10 Things We Learned From Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11

"Cherry piiieeeeeee!"

Twin Peaks The Return Part 11 Becky
Showtime

Twin Peaks: The Return is very much the 18 hour film it has been marketed as. Its 'Parts' often end - superficially at least - arbitrarily.

Characters reintroduced in the two part premiere remain elusive, even as we firewalk beyond the halfway point. James Hurley is still cool. He's also still there, awaiting some narrative purpose, in the background. We don't need to check in on him every week. This isn't an episodic television show in which its showrunners feel the need to check in on the inhabitants of the town as a means of reassurance. Except, increasingly, it is - not that it's a bad thing.

These last four parts have deviated from that jump cut to the Roadhouse, snip-the-reel-wherever format. Part 8 was a standalone surrealist masterpiece in its own right. Part 9 deliberated on procedural elements, its heavy (and heavy-handed) use of law enforcement coalescing the arresting standalone plot strands. Part 10, while disparate in its handling of the still-expansive plot, underscored the series' fascination with violence against women by connecting them with a singular sense of theme.

"It all comes out, now like a river" warned the Log Lady at the climax of Part 10. Her words were typically prophetic; in Part 11, police dispatcher Maggie Brown struggled to keep up with an endless spate of emergency calls. The narrative was equally turbulent.

This suspenseful hour of cinema/television/something totally new was crafted with the skill of an experienced thriller writer...

10. Miriam Lives!

Twin Peaks The Return Part 11 Becky
Showtime

We open Part 11 with three young brothers playing catch (terribly) near the woodland. As the ball goes astray, again, one of the boys notices a "someone" emerging from the weeds - Miriam, who has seemingly (damn the incessant need for the qualifier) survived the attempt on her life by Richard Horne.

It is a scene reminiscent, almost, of Blue Velvet - a reminder that the stain of modern humanity is always there, lurking beneath the surface of innocent Americana. As mentioned, much of Part 11 is akin to a thriller - but the genre conventions are transcended by the use of such poetic imagery, employed to disturbing effect here and elsewhere.

Richard Horne is many things for a supposedly one-note character. He is unspeakably and unmistakably horrifying. And yet, underneath the surface, like Miriam in the grass, there is an element - a particle - of pathos. His DNA left him with no chance - so much so that you can almost, almost sympathise with him. He is also fairly inept, having only inherited the worst of Mr. C's traits. Mr. C in the premiere poured scorn on the idea of humanity - "you follow it perfectly," he told Phyllis, for predictably succumbing to her sexual impulses. His supernatural terror was spawned with irreconcilable human weakness. Horne is a monstrosity, in the strictest sense of the word. Isn't that pitiable?

Part 10 was nihilistic. The image of Miriam crawling away from the woods, instils a fleeting sense of hope.

Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!