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Cooper flew the coop!

Television

Twin Peaks
3.9: This is the chair.

 

If this is what an “average” episode of Twin Peaks Season Three looks like, I’m fine with that. We’re halfway through the season now, and I’m not holding my breath for the fully reintegrated Coop materialising anytime soon, although I am enjoying the positioning of threads that will lead to Gordon et al discovering his whereabouts.

Detective FuscoIt’s like talking to a dog.

And with regard to Dougie-Dale, he isn’t doing much this time, apart from having his fingerprints lifted and staring at an American flag in the corner of a waiting room. It isn’t the strangest moment in the episode (that belongs to Jerry Horne), but it seems pretty damn normal compared to much that we’ve seen in this run. Nothing short of the flag uttering “Gronda gronda” could have really sent the scene into truly mental territory.

David Koechner’s Detective D Fusco and particularly Eric Edelstein’s Detective “Smiley” Fusco make this scene, though. The latter’s easily-amused giggling hits just the right unrehearsed Lynchian note, be it D’s “Must be a beauty” in response to the cost of (Larry Clarke’s) Detective T Fusco’s tail-light repair, or the capture of Ike “The Spike” Stadtler as D announces they have his fingerprints: “As a matter of fact, we have your whole palm”. Ah, poor wee murderous psychotic Ike.

Gordon ColeI don’t appreciate your language one bit, colonel… Oh, a place. Buckingham, South Dakota.

It’s a testament to Lynch’s timing that he can make old ones like that land. Timing that’s in full effect during the snail-like scene where Gordon and Tammy watch Diane smoke for what seems like forever before he cadges a puff. Dern is marvellously splenetic as Diane (“It’s a fucking morgue!” she screams when told she can’t smoke on the premises).

And, shockingly, it appears she is receiving texts from Evil Coop (“AROUND THE DINNER TABLE, THE CONVERSATION IS LIVELY”), in which case, it must be via someone else (because she receives the message in caps, and he sends them lowercase: Phillip Jeffries?) But colour me surprised, as I completely didn’t get a vibe of complicity from their meeting in prison. And are her colleagues aware something is suss about her? Is that why Tammy wanted to keep her conversation with Gordon dialled down? Great as Diane venting is, my favourite line of the episode is easily the one at the end of this exchange, though:

Detective MacklayWilliam Hastings was having an affair with the local librarian, Ruth Davenport. Davenport’s head was found atop the headless body of your Major Briggs. Once we took Hastings into custody, his wife was murdered in their house, apparently by their lawyer, a man named George Banner, who is now also in custody. And the next day, Hasting’s secretary died in a car explosion.
AlbertWhat happens in Season Two?

Nice too that Albert instantly takes to acerbic Constance. Could it be romance? The actual revelations regarding Briggs are, more-or-less, fairly linear join the dots, even though their substance is bizarre.

I rated Matthew Lillard early in the season, but I found his hysterical Hastings rather wearing here, reducing what might have been an eerie scene, given the content of a “strange little blog about some alternate dimension” that can actually be found if you go to http://thesearchforthezone.com (“Today we finally entered what we call the Zone, and we met the Major”), to one-note exposition.

His recollection of events features some considerable gaps (it was beautiful, we are told, when the Major floated up, looking for coordinates that Ruth had written on her hand, up, and then Ruth was dead), so maybe we’ll have more on this (“there was so many people there” sounds a wee bit like Phillip Jeffries’ experience of the Black Lodge in Fire Walk With Me).

William HastingsI wanna go scuba-diving!
AlbertFruitcake, anyone?

Reasonably, Gordon and Albert connect the decapitation to Evil Coop, who has been in the area, but that may not exactly be the case (fellow lodge members are surely involved, though). The Dougie/Janey-E ring will doubtless provide another vital link in the trail to Dougie-Coop, what with his fingerprints circulating, TV footage broadcast relating to the Ike “The Spike” attack, and Hutch and Chantal likely having him on their hit list.

Betty BriggsHe said that one day you would come and ask me about Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Similarly deductive feats are occurring in Twin Peaks, also to do with Major Briggs, and also unfolding in remarkably straightforward, connective fashion. Nice to have the return of Charlotte Stewart as Betty Briggs, and her comforting words to Bobby (“Somehow, he knew that it would all turn out well. Your father never lost faith in you”). Clearly, Windom Earle kyboshing Bobby with a log did him the power of good in the long run. I have to admit, though, Dana Ashbrook isn’t nearly as compelling as a nice guy as he was as a wild child. But to be fair, he hasn’t been given an awful lot to chew on (his greatest moments in the original show all came opposite the sadly missed Don S Davis).

Hawk on the other hand, just needs to see the message from the stars from the original (COOPER COOPER) to deduce “Two Coopers”. He should be in the FBI, since they’re progressing at a comparative snail’s pace. That this appears to be about ten days after the events in FBI land might suggest a lot needs to happen in that timeline before a convergence in two days’ time in this, at Jack Rabbit’s Palace. Or maybe not.

Also: Johnny’s back (but played by a stunt guy)! Tim Roth appears as a seedy heel not-such-a-shock! Jennifer Jason-Leigh’s back, but not nearly enough of her (Evil Coop does very little of note here apart from giving her a wet one)! Chad stinks out the conference room with his lunch (Hawk is hilarious not helping him with the door)!

A girl, Ella (Sky Ferreira), in the Roadhouse has a nasty underarm rash she keeps scratching, shades of Teresa Banks (“You let zebras out again?” as well as penguins: black and white creatures, just like lodges)! Ben Horne demurs from smooching Beverley to the serenade of that sound (“Almost like the ring out of a monastery bell”)! Lucy and Andy choose furniture! And, my favourite: Jerry’s foot tells him “I am not your foot”! I think that says everything.

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