Twin Peaks has a new character in Mr. Jackpots, and he is quite interesting
Note: There will be spoilers in this article in that I am going to be detailing scenes. After four hours of watching Twin Peaks, I still don’t really know what’s going on.
“Agent Cooper is the finest lawman I’ve ever known.” Those are some of the most accurate words ever spoken by Sheriff Harry S. Truman. Special Agent Dale Cooper is a damn fine lawman. The eccentric agent who fans love just as much as he loves cherry pie and coffee from the Double R Diner is one of the most intelligent and competent law-enforcement officers created in television and film. Seeing Coop “call for help” and being incompetent is a shock to the viewers’ system, especially when you have watched the original run of Twin Peaks. Yet at the same time, Coop’s comatose state of “Mr. Jackpots” may very well be one of the funniest moments in both currently in the early stages of the revival season and the original run.
After decades of being trapped in the Black Lodge, Cooper finally manages to escape via an electrical outlet in a metal box floating aimlessly in the cosmos and appears shoeless next to a pile of vomit in a barren Las Vegas home with his signature slicked-back hair and tailor-fitted black FBI suit. Yes folks, after twenty-five years trapped in the Black Lodge, our beloved Special Agent Dale Cooper’s first experience back in the material world is lying on the floor next to vomit in Las Vegas. Remember, this is a David Lynch series we are talking about.
However, instead of replacing Doppel-Coop ‒ he’s to travel back to the Black Lodge and Agent Cooper to return to the material world ‒ Cooper replaces Dougie Jones. It appears that Doppel-Coop created Dougie for this very occasion. Dougie is a stereotypical Vegas slimeball who’s mixed up with the wrong people and cheats on his wife. Because the rightful swap did not occur as intended, Cooper has absolutely no memory of who he is or where he is. Furthermore, he takes on the life of a man who someone hired to kill.
After Jade drops him off at the front entrance of a casino and after stumbling his way through the automatic revolving doors, Cooper makes his way to a security guard with money in his hand. He says “call for help”, to which the security guards directs him to a counter to receive coins for the slot machines. From there, he encounters a man who yells “HEEELLOOO!” after the slot machine hits with three sevens. After watching this man win, Cooper then sees an image of the Black Lodge floating above a slot machine. He moves towards and mimics the man he just watched and plays the slot machine, including the “HEEELLOOO!” as he pulls down the lever. Cooper wins the mega-jackpot on his first try.
The sound from the machine startles Coop, as he jumps from his chair. He proceeds to the next slot machine with the Black Lodge floating over it, winning the mega-jackpot again. This begins a theme that continues for the remainder of the scene. Cooper then encounters the stereotypical crazy old lady who probably spent at least 24 hours sitting at the same slot. She rejects Cooper’s assistance with what slot machine she should play until Cooper wins yet another mega-jackpot. The lady quickly moves to the other machine, winning the jackpot. This very same crazy old lady is the one who dubs Cooper “Mr. Jackpots.”
The moments and actions of this scene and the related ones following it, like the scene when security brings Cooper into the pit boss’ office and the pit boss reluctantly gives Coopers a giant sack of cash, are quite humorous. From the way Cooper shouts “HEEELLOOO!” after every time he pulls the slot machine lever to the way the casino employees cannot find Cooper as he indiscriminately meanders the floor after every mega-jackpot victory, Mr. Jackpots Cooper mindlessly wanders in and out of situations without having full control of his mental faculties. And that lack of control is what makes Mr. Jackpots Cooper so damn tragic.
Cooper is consistently telling everyone he encounters that he needs help, yet no one does. Jade sends to a casino where assassins almost kill him on the ride over, then security sends him to get coins to gamble, and then the pit boss sends him in a limousine to a home he’s completely unfamiliar with. This is the man who solved the Laura Palmer murder, rescued a kidnapped Audrey Horne, and refused to die after Josie shot at close range. Seeing Cooper’s first exposure to an unfamiliar and changed world as a helpless idiot just doesn’t mesh with his character.
As a viewer, you’re just waiting for him to snap out of this malaise and get right back into trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It’s simply unsettling and upsetting to see Cooper in this state, no matter how funny it is that he can’t even figure out how to put a tie on correctly or tries to figure out how to properly eat pancakes as Sonny Jim (who the hell names their kid Sonny Jim? I mean, serious) sits at the table amused by his “father’s” ineptitude.
We need Special Agent Dale Cooper to snap out of this and get back into his eccentric self who fans of the series love. The last time we see Cooper, he takes a sip of coffee, spits it out, and says “hi” with a really weird facial expression. Let’s hope that his love for coffee is the trigger needed to shed Mr. Jackpots because dammit, I miss the old Dale Cooper.