Episode 16 recap: Eddie Vedder welcomes Agent Cooper back to ‘Twin Peaks’

Well, Audrey and Charlie picked the right night to go to the roadhouse. Or…did they?

On the up side, they got to see Eddie Vedder, introduced as “Edward Louis Severson.” That’s the real name of the Pearl Jam frontman, which probably means the guy up there singing “Out of Sand” was the genuine article. That may or may not be true of Audrey, who experiences an out-of-body flash that’s followed by a reverse reprisal of “Audrey’s Dance.”

The idea that Dale Cooper might not be the only character who’s running around in duplicate was reinforced by the revelation that Diane — or at least the woman we thought was Diane — was also a doppelgänger, or “tulpa,” as Tammy calls it. Wikipedia defines “tulpa” as such:

Tulpa, or thoughtform, is a concept in mysticism of a being or object which is created through spiritual or mental powers. The term comes from Tibetan “emanation” or “manifestation.” Modern practitioners use the term to refer to a type of imaginary friend.

Okay, then. We discover the true nature of “Diane” when she’s shot, in self-defense, by Tammy and Albert. Having received an emoticon of death from Mr. C, Diane prepares to assassinate the FBI agents after revealing that on the much-discussed last night she saw the man she believed to be Cooper, he raped her and took her to a sort of service station. She doesn’t mention the flickering vagrants, but we can presume they were there if it’s the service station with which we’ve become increasingly familiar.

As for the man who’s actually Dale Cooper, he’s back. Fully awake after 15-and-a-half hours of television, Cooper emerges from the coma he induced by sticking a fork into a light socket and, as the series theme surges, responds to a mention of the feds by saying, “I am the FBI.”

Much has been made of the dense construction, high style, and confounded expectations of this return season, but David Lynch isn’t just here to toy with us: he knows where the heart of the show is, and in this episode he demonstrated that he’s finally ready to take us there for more than a glancing moment.

As Agent Cooper prepares to return to Twin Peaks (the town), he bids an emotional farewell to Dougie Jones’s family, who’ve been taking him for their own husband and father. Having instructed MIKE to make another tulpa, he assures Janey-E and Sonny Jim that he’ll be back, but Janey recognizes that this man isn’t the Dougie she married. She kisses him with passion anyway, and we’re left wondering whether a new Dougie will ever be able to live up to the half-awake Cooper.

It’s kind of an open question whether he — or anyone — will be able to live at all in the Vegas subdivision the family have called home. “What the f— kind of neighborhood is this?” asks Bradley Mitchum after watching a vigilante accountant exterminate Mr. C’s hit squad with an automatic pistol.

“People are under a lot of stress,” his brother explains.

Welcome though it was to see Tim Roth and Jennifer Jason Leigh on screen, we’re not too sad to see these characters go…and we’re even less sad to say goodbye to Richard Horne, who gets zapped into seeming oblivion after stepping onto the remote coordinates indicated by Mr. C. The doppelgänger’s reaction to this is less pained than that of the young man’s great-uncle, who watches from afar and blames his binoculars through his permanent hallucinogenic haze.

“Goodbye, my son,” says the evil Cooper, and suddenly everything makes sense. Well, almost.

Catch up with Twin Peaks: The Return

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