Does anyone combine violence, wistfulness and total goofballery like David Lynch?
Richard Horne beats up his grandma, takes all her money, calls her a cunt and skips town, but not before killing Miriam, the perky schoolteacher who witnessed him run over that kid a couple of episodes ago. Anyone not believe Richard is the spawn of Evil Cooper, who probably raped Audrey while she was in a coma?
Nasty cop Chad intercepts a letter Miriam warns Richard she’s sent to the Sherriff in the event of her meeting with an accident of some kind—I guess making fun of the Log Lady and sneering at Andy and Lucky isn’t all he’s good for.
Ben Horne fields an (understandably) hysterical call from Sylvia. Things are as strained as ever. She’s enraged that the main thing he wants to know is whether Johnny was hurt. He’s enraged that she wants more money. Exhausted, Ben asks his married assistant Beverly to dinner.
Shelley Johnson’s daughter seems to be reliving her mother’s life with Leo. Harry Dean Stanton sings the cowboy classic “Red River Valley.” Janey-E discovers her husband looks a lot better with no shirt on than he used to. Dougie, um, hits the jackpot in a whole new way (Man, Janey-E is a screamer!)
Meanwhile, in Vegas, Lynchian comedy ensues as a casino showgirl attempts to swat a fly, ultimately cracking thug-boss across the cheekbone with the remote. He’s fine. She is a tearful wreck for the rest of the day. The casino thugs discover that the guy who made Ike the Spike finally “step on his own dick” is none other than “Mister Jackpots.” In the casino, Dougie’s crooked co-worker comes to tell the Thuggie Thuggerson that the “enemy” who kiboshed his insurance arson scam was indeed also the nefarious, if seemingly addlepated, Douglas Jones. Sinister clouds gather over Los Vegas.
Figuratively. Because Vegas is a desert.
Remember when Albert was incapable of doing anything but insult the shit out of people in that barking, no-affect voice of his and Harry Truman slugged him and Dale Cooper said he might do the same? Now he’s on a date! With the coroner! That look on Gordon Cole’s face while he watches them is just priceless.
Later, Cole’s doodling some kind of antlered-lizard thing with an arm reaching out of the frame (“I am the arm?”) when the doorbell rings, and Cole sees a vision of young Laura Palmer screaming for help before the vision resolves and we see it’s Albert who’s standing there. He confides that it looks like Diane is an owl who might not be what she seems. Then Tammy Preston shows up with a still from the Ominous Glass Box back in New York. Guess who’s in the shot?
Noooooooo. Not Audrey. Bad Cooper, silly!
Jerry Horne is still literally lost in the woods. Dr. Jacoby delivers a Rantosaurus Rex against Big Pharma and the government, as Nadine listens raptly from her office at “Run Silent, Run Drapes.” In the end, Jacoby’s entire screed is, again, a plug for his golden shit-shovels. The Log Lady delivers some apocalyptic free-verse poetry to Hawk over the phone, letting him know that the Truman brothers are indeed “true men” and that soon the circle will be complete, but that the “glow is dying.” (I defy you to watch this scene and not at least be in danger of bursting into tears.) At the Roadhouse, Rebekah del Rey croons a torch song (co-written by Lynch) that reminded me of a funhouse mirror version of Julee Cruise’s “Questions in a World of Blue.” It seemed to be an elegy for the Death of the Glow, aptly called “No Stars.”
We could unpack that scene alone for pages, but that’s a different recap entirely. The upshot? If this sounds disjointed? It isn’t. At all. In fact, things are really starting to braid together in this episode. After “Part VIII,” anything could have happened, but what appears to be coalescing is an apotheosis of Lynch’s whole Cosmic Deal. There is a world of joy and beauty somewhere, and it is obscured by a veil of brutal violence. Or vice versa. Or both. The episode is funny and nostalgic and sad and creepy and hopeless and hopeful—it’s like a really complex and beautiful chord.
Fellas, this was worth the quarter-century wait. Now, can we please get Audrey back, and Big Ed Hurley, too?
The Hornes are not doing so well.
Amy Glynn is a poet, essayist and fiction writer who really likes that you can multi-task by reviewing television and glasses of Cabernet simultaneously. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.