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Twin Peaks Recap: Episodes 3 And 4 Push Several Agent Coopers To The Limit

In spite of its relentless surrealism, the two-hour premiere of Twin Peaks Season 3 threw reality-based viewers a bone by introducing a new murder mystery involving a high school principal. A few episodes later, it seems that story has been largely forgotten by writers David Lynch and Mark Frost, as they drift further and further over the edge, embracing every bizarre new idea that pops into their heads. When we last saw Agent Cooper, he was trapped inside that mysterious glass box in New York. As episode three begins, he wanders out of the box, arriving somewhere in outer space.

Before long, Cooper turns back and finds himself in a one-way conversation with yet another backwards-talking weirdo, a woman who reassures him that “when you get there, you will already be there.” During this exchange, Lynch brings us back to the evil long-haired Cooper, whose driving skills and general well-being seem to be getting de-stabilized by the experiences of the other Agent Cooper. Moments after good Coop gets sucked into a speaker—this guy’s body can do anything—bad Coop spins out of control, crashing his vehicle.

At this point, Lynch dares to introduce a third Cooper, though this one is known as Dougie Jones. Shortly after handing over a wad of cash to a topless woman named Jade, Dougie gets severely nauseated, as does evil Cooper. (Lynch has no qualms about the confusion of intercutting between all these Coopers.) As extreme sickness manifests, Dougie winds up in the Red Room, where he loses his head.

Back in the “real world” of Dougie, good Cooper enters the room—through an electrical socket—and takes his lookalike’s place. Mistaking Cooper for Dougie and believing he’s undergone a sudden makeover, Jade is perplexed by his newly non-verbal state. Eventually, she drops him off at the Silver Mustang Casino and instructs him to get medical help. Instead, he turns his attention to a flame-like image of the Red Room that guides him to 30 consecutive slot machine jackpots.

Still hot as ever, Cooper heads for the exit, ultimately arriving at the home of Dougie. While his “wife” (Lynch veteran Naomi Watts) greets him with a slap and complains about his three-day absence, she settles down when Cooper hands over his big bag of casino winnings. The following morning, he enjoys a truly bizarre encounter with Dougie’s son, who can’t stop chuckling about his fake dad’s look.

Along with this bogus family reunion, episode four gives Agent Cole (David Lynch himself) a chance to take centre stage, as he investigates evil Cooper and the couple killed near the glass box in episode one. Along with Agent Albert (Miguel Ferrer, who died earlier this year), Cole shares the screen with his old friend Denise (David Duchovny, reprising his memorable, pre-X-Files role from Season 2).

Overall, episode four is a less surreal affair than episode three, offering screen time to an assortment of series regulars, but it also features Michael Cera as the son of Andy and Lucy. Anyone who doubts that he’s impersonating Marlon Brando’s character in The Wild One need look no further than the end credits for proof. Although his parents’ last name is Brennan, this young man is identified as Wally Brando.

By the time episode four comes to an end, Agents Cole and Albert are severely concerned, but Twin Peaks shows no signs of revealing what’s really going on—and that’s what makes this revival such a refreshing treat. It keeps bombarding viewers with urgent dream logic, but Lynch never explains the mysteries away.

Twin Peaks episodes three and four will air next Sunday on TMN,  but you can stream the first four episodes right now on CraveTV and TMN GO. Also check out our series primer on who’s dead, who’s alive, and who just wants pie.