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July 17, 2017

‘Twin Peaks’: “Hello, Johnny, How Are You Today?” [Episode 10]

**Turn back if you’re afraid of spoilers**

What makes a bad man and what makes a good one? Last night’s “Twin Peaks” had this question on its mind in a somewhat meandering hour (the shortest episode to date) that offered some answers, raised more questions, and after a handful of frustrating pit stops along a rich narrative highway, locked into a surprisingly emotional third act that felt like the show at its best, all while examining violence and misogyny against women. Let’s dig in.

We open with Richard Horne (Eamon Farren) tearing down the road to a trailer owned by Miriam, the pie-loving schoolteacher who saw him run down the young boy with his truck. She warns him not to come in and that she’s already sent a letter to the sheriff’s office detailing everything she knows. Not one for manners, Richard lets himself in and savagely kills her, contacting Chad (John Pirruccello), he of the smelly lunches that aren’t supposed to be eaten in the conference room, to ask him to intercept the letter, which he does, but Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) might be onto him.

Richard’s tour of destruction isn’t over yet though, and he swings by his grandma’s house to rob and terrorize her. This scene, as dark and disturbing as it is, also sheds some light on a few things. First, Johnny Horne (Robert Bauer) is alive after his run into the wall, nursing a wicked head wound and playing with a toy that looks like a cross between a nebula plasma ball and a deranged Teddy Ruxpin. If that’s not terrifying enough, the toy/doll repeatedly asks, “Hello, Johnny, How Are You Today?” in a pleasant, robotic tone that gets creepier as the tension increases. But the big news here is that we finally have confirmation the still very much MIA Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) is Richard’s mother. After the horrific encounter, Sylvia Horne (Jan D’Arcy) calls her ex-husband Ben (Richard Beymer), who tells her he’s not going to help with her anything, making this a very uncomfortable family reunion in the making.

Unpleasantness is brewing in another trailer in town, as Becky (Amanda Seyfried) is being violently interrogated by her husband Steven (Caleb Landy Jones) who’s convinced she did something bad and is awfully upset about it. We don’t get much context for this scene, just a quick drop in on a troubling marital spat that implies this may be the norm for Becky and her man. But from the look in her eyes, this time his anger seems different. What could he think she did?

Back in Las Vegas, Janey-E (Naomi Watts) notices Dougie’s (the real Dale Cooper, Kyle MacLachlan) leaner physique during a doctor’s visit and is drawn to what she sees. She asks him if he still finds her attractive and the two eventually take things to the bedroom, where Dougie apparently gives a naively impressive performance. But something else is brewing in Vegas, and we learn that Dougie could soon be on the receiving end of a hit job masterminded by Bradley Mitchum (Jim Belushi) and his disgruntled casino cohorts.

Meanwhile, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) sees a harrowing vision of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) as he opens the door to his hotel room to reveal Albert (Miguel Ferrer), who has new information about Diane (Laura Dern), who may have gotten up herself tangled up in something she won’t be able to get out of. Albert reveals that the text message Diane received last week about lively dinner conversation came from Mexico. Her reply: “They have Hastings. He’s going to take them to the site.” Could Diane be working with the missing Agent Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie)? Even if there aren’t any real answers yet, Gordon and Albert know something isn’t right. “Doesn’t sound like boyfriend talk,” Albert points out. “Keep her close,” Gordon advises. Although it’s from the sidelines, Phillip Jeffries seems to be playing a rather large part in the surrounding puzzle. And it may be unlikely, but there still hasn’t been any confirmation as to whether Bowie was able to film for the revival before his passing early last year.

Things wind down in Twin Peaks, where The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) contacts Hawk (Michael Horse) with some words of wisdom. She tells him that the electricity is humming, it’s everywhere but the glow is dying and that “what’s in the darkness is what will remain.” She also lets him know that both Truman brothers (Michael Ontkean and Robert Forster) are “true men” and that the circle is almost complete. But her most revealing piece of information? “Laura is the one,” she finishes.

Then we head over to the Roadhouse for a gorgeous performance by Rebekah Del Rio, who Lynch devotees may recognize from “Mulholland Drive.” She sings a beautiful, mesmerizing song that starts out, “My dream is to go to that place where it all began.” Could this be a commentary on returning to “Twin Peaks,” both the show and the overactive Washington town where a battle between good and evil appears to be inevitable? Or is there a deeper metaphor at play, a meditation on a relationship gone bad, evidenced by the disturbing encounters at the hands of men in this episode? If something big was going to happen at the end, a “It is happening again” event that turned the story on its head, this felt like the right time. But the credits start to roll as the song continues. “No stars,” Del Rio sings. And once again, “Twin Peaks” subverts expectations.

So what do you think Diane is up to? Audrey must be on her way when so many of her family members are playing a bigger part in the story, right? And if Laura Palmer is the key to everything, what exactly does she need to unlock? See you next week!

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