‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ recap 1×14: ‘Part XIV’

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Last week, we played catch-up with several characters. We saw the doppelgänger (Kyle MacLachlan) beat the hell out of a gang leader and gain control over his scowling henchmen. We saw Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) evade poisoning by his coworker, who revealed that Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) is out to kill him. We also saw that lovers Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Ed (Everett McGill) from the original series are still around, but no longer together.

This week opens with the reintroduction of two worlds: that of Twin Peaks, and that of FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch). After Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) patches Cole in with Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster), the two men discuss the potential for there to be not one but two Agent Coopers (Kyle MacLachlan) — as the sheriff learned from Laura Palmer’s diary.

Meanwhile, Agent Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) fills in Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) on the inception of the Blue Rose Task Force: it began with the case of a woman named Lois Duffy, who was a murder suspect several decades prior. The officers on the case were now-director Gordon Cole and Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie). Cole and Jeffries arrived at the scene just after Duffy had pulled the trigger — but it turns out that the woman who was shot was also Lois Duffy. As she lay on the floor bleeding, the second Duffy spoke her final words, “I’m like the Blue Rose,” before vanishing.

Rosenfield challenges Preston to consider what the Blue Rose might mean. Recognizing that blue roses don’t occur naturally, she posits that the dead woman was also not natural, but rather, “a tulpa” — a duplication of the self.

When Cole and Diane (Laura Dern) later join them, the agents inform Diane of the strange circumstances surrounding Major Briggs’ disappearance 25 years ago and his even stranger death just recently — yes, the man may have died twice. As discussed in “Part V,” the medical examiner who performed Briggs’ autopsy found a ring in his stomach that was inscribed: “To Dougie with love, Janey-E.” Diane looks shocked, and with good reason: her half-sister Jane is married to a Douglas Jones, “Dougie.”

Cole immediately calls the FBI in Las Vegas, where Dougie and Janey-E live. After Diane leaves, Cole ruminates with Rosenfield and Preston on a dream-like flashback involving Phillip Jeffries and Agent Cooper, in which Jeffries questioned Cooper’s identity after Cooper tried (and failed) to recount a dream he’d had to Cole. The flashback features a scene of the cast in their younger years, including the late David Bowie.

After the flashback ends, we’re back in Twin Peaks with Hawk (Michael Horse), Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), Andy (Harry Goaz) and Sheriff Truman as they arrest Deputy Chad Broxford (John Pirruccello) — who was a contact to the criminal Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) in “Part X.”

The deputies and sheriff then drive up the mountain and follow Bobby to “Jack Rabbit’s Palace,” a broken tree with eerily electric sounds for a woodsy area. The strangeness of the wood only escalates as the men walk on — they find a foggy spot in the otherwise-clear forest where a eyeless nude woman is lying alone among the moss. The woman can’t speak, but rather chatters like a dolphin. As the clock strikes 2:53 p.m., a vortex opens above them all, swirling the trees around them, before ensnaring Andy and transporting him to another place.

The place is the black-and-white space of The Giant, whom we saw in “Part VIII,” now calling himself the “Fireman.” Andy and The Giant sit across from each other as Andy looks up to see a window into the mysterious realms we encountered in that same old-school David Lynchian episode. He sees the convenience store, the zombie-like man and several other motifs. Then, a red curtain — at the front of which is Agent Cooper and his doppelgänger — appears, symbolizing the Black Lodge. He then sees the woman from the forest and a short scene of his beloved Lucy.

When Andy returns to the forest, he’s carrying the woman and suddenly knows that she’s in danger. After returning to the station, Andy helps Lucy give the woman some pajamas and a comfortable cell for her protection. (A cell that happens to be near Chad and another detainee with a grotesquely infected wound.)

Meanwhile, outside The Great Northern, security guard and heartthrob James Hurley (James Marshall) chats with a pal and fellow guard, Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle). Freddie tells James about an existential crisis he had just before being sucked into a vortex. After escaping the vortex, Freddie came across a man who called himself “The Fireman,” who told him to purchase a right-handed green gardening glove from his corner store. When he returned to Earth, Freddie bought the glove after a scuffle with the store’s cashier. The Fireman also told Freddie to head to Twin Peaks once he’d put on the glove — so he did. James looks a bit shocked by the story, even a bit disturbed.

Later in the night, we see Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) wandering into a bar. Soon after she sits down for a drink, she’s approached by a ponytailed man whom she tells, “Mind your own business, please.” As usual, Sarah Palmer has no time for anyone’s malarkey. He throws a few homophobic slurs her way, to which she responds, “I’ll eat you,” before opening her face like a door and revealing a black-and-white space inside her head. When her face returns to its usual place, she takes a bite out of the man’s neck, and he falls dead on the floor. Sarah Palmer is even more powerful than we could have guessed.

The episode closes with a scene at the Bang Bang Bar, where a couple of friends are sharing a drink and strange stories before a performance of “Wild West” by Lissie.

While we didn’t get to see Agent Cooper this time, we are significantly closer to a potential solution to his catatonia and disappearance from the FBI and from Twin Peaks. “Part XIV” delivered a decent balance of narrative and Lynchian weirdness that gives us the kind of pseudo-satisfaction that only “Twin Peaks” can provide — half hair-pulling confusion, half technical and fantastical perfection.

Sophie-Marie Prime covers “Twin Peaks: The Return.” Contact her at [email protected].