Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 Recap: The Meeting Of Dale & Diane

Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
From the start of Twin Peaks, there has been a presence looming over the series: that of Diane, Special Agent Dale Cooper's secretary, who receives regularly, drivelly monologues from Cooper, usually containing the phrase "damn good coffee." When watching the original series, a friend of mine wondered aloud: I wonder when we'll meet Diane. We would never meet her in the original iteration.
But boy, did we meet her in 2017.
The crux of this episode is the meeting of Diane, played by Laura Dern, and the evil doppelganger, who, let's all agree, is not Special Agent Dale Cooper. She's dragged the by the bigwigs over at the FBI, who seem certain that she'll be able to figure him out.
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Sure enough, she says what we're all thinking: That's not Special Agent Dale Cooper. That's something else, and we don't know what. (It's the evil doppelganger.) As if we don't already hate the E.D. enough, the interplay between the two suggests that, before escaping to Rio or wherever he hid for 25 year, the E.D. hurt Diane in some way.
"Do you remember that night?" she asks, flexing her jaw, the angle of which makes a nice parallel with Dern's bleach blonde wig. It all seems to imply that the evil version of Cooper perhaps assaulted Diane or something of that nature.
In Twin Peaks, Sheriff Hawk is doing similar math. After uncovering a letter in the middle of a bathroom stall door (I really have to start storing things in those), Hawk learns that an early entry from Laura Palmer's journal seems to have a message about Cooper. That's the thing about those two: Though they never met in person, their fates were always interdependent.
The gist of this letter: "The good Dale is in the lodge, and he can't come out."
Seems pretty clear, no? Although, in my mind, the good Dale is in Dougie, and he can't come out.
Dougie, meanwhile, is somehow still not fired, despite basically being in vegetated state. (Is there some meta commentary in here about the state of employees at insurance companies? My brain hurts.) The police, led by the affable David Koechner, make their way to Dougie — law enforcement is never far away from our gambling pal. They're here to investigate his combusted car, but, like everyone else on the show, can't seem to get a word out of Dougie.
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Dougie seems to have rotten luck — at least, now that he has a wanted man inhabiting his body. The same hit man who bludgeoned a woman with an ice pick last week approaches Dougie as he and Janey-E leave his workplace. He has a gun, and he's aiming to kill. That Dougie survives isn't all that surprising — that Cooper seemingly arrives on the scene is. Dougie all of the sudden gains the reflexes of an FBI special agent and tosses his assailant to the ground.
"Squeeze his hand off," the brain-in-a-tree whispers to Dougie. It's emerged from between two cracks in the cement. When the assailant runs away, the braintree disappears, and Janey-E is just delighted. Her husband did a thing! An impressive thing! He held his own in a gunfight!
Now: About that body. The first episode introduced us to the head of Ruth Davenport and the body of... we don't know. A search on the prints proved vain because here were government blockages on searching those fingerprints. When Lieutenant Knox arrives on the scene, she wants to see the body. She's looking for Briggs, and these fingerprints are his, apparently. Trouble is, Briggs should be 7o by now.
Quick refresher: Briggs refers to Garland Briggs, the disappeared father of Bobby Briggs. The government has discovered over 16 prints that match his in the years since he disappeared.
As much as I loathe the evil doppelganger — Agent Cooper Sleazy, as I call him — he had to emerge from that prison cell. It's just no fun to have your most loathsome villain trapped. In this episode, he stages his escape with a fair amount of ease. There's some talk about a "dog leg" and very clear blackmailing with Warden Murphy and — ta-da! — he's equipped with an escape vehicle, and a friend. Evil Agent Cooper, please find your way to Sheriff Hawk. That's all I ask.
The episode ends somewhat bewilderingly with Beverly Paige (Ashley Judd), who works at the Great Northern Hotel in Twin Peaks. After investigating an eerie humming noise in the hotel, Beverly returns home to a sickly husband — he wants to know why she's home so late. I guess "I needed to what what that odd sound was" sounds fishy, so Beverly says she was doing "things."
Lastlyl, because this episode has been plot-heavy and not all that cheery — save for a giggle-worthy line about "some girl from Ipanema" — the credits roll over the diner, as Shelly serves coffee and pancakes. In some places in Twin Peaks, things are going just swimmingly. Or so it seems.
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