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Twin Peaks recap: 'The Return: Part 10'

There is trouble until the robins come

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Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Twin Peaks

type:
TV Show
genre:
Drama, Crime
performer:
David Lynch, Mark Frost, Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Miguel Ferrer, Robert Forster, Naomi Watts
director:
David Lynch
broadcaster:
Showtime, ABC
seasons:
3
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman…” LynchFrost’s scuzz-soap gloss on original sin thematically progressed as the storytelling shifted to the new Fat Trout Trailer Park. Carl Rodd — an agent of wizened grace in a Black Lodge world — sat outside his manager’s unit, strumming a guitar and singing that wistful country standard “Red River Valley,”also known as “Cowboy Love Song,” continuing the season’s interest in the mythic West. Lynch let Harry Dean Stanton play it out… almost. He was rudely interrupted by an outbreak of domestic violence. The tone of Carl’s reverie broke with the shattering of a window — a crimson coffee cup landed on the patchy-dirty grass — and a hail of expletives. Steven, unemployed Sparkle-junkie and scruffy snapshot of male impotence, was crashing in all sorts of ways, taking out his failures on his bread-making wife, Becky, Shelly’s daughter. His incoherent raging spoke of transgressions that may or may not be real. Whatever the case, Becky surely didn’t deserve his snotty-nosed sputtering and raised, threatening fist. “Quit f—ing speaking to me! What I do and don’t f—ing do doesn’t concern you!” Steven railed at her for not keeping their “s—hole” trailer tidy and for not asking for a raise that could pay for their rent. And this: “Listen to me. Listen to me. I know exactly what you did. Exactly what you did!”

“It’s a f—ing nightmare,” observed Carl.

I don’t know what Becky did, but I do know what she should do next: Get the hell away from Steven! But can she? How enmeshed are they? Is this a vicious cycle that neither of them can escape?

Patriarchy drives all the ladies buggy. Part 10 doted on the strange relationship that the mobster Mitchum brothers have with their young pink bunny Stepford Wives, Candie, Mandie, and Sandie, a trio of near-lookalike blondes. We met Rodney Mitchum anew in his penthouse abode, studying data culled from the Silver Mustang Casino’s surveillance log, continuing a motif of watchful godfather behavior in Twin Peaks: The Return. (See: the character formerly known as The Giant, observing and responding to the problem of evil on theater screens from his mountaintop White Lodge; Dr. Jacoby, aka Dr. Amp, passing righteous judgments on the toxic slush of American culture via web cam from the woodland peaks of the “American Hindu Kush.”) As Rodney scanned the findings, Candie entered the suite, obsessed with a housefly and determined to kill it. She got a bead on the insect and swung away with a TV remote control — and cracked Rodney upside the head, making him bleed. Candie felt awful, although part of me wonders if part of her wanted to inflict that violence upon him.

As Candie exploded into tears from shame and fear, Rodney’s brother Bradley entered to the room to attend to him. Given the way this episode was trending, I expected one or both of these men to lash out at Candie, but they never did. In fact, as the arc continued, the Mitchum brothers showed a paternal beneficence toward Candie and her sisters, the kind of eye-rolling grace parents have for their kooky kids on family sitcoms. (The Mitchum bros + Team Candie = the Full House reboot we truly deserved.) Yet the Mitchums’ kindness only made their rapport and model of family even more queasy. And familiar. For we remember another father-daughter relationship that was both parental and sexual, Leland and Laura Palmer. And for all their grace and patience, the Mitchum brothers are portraits of power and privilege who keep women like Candie, Sandie, and Mandie in bondage, limited in freedom and expression, and little more than servants-playthings-art objects. (When we met them a few weeks ago, they were seen just hanging out in the casino surveillance room — pretty little flies on the wall.) Which makes Candie’s subsequent post-fly behavior interesting. She went increasingly buggy, and in doing so, she began defying the controls on her existence. She was turning against her Stepford Wife programming; she was revolting. (Candie = Dolores and Maeve on Westworld.) Here, LynchFrost tweak their take on the Fall of Man/original sin and splice in another myth, the one about crazy parent gods dethroned by their children. Topple the patriarchy! Bring on the Titanomachy!

Hot for Dooper. Janey-E finally got her dim doltish not-hubby to Dr. Ben’s office for a check-up. Christian fall theology says only one other person was created perfect after Adam and Eve: Jesus, the new model son of man, incarnate God, savior of the human race. And so it went that Agent Cooper — our newly reincarnated hero; still innocent and pure; maybe destined to deliver us from Garmonbozia — was declared perfectly fit. “Remarkable!” raved Dr. Ben, impressed by “Dougie’s” weight loss and blood pressure (110 over 70). Janey-E was impressed, too. She went from chronicling Dougie’s latest “downward spiral” — a relapse of interrelated addictions to alcohol and gambling — to ogling his lean, mean, Ike-fighting machine physique. Something stirred in her that she probably hadn’t felt in quite a while, at least not for her flabby, f’d up, deadbeat husband. Meanwhile, Dooper kept trying to play with the pointy tip of Dr. Ben’s ropy stethoscope and admiring the big throbbing veins popping out of his own hard, strong arms. According to my copy of Freud for Dummies, this is called “foreshadowing.”

Dooper’s medical exam was notable for being the first of several scenes built around the theme of good news, in which characters received revelations about their fallen condition that pointed toward some redemptive relief…
(Recap continues on page 3)

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