Poor Agent Cooper. As if the poor man hasn’t been through enough, having spent 25 years trapped in the hellish idiosyncratic vortex that is the Black Lodge, now he’s trapped in the pseudo-reality that is the life of one of his doppelgängers, Dougie.
At the start of “Part V,” we haven’t gotten a glimpse of Cooper yet, but we know he’s being pursued by a group of individuals who, like everyone else around him, seem to believe that he is actually Dougie.
We do, however, get a glimpse of a mangled corpse — that of the young man who was maimed while making out in the first episode of the season. Inside his stomach is a ring, inscribed with the names Dougie and Jayne-E (Dougie’s wife). Meanwhile, Cooper’s leather-jacket-wearing doppelgänger remains in police custody — we learned last episode that FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) are reasonably suspicious of him.
When the doppelgänger gazes into the mirror of his cell, long-awaited flashbacks of Cooper laughing maniacally alongside the infamous BOB (Frank Silva) appear, followed by the image of Cooper smashing his own face into the mirror of The Great Northern Hotel, only to cackle at the sight of BOB in his reflection — both are images from the original series.
Cooper, meanwhile, is still catatonically inhabiting the life of Dougie — who was created by the original doppelgänger as a decoy, but disintegrated when he returned the Black Lodge in “Part III.” After Jayne-E drops him off at “work” — Dougie was an insurance agent — Cooper wanders around, confused, following a man carrying several cups of coffee.
His childlike enjoyment of the caffeinated sludge reminds us that the Agent Cooper we know and love is still in there somewhere. And, when, during a stern talking-to from his boss, Cooper hears the word “agent,” something clicks in his seemingly emptied brain.
Back at Twin Peaks, we finally get a glimpse of the Double-R Diner, where Shelley (Mädchen Amick) and Norma (Peggy Lipton) are still holding down the fort. A new member of the cast pays Shelley a visit — Amanda Seyfried as Becky Burnett, for whom Shelley feels responsible. Becky asks Shelley to borrow money, seeing as her suitor can’t seem to find a job and she’s working tirelessly at a nearby bakery.
Meanwhile, Hawk (Michael Horse) and Andy (Harry Goaz) are still sifting through the boxes related to Agent Cooper’s disappearance. Over at the Bang Bang Bar, the sexually violent underbelly of Twin Peaks is momentarily revealed when an anonymous local man assaults a woman who asks him to light her cigarette.
Over at the FBI, it seems that Special Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell), working alongside Gordon and Rosenfield, is on the verge of discovering the fact that the doppelgänger they have in custody is not in fact Agent Cooper.
The doppelgänger is, however, still being watched closely and held under maximum security. Using the analog telephone given to him for a phone call, the doppelgänger sets off the prison alarm system, with several members of law enforcement watching via surveillance cameras.
“The cow jumped over the moon,” says the doppelgänger into the telephone. When he hangs up, the alarms cease.
This episode moves away from the mysterious spaces of the Black Lodge and the otherworldly glass box from the premiere. Still, as many questions as ever remain. Who will find the real Agent Cooper, and will he ever re-emerge as his true self? Will the doppelgänger return to the Black Lodge, and who are his allies in our dimension?
Bearing in mind the doppelgänger’s resemblance to both BOB and Cooper, does BOB still live inside the doppelgänger? And if so, what havoc will BOB wreak next?
“Twin Peaks: The Return” airs Sundays at 6 p.m. on Showtime.
Sophie-Marie Prime covers television. Contact her at [email protected].