‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ recap 1×9: ‘Part IX’

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After a particularly abstract episode two weeks ago, “Twin Peaks: The Return” took a one-week hiatus. This week, we rejoin the world of Deputy FBI Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) as he continues his search for the missing Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) alongside Diane (Laura Dern) and Agent Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer). Because of the lack of linearity to the previous episode, we can’t be certain how much time has passed — but shortly after we rejoin the agents in this episode, they learn that Cooper’s doppelgänger has escaped from jail, so we know it can’t have been more than 24 hours.

As Gordon puts it, “Cooper has flown the coop!” — though we know by now that this was his evil doppelgänger, not Cooper himself.

The doppelgänger — risen from the dead after being shot by an accomplice that he escaped jail with in the previous episode — wanders to a shack where his allies reside. One such person is Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh), whom the doppelgänger has a sexual relationship with.

The real Cooper, on the other hand, is still living catatonically as Dougie — another one of his doppelgängers — who returned to and then died in the Black Lodge during “Part III.” Last we saw, “Dougie” (in other words, Cooper) wrestled the hell out of a bounty hunter who was out to kill him. This week, he’s at the local police station being investigated from the comforts of the waiting room. The cops are confused by his state of unresponsive demeanor and are further intrigued when they find that “Dougie” did not exist before 1997 — we know this makes sense because Dougie was created by the doppelgänger in order to avoid returning to die at the Black Lodge.

Back in Twin Peaks, Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), Hawk (Michael Horse) and Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) show up at Bobby’s mother’s house to question her about the disappearance of her husband, Major Garland Briggs (Don S. Davis). A body that could belong to Major Briggs was discovered during “Part VII,” but the validity of a fingerprint test was called into question when the timeline of the body found and Briggs’ disappearance did not match up. The body found would have belonged to a man in his forties and Briggs’ would have been in his seventies. Additionally, inside the body’s stomach was a ring inscribed to Dougie from Janey-E, his wife.

Mrs. Briggs (Charlotte Stewart) tells the three men that she knew they would come asking after Agent Cooper because Major Briggs warned her as such before he disappeared. She gives them a hidden object that Major Briggs asked her to deliver to them in his prediction years before.

Meanwhile, Gordon, Agent Rosenfield, and Diane arrive at the morgue in South Dakota. While the two men leave the room with morticians, Diane stays behind in the waiting room to smoke — at which point she receives a text message that we saw the doppelgänger send at the start of the episode: “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.”

With the morticians, Gordon and Rosenfield discuss the death of Ruth Davenport, the decapitated woman found in South Dakota during “Part I” — her head was found atop the body that could belong to Major Briggs. It appears that Davenport and William Hastings (Matthew Lillard), a local principal arrested for Davenport’s murder in “Part I,” were blogging together about alternate universes.

Later, Sheriff Truman returns to the station with Bobby and Hawk. Truman and Hawk are perplexed as to what they were given by Mrs. Briggs, but Bobby believes he can “open” it by throwing it on the ground several times. When he does, the device rings like a tuning fork. On the final throw, the pen-like device becomes uncapped, revealing a piece of paper covered with drawings, a date, a time and a spot: “Jack Rabbit’s Place.” A second note is filled with coded numbers and letters, as well as Cooper’s name twice repeated.

When Gordon, Rosenfield and Diane visit Hastings in jail to question him regarding his blog, he is already in tears. He describes experiencing a “different dimension,” which he wrote about in his blog. In that other dimension, he says, he met Major Briggs, who asked Hastings and Davenport to give him coordinates so that he could travel to another place. When given photos of several men, Hastings correctly identifies the Major — confirming that he is the man they saw in the other dimension. Hastings describes Major Briggs’ disappearance from the other dimension, saying he cried out Cooper’s name as his head vanished and Ruth was killed.

Hastings says that he and Davenport travelled to the other dimension together “last Thursday,” which means that very little time is actually passing between episodes.

It’s unclear how much of Hastings’ story the agents believe, but they cannot deny that he recognized Major Briggs, a man otherwise unconnected to him.

The episode concludes with a scene in the Bang Bang Bar featuring season newcomer Sky Ferreira as a drugged-out Twin Peaks local. The episode closes with a haunting performance of “A Violent Yet Flammable World” by Au Revoir Simone.

This week’s episode gave us more insight on the disappearance of Major Briggs and the mysterious body parts found in “Part I.” The discovery of the note from the Major by Truman, Hawk and Bobby is a promising step closer to the discovery of the true Agent Cooper. Meanwhile, his doppelgänger is slipping further and further away. Will it be possible for Cooper to return to himself if the doppelgänger can’t be return to the Black Lodge for annihilation? Will it be possible for Cooper to return to himself at all?

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