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The sixteenth chapter of Twin Peaks: The Return brought some stories to an end and forced the viewer to rethink everything they had even barely understood about other stories. There was a coma, or maybe two comas, and a dance. Coordinates were wrong, or they were right. To quote Bradley Mitchum: “It was, like, what, electricity?”
Twin Peaks scholar Jeff Jensen is working on his full recap (UPDATE: Read the full recap here), and we’ll be diving deep into Part 16 in tomorrow’s episode of A Twin Peaks Podcast: A Podcast About Twin Peaks. For now, here are the main points:
Another night, another lonely dark road illuminated only by the headlights of a car driven by dark doppelganger Mr. C. The non-Cooper brought new apprentice Richard Horne to a remote location — the sight of two out of three coordinates he’s received this season. There was no one else there, except for poor wandering Jerry and his bad binoculars.
The coordinates pointed upward, on top of a rock. Mr. C asked Richard to investigate. Richard did — and was electrocuted, disintegrated: an appropriately bad and meaningless death for the vicious little Audreyspawn. “Goodbye, my son,” said Mr. C, apparently not too cut up about using his son as a Black Lodge taste-tester. And so yet again Mr. C drove off into the night, leaving Jerry behind to mourn his (not-so-)great-nephew. And yet again, Mr C. sent a strange text to Diane: :-) ALL
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Chantal and Hutch arrived at the Jones home in Lancelot Court. Their mission seemed simple: the elimination of a man who looked just like their boss. But while they waited, strange visitors abounded. The Vegas bureau of the FBI swung by, and poor Wilson had to stay behind watchfully. The Mitchum Brothers arrived, with copious supplies for their ill friend. (More on that in a moment.)
Then, just when it seemed like we’d reached the peak of Random People With Guns on Lancelot Court, a local man (credited as “Polish Accountant” in the credits) drove up to the Hutchens’ truck, demanding they move their car away. It was blocking his driveway! When they refused, he drove his car into theirs. Chantal started shooting. The Polish Accountant shot back. Hutch started shooting. Chantal tried to book it. Etched against the landscape of Greater Vegas — mountain at his back, open sky the color of fool’s gold — the Polish Accountant unloaded two Wild Bunches’ worth of bullets into the Hutchens’ car. Farewell, assassins!
“The f— kind of neighborhood is this?” said Rodney, looking on bemused from Dougie’s front porch.
“People are under a lot of stress, Bradley,” his brother noted.
Diane sat in the bar at the Mayfair Hotel. She received the text from Mr. C. It took her breath away. Something seemed to be activated. She sent many numbers to him — the correct coordinates, perhaps? (We’ll research the specific numerology and explore this in the podcast tomorrow!) She walked upstairs, the Muddy Magnolias’ version of “American Woman” (remixed into dark intonations by David Lynch) marking her long walk.
She opened the door and spoke to the Blue Rose Task Force. She told the story of the night Cooper visited her. He’d been gone three or four years by then. He walked into her room, no knock, no doorbell. His lips touched hers, and something went wrong. “He raped me,” said Diane. “He took me somewhere — like an old gas station?”
It was a horrifying memory, performed with stunning emotional rawness by Laura Dern. The narrative twists at play were stunning — was she taken to the convenience store? — and then everything changed. Diane began to say things that made no sense – “I’m at the Sheriff’s station!” Was it a memory? (IS SHE THE INSURANCE MAN?) She pulled a gun out of her purse. Albert and Tammy shot her. And she disappeared — just like the woman who whispered “Blue Rose” so many years ago. Diane was a tulpa! (All along?)
“Someone manufactured you,” the One-Armed Man said to Diane, in the Red Room.
“I know,” Diane said. “F— you.”
And then she burnt away, another seed-person, manufactured (maybe?) by Mr. C.
Dale Cooper! The real Dale Cooper, original blend, accept no substitutes! We found The Tulpa Formerly Known As Dougie asleep in a bed, comatose after his adventure with the electrical socket. He was visited by friends and family. Bushnell Mullins heard a familiar sound — that strange chord we’ve heard echoing through the Great Northern, perhaps?
He walked away, leaving Dougie alone. But he is Dougie no more! The man awoke, and saw a vision of the One-Armed Man. “You are awake,” said the One-Armed Man, “Finally,” seeming to speak for all of us in Twin Peaks nation. He told Dale that the “other one” didn’t go back in. He gave him a green ring.
“Do you have the seed?” asked Cooper.
The One Armed Man held up the gold orb that was once Dougie. Cooper asked him to make “another one” — another Dougie? Another manufactured version of Dale Cooper, perhaps this time with better impulse control than the old, slightly overweight, generally venial Dougie?
Dale had more precise requests for his human pals. He asked for the .32 snubnose Bushnell keeps under his shoulder holster. He asked the Mitchum Brothers to gas up the jet and get ready to fly to Spokane, Washington. Angelo Badalamenti’s theme music struck up. Dale thanked Bushnell Mullins for his kindness and decency. But Dougie’s boss was confused. What about the FBI?
Agent Dale Cooper turned to Bushnell, and to us.
“I am the FBI,” he said.
He said farewell to Janey-E and Sonny Jim, thanking them for the time they spent together, still pretending to be Dougie (even though Janey-E seemed to know, pretty clearly, that this man was not her husband). Then Dale Cooper drove off with his pals, the Mitchum Brothers, who have hearts of gold.
At the Roadhouse, the MC introduced Edward Louis Severson — the real name of Eddie Vedder, who sang his own song “Out of Sand.” There were two surprising guests at the Roadhouse. It was Audrey and Charlie — really here, in the flesh, not in some weird dreamscape house!
Or was this a dream after all? The MC introduced “Audrey’s Dance,” and the band started playing that old Badalamenti tune, and Audrey took to the dance floor and moved as she did long ago, in days when she was thinking about a very special agent.
The Roadhouse was silent. And then it wasn’t. “Monique!” screamed a typically irate Roadhouse denizen. “That’s my wife, a–hole!” A bottle was thrown; there was a scream. Audrey ran to Charlie. And then there was an electrical sound, and we saw Audrey in another place, full of white, staring at herself in the mirror.
So: Is Audrey in an insane asylum, as many have speculated? If so, what to make of that strange electrical sound — the sound of Lodge magic, the sound of humming supernatural energy throughout this series?
And the main question, the original question, given new life 16 hours later: What will Agent Cooper find when he returns to Twin Peaks?
We’ll be discussing Part 16 tomorrow on A Twin Peaks Podcast: A Podcast About Twin Peaks, and Jeff’s full recap will go live soon after!