Review: Twin Peaks (S3 E6/18), Tuesday 13th June, Sky Atlantic

Five weeks in and we were no closer to a resolution to the fate of Good Coop – Agent Dale Cooper – returned from The Black Lodge, and living back in the conscious world as Dougie Jones, still struggling to grasp basic social, movement and speech skills. To begin with, his predicament was high comedy, but as the minutes, hours, wore on I was left wondering – hoping, even – that it wouldn’t be too long until this strange duality would be resolved. The sooner we got Agent Dale Cooper back the better. There were signs in this sixth part that things were starting to turn around.

The first quarter of an hour of this episode once again concentrated on Dougie Jones – Good Coop – as he continued to try and get to grips with his new surroundings. But something strange happened to my response during in this episode – instead of being frustrated at the long, drawn-out process of Good Coop’s complete reintegration into the world, I was starting to become fascinated. It felt like I was watching some sort of natural history documentary, and like watching a child learn how to write, to walk and to speak from scratch.

And, curiously, I started to feel deep emotion for Good Cop/Dougie Jones and his family. Just imagine, I thought, what was going to happen when Good Coop finally realised who he is: a son would lose a father, and a wife – a formidable wife, as we saw in this episode – would lose a husband, a life. Just as they were getting used to this new version of Dougie they would have to say goodbye to him.

And say goodbye they would surely soon have to, because there were signs that Good Coop was starting to emerge from his Dougie Jones reverie. Mike paid a dreamy visit, telling Good Coop he must wake up, and must not die. There were other things, too. Things I didn’t necessarily know the meaning of, but other things nonetheless. The authorities started to clear up the mess of Dougie Jones’ exploded car, a hitman (hitdwarf?) ran amok at Lucky 7 (in overly-gruesome, almost cartoonish manner) and the nonsensical scribbles Dougie/Good Coop scrawled onto his insurance reports was met with unexpected acknowledgement from his boss. Could these be signs that things were beginning to shift?

I sat there pondering things as more seemingly unrelated snapshots and scenes came and went: Albert met a mysterious, platinum-bobbed woman in a bar on instruction from Gordon (played by Lynch favourite Laura Dern) (Albert got the line of the night, as he often does, when he emerged into the wet, torrential night screaming to the heavens: fuck Gene Kelly, you motherfucker!); a woman ordered some pie at the Double R and left a hefty tip; bad boy Richard Horne (who we briefly saw at the end of part five), fresh from a drug deal with Red (played by the winsome Balthazar Getty and displaying the kind of theatrical psychopathy we’ve seen in other Lynch films, such as Blue Velvet), mowed down a young boy; Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton) was on the scene to witness the immediate aftermath of the boy’s death, contemplating the injustice of life (he was old and yet he still survives, and a young boy, by chance, is taken); Hawk, by chance, solving the ‘Indian’ riddle and finding a hidden letter wedged in the door of a toilet cubicle.

These scenes initially made. They were unrelated, jumping from one thing to the next seemingly without any narrative linearity. But… the more I thought about it, the more things started to make sense. Maybe. It felt like these throwaway, seemingly meaningless scenes were memories: memories of cherry pie, memories of grief, memories of death and life, and memories of bad people doing bad things. These memories and manifestations felt like they were all connected to Cooper – he had experienced them all when he was in Twin Peaks, and, as life continued in all its beautiful, brutal and prosaic matter-of-factness, they echoed our scattered and fragmented hero’s own experiences. Bits and pieces slowly coming back together again.

I’d better stop before I disappear up my own backside. But Twin Peaks though, it affects you – quietly, stealthily – and makes you think.

Paul Hirons

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Episode 6: The Faith Restored.
    Some achingly and beautifully acted scenes: Naomi Watts fighting for her family, her man and the 99 percenters of this world. I was entranced. Harry Dean Stanton and all the extras in the accident scene emoting their hearts out in a classic Lynch time halted scene: a gruesomely tragic death of an innocent. How about the pure viciousness of ice pick armed little person? Super heebie jeebies here. I’ve watched the episode twice and cannot figure out why he already has blood on his hands when he approaches his first female victim (assuming he is a contract killer as he was provided with two photos, one of his female victim and the other photo being Dougie.). Lots of number sequence repetition on house addresses and hydro lines and ramblings of meth addicted moms has me mentally scrambling. I love it! Icing on the cake: Sharon Van Etten slaying me with Tarifa at the Bang Bang Bar.


  2. Mike says:

    I assume that Laura Dern’s “Diane” is the never-seen Diane that Cooper addressed his tape recordings to in the original TP.


    1. Paul Hirons says:

      Good shout Mike!


      1. Al says:

        Yes, that could indeed be her.
        And I bet she’ll be less boring than Naomi Watts, whom I dislike intensely as a Twin Peaks participant.
        Same with that Matthew McConaughey lookalike, the throwaway drug pusher scene and the gratuitous ‘innocent child murder’ scene.
        Together with the inability to be fascinated by the drawn-out Dougie (tribute to Doge?) scenes, I’m yearning for the return of the precision the first 4 episodes had, and the last 2 lacked.


  3. Sara Latham says:

    I am still struggling to overcome the pathos of Good Coop (and I missed Bad Coop in this last episode), but as you say the signs are there that he may emerge from Dougie soon :)

    Oh yes, Diane……………what a wig!!

    Richard Horne too – whilst a thoroughly unpleasant little git – is becoming an interesting character. Who is he anyway? Audrey’s son??


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