Skip to main content

Cooper flew the coop!

Twin Peaks
3.9: This is the chair.

(SPOILERS) If this is what an “average” episode of Twin Peaks Season Three looks like, I’m completely fine with that. We’re halfway through the season now, and I’m not holding my breath for the fully reintegrated Coop to materialise anytime soon, although I am enjoying the positioning of threads that will lead to Gordon et al discovering his whereabouts.


Detective Fusco: It’s like talking to a dog.

And with regard to Dougie-Dale, he isn’t doing much this time, apart from having his fingerprints lifted and staring at an American flag in the corner of a waiting room. It isn’t the strangest moment in the episode (that belongs to Jerry Horne), but it seems pretty damn normal compared to much that we’ve seen in this run. Nothing short of the flag uttering “Gronda gronda” could have really sent the scene into truly mental territory.


David Koechner’s Detective D Fusco and particularly Eric Edelstein’s Detective “Smiley” Fusco make this scene, though, the latter’s easily-amused giggling hitting just the right unrehearsed Lynchian note, be it D’s “Must be a beauty” in response to the cost of (Larry Clarke’s) Detective T Fusco’s tail light repair or the capture of Ike “The Spike” Stadtler as D announces they have his fingerprints; “As a matter of fact, we have your whole palm”. Ah, poor wee murderous psychotic Ike.


Gordon Cole: I don’t appreciate your language one bit, colonel… Oh, a place. Buckingham, South Dakota.

It’s a testament to Lynch’s timing that he can make old ones like that land. Timing that’s in full effect during the snail-like scene where Gordon and Tammy watch Diane smoke for what seems like forever before he cadges a puff. Dern is marvellously splenetic as Diane (“It’s a fucking morgue!” she screams when told she can’t smoke on the premises).


And, shockingly, it appears she is receiving texts from Evil Coop (“AROUND THE DINNER TABLE, THE CONVERSATION IS LIVELY”), in which case, it must be via someone else (because she receives the message in caps, and he sends them lowercase: Phillip Jeffries?) But colour me surprised, as I completely didn’t get a vibe of complicity from their meeting in prison. And are her colleagues aware something is suss about her? Is that why Tammy wanted to keep her conversation with Gordon dialled down? Great as Diane venting is, my favourite line of the episode is easily the one at the end of this exchange, though:

Detective Macklay: William Hastings was having an affair with the local librarian, Ruth Davenport. Davenport’s head was found atop the headless body of your Major Briggs. Once we took Hastings into custody, his wife was murdered in their house, apparently by their lawyer, a man named George Banner, who is now also in custody. And the next day, Hasting’s secretary died in a car explosion.
Albert: What happens in Season Two?


Nice too that Albert instantly takes to acerbic Constance. Could it be romance? The actual revelations regarding Briggs are, more-or-less, fairly linear join the dots, even though their substance is bizarre.


I rated Matthew Lillard early in the season, but I found his hysterical Hastings rather wearing here, reducing what might have been an eerie scene, given the content of a “strange little blog about some alternate dimension” that can actually be found if you go to http://thesearchforthezone.com (“Today we finally entered what we call the Zone, and we met the Major”), to one-note exposition. His recollection of events has some considerable gaps (it was beautiful, we are told, when the Major floated up, looking for coordinates that Ruth had written on her hand, up, and then Ruth was dead), so maybe we’ll have more on this (“there was so many people there” sounds a wee bit like Phillip Jeffries’ experience of the Black Lodge in Fire Walk With Me).


William Hastings: I wanna go scuba-diving!
Albert: Fruitcake, anyone?

Reasonably, Gordon and Albert connect the decapitation to Evil Coop, who has been in the area, but that may not exactly be the case (fellow lodge members are surely involved, though). The Dougie/Janey-E ring will doubtless provide another vital link in the trail to Dougie-Coop, what with his fingerprints circulating, TV footage broadcast relating to the Ike “The Spike” attack, and Hutch and Chantal likely having him on their hit list.


Betty Briggs: He said that one day you would come and ask me about Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Similarly deductive feats are occurring in Twin Peaks, also to do with Major Briggs, and also unfolding in remarkably straightforward, connective fashion. Nice to have the return of Charlotte Stewart as Betty Briggs, and her comforting words to Bobby (“Somehow, he knew that it would all turn out well. Your father never lost faith in you”). Clearly, Windom Earle kyboshing Bobby with a log did him the power of good in the long run. I have to admit, though, Dana Ashbrook isn’t nearly as compelling as a nice guy as he was as a wild child, but to be fair, he hasn’t been given an awful lot to chew on (his greatest moments in the original show all came opposite the sadly missed Don S Davis).


Hawk on the other hand, just needs to see the message from the stars from the original (COOPER COOPER) to deduce “Two Coopers”. He should be in the FBI, since theyre progressing at a comparative snail’s pace in comparison. That this appears to be about 10 days after the events in FBI land might suggest a lot needs to happen in that timeline before a convergence in two days’ time in this, at Jack Rabbit’s Palace. Or maybe not.


Also: Johnny’s back (but played by a stunt guy)! Tim Roth appears as a seedy heel not-such-a-shock! Jennifer Jason-Leigh’s back, but not nearly enough of her (Evil Coop does very little of note here apart from giving her a wet one)! Chad stinks out the conference room with his lunch (Hawk is hilarious not helping him with the door)! A girl, Ella (Sky Ferreira), in the Roadhouse has a nasty underarm rash she keeps scratching, shades of Teresa Banks (“You let zebras out again?” as well as penguins, black and white creatures, just like lodges)! Ben Horne demurs from smooching Beverley to the serenade of that sound (“Almost like the ring out of a monastery bell”)! Lucy and Andy choose furniture! And, my favourite: Jerry’s foot tells him “I am not your foot”! I think that says everything.













Agree? Disagree? Mildly or vehemently? Let me know in the comments below.

Popular posts from this blog

You were this amazing occidental samurai.

Ricochet (1991) (SPOILERS) You have to wonder at Denzel Washington’s agent at this point in the actor’s career. He’d recently won his first Oscar for Glory , yet followed it with less-than-glorious heart-transplant ghost comedy Heart Condition (Bob Hoskins’ racist cop receives Washington’s dead lawyer’s ticker; a recipe for hijinks!) Not long after, he dipped his tentative toe in the action arena with this Joel Silver production; Denzel has made his share of action fare since, of course, most of it serviceable if unremarkable, but none of it comes near to delivering the schlocky excesses of Ricochet , a movie at once ingenious and risible in its plot permutations, performances and production profligacy.

Well, something’s broke on your daddy’s spaceship.

Apollo 13 (1995) (SPOILERS) The NASA propaganda movie to end all NASA propaganda movies. Their original conception of the perilous Apollo 13 mission deserves due credit in itself; what better way to bolster waning interest in slightly naff perambulations around a TV studio than to manufacture a crisis event, one emphasising the absurd fragility of the alleged non-terrestrial excursions and the indomitable force that is “science” in achieving them? Apollo 13 the lunar mission was tailor made for Apollo 13 the movie version – make believe the make-believe – and who could have been better to lead this fantasy ride than Guantanamo Hanks at his all-American popularity peak?

No one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.

The Matrix  (1999) (SPOILERS) Twenty years on, and the articles are on the defining nature of The Matrix are piling up, most of them touching on how its world has become a reality, or maybe always was one. At the time, its premise was engaging enough, but it was the sum total of the package that cast a spell – the bullet time, the fashions, the soundtrack, the comic book-as-live-action framing and styling – not to mention it being probably the first movie to embrace and reflect the burgeoning Internet ( Hackers doesn’t really count), and subsequently to really ride the crest of the DVD boom wave. And now? Now it’s still really, really good.

He’ll regret it to his dying day, if ever he lives that long.

The Quiet Man (1952) (SPOILERS) The John Wayne & John Ford film for those who don’t like John Wayne & John Ford films? The Quiet Man takes its cues from Ford’s earlier How Green Was My Valley in terms of, well less Anglophile and Hibernophile and Cambrophile nostalgia respectively for past times, climes and heritage, as Wayne’s pugilist returns to his family seat and stirs up a hot bed of emotions, not least with Maureen O’Hara’s red-headed hothead. The result is a very likeable movie, for all its inculcated Oirishness and studied eccentricity.

The Krishna died of a broken finger? I mean, is that a homicide?

Miami Blues (1990) (SPOILERS) If the ‘90s crime movie formally set out its stall in 1992 with Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs , another movie very quietly got in there first at the beginning of the decade. Miami Blues picked up admiring reviews but went otherwise unnoticed on release, and even now remains under-recognised. The tale of “blithe psychopath” Federick J. Frenger, Jr., the girl whose heart he breaks and the detetive sergeant on his trail, director George Armitage’s adaptation of Charles Willeford’s novel wears a pitch black sense of humour and manages the difficult juggling act of being genuinely touching with it. It’s a little gem of a movie, perfectly formed and concisely told, one that more than deserves to rub shoulders with the better-known entries in its genre. One of the defining characteristics of Willeford’s work, it has been suggested , is that it doesn’t really fit into the crime genre; he comes from an angle of character rather than plot or h

Haven’t you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?

Batman (1989) (SPOILERS) There’s Jaws , there’s Star Wars , and then there’s Batman in terms of defining the modern blockbuster. Jaws ’ success was so profound, it changed the way movies were made and marketed. Batman’s marketing was so profound, it changed the way tentpoles would be perceived: as cash cows. Disney tried to reproduce the effect the following year with Dick Tracy , to markedly less enthusiastic response. None of this places Batman in the company of Jaws as a classic movie sold well, far from it. It just so happened to hit the spot. As Tim Burton put it, it was “ more of a cultural phenomenon than a great movie ”. It’s difficult to disagree with his verdict that the finished product (for that is what it is) is “ mainly boring ”. Now, of course, the Burton bat has been usurped by the Nolan incarnation (and soon the Snyder). They have some things in common. Both take the character seriously and favour a sombre tone, which was much more of shock to the

You think a monkey knows he’s sitting on top of a rocket that might explode?

The Right Stuff (1983) (SPOILERS) While it certainly more than fulfils the function of a NASA-propaganda picture – as in, it affirms the legitimacy of their activities – The Right Stuff escapes the designation of rote testament reserved for Ron Howard’s later Apollo 13 . Partly because it has such a distinctive personality and attitude. Partly too because of the way it has found its through line, which isn’t so much the “wow” of the Space Race and those picked to be a part of it as it is the personification of that titular quality in someone who wasn’t even in the Mercury programme: Chuck Yaeger (Sam Shephard). I was captivated by The Right Stuff when I first saw it, and even now, with the benefit of knowing-NASA-better – not that the movie is exactly extolling its virtues from the rooftops anyway – I consider it something of a masterpiece, an interrogation of legends that both builds them and tears them down. The latter aspect doubtless not NASA approved.

You tampered with the universe, my friend.

The Music of Chance (1993) (SPOILERS) You won’t find many adaptations of Paul Auster’s novels. Original screenplays, yes, a couple of which he has directed himself. Terry Gilliam has occasionally mentioned Mr. Vertigo as in development. It was in development in 1995 too, when Philip Haas and Auster intended to bring it to the screen. Which means Auster presumably approved of Haas’ work on The Music of Chance (he also cameos). That would be understandable, as it makes for a fine, ambiguous movie, pregnant with meaning yet offering no unequivocal answers, and one that makes several key departures from the book yet crucially maintains a mesmerising, slow-burn lure.

Drank the red. Good for you.

Morbius (2022) (SPOILERS) Generic isn’t necessarily a slur. Not if, by implication, it’s suggestive of the kind of movie made twenty years ago, when the alternative is the kind of super-woke content Disney currently prioritises. Unfortunately, after a reasonable first hour, Morbius descends so resignedly into such unmoderated formula that you’re left with a too-clear image of Sony’s Spider-Verse when it lacks a larger-than-life performer (Tom Hardy, for example) at the centre of any given vehicle.

People still talk about Pandapocalypse 2002.

Turning Red (2022) (SPOILERS) Those wags at Pixar, eh? Yes, the most – actually, the only – impressive thing about Turning Red is the four-tiered wordplay of its title. Thirteen-year-old Mei (Rosalie Chiang) finds herself turning into a large red panda at emotive moments. She is also, simultaneously, riding the crimson wave for the first time. Further, as a teenager, she characteristically suffers from acute embarrassment (mostly due to the actions of her domineering mother Ming Lee, voiced by Sandra Oh). And finally, of course, Turning Red can be seen diligently spreading communist doctrine left, right and centre. To any political sensibility tuning in to Disney+, basically (so ones with either considerable or zero resistance to woke). Take a guess which of these isn’t getting press in reference to the movie? And by a process of elimination is probably what it it’s really about (you know in the same way most Pixars, as far back as Toy Story and Monsters, Inc . can be given an insi