Recap:

First of all, Richard Horne turns up at Miriam’s trailer. He knows that she saw him fleeing the scene of the crime after he ran over the young boy, but tries to act innocent. She warns him to stay away, as she has mailed a letter to the Sheriff Truman informing him of what Richard has done. While she thinks that might protect her, she’s fatally wrong. Richard breaks in to her home, brutally beats her, then leaves the gas on with a lit candle to burn the trailer down. He rings up Chad, asking him to intervene and grab the letter before it is delivered to the Sheriff.

Carl sits outside his office at the Fat Trout Trailer Park, playing the guitar and singing Red River Valley. He is interrupted by a mug smashing through a trailer window. Inside the trailer, Steven argues with Becky, verbally abusing and threatening her with violence.

Candie hunts for a fly around the home of the Mitchums. Struggling to catch it, she tries to swat it with the TV remote, and instead hits Rodney in the face. She’s distraught and Bradley comes in to help. Rodney tries to cheer her up to no avail, so puts on the TV instead. The Mitchums watch the news, and celebrate the fact that Ike “The Spike” has been arrested, meaning they don’t need to pay for a hit on him any more. They also witness the (hilarious) broadcast of the interview with Janey-E, who recounts how her husband warded off the attack.

In the doctor’s office, Cooper is examined, and everyone is blown away by how much weight Dougie is lost in recent weeks. Since this is Cooper, and not Dougie’s body, it turns out he’s in perfect health. Janey-E begins to take notice of his physique. Back at home, she flirts with him, successfully luring him into bed with her, giving the world the second-most bizarre sex scene to star Kyle MacLachlan (thankyou, Showgirls). Afterwards, she professes her love for him, and he repeats “love you.”

Back in Twin Peaks, Jacoby (now known as Dr. Amp) continues to rant about the government, while Nadine watches. It appears she now has her own store, named “Run Silent, Run Drapes,” and one of Jacoby’s golden shovels is displayed in the window. “He’s so beautiful,” she remarks. Jerry is still lost in the woods, with no service on his phone. “You can’t fool me! I’ve been here before!” he bellows into the forest.

In the Sheriff’s Department, Chad (ugh) intercepts the mail, keeping Miriam’s letter. Both the mailman and Lucy are suspicious. He texts Richard to let him know that the problem has been solved. At the Horne residence, it turns out Johnny survived his accident and is now restrained to a chair. As Charmaine by Mantovani plays (which brings back memories of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), a strange toy sits on the table in front of Johnny. It is a teddy bear, but with a plastic spherical head, and a strange face that looks like something from David Lynch’s animated shorts Dumbland. It repeats, over and over: “Hello Johnny! How are you today!”

Richard turns up the residence, revealing that Sylvia is his grandmother. He forces his way into the home despite her protests, insisting that she give him not just money, but the entire contents of his safe. He’s looking to skip town, and strangles her until she gives up the safe combination. After assaulting his grandmother, threatening his disabled uncle, and stealing all her jewellery and cash, he storms out. The whole scene has a strong Clockwork Orange vibe. Sylvia rings Ben, asking for more money and threatening him with lawyers. In frustration, he asks Beverley out to dinner.

In Vegas, Duncan Todd finds out that Ike has been arrested. He calls over Anthony, the crooked insurance man who works with Dougie. He is given an ultimatum – he either manipulates the Mitchums into killing Dougie, or he has to do it himself. When he turns up at the casino, the brothers send Candie out to get him from the floor. After much reluctance, she meets with Anthony, only to keep him talking for far too long. She’s called back in, and they listen to what the insurance man has to say.

He claims that while he sold them the insurance claim, he didn’t handle the claim. Their hotel burned down and the fire was ruled as arson, leading to them losing $30 million. Anthony claims that the result of claim was due to the efforts of one Douglas Jones, for some personal vendetta.

Remember that look that Albert gave Constance, the coroner, last episode? Well it pays off nicely as they have a drink together, as Gordon and Tammy watch from across the room with delight. Back in his hotel room, Gordon draws a strange drawing of what appears to be a stag (or even a walking log) and a hand reaching out. He receives a knock at the door, but when he opens it he is struck by the vision of Laura Palmer. When it recedes Albert is stood at the door, waiting.

Albert reveals that Diane has been secretly in contact with an unknown person, using encrypted messages. She replied with the message: “They have Hastings. He’s going to take them to the site.” Gordon says he had an suspicion that something was afoot, but this confirms it. They agree to keep her close and watch what she does. Tammy enters, showing the two a photo of evil Cooper. It turns out he was present at some point during the beginning of the penthouse project, which contained the glass box from Part 1.

The Log Lady appears again, talking to Hawk over the phone. She says the following:

“Hawk, electricity is humming. You hear it in the mountains and rivers. You see it dance among the seas and stars and glowing around the moon. But in these days, the glow is dying. What will be in the darkness that remains? The Truman brothers are both true men. They are your brothers. And the others, the good ones who have been with you. Now the circle is almost complete. Watch and listen to the dream of time and space. It all comes out now, flowing like a river, that which is and is not. Hawk, Laura is the one.”

At the Roadhouse, Rebekah Del Rio plays “No Stars.”

Analysis:

While “Laura is the one” is the phrase that was highlighted as the episode’s title/caption, as well as the final words spoken in the Log Lady’s monologue, the line that stuck with me the most this week was from Jerry Horne. Still lost in the forest, either high as hell or in a spiritual stupor, he shouts:

“You can’t fool me! I’ve been here before!”

While it’s pretty easy to connect that to this series, as the slow pace of the Dougie storyline and the comedy of repetition is part and parcel of The Return, this lines up with a lot of the scenes in Part 10. It turns out Becky is not just following in the footsteps of Laura Palmer, but is stuck in an abusive relationship not dissimilar from the one her mother Shelly shared with Leo. Jacoby rages at the establishment to no avail, Chad continues to be slimy, and Richard launches a tirade of violence without punishment.

That’s part of what makes this episode simultaneously one of the most effective episodes of the season and one that I won’t take any pleasure in revisiting. There was some relief with Richard in previous episodes, as it seemed that Miriam’s testimony may bring him down, and that his run-in with the bigger guns of the drug trade may result in an end to his god awful ways. But he gets away with it again, terrorising his mother and uncle, as well as presumably murdering Miriam. Speaking of Johnny, the repetition of “Hello Johnny! How are you today?” gives us insight into his mental state, constantly prodded by family and strangers who don’t know how to communicate to him, asking a question he doesn’t know how to answer.

The other part of what makes this a frustrating watch is the refusal of catharsis. Aside from a nice moment with Albert, Rebekah Del Rio’s performance, and everything with Dougie, the episode is full of moments where we are not given closure on a scene or action. We don’t see Miriam’s trailer ablaze, Johnny is left bound on the floor unable to intervene, and the camera cuts away before we find out whether Lucy has noticed Chad stealing the letter.

But nowhere is this better exemplified than with the Mitchum brothers. Hats off to both Jim Belushi and Robert Knepper, who capture frustration and disbelief in a wonderful way. Candie’s behaviour is peculiar, to be sure, with a psychology behind it that’s both simple and a complex web of guilt and petty vengeance. As she takes far too long to bring the insurance man to the back room, the brothers provide ample content for memes. Just edit in Cooper’s slow journey home onto the wall of screens and you’ve got an accurate portrayal of a lot of Twin Peaks fans right now.

Most Valuable Player:

Naomi Watts – Janey-E Jones

I try not to pick actors that have been chosen in previous weeks, but Watts was definitely the stand-out this week. So much of our focus is on Cooper that it’s often easy to forget how deftly the actress approaches comedy. Her tearful recounting of the assassination attempt as she tries to stop Dougie from touching the policeman’s badge is one of the funniest moments so far. But the part has some tragedy running underneath that shouldn’t be forgotten. Janey-E has put so much of herself into a relationship with a man who cheated on her, and now she is doing the same with an impostor. She’s hard-edged when she needs to be, but is fatally vulnerable as she says “I love you” to someone who doesn’t really exist.

Clues:

  • Is Cooper the billionaire funding the experiment with the box? Was he trying to prevent Cooper from successfully returning in his body?
  • The vision of Laura fades to show Albert standing in the doorway – does this spell doom for the agent?
  • This vision is a clip from Fire Walk With Me. In the scene, Laura has just discovered that Leland is BOB, and has tearfully turned up at Donna’s door looking for help
  • “The site” that Diane mentioned in her text may be a crossing between two worlds, similar to the one in the New York penthouse
  • Richard pretty much has to be Audrey’s son at this point
  • The appearance of Carl and the Log Lady in one episode is notable, seeing as in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, they were two of three children to disappear into the woods for 24 hours

Extra:

  • The original series had Log Lady monologues as introductions to each episode, which were included when it re-aired on Bravo, and again on the DVD releases. The intro for the very first episode ends with the sentence: “The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.”
  • After the vision of Laura, the shot of Tammy walking down the hotel corridor is slowed down slightly, as if she’s caught in the spiritual residue of the apparition
  • Is Johnny’s Teddy made by Jacoby, who may have been referred by Ben after he helped him out of his civil war phase?
  • In the Secret History of Twin Peaks, it was revealed that Dr. Jacoby helped Nadine when she was briefly institutionalised, which may explain the connection she feels to his Mr. Amp rants
  • If the singer at the end looked familiar, that’s because Del Rio was the phenomenal performer in Mulholland Drive’s “Llorando” scene
  • The song she sings sounded a lot like the songs Lynch wrote for Julee Cruise in the original series, so it is unsurprising to see that he wrote it. It is also, in my opinion, one of his best collaborations
  • I’m finding myself a little baffled by what Chrysta Bell (Tammy) is doing in terms of her performance. It’s interesting, I’ll say that
  • In case you missed it, that was Moby on guitar
  • While Richard is irredeemably horrible, his impersonation of a relaxed, kind person in the episode’s first scene was convincing enough to make the rest of the scene even scarier
  • Another fantastic inclusion of a Johnny Jewel track into the soundtrack, which blends brilliantly with the show’s signature sound
  • There will always be tension when we see an FBI agent open a hotel door after what happened to Cooper back in season 1
  • The transition from Cooper/Dougie in bed to an aerial shot of the woods was magical. Every episode has at least one moment like this