'Twin Peaks' Revival Delves Deeper Into 'Fire Walk With Me' -- and It's Absolutely Insane (Hi Naomi Watts!)
By Andrea Reiher
Woo boy, Twin Peaks fans.
If you thought the first two hours of the Twin Peaks revival were weird, you haven't really seen anything yet.
Let's start with what is easily the David Lynch-iest sequence of the show so far.
The Purple Spaceship
After being expelled from the Black Lodge and taking a quick pit stop in the glass box in New York City, real Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) finds himself in a weird purple spaceship thing with a woman who is listed in the credits as Naido (Nae Yuuki). Her eyes are melted shut, which lends some weight to the idea that eyes are important in Twin Peaks -- Ruth Davenport (Mary Stofle) was missing an eye and it also appeared that Evil Cooper (MacLachlan) shot Phyllis Hastings (Cornelia Guest) through the eye.
The woman eventually disappears and Cooper encounters the shadowy head of Major Garland Briggs (Don S. Davis), who utters the phrase "blue rose," then Coop sees Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine) sitting by a fireplace. If you'll remember, she was the other girl there the night Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) was killed. She managed to escape and wander back into Twin Peaks.
In this iteration, Ronette makes a point of looking at her watch, which reads 2:53 and tells Cooper, "When you get there you will already be there. You'd better hurry, my mother's coming." It seems probable at this point that Good Coop and Evil Coop are going to have a showdown at some point, most likely back in Twin Peaks where it all began. That number is obviously important, as the arm tree in the Black Lodge told Cooper in the premiere, "253 time and time again. Bob Bob Bob. Go now! Go now!" But what it means is still a mystery, as is Briggs' blue rose comment, but we'll get to that a bit later.
Also present in this sequence is a large mechanical outlet that at first reads "3" and later reads 15. Now, my personal theory for this is that Ronette was victim No. 3 back in the day -- Theresa Banks was first, Laura was second and Ronette would have been third. The fact that she survived does not make her any less of a victim. So does that mean Ruth Davenport is possibly victim No. 15? The BOB spirit has been out in the world killing women since he left Leland's body and began inhabiting Evil Cooper.
That's just a theory and this is Lynch, so it's probably wrong, but that's my guess at this point. Either way, it is through this giant outlet that Coop is sucked out of the spaceship and ends up back in the real world.
Teach Me How to, Dougie
Following this extremely bizarre sequence that will surely all make sense later (or not), we find out exactly how Evil Cooper prepared for the day the Black Lodge would try to get him back. He created a second doppelganger, named Dougie Jones (MacLachlan), and it is this man who gets sucked back into the Black Lodge and whose place Good Cooper takes in the world.
The Black Lodge tries to take Evil Cooper. Both he and Dougie are shown vomiting up copious amounts of creamed corn and bile in a substance so toxic it makes a highway patrolman extremely sick from the smell of it. It seems fairly likely that this is "garmonbozia," the substance mentioned in the 1992 film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, that feeds evil spirits like BOB. Garmonbozia is the physical manifestation of pain and sorrow, appearing to humans as creamed corn because that's something we can understand.
After the vomiting commences, Dougie disappears and is replaced by Good Coop. Inside the Black Lodge, Dougie ceases to be, leaving behind a metal ball and the ring Laura was warned not to wear in Fire Walk with Me. And that's the last we see of poor Dougie. But out in the real world, Evil Cooper winds up in jail after crashing his car during the Black Lodge/vomiting incident and when his fingerprints are run, FBI agents Gordon Cole (Lynch) and Albert Rosenfield (the late Miguel Ferrer) are called immediately. They haven't seen Cooper all these years either, so they are flying out to South Dakota ASAP to get to the bottom of all this.
Before they leave, Gordon goes to see Denise Bryson (David Duchovny), who is now chief of staff of the FBI. She cautions Gordon from becoming involved with new agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell), to which Gordon says he could have spilled quite the dirt on Denise back in the day and he did not, so Denise should trust him, which she says she does. And that’s pretty much the extent of Duchovny’s appearance.
Good Coop, meanwhile, is busy being led around a casino by a Red Room symbol telling him which slot machines to play in order to win big. After 30 jackpots, the casino more or less kicks him out and he returns to Dougie's family -- wife Janey (Naomi Watts) and Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon).
It feels a bit like the Black Lodge was perhaps trying to help Dougie's family after the doppelganger mix-up, since some thugs are out to get Dougie for the money he owes them. When Good Coop (as Dougie) returns home with a sack full of cash, Janey is relieved that they'll be able to pay these thugs off, and that's pretty much where we leave things with Good Coop in episode four.
The Cooper Is Not What He Seems
Meanwhile, Albert, Gordon and a new agent named Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) arrive at the South Dakota jail to speak with Coop, who claims to have been undercover and working with ex-FBI Agent Phillip Jeffries all these years. For those unfamiliar with Fire Walk With Me, Jeffries was played by the late David Bowie, who was rumored to film some scenes for the Twin Peaks revival but died in early 2016.
In Fire Walk With Me, Jeffries disappeared for two years between 1987 and 1989, finally emerging from a portal in Philadelphia in 1989 before vanishing and appearing in Buenos Aires, the place he disappeared from two years prior. He hasn't been seen since the Philly appearance in 1989, but he was heard from in the Twin Peaks premiere episode when Evil Cooper killed Darya (Nicole LaLiberte).
First, Evil Cooper tells Darya that he knows she and Ray (George Griffith) "got another call from Jeffries" about killing Evil Cooper. Then after EC kills Darya, he calls Jeffries himself. In that conversation, Jeffries says to Evil Cooper, "I missed you in New York. I see you're still in Buckhorn," to which Evil Cooper replies, "And you're still nowhere, is that correct?"
Jeffries goes on to say that Evil Coop met with Major Briggs and that he just called to say goodbye, but that makes Evil Cooper question if Jeffries is really who he is speaking with. The last thing maybe-Jeffries says is, "You're going back in tomorrow and I'll be with BOB again." So Jeffries and Briggs may or may not be out there. If they are, it's probably safe to say they are still investigating Project Blue Book, the secret government project that was investigating the existence of UFOs that was also tied into looking for the White Lodge and Black Lodge.
Unfortunately, this becomes a tricky needle to thread in terms of plot because neither Bowie nor Davis can appear in the revival, both having died prior to filming. (Davis died in 2008.) Lynch has found clever ways to work around that, but it would feel much more satisfying if they were able to appear on screen.
Finally, many Twin Peaks fans have wondered over the years if Project Blue Book is the "blue rose" that is mentioned. If so, that would certainly explain why Briggs' shadowy figure said "blue rose" to Cooper in the purple spaceship. But there's one more thing about blue rose. In Fire Walk With Me, a woman named Lil the Dancer (Kimberly Ann Cole) gives Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) a message via a funky dance and she's wearing a blue rose on her red suit. Is she the woman Gordon and Albert are referring to when they discuss that something feels off about Cooper? Probably not, but we would be remiss not to at least mention her.
It seems more likely the person they need to look at Cooper is a woman from Twin Peaks -- Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn), perhaps?
Back to ... Normal?
Confused yet? Umm, yeah. But as with any good mystery show, lots of breadcrumbs are being dropped that don't appear to make any sense at this point. We just have to keep the faith that they will... eventually. But at least there is still some good ol' Twin Peaks action to offset the 90 minutes of bizarre happening in episodes three and four.
Back in the small Washington town, it turns out Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) is now a sheriff's deputy, which is amazing and perfect and so delightful that I clapped and squealed out loud. But Briggs' appearance also reveals to us that Major Briggs died quite a while ago, which knowing what we know via Evil Cooper's conversation with Jeffries is probably not true. It's unclear at this point.
We also get a wonderful sequence about the box of chocolate bunnies -- oh Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), of course you ate one -- and we get to meet Lucy and Andy's (Harry Goaz) son Wally (Michael Cera), who definitely looks more like the offspring of Lucy and Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan). Remember, he was Lucy's other possible baby daddy in the original series, so... Wally's visit serves basically one purpose at this point. He reveals that Sheriff Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean) is sick and he has come to pay his respects to Harry's brother Frank (Robert Forster). Since Ontkean is not appearing in the revival, it seems obvious that at some point Harry is going to die.
And that's pretty much the next two hours of Twin Peaks. It continues to be just as weird as hours one and two, but at least now with the introduction of Gordon and Albert in the storyline, it feels as though the wheels are in motion for someone to start investigating all of these weird goings-on. They definitely know that something is wrong with Cooper (Evil Cooper) and they're going to get to the bottom of it.
It's bittersweet seeing Albert knowing that Ferrer died soon after filming his scenes. He is truly one of the best supporting characters of the original series (and that’s saying something), but for now we'll just enjoy what scenes we do get of him.
What did you think of episodes three and four? Are you still sticking with the show?
Twin Peaks: The Return airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.