Try as I might I’ve not managed to find a still of Ray calling Phillip on the phone to use as the header image for this post, so you’ll have to settle for this shot of Ray from the previous scene.
Ray’s (George Griffith) voice opens the next, brief scene, as he places a phone call whilst driving.
“Phillip,” he says, “It’s Ray. I think he’s dead, but he’s found some kind of help, so I’m not 100 percent.” Ray is of course referring to the Dirty Bearded Men, whose surprise presence in the last scene can safely be regarded as outside of his prior experience. Lynch shows us the road out front of the car as Ray drives along at speed; he’s back on a tarmac surface, chasing the intermittent white line down the middle. So we know he’s made it back out of the desert wilds and is on his way toward ‘civilisation’.
We now also know where Ray’s allegiances have been this whole time. Though he doesn’t confirm a last name, this call has to be to Phillip Jeffries (formerly played by the late, great David Bowie). Jeffries was an FBI Agent and part of Cole’s Blue Rose Taskforce, who went missing long before even the Laura Palmer case began. The scattered lore of Twin Peaks tells us that he got too close to the supernatural entities emanating from the Black Lodge/Convenience Store. His brief, cryptic dialogue in Fire Walk With Me suggests that he tried going ‘undercover’ with them. As we will learn later in The Return, he is now one among them, potentially being held captive as a prisoner (though that point remains debatable), and also that he no longer holds human form.
Quite how Ray and Jeffries first got into contact with one another remains a mystery, though as it comes to appear as though Jeffries has been trying to foil Mr. C’s schemes, it’s more likely that Jeffries sought out Ray as a tool to use against Mr. C than the other way around. Ray seems largely in the dark about the more fantastic elements at play in the story around him.
“I saw something in Cooper,” Ray goes on to say, “It may be the key to what this is all about.” Jeffries may not have been directly involved in the Laura Palmer murder case, but he is presumably all-too-aware of the existence of BOB. In Fire Walk With Me when he talks about the Convenience Store, Lynch shows us images of that place and its inhabitants, very much including BOB. When BOB and MIKE appear to Cooper early in season one as part of his cryptic dream, MIKE is also quite forthcoming about the Convenience Store. There’s no reason to believe Jeffries wouldn’t know the general history and lore of these characters by this point.
“I told him where I’m going,” Ray continues, “So if he comes after me, I’ll get him there.” He’s referring to The Farm, which was mentioned in their earlier conversation in the car. Ray’s hubris here will ultimately be his undoing, assuming that even if Mr. C has survived his attempt to kill him here, that he will still have the upper-hand somehow at a later encounter.
Ray ends his call. It’s worth noting that we didn’t hear from Phillip during this call at all, so it is perhaps likely that Ray was leaving a message. The Return has already established, however, that Jeffries can use a telephone. He speaks directly to Mr. C in Part 2.
Ray continues driving into the night, away from what he has done.
Next time: She’s gone away