On the middle of “The Return, Half 9” is Maj. Briggs’ message to his son. And it is a message to his son, although Garland informed Betty Briggs (Charlotte Stewart) to ship the little metallic cartridge to Bobby, Hawk, and Sheriff Truman (“I didn’t know it might be this Sheriff Truman”) when the time got here. The Main coded his map so solely Bobby will know its reference factors, however that’s not all. He hid the message in a mechanism that his son—and, among the many Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Division, solely his son—is aware of learn how to open.
The way in which to open this mysterious cylinder isn’t to fiddle with it. There are not any latches or locks that may yield to poking and prodding. It’s a must to take heed to this thriller, and you must discover a option to make it vibrate on the proper frequency. Seeing Bobby Briggs fling the cylinder to the pavement, then chase after it to scoop it up, it’s apparent that opening the puzzle is not any chore. It’s a pleasure.
There’s a lovely metaphor right here, and one which’s in step with Dale Cooper’s philosophy, and normally with David Lynch’s narrative method. It’s the illogical logic of yielding to instinct somewhat than easy investigation. Sadly, “The Return, Half 9” doesn’t observe its personal recommendation. There’s a lot info packed into this episode, however nevertheless stylishly introduced or wittily framed it’s, getting all of it out feels just a bit bit like a chore.
There’s been a variety of discuss (not least from David Lynch) about viewing the revival of Twin Peaks much less as a tv sequence and extra as an 18-hour film. However that is the primary episode that suffers badly from the episodic nature of its broadcast. After the spectacular (and, for some, difficult) “Half eight” and per week’s break, it’s not shocking “Half 9” tries to ease viewers again in by returning to the construction of a procedural. It’s a little shocking to see these procedural components, which Lynch and Frost usually grasp with such aptitude, introduced clumsily.
A couple of scenes into “The Return, Half 9,” I turned to my partner (additionally a TV critic, and in addition a Twin Peaks fan since its unique broadcast) and mentioned—oh, so gently—“I don’t imply this as a slight, however this jogs my memory of the Diane Keaton episode.” By episode’s finish, I’d reconsidered that evaluation. Not the half about “Half 9” reminding me of what’s arguably the worst Twin Peaks episode. The half about it not being a slight.
Just like the Keaton-directed “Episode 22,” (often known as “Slaves and Masters”), “The Return, Half 9” has a variety of items to maneuver across the chessboard. On this episode: Darkish Coop walks away from the depredations of the woodsmen after Ray’s assault; Chantal and Hutch present Darkish Coop with medical care and a “clear cellphone”; with that cellphone, he texts a cryptic message (“Across the dinner desk, the dialog is vigorous”) to Diane; the Las Vegas police study there’s no hint of Dougie Jones’ existence previous to 1997; Darkish Coop places a success on Warden Murphy and reminds Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) of the still-outstanding hit on Dougie; Garland Briggs’ message, together with the meta-message of his anticipation that they’ll come calling for it, is revealed; Gordon confides in Diane that he’s chasing one other Blue Rose case. If that’s not sufficient info overload, the world of Twin Peaks is as soon as once more escaping the confines of the tv display screen with the “unusual little weblog” William Hastings maintained with Ruth Davenport, which supplies loads of hyperlinks to maintain us busy till subsequent week.
However we already know most of this. Dougie didn’t exist as a result of he was manufactured for a goal. Darkish Coop needs Dougie lifeless. The Blue Rose case remains to be a Blue Rose case. The Main’s freshly lifeless physique is the age he was on the time of his presumed demise 25 years in the past. This isn’t information; it’s a sequence of reminders. When Gordon Cole invitations Albert Rosenfield—two individuals given to recondite dialog and leaps of logic—to “suppose out loud,” it’s disappointing to listen to them launch right into a recitation of info that begins with “as .”
Even the brand new info—essentially the most placing of which is Invoice’s weblog exploring the potential for contact with different dimensions—is delivered with surprisingly little grace. A few of this lack of grace is intentional, or no less than it’s lampshaded by the writing and performances. In a single scene, Jerry Horne is paralyzed by the conviction that his foot will not be his foot, and his assaults on it go away him greatly surprised within the dust. In one other, as Diane and Gordon bond on the Buckhorn PD doorstep, Agent Tamara Preston’s repertoire of provocative stances dissolves into self-conscious fidgeting. The latter is very gratifying, because it signifies that David Lynch and Chrysta Bell each understand Agent Preston’s self-presentation is gratingly false.
It’s not simply the transformation of Twin Peaks’ attribute off-beat tone into self-conscious stylistic tics that jogs my memory of “Episode 22.” It’s, fairly actually, the posturing. “Half 9” is filled with deliberately staged teams paying homage to the corporate of drummers who cater to Benjamin Horne’s season-two delusion, although right here it’s much less affected and more practical
In “Half 9,” again and again, characters—and particularly investigators—are framed as trios. First, there’s the unlikely workforce of three brothers working collectively as detectives in Las Vegas. They examine instances collectively, they chortle uncannily on the similar unfunny jokes, they flip in unison on cue. As they take Ike “The Spike” into custody, their posture is mirrored by three unnamed officers on the different finish of the lodge hall.
Bobby, Hawk, and Sheriff Truman make a extra competent group however simply as distinctive a trio. They arrive at Betty Briggs’ residence collectively, refuse espresso in unison, then cheerfully and in unison settle for her second provide of espresso after she delivers the Main’s message. They mill into, round, and out of the police station collectively.
There’s no narrative cause for his or her encounter with Chad (John Pirruccello), who’s stinking up the convention room together with his forbidden lunch, besides to strengthen how little they like or belief their fellow officer… and to strengthen the unity of their group by excluding a fourth individual from it. Even Lucy, whom they like and belief, loudly excludes herself from their firm, saying she’s “not right here” and waving them off as she eats her lunch in her cubicle.
The third group of investigators is essentially the most fluid. Gordon, Albert, and Tamara; Gordon, Diane, and Tamara; Diane, Gordon, and Albert. They’re touring collectively, however they preserve breaking and recombining into completely different trios and pairs, looking for a steadiness simply as they’re looking for (and, every in their very own means, frightened of discovering) an answer to the thriller across the man they preserve calling “Cooper” despite the fact that they know higher.
“The Return, Half 9” is jam-packed with info very important to the the present’s mysteries, however it feels disappointingly like half filler, half exposition machine. Like “The Return, Half 1 & 2” and “The Return, Half three & four,” “Half 9” may need benefitted from a double-episode broadcast, both as an anchor to “Half eight” (although it’s exhausting to think about something following that making a lot of an impression, and that’s doubly true of the check-the-boxes revelations of tonight’s episode) or coupled up with no matter Twin Peaks has in retailer for us subsequent week.
As so usually on tv, and particularly on Twin Peaks, it isn’t what’s mentioned however the way it’s mentioned that makes essentially the most impression. Even in its untidy data dump, “The Return, Half 9” manages to layer emotional connections into in any other case unrelated moments. Consider Betty Briggs recounting the Main’s message, including, “He squeezed my shoulders when he informed me this.” Within the FBI airplane banking above South Dakota, as Gordon breaks the information to Diane that they’re making yet another cease earlier than he lets her go residence, he tells her, “That is vital and it may very well be of curiosity to you,” and—intently, repeatedly, and really clearly—he squeezes her shoulder.
An analogous unstated second of connection happens when Dougie/Cooper, sitting blankly within the ready room whereas the police evaluation his file, drinks espresso from a mug with a badge on it, stares at a flag, and glances at an nameless lady in crimson pumps (echoes of Audrey Horne’s first look) and appears to listen to whispers of who he as soon as was. That trace of Dale Cooper surfacing is extra inspiring than a whole episode of connecting the dots.
- It’s taking place once more: After Det. Mackley sums up the particulars of the Invoice Hastings case—murdered librarian’s head discovered with Maj. Briggs’ physique, suspect’s spouse murdered presumably by suspect’s lawyer, suspect’s alibi lifeless in an explosion—Albert’s “What occurs in season two?” is greater than a quip. It recollects the season-two premiere, when Dale Cooper is shocked by all of the motion that takes place throughout one busy evening whereas he’s out of motion. “Leo Johnson was shot. Jacques Renault was strangled. The mill burned. Shelly and Pete acquired smoke inhalation. Catherine and Josie are lacking. Nadine is in a coma from taking sleeping capsules,” Lucy recounts. Dazed, Cooper asks, “How lengthy have I been out?”
- It’s taking place once more, once more: Who anticipated the return of Johnny Horne? He’s performed right here not by Robert Davenport, who performed him within the pilot, nor by Robert Bauer, who performed him subsequently, however by stuntman Eric Rondell.
- “The Seek for the Zone is primarily maintained by Invoice Hastings, with occasional contributions from Heinrich Viegel.” Any guesses who Heinrich Viegel goes to be?
- Sky Ferreira is convincingly grubby as Ella, leaving me equally anxious about her drug behavior, her lacking time, and her ugly armpit rash.