Let's address the elephant in the room: Game of Thrones premiered tonight, and Twin Peaks endured a little bit of older-child syndrome. I mean, why watch women take punches on Showtime when you could be watching the mother of dragons on HBO? It's a tough call, and I'd bet most people went with Game of Thrones.
Almost as if to match GoT's level of violence, Twin Peaks was particularly abusive this week. To start, Richard (Eamon Farren) tracks down Miriam (Sarah Jean Long), the pie-loving teacher who witnessed his hit-and-run. She tells him she's gone to the police. He promptly kills her, because that's what the men in this show do: They abuse the women around them.
Meanwhile, Steven Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones, who was equally repulsive in Get Out) hollers at Becky Burnett (Amanda Seyfried) for not demanding enough money at her job. Steven needs his money, you see. Minus two for violence against women.
Then, there's Candy, a waitress at the casino. She just wants to kill a fly, an innocent enough task. When she accidentally thwacks her boss with a handkerchief in an effort to kill said fly, she's Hastings-in-episode-9-level distresses. She cries. She wants to know how he, Rodney Mitchum (Robert Knepper), can still look at her. All of this hullabaloo over a fly seems to indicate that there's a purpose to all this abuse — maybe. Candy couldn't feel more guilty or apologetic for accidentally hurting her boss. She's obsessive about it; the hysteria feels performative, as if Candy's pointing out the obvious difference between how women treat violence and how men treat violence.
Richard's not done getting violent, though; the ethereal man-boy with a bouffant heads to Sylvia Horne's home — she's his grandmother. There, he beats her (literally) into submission, demanding she tell him the code to where she keeps her money. She submits, and he gets the money, although not before lamenting that his grandmother "makes simple things hard." Here again, the characters seem self-aware. Because of course Richard's the one who makes things complicated. For starters, he could just ask for money from his grandmother. Instead, he resorts to abuse. Fun stuff.
One person in this series had a good time this episode however: Janey-E Jones got some with her vegetable of a husband. It all starts when she brings him to the doctor — did the rest of the Twin Peaks universe not notice that Dougie Jones got significantly more attractive when he disappeared for three days? Because Janey-E's only just noticed, and he's been different for a while now. It's difficult to tell who's weirder in the Dougie storylines — Dougie, who's a walking teletubby, or the people around him, who continue to act like he's acting normal-ish.
For example: When Janey-E goes to town on Dougie — "Do you find me attractive?" she asks him — she seems completely unaware that he's not all there. He flops about on the pillows, seemingly disinterested, while Janey-E has the time of her life. Is it disturbing that Janey-E seems more interested in Dougie when he's a passive agent in her life? Perhaps. Perhaps not. (A part of me wishes the sex was meant to show us that, without normal gambling Dougie, Janey-E Jones is starting to enjoy her life. That he was an oppressive presence, and her new, blank husband gives her the opportunity to take agency and enjoy the ride.)
On other sexy notes: Constance the coroner (Jane Adams) and FBI agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) go on a date this episode. Like last week's "shopping for chairs" interlude, this hint of normalcy was much-needed. I could have watched that date for hours. (I hope there's a wedding reunion special, like they do for The Bachelor.)
Not to mention, it is revealed that Diane (Laura Dern), has a whole "stable of male suitors" waiting for her. Now, that's how it's done, Diane.
Plot-wise, though, this episode is all about the Mitchums. There's Rodney Mitchum, and there's Bradley, who's played by Jim Belushi. The Mitchums are here to be pawns, really — they're going to take out Dougie Jones. Mr. Todd, the evil man who seems to be operating this whole world, plans to convince the Mitchums that Dougie Jones stole $30 million dollars from them via his insurance company. With some help from Candy, the plan seems to go off without a hitch ; this is all to say that the Mitchums now have it out for Dougie Jones. Ike the Spike is in custody, so Mr. Todd had to get a new plan in place to rid us of Dougie.
It's been awhile since we thought about Tracey and Sam in NYC. Remember them? That bloody sex debacle in a room that seemingly contains a portal to another dimension? Yeah, hard to forget. The FBI has proof that Evil Cooper was present in that warehouse days before the Meltdown of Tracey and her Newfound Boyfriend occurred. So, this means that the owners of the warehouse (Mr. Todd) are in collusion with Evil Cooper. The question is, what does Mr. Todd have to gain from all this? And who the hell is he?
Of course, it all comes back to Laura Palmer. She is perhaps the most hardcore MacGuffin in television. She greets FBI Director David Morse briefly when he opens the door of his hotel room. She's just a ghostly vision, though, and the person at the door is Albert. Then, Margaret Lanterman calls with more info for Hawk.
"Laura is the one," she tells him. Then: "The glow is dying. What will be in the darkness that remains?"
What's happening in Twin Peaks? The opposite of a glow-up, apparently.