briggs who would be in his 70s by now?

Meanwhile in Twin Peaks, which much of this episode is dedicated to, Sheriff Truman, Bobby Briggs and Deputy Hawk all give a visit to Betty Briggs about Garland Briggs’ last night alive. She knew they would come — Bobby, Truman and Hawk — and under what circumstances because more than 25 years ago Garland warned her that they would. And he left a message with her in the form of a strange cylinder, which only Bobby knows how to open. Inside it are coordinates to a very specific location in the woods to go to at a very specific time and a message that reads “COOPER//COOPER.” Hawk says “two Cooper’s.” He’s more right than he knows.

Tammy Preston then interviews William Hastings (Matthew Lillard), who we haven’t seen since the very beginning. Preston pushes him on what he’s seen and what he knows. He runs a blog called “The Search for the Zone” and its at a place he claims to have been, and Garland Briggs was there, and apparently so were a lot of other people. Who were they? We don’t know. But he does describes how Briggs gave him coordinates, and how when his head came off he floated up and said “Cooper, Cooper.”

Hour 9 in many ways, on the surface, feels like the most straightforward episode of all. But its exposition heavy approach was welcome after the extremes of Hour 8. It gives us a lot to forward to and to learn about. And it also serves as a great ode to the to a great character in Major Garland Briggs, who was portrayed by the late Don S. Davis.

Things to look out for:

• The Hornes are everywhere in Hour 9. Johnny Horne is running around his house like a madman and through a wall; Jerry is talking to his foot, which he says he does not own, and it speaks back to him; and Ben and Beverly continue to listen to the mysterious tone and almost have a romantic moment. Where is Audrey??

• Who and what did Bill Hastings see in the “zone.” If you want to know more, visit the searchforthezone.com.

Assistant Lifestyle editor and television and film critic Jordan Musheno’s review of ‘Twin Peaks’ will run every Thursday in Showcase.

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