Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 9 ‘This is the Chair’ Recap
After the two-week break following the phenomenal Episode 8 made us feel like we were waiting for 25 years all over again to see what the latest developments in Twin Peaks were, Episode 9 -aka ‘This is the Chair’- did some serious heavy lifting in the narrative department.
In what was certainly the most traditional slice of Twin Peaks that Season 3 has offered so far, we were given a wealth of developments and leads with nary a frog moth or charred Woodsman in sight.
Episode 9 opened with Mr C. making his way to the “Farm” we heard about in episode 8. On arrival, he is greeted by ‘Hutch’ (played by Tim Roth, which dashes our hopes that he would be replacing the late David Bowie as Philip Jeffries) and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Chantel Hutchens. It seems these two are related but whether they’re siblings or married is unclear and if it’s the latter then they are pretty lax with their vows.
The Hutchenses have seemingly murdered the farm’s owners in preparation for Mr C.’s arrival and provide with fresh guns and tend to his wounds. Before setting off from the farm, Mr C. sends a cryptic text saying, “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively” which Diane, of all people, later receives.
It’s difficult to imagine Diane and Mr C. are in cahoots and there are some differences in punctuation in the message sent and the one received by Diane. This prompts the idea that someone else has relayed the message to her, could it be that she’s working with Ray? The message itself could also be a reference to this deleted scene from Fire Walk With Me:
Mr C. then calls Duncan Todd (Patrick Fleischer once again showing there are few actors who can do more with such fleeting screen time) in Vegas and asks if “it’s been taken care of?”, presumably meaning the hit on Dougie, which Todd says he’ll deal with immediately. Looks like Dougie Coop is going to have to show off his ninja moves again pretty soon.
The big question that remains unanswered, though, is whether or not BOB is still with the doppelganger. We can’t be sure that BOB was removed by the Woodsmen in Episode 8 or if they simply were repairing Mr C.’s body for the Black Lodge denizen to remain in. Perhaps a seemingly unconnected scene shed some light on this quandary, though.
Johnny B. Goode
After seeing Andy and Lucy bicker about what colour the chair (not the “chair” of the title, by the way) they want should be, we cut to another Twin Peaks residence and catch a glimpse of Johnny Horne for the first time this season. The mentally-challenged son of Benjamin Horne is seen sprinting around the house at full pelt as his mother, Sylvia, tries to calm him before he smacks head first into a wall.
Johnny is badly injured as a result and his behaviour appears quite inexplicable to Sylvia, suggesting that this is something new for him. Of course, we’ve seen people deliberately give themselves head injuries in Twin Peaks before and they have both been at the behest of BOB inside them. Could it be that BOB has taken a new host in Johnny?
It could be very telling that Johnny is wearing virtually the same royal blue pajamas as Agent Cooper was wearing when he awoke at the end of Season 2. This scene would be uncharacteristically distasteful from Lynch if it is simply incidental but little in this season seems to be so there is probably a significant clue contained within it. At the very least, this could well be the cue for Audrey to finally make an appearance if Johnny’s injury is as severe as it looks.
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Next, we went back to Las Vegas to see how Cooper is getting on after surviving Ike the Spike’s failed assassination. We found out some significant aspects to Dougie Jones’ past during an interview between the police and Lucky 7 boss, Bushnell Mullins, including that Dougie had been involved in a car crash before he started working for the insurance firm hence why his behaviour was odd even before the dazed and confused Cooper took his place.
The police were also unable to find any record of Dougie’s identity before 1997 leading them to send off one of his coffee mugs for a DNA and fingerprints test. This should be flagged up by the FBI and they will finally cotton on to there being two Coopers on the loose. Soon after, the police apprehend Ike, who they have been aware of for some time.
Just before Ike gets arrested he sends yet another cryptic message to “J.T” saying “No cigar, taking medical leave” before he takes a pill and downs the remainder of a bottle of whiskey. This is reminiscent of the actions of the “119” girl we’ve been fleetingly seeing in previous episodes. Connected? Probably…
The focal point of “This is the Chair”, though, was undoubtedly the disappearance of Major Garland Briggs 25 years ago and his subsequent sightings since. Firstly, this starts in Twin Peaks itself with Hawk, Sheriff Truman, and Bobby Briggs visiting the Major’s widow, Betty. Mrs. Briggs was actually expecting this police visit since Garland told her they would come after his fateful meeting with Cooper post-Black Lodge and she reveals what this eponymous “chair” is all about.
Inside the back of one of the chairs in the house was concealed a small metallic tube, which the three officers take back to the Sheriff’s department. It turns out that Bobby knows how to open this with the ingenious method of throwing it into the ground. Revealed inside are two notes issuing instructions regarding “Jack Rabbit’s Palace” -a make-believe place from Bobby’s childhood- and a picture of two peaks: one with a red dot above and another with the black ‘demon’ symbol we’ve previously seen on one of Mr C.’s playing cards.
The other note contains another data readout from the satellite station with “COOPER” appearing twice within the code leading Hawk to announce that there are two Coopers, putting the Twin Peaks police department one step ahead of the FBI as things stand.
The Search for the Zone
Speaking of which, the Feds were doing their own digging on the Major back in Buckthorn, South Dakota, after being diverted by a phone call from Lt. Knox. As the Buckthorn detectives bring Gordon & Co up to speed on the extraordinary events surrounding the discovery of the Major’s headless cadaver, Cole sets up an interrogation of the Ruth Davenport murder suspect, William Hastings (Matthew Lillard).
It’s then up to Agent Tammy Preston to get some sense out of the blubbing Hastings, who reveals himself to be of far greater significance than we first thought. It seems Ruth and William were doing deep research into alternative dimensions and publishing their findings on a blog they had been running over the last two decades (you can see the “real” blog here). In the last post on the blog, William claimed they had entered another dimension and met with none other than the Major himself!
It’s quite difficult to paint an accurate picture of events inside the dimension thanks to Hasting’s hysterical ramblings but it would appear the Major was “hibernating” in there and requested coordinates -which are becoming this season’s prime MacGuffin- from the investigating pair. Ruth apparently wrote said coordinates on her arm and it is probable that this is why her body is still missing.
It also seems they were not alone in there either as William recounts himself being coerced into revealing his wife’s identity and Ruth being killed shortly after the Major levitates and his head detaches. Hastings claims there were “so many people there” which could mean the area was rife with Woodsmen. Indeed, it could be that the pair found their way to the convenience store we saw in Episode 8 since there is a video that can be found on thesearchforthezone.net which shows the store itself.
Don’t be Rash
After we get to see Ben Horne again show incredible restraint in rejecting the advances of Beverley as they investigated that strange hum once more and Jerry has an existential crisis regarding the ownership of his foot, Episode 9 wraps up in the now traditional manner of focusing on The Roadhouse. As Mohawk Hudson began to play us out, we got to meet a couple of new drug-addled Twin Peaks residents.
They cryptically talk about zoo animals and the occupational hazards of substance abuse all while Ella (Sky Ferreira) scratches at a very nasty looking rash under her left arm. Now, the left arm has always been significant in Twin Peaks (Philip Gerrard removed his to rid him of the ARM; the Owl Cave ring needs to be worn on the left hand to have an effect) and in classical terms, the left side is seen as sinister -which literally means “from the left”- so this scene is likely loaded with foreboding.
Could it be that the “Sparkle” that Red wants to flood the drugs market with is causing the rash? It was very important to the enigmatic dealer that the drug found its way into Twin Peaks in Episode 6 and this could the first symptom of that plan that will almost certainly have some other side effects.
Back to Reality
So, after the “ultimate trip” of Episode 8, do you feel that Twin Peaks is finally starting to give us some answers to the many questions it has asked so far? Or, does each answer contain yet more questions, like some arcane Russian doll?
Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back next week for our take on the forthcoming Episode 10 – “Laura is the One”.