Rachel Bellwoar reviews the sixteenth episode of Twin Peaks season 3…
Well, they did it. David Lynch and Mark Frost did it. Somehow they lasted sixteen episodes before bringing back Dale Cooper, and his first line isn’t anything to do with coffee or cherry pie, but Mike saying, “You are awake,” and Cooper replying, “100%.”
He’s not kidding. To the shock of family and friends, used to Dougie’s elongated pace, Cooper wastes no time getting a flight to Twin Peaks with the Mitchum brothers. Before he takes off, Cooper addresses a question that’s been bugging me since Dougie was busted. What happens to Janey-E and Sonny Jim after Cooper comes back? Do they stay a family, when it’s not Cooper that Janey-E originally married? So far, the answer is ‘yes.’ While all three acknowledge they’re not exactly sure who they are to each other, the shared feeling is that they want to stay together. In saying that when he returns he’ll be back for good, Cooper provides an ending to the show where he could finally find some happiness after twenty-five years of forced limbo.
So how do we feel about the rest of the episode?
Richard is despicable. Richard committed a hit and run, and left a young boy to die in the street, but when Bad Cooper sends him to his death on that rock (a new spin on “let’s rock” if there ever was one), and admits afterwards that he killed his son, you kind of feel bad for how things played out. It’s not really sympathy for Richard in that moment, because feeling bad for Richard is impossible. It’s that after all the rumors, we finally get confirmation Bad Cooper’s a dad and it’s after Richard’s dead at his hand.
Speaking of that death, who should bear witness to it but Jerry Horne, Richard’s uncle and The Return‘s most high (and lost) cast member. Holding his binoculars backwards, and so he can only see through one lens, there’s this great point of view shot where nothing, of course, is magnified. As much as the image isn’t clearer, Jerry understands what’s going on (and how being a witness is bad for his chances).
Enough people die this episode, with the Tarantino hit squad staking out Dougie’s place getting hit by a disgruntled accountant. Putting down his gun after the FBI announce their presence, this accountant’s beef is with the people who blocked his driveway. Otherwise, he’s happy to cooperate.
From the moment Diane started heading down the hall, and it became clear she was heading to Gordon’s room, it was the wait for the gun to appear. Did she know something we didn’t? Standing outside his door, Gordon, who can’t hear when a person’s speaking in front of him, is able to tell she’s there and invites her in. This is a prime moment for the gun to be pulled, but Diane sits down and begins to tell Gordon, Albert, and Tammy about the night Cooper visited and raped her. Before she can get started Albert interrupts to offer her a drink. On the one hand, it’s a gesture of respect for Diane, which coming from Albert means a lot, but that’s the thing. It feels odd that Albert interrupts, especially a conversation so important and anticipated. At this point Diane continues talking, and it makes you stop expecting the gun until, of course, it comes out. Diane’s revealed to be a fake, and like Dougie before her, cracks until there’s black fire where her head should be.
Albert is ready on the draw, with Tammy close behind, and they’re able to shoot DoppleDiane before she shoots them, but what’s noticeably missing is a cut to what Gordon does in this moment. Yes, he focuses on the fact that she mentioned the sheriff’s station after but, as far as we know, he didn’t arm himself like the others, and whether that was because he knew he was covered, or not, is unknown. Dianne didn’t appear to be aiming her gun at him.
Was there ever a real Diane? Were her fashion choices intended to make her a counterpart to the White Lodge’s Naido? When Cooper woke and called the gold bead from Dougie a seed, did he mean Diane when he asked Mike for another? Since Bad Cooper was instrumental in Dianne’s confession, it seems unlikely he’d aid in their cause, but there you have it.
Everyone’s meeting at the sheriff’s station for next week’s season finale, but while there are plenty of hanging questions left to be answered (or not), the one to rival the showdown between good and bad Cooper is what’s going on with Audrey Horne? In the night’s third prominent use of music (the others being the theme with Cooper and an “American Woman Remix” with Diane), Audrey finally arrives at the Roadhouse and finds the dance floor clearing to “Audrey’s Dance.” Something’s wrong, and it’s not that she’s wearing heels instead of saddle shoes. Audrey isn’t at the Roadhouse but in a trembling, white room. Like Cooper at the end of season two, she’s left looking at her reflection in the mirror. The difference is we still have two hours to find out why.