Maybe Agent Cooper is better off in his stupefied “Dougie” state. He’s a publicly celebrated hero, he’s winning points with the boss, and the spark is back in his marriage. Meanwhile, all of the supposedly lucid men and women around him are being drawn into a tightening web spun by the evil Mr. C.
Episode 10 was about as close to a Valentine’s Day special as Twin Peaks: The Return is going to get. Beyond a sex scene involving Cooper and Janey-E — during which Cooper lies virtually motionless and wears an expression not unlike the one that crosses his face every time he takes a sip of coffee — the episode is a series of incidents of intimate violence, with men hurting women in domestic settings.
The main offender is Richard Horne, who’s worried about getting nabbed for accidentally running down a young boy while hopped up and enraged (which is pretty much his default state). After beating a witness and leaving her to die with the gas stove open and running in her trailer, he moves on to Sylvia Horne (a returning Jan D’Arcy) — now identified as his grandmother, lending credence to the notion that Richard is the wayward son of the still-unseen Audrey.
Richard chokes Sylvia as her son — and presumably Richard’s uncle — Johnny sits tied helplessly to the dining room table. (Johnny has an unspecified mental disability, and it looks like it might be time for his mother to call in some help with his care.) While Johnny’s globe-headed teddy bear continues to greet him mechanically, Richard raids the safe and takes off with his grandmother’s jewelry and cash. He also convinces his buddy, Deputy Chad, to intercept a letter fingering Richard as the hit-and-run perpetrator.
She, in turn, takes her anger out on her estranged husband Ben, who seems to be reconsidering the prospect of an affair with his employee Beverly. There’s also strife between the hapless Steven Burnett and his wife Becky, who’s cowering from her paranoid husband’s threats. When a coffee cup goes flying out the window of their trailer, Carl Rodd stops strumming his guitar and looks troubled. “It’s a f—ing nightmare,” says Carl.
Meanwhile, in an ironic reversal, casino mogul Rodney Mitchum gets clocked — with a TV remote control — by Candie, one of the three showgirls who Rodney and his brother Bradley keep perpetually in their orbit. (The other two are named Sandie and Mandie.) Candie, who seems to be trying to kill a bug, is bereft, but gets the chance to make it up to Rodney later when she’s sent to bring insurance man Anthony Sinclair up from the gaming floor.
What’s he doing there? That’s what the Mitchum brothers are wondering, but we already know: he’s been sent by the Mitchums’ rival Duncan Todd to convince the brothers that a denied $30 million insurance claim was the personal responsibility of Dougie Jones, who has it in for the Mitchums. They already know Dougie, of course, as the “Mr. Jackpot” who later showed upon TV as the hero who stopped a murderous Ike “the Spike.” Todd (who himself is under the thumb of Cooper’s doppelgänger) hopes that the brothers will kill Dougie and spare him the trouble.
Actual responsibility for the denied claim, we learn, lies with Todd and Sinclair — which is why Sinclair is so worried about Dougie, and seemingly why their boss Bushnell Mullins was so impressed with whatever insights Cooper scrawled on those claim forms he was sent home with.
Also in Mr. C’s contact list: Diane, whom the enterprising Tammy has tied to the criminal conspiracy by intercepting that ominous text Diane received in episode nine. (“Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively.”) Mr. C has also been documented, we see, at the scene of the spectral “penthouse murders” that took place earlier this season in New York City.
Gordon and Albert are now keeping a close eye on Diane, though perhaps not quite as close as the eye Albert’s keeping on Constance — the Buckhorn medical examiner. Gordon and Tammy spy Albert having a date with Constance, although the real story in that scene might be the body language between Gordon and Tammy. We’ve already heard Denise voice some concerns about Gordon’s history with young female agents…will this lead to complications down the line?
This episode’s musical guest is the stunning Rebekah Del Rio, who sings “No Stars” — and yes, that’s Moby playing guitar in her band at the roadhouse. The 2011 song was co-written by Lynch, whose association with Del Rio dates back to her appearance in Mulholland Drive (2001). As for Moby, his breakout hit “Go” (1990) sampled “Laura Palmer’s Theme.”
“Laura is the one.” That’s the title of this episode, and it’s also a revelation given to Hawk by the Log Lady — who returns for a one-sided and mysterious conversation.
Hawk. Electricity is humming. 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.
In a vision, Laura appears to Gordon: terrified and screaming, as the teenager who was about to die.