[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Twin Peaks” Episode 7, “Part 7.”]
On Sunday’s episode of “Twin Peaks,” Laura Dern returned to give a heartbreakingly brittle performance as Diane, whom it seems is another victim of Evil Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) sadistic ways.
Diane’s initial reluctance and antagonism to even discuss Cooper gave a hint that something was not right between the two of them, but when she finally confronts Evil Cooper in prison, it’s clear that she is filled with outright fear and revulsion.
When he acknowledges that the last time they met was at her house, he says, “I’ll always remember that night,” feigning fondness and civility. Apparently, voicing any sort of affection for that night is not the appropriate answer, and Diane immediately understands that something is wrong, that this is not the Cooper she once knew. “Who are you? Look at me! Look at me!” she demands before abruptly ending the interview.
Given Evil Cooper’s history, it’s an easy assumption that he most likely assaulted her in some way, probably sexually. In every scene we’ve seen her in, Diane is a deeply troubled woman, putting on an air of struggling to hold onto control, but she’s is still obviously dealing with trauma and is a raging alcoholic as well.
She breaks down completely when she tells Gordon Cole (David Lynch) that the man in prison she talked to was not Cooper, not with the basic humanity that is clearly missing. “You and I will have a talk sometime,” she promises after Cole asks about what had happened that fateful night between her and Cooper. But it’s not really necessary to know the details, and we hope the show doesn’t pursue any of the lurid details. We’d rather see Diane get some sort of closure when the real Cooper returns than to dredge up the horrific past.
Evil Cooper has been acting suspect from the start of his escape from the Black Lodge. Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) learns from Dr. Hayward (Warren Frost) that 25 years ago he saw Evil Cooper sneaking out of intensive care, where Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) was in a coma after the explosion at the bank.
Although we had considered that Evil Cooper had once tricked Audrey into thinking he was Good Cooper and possibly had a child with her, we never considered the he may have raped her while she was comatose. We’re hoping that this is incorrect.
This is also our first clue as to Audrey’s fate — since we know that Sherilyn Fenn is on the cast list to return but we have yet to see her. It sounds like Dr. Hayward says, “She was in a coma,” and not “She is in a coma,” which would be far more convenient if she were pregnant and had to give birth (although we did reluctantly Google, “Can a woman give birth in a coma?”). While we wait to see if she did indeed have an Evil Cooper hatechild, we hope that Audrey has had a less traumatic last 25 years than Diane has.
“Twin Peaks” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.