Twin Peaks Episode 9 Recap: What Side Is Diane On?
As the series reverts back to normal operating procedure following an explosive part 8, we ask: What side is Laura Dern’s Diane on?
After an explosive (literally) episode eight, it was always going to be tough for part nine of Twin Peaks to measure up. It’s meaningless to even compare the two: eight is essentially a film in itself. Like Fire Walk with Me, it operated as its own entity within the TV series’ universe, but a world apart. It was pure big-screen Lynch. The rest of Twin Peaks operates in a highly self-aware, self-referential bubble that also mines the peculiarities of television’s genres and clichés. With this episode, the show returns to that mode, and revisits the plot line as we left off before the epic episode eight. More and more of the plot comes together, but it’s certainly not the WTF moment of last week. Reverting back to our prior formats, we recap again by location—with the hope that eventually all the strands come together.
The beat-up Bob/Cooper has emerged largely unscathed after being shot by Ray and attacked (or revived?) by the Woodsmen. He meets up with Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Hutch (Tim Roth), his closest allies and associates. “Where’d they get you?” Chantal asks, indicating she may understand it was more than one person. Bob gets a burner phone (a sparkly pink one) and texts, to an unknown number, “Around the dinner table the conversation is lively.” Then he calls the guy in Las Vegas, the mysterious one in the office building who was related to the attack on the real Cooper. “It better be done by the next time I call,” Bob says, obviously referring to the hit. He then orders Hutch to kill the warden, and a double header in Las Vegas; we can infer that’s Dougie and Janey-E. Chantal and Bob make out, and they all clear out.
Meanwhile, the FBI private plane is flying back from the prison in South Dakota, when they find out that Lieutenant Knox has some information in Buckhorn nearby. Gordon takes it up with Diane, telling her the case involves someone Cooper knew. She immediately recognizes it as the Blue Rose case, but she doesn’t want to go. Her phone is blocked and she looks anxious as they decide to turn around. Soon after, Warden Murphy calls to say that Bob/Cooper has broken out. Gordon: “Cooper flew the coop!” Lots of so-cheesy-they-work lines to come.
The FBI team meets up with Lt. Knox. Diane is spread eagle on the couch, and “not in the mood to see a dead body.” She lights up a cigarette because, “It’s a fucking morgue.” Diane is the best.
We then get a reveal that her text is… from Bob! The same one he sent earlier about the conversation at the table. Is Diane in on the Cooper switch? Was she acting before? What’s her game?
The team gets a briefing on the Hastings case: his wife was murdered in the house. We know it was by Bob, though they say it was by their lawyer. Hastings’ secretary was killed in a car explosion.
“What happens in season two,” Albert says tonelessly.
They see the body of Briggs, and find out Hastings and his secretary were publishing a blog about an alternate dimension. “Today we finally answered what we call ‘the zone’ and we met the Major,” Hastings wrote on his blog. Is the zone the Red rRoom? The body is the same age as Briggs when he died. Gordon and Albert find it curious that two guys who were around Twin Peaks at the same time both ended up in South Dakota.
They see the ring found in the Major’s stomach: “To Dougie, Love Janey-E.” We’ve seen this before, but maybe the FBI can make sense of it. The Major might be somehow involved with the body swapping—because where did Dougie come from?
Outside, Diane looks like a Celine ad. The breathy and perpetually pencil-skirt-clad Tammy Preston goes in to interview Bill Hastings.
“If we went to a certain place at a certain time, we would enter the dimension and make contact with a certain person,” a sobbing Hastings explains of his blog work. “He asked us to give his numbers. Important numbers—coordinates.” As we remember, Bob is on the hunt for those coordinates. A caveman came after him soon after and asked his wife’s name (the Woodsmen, clearly). He IDs the Major as the person he met in the other dimension. He recounts that when the Major floated away and said “Cooper Cooper.” The FBI team takes note.
“We were so happy together. We were gonna go to the Bahamas together!” Lillard brings the melodrama. “Fruit cake anyone?” says Albert, nailing it.
After the hit, we get some background on who Dougie Jones was through questioning. A trio of detectives, a funny bunch, are interviewing Dougie’s boss.
“Every once in a while he shows some lingering effects from a car-accident,” he says, which apparently happened before Dougie started. Hmm. “Damn strange business. First his car blows up, then someone tries to kill him!” A funny sequence as the boss puts two and two together in front of the lineup of the pretty feckless bunch. They do, however, find out that there is nothing on Dougie Jones prior to 1997—no drivers license, no passport, no tax records, no birth certificate. (As One-Armed Mike said a few episodes ago, this guy was clearly invented.)
“It’s like talking to a dog, and she does all the barking,” the cops joke of getting answers out of the brain-fried Dougie/Cooper and his wife. (I’m increasingly thinking Janey-E is in on this. She’s smart and tough; clearly, she knows her husband is acting beyond strange.)
The cops give Dougie some new coffee—and take his prints off his old glass to get some answers. They’ve also apparently found Ike the Spike’s prints on the gun used in the Dougie hit, and they’re going to nab them.
Outside the office, Cooper stares at a flag and hears the national anthem—and sees a beautiful woman in red shoes walk by. We get it: America. Then he notices the electrical socket, and there’s a hint of recognition.
At a nearby motel, Ike calls his bosses to say “No cigar,” regarding the Cooper hit. He downs a bunch of whiskey, heads out, but gets cornered in the hallway by the self-satisfied cops. One giggles. Ike squeaks. Lots of fun gags in this one—a night-and-day shift from last week, but also a reminder not only of Lynch’s range, but even the range he’s created within one small-town crime TV series.
At the sheriff’s department. Lucy is looking at furniture online, fighting with Andy about which ottoman to order. Hello 2017.
On a darker note, elsewhere, in a darkened house, Sylvia Horne is yelling about her son Johnny (you’ll remember Laura Palmer was his tutor). He’s been killed, next to a picture of a waterfall.
Bobby Briggs goes with Deputy Hawk and Sheriff to ask his mother some questions about the Major Briggs (his father) on the day before he died, the day he was with Cooper.
“He said that one day our son Bobby and Hawk and Sheriff Truman that they would come and ask me about Special Agent Dale Cooper,” his mother says, stone-faced. Oh boy.
“When they come to ask you about Agent Cooper you give them this—would you fellas like some coffee?” They quickly decline. Classic.
She opens up part of a chair, the one the Major used to sit in, revealing hidden inside… a small cylinder of metal.
Then there’s a weird interlude with Jerry Horne: “I am not your foot,” his foot says. He hacks at it. Okayyy.
Back at the sheriff’s department, Bobby, Hawk, and Truman take a look at the strange tube, which is some kind of secret box. Bobby knows how to open it; his dad taught him. Inside are two scrolls of paper: “253 Yards east of jack rabbits palace / before leaving jack rabbits palace put some soil in your pocket.” It also lists “2:53 10/1 10/2,” which they point out is two days away. Bobby also knows where Jack Rabbit’s Palace is—near the old station. The other piece of paper? A code, intermixed with the word Cooper twice. Hawk says, “Two Coopers.” Bingo.
Back at the hotel, the hum is still in Ben’s office, and Beverly and Ben have a romantic moment. Clearly, he has not found out about Johnny yet.
There’s a show at the Bang Bang Bar: Hudson Mohawke. A strung-out Ella (a Sky Ferreira cameo) and her friend Chloe (Karolina Wydra) shoot the shit saying things like, “That zebra’s out again” or “Have you seen that penguin?” Ella itches a mean rash as she describes getting fired for coming to work while high. Au Revoir Simone is back for a set.
The last scene doesn’t quite fit with the rest—as scenes at the Bang Bang Bar tend to go. The characters might become hugely important or short impressions only worth their moments on screen– we don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. They do however fit in with Twin Peaks’ history— and Lynch’s, for that matter—of women with two faces, or an itch under the surface, and this episode was full of them. Diane, possibly Janey-E, and as ever, Laura Palmer.
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.
Read W‘s recap of Part Eight of Twin Peaks.
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