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Twin Peaks - The Return, Part 10 - Review

While I continue to enjoy every moment of the Twin Peaks revival, "The Return, Part 10" is the first episode thus far to feel more like a collection of scenes rather than a unit of story. Of course, given how this season was written as essentially one long movie script (with the likely exception of "Part 8"), it's a testament to the show that each episode up to this point has felt mostly satisfying on its own terms, for reasons I can't quite articulate.

"Part 10" at once felt essential and inconsequential, a series of scenes that may end up being important or may not, giving the show a chance to further slow things down before some long-burning plotlines begin to pay off. The next couple of episodes are likely to see some big developments on both the Hawk/Truman/Bobby side of things, and with Dougie, given that there are now several people on their way to kill him and Janey-E.

These developments will come in due time, but until they do we are treated to some general weirdness, often times hilarious (Dougie and Janey-E having sex), but also frequently horrifying, with the sequence of Richard Horne break into his grandmother's house being one of the most uncomfortable moments in the season so far, which is saying something.

In fact, this episode contained some of the show's most despicable scenes as well as some of its funniest, which may indicate that perhaps Lynch is intentionally contrasting them rather than merely using this episode for some scenes that just didn't fit anywhere else. While some things in this episode, such as pretty much anything to do with Richard and the brief check-in on Becky, were notable for their brutality, there were some moments that made me laugh out loud, such as Candie hitting Rodney Mitchum with the remote or the reveal of the name of Nadine's store, Run Silent, Run Drape.

While some of this season's detractors have criticized just how long many scenes run for, I think many of the aforementioned scenes in this episode succeed because of how Lynch lets each slowly play out. Richard breaking into his grandmother's house and terrorising her and Johnny ("Hello, Johnny. How are you today?") was so uncomfortable because he forced us to sit through each painful moment of it, while Candie hitting Rodney was so funny because of how the scene telegraphed it happening, and then took its time getting there. Now, you could argue that despite these scenes being well-executed, they had nothing to do with the larger plot. But to that I say, are you sure this show is for you?

This episode's extended focus on Candie and the Mitchum brothers may not have been entirely necessary, though outside of the delightful weirdness of it all it did provide an excellent showcase not just for veterans Jim Beluschi and Robert Knepper, but for young Irish actress Amy Shiels, who ended up being perhaps the episode's standout performer. The scene in which she is asked to fetch Anthony from the casino floor and taking forever to do so was pure Lynch, delightful yet still comprising of some disquieting undertones. Shiels ended up being perfect for that exact tone, filling Candie's scattered nature with a quiet sadness.

This episode also featured a scene that was far more expository than we have become accustomed to expect from this series, as Patrick Fischler's Duncan Todd essentially explained what exactly is going on in the Vegas plotline. As it turns out, he and the Mitchum brothers are business rivals, and Dougie stumbled onto his and Anthony's attempt to deny an insurance claim by the brothers. Now Todd is going to pin his failed conspiracy on Dougie, leaving the task of killing him to the Mitchums. While a bit clunky, this scene was a welcome one.

While "Part 10" might have been light on the side of narrative progress, particularly in relation to the broader mythology, it did provide some hints at what's still to come. Indeed, this episode continued the season's insistence that Laura Palmer is to play a major role in its endgame, from Gordon opening his hotel room door to find a ghostly image of Laura staring back at him (archival footage from "Fire Walk With Me") to the Log Lady telling Hawk that "Laura is the one." The latter scene in particular makes an impact, given how it was filmed so close to Catherine Coulson's death.

As Twin Peaks hold off on providing viewers with climaxes or satisfying answers, it continues to divide and alienate. Those that love it seem to be falling more and more in love with it, while those that were on the fence are now running away and not looking back. While I think it's growing ever clearer that pay-offs are coming, waiting impatiently for them or for the show of 1990 to return will only lead to you missing the excellence that is unfolding on screen. The Twin Peaks revival may not be the pop culture phenomenon that Showtime hoped it would be, but it's exactly what Lynch wants it to be, and that's more important.

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