Milo Garner reviews the next chapter of David Lynch’s return to Twin Peaks.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers.
Part 10 of Twin Peaks: The Return is an episode picking up the pieces of story strands long left dormant. The two most notable might be the return of Harry Dean Stanton’s Carl Rodd – guitar in hand – and in his vicinity, Amanda Seyfried’s Becky (who may or may not be Shelly’s daughter) and her now-abusive husband Steven (Caleb Landry Jones). Naturally, we don’t get much more about any of these characters other than the vague descriptions offered above, but it’s something. Another returning narrative line is that of Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), now confirmed to be a member of the Horne family. Audrey’s son? Probably, though she still remains unseen. In this episode, Richard finds himself returning to his sinister ways, not only killing a witness to his heinous crime some episodes ago but also throwing his grandmother about and robbing her blind. While it is often fun to have villains who are just evil, at this point, many of the antagonists are becoming overly cartoonish. Richard appeared to show some remorse for killing the kid in his last appearance, if mainly self-pity, but any sense of humanity that might be inherent there is lost now. Hopefully there are some interesting horizons for this character – maybe his story arc will redeem this rampant behaviour. On the note of thinly written villains, another rears his head in relation to Richard, that being the unfriendly Chad (John Pirruccello) at Twin Peaks’ police department. In former episodes he had just been rather unpleasant, and as such the revelation that he’s a corrupt cop feels cheap – of course he would be a corrupt cop. He probably spits in everyone’s coffee too, because why not?
Besides this, the episode prefers the peculiar to the cruel: building on Dougie-Coop’s (Kyle MacLachlan) plot substantially – and no, he isn’t back yet. After word gets out about him spiking Ike, the powers that be decide that he must be dealt with. A mission of intrigue begins when Tom Sizemore’s insurance agent convinces the shady Mitchum brothers (Robert Knepper and Jim Belushi), who own the casino Dougie cashed out big time in, that Dougie was also responsible for their losing insurance money on a destroyed property. As such, they too decide he has to die. But more! On the less sinister side of things Coop is revealed to have a killer bod, and when Janey-E (Naomi Watts) catches this drift she sets out to seduce him. She succeeds (as close as success could be defined with the barely-there Dougie-Coop), and the ensuing love-making is possibly the show’s comedic high. While this plotline has been a little here and there, it does have some major pay offs.
Otherwise, the usual Peaks oddities reside: such as Gordon (David Lynch) opening a door to find Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) face superimposed across its frame (yep), one of the revival’s most inexplicable moments, of many. We also get a few moments of classic cameos, such as a return of Doctor Jacoby’s (Russ Tamblyn) Alex Jones-esque conspiracy-spade-selling show, and a brief shot of Nadine (Wendy Robie), who now owns a drape shop (perhaps there is some justice in the world). The episode closes with an extended jaunt in the Roadhouse, with Rebekah Del Rio singing ‘No Stars’, a song co-penned by Lynch himself, with Moby on guitar. Unfortunately it isn’t particularly good, but nonetheless gets the full-song music video treatment so far only otherwise seen with ‘The’ Nine Inch Nails. I guess Lynch digs it, after all.
Twin Peaks: The Return airs Mondays at 2am in simulcast with the U.S. on Sky Atlantic, and is then repeated at 9pm on Tuesdays.