‘Twin Peaks’ delivers about half a good episode this week. Unfortunately, the other half is a bunch of Dougie shenanigans and other uninteresting nonsense.
Let’s get the dumb stuff out of the way first.
The Mitchum brothers are ecstatic about their big insurance payout. With Mr. Jackpots and their bimbos in tow, they form a conga line (with the weirdest conga music you’ll ever hear) through Dougie’s office to see Mr. Mullins. “A wrong has been made right and the sun is shining bright,” one of them declares before presenting Mullins with several gift boxes, one of which contains keys to a new BMW. (This is of course highly unethical and probably illegal, but Mullins doesn’t seem to mind.)
Meanwhile, Anthony (Tom Sizemore) cowers under his desk so that the Mitchums won’t see him. He calls Mr. Todd, who tells him that he has one day to remedy the situation.
Later, a delivery truck arrives at Dougie’s house and workers set up a new, elaborate gym set in the backyard for his son, Sonny Jim. Another BMW with a big bow wrapped around it is parked in the driveway. Janey-E is delighted.
At the Las Vegas police precinct, the trio of dimwit detectives known as the Fusco brothers receive a report stating that Dougie Jones’ fingerprints belong to a missing FBI agent. Assuming this must be an error, they laugh at the idea and toss the paper in the trash.
Anthony turns up at the precinct to visit a crooked cop named Detective Clark who also works for Mr. Todd. Clark doesn’t like Anthony much. Anthony begs him for info on how to get his hands on an untraceable poison.
More in love with her husband than ever, Janey-E drops Mr. Jackpots off at work in her new BMW. In a quite funny bit of physical comedy, Mr. Jackpots walks straight into a glass door while Anthony waits for him inside. Anthony invites Dougie to have coffee with him, and Mr. Jackpots would never refuse coffee. After drinking half his cup, Mr. Jackpots is distracted by a slice of cherry pie at the counter, which gives Anthony enough time to dump the poison into the cup. However, when Mr. Jackpots returns, Anthony can’t go through with it. Overcome with guilt and believing that Dougie is onto him, he dumps the poisoned coffee in the restroom.
Anthony then confesses all his sins to Mr. Mullins, admitting that he has falsified numerous insurance payouts and almost committed murder. A blubbery, crying mess, he thanks Dougie for stopping him from crossing such a terrible line. Mullins already knew that Anthony was cheating, owing to the research he thinks Dougie did. He demands that Anthony testify against Mr. Todd and the crooked cops. Anthony is terrified at the prospect of this.
Mr. C drives the truck Hutch gave him to a warehouse, parks inside, and announces that he’s come to see his friend Ray. This must be “The Farm” that Mr. C and Ray talked about previously. Watching on a wall-sized monitor from a room upstairs, Ray is not pleased to see him alive. He’s surrounded by a large group of tough-looking goons, led by an intimidating bald guy named Ranzo who tells Ray that they’ll kill Mr. C, but they want to play with him first.
Mr. C is allowed upstairs, where he’s told that he’s required to participate in a little game. He has to arm-wrestle Ranzo. Many men have arm-wrestled Ranzo but none has ever won. If he loses – and he will assuredly lose – they’ll kill him. When Mr. C asks what he gets if he wins, everyone laughs at the suggestion that’s even a possibility. However, if he wins, he gets to be their new leader. Mr. C says that he doesn’t want to be their leader. If he wins, he just wants Ray.
Once they finally get down to the match, Mr. C hardly seems to strain at all as the overconfident Ranzo struggles with all his might against him. Mr. C toys with him, continually resetting to the ready position just when Ranzo thinks he’s about to beat him. After a few minutes of this, Mr. C slams down his arm, breaking Ranzo’s, and then punches Ranzo so hard that his fist caves in his face. Ranzo falls to the floor, instantly dead. The other goons, all in shock at what they’ve just witnessed, live up to their end of the deal. They turn over Ray as well as their cell phones, then leave the room when Mr. C requests some privacy.
Ray tries to run, but Mr. C shoots him in the leg. Ray confesses that a man named Phillip Jeffries ordered him to kill Mr. C. He doesn’t know why, other than that Mr. C has something “they” want. From his pocket, he produces a ring that he was supposed to put on Mr. C’s finger after killing him. All of the goons watch this transpire from the monitor in the other room. Among them is Richard Horne, who watches with particular interest.
Mr. C orders Ray to put the ring on his own finger, then demands that he tell him the coordinates that were written on Ruth Davenport’s arm. Ray gives him a piece of paper with numbers on it. Finally, Mr. C asks where Phillip Jeffries is. Ray doesn’t know, except that it’s someplace called “The Dutchman.” Mr. C immediately shoots Ray in the head. He knows where that is.
The ring vanishes from Ray’s finger and appears on the zig-zag floor of the Red Room, where a hand (likely the One-Armed Man’s) picks it up and places it on a pedestal. Ray’s body also soon appears in the Red Room, presumably as a message from Mr. C not to fuck with him.
Bobby Briggs stops for dinner at the RR Diner and talks for a minute with Norma and Big Ed (Everett McGill). Sadly, we soon learn that Ed and Norma are no longer a couple. Norma has a new boyfriend, a douchebag businessman who tries to dazzle and confound her with talk about branding and profit margins. Walter, the boyfriend, wants Norma to start using cheaper ingredients in her pies and to charge more for them. He sounds very much like he’s scamming her. Ed is friendly with the man, but Walter can’t even be bothered to remember his name.
Nadine Hurley receives a late night visit from Dr. Jacoby, who spotted one of his golden shovels on display in the window of her drape shop. Nadine is overcome with fangirl excitement at his presence.
Sarah Palmer, in a depressive state, smokes and drinks in her lonely home while her TV repeatedly plays a very short clip of an old black-and-white boxing match in a loop over and over and over again. The repetition is (deliberately) agonizing. The scene is not explained, though I wonder if it’s meant to tie Sarah to Mr. Mullins, who used to have a career as a boxer when he was young.
Audrey Horne continues screeching at her husband, Charlie. She yells that she feels like she’s someplace else and somebody else, that she doesn’t know who she is and doesn’t know where the Roadhouse (which she wanted to go to) is. This suggests that she might have some amnesia since her trauma in the bank explosion. Charlie seems cold and unsympathetic to her this week.
At the Roadhouse, a presenter announces the latest act to grace the stage… James Hurley, performing his hit single “Just You and I.” Fans of course remember this as the corny ballad that teenaged James recorded with Donna and Maddy in the Palmer living room. He looks ridiculous on stage lip-syncing to a high-pitched baby voice while a pair of dead-eyed backup singers sway next to him. Nonethless, the audience is totally into it, treating James like a rock icon gracing them with a performance of his most beloved song. One girl in the crowd is even reduced to tears.
The episode ends at Big Ed’s Gas Farm, with Ed sad and alone eating soup while pining for Norma and hoping that a customer will eventually stop.
For even as silly as the idea of an arm-wrestling showdown might be, the Mr. C material this week is very compelling and I wish we got more of it.
The image of Ed Hurley at the end is also heartbreaking. That’s the sort of moment I treasure most in this revival, showing us in very simple terms where characters from the original series have wound up over time.
I can even forgive the utter ridiculousness of James Hurley being a musical superstar for that dopey song. But make no mistake, it’s very ridiculous.
Unfortunately, the Dougie stuff continues to be a drag, and there’s way too much of it this week. Sorry, apologists, but I’m also still displeased with the way Audrey has been treated. That character deserves better than to be reduced to a shrill parody of her former self.