Warning: This recap for ‘Part 7’ of Twin Peaks contains spoilers.
In the season premiere, The One Armed Man asked: “Is it future or is it past?” Up until this point, the series has primarily been concerned with the future, introducing us to new characters and stories both outside of Twin Peaks and within it. While I’ve personally enjoyed the widened scope and glacial pacing, I know that it’s been a frustrating ride for those fans who don’t have the patience to watch a barely functioning man meticulously doodle for six hours.
But if Parts 1-6 have been the future, then Part 7 is definitely the past. It’s the most obviously “Twin Peaks-y” episode yet, spending the majority of its screen time in the town of Twin Peaks and with the characters that we know and love from the original series. It’s an hour loaded with cool callbacks and classic references which are sure to satisfy people’s nostalgia cravings. Even the scenes taking place outside of Twin Peaks relate back to plot details and characters from the original. And as predicted, the noticeably absent and sorely missed Angelo Badalamenti soundtrack is starting to creep in as we sink further back into the world of cherry pies and mist-covered Douglas Firs.
However, this is isn’t fan service. It’s not a theme park style tour through a land of yesteryear. Nothing here feels tired or forced in an attempt to appease our lust for familiarity. The excavation of the past is a necessary part of shaping the future. What we learn from these old artifacts can inform us of where we’re going next, and this episode set up the “next” beautifully.
LOST AND FOUND
In Twin Peaks, Deputy Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) shares his bathroom stall findings (the letters) with Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster). As suspected, the pages are from Laura Palmer’s secret diary, the one she gave to recluse Harold Smith for safe keeping. Contained within these entries is Annie Blackburn’s dream message she gave to Laura in Fire Walk With Me: “The good Dale is in the Lodge, and he can’t leave.” Another page of the diary suggests that Laura knew that her abuser was her father and not BOB. Hawk suspects that Leland Palmer was the one that hid the pages — it fits so perfectly you’d almost think these elements were intentionally set up 25 years in advance.
Later, Frank calls his brother Harry but decides not to burden him with Cooper updates given his ill health (it sounds like Harry has cancer). Instead, Frank logs onto Skype with Doctor Hayward (the late Warren Frost), one of the last people to see Cooper upon his return from the Lodge. In a series with talking tree-brains and evil doppelgangers, it’s strange how a Skype chat seems the most out of place — talk about the past meeting the future. The Doc recalls that Cooper was acting “mighty strange” and was last seen sneaking out of ICU where he believes he was visiting a comatose Audrey Horne. While the news that Audrey survived the bank explosion is delightful, the suggestion that Evil Coop went to visit her could have devastating consequences (which I’ll get to in the theories section).
The past is also popping up elsewhere in Twin Peaks. When not fielding calls from his weed-tripping brother Jerry (David Patrick Kelly), Ben Horne (Richard Beymer), with the assistance of his secretary Beverly (Ashley Judd), is searching for the source of a curious humming noise coming from the walls of the Great Northern. My immediate thought, especially after the zoom-in on the wood paneling, was that this is a reference to Josie Packard, last seen being sucked into a wooden drawer handle in that very same hotel. Cooper’s old room key — the one Jade (Nafessa Williams) mailed back — is also in Ben’s possession, and could be vital to Hawk’s unfolding case.
At the Roadhouse, we are formally introduced to the latest Renault brother, Jean-Michel (Walter Olkewicz), who is apparently involved in the criminal underworld of Twin Peaks, just like his brothers before him.
DON’T MESS WITH DIANE
After only uttering two words last week, Laura Dern gets to shine this episode as the previously unseen Diane, and quickly removes any reservations I had about the show bringing this legendary off-screen character to life. Dern plays Diane with a world-weary, no-nonsense attitude; she’s a platinum blonde beauty with the dress sense of a 1950s starlet and the mouth of Gordon Ramsey. She curses out Gordon Cole (David Lynch), and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), and anyone else in her vicinity, but eventually agrees to travel with the FBI to South Dakota, so that they can get her opinion on the man claiming to be Agent Cooper.
It’s another intense interrogation scene, with a gorgeous shot of Laura Dern on a black backdrop. Diane, nervous about what she’s about to see behind the screen, quickly recognizes there is something very (yrev) off about this long-haired Coop. “Who are you?” she yells, calling back to something Laura asked BOB as he was attacking her in FWWM. Diane tells Gordon that it’s not the same Cooper, and not just because of the passing of time or the way he looks, but something is missing she says, pointing to her heart. There’s also the suggestion that something ominous took place the last time Diane saw Cooper, a story she says she’ll share at a later date.
Was her last conversation with the real Cooper, or was it Evil Coop? Whichever it was, it can’t have ended well, because when Diane is first informed of Cooper’s imprisonment she says, “Good.”
Perhaps realizing the walls are closing in on him, Evil Coop hatches a plan of escape, using his knowledge of Warden Murphy’s (James Morrison) past as a bargaining chip. After wangling his way into a meeting, Evil Coop threatens to reveal the Warden’s dirty secrets – which include dog legs, a Mr. Strawberry, and another individual called Joe McCluskey – unless his demands are met. The rattled warden agrees to Evil Coop’s terms and releases him from his cell in the dead of night, providing him with a rental car, a weapon, and fellow inmate and associate Ray Monroe (George Griffith).
Evil Coop doesn’t say where he’s heading, but if I had to guess I bet it’s a place where he can gamble all day long and catch a Cirque du Soliel show in the evening.
KUNG FU DOUGIE
If Evil Coop is on his way to Vegas to do battle with Dougie-Coop, then it looks like our favorite agent is ready for the fight. Each week we see further glimpses of the old Coop: the black suit, his love of coffee, his fascination with all things law enforcement, and his impeccable intuition. But he’s still very much an adult-baby who can only repeat back words and who needs help going to the bathroom. Things initially look the same this week, as his wife Janey-E* (Naomi Watts) once again has to take over, quarreling with the police detectives who are investigating Dougie’s missing (now exploded) car. “If we knew where he last saw it, it wouldn’t be missing, would it?!”
*Janey-E is becoming one of my favorite characters; I could listen to Naomi Watts dragging men through the mud all season long. Maybe in the last episode she’ll bust into The Red Room looking for her husband and start hurling abuse at The One Armed Man. “You turned him into a what? Well how’s a gold ball gonna pay child support? And speak normally for god’s sake!”
But just as it looks like another case of Dougie Do-little, suddenly, the Agent Cooper of old snaps into action when Ike the Spike (Christophe Zajac-Denek) tries to gun him down outside his office complex. Cooper reacts with his FBI-trained skillsket, flipping Ike over, pinning him to the ground and karate chopping him in the throat, all the while The Arm offers words of encouragement.
The incident quickly becomes a newsworthy event, as reporters question onlookers about what happened, “Douglas Jones moved like a cobra,” one witnesses exclaims. The question is, if this is on the news, will someone recognize Dougie-Coop on TV?
THERE’S A BODY ALRIGHT
The last piece of the past to raise its head — or body, at least — is in Buckhorn, South Dakota. Thanks to Lt. Cynthia Knox (Adele Rene), we now have confirmation that the decapitated body found in Ruth Davenport’s apartment does belong to Major Garland Briggs (the late Don Davis). But we can’t yet tie a cute little bow on that mystery. Why? Because the body is of a man in his 40s who only died a few days ago, which, given that Briggs should now be in his 70s, causes all sorts of confusion. Perhaps it has something to do with the “Burnt Man” who made his second appearance of the series in this episode, eerily stalking the corridors of Buckhorn’s mortuary.
Hopefully, this episode convinced the naysayers and those still on the fence that patience will indeed be rewarded. Scenes that once seemed arbitrary or isolated from goings-on elsewhere are now coming into focus and connecting the various narratives into a wider whole. Despite people thinking we’ve lost the Twin Peaks of old, Part 7 showed us that the past is still very much important to where we are heading. Yes, you might have to watch a guy meticulously sweeping for two minutes, but in the end, it will all be worth it — and you’ll have an immaculately clean workspace.
THOUGHTS AND THEORIES FROM ANOTHER PLACE
Is Richard Horne Audrey’s son?
Ever since the credits revealed the name Richard Horne, the possibility of Audrey being his mother have been extremely high. The other popular theory is that Evil Coop is the dad. The belief being that Richard is such an a**hole due to being the spawn of an evil doppelganger. I didn’t want this to be true because it was too tragic to think that Evil Coop impregnated Audrey, perhaps against her will. But with Doc Hayward’s revelation this episode it gave this heartbreaking theory more credence. Hopefully we’ll get to see Audrey in person soon.
Remember The Giant told Cooper to remember “Richard and Linda” and “430.” Last week, we had references to a “Linda,” and in this episode “4:30” was the time the nervous guy was supposed to meet Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz). Not sure what it means, but the nervous guy didn’t turn up for the meeting and seemed very preoccupied when Andy came to question him about the truck on his property (the one Richard presumably dumped after the hit and run).
What happened between Cooper and Diane?
Because I refuse to live in a world where Evil Coop potentially attacked both Audrey and Diane, for the moment I’m choosing to believe Diane’s last conversation was with the real Cooper. Perhaps they had a romantic fling? After all, Cooper did share his innermost thoughts with her. Maybe things ended on bad terms?
Let us know your own thoughts and theories in the comments below.
Twin Peaks airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.
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