So we’ve come from one of the most amazingly surreal episodes ever aired on TV (Episode 8) to one of the more straightforward infodumps that I’ve seen so far in this season of Twin Peaks, and I have to admit it’s a little bit of a jarring tonal shift. Not to say that this wasn’t a good episode, or that it wasn’t refreshing to get some answers to some questions, but holy cow did it almost feel like a whole different show.
In fact, there was so much info dropped – much of it, in fact, stuff we already knew, refreshing viewers on certain plot points that hadn’t been in seen in weeks – that I almost think there was originally going to be a longer break between the parts of this season. This episode feels very much like a way to get everyone back up to speed after a mid-season break, and it makes me think that when Lynch and Co. were originally negotiating for the longer season with Showtime, that there was the possibility for more than just a one week break mid-season.
Whatever the reason for it, it’s nice to get some progress on stories that were started in the first handful of episodes and then not mentioned in the weeks since.
For example, we get more information about Bill Hastings, Ruth Davenport, and exactly how her head ended up sitting next to the body of Major Garland Briggs. It turns out that Bill and Ruth had a shared interest in other-dimensional travel, and on the night she died, managed to cross into another world (which we can assume is either the black lodge or the white lodge). There they found Major Briggs, who sent them to uncover certain coordinates for him.
We can also safely assume that those coordinates are the same ones that Dopple-Coop wanted to get from Hastings’ secretary.
Bill also talks about how at a certain point Briggs floated into the air, and then his head disappeared, which I assume is meant to explain the floating head that drifts through space and mutters the words, “Blue Rose” earlier in the season.
Speaking of coordinates, I wonder if they’re the same, or related to, the coordinates that Briggs left for his son Bobby. Because it turns out that on the night that Cooper met with Briggs 25 years ago, before Briggs supposedly died in the fire at his station, he told his wife that one day Hawk, Bobby, and Sheriff Truman would come to her to ask about Dale Cooper, and on that day she was to give them an object – a mysterious metal cylinder that apparently only Bobby knew how to open. Specifically by tossing it on the ground and attempting to get the metal to ring at a particular frequency.
(Interestingly, Bill Hastings web site at http://thesearchforthezone.com/ seems to have some links to articles about how frequencies are the key to dimensional and time travel).
Anywhoo, inside the cylinder are a couple of small pieces of paper. One seems to have directions to a particular location, as well as specific dates and times, AS WELL AS A PICTURE THAT MATCHES THE SYMBOL ON DOPPLE-COOP’S CARD FROM THE FIRST EPISODE, which makes this all look pretty relevant. Also, there’s a clipping from Briggs’ of signals from the woods of Twin Peaks, the ones that contained the words “COOPER / COOPER” from way back in season two. Hawk takes this to mean he’s referencing two different Coopers, and from what we know of the season so far, that doesn’t seem to be too far from the truth.
And all of this without even talking about Dougie Cooper, the Horne brothers, Ike the Spike, or anything else that happens this episode. And while there’s a whole lot that happens in these other areas, there are two distinct things that stand out to me.
1. The three brother cops manage to snag a copy of Dougie Coop’s fingerprints after realizing that there is no record of him prior to 1997. The think he’s maybe in the witness protection plan, and one of the cop’s is going to check in with a friend he has in Justice to find out more. But I’m guessing, if they run those fingerprints, they’re going to end up flagging something in the FBI and Gordon Cole will soon be taking a trip to Las Vegas.
2. There’s a weird scene where Dougie is in the police station. For a moment, he becomes transfixed on the flag, he hears the star-spangled banner, and it’s clear that he’s beginning to remember, again, elements of the FBI. Then a woman in red heels walks by and grabs his attention. He follows the heels until they disappear behind a corner, at which point his gaze seems to drift back to an electrical outlet.
Now, in the couple of recaps I’ve read of this episode so far, most people seem to be pointing at the red shoes as an indicator of Audrey, who famously switched from her saddles shoes to a pair of bright red heels at her school locker during one of her first scenes in Twin Peaks.
But because of the connection between the shoes and the electrical socket – much like the electrical socket that Dale Cooper exited the lodge through, leaving his shoes behind – I think this might actually be connected to another theory that I’ve been kind of dismissive of so far because it’s seemed to … well, weird.
The theory is that the reason that Dale Cooper is acting like he is is because he isn’t whole, and the reason he isn’t whole is because he left his shoes behind in the lodge. Now at first I dismissed the idea as silly, that the shoes failing to travel through the socket was just a bit of a joke, but this scene, with his apparent attempt to link a pair of shoes to an electrical outlet makes me wonder.
If that is what it’s about, though, how the heck is he going to get the shoes back? Dougie Coop sure doesn’t seem to have enough wits about him to make it to, much less traverse, the Black Lodge. Is this maybe what Bobby, Hawk, and Truman need to discover at their coordinates? An access point to the lodge, and then an attempt to retrace Coops steps right to his shoes? Weirder things have happened, I guess.
Lastly, this has got to be one of the funniest episodes of Twin Peaks I’ve ever seen, with at least three scenes that made me laugh out loud for three entirely different reasons.
First off, Albert’s line, “What happens in season two?” after hearing all the pertinent details surround the Bill Hastings / Ruth Davenport / Major Briggs situation. It’s funny on the surface, obviously, but it’s also an incredibly funny callback to Twin Peaks’ own season one finale and season two opener, which featured a shitload of bordering-on-crazy cliff-hangers.
Second, Jerry Horne’s apparent drugged-out delusion that his foot was talking to him, and declaring that it wasn’t his foot (I didn’t take notes, so if memory serves, he said, “I am not your foot.”) made me laugh out loud at its absurdity before I realized that its voice sounded eerily familiar to the baby evolution-of-the-arm that commanded Dougie Coop to squeeze Ike The Spike’s hand off. Maybe Jerry is experiencing more than he realizes?
Lastly, the amazingly awkward scene between Diane, Gordon, and Tammy, as Diane finishes a cigarette, and Gordon and Tammy almost entirely fail to comfortably hang out with her while Albert is indisposed. Tammy’s attempt to seen perfectly casual in any number of incredibly non-casual positions was maybe the highlight, but Gordon silently waiting for Diane to acknowledge was a close second.
All in all, these last two episodes have each had something completely different to offer viewers, and I have to admit, that makes me wonder what might be in store for episode 10. I know everyone’s been expecting to see Audrey, but could this finally be the episode it happens? If Johnny Horne’s injury / death is any indicator, maybe so. Maybe so.