Verdict: 4.5 / 5
For those who have been waiting (incredibly) patiently throughout this season of Twin Peaks: The Return for things to pick up, it’s time to rejoice. Agent Cooper is back and firmly in the driving seat. It’s been a long road, but the journey has been fascinating and the reward has been well worth it. In fact, there’s much to celebrate since there’s also the long-awaited Audrey’s Dance, the big reveal of Diane, and a musical performance by Eddie Vedder. The pace is faster the minute Coop returns properly, the comedy is funnier and more twisted, the action is explosive and the emotional punch it packs is powerful.
Arriving at the location of one of the sets of coordinates he’s acquired, the evil Bob/Coop send his twisted son Richard Horne to see if it’s where they need to be. Yet they’re observed by Jerry, still lost but managing so much better now he’s stopped arguing with his leg. In Las Vegas, the assassins charged with killing Dougie/Coop battle a serious case of road rage, while Coop has finally exorcised himself of Dougie and is ready to leap back into action. While Twin Peaks is his next destination and his destiny is clear, first he must bid farewell to Dougie’s loved ones. Yet his victory may be cut short when the truth of Diane is revealed as she targets Agent Cole and Albert for death. And back in Twin Peaks, Audrey finally gets to dance at the Roadhouse but things aren’t quite what they seem…
In Twin Peaks terms, this episode is so supercharged as it sets about tying up all the mysteries and loose ends that it’s practically mainlining black coffee and snorting cherry pie.
It may not feature another reality-breaching vortex or a giant teapot person steaming out numbers, but Richard’s fate is electrifying and Diane’s is another mind-boggling moment of David Lynch’s imagination running riot. But with the return of Cooper comes the return of some semblance of what counts for normalcy in this constructed world. The inevitable farewell to Janey-E and Sonny Jim is an emotional one, both for Coop and the audience, although it’s fair to say that Coop has made sure they won’t be missing Dougie for long. That’s the kind of good guy that he is. But more than that, he rewards the audience by confirming some of their theories.
And damn, that’s a good feeling.
The method in David Lynch’s madness is becoming increasingly clear with just the two-hour finale remaining. Some plotlines remain vague, others have now been brought sharply in to focus, and all the pieces of the puzzle are moving in to place. Cooper, so often a reflection of Lynch’s thoughts, has an innate understanding of how everyone and everything around him fits into the grand plan. For Cooper and Lynch, the future seems certain. For the audience, all we can do is be patient and trust in both of them. They haven’t let us down yet.