Review: Twin Peaks 2017 E09

“This is the chair.”

by Benjamín Harguindey

A weekly review of Twin Peaks, the 2017 revival of the 1990 cult classic. Created, produced and written by Mark Frost and David Lynch. Directed by David Lynch. Spoilers.

Following the enigmatic eighth episode and a two week hiatus, Twin Peaks is back on track in the real world, so to speak, as we catch up to the show’s wide fan of storylines and, more on point, so do the characters.

First is the evil Mr. C (Kyle MacLachlan), who walks off his wounds and regroups with henchmen Hutch (Tim Roth) and Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh). He calls his Vegas hitman handler Todd (Patrick Fischler) and gives him an ultimatum, then tasks his cronies with the murder of the Yankton prison warden and “a two-header” in Las Vegas. The Joneses?

FBI’s Gordon (Lynch), Albert (Miguel Ferrer), Tammy (Chrysta Bell) and Diane (Laura Dern) fly over to Buckhorn, South Dakota to identify the headless body of Major Briggs and finally debrief prisoner William Hastings (Matthew Lillard), who claims to have discovered an “alternate reality” and met with the late major days before police discovered his body coupled with the head of Ruth, Hastings’ lover and blogging partner. Constance Talbot (Jane Adams) shows Cole et al the ring retrieved from within the dead body, inscribed with “To Dougie, with love, Janey-E.

In Twin Peaks, Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster), Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) continue their own scavenge hunt left behind by the major on the night of his presumed death. They visit the widowed Betty Briggs (Charlotte Stewart), who honors Garland’s will by giving them a cylinder containing two cryptic notes.

The first note contains a location – 253 yards East of Jack Rabbits Palace – plus a time – 2:53 – and two dates: 10/1 and 10/2. The second note, which spells out Cooper’s name twice in the midst of rows of ciphers, appears to be a replica of the same outer space message Garland delivered Cooper on episode two of season two together with the famous warning: “The owls are not what they seem“.

Dougie (MacLachlan) and Janey-E (Naomi Watts) sit out the episode at a Vegas police station, where Detective Fusco (David Koechner) and his two brothers become suspicious when they discover there’re no records of this Dougie Jones preceding 1997 – not even a birth certificate. Fusco lifts some prints off “Dougie”, hopefully speeding up the process of reinstating Coop’s identity, and then apprehends assassin Ike the Spike at a motel, effectively achieving the most progress in any episode so far.

We catch up to the Horne family. Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) continues tripping balls somewhere in the woods. Ben (Richard Beymer) gently shoots down the budding romance with secretary Beverly (Ashley Judd). And while there’re still no signs of Audrey, we get a glimpse of Ben’s mentally disabled son Johnny (recast by Eric Rondell) bashing his head against a wall while mother Sylvia (Jan D’Arcy) frets over him.

In the show’s ending scene, DJ Hudson Mohawke plays “Human” at the Roadhouse while a girl (singer Sky Ferreira) scratches a very, very nasty rash under her armpit. Finally, Au Revoir Simone makes a return and ends the episode with “A Violent Yet Flammable World“.

The episode is filled with cute little moments of respite, such as Albert’s unexpected rapport with Constance, or Andy (Harry Goaz) and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) engaging in their version of a couple fight. The slobbish Chad (John Pirruccello) gets told off by the staff, which is almost as satisfying as watching Diane’s mistreatment of Tammy. Shockingly, we learn that Diane is in contact with Mr. C, though it’s unknown if she knows who he is, or if she’s aware of his status as Cooper’s doppelgänger.

It’s interesting how Garland Briggs continues to be a unifying presence throughout the show, slowly leading both the FBI and the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department towards Dale Cooper. Almost as if he had masterminded the whole thing from the grave. Clued in by Sarah Palmer (“I’m in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper“) in the second season finale, it was Briggs who would’ve originally led the search for Dale Cooper, had the show not been cancelled then and there. It’s endearing to see Briggs fulfill that role despite his untimely demise – and that of actor Don S. Davis.

BenjaBenjamín Harguindey / Managing Editor, Writer (Mar del Plata, Argentina – 1989) Screenwriter graduated from Universidad del Cine, Buenos Aires. Benja’s worked for EscribiendoCine as a film critic since 2010, covering the Biarritz, San Sebastián and Venice festivals. He judged the CILECT Prize and won several writing & criticism contests. He’s published one novel, Noches de Tartaria (2006).

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