Twin Peaks Episode 9 Review


By: Eric Flapjack Ashley (@flapjackashley)

Taking a week off after the most bizarre hour of Twin Peaks ever was tough on fans as we were left wondering where the show goes from there. What kind of episode would be get: a plot-driven one or another Eraserhead outing?

The 90s Called…

Doppelganger Cooper meets up with old friends Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth), who help clean him up. They are instructed to kill Warden Murphy from the prison he escaped from as well two more unidentified potential victims. Doppelganger sends a text that reads, “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively,” to someone. He then tells Hutch to “Kill that phone,” which is surprising since it, being a flip phone, should have been dead years ago.

Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) makes a return in this episode, along with his “attack dog” wife Janey-E (Naomi Watts). Local authorities question Dougie’s boss, and he mentions that Dougie was in an accident years ago – which goes a long way in explaining why everyone seems to accept his spacey behavior now.

The detectives seem to be bumbling at first. Their joking around is actually quite funny. But they prove to be smarter than your average Keystone Cops as they confiscate a coffee cup of Dougie’s to be tested for fingerprint and DNA samples. What that will bring in a future episode will surely be fascinating. Dougie himself continues to show signs of the real Agent Cooper coming out as he is hypnotized by an American flag, not quite sure why it’s familiar, or why the sight of it is so comforting. He also is drawn to a pair of red high heels that a secretary is wearing – not unlike heels that would be fitting for the still unseen Audrey Horne to be wearing.

Also of note, the cops move fast and then go and apprehend Spike, the tiny assassin who failed to kill Dougie a couple episodes ago.

“This Is The Chair”

Back in Twin Peaks, Andy (Harry Goaz) and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) are having an argument over a chair. Kimmy wins the spat, but I think they both lose because the chair she picks out is ugly.

But the real chair that this episode is named after is at the Briggs household, where Sheriff Truman (Robert Forrester) and Deputies Hawk (Michael Horse) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) talk with the widowed Betty (Charlotte Stewart). She reveals a metallic tube device from a chair in the house that Bobby later opens up to reveal a note: specific instructions for an event that will happen two days later – and a scrap piece of paper that Major Briggs presented to Agent Cooper back in season two… a printed reading supposedly from outer space that read “COOPER / COOPER / COOPER”. It’s fascinating that the show is bringing back all of these plot threads that were seemingly dropped in the original series and making them fit in perfectly in this revival series. It’s worth noting that the third “COOPER” is cut off, so Hawk makes the connection that there are “two Coopers.”

Jerry Horne has an argument with his foot in the woods, hearing a voice that says his foot is not his foot. Weird, yes. Will it probably play a bigger part later on? You can probably count on it.

At the Horne household, mentally disabled Johnny Horne is running around the house. He runs down the stairs and crashes, head first, into a picture frame on the wall. Bloodied and knocked out on the floor, it draws sharp parallels to Maddy Ferguson’s (Sheryl Lee) murder in the original series, as well as Agent Cooper’s bathroom mirror cliffhanger.

It’s a f’n morgue!

At the morgue, the FBI crew arrives to get some more answers from the stand-up comic mortician. When Diane (Laura Dern) lights up a cigarette and is told there is no smoking inside, everyone looks at her like she’s a ticking time bomb – and of course she goes off with another F-bomb of her own. When alone, however, she received the text message that Doppelganger had sent earlier in the episode. Her reaction is difficult to read – does she seem bothered by it? Is Doppleganger taunting her? Working for him seems like a stretch given her reaction to him at the prison, but yet she doesn’t share the text with her traveling companions.

The headless body is determined to be a man in his forties, which clues Agents Cole (David Lynch) and Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) that the body can’t be Major Briggs as he would have been in his seventies.

They move on to interview William Hastings (Matthew Lillard), who hasn’t been seen since way back in hour two. He blubbers his way through some pretty deep stuff, and the performance giving is quite good. The major takeaway is his interaction with “Major Briggs,” who crashed his hotel affair with his now-dead secretary – only to say, “Cooper. Cooper,” before his “head disappeared,” noting it was something that “no one has ever seen before.”

He also talks about a blog he was writing, and it’s an actual website. The site is a fun throwback to the 90s and GeoCities and logo buttons for Netscape and all of that, complete with a signable “Guestbook” that used to be all the rage. I’ve poked around it and it is very well tied into the show and extremely well done. You can visit it here.

Itchy. Scratchy.

The final scene of the episode brings us two girls whose entire dialogue seems to be in code. They talk about the “zebra” being out again. One of the girls (Sky Ferreira) has a nasty rash under her left arm. She scratches at it, with the sound amped up on the nails digging at the skin. It’s perhaps the most uncomfortable thing in the entire hour – and it’s also quite clear that it will lead into something that’s even worse.

Looking Ahead

This episode covered a lot of plot moving forward, but addressed nothing from the previous hour. It fits in well with how the show has operated thus far. In fact, the story moved faster than I thought it would, with the coffee cup being taken for prints and the arrest of Spike happening in very short order.

This was episode nine, meaning we are officially halfway through the revival series. There are characters we haven’t seen in many episodes: hit-and-run lowlife Richard Horne, James (James Marshall), Shelly’s daughter and her equally lowlife boyfriend, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), and more…and there are tons of stuff, both new and old, that are unresolved. But this episode successfully tied minor stories from the original series into the new season, and it gives me hope that the series will actually have a good amount of closure. Things I thought would never be addressed again – the COOPER message from space, for instance – are not only back but seem to actually make sense.

There are theories going around that could be accurate or could be way off base. Along with the one a couple weeks ago that Doppleganger had a very unpleasant run in with Diane years ago, there are also some interesting ones such as last episode’s young couple being a teenaged Leland and Sarah Palmer, or this week’s itchy arm girl happening to be scratching under her left arm – the same one that Mike, the one-armed man, is missing.

In any event, the show is really kicking into high gear, balancing new stuff and old stuff to near perfection. Knowing there are only nine episodes left fills me with confidence that nothing on this show is happening without a reason…everything will come back at some point to make us go, “Ohhhhhh, so that’s what that meant!” There is always a chance that some stuff will be left unresolved – this is David Lynch after all – but I have to believe that after 25 years, they will give us long suffering fans some closure on at least the most important stories. Whether they are closed with happiness or otherwise is left to be determined.

But I’m fully along for the ride and excited to see what next week holds.

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