Rachel Bellwoar reviews the tenth episode of Twin Peaks season 3…
Trailer parks don’t rally the greatest expectations but episode ten’s ugly tour of trailers on Twin Peaks does nothing to dispel fears or assumptions. You’ve got Richard killing Miriam for her willingness to talk about what he did to the young boy with his car. You can’t blame the trailer for that one, because nothing can keep Richard Horne out if he wants to come in. Later he storms into his grandmother’s house to take all the money from her safe, and confirms his connection to the Horne family tree.
Still, no mention of his presumed mother, Audrey. It’s likely a matter of time before that final detail gets confirmed but it’s tempting to think the show might be leading us in the wrong direction. Sure, there’s the theory Dark Cooper is Richard’s dad (and if Richard is Audrey’s son, it’s the only explanation where you can swallow how unequivocally evil he is), but if he’s not her kid, what a relief for Audrey and her conspicuous absence. If Dougie can be a made-up person, who had a wife and a son, Richard can be a made-up person, too.
But moving onto the next trailer, Harry Dean Stanton appears again as the light before the terrible darkness. The joy of seeing him sing “Red River Valley” doesn’t last. A window breaks and we swing inside the trailer to confirm it’s Becky with her abusive husband, Steve. This is the first we’ve seen of Becky since episode five and while we keep ramming the nail on the head that Richard is a monster, with extended takes of him being just that, Becky’s been abandoned by the plot. She’s following her mother’s footsteps but we don’t get to know her outside of being a victim the way we got to know Shelly working at the Double R Diner, or cheating on Leo.
In a moment that above all else could be my favorite in Twin Peaks history, Nadine gets the BEST send off with Run Silent, Run Drapes. Nadine got her silent curtain rod business (!), and from finding out between Jacoby’s sheep wool rant, and seeing his golden shovel behind the curtains when they open and close (never say Twin Peaks didn’t linger in a moment), this is a dream ending for her character, when so few of the originals are getting one of those.
Nevermind the characters we’ve only seen briefly. Johnny was always somebody Twin Peaks sidelined and to bring him back to be tied up in a chair, unable to help his mother, with a robot bear that can only say one sentence, feels unnecessarily brutish. Twin Peaks doesn’t sugar coat, and there’s a power in that, but while it’s one thing to have Laura never be allowed to rest (the footage of her screaming when Gordon goes to answer the door), her torture is unbearable but central to the show. Johnny we didn’t need to see again just for this.
Otherwise, episode ten makes stronger connections between the different storylines this season. Dougie’s no longer the only link between the Mitchum Brothers at the casino, and Duncan Todd at the insurance firm (where Dougie works as well). A news broadcast shows Dougie after Ike’s assassination attempt. Hopefully the FBI or Sheriff Truman get wind of his picture. Janey-E and Dougie have sex, Albert and Constance go on a date, Gordan draws a spotted dog (Twin Peaks and its unidentifiable, hybrid animals), Chad gets to rival Richard for most despicable human being, and there’s a precious, new scene with Catherine E. Coulson as Margaret, the Log Lady.
Plus, a reference I didn’t make until a few people called ‘Dougie’ ‘Douglas’ this week — douglas firs. Dougie must be named after the trees that Cooper was so taken with in the first episode of Twin Peaks. Sorry for being late to that party but that’s been the beauty of the Return. There’s an endless well of new details to catch every time you watch.