It’s nice when everything comes together. Earlier in the day on Sunday, I was talking with someone about Twin Peaks and where we left things off two weeks ago. After the journey through symbolism and 1950s New Mexico in episode 8, this person I was talking to theorized that episode 9 would be more direct, and dig back into the main story, whatever it is. I’m through trying to guess what David Lynch is going to do, but it turns out my friend was correct. In part 9, Lynch was going to try and start unravelling these mysteries he’s laid out. For this week anyway.
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Now before the extended 45-minute non-sequitur in the previous episode, we saw Bob/Cooper make his getaway from prison, and we saw him betrayed by his cohort Ray, who was caught more than a little aghast when some ghosts appeared and healed Bob/Cooper of his gunshot wound. That was messed up, and it resulted in more questions than answered. As this episode began, we caught up with Bob has he wandered down a dirt road to a farm where he meets two friends, Hutch and Chantal played by Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh. And like many of Twin Peaks’ all-star celebrity appearances thus far, their involvement was intriguing, but fleeting.
It does raise an interesting question here, how deep is Bob’s bench of hench-people? If the crew we see in episode one, are they the A-team, how far down the alphabet have we fell by the time he roles up to Hutch and Chantal’s temporary home on the farm? Or maybe they were the A-team, Bob was planning on killing Ray along the way, right? One thing’s for sure, Bob is intent on cleaning up as he goes. He orders Chantal and Hutch to kill Warden Murphy, he follows up with Duncan Todd (the Vegas “facilitator” played by Patrick Fischler) to see if Cooper-as-Dougie has been taken care of, and he sends a text on a pretty pink flip-phone to an unknown person.
We find out later who that person is, and it’s none other than Diane, who’s still travelling with Gordon, Albert, and Tammy. Needless to say that they find out that Bob/Cooper “escaped” from prison, but they learn something more important this week, the murder mystery in Buckhorn, SD, involving Maj. Garland Briggs, the decapitated head of a librarian, and the school principal that went on a murder spree, killing his lover and a 40-something Air Force major who had already died 25 years earlier.
Back in Twin Peaks, Deputy Bobby Briggs went home to ask his mom about Agent Cooper’s visit with the Major the day before he died, and Sheriff Frank Truman and Deputy Chief Hawk came along… Exactly as Garland Briggs had predicted. Yes, the major had pre-visioned this day, when his son, the then-Sheriff Truman’s brother, and Hawk, would come around asking about the last conversation with Agent Cooper. And more than that, he left behind an artifact: a metal cylinder that contained the location of a spot that father and son Briggs spent a great deal of time at and a day and time two days hence, as well as a warning of two Coopers.
These elements came together in an unexpected way, and it involved a character the series seemed pretty much forget about since episode one. We welcomed back Matthew Lillard to the show after sitting out the last several episodes. He’s still in prison accused of killing his mistress, Ruth, and his secretary has since been killed in a car bomb. That wasn’t seen on the show but this is presumably the person that Ray got the numbers he was trying to ransom to Bob/Cooper, and these are presumably the same co-ordinates that were included in the cylinder that Bobby, Truman and Hawk got from Mrs. Briggs.
Why is this important? Because Hastings and Ruth had a side gig that wasn’t revealed till now. They were obsessed with a place called “the Zone” and in the day before Ruth was murdered, she and Hastings entered “the Zone” and made contact with “the Major” who asked them to look up some co-ordinates. I think we can safely say this was “the Major” Briggs, and this “Zone” was the Black Lodge. One wonders if something else will soon be arriving from the Lodge, or perhaps another opportunity is coming up to send Bob back to where he belongs, hence the urgency in killing Cooper and finding out where the access point will be.
Speaking of the OG Cooper, he was stuck at the Las Vegas police station with Jeanie-E as the Detectives Fusco talked to Bushnell about his new star employee, Dougie. The police are trying to figure out why this apparently unassuming dimwit would be the target of two assassination attempts in two days, and when they find his file, Dougie’s record only goes back 25 years. This sheds no light on where Dougie came from, or how he existed in the first place, but it does give one of the Fuscos the inspiration to take Dougie’s coffee mug to get fingerprints. It’s only a matter of time now that Gordon and Albert get word of a new Cooper in their midst, yes? And won’t they be surprised that the wedding ring of Cooper’s alias was found in Garland Briggs’ big, dead stomach?
As for Cooper himself, he keeps nibbling at the edges of who he is. He drinks coffee like it might go extinct, and in one scene this week he sees the Stars and Stripes and hears “America the Beautiful”. Perhaps he’s recalling his FBI graduation, or something. But then he sees an electrical socket, which, as you might recall, is how Dougie left our world, and Cooper returned to it several episodes back. Perhaps Cooper senses another coming…
Ike the Spike sure didn’t sense someone coming after him, and the LVPD takes him into custody. He was definitely known to them, but it remains to be seen what he himself knows, and might Bob/Cooper be on his way to Vegas to take things in hand? And since no episode of Twin Peaks is complete without introducing a new development that is given no further explanation, we see a man named Johnny run head first into a wall and kill himself. Is this Johnny Horne, Ben’s developmentally challenged son? Who knows? But we’re now halfway through this series, so it’s likely we will never get an answer.