By this point, it is apparent that Twin Peaks: The Return is living up to its title. It’s a show about returning, about long-delayed homecomings, and not just for the characters one would expect. Dale Cooper — the old Dale Cooper — remains absent, but his current persona, Dougie Jones, shows a brief glimmer of awareness in Part 15. As a character on his TV screen mentions the name Gordon Cole, Dougie scrambles, mashing the remote to cut off the feed. His gaze turns toward an electrical socket, like the one he emerged from in Part 3, and it draws him in with the same, incessant humming that runs through the power lines of Twin Peaks whenever the Black Lodge is active.
A journey into darkness
While Dougie-Cooper is on a journey of self-discovery, his doppelgänger undertakes one of his own, showing up at the convenience store where the Woodsmen dwell. The precise relationship between the doppelgänger and the Woodsmen remains ambiguous. When Ray shot him, the doppelgänger lay in the woods, seemingly devoured by Woodsmen before rising up, healed. Here, he simply informs them he wants to see Phillip Jeffries, and they usher him through.
The doppelgänger’s journey through the convenience store is an eerie voyage into darkness, but in typical Twin Peaks fashion, it leads him not to a twisted hellscape, but something more mundane — a quiet motel. When he reaches the locked door of Jeffries’ room, the doppelgänger turns to see a woman shambling toward him. It’s a perfect distillation of Lynchian horror: A woman who, on the surface, is perfectly ordinary, rendered disturbing by her stilted gait, by the shadows draped over her, and by the long time Lynch leaves the camera still, as she seem to approach not just the false Cooper but the audience as well.
Inside, Cooper’s doppelgänger finds Phillip Jeffries. David Bowie’s death precluded any chance for Jeffries to make a proper return; the show has so far settled for old footage of the actor from the theatrical film Fire Walk with Me, but Part 15 finds a unique way to bring him back, depicting him as a giant teapot speaking in a voice approximating Bowie’s exaggerated southern accent.
Jeffries, like every denizen of the Lodge, prefers to speak cryptically, and it’s nice to see that even the doppelgänger finds himself confused and distressed by the riddles. In this case, Jeffries directs him to call a woman named Judy, whom he says Cooper has met. Given how Jeffries seems to think the doppelgänger is the actual Cooper, he is likely referring to a character from Cooper’s past, with whom the doppelgänger is not familiar.
The doppelgänger’s confusion — alarm, even — is refreshing. For so much of the show, he has been a juggernaut, destroying anyone in his path without a hint of fear. Dealing with the spirits of the Lodge, he shows an all too human worry. The exchange between dark Cooper and Jeffries illuminates the differences between the doppelgänger and his predecessor. Where Cooper had an inquisitive mind and sought to feel out answers, the doppelgänger tries to break through to revelations with a sledgehammer, demanding answers.
Where is Audrey, really?
Part 15 checks in with Audrey, still arguing with Charlie about her desire to go to the Roadhouse and find Billy. Whereas before, Audrey wanted to leave while Charlie protested, Audrey is now the one waffling. Charlie, now dressed up, chides her to put on her coat, reminding her that it was her idea in the first place. Irate, she deflects, and eventually pounces on Charlie, shouting how she hates him.
What exactly is going on with Audrey? Taken on a literal level, she is simply living with a husband she doesn’t love, afraid to leave the house and go to the Roadhouse. It seems more likely, however, given her erratic behavior and Charlie’s attempts to get her to make a decision that Audrey is in some kind of limbo. Although Richard Horne confirms that he is Audrey’s son — a fact that dark Cooper regards as important information, given that he takes Richard with him rather than kill him — the show has not revealed anything else about what happened with Audrey between her coma at the end of the original series and now. It could be that she is still in that coma, her mind constructing a scenario to coax her to return.
- ‘Part 16’ of ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ offers a quickening pace, welcome answers
- ‘Twin Peaks’ explained, ‘Part 14:’ Such stuff as dreams are made of
- ‘Twin Peaks’ explained, ‘Part 13’: Making sense of Cooper’s evil doppelgänger
- ‘Twin Peaks’ explained, ‘Part 12’: Show’s ‘bad’ acting better conveys emotions
- ‘Twin Peaks’ explained: ‘Part 11’ rejects a nostalgic view of time