‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ recap 1×7: ‘Part VII’

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Last week, Hawk (Michael Horse) pulled some mysterious papers out of a stall door in the Sheriff’s Department bathroom. This week, we learn that they were pages from Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) diary, in which she described a vision of Annie Blackburn (Heather Graham in the original series) she’d had in a dream. Annie had appeared to Laura, telling her: “My name is Annie, and I’ve been with Laura and Dale. The good Dale is in the Lodge, and he can’t leave. Write it in your diary.” Laura would not have known who Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) was yet, considering the FBI agent only arrived in Twin Peaks after Laura’s death to investigate her murder. During his time there, he had fallen in love with Annie Blackburn who disappeared into the Black Lodge.

Needless to say, the diary pages are cryptic and intriguing.

Hawk tells Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) that he’s sure that this is what the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) wanted him to find. After reading a page of Laura’s diary that implies she might have foreshadowed her death and known her killer, Hawk speculates that Laura’s father, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), hid the diary pages when he realized that she knew he was her killer.

Hawk also remembers that someone saw Cooper emerge from the Black Lodge with Annie Blackburn — he puts together that Annie specified “the good Dale,” which means that whoever emerged with Annie was not “the good Dale.” Afterwards, Sheriff Truman catches up with Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) to see if he can remember seeing Cooper — or Cooper’s doppelgänger, though they don’t know he’s the doppelgänger yet — after he emerged from the Lodge. Though Doc’s memory is fading, he remembers “Cooper’s” peculiar behavior the last time he was seen — which makes sense, given that it wasn’t Cooper he saw, but the doppelgänger.

Meanwhile, back in South Dakota, the fresh body of a man in his forties is identified as Major Briggs (Don S. Davis in the original series) — Bobby Briggs’ (Dana Ashbrook) father. The body matched Major Briggs’ fingerprints, but the match seems an impossibility, given that Briggs would have been in his seventies if he were still alive that week. The FBI agent assigned to the case recognizes this incongruity, and assures the coroner that the FBI will likely investigate. As they speak, a figure dressed in dark layers trudges down past them, breathing heavily.

It appears the elements of horror in “Twin Peaks” are beginning to rear their head once again.

Later, Agent Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) meets with Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) to update him on his meeting with Diane (Laura Dern), Cooper’s former secretary. The ever-mysterious Diane refused to speak with Rosenfield at first, so Cole and Rosenfield meet her in her home.

They want her to visit Cooper — who’s really Cooper’s doppelgänger — to verify his identity, which they find uncertain given the bizarre behavior he’s exhibited while in the South Dakota prison. We know she’s agreed — however reluctantly — when we see her on a plane with Gordon and Rosenfield, on their way to see Cooper. During the flight, they find that the Cooper that’s currently in prison has reversed fingerprints from the original Cooper.

Everyone seems to be edging ever closer to discovering that the man they think is Cooper is really a clone from the Black Lodge.

Diane’s exchange with the Cooper-in-custody (the leather-jacket-clad Cooper from earlier episodes) is brief and bizarre, amid electrical buzzing and eerily dark lighting. Diane is visibly shaken, and adamant that the man she spoke with is not Cooper. Gordon believes her.

And the actual Cooper? Still working in Dougie’s office — another doppelgänger of his that melted into the Black Lodge abyss and has now been replaced with the real, but catatonic Agent Cooper. While for weeks the status of this child-like Cooper hasn’t changed much, it seems now that he might actually be learning to communicate — however slowly and incoherently. Can you blame him after two-and-a-half decades in the Black Lodge?

As Cooper leaves his work, the assassin who sought him out in the previous episode appears with a gun pointed straight at him — at which point Cooper lurches at him with the athletic precision of a trained FBI agent. While he struggles with the assassin, The Arm from the Black Lodge appears to him, compelling him to “squeeze” the man’s hand off. When the cops find the man’s gun, a flap of skin is attached to it.

Back at the Bang Bang Bar, we get our first glimpse of a Renault brother (Walter Olkewicz) — the family of whom worked in the brothel, One-Eyed Jack’s — owned by Ben Horne in the original series.

The episode ends with a daunting scene of Cooper’s doppelgänger being secretly released from prison by the warden he blackmailed, and a final shot in the Double-R Diner where things are peachy keen and dandy — until they inevitably won’t be, because this is still “Twin Peaks.”

This episode brought us several steps closer to some answers, with connections finally being made by central characters regarding Cooper’s disappearance and reappearance. Will next week be the moment we’ve all been waiting for — even if we’re as confused as ever as to what that moment is?

Sophie-Marie Prime covers television. Contact her at [email protected].