The Good: Good performances, Moments of character, Plot moves forward, Direction, Good use of humor and mood
The Bad: Still some pointless tangents that do not feel they work
The Basics: The table truly feels set for the back half of Twin Peaks's new season with "The Return Part 10" setting Dougie Jones in mortal peril and possibly seeding the next incarnation of Bob!
As the new season of Twin Peaks progresses towards its end, the show has a burden on it to pay off all of the seeds that have been planted in the first half of the season. The show is moving toward a somewhat obvious and sensible resolution, but for all of the surprising aspects of Twin Peaks the logical direction of the plot seems more obvious than audacious. That same direction also seems to be setting up a massive "okay, what next?!" moment. Twin Peaks is rapidly moving toward Agent Cooper and Cooper both returning to Twin Peaks and if Agent Cooper is fully restored following his twenty-five year ordeal inside the Black Lodge, how the real-world will accept his return becomes a thorny situation to deal with, especially if it comes only as a denouement.
That, however, is not quite where "The Return Part 10" is yet. Instead, "The Return Part 10" follows on the events of "The Return Part 9" (reviewed here!), which featured the long-deceased Major Briggs providing messages to the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department and his son. Cooper had set up the murder of the Warden whom he extorted for freedom and Dougie Jones and his wife learned that there had been an attempt on Doug's life by the police investigating the explosion of his car. "The Return Part 10" does a decent job of blending the old with some of the new elements and it seems to be setting up the next major plot surrounding Doug Jones as much of the plot belabors moving people to a point where they will kill the insurance adjuster.
Richard arrives at the remote home of Marion, the woman who knows that he killed the boy with his truck. Richard kills Marion and calls his contact in Twin Peaks to intercept the letter Marion sent. Dougie and Janey finally go to see a doctor, with the Doctor noticing the extreme changes in Dougie's body. At the casino, the gangsters who have taken over the casino learn that Ike has been captured and that Doug Jones is still alive. After returning home from the Doctor's, Janey gets hot for Doug and they make love.
Near Twin Peaks, Dr. Jacoby performs his latest anti-government podcast, which Nadine eagerly devours. Richard makes it to his grandmother's house, where Johnny is tied up, and he robs the place. The insurance executive pins the blame for an unpaid claim on Doug and sends the representative for the company to the Casino to rile the Mitchum brothers up to get them to take Doug out.
"The Return Part 10" features the usual amount of scenes that seem to have no apparent purpose within the main narrative. At the casino, a server - Candy - is hunting a fly when she smacks the mobster brother in the head and the joke is telegraphed and does not actually connect with the rest of the story. Similarly, Richard's place in the story seems like a random additional antagonist and why viewers are supposed to care (other than the fact that there is the possibility he is the delinquent son of Audrey Horne) remains a mystery in "The Return Part 10." As well, Nadine's scene again seems utterly unattached to anything else in the story.
Kyle MacLachlan once again gives a great, if subtle, performance as Dougie Jones and John Billingsley yet again plays a doctor on television. Eamon Farron is terrifying as Richard Horne; between seeing the effects of his attack on Marion and watching the way Richard mugs his own grandmother, Farron moves his new to the season character forward in leaps and bounds.
The most impressive aspect of "The Return Part 10" is that Twin Peaks starts paying off its network of villains. In "The Return Part 10," the viewer realizes there is a mole in the Twin Peaks Sheriff Department, Albert and Gordon figure out there is an enemy in their own ranks and we see the rest of the villains who are now set on hunting Doug Jones. Cooper had twenty-five years to build up a network of people who will protect his existence in our world; "The Return Part 10" illustrates that quite effectively.
"The Return Part 10" effectively blends menace and humor, with David Lynch's distinctive use of color and music. This is one of the best episodes of the rebooted Twin Peaks yet . . . even if it continues an escalation to a moment that viewers have to be wary of.
For other works with Jane Adams, please visit my reviews of:
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Frasier - Season 8
Frasier - Season 7
You've Got Mail
[Knowing that single episodes are an inefficient way to get episodes, it's worth looking into Twin Peaks - The Complete Third Season on DVD or Blu-Ray, which is also a better economical choice than buying individual episodes. Read my review of the temporally displaced season of the surreal show here!
For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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