Take, for instance, the ring. Ray being too spooked to put the ring on Mr. C’s finger is what kept evil in this realm, instead of sending the doppelgänger back to the Red Room. Now, the ring is where it belongs, but Mr. C is not. He’s on his way to The Dutchman’s.
The ring last showed up in “Part 3,” but it’s yet another connection between Season 3 and “Fire Walk With Me.” Its powers are mysterious, and the last we saw of it prior to “The Return” was when a nurse stole it off of Annie Blackburn (Heather Graham) back in 1989. In “Part 3,” it dropped to the floor of the Red Room after the real Dougie disintegrated, and MIKE (Al Strobel) put it back on the pedestal, just as he did in this episode. Though its exact function is somewhat unimportant — we get how important it is and how it can serve to help anyone working against Mr. C — it’s one more piece of evidence circling back to Lynch’s cult classic (and critically maligned) ’92 film. Theorists, enjoy.
It wasn’t the only connection to the past, however. “Twin Peaks” didn’t end with a performance at The Roadhouse, but this week’s singer is already garnering buzz online.
— jschnow (@jschnow) August 7, 2017
That’s right: James Hurley reprises the Season 2 love song he sang with Maddy (Sheryl Lee) and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) oh so many years ago, this time on stage in “Part 13.” The latter wasn’t there this time — Maddy is deceased, so seeing her in The Bang Bang Bar would’ve been a real surprise — but the final reaction was similar.
Sitting in the booth going gaga for Hurley’s high-pitched crooning is none other than ex-“Gossip Girl” star Jessica Szohr as Renee. We’ve seen Renee before, having a few beers with her friends, but the Roadhouse’s most meaningful performer yet formed a quick connection with his new fan, and Lynch chose to emphasize the crush by keeping the scene, in full, as part of the episode. Rather than run credits over Hurley on stage, we watched uncle Ed (Everett McGill) stew over Norma while tending his gas station.
The shift in format seems deliberate, even though it’s not unprecedented, and since we can’t derive anything from Ed’s melancholy, it looks like his nephew’s connection is the focus. And it should be for fans, as well. To say “Just You and I” is a controversial moment in “Peaks” history is a bit of an understatement. Like much of Season 2, fans loved or hated the number that sent Donna into a tizzy (eventually making out with James out of jealousy). Now, it’s back for another go with two new backup singers and a fresh romantic target. Whether he intended for Renee to get so attached to the song or not, there’s finally some narrative relevance to a song at The Roadhouse.
And James didn’t even need pie to find love.
One final note: Whatever’s going on with Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) is beyond speculation. Fan theories are already dominating discussion, but, in an effort to remain in the present, let’s just say these scenes, sans proper context, feel like they’re being placed to set up a big reveal. Audrey certainly deserves it.
“Twin Peaks” airs new episodes Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Showtime.