Recapping Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 6

David Lynch and Mark Frost offer an outstanding number of revelations...

Laura Dern in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

    A few steps in to “Part Six”, we’re finally given some sweet relief. Not only is a cliffhanger from “Part Four” resolved, but we finally have our first look at Diane some 9,926 days after she was first mentioned in the series premiere of Twin Peaks. The moment occurs when Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) ducks out of a rainy, cold night and heads into a sultry bar named Max Von’s, where he comes face to face with David Lynch’s longtime go-to lead, Laura Dern. Now, if you recall, the set up to this began at the end of “Part Four”, when Gordon Cole (Lynch) told Albert that, before they move ahead with their investigation into Cooper’s reappearance in South Dakota, they need to get him in front of one specific person. When Gordon asks Albert if he still knows where this person lives, he responds, “No, but I know where she drinks,” which made me think beyond the shadow of a doubt that they were talking about Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie). Nope. Turns out that Special Agent Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) secretary, who until now has only been seen in the form of a tape recorder, enjoys a cocktail or two herself. But, let’s back up a bit, because there’s a lot to piece together here, including some newly recovered diary pages, which we’ll certainly touch upon..

    “Part Six” opens where “Part Five” closed, with an increasingly bewildered Cooper standing near the cowboy statue outside the office complex that houses his workplace, Lucky 7 Insurance. A policeman patrolling the area attempts to shoo him away, but Cooper is unresponsive, tugging at the sleeve of his jacket and reaching out to touch the officer’s badge as if he’s two hours into an acid trip. The cop is nice enough to drive him home and his wife Janey (Naomi Watts) opens the door and confirms it’s her husband. Granted, the fact that she uses her husband’s full name — “That’s my husband, Dougie Jones” — is a bit odd, but the officers don’t appear phased in the slightest, likely because the night itself has been odd to say the least. Soon enough, Janey brings Cooper into the house and makes him a sandwich and even gives him a little bag of chips like he’s a child. She then insists that he go upstairs to say goodnight to his (would-be) son Sonny Jim (Pierce Gagnon), to which Cooper bumbles his way up each step and eventually sits on Sonny Jim’s bed, continuing to munch away on his bag of chips. In a classic case of Lynchian humor, Cooper offers a chip to Sonny Jim, who refuses it, citing his own clean teeth, and slowly places the chip on his cowboy-themed blanket. It’s all so perfectly ridiculous, and also a welcome reprieve from the madness — kind of like the daytime scenes in a horror movie.

    It doesn’t last long. Almost immediately, Janey screams for Dougie/Cooper to come back downstairs, and then shows him a file folder that had appeared on their front porch earlier, back when the cops brought him in. Inside the folder is a picture of Dougie and his sex worker pal Jade (Nafessa Williams), who he seems happy to see, saying Jade’s name out loud to an increasingly disgruntled Janey, who is sniffing and shaking like a rabid horse. Watts really shines in this role, and “Part Six” allows her to stretch her comically abrasive legs as a woman unhinged yet still in charge, a familiar archetype of Lynch’s oeuvre. As she prods her husband over Jade, Janey gets a call on their yellow kitchen phone, which is, of course, a landline because, again, what is time? It’s hard to hear exactly who’s on the other end, but Janey quickly lets us know it’s the thugs looking to collect on Dougie’s gambling debt, which has led to over $20,000 in debt. Because she’s all kinds of resilient — could you imagine running that household? — Janey agrees to meet the thugs in a nearby park at “noon 30.” It’s another strange detail that’s so oddly funny.


    Following this, Janey implores Dougie/Cooper to finish his work, lest he lose his job, and leaves him with his case files. Before he attends to his work, however, Cooper looks over to see a flash message from MIKE (Al Strobel), who’s in the Red Room of the Black Lodge and feeling around in the air with his one arm as though he’s looking for a hidden window. When he sees Cooper, he pleads, “You have to wake up! You have to wake up!” and then, after a beat, he insists: “Don’t die! Don’t die!” The significance of this scene is to remind us, in case we forgot, that Cooper is trapped in the life of Dougie Jones, so that Cooper’s evil doppelgänger can remain on the loose in this time shifting earthy realm. If Cooper dies, then Evil Cooper, still under the influence of the parasitic Bob, will have free reign. After receiving this message from MIKE, Cooper goes through the claim forms he brought home from work and scribbles all over them with a pencil. He circles some things, draws what looks like a ladder, and then presses the tip of his pencil into a few heavy circles. As he’s doing this, pin points of green laser light — yes, the same green laser light that ousted Tom Sizemore’s character in “Part Five” — appear on the pages, and on his arm, as though it’s guiding what he’s doing.

    Now, comes the aforementioned moment, when Albert makes his way in the rain to meet someone at a place called Max Von’s Bar, whose sign looks a hell of a lot like the neon Bang Bar Bar sign hung outside of the Roadhouse in Twin Peaks. (By the way, I’ll now take a few personal liberties in saying that I really wish other recaps of this new season would stop referring to the Roadhouse as the Bang Bang Bar. Have you ever heard a character from the show refer to it as such? No. Then you shouldn’t either.) As previously discussed, it’s Diane, sitting with her back to the camera for maximum effect, with a flapper-esque white blonde bob that slowly turns to greet Albert after he says her name. Everything about this is perfect and it will be very interesting to see what happens when they get her in front of Evil Cooper.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch that is Twin Peaks, Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) is doing drug business with Red (Balthazar Getty) in an empty warehouse riddled with bullet holes. The character Red is one of many seemingly obvious tributes to Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth from Blue Velvet and his mix of humor and malevolence is very effective. “Have you ever studied your hand,” Red asks Richard while twitching around and performing a series of Elvis-like karate moves. He flips a dime into the air that seems to spin there forever before impossibly appearing in Richard’s mouth, and then back in Red’s hand. This isn’t the last instance of a coin being used as a thematic marker for an important event in “Part Six”. We’ll come across another one with Deputy Hawk later on.


    For the first time since Fire Walk With Me, we make our way back to the Fat Trout Trailer Park and see Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton) taking his daily car ride into town. For what purpose, we don’t know yet. A neighbor (played by Jeremy Lindholm) asks if he can ride along and while they sit together, Carl asks him about his wife Linda. It’s hard to not recall “Part One” here, specifically when the Giant told Cooper in the black and white lodge to “remember 430, Richard, and Linda.” Already, we’ve met a Richard of obvious importance (Richard Horne), but no Linda yet. Could this be her? Let’s keep it in mind for later. True to Stanton’s style, Carl lights up a cigarette in the car and, seeing his neighbor eyeing it, offers him one, which he doesn’t take because he quit a year ago. Carl laughs at this and tells him he’s been smoking every day for 75 years, and then flashes his veneers, which, as a person currently trying to quit, enables me to quit quitting myself. Eventually, Carl makes his way to what must be his favorite park bench, where he enjoys another cigarette and a cup of coffee while staring up at the trees. Nearby, a young mom (Lisa Coronado) and her son engage in a strange game of tag and he watches them with a smile.

    A short distance away, however, Richard is ramming around in his truck, still enraged from his meeting with Red, and in an intersection that looks exactly like the one where MIKE confronted Leland Palmer in Fire Walk With Me, runs a stop sign and mows the little boy down. He races away and a teacher (Sarah Jean Long), who we earlier saw enjoying two pieces of cherry pie at the RR Diner (in a snarky meta jab at the fans), gets a clear view of his face as he speeds past her. Carl goes over to comfort the mom of the dead boy and sees the boy’s spirit rise into the sky in the form of a yellow ball of light. From here, there’s a cut to a wood pole with the number 6 on it, which is located near his trailer and was previously highlighted in Fire Walk With Me. What’s the significance of spending so much time showing this particular numbered sign? Well, if you read your Secret History of Twin Peaks, you’d know there’s more to Carl than we think (keyword: abduction).

    From here, we’re back in the high-rise building, where Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler), a man presumably hired by Evil Cooper, sits at his desk typing on a laptop. As he’s typing, a red square appears on his screen and he clicks it away and then uses a tissue to retrieve a file from his safe. The file, which he places on the desk like it’s a disgusting turd, has a black dot on it. We briefly flash from here to Rancho Rosa to see the cops investigating Dougie’s burnt up car, and then back to the folder with the dot on it, which a creepy short man in a hotel has now received. Before receiving the file he’s playing some manner of dice game and then marking things down in a notebook, as though he’s calculating the many number of ways the dice can land. Slowly, he removes a picture of Lorraine (Tammie Baird) from “Part Five” and another of Dougie, using an ice pick to stab both in an obscene matter. Of course, it’s a classic case of foreshadowing, as we soon watch the man use that same ice on Lorraine and her co-workers in what’s arguably one of the most violent scenes in the revival so far.


    Once again, over at the Lucky 7 Insurance building, the elevator doors open to Cooper, only now he’s in his trademark black suit. Sadly, he’s not back to his true form just yet, but seeing this suit again gives us hope that maybe the days of blubbering Dougie will soon be behind us. As expected, he gets called into his boss’ office, where he’s initially yelled at for scribbling all over his claim forms like a child, but then, after going through them for awhile, the scribbles seem to take on some meaning and his boss actually winds up thanking him. The two end their meeting by “agreeing” to keep this discovery between them and with what might be the weirdest and most awkward hand shake of all time.

    Back at the Twin Peaks Sheriff Department, Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) is using the restroom when a coin falls from his pocket and rolls into a stall next to him. He goes to retrieve it and sees that it’s an Indian head nickel. Remember how the Log Lady told him that his heritage will help him piece all this together? Well, he also hasn’t forgotten and he holds onto this nickel for dear life while, at the exact same moment, he sees an Indian on a manufacturer’s plaque on the bathroom stall door (specifically, his family tribe, the Nez Perce) and knows right then and there that he’s being led to something by the cosmic forces overseeing so many of that town’s many mysteries. He goes and gets a ladder and a tool to pry the top layer of metal off the stall door and reaches down to pull out a couple pages of folded paper. Are these the missing pages from Laura’s diary that are mentioned many times in the original series, as well as Fire Walk With Me? Many signs point to yes, but we’ve been pointed to yes and arrived at no before. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Damn Fine Quotes

    — Cooper: “Jade give two rides.” Janey: “I bet she did.”

    — Albert: “Fuck Gene Kelly, you motherfucker!”

    Next Week On Twin Peaks

    — Further advancements from Deputy Hawk

    — Some clarity on the depressing family history of Sheriff Frank Truman

    — Audrey??

    — Cooper wakes up?

    Tonight At The Roadhouse

    Sharon Van Etten performs “Tarifa” off her 2014 album, Are We There