Twin Peaks Episode 16 Recap: Finally, Who We’ve Been Waiting For

Agent Dale Cooper is back—for real this time.

Part 16
Suzanne Tenner

The moment has come: Cooper is back, for real this time. There’s a lot to cover this week of Twin Peaks given our hero has returned to the game, so let’s dive right in.

We open on an unknown highway, once again. This time, Bob/Cooper is in the car with Richard Horne, as we left them off last week. They’re a well-matched duo—there’s more in common between these two than Bob/Cooper and Ray, for sure. Richard sulks, less scared than annoyed. Bob/Cooper pulls over and turns the brights on in an empty field.

Eamon Farren and Kyle MacLachlan in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Suzanne Tenner

They get out. Bob/Cooper tells Richard to pay attention. “I’m looking for a place… three people have given me coordinates to that place. Two of the coordinates match.” They’re at the place, he tells Richaard—a giant rock. Let’s take a second to recap the recap: What exactly is Bob/Cooper’s mission at this point? He’s already eluded a trip back to the Red Room and he found Jeffries, who gave him some of said coordinates. He obviously needs to find, and probably destroy, his Dougie double. But that task isn’t here. Instead, he wants to find a way to get to the other dimension or world, but why?

Over in the distance, crazy Jerry Horne runs across the field, spotting the car and Richard. So the place on the coordinates is somewhere near Twin Peaks. He watches via binoculars.

“I’m 25 years your senior. Take this and get on up there,” Bob/Cooper tells Richard. He gives him a sensor that will beep when he’s close and make a continuous tone when he’s on it. If something bad happens to Richard Horne, we’ve been well primed not to care by now. Nixing Richard would be an all-around good use of Bob’s evil powers.

As Richard approaches the rock, Bob/Cooper smiles devilishly and Jerry watches. The beeping sounds in a very tense sequence. As Richard shouts, “I’m there!” he’s suddently electrocuted in a surge of light, screaming as his body gets zapped away. (Let’s note it’s the same surging sound associated with bringing people in and out of the Red Room.) Jerry Horne watches in horror as Richard disappears into a puff of smoke.

“Goodbye my son,” Bob/Cooper says. Bingo. We’ll note we predicted this possible plot twist a few episodes ago. But did he always intend to bring Richard specifically to this spot? Did he have to erase all traces of himself from this world? Did he intend to go to the coordinates himself but used Richard as insurance for what would happen? Most likely, this is where he is going to need to ice his Dougie double. As per the rest of this season, the mystery lies in not even knowing what questions to ask. Meanwhile, Jerry Horne blames his binoculars for the chain of events. Err. Bob/Cooper texts “Unknown,” aka Diane, a smiley face and “ALL.”

Over in Vegas, Chantal and Hutch have arrived in the ‘burbs to stake out the other Cooper (Dougie/Cooper). The FBI pull up as well. But no one is home. They plan a stakeout, too.

At the hospital, Dougie/Cooper is in a coma after his electrocution from last week’s episode. The Mitchum Brothers come by to bring flowers and finger food. They offer to stock the Jones’s house with food too, so Janey-E gives them a key. Dougie’s boss Bushnell Mullins is there too and gets a call from the office about the FBI looking for Dougie.

At the Jones’s house, the police as well as Hutch and Chantal are on separate stakeouts, unaware of each other. And the Mitchum Brothers are on the way to deliver groceries—a real clusterfuck. Chantal and Hutch get accosted by a neighbor who claims they’re in his driveway; in their typical fashion, they tell him off. (Chantal is also extra irritable because they’ve run out of junk food. Ha.)

The neighbor, in turn, drives into them, and Chantal shoots at him in full view of the cops. The neighbor, unscathed, shoots Chantal in the arm. She and Hutch try to make a mad dash, taking a few more shots. As Chantal drives out, the neighbor fires dozens and dozens of shots into the car, killing her and Hutch.

“What the f— kind of neighborhood is this,” Bradley Mitchum says, crouching behind a wall.

“People are under a lot of stress,” the other Mitchum brother answers. Lots more one-liners to come. The FBI immediately come for the neighbor. Who is this guy? The Mitchums watch and decide to get the hell out.

At the hospital, Mullins is pulled away by a mysterious force—and One-Armed Mike appears on a chair! Cooper/Dougie immediately gets up and rips off his mask. “You are now awake,” Mike says. “100%” Cooper says. And then Mike takes the words right out of our mouths…




Welcome to the show, real Cooper.

“The other one. He didn’t go back in. He’s still out. Take this,” Mike says, and gives Cooper the green ring.Cooper asks, “Do you have the seed?” Mike holds up a tiny gold ball – this is what Dougie Jones turned into when he entered the Red Room, when Bob didn’t come back. Cooper says Mike needs to make another one. Another Cooper double? He may need to create another one to outsmart Bob.

Kyle MacLachlan and Don Murray in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Suzanne Tenner

Mullins, Janey-E, and Sonny Jim come back to find Dougie alive and well. He starts rattling off orders like his old self (his Cooper self, that is). And he quickly decides to leave the hospital. He also clearly remembers everything that happened before the coma, when he was in his loopy state. And on top of that, he’s got a plan now. He asks Mullins to get him the Mitchum Brothers, and tells them to gas their plane up—they’re going to Spokane, Washington. Yesssssssssss. Over the theme music, Dougie/Cooper gives Mullins a note to read to Gordon Cole if and when he calls looking for him.

“What about the FBI?” Mullins asks.

“I am the FBI,” Cooper says. FINALLY. Ten-plus episodes of crazy Cooper might have been worth it, after all. Cooper (let’s just call him the real Cooper now, shall we?) drives off just as the FBI pulls up, as an impressed Janey-E and Sonny Jim observe his seemingly newfound cool.

Diane, still at the random South Dakota hotel, gets the text from Bob (“: – ) ALL.”)and gasps. She looks distraught as she whispers, “I remember.” She texts him a string of numbers (the ones written on Ruth Davenport’s arm, most likely). “I hope this works,” she adds, followed by an awesome sequence as she makes her way upstairs to Gordon, Tammy, and Albert. He senses she’s outside, and she comes in, looked crazed.

“You asked me about the night that Cooper came to visit me,” she begins, opening her purse. Gordon senses something is up. “It was three maybe four years after,” Cooper went AWOL; that is, we know, after he wasn’t Cooper anymore. One night, he just appeared in her living room. He only wanted to know what had been going on at the bureau, grilling her, but she in her excitement to see him didn’t think anything of it. Then he leaned in to kiss her—this had happened once before—and as soon as his lips touched hers, something went wrong. He saw she was afraid and smiled, and then he raped her. Afterward he took her somewhere, she remembers now, like an old gas station. (The Dutchman’s, we now know.) She looks at the message again and shrieks, admitting that she sent him the coordinates to the sheriff’s station: “I sent him those coordinates because… I’m not me.” She reaches for her gun, but Albert shoots first, nailing her. Except, she flies off like a ghost, sucked up into some other realm, like Andy was at Jack Rabbit’s Palace. “They’re real,” Tammy says. More doubles!

Laura Dern in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Suzanne Tenner

In the Red Room, Diane has arrived. “Someone manufactured you,” Mike deduces. “I know. F— you,” Diane says before she begins to burn up, echoing what happened to Dougie Jones at the beginning of the season. Mike once again closes his eyes as Diane is zapped away, leaving behind her “seed.”

Cooper and Janey-E arrive at the casino to meet the Mitchums. Cooper tells Janey-E and Sonny Jim the hard truth: he has to go away for a while. “Dougie… I… will be back,” he says, and Janey-E catches on that this might not be Dougie after all. “I’ll walk through that red door and I’ll be home for good,” he assures her. Which red door though, huh? He leaves them in the casino.

In the car, Cooper fills the Mitchums in: he’s a missing FBI agent and needs to get to a town called Twin Peaks, to a sheriff’s station. A showdown is coming.

Sherilyn Fenn in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Suzanne Tenner

At the Road House, Edward Louis Severson III (birth name of Eddie Vedder!) is playing to a packed house—extremely important episodes occasion performances by extremely important 90s music icons, which makes sense. Audrey and her husband are there scouting for Billy (finally!) over martinis. The host then announces that it’s time for… Audrey’s dance. Huh? Then her theme music comes on. Ahhh! She does her Audrey dance. Ahhh!!! This is definitely more for us than for the Road House audience, and that is OK! And then two guys get in a fight, and she runs up to her husband. “Get me out of here!” and next thing we know, with a surging sound, Audrey is in front of a mirror in a white room, in completely different makeup and clothes. What?! Was Audrey just spirited away to another dimension? Was she a double? Did Cooper do something to her? Did she have his son?

Next week is going to be damn good.

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.)

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Read W‘s recap of Part 15 of Twin Peaks.

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