Twin Peaks Review by John Keegan

Twin Peaks 3.10: The Return: Part X

Twin Peaks 3.10: The Return: Part X

Written By:
Mark Frost and David Lynch
Directed By:
David Lynch

The previous episode was a bit of a disappointment, coming on the heels of one of the most memorable hours of television in recent history.  So it’s a bit unfortunate that this episode seems to fall into the same narrative trap.  A lot of dots are still being connected, which is a necessary function of the later stretch of any second act, but the impatience for some big moments and revelations is definitely setting in.

 


 

It’s hard not to laugh as a still-stupified “Dougie” gets some enthusiastic sexual attention from Janey-E, but it’s also a bit frustrating and disturbing.  On the one hand, it’s not like he’s fighting the experience, but the ongoing oversight of Dougie’s limited mental capacity means this veers into uncomfortable territory regarding consent.  It’s also a bit of a time-eating diversion, too, given that even sex with Naomi Watts can’t get Cooper to rouse out of the Dougie persona.

 

The feeling that things need to start moving along sets in hard with the subplot regarding the Mitchums.  Robert Knepper is perfectly fine as Rodney, but Jim Belushi mugs for the camera so much that it starts to ruin several of the scenes.  It seems intentional, which might actually make it worse, since it is reminiscent of some of the more self-aware performances in the second season of the original run.

 


 

If there is any value to the extended sex scene and the way it teases at the issue of consent, it might be that it keeps the subject in the back of one’s mind as Richard Horne commits endless violence throughout the episode.  It almost seems as if he is simply a “bad seed”, and since he is clearly Audrey’s son based on the information given in this episode and roughly 25 years old, it’s not hard to ponder who the father might be.  After all, Audrey was in a coma following the incident in the bank in the second season finale, and it’s all too possible that Dark Cooper paid her a visit before he left town.

 

It also seems as though Chad is the inside man within the Twin Peaks Sheriff Department, since Richard Horne is connected to the drug trafficking in town.  It’s a little obvious, all things considered, and one does have to wonder how his attitude didn’t get him fired or placed under suspicion in the past.  Yet it starts to put all the various pieces of the puzzle in the town of Twin Peaks into perspective.  It simply feels like it took far too long to get there, since there are only eight episodes left to resolve everything now up in the narrative air.

 


 

Along the way, there are the usual vignettes with familiar faces: Jerry is still lost in the woods, high as a kite; Nadine appears to have gotten her dream of a drape runner business; Jacoby continues to rant on the internet to some unknown purpose; Ben struggles with his desire to be a good man; Albert apparently has a date.  It’s all fun and nostalgic, but who doesn’t want Lynch and Frost to focus on the investigation into Dark Cooper and the actual plot?

 

As far as that goes, there are some important nuggets.  The Log Lady delivers another cryptic and ominous warning to Hawk as Gordon has a strange vision of Laura.  Diane is secretly communicating with Dark Cooper, which seems to confirm that her hesitance to see him was an act.  Seeing that come to light towards the end was frustrating, because that is the kind of plot point that needs to get the spotlight as soon as possible, making so much of what happens in this episode feel like a bit of a delaying tactic.  Twin Peaks was always supposed to be a vehicle to explore the weird personalities of its residents and world, but once again, this feels like unnecessary meandering.  Hopefully Lynch can prove that feeling to be wrong.


Our Grade:
B-
The Good:
  • More connections in the plot tapestry are made, giving the episode at least some momentum
  • That creepy teddy bear
The Bad:
  • Movement on the plot towards the end highlights the feeling of losing focus up until that point

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Twin Peaks by - 7/18/2017 1:26 PM107 views

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