Twin Peaks “The Return, Part 3”


The entire first 15 minutes of “Part 3” with Cooper in the purple/red realm is absolutely indescribable. It operated like a lucid dream where one would be lucky to recount its mood half as accurately to someone else upon waking. David Lynch, however, somehow summoned this from his mind and put it on screen, fully realized. Between the girl with no eyes, the hauntingly shrill, yet muffled sounds she made when trying to communicate to Cooper, and the use of jumping back and forth constantly between frames, it resulted in one of the most artful and otherworldly sequences I’ve ever seen on screen. The constant skipping around puts you at such unease to the point where you just have to give in to it. I felt a constant physical sensation of imminent shivering throughout, a release of fear, but I didn’t allow myself to because I invited David Lynch to play on it and pull me deeper and deeper into the strange… trusting to come out the other side somewhere wonderful. Pretty much how I approach any Lynch film.

When I consider the concept of life, I sometimes think of a petri dish with small microscopic organisms, all following a certain set of rules and functions. It’s so alien to us, yet it’s all in our same universe and completely within our access, properly studied. Then I think of the ocean, and how the deeper you go, the more abstract and mysterious the marine life gets (same could most definitely be said the farther you go out into space). To me, this scene was that for me. It exists in the deepest trench of the universe, so far removed from the concept of time and space and our familiar rules. However, despite all of that, the will to thrive as a living organism still extends to this mysterious world. The lady with no eyes notions Cooper to keep quiet when the banging is heard and warns Cooper with a translation of danger if he’s to go towards the strange mechanism, finally motioning him towards a door for safety. Even when she pulls the switch upon the floating construct, the sense of danger is present, and Cooper feeling sympathy for this girl being tossed into space, proves that emotion also extends to this distant pocket of a world. The stars and deep space surrounding Cooper in this moment plays as a necessary backdrop to ‘the unknown’ which is what I’ve always thought of in regards to the blue rose in FWWM, being of the mystery or unknown that people can just never know, not because Lynch is holding it back to confound you but because ‘the unknown’ is a very real thing.

*From the lever pulled, to Major Brigg’s sideways projection, it was very reminiscent to the intro of Eraserhead which I’ve watched again recently. I’m wondering if the mechanism was set to return to the mysterious glass box where the creature is slicing up Sam and Tracey (explaining the forewarned slicing motion the lady makes) and by her pulling the lever, the destination for Cooper to return to the real world would change, hence the swapping of Dougie at Rancho Rosa. This would also explain the number on the mechanism changing as if it’s an elevator.

“When you get there…you will…already be there.” – Ronette

We can assume this relates to Dougie, the version of Cooper that exists almost like an anomaly from all this switching/traveling between dimensions business.

“You’d better hurry…my mother’s coming.”


Perhaps by mother, she’s referring to mother nature or whatever higher power dictates the rules of this place. Shooing Cooper like he’s a teenage boy who climbed through Ronette’s second story window suggests that what they’re doing is wrong or betrays the rules, therefore Dougie, becoming somewhat of a third version, manufactured, in order for Cooper to return to the real world. Whatever was constantly banging from beyond this room didn’t seem to want to permit this. My question from here is whether it was Bob or maybe Jeffries that was behind this? Some other supernatural force? In “Part 2”, Bob said he had a plan in order to not return to the black lodge. Electricity, however, became a factor in all of this which reminds me of Jeffries’ disappearance/reappearance in the film, while also explaining Bob’s crashing and vomiting garmonbozia as if it is something he was hoping to prevent. Dougie is revealed to have a numb arm due to wearing the ring and later tells Mike in the red room that he feels funny. I took ‘funny’ as in being something created outside of nature and it seemed fitting that as soon as we were introduced to him, he seems to be in a place where he doesn’t belong. The entire development of Rancho Rosa comes off manufactured as well, but that could just be a mere decision in aesthetics to match the feeling in regards to Dougie.

As Dougie’s head pops in the red room and we’re met with this gray, ugly head, it appeared strikingly similar to the creature the attacked Sam and Tracey. Whereas those two looked straight at it in horror before becoming violently mutilated, Mike makes sure to shield his eyes. Is this the creature that was banging in the beginning of the episode, similar to the banging that occurred before breaking through the mysterious glass box? Does the lady with no eyes benefit in this creature’s presence from having no eyes? Does the creature represent the truth we’re never meant to see or know?

We meet Jade, Dougie’s girlfriend, who ultimately serves as a guide for him, echoing similar instructions to Laura Palmer’s “you can go out now”, but then even her reminder to him that he’s missing his shoes felt like it was taking on a larger meaning as it alluded to the parallel world where Cooper left his shoes behind as he went through the mechanism. Not only does Cooper hold the key to the Great Northern Hotel, an initial token to the Cooper we know, but it also becomes the key to his survival (also having just passed Sycamore Street) as he drops it after a speed bump and the hitman misses his shot. Too much of a comedic coincidence for the universe not to be playing an important role in ensuring Cooper’s safety after this bizarre anomaly that’s occurred. It strikes me as weird too in how over the top and specifically customized that rifle was, like a toy, yet implied as completely necessary. Almost as if the guy can afford to be eccentric when tasked with correcting the universe. A shot that has to count. Jade’s yellow Jeep also stands out blatantly in contrast to the paler color scheme of the neighborhood, making for an easy target.

Is it just me or do you feel overwhelmed with having to keep note of numbers? 430 was the hint from the giant. 253, time and time again, which was the time Bob began to spiral out on the road, also synced by Ronette in the parallel realm. 315 is the room to the Great Northern hotel, but I’m only really noting that because it just another three digit number. 119 is what the addict kept reciting from across the street of the house where Dougie and Jade were. Every time a door is shown with a number on it, I note it but then forget and the only reason I don’t write it all down is because I know the more I do, the more confused I’m going to get in trying to crack whatever it could possibly mean. For now though, 430 and 119 are high on the list of remembering, seeing as 253 may have already fulfilled its purpose as the time of the anomaly and 315 is probably no more than just a room number. Who knows? I’m sure the use of numbers is going to sprout many mathematical theories in the future when the season is all said and done.

Other than reciting 119, the addict at Rancho Rosa was given a significant amount of screen time as she takes a pill, washed down with a bottle of Jack Daniels, but didn’t offer mush else. I suppose we’ll see more of her later on or perhaps she could just represent something. This is an episode by the way, that doesn’t lend itself to material that could all stand on its own and not even in the usual serialized sense. In other words, I actually find parts 3 and 4 to be much more essential to watch together, whereas I felt that part 1 and part 2 are more prone to be watched separately if you wanted to, even if Lynch may have intended for it to be viewed together considering that’s how it was presented. Overall, it’s an episode like this that proves that these 18 episodes aren’t designed to be reviewed week by week, despite the fact that I’ll continue to do so, because it’s not as if I can wrap up a single hour with some self-contained theme or element. It’s all continuing and as previously noted, we’re still in pretty much act 1 of a single film being 4 episodes in.

At the same time, “Part 3” does follow a theme of chance, hope, and the impossible. Cooper has been brought back to our world under the most unusual and unlikely circumstances. I think this is what made his jackpot winnings at the Silver Mustang Casino all the more unnerving. It’s as if his existence has broken the law of probability, which in turn, can extinguish hope when the universe is just committing to your good fortune. As funny or weird as it is, and how Cooper being the subject of such a fringe event puts emphasis on how important he is, this is a phenomenon that diminishes his individual self. He has always strived for and achieved good fortune from his own doing through individual spirit and good nature. Throughout this episode, he’s brought from point A to B to C by the means of being instructed and physically pushed along by outside forces. He knows how to walk and parrot phrases, but he’s generally directionless and I find it pretty impressive that the show has been able to naturally move him along without it being tedious or sacrificing the fact that Jade or the Casino employees aren’t aware of the cosmic jetlag that he’s under. From there, I can only touch on how perfectly eerie it is that the red room is marking particular gaming machines as if in some odd attempt to fix things or for some greater plan. Is it a trick? Is it the white lodge or the black lodge that’s trying to guide Cooper right now? I’ve always been confused in distinguishing the lodges to begin with.

To continue the tour beyond the boundaries of Twin Peaks, we are brought to FBI headquarters, Philadelphia where Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield provide a briefing for their agency regarding clues to a killer in Georgetown. Unless I’m mistaken, this case seems unrelated but the show took the time to bring our attention to it. The following items being (and feel free to correct me):

– photo of blonde lingerie model
– pliers
– photo of 2 girls sunbathing
– photo of young boy in sailor suit
– an uzi pistol with a silencer
– jar of seeds/pebbles

After the room subsides, Tammy presents video from New York of Sam and Tracey’s death, where it turns out the creature was caught in a frame from one of the digital recordings. I’m still going with my theory that the security which was gone after having watched this building and apartment for 24 hours a day were under orders to leave, perhaps from the billionaire knowing that the phenomenon would occur that night. I don’t know. At this point, learning of the billionaire’s identity (who I believe Patrick Fischler’s Duncan Todd answers to) is just as compelling as learning of a killer in a murder mystery. The fact that the FBI are clueless on this matter makes it even more eerie, but I will say, it is reassuring to have Gordon and Albert introduced to lead us through the dark. They get a call from Black Hills, South Dakota where Cooper has supposedly been found. Their sense of urgency upon hearing this, accurately portrayed the feeling of not seeing a good friend in 25 years. I loved it.

Another beautiful transition to the roadhouse as we bow out with The Cactus Blossoms’ “Mississippi”. This is a song that reminded me of the beginning of Cooper dropping into the purple realm where before entering the room he had that view of the open water (or sea). From there, the song elicits a feeling of being far away and waiting for an arrival. Again, I just think of Cooper, being the central conflict where as an audience we anticipate his return. Just a reminder, in the season 2 finale, the last shot over the credits is a cup of coffee with Laura Palmer’s face inside. For me, this felt like a transition, whereas Laura Palmer’s homecoming picture, being a symbol of her innocence or how she was viewed at the surface, a cup of coffee would serve as Dale Cooper’s symbol. In my opinion, he is certainly the subject of the show’s mystery now just as much as Laura was.

Some missing pieces:

– Donut disturb. I love that amidst all the confusion and dark subject matter, the show is still seamlessly host to such lighthearted charm. Hawk, with the help of Andy and Lucy. continues to follow the log lady’s clues regarding Cooper’s disappearance. I love how Hawk is playing the straight man who out of the three would have the best chance to cracking this puzzle, yet he’s so stumped to the point of Andy and Lucy being just as competent, if not, more in the chances of solving this. “Let’s sit down…let me sit down” expresses Hawk’s attempt to gain a modicum of traction, yet comically shows him as a step behind. “It’s not about the bunny!/Is it about the bunny?” is also great.

– Dr. Jacoby uses gold spray paint for his collection of shovels. If there was ever a scene to highlight the feeling of waiting and anticipation, this is it. Jacoby is like the Mike Ehrmantraut of Twin Peaks right now.

– I loved Gordon Cole’s office with an enlarged photo of a nuclear explosion behind his desk, properly positioned between him and Albert as they’re getting a bombshell of a phone call. The mishearing jokes from Gordon were also funny. It took me a second watch to catch the radio joke after Albert’s, “The Black Hills…seriously?”.

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