Friday, June 16, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 3x05 Recap: "Part 5: Case Files" (A Mellow Affair) [Contributor: Erin Allen]


"Part 5: Case Files"
Original Airdate: June 4, 2017

Parts 1-4 were jam-packed with mysteries that posed many questions and set up this modern Twin Peaks world. Part 5 is a more mellow affair, but it still isn’t giving us too many answers. In fact, there’s even more to ponder.

The episode begins in Vegas. The two goons who were sent to kill Dougie are telling their boss that they weren’t successful. She starts to panic, and sends a message on a beeper, “Argent 2.” Elsewhere, a device lights up and beeps. So we’re going to start off cryptically. All right then.

Constance, the Buckhead CSI and part-time comic, has found some evidence in her autopsy of the John Doe body — a ring engraved with the inscription, “To Dougie With Love, Janey-E.” What? How? More questions!

BOB/Cooper gets his meal in prison. He doesn’t bother with it because it’s not garmonbozia, so he looks in the mirror, and BOB morphs onto half of his face. This CGI effect is incredible and super scary. It’s so subtle, but so unsettling, and an interesting callback to when Leland would look into a mirror and BOB would appear. BOB/Cooper is satisfied with this. “You’re still with me. That’s good.”

Mike Nelson seems to have gotten his act together. He’s some sort of businessman who’s looking to hire an employee. That employee is not going to be Steven Burnett, though, because he had a horrible resume and a bad attitude. Mike tells his as much and then shoos him out of his office. It’s fun to see Mike having to deal with a cocky kid who is similar to how he was in high school.

At the Twin Peaks sheriff's station, Frank is talking to Harry on the phone. Oh, how my heart aches. I want Harry back so badly. Doris, Frank’s wife, comes in to give him an earful about a leaky pipe and a bucket. Candy Clark gives a great performance as Doris. It’s a bit reminiscent of Nadine in the beginning of the series, the way she would get frustrated with Ed. I like this character, but also, just chill out, Doris. Geez.

Checking back in with Cooper we see the coffee didn’t exactly revive him, but he seems to be feeling more emotion. As Janey-E fixes his tie, he looks at Sonny Jim who is staring off into space. He is overcome with emotion, and a single tear rolls down his cheek. Dang, Kyle MacLachlan. I haven’t talked too much about his performance on the show yet, but I think he is doing a phenomenal job. He is playing several characters, and they are all so different. Sometimes you forget that the same actor is playing them all. This look to Sonny Jim is brimming with feeling. You can read it many ways. He’s grieving the life he missed out on or he’s overwhelmed by the child’s innocence. Any way you take it, you are experiencing an intense emotion with him.

Janey-E asks Cooper, “Where’s your car anyway?” We cut to said car which is of interest to more than just the goons who rigged it with an explosive. They drive by to check on it, and then another car drives by.

Poor Cooper has to go to work. After everything he’s been through? Janey-E pushes him out of the car. He looks at a statue of a man pointing a gun, and raises his hand to mimic the statue. A peppy guy with an armload of coffees approaches him, “Off in dreamland again, huh, Dougie?” Cooper follows the coffee like a little puppy, and I cannot love him more.

Wait, yes, I can. In the elevator, his persistent insistence on getting one of those coffees leads the guy to give him Frank’s coffee. He gulps it down. The guy says, “Damn good joe, huh?” and Cooper repeats, “Damn good joe.” And there’s jazzy music during this scene, too. This is Twin Peaks, folks.

The peppy guy leads him into the insurance office where Dougie works, Lucky 7 Insurance. He’s still downing his coffee as he walks into a meeting. Frank is upset that his coffee was given away, but he begrudgingly takes the extra green tea latte instead. As it goes on Twin Peaks, his reaction is quirky and unexpected. Frank’s got a new favorite drink, I think.

Everyone finds Cooper/Dougie’s behavior odd, but they don’t question it until he interrupts the meeting by claiming that Tony (Tom Sizemore) is lying. Before he blurts out this revelation, a weird light flashes on Tony’s face. Is it Cooper’s innate investigative powers kicking in or an otherworldly Black Lodge side effect at play? The boss isn’t too pleased with Cooper/Dougie, and asks to speak with him afterwards.

Dougie’s boss gets Cooper’s agent senses tingling again with keywords like “agent” and “case files.” Recognition flashes in his eyes for a moment. It’s like the coffee jumpstarted him. C’mon, Coop! You can do it!

Cooper may have gotten off scot-free after winning a small fortune at the Silver Mustang, but the casino supervisor is not so lucky. The mobsters that run the joint — which includes Jim Belushi in a chilling role as a mob boss — rough him up before firing him. They tell the pit boss, who gets promoted to the job, to tell them if he ever sees Cooper again. Also, there are three showgirls in pink who are brought in for this whole thing, and it serves absolutely nothing besides being an uncomfortable use of pretty girls during a violent scene. They are given names though: Mandie, Candie, and Sandie.

Back in Rancho Rosa, the kid who lives across the street from the house where Dougie’s car is parked, goes to check it out. As he inspects the device under the car, the second car that was surveilling it earlier pulls up, and the punks scare the kid away. They break into the car and it explodes. Two of the punks that are still alive drive away. The kid runs back to his house and watches the car burn. His druggie mom wakes up, and there is this strange, loud music cue that filled me with dread. It made me think something big was going to happen, but then we cut away.

Jade is getting her car washed. The attendant gives her a motel key that he found on the floor of her jeep. She smiles at it and says, “Oh, Dougie.” The key instructs the finder of it to put it in the mail, so she drops it in the mailbox nearby. Jade is going to help save Cooper! Can you believe?! I’m really happy to see her again, and this is a great way to send a clue to Twin Peaks as well as have her back. I still hope we see more of her, though.

We finally get to visit the Double R! Norma is doing her bookkeeping and watches Shelly’s daughter come in and ask Shelly for money. Shelly gives it to her as Norma looks on, disapprovingly. Shelly’s daughter is Becky, played by Amanda Seyfried (Veronica MarsTwin Peaks homage is on the real thing now!). Another piece of casting I didn’t see coming. She is credited as Becky Burnett, and the guy who plays her boyfriend is Steven Burnett (the guy that Mike kicked out of his office). What is going on here? I hope we get some explanation. And I hope that Becky is the daughter of Shelly and Bobby although I don’t understand where this Burnett surname is coming from.

Norma commiserates with Shelly as they watch the two kids in the car in the parking lot. I love that Norma and Shelly are still as close as they were during the original run. Peggy Lipton and Madchen Amick fall back into these roles effortlessly. It’s like they never left them.

In the car, we learn that Steven is a dumb jerk cokehead. It feels like this is supposed to be a modern-day Bobby, but I’m not okay with that. I don’t like this guy, and I liked Bobby almost instantly even though you weren’t really supposed to like him. I can get behind Seyfried’s Becky being similar to Laura Palmer, though. She, too, seems like she’s filled with secrets. There is an overhead shot of her as they drive away, and the high from the drugs kicks in, that is really beautiful. “I Love How You Love Me” by 60s pop girl group, The Paris Sisters, plays over it, giving it a dreamy quality. It reminds me of Mulholland Drive, as well.

Best scene of the night goes to this next one with Dr. Jacoby. “Iiiiiit’s 7 o’clock. Do you know where your freedom is?” Dr. Jacoby has a vlog (complete with props and sound effects) where he becomes Dr. Amp and rants about corporate conspiracies. He’s not just raging; he has a solution for it. And you can, too, for just $29.99 plus shipping . That’s right, those gold shovels were not for some mystical ritual to dig his way to the Black Lodge or whatever. They are to “shovel your way out of the shit and into the truth.” This insanity lasted a glorious five minutes, and I loved every second of it. His show is a hit with at least two Twin Peaks residents. Jerry is watching while he smokes his weed in the woods, and Nadine looks on with visible fondness. I bet she can appreciate Dr. Jacoby’s enterprising ideas, having had her own ingenious but useless invention. She also looks like she’s drinking a protein shake. Is she still ridiculously strong?

Cut from that to the Pentagon because why the heck not? Ernie Hudson (!) as Colonel Davis is told that there’s been another hit on Major Garland Briggs. That make 16 hits over the past 25 years. He assigns Lieutenant Cindy Knox to check it out even though it is probably “another wild goose chase.”

There’s a band playing on stage at The Roadhouse and I check the clock because I don’t want it to be over yet. It’s a psych out because we still have 12 minutes. Just when you think you’re noticing a pattern, Lynch is like nah, fool.

A guy sits at one of the booths smoking under a large No Smoking sign. He is asked to put his cigarette out, and responds, “Make me.” Deputy Chad in civilian clothes says he will handle it. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t, but instead asks for a cigarette. The guy gives him the pack and tells him to keep it. Chad looks inside and there is a wad of cash. He conspicuously winks at him before leaving. Ugh, Chad.

There is a cut to the band and a strobe light effect flashes for a moment. Flashing lights usually mean something. A girl in the booth next to the smoking guy asks for a light. He grabs her and basically tells her he’s going to rape her. It’s really very awful, and I felt uncomfortable watching it, not to mention disappointed that Lynch included this unnecessary scene of violence. Not until I heard a fan theory did my disappointment abate.

The smoking guy is credited as Richard Horne. First name is Richard which was mentioned by the Giant (or ???????) in Part 1, when he said, “Richard and Linda.” Last name is Horne which is the same as Audrey’s. The theory is that Audrey, who was so enamoured with Agent Cooper, was deceived by his evil doppelganger when he escaped the Black Lodge, leading them to have a child together. BOB represents pure evil and assaulting women is a purely evil act. It is also how BOB manifested in the original series and in Fire Walk With Me. If Richard is the spawn of BOB then this scene shows that and is, therefore, part of the story. If not, then it is a useless glorification of violence against women. I’m hoping it’s the former. This theory further speculates that Linda is the product of a union between Annie and Cooper, thus the antithesis of Richard.

This theory is pretty solid, and I think I am going with it. However, that means that poor Audrey was fooled into thinking she was with her beloved Cooper, and then had a demon child. That is not what I want for Audrey. Maybe she can be a vital part of fighting the evil. If this all checks out, I’m going to need some justice for Audrey.

Back in the prison, BOB/Cooper is given his private phone call. He teases the warden who he knows is watching and recording his call. “Should I call Mr. Strawberry? No, I don’t think he’s taking calls.” I would not be surprised if Mr. Strawberry turns out to be an actual character. He pushes a bunch of buttons on the phone — too many buttons for it be a real phone number — and everything goes haywire. Alarms ring, lights flash, BOB/Cooper calmly says into the phone, “The cow jumped over the moon.” He hangs up and all the commotion stops.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, we see that black box from the beginning. The lights flash, it beeps, and then crumples into a pebble-sized hunk of metal.

Cooper is waiting outside by the statue outside his office building. He’s been standing there for some time. The credits roll.

This episode sort of fooled you into thinking you could take a little breather from all the mystery, but as you look closer you see there is plenty to unpack. While it’s labor intensive, it is also really fun; and like with the original series, these images, and frames, and plot points will stick with you for years and years.

Stray Observations:
  • I love this character, Constance, played by Jane Adams. It’s great that she keeps showing up, and even better knowing now that she’s an amateur comedian. 
  • There are red balloons in the courtyard outside of where Dougie works. There was a red balloon in the house of the druggie mom and her kid and at Dougie’s house for Sonny Jim’s birthday.
  • “This is Dr. Amp doing the vamp for liberty. Climbing the ramp to justice. Lighting the lamp of freedom.” Dr. Amp is such a gift. Also, he would make a really rad Halloween costume. 
  • The band that is playing at The Roadhouse is Trouble. David Lynch’s son, Riley Lynch, plays guitar and Lynch’s sound supervisor, Dean Hurley, plays the drums.
  • Morley’s cigarette sighting!
  • Agent Tammy is looking at a photograph of Agent Cooper that looks like a movie still of him in The Black Lodge. How would the FBI have a photo of him in there?


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