There comes a point when you’ve got to ask yourself, what will it take for someone to realize that something is desperately wrong with Dougie? Or perhaps to put it another way, what was so desperately wrong with Dougie that no one seems to notice how strangely this person is acting? Or maybe blissful ignorance is the hallmark of the Twin Peaks universe, but as we continued the journey of Dougie, I mean Agent Cooper, it was foremost in my mind how Dougie can be walking around acting like a spaced out weirdo and no one in his life seems to notice/give a damn.
This week, Cooper’s journey takes him to Dougie’s place of employment, a Las Vegas insurance company where it becomes more than obvious that Dougie is not on the all-star team. We meet Tony (played by Tom Sizemore), who’s apparently been covering up for Dougie’s dalliances with women not his wife, but Tony seems to have some issues of his own. When reporting to the boss that they have to pay out a claim that was supposed to be labelled as arson, Cooper says he’s lying. A little light showed up on Tony’s face. More lights giving Cooper insight, while seemingly doing nothing to help him communicate or integrate back into the world.
But there are signs of hope. Cooper’s realized that he’s hooked on coffee and is chasing it with the single-minded desire of a crack addict. He also starts hitting on key words while talking to the insurance company boss, “agent” and “case files” among them. Clearly something is cooking underneath Dougie’s blank face, including a tear shed for Sunny Jim as the boy sat disappointedly in the back of his mom’s car. Does Cooper deep down feel a kinship for his doppelganger’s son?
Cooper’s going to need to get a handle on himself and his new life fast because what’s clear is that there are a lot of bad people out to get Dougie. Gene and the other guy are still watching Dougie’s car at the house we hooked up with Jade in under the belief that he’s still inside. A entirely different group of guys are also watching Dougie’s car, which was still wired to blow as this second group discovered the hard way when they tried to steal Dougie’s car. Meanwhile, at the Silver Mustang, two guys played by Jim Belushi and Robert Knepper are aghast that Dougie walked out of their casino with over $425,000 in jackpot winnings. Now they’re on the warpath for Dougie, and want to know immediately if he should return to the Silver Mustang.
So here’s a question, what’s it going to take to jolt Agent Cooper out of this funk? We left him at the end of the episode hanging around outside the office building poking at the cowboy statue in front. I’d like to think that it reminds him of someone he used to know that also wore a cowboy hat, but who knows what’s going on inside that head? I think it’s probably inevitable that he’ll end up back at the Silver Mustang, something tells me that Dougie’s wife is going to smell opportunity. Or maybe even one of the several people following Dougie around will see it as a reason to keep him alive because certainly if they’re trying to blow him up, or steal is ride, then getting that $50,000 doesn’t seem that big a deal to them anymore.
As for Twin Peaks – you know, the town the show is named after – they are about to get a big clue to Cooper’s whereabouts, which is good because clearly Hawk and Andy are making no progress going through old case files. Jade finds the Great Northern Hotel key in her jeep, and she puts it in the nearest mailbox. Imagine the surprise of Ben Horne and his secretary Ashley Judd when they receive an actual, physical key for their hotel in the mail. Something tells me that the fact of the key’s existence will get more immediate attention than who was in the room that key belonged to 25 years ago.
Elsewhere in Twin Peaks it seemed like business as usual. Sheriff [Frank] Truman got an earful from his wife Doris for a leaky pipe and how there’s plenty of money for a bigger bucket to catch the water but apparently no extra money for a new rug that Mrs. Truman likes. Robert Forster‘s great with a deadpan look, but honestly, if this show was taking place entirely in Twin Peaks I might be able to enjoy these asides a bit more. Aside from Hawk and Andy, it seems that no one is really aware of the bigger problems going on all around them. Well, almost everyone. Dr. Jacoby, it seems, has become a sort of Alex Jones figure in 3-D glasses selling gold spray-painted shovels for $29.99 each so that his fans can also shovel themselves out of the shit. Nadine and Jerry Horne seem to be fans.
The most insightful scene into the doings in Twin Peaks this week seemed to happen at the old Double-R where we meet Shelly’s daughter Becky played by Amanda Seyfried. Let’s just say like mother like daughter. At the beginning of the episode we see a loser in an ill-fitting suit being reamed out for not knowing how to write a resume or fill out an application or look like someone actually trying to get a job. Cocaine? Yes, they like cocaine. Norma and Shelly remark how Becky, like them, has terrible taste in men, and like them she will likely end up learning the hard way that coked up bad boys lead to nothing but despair.
As to other mysteries, it seems that the headless body in South Dakota does belong to Garland Briggs. While that does further tie together the Bob/Cooper connection to the new murder, it opens up a whole other round of questions because we learn that Garland Briggs’ prints have been flagged 16 times at different crime scenes over the last 25 years. Col. Davis (who is played by Ernie Hudson, and is named, I assume, in tribute to Garland’s portrayer the late Don S. Davis) assigns a subordinate to investigate and, if need be, alert the FBI. Meanwhile, Agent Preston notices something weird with Bob/Cooper’s fingerprints…
In one final bit of weirdness, Bob/Cooper is given a phone call by the warden, which he uses to call Argentina to leave a message, “The cow jumped over the moon.” We see some box with red blinking lights receive the message (I think) before collapsing in on itself like some kind of well-crafted black hole. Now I think there’s a presumption here that Bob/Cooper has some kind of back-up plan, but as fun as all this ambiguousness is, it would be nice if we could start drawing some straight lines between all the various parts, and it would be nice if it felt like we were doing more than just visiting Twin Peaks every week. The shows got some hooks in me now, which I didn’t expect from the first two episodes, but I’m starting to feel the sugar crash of too much weirdness for weirdness sake again.