Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched Twin Peaks' "Part 9."
After gloriously returning to TV following its quarter-century absence, Twin Peaks took a single night off last week for the July 4 weekend, and it was somehow just as torturous as the past 25 years have been. Thankfully, David Lynch was back to blowing away expectations with "Part 9," which revealed how the story ties back to Major Garland Briggs, as portrayed in the original series by the late Don S. Davis. At least, it's offered up a signature Twin Peaks explanation, which basically means every new revealing detail inspired at least a dozen more questions.
To start off with, we'll take on where things are with Major Briggs' physical side, at least what we think we know about it. It was recently "confirmed" that the decapitated John Doe was actually Briggs, and tonight's episode offered up a reiteration of those facts, only this time with Gordon, Albert and Preston hearing the info. The similarities were plentiful, as we also saw a conversation play out over the discrepancies over the body's age, with Gordon hilariously pulling Albert away for a "private" convo immediately ruined by Gordon's decibel level. (This episode was as close to a comedic tour de force for David Lynch as is possible.)
Viewers already suspected there to be some "major" significance involving Dougie's inscribed ring being found inside of the corpse's stomach, but is it made somehow even MORE significant by the show fully explaining all those details twice? Perhaps. Indeed, perhaps the duality of the situation ties into one of Briggs' mysterious final messages to those one day seeking it: "Cooper Cooper."
On one hand, that seems to be an on-the-nose reference to the fact that there are two vastly different versions of Dale Cooper out there in the world. But on the other hand, how is it that the thought-dead Briggs -- whose disembodied head was seen floating about in space not too long ago -- is presently keen on the good and evil Coopers? I guess when someone can be both a headless carcass and an Identified AF Flying Object, it's a less important question to go into how that person discovered some information. And if anybody was good at knowing shit no one else was supposed to be privy to, it was Briggs.
It doesn't get any bluer than all things Dale Cooper, but he's not the only connection that Twin Peaks made with Major Briggs. "Part 9" saw the excellent franchise return of Charlotte Stewart as Garland's wife (and Bobby's mother) Betty Briggs, as well as the revival return of Matthew Lillard. The former reappeared when she was visited by Bobby, Truman and Hawk, where she revealed that her husband appeared to have had some clairvoyance skills developing, as he foresaw Bobby's virtuous life shift.
As well, Briggs knew that Betty would be getting visited by those specific three men -- though she expected a different Sheriff Truman, of course. His last request was for her to pass something on to them, which came from a secret compartment inside of a chair, so you know it's important. The notes found inside the bizarre humming tube included a "Cooper Cooper" reference within a bunch of probably non-random numbers, as well as a time and some dates, and some very specific instructions involving dirt going inside their pockets. Plus, a nod to Jack Rabbit's Palace, which Bobby was happy about, and a few intriguing symbols, including the one on the aforementioned ring. It was basically what every Twin Peaks fan has ever wanted to find at the bottom of a cereal box.
Meanwhile, Matthew Lillard's William Hastings came back via a police station questioning, in which it was brought to light that his "dream" about being in Ruth Davenport's apartment at the time of her murder was less of a dream than him and his mistress paying the toll for intentionally messing around with alternate dimensions. Hastings and Ruth ran a website/blog about The Zone (which is a real website now) and was communicating with some version of Briggs, at one point supplying him with coordinates to a secret military base. Immediately after that, "others" showed up and everything went wrong.
Briggs started to float up, and then his head disappeared. (And then went to space?) Hastings says that it was quite a beautiful moment until he realized that Ruth was now dead, and he claims he held her headless body until he inexplicably woke up inside his own home. I'm really glad the narrative returned to Hastings' story, and I'm intrigued that he's partly responsible for how the show gets to utilize Don S. Davis again. Plus, this scenario offers much-needed context to the spooky ghost-ish thing that Hastings saw across from his jail cell.
But if some fans' speculations are correct, and his whole dream experience is indeed tied to the dream-state Leland Palmer was in when he killed his daughter Laura, then does that make Briggs an evil entity on par with B.O.B.? To that end, I'm not even sure if it's meaningful that also-passed actor Frank Silva has similarly been used in the revival as a disembodied head, though within a completely different context. It's quite amazing how well Lynch is weaving these elements so closely into the narrative's core, whatever that core may be.
"Part 9" was obviously notable for other reasons as well, such as the first appearance of new cast member Tim Roth's not-the-sharpest-tool, as well as Ashley Judd's return to listen for both strange and pleasurable hums inside the Great Northern. And who can forget learning that Chad needs to eat his lunch in the lunchroom and not the conference room? (Geez, Chad!) But when it comes to the big story shifts, it all came to a head with Major Briggs, and we can't wait to see where the hell things go from here. As Dougie put it, "Answers." Or as Albert put it, "Fruitcake, anyone?"
Twin Peaks: The Return is now halfway through with its magnificent debut season, and it will continue imploding viewers' minds every Sunday night on Showtime at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see everything else coming to TV in the near future, head to our summer premiere schedule.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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