David Lynch and Mark Frost have often cited the demise of Twin Peaks in the 90s down to the interfering studio executives who forced them to reveal who killed Laura Palmer prematurely in the early episodes of Season 2, thus killing the mystery and ultimately leading to cancellation. This is what Lynch has to say on the matter:
"I had very little to do with Season 2, and I'm not happy with it. Up until 'Who killed Laura Palmer?" I was with it 100 percent, and then it drifted away. We had a little goose that was laying golden eggs, and they told us to snip its head off."
Now, with The Return, and having just viewed glorious Part 16, it’s clear that the little goose took the form of Dougie and boy did he lay a lot of golden eggs. We waited and we waited and we waited 15 hours for the return of our hero Special Agent Dale Cooper and when he finally woke up it was proven well worth waiting for. Would the mystery have been kept alive if Coop had snapped out of his slumber in the first few hours? Although it was frustrating, we wouldn’t have had The Return with its many mysterious eggs waiting to hatch along the way. Cooper’s return is certain to contribute to an explosive finale this coming Sunday/Monday.
Part 16 opened with Mr C driving along the dark and dangerous highway at night with Richard Horne, who we now know is the son of Audrey Horne and Mr C after he visited Audrey in hospital and raped her when she was in a coma. No wonder Richard turned out a sadistic, evil git. In the words of Sailor Ripley, growing up he “didn’t have much parental guidance”. Unfortunately for Richard, there isn’t much time for father/son bonding during their 25 year reunion. Mr C sends Richard to the exact position of the coordinates he’s been given and Richard goes out like a firework. The only other witness to this violent act is a still very stoned and lost Jerry Horne who, unbeknown to him, has just seen the death of his own great-nephew. This is also an indication that Mr C is very close to Twin Peaks and I assume that is the next destination on his road trip as he’ll next be inspecting the alternative coordinates given to him. Before he sets off he sends Diane a message: a smiley face (why doesn’t he use emojis?!) and the word ALL.
In Las Vegas Cooper lies in hospital in a coma surrounded by his biggest fans: Janey-E, Sonny Jim, Bushnell Mullins and of course The Mitchum Brothers with Sandie, Mandie and Candie in tow with finger sandwiches. His ‘home’ is being watched by the FBI as well as Mr C’s henchmen Chantalle and Hutch who soon meet their demise in an altercation with an enraged neighbour who has a machine gun in the back of his car. They go out in true Bonnie and Clyde fashion and I must admit I’ll miss the criminal couple.
In the hospital, Cooper is left alone as that mysterious tinkling hum returns and Bushnell follows it out into the corridor as if under a trance. And suddenly he wakes up! Cooper finally returns to us in full speed caffeinated and ready to go Agent Cooper style. He knows exactly what is going on, who he is, where he is and why he is. The One Armed Man speaks for all of us when he says “You’re awake… finally!”. Without a moment’s hesitation Cooper gets suited and booted in his black FBI suit and politely but assertively orders everyone around him to help him out. The Twin Peaks theme began to play and I sobbed with utter joy. I’ll miss dumb Dougie Coop as he was so adorable and hilarious but nothing in the world compares to our Special Agent who finally woke up just in time. I am absolutely thrilled that Cooper has recruited the Mitchum crew to escort him to Twin Peaks, their unquestionable loyalty is wonderful and I adored the moment they agreed to fire up the private jet without a moment of hesitation.
It seems Cooper’s heart is always going to have a special place in it for his adopted family and I have a feeling The One Armed Man will be manufacturing a Cooper look-alike to stand in for them in both Cooper and Dougie’s absence. All of this manufacturing and seed business is getting a little complicated for my minute brain… Another incredible scene revealed that Diane wasn’t really Diane after all, but another manufactured Doppelganger like Dougie, or a ‘tulpa’ as Tammy described. Twin Peaks continues to deal with the trauma of sexual assault as Diane breaks down upon revealing to Gordon, Albert and Tammy that when Mr C visited her unannounced 4 years after Cooper’s disappearance, he raped her and took her to what sounds to be The Convenience Store. Laura Dern’s performance was heart breaking. But is she Diane? She seemed to be fighting with herself to be herself whilst the evil doppelganger side of her aimed to shoot at the FBI. I determined that Mr C’s ‘ALL’ message was giving Diane the direction to kill them all. But the FBI struck first and Diane, upon being shot, disappeared into the atmosphere and landed in The Black Lodge where she too, like Dougie, turned back into a ‘seed’ in the form of a golden marble. Is the real Diane out there? Or was she murdered by Mr C/BOB?
The oddest thing about this dramatic scene had to be Gordon’s unperturbed reaction. Whilst Albert and Tammy seemed shaken by Diane's dramatic exit, Gordon, who had been listening keenly to the beeps and blips of the techy FBI machines set-up in their temporary HQ, simply remarked “Sheriff's station?!”. I’m certain Cole was onto Diane all along. But why did she say she’s in the Sheriff's station? We know that’s where the coordinates will lead Mr C and thankfully Agent Cooper is also on his way there. Some fans are speculating that Diane is actually Naido – the woman with scars for eyes who is currently locked up at The Sheriff's Station. Naido backwards looks like, O-Dian. And Diane dresses in Asian style clothing but I’m not convinced and I sincerely hope we don’t have another racist Tojamura type of disguise on our hands…
Audrey Horne finally arrives at The Roadhouse with the reluctant Charlie. They order dirty martinis and listen to Eddie Vedder crooning about time running out and never being the same again until the superb Roadhouse Announcer invites Audrey to the floor for ‘Audrey’s Dance’. I couldn’t believe they were recreating her iconic dreamy dancing in such a dramatic way – the floor cleared and when the music started she entered into a trance. The discovery that followed, where Audrey appears to be either trapped in a psychiatric ward or maybe still in a coma, was shocking.
Part 16 was extremely satisfying but my mind is now tied in knots trying to make sense of tulpas and doppelgangers. We are racing rapidly towards the last two hours and it is sure to be extraordinary. My bet is that Julee Cruise may make an appearance in The Roadhouse and that the entire Return will be left on the most frustrating cliff-hanger imaginable. I cannot wait to see Cooper riding into Twin Peaks with the Mitchum Crew to back him up. A friend suggested maybe Lucy will take Sandie, Mandie and Candie on a tour of The Sheriff's Station and will show them all of the phones! This plus an appearance of Laura Palmer herself would make me a very happy Peakie.