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“Who’s Dale Cooper? Who’s Laura Palmer?” Beverly Paige might live in Twin Peaks, but somehow she’s never heard of the two most famous characters in the Twin Peaks mythology. For anyone frustrated with the Dougie-centric pace of the last few episodes, Part 7 must have felt like a return to some extremely relative form of “normalcy.” We saw some more familiar faces, experienced serious momentum in this season’s various mysteries, and even received a full mid-episode recap of the season 2 finale (thanks Hawk!). My podcasting buddy Jeff Jensen’s full recap will be live in the morning, but for now, here are the key points from Part 7. (UPDATE: Read the full recap here.)
Laura Palmer’s Diary Strikes Again! Like I and every other dimestore Peaks scholar had theorized, Hawk discovered a few missing pages of Laura Palmer’s diary. Those pages contained a message familiar to anyone who has seen Fire Walk With Me: “The good Dale is in the lodge and can’t leave.” Sheriff Truman continued Hawk’s investigation by speaking to the two men who saw Dale Cooper after he left the Black Lodge. One man was unavailable — and given Sheriff Frank’s dark response to his phone call with brother Harry, we can assume our beloved original Sheriff Truman’s health problems have only gotten worse.
So Sheriff F. Truman called the other man who met the Bad Dale: Doc Hayward, played via Skype by the late Warren Frost (to whom this episode was dedicated). Doc Hayward told an eerie story from that night long ago. Dirty Cooper was last seen leaving the hospital… apparently after visiting a comatose Audrey Horne.
The Bad Dale and the Good Diane. What did Dirty Cooper do to Audrey? The possibilities are horrific. We checked in on Dale’s dark doppelgänger, who received a visit from an old friend. It’s clear that Diane didn’t want to see Dale, but Gordon Cole convinced her to take a plane flight to Yankton. On that flight, we received photographic evidence that Dirty Cooper spent at least part of the last 25 years living like a bad guy from the early Fast & Furious movies.
Face to face with Dirty Cooper, hard-edged Diane appeared horrified. She asked him if he remembered their last meeting — at Diane’s house. Diane saw something terrifying in this man, who remained eerily still throughout their conversation. “That is not the Dale Cooper I knew,” Diane assured Gordon.
Something to ponder: Was Diane visited by Dirty Cooper? Or: Was this “last meeting” something that took place between Diane and Dale before he went to Twin Peaks? (Probably not.) (Who knows?) (I bet Jensen knows.) (We’ll discuss it in the podcast this week!)
Gordon told Warden Murphy to keep The Man Who Isn’t Dale locked up. But Dirty Cooper knows all about Mr. Strawberry and some other old skulduggery perpetrated by the warden. By episode’s end, Dirty Cooper was free, with his accomplice Ray, driving into the night.
You’ve Lost Your Head, Major! Lieutenant Knox arrived in Buckhorn to help our beloved Buckhorn PD with what we have to assume is the single weirdest crime they have ever investigated. Knox was stunned to discover that Major Briggs’ fingerprints came from Major Briggs himself. Alas, that is Garland Briggs’ headless body — a body that is eerily un-aged in the last quarter-century. Did Major Briggs spend some time in some far-flung dimension outside time? Did Dirty Cooper have his body on deep freeze this whole time? And who was that strange charred figure, last seen in a Buckhorn prison cell, now walking the halls of the police department?
This is all too depressing to ponder. Alas, poor Major! Here’s a picture of the greatest character in TV history on some unknown throne in some Edenic shadow of a galaxy beyond galaxies.
The Reborn Identity. The police visited Dougie, scaring away his crooked colleague Anthony. (The three policemen were all members of the same family, apparently. They were the Fusco Brothers? Which is also a comic strip? Question mark?) Fortunately, Dougie was flanked by Janey-E and Bushnell Mullins, and he withstood the cops’ questioning. The Joneses were setting off back home when they were attacked by assassin Ike. Dougie/Dale went full Jason Bourne, recalling long-lost FBI-guy moves. (He was helped by a little talking tree — maybe the Arm, maybe the Arm’s doppelgänger.)
Meanwhile, Back at Twin Peaks… Ben Horne and Beverly tried to find the source of a strange humming that has filled the walls of the Great Northern. Maybe that humming has something to do with a recently arrived key from back when hotels still had keys: Room 315, where Agent Cooper was shot long ago. (Or maybe it’s poor Josie Packard, still trapped somewhere in the wood.) Ben and Beverly seemed on the edge of flirting — a fact that would certainly make Beverly’s ill husband Tom feel even sadder than he already does.
Meanwhile, at the Roadhouse, the Renault family’s history of Northwest criminality continues. Jean Michel received a phone call about a couple 15-year-old, straight-A students, apparently employed in the world’s oldest profession.
And Deputy Andy investigated a local man, who had a very familiar-looking truck. Andy had questions about the truck, but the man begged him to meet later — at 4:30. (“Remember,” the Giant said way back in Part 1, “Four Three Zero.”) Later, Andy hung out nearby Sparkwood and 21, a location with momentous history in Twin Peaks. The man didn’t arrive — we saw his door, open. But also, the biggest mystery of the episode: ANDY HAS A ROLEX????
MVP of the Week: Sheriff Frank Truman’s computer.