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Week by Week TV: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7

Twin Peaks: The Return is directed by David Lynch and co-written by Lynch and Mark Frost. It stars Kyle MacLachlan as FBI special Agent Dale Cooper. This new, third series takes place 25 years after the original series, one of the most influential series of the modern TV age.

This is a continuing series review. To read my reviews of Parts One and TwoParts Three and FourPart Five or Part Six please click these links.

After a strong Part Six of this new series, I was really looking forward to this latest episode. I wasn’t disappointed. This was another sterling episode, and things are starting to come together. Dougie Jones (Good Cooper) is creeping ever closer to becoming his old self. There are developments in Deputy Hawk’s investigation and Evil Cooper puts his plan into motion. Ashley Judd and Benjamin Horne reappeared for the first time since Part One.

Laura Dern as Diane plays a major part of this episode. She is recruited by Gordon and Albert (David Lynch and Miguel Ferrer) to meet Evil Cooper and decide whether he is the Cooper we all know and love. She decides that all is not well with the leathery man in the prison cell who claims to be Dale Cooper. Her testimony convinces Gordon to investigate Evil Cooper. Dern is the standout in terms of performances in the series so far. The nature of this series does not allow much analysis of acting, but Dern and MacLachlan have really impressed.

Another fantastic plot thread this week belonged to Deputy Hawk and Chief Truman. After Hawk discovered some pages in the toilet door at the police station (with help from Red’s magic coin), we are told they are the torn pages from Laura Palmer’s diary which were missing when it was discovered. Hawk believes that Leland Palmer hid them in the bathroom when he was brought in for questioning. These pages are damning evidence as to Leland’s guilt but also describe a dream Laura had where she met Dale Cooper, a man who would not come to Twin Peaks until after her death. Hawk and Truman realise that the Black Lodge has much more to do with the mystery than they previously believed and are on a mission to work out what happened to Cooper.

Deputy Andy also found the truck which killed the little boy in Part Six. The truck’s owner was not Richard Horne, who perpetrated the hit and run. The owner was shifty and terrified of something or someone unknown. Probably Richard. He agreed to meet Andy but did not turn up. His fate is yet to be seen but I don’t imagine it will be good.

My least favourite part of last week’s episode “Ike The Spike” returned to terrorise Good Cooper. This was the most thrilling part of the episode. As Dougie and Janey-E left the insurance office, Ike (without his spike) tried to shoot Dougie. Dougie reacted “fast a a cobra” and wrestled the gun out of Ike’s hand. As he did this, The Hand from the Black Lodge in his brain tree form pushed up from the ground and told Cooper to crush Ike’s hand. Dougie managed to tear a section of Ike’s palm off leaving it stuck to the gun’s grip. Dale Cooper seems to be reaching the surface and I’m pretty sure that he will be back to his old self in the next couple of episodes.

Evil Cooper managed to secure his release from prison with a bit of well-executed blackmail. He kept referring to “dog legs”, which rattled the warden and allowed Evil Cooper to make sure that he got released with a car and a gun. Where he goes is anyone’s guess, but it can’t be good.

There were other elements to this episode, including the weird noise in Beverly’s (Ashley Judd) office, as well as the brief interludes in The Bang Bang Club and The Diner which reinforce the sense that Twin Peaks: The Return isn’t so much a TV series but, as David Lynch describes it, “an 18-hour film”. This explains why elements and characters appear but aren’t revisited till five or six episodes later. I know lots of people will have little time or patience to give to this series but I am really enjoying it so far. It’s such a distinct and unique vision that I can’t tear my eyes away from it. It’s marvellous and frustrating. The frustration is part of the single-mindedness of Lynch and Frost’s vision. They are the only cooks in the kitchen and this is all on them. I hope you enjoyed my latest review of Twin Peaks: The Return, and that you will join me again for Part Eight!

Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 is now available to watch on various catch-up services. Image source: NYTimes.com