Spoiler alert: this blog is for Twin Peaks viewers who have seen episode nine of The Return, showing on Showtime on the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK. Do not read on unless you have watched.

Is this Twin Peaks hitting the weirdness breaks? Are things in danger of becoming somewhat normal – or is our default setting now so bent out of shape that even these events feel a little pedestrian? I think all of these possibilities, all at once. For now at least, the sort-of-mid-season-finale from two weeks ago looks to have had no impact whatsoever.

Colonel Davis drops a call from the Pentagon to make good on his promise to get the FBI involved with the Major Briggs case should it turn out to be more than just fingerprints this time … and isn’t it just! Gordon Cole and the team are conveniently flying over Dakota and take a quick detour to Buckhorn to see Lieutenant Knox, once Diane – plied with more airline vodka and intrigued by the case’s links to the Blue Rose – approves. She seems unusually rattled that her mobile technology isn’t working, while Cole gets another call from Warden Murphy to hear that “Cooper flew the coop”.

The harrowing events of the previous night seem to have had little bearing on Bad Coop, who dusts himself down and makes his way to what appears to be the aforementioned farm. The inference from Tim Roth’s Hutch is that Coop is certainly the boss, but it’s clear that Coop has not visited here before. Coop has been shot in almost exactly the same place as he did in the original series, in the corresponding episode, but it feels unlikely there is more to this than a nice linking throwback. There are a couple of dead farmers lying around the place and Chantal, presumably Hutch’s sister, is thrilled to see Coop again. Coop’s call to the terrified chap in the Vegas office is, I think, the first official verification that he was the man behind both attempted hits on Dougie Jones. No big surprise there, but good to have confirmation.

‘Around the dinner table the conversation is lively’

We get a few big Dougie reveals next, as the giggling Fusco brothers uncover that there was no official trace of him before 1997 – and Dougie’s boss lets slip that he had a car accident a few years back that he never quite recovered from. There’s something odd about how Janey-E and Dougie’s boss have developed this no-questions-asked protective stance. Are they both agents in an elaborate construct built by Mr C, incorporating Rancho Rosa and Lucky Seven insurance, to house this vessel until the time comes to do away with him? The Fusco brothers pinch Dougie’s prints from his coffee mug, which will surely flag him up on the system and reveal his whereabouts to the FBI? Meanwhile, Fire Walk With Me cop music sneaks back in as Ike is revealed as the hit man.

Our Coop is still zoned out, staring at the American flag, curiously drawn to some passing red heels, and fixated by a plug socket similar to the one from which he was birthed back into this world leaving his own shoes behind. Those red heels brought the young Audrey Horne to mind. Did she leave a strong enough impression on Coop to help break through his slumber? For her sake, I hope Doc Hayward’s implications of a visit from the doppelganger while she was in her own coma are unfounded.

Meanwhile, another underdeveloped scene between Andy and Lucy, a fleeting glimpse of Johnny Horne, then we’re headed to the Briggs household for some real substance, more Badalamenti, more coffee and more preparation for the unknown moments ahead from Garland Briggs, whose wife Betty delivers her usual wonderfully steadfast depiction of a loyal servant of faith, although she can barely know what her husband’s work involved.

The waiting room

Back at the morgue, Diane is quick to exit the room with another foul-mouthed explosion, then picks up a message from an unknown number. It’s from Bad Coop. Was she expecting this? It’s inferred, but unclear. More Badalamenti.

We learn that Bill Hastings was having an affair with Ruth Davenport, the librarian whose head was discovered atop Major Briggs’ out-of-time corpse. The police think his wife was killed by lawyer George, who’s now in custody – but we know it was Bad Coop using George’s gun. The following day, Bill’s secretary gets blown up in a car explosion. Am I missing something here?

Hastings has been writing a blog called “in search of the zone”. The last blog post was titled: ‘Today we finally entered what we call the zone, and we met the Major.” Briggs’s complex burned down in the woods 25 years ago, he was assumed dead, and we all assume Coop did it. Now that Coop has turned up here, has Major Briggs been waiting for the chance to snare him? It certainly seems that he knows what is happening, or even what is about to happen.

Tammy Preston grills Hastings, who admits that he’s been searching for and recently entered alternate dimensions, and that he has met the Major. He and Ruth had directions for a specific time and place where they could enter the dimension and found Briggs hibernating. He asked for important coordinates from the military database, they provided the numbers (are these the same coordinates Red had memorised?) then Briggs started to float upwards and said the words “Cooper, Cooper” right before his head disappeared. Then Ruth died too, and Bill is struggling a bit but basically seems a good sort. It’s hard to keep a grip on things when you’ve been dipping in and out of realities you don’t understand.

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