By Caitlin Malcuit
All of the dots begin to connect in “Twin Peaks: The Return” Part 9, the true-blue halfway point of this run. And like any good “Blue Rose” case, this episode all comes back to a body.
Mr. C, recovered from his ambush by Ray, comes upon a red bandana on a post and makes his way to a farm where Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth) are waiting. They’ve dispatched the home owners and hook Mr. C up with a new truck and weapons while he catches up on his correspondence. First, he makes a call to Duncan Todd at the Silver Mustang, asking if he’s “done it yet,” then sends a cryptic text that reads, “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.” Mr. C tells Pumpkin, uh, Hutch to take care of a warden, with a “double-header” to follow in Vegas, and heads off after a smooch from Chantal.
On the FBI jet, Gordon et al. receive a call that diverts their return trip to Philadelphia. Col. Davis tells them the Buckhorn morgue has Major Briggs’ body. So off to West South Dakota they go. Already frustrated that she can’t check her phone, Diane needs some bribing with nips. Gordon also fields a call from Warden Murphy. Cooper escaped, causing Gordon to exclaim, “Cooper flew the coop!”
“Dougie” and Janey-E sit patiently in the Las Vegas police department, where Dougie’s boss talks with the three Detective Fuscos about his employee. Mullins tells them that Dougie has spacey moments following a car accident in his past, but otherwise isn’t sure why someone would attempt to kill him, being a “solid citizen” and all. Upon Mullins’ departure, one Fusco reveals that no info on Dougie Jones prior to 1997, leading them to float the witness protection program as a possible answer.
David Koechner’s Fusco has an idea. He gives Cooper a new mug of coffee, and bags the old cup for DNA testing. The cop who has to log the evidence also lets the crew know that the would-be assassin is their old adversary Ike “The Spike” Stadtler, and they have his location (it ain’t the Waldorf). Meanwhile, Agent Cooper fixates on an American flag in the corner, then a woman walking by in red shoes, who guides his gaze to an outlet on the wall.
In Buckhorn, Diane waits in the morgue lobby, furious that she can’t smoke a cigarette there, because of all places! But she finally has a signal. It’s Mr. C’s text. Detective Mackley summarizes the murder from the premiere, noting that the deceased librarian Ruth Davenport ran a blog with her suspected killer William Hastings (Matthew Lillard) about alternate dimensions. In the morgue, Constance Talbot reveals Briggs’ body to Gordon, Albert, and Preston with a smirk and her magician’s flourish. Albert observes the paradoxical age of the body, and Talbot’s mischievous smile widens. There’s an adorable spark between the two—Talbot holds her own against Albert’s acerbic commentary ("When did he lose his marbles?” "When the dog got his cat's-eyes"). The mortician also shows off the inscribed mystery wedding band, and Gordon decides that they need a sit-down with Hastings.
Following the revelation that Cooper was the last person to see his dad alive, Bobby Briggs takes Deputy Hawk and Sheriff Truman to his mother’s house. Betty Briggs reveals that Major Garland said that one day, the trio would come and ask her about Special Agent Dale Cooper. He requested that she give them a special item, so Betty moves to a red arm chair and removes a small metallic tube from a secret opening in the frame. She tells her son that his father always had faith in him, knowing that Bobby would come a long way from his brooding teenage days.
At the station, Truman and Hawk haplessly try to figure out the tube as Bobby chuckles, because he knows how it works. They step outside, and Bobby throws the tube to the ground. It reverberates with a hum and then quiets, prompting Bobby to chuck again. Inside the tube is a slip of paper instructing the reader to head 253 yards east of “Jack Rabbit’s Palace,” with a specific time (2:53) and dates (10/1, 10/2) listed. Jack Rabbit’s Palace was Bobby’s make-believe hideaway during his youth. Truman realizes that Major Briggs really foresaw all of this, and makes a plan to head to the area. However, he uncovers another slip, showing a series of numbers and slashes, with “Cooper/Cooper” amongst them. “Two Coopers!” Hawk exclaims.
Back in Buckhorn, Agent Preston has a face-to-face with Will Hastings, who breaks down as he details the findings of his blog. He and Ruth visited another place where they came upon Major Briggs, who told the pair that he was in “hibernation.” Lillard’s performance here makes a strong case for an Emmy nomination, as he fluctuates between his impassioned recounting of supernatural trips and sobbing over a vacation he wanted to take with Ruth. Hastings says that the Major requested a set of coordinates, which Ruth took down on her hand—which is attached to her missing torso. When Hastings and Ruth returned to the alternate dimension, it seems the Woodsmen of the last episode descended upon them, decapitating Briggs, murdering Ruth and coercing Hasting’s wife’s name by force. Successfully picking the Major’s face out of a series of photos that Preston gives, Hastings says Briggs’ head ascended, uttering, “Cooper, Cooper” before disappearing.
In Twin Peaks, Jerry Horne is still stuck in the woods, imagining—or not—his foot talking back to him. His brother Ben still hears a mesmerizing hum in his office as Beverly attempts to seize a romantic moment, but he turns her down. Ben’s son escapes his room and collides with the wall. Naturally, we end at the Roadhouse, where Sky Ferreira continues her 2017 acting streak as the track-marked, rotten-toothed Ella. She scratches a horrendous rash under her arm while bitching to her friend Chloe that she was fired from burger-flipping for being high. But damn, that rash won’t quit, even with the melodic voices of Au Revoir Simone to soothe.
More “Twin Peaks” Coverage:
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 8 Recap: Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 7 Recap: A Little Ditty ‘Bout Coop and Diane
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 6 Recap: Call It, Friendo
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 5 Recap: Shovel Yourself Out of the Shit
- 'Twin Peaks' Parts 3 and 4 Recap: Doughnut Disturb
- The Time Presents Itself: 'Twin Peaks' Premiere Is A Beautiful/Terrible Nightmare
- Episode 195: ‘Twin Peaks’ and Other Tales
- There's Always Music in the Air: Revisiting the 'Twin Peaks' Soundtrack