Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 Recap: Deputizing Diane

Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
And a very warm welcome to this episode's prodigal character: Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn). She returned, pouty face and all, in a scene of spousal angst — she, in a fit of disgust, tells her husband Charlie that he is a "spineless, no-balls loser" and that she's fucking someone else. Audrey, we missed you.
This episode trained its eye on the Hornes, a Twin Peaks family for the ages. (That is to say, they're fucked up. The best families on television are.) Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) killed a little boy in a hit and run a few episodes ago. Then, in episode 10, he tried to kill Miriam (Sarah Jean Long), the only witness. She's still alive, but she's not doing well. Sheriff Truman (Robert Forester) takes Miriam's case to Ben Horne (Richard Beymer), who runs the Great Northern. The fact is, Miriam doesn't have health insurance (how very topical). She's going to die without a surgery, and Ben can perhaps help out. He lends his help, of course, but not without first lamenting the fact that Richard Horne has seem to fallen off the rails.
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"Richard never had a father," he notes to Beverley (Ashley Judd) as if to excuse Richard's behavior. Parenting — or lack thereof — is of particular interest in Twin Peaks; many of the key plots revolve around fathers, mothers, or family lineage. (The first of such plots would be Laura Palmer's herself.) It's still unclear as to how Richard fits into the Horne family, but it would appear that he may be Audrey's son.
The women win the episode, beginning with Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell), who is recruited to join Task Force Blue Rose, the FBI team assembled to look into paranormal activity. Albert (Miguel Ferrer) is one of the last remaining members of Blue Rose — the others, which include Phillip Jeffries and Agent Cooper, have disappeared. (Noticing a trend?) For a time, during the reboot, Tammy felt like a prop, a slinky FBI agent there to deliver expository facts. Her promotion in this episode reassures us she's not. Tammy was at the top of her class at George Washington University, we find out, and she made the Dean's List at MIT. The FBI has been tracking her this whole time, and they've wanted her to join the team.
Better yet, Diane (Laura Dern) is going to join the team. They want to "deputize" her, even though she's not an agent. Diane, for her part, doesn't seem to need the position. Does she need anything? In my mind, she floats from place to place, sipping martinis and blowing cigarette smoke in the face of her foes. In fact, she might be shadier than the FBI originally thought. After being told she's joining the team, Diane receives a text that reads, "Las Vegas?" The number is unknown.
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She replies, "They haven't asked me about it yet." Albert later brings this info to FBI Director Gordon Cole, seeming concerned. They're onto her. But who the hell is this unknown number? One of evil Agent Cooper's disciples? Is it evil Coop himself? From the way she acted with Cooper in the prison, it would seem that Diane isn't on Evil Cooper's side. But one never knows — Diane is a woman of mystery. She wears a wig and gives no fucks, you know?
Cooper's disciples are still active, too. Hutch, played by Tim Roth, and Chantal, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, assassinate a seemingly innocent man in this episode. They lament that they won't have time to torture him. Instead, they'll just have to kill him outright. Presumably, this kill is on evil Cooper's behalf, but it's also just a silly insert scene, a reminder that Cooper's antagonistic crew is slightly cartoonish in their villainy.
The other mystery woman of the episode is Sarah Palmer, who finds herself staring too intently at turkey jerky.
"Men are coming," she tells the sales clerk. She seems scared of the turkey jerky hanging above the cash register. Sarah is Laura Palmer's mother, and she has been known to sense paranormal activity. Later, Hawk (Michael Horse) visits her to ask if everything's okay. She insists everything is fine; her attitude suggests otherwise. Something otherworldly is up in Twin Peaks, and Sarah Palmer knows it.
Then, there's Audrey. Twenty-five years later, Audrey is unmistakeable. Her eyebrows make the same shape. She's just as snappy as before. She's berating her husband, a lawyer named Charlie (played by Clarke Middleton), for not assisting her in a quest to find Billy. Billy is Audrey's lover, we find out during the scene.
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"I'm fucking Billy," she says, quite literally. Charlie is unfazed by this admission — this relationship seems to exist upon a tacit understanding of continuous infidelity, at least on Audrey's part. Billy's been missing for two days, and Tina was the last to see Billy. Audrey presses Charlie to call Tina; she needs to know where she should look for Billy. After calling Tina, though, Charlie doesn't want to share the info with his wife. That's what happens when you call your husband a "spineless, no-balls loser," I guess. She decides to go look for Billy on her own — she's hysterical at this point. Where does she look? The Roadhouse, of course. (This, like Applebee's in Friday Night Lights, is where the town gathers, and where most people can be found.)
Violence is deeply embedded in Twin Peaks; the show centers around a kind of insidious awfulness that, despite the characters' best efforts, won't go away. As if to temper this violence, the show often pulls back a curtain and reveals a tiny bit of mundane kindness — this episode, it's Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) at the trailer park, begging one of his residents not to sell plasma. It's also Dougie (Kyle Maclachlan) playing catch with Sonny Jim, even though Dougie's more vegetable than father. (That demonstrates a sweetness on Sonny Jim's part, who patiently returns the ball to his comatose father and then waits for the serve.) There are demons in Twin Peaks, but there are also angels.
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Lastly, it looks like Diane is headed to Twin Peaks. Remember those coordinates on Ruth Davenport's arm? Diane looks them up with Google Maps — Twin Peaks is so modern — and zooms in, inspecting the area. It's Twin Peaks in Washington State. The FBI is headed back to the town where it all started.
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