Twin Peaks Recap: “The Return Part 16”


Agent Cooper finally wakes up in “The Return Part 16,” and his arrival is just in time for the two-hour finale next week.

This penultimate episode races through the storyline in preparation for the (series?) finale but brings up a whole new group of questions. With so little time left in the revival, it seems unlikely that Lynch is going to give all of the plot lines conclusive answers, but it wouldn’t be Twin Peaks without a couple of threads still left dangling.

“The Return Part 16,” wastes no time dispatching a lot of its unsavory villains in this episode, probably to force BOB to face Cooper on his own. He drives his son out to the coordinates he had previously received, where he instructs Richard to go check it out. Unfortunately for the latter, it turns out being a trap and the lightning meant for his father takes his life instead. It’s a triumph for the “good side,” considering how destructive and evil Richard has already shown himself to be. Poor Jerry has finally escaped the woods, and somehow still high, gets to witness his nephew’s death through his binoculars, which is sure to scar the man for the rest of his life. Also, has Twin Peaks ever specified what exactly Jerry is high on? This seems like an incredibly long-lasting drug for it to have kept him incapable of returning to civilization for sixteen episodes.

Speaking of characters who aren’t in the right head space, Dougie lands himself in a coma after shoving his fork into an electrical socket. With his wife, son, boss, and the Mitchum brothers by his side, it seems like Dougie is going to make a full recovery. After the humming noise that has been plaguing the Great Northern begins in the hospital, the entire room clears out which gives Dougie a chance to wake up. Only, it’s no longer the man-child we’ve been following around for a majority of the season, but the long-awaited return of Agent Cooper!

He converses with the One Armed Man about their current situation and gives him a lock of his own hair in order to create a new Dougie, presumably one that isn’t filled with darkness this time around. It’s an incredible moment for fans who have stuck with the series to see Cooper proudly say “I am the F.B.I.” as the original Twin Peaks theme song swells in the background. “The Return Part 16,” finally does the character justice now that he’s back in his suit and ready to get down to business in Washington. Sadly, that means that Janey-E and Sonny Jim are left behind which is a shame that Naomi Watts ended up just being a housewife rather than thrown into the action in the finale.

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Turns out, Dougie wasn’t the only replacement that BOB made and “The Return Part 16,” finally reveals the heart of Diane’s weird behavior. Like many guessed, she was raped by Evil Cooper the night he visited her and ever since has been under some kind of spell. A simple text message from him sends her spiraling into a downfall of grief and horror as she recounts her worst nightmare to the Blue Rose team. Finally, she draws her gun to fire which eventually leads to her death except, it turns out she was never alive. That’s right, BOB created her too so she simply zips off of Earth and back into the red room where she disappears once again. However, before she died she kept repeating that she wasn’t herself and “I’m in the sheriff’s department”. Is she somehow connected to the eyeless woman currently in custody in Twin Peaks? Or is the real Diane somewhere else in the world?

Back in Twin Peaks, Audrey finally makes it to the Roadhouse with her husband in search of Billy. Despite an excellent performance from Eddie Vedder, there’s something not quite right. It’s made all the more obvious when everyone in the bar moves to one side of the dance floor and lets Audrey perform her dance in the middle of the room as it swells with purple lights. Her moment is interrupted by a brawl over a wife, forcing Audrey to beg Charlie to get her out of there before she’s transported into a white room. Could everything happening within the Roadhouse just be a dream of Audrey’s? Or is she still in a coma?

What “The Return Part 16,” does answer is that the two woman who were raped by Evil Cooper have ended up questioning who they actually are. With both Diane and Audrey sadly admitting that they aren’t themselves, it makes you wonder what lingering effects he actually had on the two.

Next: Twin Peaks Recap: “The Return Part 15”

Twin Peaks concludes its divisive revival next week with only two hours left to wrap up any lingering storylines. With Agent Cooper headed back to the town, at least he will be reunited with Hawk and Gordon soon so the three can hunt down BOB. However one of the biggest questions left after “The Return Part 16,” is if Twin Peaks is planning an Audrey/Cooper reunion. The relationship was allegedly squashed in the original series because of some behind-the-scenes drama, but twenty-five years later it looks like these two could finally get their happy ending.