The first four installments of Twin Peaks on Showtime came out in a single Sunday-night burst, which led to an avalanche of memes. With episode five, we revert back to the weekly episode format. The change of pace better fits a culty show that never had its day as a binge-watch series; there’s too much minutiae that would get lost in the cracks. (Imagine a whole week of only Cooper’s coffee gags on Twitter.) To summarize the latest installment: Cooper is still zonked, but we know a bit more about who is after Dougie Jones and why, and the FBI seems to be getting closer to figuring out that the Cooper being held in North Dakota might not be the same one last seen in Twin Peaks.
Here, keep up with the many intertwining plot lines—and a few recurring themes—in all the corners of the new Twin Peaks universe.
The hit men who tried to kill Dougie Jones—who, unbeknownst to them, is now embodied by Dale Cooper—still haven’t realized that he’s not in the empty development house in Rancho Rosa. They’re getting worried since they put a device on his car outside. They place a call to a hustler-type woman named Heidi, who tells them they need to get the job done. She focuses on the cell phone in front of her, worried about reaching their boss—who is only represented by a black call box.
Dougie’s wife, Janey-E Jones (Naomi Watts), takes Cooper to work as Dougie since he’s still completely inept—and she’s clueless about why. He inexplicably cries when looking at their son, who wears a red hoodie and stares out from the car. Cooper wears Dougie’s green suit jacket that Janey-E dressed him in—it’s the exact opposite on the color wheel from bright red.
Color is of course crucial to Lynch: Cooper is visually and physically on the opposite end of the red of the room he’s been stuck in for 25 years. Plus, in in Lynch world, red objects tend to have significance—the son’s hoodie is the only red thing around. Once at work, we find out Dougie works in insurance, and Cooper follows one of Dougie’s coworkers carrying coffee like a dog. He remembers coffee! Apparently, coffee can transcend the mind-numbing effects of the Red Room. He practically makes out with the cup. I expect someone to GIF this and share it in the morning. It’s still surprising that no one is more disturbed by Dougie’s new appearance and lack of functioning brain; also, this uncomfortable bit is getting stale five episodes in.
A coworker played by Tom Sizemore tells Cooper he covered for him while he was missing. During a meeting—full of recognizable character actors (Tom Sizemore, Josh Fadem from Better Call Saul)—Cooper sees a green light flash across the same coworker’s face as he explains they’ll have to make an insurance payout to a client. It’s not unlike the red flames above the slot machines, and Cooper suddenly blurts out he’s lying. His time in limbo seems to have given him otherworldly, truth-telling powers. He’s also remembering more than last time: the word “agent,” for one. His boss, noticing his behavior, tells him to review some “case files” by tomorrow or else he’s out. Case files.
At the casino, furious gangsters (one of whom is Jim Belushi) watch the footage of Cooper winning. They assume the manager (Brett Gelman) is in on it and kick him out. At Rancho, the boy across the street goes to look at Dougie’s car when some greasers come over to steal it—and the car explodes. His strung-out mom doesn’t notice. Elsewhere, Jade sees that Cooper left hotel keys in her car to Twin Peaks lodge—she puts them in a mail box. At the end of the day, he’s enamored with a gun-slinging statue in the office courtyard, another echo of his former life.
We meet a new character, the strung-out Steven Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones) as he epically fails a job interview. There’s some comic relief at the police station from Sheriff Truman and his wife, Doris, who get in a weird fight about cars and pipes, the usual stuff of Twin Peaks’s off-beat, semi-boring humor. Hawk and Eddie are still looking over the old case files. At the diner, Becky, aka Amanda Seyfried, asks Shelley, presumably her mom, for money. Again.
Becky’s husband is none other than the charmless Steven Burnett. (Like mother, like daughter: bad taste.) He’s an obvious bad seed even by this show’s caricatured standards, with ballooned-out eyes, yellow nails, and a white T-bird with flames on it. Oh, if it wasn’t obvious, these two have a coke problem. As a destructive and self-centered drug-addled couple, they’re a well-cast as “Beckys”: Both had their breakout roles as terrible, comfortable white people (Get Out, Mean Girls). We get a dreamy yet vibrating shot of Becky in the red carpeted interiors of the car—another hint of Laura Palmer and the Red Room.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jacoby has a pretty popular webcast that is apparently beloved by all the town crazies—Jerry Horne, who’s gone full-blown Northwest weirdo; and Nadine Hurley, the one-eyed eccentric—where he says things like “F— that acai shit!” (Note: he’s also framed in red.) All this leads up to his new venture: gold shovels. “Shovel your way out of the shit.”
These may be classic red herrings, but I’ll keep an eye out for these shovels. The last scene in part five of Twin Peaks is at Bang Bang Bar, where another band (Trouble) is playing. A creepy, blond guy smokes at a booth and gives a wad of cash away to carry on. He sexually assaults a young woman. In the credits we find out this is Richard Horne, obviously some relative of Ben Horne.
The cops have made progress on the murder in Buckhorn. To recap, Ruth Davenport’s severed head was found in her bed, but accompanied by a different, male body. Constance Talbolt (Jane Adams) has figured out that the man starved to death, but she found a ring inside his stomach: To Dougie from Janey-E. For the audience, it’s a clue that Bob had something to do with the murder, and may explain partly why Cooper ended up in Dougie’s body. Bob is still in Cooper’s body, held in a local prison. He has flashbacks to when he inhabited Cooper’s body and begins to morph back into himself in the mirror. “You’re still with me,” he says. “That’s good.”
Agent Tammy Preston goes over some old files, and starts to figure out the Cooper who was last seen in Twin Peaks might not be the guy in that cell; their finger prints don’t match. Later when Bob/Cooper asks for a phone call, he’s fully aware that he’s being watched and dials a number that sends the jail into a panic mode with strobes and sirens. He calmly hangs up. All he says is, “The cow jumped over the moon,” possibly a reference to his bucking his fate to return to the Red Room. Or it’s nonsense. Or both.
New Locations: Arlington, VA, and Buenos Aires
These short setups clearly have something to do with the supernatural, secret surveillance and, in a broader sense, how Cooper traveled out of the Red Room and into the real world. In Arlington, some Pentagon types have been looking out for “hits” and get one in Buckhorn, so off they go. In Buenos Aires, we go inside a decrepit, attic-type space where there’s a black call box. It’s the one that Heidi the hustler in Vegas called. In the last real scene of the episode, it rings and shrinks down into a tiny silver object—a lot like how Dougie exploded then shrunk into a tiny metal ball inside the Red Room. All told, that’s around ten locations including the previous episodes. Next week Twin Peaks may be, literally, coming to your town. Wherever you might be.
A Field Guide to Recognizing Your Favorite Twin Peaks Actors Now, 26 Years Later
Though Kyle MacLachlan has since starred in other cult series, even when he was Charlotte’s impotent husband on Sex and the City and a murderer on Desperate Housewives, he’ll always be known as Special Agent Dale Cooper, a man never too far away from a slice of cherry pie or cup of strong, black joe. (No word yet on whether Diane will be returning, too.)
Death be damned, Laura Palmer is coming back with a bang by starring in all 18 episodes of the new series—that is, unless Sheryl Lee, whose first post-Peaks role was Salome opposite Al Pacino, and who has since showed up in Winter’s Bone and Woody Allen’s Café Society, is simply reprising her role as Laura’s suspiciously identical cousin, Maddy.
Dana Ashbrook has kept up acting with a steady roster of smaller films, including 2012’s The Agression Scale with Ray Wise, aka Leland Palmer, and more than a few appearances on Dawson’s Creek, presumably making him more than up to the job in reprising his role as the annoying ultimate bad boy Bobby Briggs—even now that his hair’s gone gray.
Though she’s now a long way from a schoolgirl, the ever flirtatious Audrey Horne may have a chance at getting together with Coop after all, especially since actress Sherilyn Fenn has been keeping up her acting chops on shows like Gilmore Girls and Shameless (not to mention appearing on the cover of Playboy in the ’90s).
At 70, Peggy Lipton scarcely seems to have aged since she last played Norma Jennings, the owner of the Double R Diner, though she has since raised another actress, her daughter Rashida Jones.
Richard Beymer‘s eyes seem only bluer than ever since the now 79-year-old actor last turned up as Benjamin Horne, Audrey’s father and the owner of the Great Northern Hotel (not to mention an appearance in West Side Story, which helped to earn him a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year that he shared with Warren Beatty). Not that viewers have been able to appreciate them: Twin Peaks is only Beymer’s fourth on-screen appearance so far in the 2000s.
From blue streaks to twin top knots, Kimmy Robertson seems to have as much appreciation for an out-there hairdo as Lucy Moran, her curly-haired secretary in the sheriff’s office. Robertson has since lent her high-pitched voice to shows like Batman and The Simpsons, plus appeared onscreen on an episode of Drake & Josh—all good practice for appearing on all 18 episodes this season.
Like Leland Palmer, Laura’s potentially murderous father, actor Ray Wise has since gone gray, a new look he’s shown off in shows like Mad Men, Fresh Off the Boat, Gilmore Girls, 24, and How I Met Your Mother. That’s range.
Another face who’ll be showing up in the full series, Mädchen Amick has lately turned up on Riverdale, plus a host of cult shows like Mad Men, Gossip Girl, ER, Gilmore Girls, and Dawson’s Creek. Fortunately for her character, the waitress Shelley Johnson, though, her abusive husband Leo won’t be back.
Since playing Deputy Hawk, one of the most reasoned voices in the sheriff’s office, Michael Horse has gone on to not only appear in shows like Malcolm in the Middle, but pick up a full-on artistic career as a jeweler and painter.
Though Michael Ontkean has maintained his curly head of locks since starring as Sheriff Harry S. Truman, the actor, who last showed up in The Descendants in 2011, has decided to leave Coop hanging and won’t be returning to Twin Peaks.
Lara Flynn Boyle won’t be returning to this season but she’ll always live on as Donna Hayward, Laura’s best friend of sorts who was never short on spectacular sweaters.
Russ Tamblyn‘s daughter Amber has since gone on to become an actor and even director herself, but Tamblyn has kept up an acting career of his own since playing the ever eccentrically-outfitted psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, recently picking up roles in films like Django Unchained.
Like the actor who plays fellow bad boy Bobby Briggs, James Marshall, aka James Hurley, Big Ed’s nephew who can’t get enough of riding his bike, has also gone gray, but still showed up on-screen with a few films and an appearance on CSI.
Like her on-screen daughter, Laura, the grief-stricken Sarah Palmer will be returning for all 18 episodes, although actor Grace Zabriskie has turned up in shows like Charmed and Big Love.
Fittingly, like her beau Sheriff Harry S. Truman, sawmill owner Josie Packard won’t be returning to the series—like fellow mill worker Piper Laurie, aka Catherine Martell, David Lynch apparently never asked her back. But actor Joan Chen has been looking young as ever lately in shows like Netflix’s Marco Polo.
Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Patricia Arquette, and Hailey Gates Open Up About Working with Legendary Director David Lynch: