Welcome back to Buckhorn! Since I last wrote we have seen Parts 3, 4 and 5 of Twin Peaks: The Return. And we have seen very little of Buckhorn in these episodes, (only two scenes in fact) so I’ll also be covering the new locations of Arlington and Buenos Aires.
Starting in Buckhorn. In Part 4, we see Constance Talbot sitting at her desk, she calls to Dave Mackley that she has had a hit on the John Doe whose body was found alongside Ruth Davenport’s head. But this hit requires military clearance which is very strange. Alarm bells immediately go off in my mind, is this the body of Major Garland Briggs? The only person we know in the world of Twin Peaks so far who is in the US Air Force.
For those of you who watched Series 1 and 2 and read Mark Frosts incredible novel The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Major Briggs is about as beloved a character as you can find in the world of Twin Peaks, but initially, people thought he was a bully. In one of his first scenes, we saw him slapping the face of his bad-boy son Bobby, causing his cigarette to projectile splat into wife Betty’s meatloaf. But he was not an unkind father, he was a father who had lost his patience in a moment; we understood that later on, and realised that Bobby needed to show his father some respect, because this man is, without doubt, one of the greatest.
[Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t read the Secret History yet. I suggest you do and sharpish as it will make watching Series 3 an even more fascinating experience]:
The book is a dossier that was found at a crime scene on 17th July 2016. The dossier was found inside a large metal box which appears to have been constructed purely to house the dossier. Deputy Director Gordon Cole has assigned Agent Tamara Preston to find out who The Archivist is – who compiled the dossier – and report back to him post-haste.
This is in itself a bit of a strange quest as we learn at the end of the book that the Archivist is our Major Briggs. He openly admits this, so there isn’t really too much work for Tammy to do. So there has to be more to this? There are many hidden clues within the dossier – it really is a treasure chest – and there are so many inconsistencies to what we thought we knew of the world of Twin Peaks, but as Series 3 goes on, we are perhaps starting to understand why, and perhaps they are not inconsistencies after all. It will in some brain-muddling way make a kind of sense someday soon I am sure.
In the final pages of the dossier, we learn a lot more about Briggs’ abduction by unknown beings that happens in Series 2. This happens whilst on a fishing trip with Agent Cooper. He’s gone for 3 days and when he returns he has 3 triangle shapes branded on his neck. He is also wearing early 1900’s navigator garb, which he was not wearing when he left, as if he had travelled through time. Did something similar happen to Briggs as we now see happening to Cooper/Dougie? If you read Briggs’ description of where he visited during his abduction, places red and purple, it really does seem like they’ve travelled to the same places.
The morning after he awakens, and I quote, with a “stark and startling revelation. His subconscious mind had sifted through the jumbled wreckage of numbers and strange language”. And he was only gone three days! Imagine how much the Good Dale has to sift through after 25 years in the Lodge! Briggs knew now that, after the passing of Doug Milford, his new ‘Control’ person was to be Cooper, and that Briggs is to meet Agent Cooper, whom he assumes is his next contact to work with on Project Blue Book. Briggs is excited about this as he likes Coop very much. What Briggs didn’t know at the time was that Cooper himself had also disappeared into the Red Room, and the Coop he was about to meet was not our Special Agent, but his Doppelgänger. As soon as he met him though he was aware that, ‘Something’s wrong. Those words have been uttered a few times lately huh!
Briggs put out the M.A.Y.D.A.Y. message at that point, and that was all we knew. We suspected that Briggs may have been the victim of an untimely death at the hands of Doppelcooper, being that the dossier was found at a crime scene, but we knew nothing else until now.
Back in Twin Peaks, Deputy Bobby Briggs tells us that his father had died in a fire at his station 25 years ago (which would make the current time in Twin Peaks 2014) and that Cooper was the last person to see him alive. So what really did happen to Major Briggs?
Did he really die in a fire? And if so was Doppelcooper responsible for that fire? If the body is Briggs’ then it’s in remarkably good condition for a 25-year-old corpse. So, has he been on ice all that time? Or did he not really die at all? Was this an elaborate plan of Briggs’ to protect his wife and son? Did he fake his own death so that Dopplecooper didn’t go after Betty and Bobby too?
Bobby doesn’t seem to be lying when he says his father is dead, though admittedly we haven’t really seen enough of Bobby to know for sure yet. But I have a feeling that as far as he is aware his dad has been dead a long time. Maybe after the loss of his father and their moving moment in the RR Diner when Garland tells Bobby of his beautiful vision of his future, Bobby changed his bad-boy ways and becomes the honest cop he appears to be now.
In Part 3, in perhaps one of the most beautiful and bizarre scenes ever seen on television, we see the head of Major Briggs floating across space, reminding the Good Dale of the Blue Rose. This image may be another confirmation that the headless body is that of Garland Briggs. His head and spirit are there—wherever that is, a place between two worlds—forever trying to help Cooper solve the mystery. I felt pure joy seeing this. Don Davis who played Briggs passed away in June 2008, so to see him like this is a beautiful and fitting tribute.
If Briggs has been alive all this time, where has he been? And how is he connected to Ruth Davenport and Bill Hastings? Is there any connection?
We haven’t found out yet whether George the Lawyer is about to take the rap for Phyllis Hastings’ death. We know that Doppelcooper was the real murderer in that case and it’s pretty certain that he also killed Ruth Davenport in the same way, shot through the eye. We also now know for sure that BOB is still enjoying his time inhabiting Dopplecooper—I don’t think he’s always inside him though, I feel he comes and goes, perhaps inhabiting others and owls, travelling around. And in doing that he could easily have discovered that Briggs was still alive. Say he was hiding out in the woods somewhere; that would be a prime spot for an owl to keep a close eye.
Let’s get back to Ruth Davenport. Since my last article, I have watched Parts 1 and 2 a few more times and noticed a few more things.
Firstly, Marjorie Green, Ruth’s frustrating neighbour, said she had a key to Ruth’s apartment so that she can water her plants whilst she is away. Now we haven’t seen Ruth’s bathroom or kitchen admittedly, but from what we have seen of her apartment, there are no plants. Does this mean anything? I cannot possibly say at this point, but is there more to Marjorie than meets the eye? Or in that brief period of time when Officers Olson and Douglas were talking to Hank outside the apartment building, did someone give a key to Marjorie to give to the cops? If so: who and why?
The next thing I noticed this time was that when Officers Olson and Douglas are scanning Ruth’s apartment, slowly enough for you to take notice, Officer Douglas appears to look down at something, underneath the dresser in the living area. You can just about see the corner of what looks like a metal box. It’s almost impossible to tell at this point, but could this be the box that holds the dossier from The Secret History of Twin Peaks? This does not make sense time-wise. If this is, as what we see in the town of Twin Peaks, the year 2014, then really the dossier shouldn’t be found just yet. So if this is the dossier then this is must be 2016. I think it is becoming clearer that what we are seeing in Series 3 is not all set in the same year. These different plotlines are not happening linearly, and this is all part of the genius puzzle set by Lynch and Frost.
If this is the dossier, then why is it in Ruth’s apartment? As we know that Briggs was The Archivist, did he give it to her? Was she helping him? Was Bill Hastings helping him too? From what Bill said, he had a dream that he was in Ruth’s apartment the night she was murdered but he wasn’t really there. Does Bill have similar abilities to the Good Dale Cooper who also had intuitive dreams? Is this why he and Briggs were linked?
Then there is Betty, Bill’s Assistant. We haven’t met Betty yet. The only other Betty we know is Betty Briggs, wife of Garland. But I am not going to look too deeply into this just yet as there are many, many duplicate names. In this series alone we’ve already met three different Bill’s (Hastings, Kennedy, and Shaker), so this could easily be a brand new Betty. But I’ll be keeping a close eye. If it does turn out to be Betty Briggs then this could explain why Doppelcooper is so keen to find her, perhaps she knew more than what was let on about the work of her husband or even that he was still alive. If Garland was alive for the last 25 years then it’s possible he has found out a lot more about the Lodges during that time and Doppelcooper does not want that to be known.
The dossier only goes up to around the time of the assumed death of Briggs but with the revelation that there will be a “Final Dossier” released by Mark Frost at the end of this year, then maybe there is more information to be found.
In Part 5 we see one more scene in Buckhorn. Constance Talbot, (who is fast becoming my favourite new character!), explains to Detectives Dave Mackley and Don Harrison, in true gallows humour style, that it took her a while to work out but she’s pretty sure the cause of death for the John Doe was decapitation. The Detectives stare humourlessly back at her. She goes on to say that he hadn’t eaten anything for days leading up to his death but that she has found inside the stomach a wedding ring, inscribed with the words, ‘To Dougie, with love, Janey E’. The two Detectives look very puzzled.
So, this opens a whole new can of worms. Did Dougie, before he became Cooper, really have anything to do with Major Briggs? Or is this a set up by Doppelcooper to lead the Cops to the Good Dale to incarcerate him for Briggs’ murder? It appears that Dopplecooper has purposely summoned the Good Dale into the body of a man who’s dealing with several very precarious situations. If he doesn’t get shot, blown up, beaten to death or incarcerated for murder, he’ll be very lucky! Which, of course, he is, what with the White Lodge appearing to be fighting in his corner in Rancho Rosa.
Now how did Dougie’s ring get into the stomach of Major Briggs? My thoughts at this point are forced by Doppelcooper; he’s not a very pleasant chap. And let’s not forget, Dougie was wearing a ring when we saw the ‘real’ him, but not his wedding ring. Nope, in its place was the jade Owl Cave Ring, which once upon a time I thought I had all sussed out—that it protected you from being inhabited by BOB—but now I’m not so sure. Perhaps it has several powers. As well as making your arm go numb, perhaps it’s required for transportation to the Lodge? Who knows. That is a subject for someone else to delve into, I am sure!
The Pentagon, Arlington, VA
We arrive at a new location: The Pentagon, in Arlington, VA. Here we meet Colonel Davis (I hope his name is a little homage to Don Davis), and Lieutenant Cynthia Knox, who reports to Davis that there has been a database hit and prints found for Garland Briggs.
Davis asks her how many times this has happened, and Cynthia reveals that this is the 16th time. “Sixteen hits in, what, 25 years? And where has this one come from?” Davis asks. She tells him this is from the police in Buckhorn, South Dakota. Davis says he thinks that this will be another wild goose chase but they have to check it out, and sends Cynthia on her merry way, reminding her that if this is real, they have to alert the FBI. They salute each other and Cynthia says she’ll book a flight. “First Class Cynthia,” Davis says, she replies, “Yeah right!” If she doesn’t fly herself to Buckhorn, I’ll eat my hat!
So what on earth is going on here then? There have been database hits for Briggs 16 times in 25 years. We obviously don’t know what the previous hits were. Were they hits from when he was alive or apparently dead? They have all turned out to be false alarms, it appears, but even so, that is odd. Do they have their suspicions or even know for sure that Briggs is still alive, but maybe M.I.A. or A.W.O.L. or intentionally in hiding? Assuming the previous hits were also dead bodies, how can there be so many false alarms? (Is the number 16 a clue here?) And how will they know for sure that this body is the real body of Briggs (assuming it is)? We do know that he has one distinguishing feature—the three triangle branding on his neck from his abduction back in 1989. But the neck is not attached here; it may still be with his yet undiscovered head.
Whatever the case I’m sure Deputy Director Gordon Cole will be on the case shortly, and perhaps this is where they find the dossier. It’s all starting to come together now. Or is it?
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Right at the beginning of Part 5 we meet a previously unseen female, Lorraine, who has clearly taken a punch or two by the bruises on her face. She is very nervously talking to the two males who are trying to take out Dougie back in Rancho Rosa on the phone. They tell her that they cannot find him and he hasn’t returned to his car, she tells them that “This job should have been done yesterday! You’re going to get me killed!” She slams the phone down on Gene and then silently debates what to do, picks up a BlackBerry cellphone from her desk drawer. The BlackBerry is a clue here. Whilst they do still exist, this is not a current mobile phone used really these days or in 2014. It was 2003 when they started getting really popular, and this may tell us a little bit about what year we are seeing the plotline of Dougie Coop taking place. There are other hints to show that Dougie Land is not set in our current time, but that’s another story.
Back to the BlackBerry, Lorraine nervously starts typing into it. We hear a sort of dial connection sound. The scene cuts to a bare light bulb, covered in cobwebs, which seems to be inside maybe an attic or basement space of an unknown building. There we see a wooden bowl on the floor with a small, rectangular black box inside. Looks like a transmitter maybe, with 2 very small lights on the face of it. Back to the BlackBerry and we see her type in the word ARGENT 2.
At the very end, we visit a new location: Buenos Aires. Again we see this ‘transmitter’ in the bowl. This time the shot lingers. The two lights flash red then the transmitter changes shape, reduces down in size in a flash until it becomes what appears to be either a gold or silver nugget. The bowl is what looks like a sifting bowl for precious metals, and it could be that this place is not an attic or basement but a mine. These look like rail tracks to me.
So this is all very unexpected! Buenos Aires has always been a place of special interest. In Fire Walk With Me, and especially The Missing Pieces, this is where we first meet the missing Special Agent Phillip Jeffries, who is entering the reception of the Palm Deluxe Hotel. The clerk hands him his room keys and a note (presumably from Judy). It is from this hotel that Jeffries bizarrely vanishes and appears in Gordon Coles office in Philadelphia, where he asks us, “Who do you think that it there?” whilst pointing at Agent Cooper. After telling Cole, Rosenfield and Cooper about the Convenience Store meeting, and lamenting about, “The Ring”, the electricity causes the lights to flash on and off and the phones to stop working. Cole screams MAYDAY and Jeffries looks at the calendar on the wall and says “May 1989”. And with that, he is gone. We then see him return to the hotel stairwell in Buenos Aires in a puff of smoke and in a world of pain. The bellhop literally shits himself out of fear.
This is getting good now. I can’t really even begin to imagine what all this means yet, but we are a little closer now perhaps to finding out where and what Jeffries has been up to all this time. Jeffries was of course played by David Bowie, so goodness only knows what or who we will see now that he is sadly no longer with us. Whatever it is, it is going to be bigger and better than our wildest dreams.
ARGENT 2. Lorraine obviously did something quite incredible by sending that code. Does Argent purely relate to Argentina? Or silver, as that is the meaning of the word? It also relates to Moon—which a cow just jumped over, or so Doppelcooper tells us! All the plotlines are starting to intertwine now, but I will be back with perhaps more about the mysteries of Ruth Davenport, Major Briggs and Phillip Jeffries next Wednesday.
All Images courtesy of Showtime/CBS unless stated otherwise