I have to say that this fifth episode was my least favourite of the series so far. The previous four episodes had been a stupefying mix of nightmarish surrealism and high farce – Good Coop had battled to escape The Black Lodge, but when he emerged Lynch and Frost gave us something entirely unexpected: he returned to the conscious world, taking the over the body of loser and chancer Dougie Jones, who, we soon found out, was some sort of decoy made by Bob (maybe). Good Coop’s brain was struggling to process the stimuli of our modern world, and he shambled around it with childlike innocence and incredulity. It was almost as if Good Coop was acting out a response to the leaps in technology, habits and consumerist ephemera that litters our world. Twenty-seven years’ absence can do strange things to a person.
That high farce – we know who Good Coop is, but Dougie’s family (wife Janey-E and son Sonny Jim) do not – continued in this episode, when Good Coop/Dougie had to go to work. His ill-fitting, lime-green suit housed his stumbling body and his empty brain, as he somehow made it into his insurance office, where he was greeted by his co-workers – more chancers, a flirtatious woman, and a nerdy guy who helped him and gave him coffee.
We knew that when Good Coop/Dougie first appeared that he was a wanted man. And in this episode we saw his car – still left in driveway of the Buckthorn new-build he met Jade the sex worker in – blew up, thanks to the device left by the hitmen. We also saw some organised crime lords go nuts when they visited the casino he won $400,000 in. Dougie’s reputation and past transgressions threatened to catch up with him. Except he wasn’t Dougie anymore… he was Good Coop.
There were hints that Good Coop was beginning to find himself again – the mention of coffee, the word ‘agent’ and ‘case files’ seemed to spark something in him, to reignite a memory of who he was and who he is.
Watching Good Cop go about his business is like watching a show within a show – a sunny body-swap comedy.
Elsewhere, in Twin Peaks, we saw Shelly’s daughter Becky and her loser boyfriend (who had a pretty spectacular car for a loser), borrowing money off her mother and having a sniff of something in the car. Another doomed, romanticised relationship – the kind Lynch loves.
But there’s that word again: cars. The whole hour was littered with them. That looks like a strange thing to read, I know, because cars are everywhere. But the cars in this episode seemed to be more recognisable; more prevalent than normal. Vehicles for different personalities.
Elsewhere, we saw the reason for Dr Jacoby’s seeming inexpliable spray-painting of his shovels (he hosts an vlog, full of conspiratorial theories) – he was selling them at the low, low price of $29.99 to help shovel the shit of the modern, polluted world.
The most memorable scene came when Dark Coop, still interned, was allowed his one phone call. Watching on a bank of screens, the local sheriff and his colleagues looked on with disbelief as Bad Coop tap numbers on the telephone with super-speed, which caused alarms to go off, lights to flash and the screens to flicker and play all sorts of random things. They couldn’t figure out what he was saying on the telephone and to who, but we could: the cow jumped over the moon.
So things happened and there were things going on. But the narrative meandered a bit. The sooner Good Coop remembers who he is, the better.
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