Twin Peaks: The Return – Episode 9 Breakdown, Thoughts, and Analysis

Part 9
Written by Mark Frost & David Lynch
Directed by David Lynch

gordon diane

After Part 8, it was hard to know where we would be going next in Twin Peaks: The Return. We are seemingly transitioning right back into the story, but I find myself wondering what elements of Part 8 will reverberate through the second half of the series. This episode opens on the Doppelganger Cooper stumbling down a country road somewhere in South Dakota. He stops to take a red handkerchief waiting for him on a fencepost, a signal.

On the jet headed back to Philadelphia, Gordon Cole receives a call from Colonel Davis from the Pentagon. Davis informs Cole briefly about the murder in Buckhorn and how this falls into the purview of Cole’s Blue Rose cases.

Back on the ground, Doop meets up with Hutch (Tim Roth), who has killed a farmer and his wife to take control of their house for the time being. Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh), last seen in Episode 2, is there and we learn Hutch is her husband. She is very concerned about Doop’s injury from Ray’s bullets, but Doop doesn’t seem to be phased. Doop tells Hutch he needs a new cell phone.

Back on the plane, Gordon informs Diane that they will be turning around to stop in Buckhorn and that this is connected to Cooper. Diane is angry but really has no choice in the matter. She also checks her cell phone as if waiting for a message but finds service is blocked. Agent Tamara Preston gets a phone call from Warden Murphy who tells them. Doop broke out of prison, hiding his involvement as expected.

Doop is provided with a lovely pink bejeweled phone and texts out a message, “Around the dinner table the conversation is lively” to a number marked as Unknown. Before ditching the phone, Doop calls Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler), the man in Vegas and tells him he needs to finish the Dougie hit. Then Hutch is tasked with traveling back to Yankton to kill Warden Murphy and hinted that he’ll be brought in for the Vegas job. We also learn that Hutch appears to be totally fine with his wife and Doop’s explicitly sexual relationship. Is this a natural trait of these two or the influence of the Doop’s corrupt nature? Chantal gives Doop a small snack pack sized bag of Cheetos before he leaves. This is odd because it’s been established that Doop doesn’t sleep or eat. The text Doop sends could be a connection to the scene below from Fire Walk With Me. It’s a terribly lively dinner conversation.

around the dinner table

The detectives find that there are no records on Dougie Jones before twelve years ago. No birth certificates, school records, anything. They believe he is in the witness protection program, which makes sense based on the attempted assassinations. To identify the man they consider to be Dougie, they snatch Cooper’s mug, bag it, and send it off for prints and DNA from saliva. A sergeant arrives and informs the trio that the palm prints from the gun in the plaza came back and it belongs to known local criminal Ike the Spike. Additionally, Ike has been located at a seedy off the strip motel. They head out for the arrest. Ike leaves a message for his employer, but on the way out of the hotel he’s cornered by the trio of detectives and arrested.

Cooper and Janey-E sit in the waiting room of the police station. He stares at the American flag in the corner, and in his mind, the National Anthem quietly plays. His eyes drift to an electrical socket in the wall and is fixated, possibly remembering who he was born and the way he transitioned into back into our world.

Back in Twin Peaks, we get a duo of scenes with different tones. The first has Lucy and Andy browsing at their respective desks, looking up furniture for Wally’s old bedroom, which he gave them his blessing to remodel back in Episode 4. There is a tug of war over whether they should get a beige or red armchair. We move to the Horne residence where Sylvia Horne screams off-camera at a “Mary.” We see the blur of Johnny Horne as he runs loose through the house, finally crashing his head into the wall. The camera lingers on the hole he has made, panning down to show the cracked framed photo of the falls and Johnny unconscious and bloody. Sylvia howls in fright and sweeps in to comfort him.

Bobby stops in to visit his mom, Betty, with Hawk and Frank Truman in tow. As soon as she sees the three, she explains how she knew this day was coming. She goes on to explain that her late husband, Major Garland Briggs told her this would happen and that she was to give them an object. Before Betty gives the object over she reflects on Garland’s dreams, and hopes for Bobby and the music used is from that scene in Season 2 where Garland told Bobby about his dream. Betty then triggers a hidden panel in an armchair and pulls out a small metal tube.

The FBI has arrived in Buckhorn and is getting caught up on the situation by Detective Macklay. Diane chooses to wait in the lobby, and her phone is finally working again. This is when we learn she is the recipient Doop’s text message! Macklay responds that Bill Hastings was having an affair with librarian Ruth Davenport. Hasting’s secretary died in a car explosion and reminds us that Hasting’s wife was supposedly killed by their lawyer (we saw it was Doop back in Part 2). The big reveal is that Hastings and Davenport ran a blog called The Search for the Zone where they wrote about their experiences attempting to access an alternate dimension. The last entry on their site declared that had finally entered the Zone and met The Major.

Back in Twin Peaks, Jerry Horne is still lost in the woods. This time he stares down at his right boot, and it speaks to him, “I am not your foot” causing Jerry to freak out. I swear this voice is the same one as The Arm but could be wrong.

Chad is gorging himself in the Sheriff’s Department conference room but kicked out by Hawk, Truman, and Bobby. They have to go outside anyway, as Bobby reveals knows this device. His dad showed him how to open it. Bobby tosses it against the ground with force, then listens to the vibration, at the right moment he throws it again. There is a rolled-up note inside, directions to a location. Is this to Glastonbury Grove? The instructions tell to take soil from Jack Rabbit’s Palace. Bobby says played here with his dad when he was a little. The note contains the numbers 2:53 on 10/01 and 10/02 meaning this event is days from now. All of this was intended for Bobby to find and lead these people to rescue Cooper.

Gordon and Preston join Diane outside. Gordon shares her cigarette. There is a sense that they know something about her, and I would guess Gordon knows she is in some kind of communication with Doop.

We finally see Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard) again, and Preston questions him. Hastings says that when he and Davenport entered the Zone they met Major Briggs and he was hibernating, hiding from some unknown force. Briggs needed coordinates of another location and Hastings and Davenport were able to get these from a secure military database. They re-entered and have him the numbers, but other beings showed up and questioned them. Briggs floated up, and his head vanished before the rest of his body, and this appears to have moved Hastings. The former principal woke up at his home and honestly does not know what happened to Ruth’s body.

.At the Great Northern, Benjamin Horne and his secretary hear the noise again. This time they have a brief romantic moment, but in an apparent change of character Ben kindly rebuffs her. She tells him he is a good man. Something has apparently happened to Ben that has clearly affected his character. The shadow the light casts on the wall looks very similar to the drawing of the mountains on Briggs’ note.

twin peaks of light

We end at the Roadhouse with two acts. First is Hudson Mohawke followed by a return by Au Revoir Simone. These musical acts book-end an exchange between Ella (Sky Ferreira) and Chloe (Karolina Wydra). They discuss Ella’s recent firing from a burger joint. Ella also has a nasty rash which I believe is connected to the research chemical drugs coming across the border courtesy of Red. These two ladies bore a striking resemblance to the 1-1-9 woman from Las Vegas.

Overall, I felt this episode worked to tie together some plots and set us up for the final half of The Return. We have a time and place and a location. Now we know where this will all go.

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