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Part 10 of Twin Peaks: The Return was a generally bleak hour of television, focusing heavily on the abusive antics of various mediocre white men. (Steven, Richard, Chad: Your time is coming.) By comparison, Part 11 was a madcap hour of pure unfiltered Lynchiana, beginning with a troubled woman on a rampage and concluding with an unexpected toast among unexpected friends. I’ll leave it to my podcasting pal Jeff Jensen to sort through everything that happened in Part 11 in his upcoming recap. While we’re waiting for that, let’s run down the main talking points from a delightfully funny, astonishingly freaky hour of Twin Peaks. (UPDATE: Read the full recap here.)
We’ve all been talking about how Amanda Seyfried’s Becky Burnett vibes like some next-generation Laura Palmer. That would identify Becky as a potential victim. But Laura wasn’t just a victim. She had her ferocious side — and Becky roars through the town on a mission of marital vengeance, hunting down her cheating husband. Steven’s paramour, witnessed for just a moment, is none other than Gersten Hayward: younger sister of long-lost Donna. You may recall Gersten in the original series, wearing a fairy outfit and playing piano accompaniment for Leland Palmer. (Alicia Witt has stitched together a fine career for herself since then on various great TV shows, and returns to reprise the role.)
Becky fires a few gunshots through a door, but that infraction gets covered up… thanks to her father, who is Bobby Briggs! Becky is Bobby and Shelly’s son! Which makes her Major Briggs’ granddaughter, and also weirdly maybe the new Laura Palmer is the daughter of Laura Palmer’s ex-boyfriend!
Meanwhile, trailer park patriarch Carl can call up his VW bus with a whistle. Inside his bus, he has a whole command center, including a radio. This man is a hero.
Also: Miriam Sullivan is still alive. Vengeance is coming for you, Richard Horne!
Gordon Reaches for the Stars
Gordon Cole and his FBI gang go to the coordinates William Hastings gave them. They see those strange charred hobos (whom we know as the Woodsmen) wandering around, fading in and out of this dimension. Gordon sees a wormhole opening in the sky. He reaches out — and briefly has a vision of the Woodsmen, on a stairwell.
Unbeknownst to everyone — besides a curiously unreactive Diane — one Woodsman sneaks up on Detective Mackley’s police car. It doesn’t go well for poor Bill Hastings, who loses his head like so many people have this season. “He’s dead,” Gordon deadpans.
Twin Peaks Goes Mad
A casual get-together with the broken Briggs clan is already devastated by the arrival of Red, the strange criminal who has become Shelly’s new beau. And then suddenly gunshots ring out. Deputy Briggs races outside to find that a young child got ahold of his father’s gun and began firing. While Bobby’s a bit confused by the curiously standoffish child, he’s even more confused by the scene in the car behind him: a woman screaming strange statements, and a deathly sick girl vomiting incoherent substances out of her mouth. The mind races to dark Mr. C vomiting in his own car back in Part 3. Bobby barely seemed to know what was happening. Us neither. Is the whole town of Twin Peaks going mad? Or madder?
Meanwhile, Hawk showed Sheriff Truman a map with some symbols, including the the strange black horned thing, possibly the Experiment, the symbol that was on Mr. C’s card way back in the premiere. I say again: a map with symbols! Jeff Jensen’s brain just went all Bill Hastings! (R.I.P.)
Bushnell Doubled Down
Meanwhile, in Vegas, the strange twisted tale of arson and insurance fraud reached a curious climax. Bushnell Mullins sent Dougie to meet the Mitchum Brothers, with a check for $30 million. Unbeknownst to Battling Bud, the Mitchums were planning to kill Dougie, thinking him a nemesis.
But Bradley Mitchum had a strange dream. In the dream, Dougie showed up to their meeting with a box. And Dougie did indeed arrive with a box. Bradley held Rodney off from killing Dougie, wanting to see if there was cherry pie in the box, like in his dream. What’s in the box, Dougie, WHAT’S IN THE BOX???
This is Twin Peaks, so of course there was cherry pie! And then the Mitchums found their $30 million check, and realized they had a friend in Douglas Jones! They took him out for dinner, where Dougie ran into his old friend the slot-obsessed lady, now happy and healthy-looking and reunited with her son Denver. “Thank you, Mr. Jackpots!” she said. While Mr. Jackpots celebrated with his newfound friends, the piano played us out. (The tune was called “Heartbreaking,” written by longtime Lynch composer Angelo Badalamenti.)
This Week’s Episode Summed Up in One Closed Captioned Frame
Check back on EW.com later for Jeff Jensen’s full recap. And don’t forget to listen to the new episode of A Twin Peaks Podcast: A Podcast About Twin Peaks, which will arrive tomorrow afternoon!