Spoilers ahead for Twin Peaks: The Return.
The short version: "Don't die."
Well, we have to start with something that happened at the end of this week's episode, because if what I think happened really happened, it's the most exciting development of The Return thus far.
Back in the season premiere, the Log Lady told Deputy Hawk that something was missing, something pertaining to Agent Cooper and related to Hawk's own Native American heritage, and he had to find it. Hawk dug through all the old case files and found nothing but a missing chocolate bunny. Then this week, a chance glance at a bathroom stall door -- which just happened to feature a Native American on its logo -- led Hawk to discover some yellowed old pages ... pages that look like they were torn out of a book ... a handwritten book.
Did Hawk just find the missing pages from Laura Palmer's secret diary?
This is Twin Peaks, so I never take things for granted unless they're confirmed, but it certainly seems like he did. Remember, in Twin Peaks it was revealed that Laura kept a secret diary detailing the darker side of her life, which she gave to Harold Smith to hide before her death. Harold eventually shredded the diary before his suicide, but what was left wound up in the hands of the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department. The diary is explored in greater detail in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, when it's revealed that BOB knew its hiding place and that someone had ripped pages from it. Since the show never came back, we never learned the significance of those pages.
Now it looks like Hawk will finally get to read them, and perhaps share the details with us. As for who had them and hid them, the most likely suspect is Leland Palmer, who BOB possessed and who spent time in the sheriff's department before his death. All we can do now is wait for more information, but this was a jaw-dropper of a moment we've been waiting 25 years to see. Six hours in, the show has now completed a third of its run, which could be considered the end of Act One. That's a hell of an act break. Or I completely misread the situation and something else entirely happened because ... you know, Twin Peaks.
Elsewhere, Agent Cooper seems to be one step closer to being his old self again. While sitting in Dougie's kitchen he got a message from Phillip Gerard telling him it was time to "wake up," then supernatural lights seemed to guide him to fill out insurance forms with cryptic drawings that somehow passed along vital information to Dougie's boss. Cooper is not yet back with us, but something from the Lodge is still guiding him forward, and this storyline seems to be paying off more and more every week, even if we did have to watch Cooper eat potato chips for what seemed like an eternity.
Meanwhile, Janey-E is on a mission to take care of Dougie's debts that leads her to confront his loan sharks in a park. When they explain that he owes them for a gambling debt, she doesn't haggle or beg. She gives them half what they say Dougie owes, arguing the interest rate she's set in her own mind is more than reasonable, and gives them a stern talking-to. It's an incredible moment for Naomi Watts, and one of the best moments in the series so far. This is what Twin Peaks is supposed to be: a strange mix of darkness and odd morality.
Elsewhere in the ongoing investigation into what happened to Cooper, Albert heads into a bar and finds the woman he and Cole were speaking of the last time we saw them. It's Diane (Laura Dern), the mysterious woman Cooper was dictating his notes to all those years ago. We know nothing else about her yet, but a face and a voice have been given to this name at last. Hopefully her past will be explored and we'll eventually get to see Dern and Kyle MacLachlan rekindle their old Lynchian chemistry.
All told, this might be my favorite episode of The Return so far. It's packed with mythology-expanding clues, big plot events and new intrigue, and it's got lots of that classic Twin Peaks tone.
This is not a complaint as much as it's a correction and a clarification. Last week I didn't like an unnamed character (Eamon Farren), whose name ended up being Richard Horne, threatening some women at the Bang Bang Bar. I stand by my criticism of the violence against women shown in that scene, but this week Richard's story got a little more fleshed out. Turns out he doesn't just sit and smoke where he's not supposed to. He's also a budding drug dealer, buying drugs off an organization that's sending them in through Canada. That echoes directly back to the Renault family operation from the original series. So Richard is selling drugs, has ties to the Bang Bag Bar and just ran over a little kid with this truck. He also might somehow be related to Ben Horne and, by extension, Audrey Horne (who still hasn't shown up in the new episodes yet). There are a lot of question marks still lingering here, but now Richard seems to be part of the emerging pattern of drugs and violence in Twin Peaks that mirrors what happened the first time around. I'm intrigued by the context we got this week, even if the character himself is still a horrible human being.
- Back in Part 1, the Giant named "Richard and Linda" to Cooper. We now have a Richard (Richard Horne) and a Linda (an unnamed resident of Fat Trout Trailer Park) in the new series. We have yet to see how they connect.
- Speaking of Fat Trout Trailer Park, this week also saw the return of Carl Rodd (Harry Dean Stanton), the trailer park manager from Fire Walk With Me. Carl's trailer park was the home of Teresa Banks, a young woman killed by BOB (as Leland) a year before the death of Laura Palmer. It was also the former residence of the mysterious Mrs. Chalfont and her grandson (the old woman and the magician boy) before Teresa's murder and the site of the disappearance of Agent Chester Desmond. All of those events are also connected to the mysterious ring that was in Dougie's possession until he left this world for the Lodge. These days Carl's living a relatively quiet life until he witnesses the hit and run in this episode and apparently sees the little boy's soul leave his body. Carl, what secrets are in store for you?
- "F#$% Gene Kelly, you motherf#$%er!" Oh, Albert, you are the best.
- Lorraine (Tammie Baird), the woman who worried over not yet having killed Dougie last week, is now dead, stabbed to death by a little person with an ice pick with connections to the still-mysterious man in an office high above Vegas. Lorraine herself, remember, called "ARGENT" last week, which seems to be a location in Buenos Aires, where FBI Agent Phillip Jeffries was last seen after the events of Fire Walk With Me. Jeffries was also apparently working on something with the DoppelDale, though we haven't heard from him again since the premiere. Someone's tying up loose ends. The killer's name seems to be Ike "The Spike" Stadtler (Christophe Zajac-Denek), and his moment of pure sadness when he discovered his weapon of choice was bent is a wonderful moment of Lynchian comedy.
- Speaking of Lynchian comedy, how about that entire conversation about pie at the Double R?
- Before Cooper began filling scribbling on his case files, we saw the old swinging traffic light in Twin Peaks and heard the crackling of electricity, which we heard again after the hit and run. Electricity is heavily associated with the supernatural, including the Black Lodge, in Twin Peaks.
- Upon a brief return to Dougie's exploded car this week, the junkie (Hailey Gates) across the street again starting shouting "one one nine!" We still don't know what it means, but keep it in mind.
And that's it for this week! Join us next time for Part 7!