Welcome back to South Dakota—this week, I will, as always, be covering the Buckhorn storyline.
My initial reaction to S3 Part 12 was ‘underwhelmed’. This may be because we have been treated to a tremendous amount of action, surprise, exquisite visuals, and an emotional rollercoaster thus far. The title ‘Let’s Rock’ perhaps promised a throwback to the Little Man From Another Place rubbing his hands together in the Red Room or the mystery surrounding Chet Desmond’s disappearance, but this was not that type of episode. It was dialogue-heavy, but in the same breath, there were a lot of long silent moments.
At first, I thought that very little happened; we didn’t move on with the story, I have heard a lot of viewers calling it a filler episode, but upon subsequent re-watches, I have completely changed my mind. This was more like the original Twin Peaks series we know and love—and those moments of silence and all those little clues in the dialogue might mean that this is one of the most essential parts so far.
We start the show in South Dakota at a hotel called the Mayfair, where Albert and Tammy sit in a private room, with dark red drapes, a few bottles of wine are presented on the table. Gordon Cole is scanning the room with some sort of hand-held electric device, checking its clear of bugs? Spirits? Magnetic fields? Goodness knows what he’s up to in all honesty; he’s got his own M.O.
Albert pours Tammy a glass of wine and tells her that it’s a good job that Gordon stocks the wine from his cellar. “No you be the one to tell her“, Gordon mishears. Albert leans towards Tammy to whisper, “Ignore the strange man”, they giggle, and then the three of them sit and raise a glass, ‘to the bureau!’.
Albert tells Tammy what she needs to know, and Gordon reminds them both to speak “succinctly, without loud sharp noises”.
“In 1970, the United States Airforce shut down Project Blue Book, the 20 year investigation into UFO’s. They concluded that no credible evidence existed therefore they posed no threat to National Security. In other words, a massive cover up. Cheers”. The three clink their glasses.
“A few years later the military and FBI formed a top secret task force to explore the troubling abstractions raised by cases Blue Book failed to resolve. We called it the ‘Blue Rose’ after a phrase that was uttered by a woman in one of these cases just before she died, which suggested that these answers could not be reached except by an alternate path that we have been travelling ever since.” — Very interesting! We have always wondered why it was called the Blue Rose; many assumed it was because a blue rose is not a natural phenomenon on earth, something not from this planet or at least not something that we understand to be from our world. And that is still true, but there was a reason why this woman said what she did in her dying breaths. Who was she? Was this the infamously mysterious Judy? It is certainly possible. Was Jeffries first task on the Blue Rose Task Force to investigate that woman’s death? We know he went to Judy’s place. That is where he saw the meeting above the Convenience Store. Was Judy much like Laura Palmer? A girl tormented by the forces of darkness? Whatever her story, it appears that someone was there to witness her final words. Did she choose death as an escape rather than letting the darkness in, just like Laura? Was this woman the same girl we saw swallowing the frogmoth in Part 8?
It is interesting to note that Major Briggs’ final words may also have been ‘Blue Rose’. His words were a message to Agent Cooper, perhaps to remind him of his task ahead. But maybe there is more to it. What did they both see in their final moments? Could it have been the same as what Laura Palmer saw, while she cried tears of joy, her laughter giving us hope of a better place — that’s it’s all going to be ok, electric blue lighting up her beautiful face. Does your White Lodge have a garden of blue roses?
“Gordon suggested an Agent named Phillip Jeffries head the squad. He soon recruited three others, myself, Chet Desmond and Dale Cooper. Perhaps you haven’t failed to notice that I am the only one of that group that hasn’t disappeared without explanation. Which has led to a certain reluctance on Gordon’s part to bring new blood into the fold. Until tonight.”
Albert looks at Tammy warmly and tells her, “You have been on our radar since you made the honours list at George Washington High and not to mention the Deans list at MIT, and top of your class at Quantico.” Tammy, who looks a little stunned and nervous, says, “You’re asking me to join the Blue Rose Task Force?”, “Yep”, replies Albert, and without hesitation, Tammy responds, “I’m in”. She doesn’t squeal with delight (Gordon must have been expecting it could happen hence the request for no loud, sharp noises); she smiles with genuine honour and pride.
Well, there you have it, Tammy haters. She is NOT just a pretty face and sultry wiggler. Tammy Preston is the first female FBI Agent on the Blue Rose Task Force. She’s got the skills! You know me, I have been a fan of Tammy from the start, and I am pleased that she has been given this opportunity considering she is one of the few officers of the law we have seen actually doing any investigative work, and that she took on the role knowing what danger she might be faced with. She’s bold and beautiful.
Gordon receives a text and tells them that Diane is on her way. Albert tells her that he’ll fill her in with all the details in the morning. Gordon turns up his hearing aid and raises his glass, “to Tammy and the Blue Rose”.
Diane steps into the room through the red velvet curtains, cigarette in hand. Albert pours her a drink. “I like it on the rocks“, she tells him. “You’re in luck, the Dakotas are still in the ice age“. Albert goes on, “Diane, we know your work with Agent Cooper has given you more than a passing insight into the Blue Rose and even though you are no longer part of the bureau we’d like to Deputise you“, “on a temporary basis, because we really need your help“, Gordon adds. Diane asks what’s in it for her, and Albert tells her not much, some cash but not much and maybe the satisfaction of finding out what happened to her friend Cooper. After a pause for thought, she lifts two fingers to her forehead, gives a salute and says, “Let’s Rock“.
So yes, this was not the kind of scene we were expecting these words to be uttered. Is there anything to the fact that Diane said this? It’s a familiar turn of phrase, of course, but knowing that Diane is very clued up on what happened to Chet Desmond, it is perhaps a strange choice of words. Equally, it could be Lynch playing with us.
Diane sits at the hotel bar alone, drinking a martini when she receives a text which reads, ‘Las Vegas?’. She replies, ‘THEY HAVEN’T ASKED YET’.
Despite all the evidence suggesting otherwise, I still can’t quite believe that Diane is in cahoots with Doppelcooper. Yes, we have seen him send texts that Diane appears to have received, but did that come straight from him? Or was this passed on from another? We have also seen Diane allow or at least not alert the others to the murder of Bill Hastings. Not the best behaviour for sure, but there may be a bigger picture. My personal feelings are that Diane is working with Phillip Jeffries or whoever is pretending to be Phillip Jeffries. We know that Albert had been in contact with Jeffries too, at some point, behind Gordon’s back. Why Albert admitted that I am not sure, and I am not sure that he’s not still in contact with him now.
It is assumed that Jeffries is working with Doppelcooper for the cause of evil, but I am not convinced. I want to think that Jeffries is still working for the greater good to solve the Blue Rose cases, but he can’t possibly do it by playing by the rules, so he’s gone off the radar to do it. He’s getting help from Diane and maybe Albert. If this is the case, then why not also involve Gordon? Firstly, of course, Gordon is their boss and would get in serious trouble if he were to know so they could be protecting him, or there’s a more sinister reason why.
Gordon sits on a couch in his hotel room with a gorgeous French woman resting her head on his shoulder. He’s telling her a story, “The trap was set, they waited til after midnight and then 75 strong they came up over the mountain, sirens wailing, guns drawn”, he’s interrupted by a knock at the door. I can’t help thinking that he was talking about the capture of the Nez Perce tribe mentioned in the Secret History of Twin Peaks.
Gordon answers the door; it’s Albert. Upon entering the room, he asks Gordon if he could ask his friend to wait downstairs. “Sweetheart, would you excuse us for a moment? I’ll call you at the bar“.
What happens next is a lengthy, almost silent scene watching this truly beautiful French woman leave the room. “Oui mon Cherie” are the only words she speaks, but her actions say so much more. Albert watches almost stern-faced, whilst Gordon grins inanely as she slides her black jacket over her burgundy dress. Her grin is perhaps too broad, too exaggerated. She’s sexy most definitely, but this is almost too much, you know, a bit like Lil The Dancers sour face?
She steps into her very high heeled Louboutin shoes, flicks one leg up into the air, left arm raised to the sky like a clock, still grinning. She picks a compact mirror out of her handbag, looks at herself, strokes either side of her face in admiration then looks back up at Gordon with that massive grin. She touches up her lipstick which really seems to get Gordon going, then she slowly leans forward, raises her wine glass, takes a sniff first. An expression of bliss hits her face then she takes a swig. Everything she does is so expressive she could be a mime artist. Albert picks up on this too, his eyes squint, and he frowns slightly. Is he reading her? Or perhaps more pointedly, is he not reading her when he should be?
“Ah tres bonne!” she exclaims about the wine, “It’s a good one“, agrees Gordon. He takes her hand to help her up off the couch. She pulls her hitched up dress down, Albert raises his eyes. She takes Gordon’s hand and he leads her to the door. She holds on to the door frame, grins again then kisses the tips of her fingers. She dances them in front of Gordon’s face before landing them on Gordon’s lips. Albert is looking annoyed and impatient now. She strikes a pose in the doorway, gives Gordon a little wave, and disappears. “I’ll give you a call at the bar,” Gordon says again, this time like a goofy teenager.
“She’s here visiting a friend of her mother whose daughter has gone missing. The mother owns a turnip farm. I told her to tell the mother that her daughter will turnip eventually.” Albert stares at Gordon, unamused at Gordon’s joke for several seconds. “She didn’t get it either being French. It doesn’t translate. Do you realise Albert that there are more than 6000 languages spoken on earth today?”.
So what is going on here? Is this scene to be taken at face value as a portrayal of a bit of a dirty old man maybe using his status as Deputy Director of the FBI to bed beautiful younger women? I’m not going to lie, it does make me cringe a little bit, only because I love Gordon Cole, and I love David Lynch, and I don’t want him to be like that. But that’s my issue; why does it bother me if he’s an older man bedding a younger woman? They are both consenting adults, after all, and she seems extremely happy to be there. And it shouldn’t come as any surprise to us, he behaved exactly the same way with Shelly in the original series, and I didn’t cringe anywhere near as much then; in fact, I loved it! What a strange world we live in that it goes by barely with a mention of the rape and murder of several people in Twin Peaks, but we get all wound up about an older man and a woman half his age.
On the flip side, there is another possible theory about what is happening here, as I touched on earlier when I mentioned Lil the Dancer, that the sole purpose of the scene was to either give us, the audience, or Albert, a clue to what might happen next. If we take what we learned from Lil’s scene in Fire Walk With Me as a basis of how to work this out:
- Lil wore a sour face meaning that Chet would have problems with the local authorities; they would not be receptive to the FBI. This would appear to be in stark contrast to the French Woman’s expression, which was a huge grin — does this mean that wherever they are going next, the police will be eager to help, but perhaps too eager or fake? (Chad springs to mind).
- Both of Lil’s eyes were blinking to indicate trouble higher up. I didn’t notice anything like this with the French Woman. But she did fix her gaze on Gordon a lot. Does this mean that someone is watching them?
- Lil had one hand in her pocket, meaning that the local authorities were hiding something. The French woman had no pockets, but she put on her jacket, suggesting a cover-up perhaps?
- Lil’s other hand was clenched into a fist, meaning that the authorities would likely be aggressive. Again nothing like this with French woman. What she did do though, was take out a mirror — and we all know what that could mean. Mirror image is the first thing that springs to mind, knowing that the Cooper they are currently looking for is a doppelgänger. The second thing would be that the reflection of BOB can be seen in a mirror. She strokes either side of her face. Was this a hint to check the details in the Coopers they come across — it’s likely that doppelcooper’s features, like his fingerprints, will be reversed?
- Lil was walking in place, meaning that there would be a lot of leg work. In contrast, the French woman was prolonged, lethargic even, putting her shoes on and then stretching out her leg and arm, perhaps hinting at the two different locations, far apart, that they need to travel to or events will take place. Twin Peaks and Las Vegas, maybe?
- Gordon said that Lil was his mother’s sisters girl, and in that sentence, what was missing was the Uncle. What we have now is a friend of the mother, the friend’s daughter has gone missing.
- Lil’s dress had been tailored with different coloured thread to fit her, which was a code for drugs. While the French woman’s dress fit, she had to hitch it down several times, perhaps meaning that drugs spread across an expansive area. Her dress was Red, perhaps indicating who the supplier was.
- The French woman put on her lipstick, which may be a hint at prostitution.
- The French woman sniffed her drink first and rolled her eyes with bliss; this reminded me of how Becky looked when she took Sparkle.
- Pinned to Lil’s dress was a blue rose. Now, of course, the French woman did not wear a blue rose, which may mean that all of this is complete and utter nonsense!
And it may well be, but I can’t help but think that Gordon’s comment about the 6000 languages on earth was a hint. It’s the language you can’t hear that is important, the one that is universally understood — body language.
What do turnips have to do with it?! Who knows, my only thought was that it’s a well-known root vegetable. Having a farm of root vegetables could mean a large family with their roots in one place? Yeah, I know; I’m stretching somewhat here.
“What is it Albert?” Gordon asks after a short staring match. Albert tells Gordon about the texts received and sent by Diane. Gordon thinks, “What do we know that we haven’t asked her about? We’ll figure it out but for now, I’d really like to get back to this fine Bordeaux.” “What kind is it?” Albert asks, “11.05,” replies Gordon looking at his watch.
So what do Gordon and Albert know about Las Vegas? They don’t, as far as we know, know anything about Dougiecooper being there. Why haven’t they wondered what that was about? We know that Dopplecooper knows that Dougiecooper is there, which may suggest that it is Dopplecooper sending the texts. Or it could mean that Phillip Jeffries also knows that Dougiecooper is there, which is, of course, probable if they are working together.
In Series 2, Major Briggs told Cooper that he was part of Project Blue Book, then secretly the Blue Rose cases. Their mission was to find the White Lodge, and there is no reason to think that the mission has changed along the way. They have stumbled across beings from the black lodge many times on their journey, and maybe all of them entered the black lodge at some point. Jeffries certainly got as far as the convenience store, suggesting that he may have entered a vortex, perhaps one like The Zone? Jeffries found it at Judy’s place in Seattle. So it seems that vortex can spring up in various locations. Maybe the picture that the Tremonds gave Laura is required for this or the owl ring. Chet Desmond disappeared after he had picked up the ring and has never been seen again. We saw Jeffries lamenting over the ring shortly before he disappeared again. How Jeffries manages to move so easily between places/times is still a mystery—but it seems his knowledge of the lodges is far greater than anyone. If it was, then it must be even more so now 25 years later.
Albert stares at Gordon for a long while, which seems to unnerve him. He touches Albert on the shoulder, and whilst squeezing a few times (there it is again, the squeeze!), he tells him that he’s really worried about him. We have seen Gordon squeezing the shoulders of a few people, certainly Diane and Albert. Does this mean anything at all?
Back in the hotel bar Diane pulls up a pew and thanks the barman, in a rare act of politeness, for the drink as she’s aware the bar is closed. She looks at her phone, and the map on the screen reminds her to check out the coordinates from Ruth Davenport’s arm. She proves she still has some skills of the bureau by recounting the numbers from photographic memory. She types them in co-or-din-ates plus 2. And this leads her to Twin Peaks. She looks worried.
She understands, of course, that the rest of the team know exactly where this leads, so she must assume this is where they are travelling to next. Why does she look worried then? If she is working with Doppelcooper, is it regret that she’s feeling, that she will be leading him back to the place where the real Agent Cooper loved so much? Does she know what plan Doppelcooper has in store for the town?
What is in Las Vegas that Gordon and Albert haven’t asked her about? Now my mind is working overtime here, and I am probably way off the mark, but I can’t help thinking about Candie. It’s highly doubtful that Candie is her real name and she’s probably no relation to Sandie or Mandie. So who is she really? Could she be the daughter of Diane and Cooper? Is she a missing daughter, as hinted at by the French woman? Could she be Linda?
The way the Mitchum’s said she’d have nowhere to go if they kicked her out and their own lives as orphans may be why they took her in. The way that Candie reacted after hitting Rodney Mitchum with the remote, total horror that she may lose a father figure, she even cried, ‘how can you ever love me after what I did?‘ which in hindsight could be more of a message from her father to her mother. I cannot imagine that Diane would be the best mother. Alcohol appears to be her priority always, so it could be that her child would run away from home if she were neglected. Is that what Gordon and Albert haven’t asked her about yet? Where is her daughter? Is this the reason why Diane hates the bureau so much? Is her ultimate goal to find her daughter? How long has she been lost?
The way that Candie acts, yes, she’s a bit like Dougiecooper at the moment, spaced out and not really in, but you know it’s the wonder she finds in simple things, the traffic, the air conditioning, it’s just so Cooper! The way he would be so thrilled at the smell of those Douglas Firs or a snowshoe rabbit. When did Diane last see him? Before he travelled to Twin Peaks quite possibly. Dopplecooper does not give the date away when she faces him in prison. He does remember; why wouldn’t he? I assume that the doppel also takes on the original’s memories so he could bluff his way through life as the original more easily.
As many have suspected, and there’s still no reason why this can’t be the case after the big revelation of Audrey in this Part, Richard Horne could be the son of Audrey and Doppelcooper. Could some part of this story’s resolution be that the two offspring of Cooper and his doppelgänger have to be destroyed? Richard and Linda, two birds, one stone.
In an episode almost entirely dedicated to absent fathers and the effect it can have on a child’s life, the only scene we see of Cooper is him playing, albeit comically, with Sonny Jim in the yard. A sad tale that perhaps the only child he’s spent any sort of time being a father to is not his own, and he may have missed out on the lives of two of his actual children for the 25 years he was stuck in the lodge, and their lives have not turned out well without him. Of course, this is pure speculation at this point and may well turn out to be completely inaccurate, but hopefully, we’ll get a step closer to the truth when Twin Peaks returns next Sunday.
All images courtesy of Showtime/CBS unless stated otherwise.