7:8 – The backwards word

We cut to a small aircraft in flight over the Rockies. The sun flickers against the windows.

So obsessive was the hunt for clues as The Return aired that some people went as far as to try and find a musical code in the flickering reflections of the sun on these windows. As much as David Lynch and Mark Frost enjoy planting Easter eggs for the fans to root out, this seems a little extreme, even for them.

Like a “CUT TO…” punchline the scene change reveals that Diane (Laura Dern) did agree to the request made of her by FBI agents Gordon Cole (David Lynch) and Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) after all. Inside the plane Gordon watches as Albert hands Diane some drinks. Diane is sat up front near the cockpit, some way away from Gordon, likely deliberately to maintain her standoffish nature.

“Judge not, lest you be judged,” Albert says as he hands Diane the mini bottle of vodka, softening to add, “Just the fact that you’re hear speaks louder than words.” Diane responds with another acerbic, “Fuck you, Albert” and downs the vodka. Albert smiles and joins Gordon. Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell) appears with a laptop and joins them also.

Tammy shows them a comparison of Cooper’s fingerprints from when he was an agent in the FBI to the ones taken when Mr. C was remanded to federal lock-up. The prints are a match except for on his ring ringer, where the pattern is reversed. Albert suspects that this is the work of “some Cro-Magnon” at the prison trying to make one set look like the other by flipping it in the computer, but Gordon seems to think otherwise.

That it is the ring finger is interesting, considering the preoccupation with rings in Twin Peaks, particularly the Owl Cave Ring, which is used to transport beings between dimensions. Could it be that wearing the ring changes the pattern of one’s fingerprints?

Yrev,” Gordon says, elaborating, “The backwards word.”

‘Yrev’ backwards is ‘very’. He might also be alluding to a different spelling; ‘irrev’ as in ‘irreversible’; saying this would suggest he disagrees with Albert; that the image hasn’t been doctored but rather that, in the normal course of things, Cooper’s print would not be able to reverse itself on his finger, but that in this instance the normal order might not apply. This is a Blue Rose case, after all. The insinuation is that Gordon believes the print to be legitimate and that this is another sign that the man in prison is not the Cooper that they once knew.

Confused, Tammy asks what this all means and Gordon praises her and asks her to put out her hands, palms down.

Tammy complies. Gordon, as though playing with a child, takes each of Tammy’s fingers in turn and gives them a friendly squeeze. With each finger squeeze he says another word; “I’m very, very happy to see you again old friend.”

Returning his attention to the knuckle of the ring ringer on her right hand – one of the two he used the word “very” on – Gordon tells her, “This is the spiritual mound, the spiritual finger. You think about that, Tammy.” This adds to the argument that Gordon is suggesting something inherently rotten or reversed in Cooper’s spirit. He is into the truth.

Albert shows Tammy a photograph of Mr. C outside of a luxurious beach house. He is in black clothes and a white suit jacket. Albert claims the photo was taken as Cooper’s home outside of Rio in Brazil. There’s a pool and palm trees; it’s an expensive locale. “By the time we checked it out it belonged to some girl from Ipanema.” – a playful reference to the famous lounge classic.

Tammy agrees that it looks like the man they met in prison and Gordon repeats, “A man we met in prison,” delineating this from the man they knew 25 years earlier.

Though she sits apart from them, Diane listens in to all of this.


Next time:  I knew it was going to be you

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