Fourth episode: ...brings back some memories / The Return, Part IV
Content: Special Agent Dale Cooper alias Dougie Jones wins several jackpots in the casino thanks to some visions of the Black Lodge before being given a limo ride to Dougie's home. Dougie's wife, Janey-E, is upset about her husband's disappearance, but her mood changes upon seeing his casino winnings. Still near-catatonic, Cooper settles into life as Dougie. While getting dressed, he sees a vision of MIKE, who informs him that either he or his doppelgänger must die. At the Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Frank Truman gets an update on Hawk's investigation, and Deputy Bobby Briggs tells Truman that Cooper was the last person to see his father, Major Garland Briggs, before his death. Andy and Lucy's son Wally Brando arrives at the Sheriff's Office to pay his respects to his sick godfather Harry. Gordon meets with FBI Chief of Staff Denise Bryson before heading to South Dakota to see Cooper with Albert and Tamara. Cooper's doppelgänger claims he has been working undercover for Philip Jeffries. Gordon and Albert discuss their misgivings about Cooper, and decide to look for the one woman they think can help them.
Analysis: There are three important elements to analyze here. Throughout the third and the fourth episodes, Special Agent Dale Cooper's behavior as Dougie Jones has been catatonic and he has only copied gestures and repeated words of people around him. However, when he drinks a cup of coffee, he suddenly seems to remember his former identity, says "Hi!" and gives a thumps up which were typical gestures for Special Agent Dale Cooper twenty-five years ago. This is a sign that Dale Cooper's mental presence is getting stronger than Dougie Jones' mental presence. A second important element to analyze is that Special Agent Dale Cooper was the last person to see Garland Briggs alive before he died in a fire. This could mean that Garland Briggs discovered the secret of Special Agent Dale Cooper's evil doppelgänger and was killed by him. It could also mean that this discovery forced the doppelgänger to go into hiding. This made me think of the first episode, where the body of an unidentified beheaded man was found next to the head of a librarian in South Dakota. Maybe this body could be Garland Briggs'. Its appearance could mean that there is an instability in the space-time continuum. This makes me think about the following element: Could it be possible to travel back twenty-years in time for Dale Cooper once he has defeated his doppelgänger and to wake up in the Great Northern Hotel where the second season ended? The last thing to analyze is the fact that Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield have realized that something is abnormal about Dale Cooper who is in fact his evil doppelgänger. They say that there is only one woman that could help them find out what's going on with Dale Cooper. Since Heather Graham who played Cooper's love interest Annie Blackburn hasn't been cast for the third season, there are only two women I could think of who know Dale Cooper well enough to tell whether something's wrong with him or not. The most logical choice would be Audrey Horne who had a romantic interest in Dale Cooper. The only other choice that would make sense to me is Margaret Lanterman alias the Log Lady with her seemingly supernatural knowledge. A third and last option could be a completely new characters but I don't think that would be appropriate here.
Description: After three sinister episodes, the fourth part is definitely the most light-hearted episode of the new season. Watching the erratic behavior of Special Agent Dale Cooper in Dougie Jones' body is absolutely hilarious. The scenes at the casino and at his home are pure comedy gold. On the serious side, we get some background information about the deceased Garland Briggs as well as his son Bobby who has become a deputy. We get the predictable information that either Dale Cooper or his evil doppelgänger must die. Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield realize that something is wrong with Dale Cooper's doppelgänger. Other than this, the different cases and mysteries don't really make any progress. Sheriff Frank Truman and Wally Brando are the first two characters that I don't really like yet. The former is lacking charisma and the latter just seems to be pointless with his weird cameo appearance out of nowhere. The episode is overall still entertaining but is the first to have some minor lengths.
Favorite scene: There is no question about this: Dougie Jones winning jackpot after jackpot is the most hilarious scene of the third season so far.
Third episode: Call for help / The Return, Part III
Content: Cooper lands in a metal spaceship where two strange women appear to protect him from an unseen entity. Cooper's evil doppelgänger becomes sick while driving and crashes when the Cooper from the Black Lodge finds a portal and swaps places with another Cooper doppelgänger, Dougie Jones. In the Black Lodge, MIKE tells Dougie that he was manufactured for a purpose that has now been fulfilled. Dougie vanishes and MIKE takes his ring. Cooper is found in a disoriented state by a prostitute, Jade, who drives him to a casino. He wanders there, confused, and plays slot machines indicated with an image of the Black Lodge, winning jackpots every time. At the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department, Hawk, Andy and Lucy are unable to discern what is "missing". At the FBI headquarters in Philadelphia, Agent Tamara Preston is debriefing Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield about the gruesome murders in New York City when Cole receives a phone call stating that Cooper has been found in South Dakota.
Analysis: The space ship seems to be a transitory station between our real world and the Black Lodge. The mysterious entity that seems to menace Cooper could be the same that appeared in New York in the first episode and might become the main antagonist of the third season. It might be the mother of all evil and creator of the Black Lodge. It makes me think of a very powerful demon or even the devil itself. Since Cooper's evil doppelgänger doesn't want to return to the Black Lodge and swap places with Special Agent Dale Cooper, he used Dougie Jones to host Special Agent Dale Cooper's spirit from the Black Lodge. He was able to manipulate the man that looks slightly similar to Dale Cooper with the green ring from the Black Lodge. Special Agent Dale Cooper's and Dougie Jones' spirit are caught in the same body and don't harmonize initially which explains the character's erratic behavior. On the other side, Special Agent Dale Cooper's appearance nevertheless had an impact on his evil doppelgänger who lost some garmonbozia, which means that he is getting weaker. This explains his car crash as well as the fact that he got caught by the police. As the series goes on, my guess is that Special Agent Dale Cooper's mind will try to suppress Dougie Jones' mind while trying to find his evil doppelgänger, reclaim his earthly shell and send his antagonist back to the Black Lodge. The mysterious entity from the Black Lodge might though interfer with Special Agent Dale Cooper's plans in order to continue to use his evil doppelgänger for its own malicious purposes.
Description: The third episode is not only the best of the new season so far but one of the very best Twin Peaks episodes ever. This episode has a very dark, mysterious and surreal vibe that sucks you in right from the start and never lets you go.
Favorite scene: The entire opening sequence is absolutely brilliant. Special Agent Dale Cooper travels through space and ultimately lands inside a mysterious spaceship where he meets two mysterious women, receives a message from the deceased Garland Briggs about the mysterious criminal cases related to Twin Peaks, gets menaced by a strange entity that seems to be the creator of the Black Lodge and finally wakes up in Dougie Jones' shell. The first fifteen minutes of the episode are among the most gloomy, mysterious and surreal moments in all three seasons. Those who still doubted the new season might not be as good as the first two, should have realized by now that this isn't the case and that Twin Peaks is back for good and maybe stronger than ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Los Angeles, California. The world's capital of steel, plastic and glass. Including locations and people. After drinking too much booze in a shady strip club, two representatives of Warner Brothers Pictures are talking about the company's next blockbuster after a series of less popular movies in times when cinema can't compete with the growing streaming media industry.
"Let's make another blockbuster – any ideas?"
"There is a monster movie revival. We could reboot the King Kong franchise."
"But there are already seven different King Kong movies."
"That doesn't matter. People don't like change, love living in the past and don't want to think too much. Imagine the commercial potential of such a reboot! We could let King Kong fight against Godzilla in a sequel!"
"Well, there is already a movie where this happens."
"Great! People are nostalgic and will like it!"
"Do you have any ideas for a plot?"
"Let the movie take place in the past. This will only add to its nostalgia. We could put some old rock music in the film. And some vintage vehicles and weapons. It could take place towards the end of the Vietnam War."
"Why would we chose the Vietnam War?"
"Even the most uneducated audience has already heard of the Vietnam War. Oh, and let's also include the Second World War in the scenario. Two wars are better than one!"
"Do you have any ideas for precise locations?"
"Geography is too complex for our audience. Let's just invent a fictional island. An island where any nonsense could happen. Let's include other monsters. Giant lizards, giant oxes and giant spiders! And dinosaurs! Let's just put plenty of big animals in the movie that make a lot of noise and look scary."
"Alright, but what about an actual story?"
"Who needs a story? A couple of people want to discover an island and must fight monsters. King Kong turns out to be nice and helps them. That's it."
"Do you have any ideas for our characters?"
"People like simple contrasts. Good and evil. Heroes and villains. Pacifists and warmongers. Let's also include some stereotypes to put everyone in their comfort zones. Some natives that worship King Kong. A crazy recluse who stranded on the island. Stuff like that."
"We need strong antagonists and protagonists though."
"Let me think... I got it. An evil military faces a good journalist. The former wants to kill all the monsters while the latter wants to save them."
"The US military will hate us for this."
"Awesome, we will get some promotion for free. Everybody will talk about it. And even the intellectuals will come watch our movie because they think it includes some serious pacifist message! Hahaha!"
"What about the actors and actresses?"
"Let's make sure to include people from every possible background even if it doesn't make any sense considering the historical background. Multiculturalism matters. Let's include exotic natives, a good black dude and a bad black dude, a crazy white dude and a clever white dude. Let's also put some random Asian chick in the movie that looks cute. We just give her ten lines of dialogue and that's enough. Some people just watch those movies for the action sequences and beautiful people! They are weak and can't get laid in real life, so they want to watch heroes that shoot everything and get all the hot chicks!"
"Shouldn't we put some more profound emotions into this film?"
"Profound is a word our target audience doesn't understand. People like simple and positive emotions. Let's make the good black dude fall in love with that Asian chick. Let our protagonist fall in love with the clever white dude. Let the recluse come back to his family. Let all the baddies die. That's the kind of stuff we need."
"That sounds so shallow it might actually work out. But what kind of actor would participate in such a movie?"
"Let's hire some unknown rookies that look geeky and trendy and who still dream of a Hollywood career. They will accept to do anything to get rich and famous. Let's also put one or two more famous actors in the movie that will attract older audiences. We will have to overpay them to make sure they participate in this nonsense but it will pay off. Imagine a name like Samuel L. Jackson! People will read his name and just watch the movie because of him! Anyway, we will put the biggest part of our budget in the special effects. We need a lot of crazy monsters, loud explosions and a dream island to sell our product. The talent of the actors doesn't actually matter. They just need to look cool."
"You're so superficial that it's almost creative! But how can we connect this movie to a potential sequel?"
"Let's include a scene after the credits. We can throw in the discovery of more monsters from other remote places! What about Godzilla? Or some other Japanese monsters. That three-headed dragon, King Ghidorah! Or the giant butterfly, Mothra! Or some dinosaur, like Rodan!"
"Isn't that a little bit too exaggerated?"
"Hell, no! We could make dozens of sequels and reboots with those connections. And more importantly, we will make a shitload of money!"
"Sounds good to me. One last thing. What kind of title could we use? ''King Kong returns''?"
"No, it needs to be something cooler to get more kids interested. Let's use the name of the island from the original movie. Skull Island! That sounds badass! There it is: "Kong: Skull Island"."
"You're a genius. How much time do you need to write the script?"
"Give me some more drinks and I would say I can write it in two hours. Maximum! Let's start the casting and promotion. We will be heroes! Here we go!"
I'm usually not a fan of sequels of any kind. Eleven years ago, the original ''Bon Cop Bad Cop'' portrayed the divergences and similarities between Anglo- and Franco-Canadians perfectly in a movie filled with diversified humour, stunning action sequences and a whole lot of suspense and tension plus some entertaining cultural elements related to ice hockey being Canada's national sport. This movie had a huge impact on my teenage years and is still one of my favourite films of all times. It was clear that a potential sequel couldn't be any better than this.
And yet, ''Bon Cop Bad Cop 2'' was more than just a positive surprise and is in fact as great as the perfect original movie. The creators managed to achieve this stunning result by developing a balanced mixture of trademarks from the original film and refreshing new elements instead of just copying what had been done eleven years earlier. They kept the talented two main actors Colm Feore and Patrick Huard who have great chemistry on and off the screen, the diversified humour including amusing cultural inspirations, inside jokes for Canadians and raw comedy elements plus a solid dose of action and tension. The movie includes a handful of new elements such as a convincing story line expanding to the United States of America that fits surprisingly well in times of Trump's presidency and the rise of terrorism all around the world, two main characters that have clearly influenced each other both negatively and positively but who have also become more mature and serious in a credible way and an overall more brutal and sinister tone that makes the action sequences even more explosive, the suspenseful elements even more gripping and the humorous parts even more relieving.
Even though this movie also focuses on Canada's diversified cultures, it might be more accessible internationally because it's easier to relate to the characters and their everyday life problems as well as to the story line involving two countries now. To be honest, this film is much better than any flick mixing elements of action, comedy and thriller cinema that has come out of the United States in the past ten years. More people should watch this movie as well as its brilliant predecessor. I have never liked sequels but now I hope that there is going to be another film of this franchise in the future. This movie makes me proud to live in Canada.
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