This Twin Peaks review contains spoilers.
Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 10
I wasn’t really joking when I said the gentleness of last week’s episode would mean that David Lynch was going to kick our asses this time around, and it seems my fears were warranted. This was another part of Twin Peaks’ return that was alternatingly terrifying, absurd, and obnoxious. That said, the terrifying bits were as gripping as ever, and there were a few hints of hope, not to mention some deeply sad stuff as well. Also, despite the irritating, draggy scenes, a lot of long-dangling plot threads got satisfyingly tied together.
Considering it’s always been a prominent feature of Twin Peaks to explore the depths of pure evil, it’s impressive that Richard Horne is currently unquestionably the series’ most abhorrent character. When he was introduced to us, he was threatening to rape a girl and not long after that he mowed down a child in his car. We know what he’s capable of so anytime he’s onscreen, there’s the potential for unadulterated cruelty. Yet, at the same time, he comes off like a sniveling little creep (recall the coin-flipping scene where he appeared to be quite intimidated). Every time Richard shows up, I’m simultaneously on edge and pissed off.
At any rate, this episode inches us closer to revealing the origins of this awful little monster with one of the show’s most horrific scenes yet. Richard chokes his grandmother as her mentally disabled son Johnny writhes and moans on the ground, all the while his freakish, fishbowl/teddy-bear thing repeats, “Hello Johnny, how are you today?” It’s a pure Lynchian audiovisual nightmare symphony that I can’t exactly say I enjoyed but, well, it was certainly effective.
We now know Ben and Sylvia Horne are indeed Richard’s grandparents, and it seems unlikely that Johnny Horne fathered any children, so it’s growing ever more likely that Richard is Audrey’s son. A disturbingly plausible fan theory is that Richard is as loathsome as he is because (as we learned from Doc Hayward) Mr. C visited Audrey in the hospital and may have impregnated her at that time. The prospect of this is really upsetting. Audrey was always one of my favorite characters and this is such a heartbreaking fate for her. Furthermore, that The Return continues to withhold her from us when we’ve now checked in on literally every other member of the Horne clan implies nothing good about the state she’s in.
Other than that, we got a lot of Dougie stuff. Annoyingly, Dougie (Coop) managed to go to a doctor and still not have his mental issues addressed. Instead, his wife just realized Dougie’s hot now, which led to a totally ridiculous sex scene. Yeesh. There were also some very, very drawn-out scenes of the casino owners planning to get revenge on Dougie. Some of it was funny (Jim Belushi makes a lot of good faces), but all that business with Candy was a real chore. And, goodness me, what a profane episode this was! The dumbest, filthiest line had to be, “You fuck us once, shame on us. You fuck us twice, shame on you, you’re dead!”
The other reveals amazingly helped a lot toward making all the disparate threads we’ve seen up until this point start to congeal into a coherent whole. It was satisfying to see the weird box from the start of the series referenced. I had an inkling that Mr. C was the one who was paying for it and that’s now been confirmed. Also, we now know the true extent of how corrupt Chad (the jerk detective at the Twin Peaks Sherriff station) is. Lynch has always been big on presenting good and evil as absolutes. I have no idea how Chad landed his job among all those other altruistic cops, but it makes sense for the universe as Lynch presents it. The evils of the world find each other and those who are good work together to fight against them.
On a positive note, it was so great to see, in just one shot, that Nadine’s dream of selling a silent drape runner has been realized. We don’t know what became of her and Big Ed (she seems to be pretty into Doctor Jacoby these days), but at least she has this. This revival has thus far put most characters in a tragic or worrying state, so this was a welcome glimmer of hope. Finally, it was a lovely surprise to see the Log Lady again. Every appearance of Catherine Coulson in The Return has been moving and bittersweet and my feelings toward this episode improved immediately the moment she was onscreen.