Part 3 (Twin Peaks)

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"Part 3"
Twin Peaks episode
Cooper and Naido on the Structure.jpg
Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Naido (Nae Yuuki) on the top of the structure floating into space. The scene has received critical acclaim, and was compared by many critics to the surreal sequences in Lynch's Eraserhead.[1][2]
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 3
Directed byDavid Lynch
Written byDavid Lynch
Mark Frost
Featured musicAngelo Badalamenti
Cinematography byPeter Deming
Editing byDuwayne Dunham
Original air dateMay 21, 2017 (2017-05-21) (Showtime Anytime)
May 28, 2017 (2017-05-28) (TV Broadcast)
Running time58 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Part 2"
Next →
"Part 4"
List of Twin Peaks episodes

"Part 3", also known as "The Return, Part 3", is the third episode of the third season of the TV series Twin Peaks. It was written by Mark Frost and David Lynch and directed by Lynch. "Part 3" was released on Showtime's streaming service Showtime Anytime along with Part 4 on May 21, 2017, immediately after the broadcast of the double prémiere; it was eventually broadcast on Showtime on May 28, 2017, and seen by an audience of 195,000 viewers in the United States.[3] The episode received mainly positive reviews.


Call for help.

— Dale Cooper (used as a promotional tagline for the episode)


The small town of Twin Peaks, Washington, has been shocked by the murder of schoolgirl Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and the attempted murder of her friend Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine). FBI special agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) has been sent to the town to investigate[4] and has come to the realization that the killer was Laura's father, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), who acted while possessed by a demonic entity, Killer BOB (Frank Silva).[5] At the end of the original series, BOB trapped Cooper in the Black Lodge, an extra-dimensional place, and let out Cooper's doppelgänger to use him for physical access to the world.[6] 25 years later, Cooper's doppelgänger (now known among associates as Mr. C or simply Cooper) roams freely through the world, with Cooper still inside the Lodges' world.[7] Cooper is told by Laura Palmer that he is free to go; however, while roaming the Lodge, one of the statues turns into the doppelgänger of the Arm[n 1] and opens up the floor, causing Cooper to fall into space.[8] Eventually, Cooper lands on a glass box in New York City; he is absorbed in the box and floats inside, only to disappear before the guardian of the box, Sam Colby (Benjamin Rosenfield), brings inside Tracey Barberato (Madeline Zima).


Cooper continues to descend through space. He eventually lands on a balcony; looking outside, he observes a purple ocean stretching as far as he can see. Cooper enters the building through a set of windows; inside, a woman with scars on her face and large patches of skin over her eyes (Nae Yuuki) sits in front of a lit fireplace. Cooper asks the woman where they are, but she can only produce panting, breathy noises. A loud pounding is heard, as if something very powerful is trying to enter the room, and the woman signals Cooper to be quiet. He notices a large electrical throw-switch mechanism on the wall labeled with the number "15", but she keeps him away from it and leads him up a ladder. They reach the roof, where the structure they had been inside manifests itself as a metallic cuboid floating into space with a bell-shaped mechanism on its top. The woman throws a switch on the mechanism and receives an electric shock, which throws her into the void. After she has fallen out of sight, Garland Briggs' head (Don S. Davis) floats under the structure and says "Blue rose."[9] Cooper walks back downstairs and encounters another woman (Phoebe Augustine, who plays Ronette Pulaski in previous installments of the Twin Peaks story, but is listed in the credits for this episode as "American Girl"), sitting in front of the fireplace. Cooper approaches her while she checks her wristwatch; as the watch strikes 2:53, the mechanism on the wall (which is now labeled with the number "3") begins to hum, and a light on a near coffee table turns on.

In South Dakota, Mr. C is driving along a deserted road when he begins to feel uncomfortable. The cigarette lighter in his car begins to exercise an electric force on him. Cooper observes the mechanism as the woman by the fireplace tells him "When you get there, you will already be there;"[9] he approaches the machinery, but retracts when his face begins to deform in the adjacency of the mechanism. Mr. C continues to feel uncomfortable, while back in the purple room, more insistent pounding is heard, and the American Girl tells Cooper to hurry up and leave because her mother is coming. Cooper approaches the throw-switch mechanism again, and it begins to suck him into itself, elongating and deforming his body and leaving only his shoes behind. Meanwhile, Mr. C begins to lose consciousness and loses control of the car and crashes on the side of the road. He gags, but holds back his vomit; as the cigarette lighter continues to exercise the force over him, red drapes faintly appear in front of him.

In a house for sale in the Rancho Rosa estates, Las Vegas, Dougie Jones (also interpreted by MacLachlan) sits with Jade (Nafessa Williams) on his lap, lamenting that his arm (on which he wears the Owl Cave ring) feels "tingly."[9] Jade takes her payment and proceeds to shower; Dougie gets out of bed and falls down, as Mr. C continues to hold his mouth. He crawls through the house, attempting and failing to alert Jade; he proceeds to move towards an electric socket, which exercises a force on him. As red curtains faintly appear in front of him, Dougie vomits and is transported away with a loud noise, which upsets Jade. The red curtains fade away, Mr. C vomits garmonbozia and oil, and passes out. Inside the Black Lodge, MIKE (Al Strobel) explains to Dougie that someone manufactured him for a purpose, which has been presumably fulfilled. Dougie's hand begins to shrink, and the ring falls down; his heads pops out with a hiss, producing black smoke, and a golden orb floats out of it. Dougie's body deflates; an egg-like object appears, which prompts MIKE to shield its sight. The egg-like object deflates as well, letting the golden orb fly out of it; the orb and the object collide on the armchair, which produces smoke and a loud electrical crackling noise. When MIKE looks back, a small golden orb is on the chair; he picks it up along with the ring, which he proceeds to put on a pedestal.

In the empty house, Agent Cooper comes out of the electrical socket as a cloud of black smoke, and materializes on the ground near to Dougie's vomit. Jade comes back, believing she is interacting with Dougie; she is surprised to see him in a suit and with different haircut, but is disgusted by his vomit and suggests that he could be sick. Cooper does not seem to react to her. He exits the house with Jade, who notices that he is not wearing any shoes and tells him to go back and wear them; as he does not react, she walks back inside and takes them for him, pushing him out when he follows her inside. She fastens his shoes as he does not seem to react; when searching his pockets for his car keys, she can only find the key to Cooper's room in the Great Northern Hotel, which puzzles her and upsets her as she has to drive him back. He leaves the house with Jade; Gene (Bill Tangradi), a paid killer, parks in front of the house, and Jake (Greg Vrotos), his partner, says that he is ready to shoot him if they pass by the entrance. Jade tells Cooper to call AAA as soon as he finds a wallet or some money; when they pass through Sycamore Street, he takes out the key to his room and begins to observe it. When the car hits a bump, the key falls, and Cooper bends down to take it; this allows him to pass by the entrance unnoticed by Jake. Cooper eventually rises up without the key; as he is told that Dougie did not get out of Rancho Rosa, Gene places an explosive device under Dougie's car, and drives away. A boy (Sawyer Shipman) observes the scene from his house, as his drugged-out mother (Hailey Gates) repeatedly yells "One-one-nine,"[9] takes a pill with whiskey and lights up a cigarette.

Two highway patrolmen reach Mr. C's car in South Dakota; when one of the patrolmen, Billy (Travis Hammer), checks inside the car he becomes seriously sick from the smell, promoting his partner (Stephen Heath) to dispatch a request for backup. Back at the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station, Hawk (Michael Horse), Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy (Harry Goaz) sort through the files in search for something missing that relates to Hawk's heritage. Upon seeing a box of chocolate bunnies amidst the evidence, Lucy, taken by guilt, uncomfortably admits to have eaten one of the bunnies years before to get rid of "a bubble of gas."[9] Andy asks Hawk if Native Americans use chocolate as a remedy, which prompts Hawk to say that the investigation is not about the bunny; however, he does concede a moment of doubt before definitely deciding that the bunny has no relevance to their search. On the White Tail Peak, Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) spray-paints five shovels with golden paint on both the front and the back-side; he proceeds to hang them to dry.

Jade drops Cooper at the Silver Mustang Casino, giving him 5 $ and instructing him to call for help; when she orders him to get out of the car, Cooper remembers Laura Palmer telling him that he can go out. After struggling to pass through the revolving doors, Cooper enters the casino; he is redirected by a guard (Brian Finney) to the cashier (Meg Foster) who changes his money. Cooper walks on to the casino floor, where he observes a man (John Ennis) hitting a jackpot and exclaiming "Hello!" for the happiness. Noticing the effigy of the Red Room upon a slot machine, Cooper approaches it and repeats the gestures of the man verbatim; he hits a mega-jackpot, and is complimented by another patron (Josh McDermitt) for having "broken it." [9] Cooper follows the effigy to another slot, and hits another mega-jackpot as an old lady (Linda Portress) stares at him in envy; the floor attendant Jackie (Sabrina S. Sutherland) congratulates him for winning two mega-jackpots, and when Cooper asks her to call for help she goes to take a bigger bucket. Cooper points at another slot machine with the Red Room effigy, next to the old woman; angered, the woman gives him the finger. As Cooper walks away, she eyes with desire the winning from the mega-jackpot which he left there; however, she cannot take them because the CCTVs are on, which prompts her to angrily give the finger to the camera. Cooper follows the effigy to yet another slot, while Jackie returns and is told that he left from the old woman; the floor attendant leaves a guard to watch the winning. Cooper plays at the slot machine and wins his third mega-jackpot; upon seeing this, the old woman goes to the slot machine Cooper pointed for her before, wins a mega-jackpot and claps and cheers ecstatic.

In the FBI Headquarters in Philadelphia, Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and Agents Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) and Tamara Preston (Chrysta Bell) discuss a case with five other agents: a congressman has been accused of brutally murdering his wife, claims to be innocent but cannot reveal the identity of the killer, as it would breach national security. He gives them instead a series of clues: a photo of a woman in bikini, a pair of pincers, a photo of two more girls in bikini, a picture of a child in sailing attire, a machine gun and a jar of lentils. Cole assigns all agents but Agent Preston to the case; he then asks her to brief him and Albert on her investigation on a double murder in New York. Agent Preston proceeds to show pictures from the building, including a photo of the mangled corpses of Sam Colby and Tracey Barberato, and the only picture the cameras have captured of the Experiment (Erica Aynon). Cole is informed that there is a call for him regarding Agent Cooper, which shocks him and Albert; the three of them run in Gordon's office, where Cole takes the call and is informed that Cooper is held prisoner in South Dakota. He arranges for him, Albert and Tammy to leave for South Dakota the following day, then leaves the room; Albert says to Tammy "The absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence."[9]

In the Roadhouse, the Cactus Blossoms play their song "Mississippi."


"Part 3", like the rest of the limited series, was written by Mark Frost and David Lynch and directed by Lynch himself.[10] Frost had already written ten episodes of the original series — the "Pilot" and Episodes 1, 2 and 8 with Lynch, plus Episodes 5, 7, 12, 14, 16, 26 and the original series finale, Episode 29. Lynch also directed six episodes of the original series — the "Pilot", "Episode 2", "Episode 8", "Episode 9", "Episode 14" and "Episode 29".[11] The episode is dedicated to the memory of Miguel Ferrer and Don S. Davis, who both appear in this episode, the first in newly shot material, the second in archive footage.


Almost every episode of the 2017 Twin Peaks series featured a live performance by various bands at the Roadhouse. In this episode the American country group Cactus Blossoms performs their song "Mississippi". Additionally, the song "Dream Recall" by David Lynch and Dean Hurley is featured in the episode; as of January 2018, the song has not been released on any official soundtrack of the series.



"Part 3" was originally released on the Showtime Anytime app together with Part 4 on May 22, 2017; the episode was subsequently broadcast on the Showtime network on May 28, 2017, and was watched by 195,000 viewers in the United States,[3] the lowest number of viewers for the season.

Critical reception[edit]

"Part 3" received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the episode received a 100% rating with an average score of 8.5 out of 10 based on 19 reviews.[12] The critics' consensus reads, "'Part 3' Shifts Twin Peaks signature strangeness into an intoxicating new gear while narrowing the season's off-kilter narrative focus."[12] Writing for IndieWire, Liz Shannon Miller praised the way Part 3 "really challenges the show’s link to what we consider normality — the first half hour especially proves to be intense." She called the earlier sequences of the episodes as "exhilarating" "[f]or those who want nothing more than to delve into the mysteries of the Black Lodge and whatever happened to Agent Cooper," while also noting that they "provide little respite for fans in search of solid ground." Ultimately, she praised the episode as proof that "the descent into madness is real'."[13]

The New York Times' Noel Murray called the episode "a dose of David Lynch madness so concentrated and so puzzling that it might’ve been best just to let it bounce around in viewers’ heads for a week;" he compared the early scenes of the episodes to Lynch's own feature debut Eraserhead, "which also has images of a Godlike being yanking levers in a cosmic factory", and calling them "wondrously confounding." Murray went on to praise the "'normal' moments in Part 3, while retaining that the episode as a whole is mostly "pure, magnificent abstraction."[1] In his recap for Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Jensen also gave Part 2 a A-, praising the episode's first scene as a "mesmerizing passage of pure Lynchian invention," "a wonderful flexing of Lynch’s intuitive art-making powers, and, in my view, a love letter to filmmaking and his fans." He ultimately praised the episode, stating that the episode "continued to defy our expectations of Twin Peaks here at the start. But I’m liking it and I find meaning in the challenge."[2]

In her positive review of the episode, The A.V. Club's Emily L. Stephens gave the episode an A, citing the scene in Hawk's office as an example of the way the series "employs the cute stuff, the cozy stuff, the comfortable stuff [...] as a counterpoint to its cruelest moments." She proceeds to point out that in the episode "women’s bodies are even more ostentatiously objectified", noting that Jade, "one of the few black actors in Twin Peaks, is introduced nude" and serves a small purpose to the plot, and that "the silhouette of Agent Tamara Preston [...] frames the scene" in which Cole and Rosenfield are told that Cooper is back; she clarifies that "[t]his is not a complaint", and praises it "as a comment on objectification" rather than "a thoughtless reiteration of it." Finally, she praises "the imponderable experimentation of the opening, with Cooper descending into a dim room where an eyeless woman powers a clumsy vessel through a starry void." [14]


  • Albert's spoken line "The absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence" was the subtitle to David Lynch's unrealized film project Ronnie Rocket.


  1. ^ The original actor for the arm, Michael J. Anderson, did not return to the role. The voice actor for the arm is uncredited.


  1. ^ a b Murray, Noel (May 26, 2017). "'Twin Peaks' Season 3, Episodes 3-4 Recap: Falling in Space". The New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Jensen, Jeff (May 28, 2017). "Twin Peaks recap: 'The Return: Parts 3 and 4'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Porter, Rick (May 31, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: 'Naked and Afraid XL' tops a down day". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  4. ^ David Lynch (writer and director); Mark Frost (writer) (April 8, 1990). "Pilot". Twin Peaks. Season 1. Episode 1. ABC.
  5. ^ Tim Hunter (director); Mark Frost (writer) (December 1, 1990). "Episode 16". Twin Peaks. Season 2. Episode 9. ABC.
  6. ^ David Lynch (director); Mark Frost (writer); Harley Peyton (writer); Robert Engels (writer) (June 6, 1990). "Episode 29". Twin Peaks. Season 2. Episode 22. ABC.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ David Lynch (writer and director), Mark Frost (writer) (May 21, 2017). "Part 1". Twin Peaks
  8. ^ David Lynch (writer and director), Mark Frost (writer) (May 21, 2017). "Part 2". Twin Peaks
  9. ^ a b c d e f g David Lynch (writer and director), Mark Frost (writer) (May 21, 2017). "Part 3". Twin Peaks
  10. ^ "Twin Peaks- Part 2 (1990) – Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "David Lynch movies, photos, movie reviews, filmography, and biography". AllRovi. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Twin Peaks - The Return, Episode 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Miller, Liz (May 22, 2017). "'Twin Peaks' Episodes 3 and 4 Review: More Than Ever, David Lynch Is Still Screwing With Us". IndieWire. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Stephens, Emily L. (May 24, 2017). "Twin Peaks turns nostalgia and garmonbozia up to the max, for good or ill". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 25, 2018.

External links[edit]