Hi everyone, and welcome back to Buck… actually, scratch that! No Buckhorn this week, so we are taking a trip to Montana! and Las Vegas!
Part 13 of Twin Peaks: The Returnwas certainly full of nostalgia and, despite some pretty hairy moments, was probably the episode I smiled most of the way through. Candie’s absolute joy at delivering the gifts from the Mitchum Brothers to Bushnell at Lucky 7 Insurance was so infectious! What a fantastic character she is — absolutely adorable. Whatever terrible past we assume she has had (I’m still wondering if she’s any relation to Cooper), she is still filled with complete joy at bringing other people happiness. She’s like a fallen angel or a fairy.
The opening scenes of the pink ladies, the Mitchum Bros and Dougiecoop all dancing the conga into the office, accompanied by perhaps the strangest slot machine game music ever heard, was a moment in Twin Peaks to treasure forever. Dougie seemed to be having so much fun, even if he had no idea what was happening. I wanted to laugh out loud, but you have to remember, I am watching at 3 am in the UK and desperately trying not to wake a small child, so I have to be deadly quiet.
Meanwhile, Janey-E is also receiving some damn fine gifts from the Mitchum Bros, a super new convertible with a beautiful bow; I was probably more impressed with the bow than the car. And for Sonny Jim, a very impressive jungle gym set!
There’s something about the music from Swan Lake that is just a little haunting. When I was a little girl, I had a beautiful Trousselier jewellery box, painted night sky blue with stars. When you opened it, Swan Lake would play, and a ballerina would dance. I loved that box so much, and I suppose it brought back some memories long forgotten. But a chill came over me when we saw Sonny Jim playing on his new gym set.
The scene itself was peculiar, the gym bars covered in pretty lights, so he was able to play outside in the dark, but then a spotlight going back and fore, and a spotlight is not usually a welcome sight to see in Twin Peaks. BOB always appeared in a spotlight. The last moments of Maddy Ferguson were captured in the bright white/blue spotlight, highlighting every brutal hit in stark reality. His arm crept out of the light at Glastonberry Grove, and there we saw him in the moments after Josie Packard’s death, growling like a beast on the bed all lit up.
But maybe, just maybe, the spotlight is not a bad omen. The Giant, as we knew him back then, would appear in a spotlight in Cooper’s hotel room at the Great Northern or on stage at Roadhouse. In Series 3, we saw Senorita Dido walk to the stage in the spotlight before delivering Laura Palmer to us on Eart and not forgetting the white horse too. While it may not have been a good omen for Sarah, it was perhaps a warning that she needed to wake up and realise what was going on in that house. Anything that happens when the veil between two worlds is pierced tends to be lit up, so you can’t avoid seeing precisely what happens.
So what did the spotlight mean for Sonny Jim? — no one was highlighted in its gaze; it seemed to be searching for the star of its show. Was there an invisible force in that garden or perhaps something (an owl?) overhead? It could be nothing, just an extra gift from The Mitchums — the chance to play out extra late at night, but the whole scene seemed dreamlike and ominous.
Janey-E tells Dougiecoop that she’s in seventh heaven, and interestingly Dougiecoop repeated but said, “Seven Heaven“. For once, he did not copy exactly. To be in Seventh Heaven means the final state of eternal bliss and that is how Janey-E meant it but did Dougiecoop unwittingly explain what is happening here? Is he still in the waiting room, still trying to make his way through with perfect courage to the White Lodge? And if he doesn’t pass this test, will his soul be totally annihilated?
Now to Montana for the first time, where we see our old friend Ray Monroe. The last time we saw him was in Part 8 when he shot Doppelcooper/Mr. C dead only for the Woodsmen to come and remove the black orb of BOB from his corpse and revive the doppelgänger in the process. Was BOB removed from Doppelcooper at that point or placed back inside? As far as we are aware BOB is still with him — the black eyes may be the key here. Doppelganger’s, as we know, have white eyes, and it’s unlikely that he’d get very far on Earth with white eyes — that may freak people out a little. So it seems that BOB is still with him and still looking for the coordinates to Jack Rabbits Palace.
We meet Ray in a Warehouse, The Farm, I assume. He has a whole bunch of rotten looking bad guys with him and a beast of a man we come to know as Renzo. They watch on possibly the largest CCTV screen ever as Doppelcooper arrives. Ray explains that he killed him, though clearly not very well. They invite him in, and Renzo offers him a duel in the form of an arm wrestle. He’s undefeated for fourteen years, and if he wins, he’ll become Doppelcoopers boss. Doppelcoop himself does not want the same reward if he wins; he just wants Ray. Renzo agrees and they get to work. Pretty unsurprisingly, Renzo is no match for Doppelcoop who calmly, and quite hilariously beats him, then smashes in his skull with one punch. Ray’s a bit worried now. The rest of the gang offer him up no problem. Ray does his best to escape, but Doppelcoop shoots him in the leg.
Doppelcoop asks Ray, “Somebody hired you to kill me, who is it?” after a bit of reluctance from Ray, he tells him, “It came from a man named Phillip Jeffries, at least that’s the name he gives, I never met him, I only talk to him on the phone. He set the whole prison thing up with Warden Murphy. Jeffries says that you are going to kill me, he said that I could get out and stay out if I killed you first”. “Why?” Doppelcoop asks, “He said you got something inside you they want”. Doppelcoop looks down at the floor; he knows that they know about BOB now.
“Did he ever mention Major Briggs?” he asks Ray, who tells him, no. Ray reaches into his pocket, which makes Doppelcoop twitchy, “You know I don’t have a gun”, Ray tells him, “I want to show you something”. He takes the jade owl ring from his pocket. “Jeffries said I was supposed to put this on you after I killed you“. Doppelcoop asks him where he got it, “It was given to me right before I walked out of my cell, and I saw you”, “Who gave it to you?”, “A Guard, I dunno, he was dressed as a Guard. I’d never seen him before“.
We see the gang of bad guys all watching this going down on the massive screen. Doppelcoop says to Ray, “Put it on. Ring Finger. Left Hand. Now you know what I want Ray“. “You want the coordinates I got from Hastings, or rather his pretty secretary, Betty. Do you really think I am going to give them to you? You really think you could trust the numbers I give you? I know who you are“. Ray asks him if he can reach inside his pocket, Doppelcoop asks him what for, “The numbers stupid, I have the coordinates written out they are in my pocket“, Doppelcoop nods and takes the piece of paper from him.
We then see Richard Horne enter the warehouse. He walks to the front of the gang and watches the screen. “Ray, where is Phillip Jeffries?” Doppelcoop asks, “I don’t know, last I heard he was at a place called the Dutchman’s, but it’s not a real place“, and with that, Doppelcooper shoots him in the head. “I know what it is”.
The owl ring disappears from Ray’s hand, and we see the familiar brown/white zig-zag floor of the lodge/red room. The ring drops to the floor. We travel to the ornate golden shell table and see the hand of MIKE drop the ring to the table.
Doppelcooper looks at the camera in the warehouse. Richard Horne stares, maybe in awe, perhaps he knows who he is, he looks kind of upset, he gulps. Is this the first time he has seen his father? Does he know that’s his father? Is it his father?!
Ray lays not only on the warehouse floor but also in the red room, bleeding from his head and leg wounds.
There is a lot to digest here. Firstly Phillip Jeffries. Way back in the very first episodes, Doppelcooper questioned whether it was really Phillip Jeffries he was speaking to on the phone, and from what we could hear, it didn’t sound like his recognisable Southern drawl; the accent was more New York. Is it Jeffries? If not, who is it and why are they pretending to be him? Jeffries was, of course, played by the late great David Bowie; it would be a dream come true if he managed to film a couple of scenes before his death, but it seems pretty unlikely. Does this mean then that we will never see Jeffries as we know him again? Will he be forever a voice on the phone?
Clearly Doppelcoop thought he was working with Jeffries at one point, so who is Jeffries really working for? Ray says that Doppelcoop has something THEY want inside of him, so there must be more; who are these people? Are they people at all? They know that BOB is (or at least we think he is) inside Doppelcooper. Will BOB have to leave his host now to keep safe, could there be a new host victim soon, and what state would that leave Doppelcooper in?
Did Ray give the correct coordinates to Doppelcooper? Did Albert allow Diane to know the correct coordinates? The numbers she has lead to Twin Peaks. Will Doppelcooper’s lead to the same place? If she is working with him, she surely would have told him the coordinates she had by text? I think now that Diane is working with Jeffries, not Doppelcooper, and these coordinates that Ray gave to Doppelcooper are the same. They want him to go to Twin Peaks, are they luring him into a trap — the only way to get the real Cooper back is by bringing him and his doppelgänger back together again at the place it all started. Is Albert in on this? Is he too working with Jeffries for the greater good?
What about then the pretty secretary Betty? Mackley said that she died in a car crash, but did she? We didn’t see this happen. Has she been taken somewhere by Jeffries for protection, her death faked for her own safety? We may never find out, and her part in all this may be unimportant. Ray may have gotten the coordinates from her and killed her as is suggested, but something doesn’t quite right with me.
So Ray is gone, at least in the world as we know it, but the owl ring, it seems, transported his soul to the Lodge. The puzzle of the ring remains, but now we know pretty much for sure that if worn at the time of death, it will take your soul. Laura infamously took the ring before she was murdered, and it seemed at that point that the only reason she was killed was that she wore it, that BOB knew he couldn’t take hold of her while she wore it, but I’m not so sure now. Much like Ray, Laura’s soul was taken to the Lodge after her death, presumably because she wore the ring — with this ring, I thee wed. In wearing the ring, specifically on the ring finger of the left hand, does this marry you to the Lodge? Does the Lodge claim the soul of whoever wears it at their point of death? Is this how garmonbozia is harvested?
Others known to have worn the ring are Meriweather Lewis, the great explorer who met Chief Twisted Hair of the Nez Perce tribe in September 1805. He gave this artefact to him, advising him never to wear it, and as far as we know, he did not. However, it is likely that the traitor General James Neely played a part in the death of Lewis and may have taken the ring from him.
Jack Parsons, a rocket scientist and follower of Thelema — and possible invoker of the Mother of Abominations, Babalon — also wore the ring. The chances are that when he blew himself up in his home laboratory, his soul found its way to the Lodge, and the ring returned home once again. Only then to be found in (the) possession of President Richard Nixon.
At some point, Nixon must have lost the ring. He died after the murder of Teresa Banks, so he was unlikely to have been wearing it when he went. Teresa Banks may or may not have been wearing it when she died, but it likely was as her skin was clean only where the ring would have been, suggesting someone removed it later. Chet Desmond found it underneath the Chalfont trailer, where Teresa was murdered (she was not killed in her own trailer).
The second Chet reached for the ring, he disappeared, never to be seen again. Sadly, I think that Chet was killed at that exact moment — not sure who by, perhaps the Tremond’s, though that seems unlikely. Maybe that curious old woman with an ice pack to her head? Carl Rodd could be a suspect! (not really). Or perhaps Sheriff Cable got his revenge? While we didn’t see Jeffries’ body in the Lodge, and no corpse was found on Earth as we know it, I do feel that Chet no longer exists, at least in this astral plane. Did something similar happen to Phillip Jeffries when investigating another Blue Rose case, probably concerning Judy?
After Doppelcooper and Annie were released from the red room, Annie was wearing the owl cave ring. Why was she sent back with it? She didn’t possess it for long and that may have been a blessing. A nurse at Calhoun Memorial hospital took it from Annie while she was in a catatonic state of shock. Annie repeated the words, “The Good Dale is in the Lodge, write it in your diary” which is of course what she told Laura in her dream — time in Twin Peaks made no logical sense then, and it still doesn’t. Will we ever find out how Annie is?
We don’t know the fate of the nurse, but we do know that Doppelcooper did visit the hospital to see Annie and quite probably a comatose Audrey. Was Jeffries already on his case by this point? Did he get to Annie and the ring before Doppelcoop did?
The last person we saw before Ray wearing the ring was the original Dougie Jones. A manufactured copy of Dale Cooper, sent to Earth it seems by evil forces as a replacement body for Doppelcooper. He was wearing the ring shortly before he was switched places with the real Agent Cooper.
So what do we know of the powers of the ring?
The souls of those who wear it at death are transported to the red room/lodge – probably. We haven’t seen this happen in every case, and we have seen plenty of people in the red room who haven’t worn the ring as far as we know, such as Leland Palmer and Windom Earle.
If you wear it long enough, your arm starts to go numb — this certainly happened in the case of Teresa Banks, Laura Palmer and Dougie Jones (the original/manufactured). Does it slowly drain you of your soul and deliver it to The Arm?
It appears that BOB felt he had to kill Laura once she donned the ring as he could no longer possess her – her soul was married to the Lodge or maybe The Arm, so he could no longer take it for himself.
Dale Cooper advised Laura not to take the ring – it’s always been a bit of a mystery as to why he would tell her to do that, as while taking the ring meant the end of her life, it appears to have prevented her from possession by BOB. But, if she had allowed BOB in, could she have defeated BOB? — Laura is The One after all, and we know she has the brightest light — could she have ended the evil there and then if she let him in?
The ring travels from place to place — we assume there is only one ring, I would personally like to think so. It always seems to end up back at the Lodge, on the table in MIKE’S possession. He threw the ring to Laura in the seconds leading up to her death. He appears to be a good guy, so why did he do this? Did Laura have to sacrifice herself for the greater good this time? Will she have another chance to defeat evil 25 years later?
How does it travel? MIKE and The Arm appear to be the custodians of the ring. Did they create it from the Formica table? Formica is an electrical insulator. Is this how it prevents possession by BOB?
We may never know all the answers, and the ring may never be revealed as an artefact of either good or evil.
Where is Jeffries now? We know that Jeffries can move through space and time. Whether he can do that voluntarily and choose his destination is another thing. Much like Major Briggs – did Jeffries ever stop working in the Blue Rose Task Force? Are he and Agent Desmond working this case from the shadows? Ray tells us that Jeffries is at the Dutchman’s, but that place doesn’t really exist. Could this be a reference to the mystical Lost Dutchman Gold and Silver Mines? It would make sense. It seems like an age ago now, but we did have one very brief scene in Argentina. The bowl with the black transmitter which inexplicably turned into a silver nugget. I said at the time that the bowl looked to be placed in a mine shaft, that rail tracks could possibly be seen below the bowl. I’m even more convinced now but still have no clue as to what’s going on.
One of the best treasure tales in the history of the American West is the Lost Dutchman Mine. Shrouded in mystery, the mine is not only allegedly rich in gold but is also said to have a curse upon it, leading to a number of strange deaths, as well as people who mysteriously go “missing” when they attempt to locate the old mine. For more than 120 years, the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine has been told repeatedly, growing in proportions to such an extent that some claim the entire legend is nothing but a myth. But for thousands of others, the mine and its secrets are genuine, hidden in the forbidding peaks of the Superstition Mountains, Arizona. Could the mine move? Or are the mines linked to one another?
Jeffries, wherever he is, appears to be the man behind it all and his revelation, if we get one, maybe the biggest surprise of all. Will Doppelcoop now go looking for Jeffries at the Dutchman’s? Will he follow the coordinates? All will be revealed soon; we are only five hours away from the end of Series 3. I am not going to lie; the thought of it ending, perhaps for good, brings me great sorrow. I do have faith that the last five hours will be a rollercoaster ride — there are so many loose ends to be tied up, so many things we just don’t know yet, so strap yourselves in for a spectacular finale.
All images courtesy of Showtime/CBS unless stated otherwise.