We cut to a short while later and Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch), Agents Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) and Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) are positioned in a darkened room, ready to speak to the incarcerated Mr. C (Kyle MachLachlan). They sit behind protective glass. Cole announces his intention to speak to the prisoner. He presses a button which raises a protective shield, revealing Mr. C sat alone on the other side. He sits shackled to a chair in a prison jumpsuit.
Mr. C smiles and offers the agents a thumbs-up. He intends to play along and impersonate the former agent. When he speaks, he curiously affects a lower and slowed-down pitch to his voice. The effect being that he seems as though he has suffered some kind of stroke, perhaps. This could be a deliberate move to throw the agents off; so much could have happened in the intervening years, after all. Or, it could simply be a by-product of speaking through the glass (though I don’t particularly see how or why).
“It’s very good to see you again, old friend,” Mr. C says and Cole repays the compliment.
“I haven’t seen you in a long, long time,” Mr. C continues and Cole agrees. He goes on to say he has missed spending time with Cole.
Cole asks him where he has been and Mr. C responds, “Gordon, I’ve been working undercover all these years, working primarily with our colleague Phillip Jeffries.”
“Phillip Jeffries?” Cole questions, but he receives no elaboration. What we know about Phillip Jeffries is – up to this point – little, but the later parts of the show will reveal that Cole knows quite a bit and we learn through him. We’ll cover those revelations when they happen, but one of the last gems we come to realise is that Cole is well aware that Jeffries no longer exists in any traditional understanding. As such, Mr. C’s alibi should prove thorny it not downright transparent from this juncture.
Mr. C asks to be debriefed so that he can tell his story. He says he was intending to meet Cole for this very purpose but he’s been running a little behind schedule. That was when he had his car accident. Mr. C’s unusual behaviour continues when he repeats himself, advising the same alibi twice in a row. Coupled with the low, monotone speech (almost slurred) and it seems clear he is trying to give the impression of suffering from some kind of fatigue. He might even be aping the condition assumed in Douglas Jones; something he hasn’t experienced first-hand, but could take an educated guess at.
“I’ve left messages,” he says, and stares coldly through the glass at Albert. Perhaps he has. From when he first appeared in our reality, Mr. C kept up the rouse that he was really the good Dale for a while. Evidently he disappeared off of the radar sometime soon after the death of Major Briggs (Don S. Davis), but he has never outright revealed himself to be somebody other than Dale Cooper
(except, perhaps, to Diane – who is in no position to communicate this right now…). His pointed look toward Albert suggests that he has indeed left messages, and Albert may even have received them – though this is not confirmed.
Still, his look toward Albert chills. It is as though Agent Rosenfield has captured his attention, and you wouldn’t wish Mr. C’s attention on anyone. In the audience, on the first watch, we worry slightly for Albert due to this. If this is intended, then it’s a red herring.
Mr. C says he left messages “so that Phillip knows it’s safe”. So maybe these messages were left solely with Jeffries? They appeared to be in communication in Part 2, following Mr. C’s murder of Darya. Jeffries has become a resident of the place known as the Convenience Store – or rather a kind of limbo ‘Motel’ that is accessible through the Convenience Store. It is linked to the Black Lodge and the Purple Realm (and also, the furnace of the Great Norther Hotel, apparently). He has become one of the otherworldly beings that have shown great interest in our reality, though it is not known whether this was of his own volition, as we will come to see.
“Gordon, when are you going to get me out of here?” he asks, looking for an angle. When Cole assures him they are working on it so that he can get home, Mr. C rather cryptically responds, “I’ve never really left home, Gordon.”
His tone is worrying and Cole is clearly troubled and intrigued by this statement. They exchange another thumbs-up of solidarity and the interview comes to an end. Albert and Tammy say nothing the entire time.
Back out in the prison halls, Cole asks that Mr. C is given his “private” phone call and makes it clear that he expects to hear all about it.
Next time: The blue rose