[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Twin Peaks: The Return” (Season 3), Episode 10, “Part 10.”]
“Laura is the one.”
Although Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) has been dead, case closed for over 25 years, the revival series has made sure to keep her identity alive. Even though she has been one of many female victims on the show, she is important, special. We see this in Part 10 when FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) gets a sudden, unexplained vision of her distraught face, and later in the Log Lady’s (Catherine Coulson) message to Hawk (Michael Horse).
The Log Lady’s speech is the best moment of the episode (although we’re sure the Joneses would disagree). Not only is it a thrill to see the Log Lady back, but the scene fits so well into this Lynchian universe of dreamy portent and lyrical imagery, with only beautiful words used to paint a picture. For any “Twin Peaks” theorist, it also promises many ideas to unpack and marvel over, such as the concept of electricity that we’ve discussed before here and here. We’ll leave that for another day, but here’s the speech in its entirety:
“Hawk, electricity is humming,” Margaret Lanterman, aka the Log Lady, tells Hawk on a call. “You hear it in the mountains and rivers. You see it dance among the seas and stars and glowing around the moon. But in these days, the glow is dying. What will be in the darkness that remains? The Truman brothers are both ‘true men.’ They are your brothers, and the others, the good ones who have been with you, now the circle is almost complete. Watch and listen to the dream of time and space. It all comes out now, flowing like a river. That which is and is not. Hawk, Laura is the one.”
This scene also tethers this season’s wide-ranging story back to the show’s roots — back to Twin Peaks, back to its citizens, back to Laura’s identity, which in itself seems fraught with destiny.
The rest of the episode was sort of business as usual, which in the world of this “Twin Peaks” follows a strange pattern. You can tick off some lovely whimsical moments — such as Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) crushing on Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) and Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) discovering there’s more to enjoy in life than coffee — scenes that deepen the mystery (this time with clues dropped about Evil Cooper and Diane), a gorgeous and extended song sequence, and more violence towards women.
That last trend — the continued horrific brutality towards women — is made all the more disturbing because it is a trend in the show. While the series had started out centering on Laura’s death and “the evil that men do,” it’s now become a show where all of the worst incidents happen to women. Oh sure, a few men have died on the show, but their deaths are usually quick or take place completely off-screen and mentioned afterwards.
The savagery this week takes place back in Twin Peaks, with Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) going berserk and murdering the female witness to his hit-and-run, and then choking his grandmother to force her to give him money. And yes, since Sybil Horne (Jan D’Arcy) is his grandmother, that means the likeliest person to be his parent is Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn), since her brother Johnny (Eric Rondell) doesn’t look as if he’s had any freedom beyond that house. The other vicious scene occurs in the trailer park where it’s revealed that Steven (Caleb Landry Jones) is abusing his wife Becky (Amanda Seyfried), which unfortunately means she’s followed in her mother’s footsteps.
We’re officially past the halfway point in the series, and while last week’s episode promised everyone heading to the Black Lodge, progress seems to be slow judging by this episode. Pieces are still being put into place, Dougie has gained another enemy, Hawk has had his check-in with the Log Lady, the FBI suspects Diane of collusion, Dougie’s news story wasn’t seen by the right people yet… It’s an in-between episode that neither fulfills the more plot-driven viewers nor the ones who crave Lynch’s sublime and avant-garde flights of fancy.
Well, at least Dougie got lucky.