8:00pm PT by Josh Wigler
'Twin Peaks': Agent Cooper Makes a Major Comeback
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the third and fourth episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return.]
This happy salutation becomes something of an anthem throughout the second week of Showtime's new Twin Peaks, as mightily bellowed by a muddled Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). Or is he Dougie Jones? Better yet, is he Mr. Jackpots? It's hard to know exactly what to call this man, given the decades he spent trapped within the Black Lodge, detached from all conventional reality. But as of the third episode of the series, Cooper is back in corporeal form — albeit with more than a few screws in desperate need of tightening.
Beyond the Cooper comeback, several familiar faces emerged in foreign circumstances over the course of "Part 3" and "Part 4." Here's how the episodes played out.
Dale's Daring Escape
The episode begins with a bone-chilling sequence, in which an ethereal Cooper travels through an equally ethereal world marked by purple hues, vast oceans, a screaming woman who has no eyes and the floating head of the late Major Garland Briggs (Don Davis) sailing through the stars, offering two words to Coop as he arcs in and out of view: "Blue Rose."
It all builds to Cooper's return to the mortal realm, as he's sucked into a machine that spits him back out into a Las Vegas suburb — but it comes at the expense of a man named Dougie Jones, another apparent Cooper doppelganger, who gets zapped out of existence and brought to the Black Lodge, where his head explodes into a billow of smoke, and his body leaves behind two treasures: a golden orb, and the mystical Owl Ring worn previously in Twin Peaks lore by Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), among others.
Call for Help
Despite being back in reality, Cooper isn't altogether here. He has trouble forming sentences, repeating words as if he's hearing them for the first time, awkwardly shuffling around as if he's never walked a step in his life. What's more, multiple people recognize him as Dougie Jones, apparently famous in the local casino circuit — perhaps even infamous, as we witness a failed assassination attempt on "Dougie," though it's unclear if the team of would-be killers were targeting Dale's second doppelganger or if they were targeting the actual Agent Cooper.
In any case, Cooper earns his own reputation at the Silver Mustang Casino when he takes $5 and turns it into buckets and buckets of winnings — first $28,400 from a game called Tropical Treasure, then a whole lot more from other slot machines. "Hello-oh-oh," he continuously calls out as he pulls lever after lever, unleashing enough prize money to attract the attention of virtually everyone in the casino.
The so-called Mister Jackpots eventually leaves in a limousine ordered by the casino's manager, taking him back to Dougie Jones' house on Lancelot Court. There, he reunites with his wife Janey-E (Naomi Watts), who initially screams at "Dougie" because he skipped out on their son Sonny Jim's (Pierce Gagnon) birthday. She whistles a different tune when she sees the miraculous amounts of money he won from the casino: "This is the most wonderful, horrible day of my life."
In the morning, Cooper goes back to basics, learning how to use the bathroom and how to eat breakfast. At one point, during his trip to the bathroom, Cooper is wearing all-blue pajamas, an eerie callback to how Twin Peaks originally ended: with Cooper in the bathroom, wearing all-blue pajamas, howling with the soul of Killer BOB (Frank Silva) inside of him.
Later, at the breakfast table, Cooper takes a big sip of hot coffee, and does an immediate spit take. Is it because the coffee was too hot, or is it because the taste of one of his favorite things was just the jolt he needed to become the Cooper of old again? It's a question that won't be answered until at least next week's episode.
The Other Cooper
Dale's return to the real world comes at the expense of his long-haired doppelganger. Bad Coop gets into a bad car crash, spewing creamed corn and otherwise reacting violently at the exact same time that Good Coop is returning to reality. When he's discovered, authorities place Bad Coop under arrest, which draws the attention of federal agents Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer).
Cole and Rosenfield, along with Agent Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell), head to South Dakota to visit the Bad Coop, unaware of who and what this man really is. (In fairness, it's not like we have the clearest picture of the guy ourselves just yet.) Bad Coop's alien responses to Cole's inquiries raise more than a few red flags, leading the hard-hearing agent to one of the most wonderfully relatable line deliveries of the entire series: "I hate to admit this, but I don't understand this situation at all."
Luckily, Rosenfield has two words to explain what's going on: "Blue Rose." Cole concurs: "It doesn't get any bluer." The two men agree that they need "one certain person" to check in on this Cooper, before they proceed any further. This person's identity isn't revealed in the episode, though Rosenfield offers one clue: "I don't know where she lives, but I know where she drinks."
Meanwhile, in Twin Peaks...
The actual town at the heart of the series offers a few compelling updates in this week's installments. For one thing, Robert Forster makes his debut as the new man in charge of the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department — and as rumored, he is indeed playing Sheriff Truman. But it's not a matter of recasting: rather than playing the role of Michael Ontkean's Harry Truman, Forester is playing Harry's brother Frank, who also happens to be a sheriff. Lynch sure loves his doubles, doesn't he?
Indeed, it's through Sheriff Truman that we see another highly anticipated character: Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy's (Harry Goaz) son. In an inspired stroke of casting, Michael Cera plays their grown-up child, Wally Brando, who happens to share Marlon Brando's birthday. The eccentric young man has returned home to Twin Peaks from a motorcycle trip across America in order to pay respects to his godfather Harry Truman, who is apparently ill — an easy way to short-hand Ontkean's decision not to appear in the new Twin Peaks.
Overshadowing Cera's bizarre turn as Wally is a tall order indeed, and yet, the show pulls it off in the form of a fan-favorite figure from the past: Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), the former bad boy who now works as a deputy at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department. Bobby provides the revival's single most nostalgic and emotional moment yet when he walks into a conference room and sees Hawk (Michael Horse) sorting through old case files from the Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) murder. Bobby cries immediately when he sees the picture of Laura, which comes accompanied with the return of composer Angelo Badalamenti's iconic "Laura Palmer's Theme."
The scene is a perfect illustration of where things stand with Twin Peaks right now: different and disorienting through its dark and ominously quiet tone, but capable of returning to the whimsy and the emotion of the original series with nothing more than a music cue. More like this, please.
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