Twin Peeks: A Return Recap, Part 9
This is the chair.
July 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm
Disclaimer: Twin Peeks is a recap/review series about the new season of Twin Peaks — which means there are gonna be spoilers here for everything old and new. If you’re not caught up yet, please do yourself a favor and at least consider it before reading this. If not, you’ll be pretty lost, and you need to get your bearings before diving in. Trust me on this one.
After a week-long (and in all honesty, a merciful) break, Twin Peaks is back! While the halfway point of the ambitious Return wasn’t as intense as its predecessor, there’s still a lot to be discussed here. From the Briggs family to more Audrey teases to Diane’s always iconic fashion choices, episode nine delivers a lighter but no less impactful step forward for season three.
We pick up where we left off in the present day, with Mr. C making his way down a country road, still bloody from Ray’s assassination attempt. Eventually he meets up with Hutch (oh, hi Tim Roth!) and Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh returns). After a quick briefing and a text message sent from a very blinged-out phone (“The conversation around the dinner table is lively”), Mr. C is back on the road again, off to do terrible things. Meanwhile, Gordon and company are flying home when they decide to take a detour to Buckhorn, South Dakota to learn more about the murder we saw in the first episode. Things seem to be coming full circle here, especially for one character whose development has been growing considerably since we started the third season.
I didn’t always appreciate Major Garland Briggs. Played with an eloquent and steadfast nature by the late Don S. Davis, Major Briggs felt more like a footnote in seasons one and two — a segue into the more supernatural (and potentially extraterrestrial) elements of Peaks. However, Briggs has been a key player this season ever since his dismembered body showed up at a crime scene in Buckhorn in the first episode. The choice to finally give Briggs more of a narrative impact is inspired, highlighting all of the Major’s best traits and adding emotional resonance to Bobby’s series-wide arc from ~misunderstood rebellious teen~ to genuinely decent adult — a vision Garland himself had in the original series.
First, we learn that Briggs met up with high school-principal-turned-murder-suspect Daniel Hastings (Matthew Lillard) in an alternate dimension which Hastings was researching with his now-deceased librarian girlfriend. Briggs requested coordinates to come out of “hibernation.” According to Hastings, after Briggs began to ascend, his head detached and then Ruth was dead.
Next, there’s an emotional visit to Mrs. Briggs from Bobby, Sheriff Truman, and Chief Deputy Hawk. When the trio comes to her and asks cautiously about Cooper’s interaction with Briggs the day before the Major died, she responds with resolute calm. Mrs. Briggs explains that Garland foresaw this encounter and wanted her to give them something. “Come with me,” she says, gesturing towards a red chair where she pulls out a small, steel vial.
Later, it’s revealed that Bobby is the literal key to the vial since he’s the only person who knows how to open it. Even the message inside, mentioning “Jack Rabbit’s Palace,” is instantly familiar to him: Jack Rabbit’s Palace was Garland and Bobby’s special place where they would play together when Bobby was a child. This, paired with Bobby’s wonderful arc, packs an unexpected emotional punch.
All this time I knew Garland Briggs was a good person, but now his reputation as one of Twin Peaks’ most underrated characters has been cemented in my mind. I’ll be looking forward to see where else this leads as the series continues.
Before we forget, there’s also Dougie Jones (AKA, real-catatonic-Coop). He’s still around, and the cops are onto Dougie’s pre-Lodge return antics. While the interrogation of Jones’s boss was interesting to say the least, something else entirely caught my attention. In the hallway where Coop and Janey-E are waiting, we see Coop focus on an American flag. Soon after, a woman in red heels walks by and the pan down looks awfully familiar; it mirrors one of the first times we met Audrey Horne. Lynch is just relentlessly teasing us about Audrey at this point, so I hope she shows up soon because this has been torture.
Other highlights of this episode, as always, include Diane and her wardrobe. That suit combo is something I need as soon as possible honestly (and hey, speaking of which, it turns out she was on the other end of Mr. C’s text. Next week should be very interesting). There’s also Bill Hasting’s blog (which has an actual, irl site), the return of Au Revoir Simone to the Bang Bang Bar, the Horne brothers in different kinds of trouble (Jerry’s in the forest, lost and maybe high, while Ben and his receptionist are dealing with weird romantic tension), and the rumblings of what may be brand new music by Angelo Badalamenti in the background.
Overall, this episode was a welcome calm after eight’s furious storm. It still delivered the requisite emotional resonance and more intrigue. What next week holds is just as much of a mystery, but I’ll be here to guide you through it as best as I can.