By Caitlin Malcuit
During a game of catch, a boy goes to retrieve the ball he misses and hollers that he sees a body. But that body is moving—it’s a bloodied Miriam Sullivan, dragging herself through the woods. Her survival— one people hoped for, but couldn’t be certain of—is one of many pins and needles that “The Return” keeps sticking into the audience this week.
We witness Becky Burnett’s bug-eyed, crackling rage as she learns over the phone that her no-good husband Stephen is up to no good with another woman. Without a car, she begs Shelly for help once again, so her mother dashes out of the RR Diner. For her trouble, Shelly is flung off the hood after trying to stop her pistol-armed daughter from doing anything stupid.
Carl Rodd sees Shelly in distress and summons his VW shuttle express with an alphorn-like whistle to hitch a ride to town. He also has the Twin Peaks police dispatch at his disposal, contacting them via CB radio to get a direct patch through to Deputy Briggs—Becky’s dad. Carl’s consistently a badass.
In Buckhorn, South Dakota, the FBI crew checks out the sight of Major Briggs’ secret interdimensional hideaway. Diane hangs back, helping herself to a cigarette as per usual. Hastings, from the back of Detective Macklay’s cruiser, guides Tammy to the precise portal opening, but exhales sharply when he spies a Woodsman sneaking around the dilapidated shacks. Albert and Gordon also see the phantom, and press on through the fence.
Gordon steps up to the spot, his vision becoming distorted with licks of flame and blurs as the sky opens up in a tornadic swirl. To the others, it merely looks as if he’s raising his arms to the sky, but Gordon sees more: a stairwell appears, and a row of Woodsman are lined up, staring back. A crackle of electricity intensifies, but Albert pulls Gordon back in time. In a clearing to their right, there lies the body of Ruth Davenport.
Diane catches a glimpse of the Woodsmen while the others photograph the corpse, opting to stay quiet while she watches it slip through the cruiser unnoticed. Hastings cringes in pain with the sound of a crunch, and Macklay is sprayed with the result. The detective calls for backup and Diane peers through the windshield. “There’s no backup for this,” she says.
Because she left some extra peepholes in the other woman’s door, Becky’s parents sit her down to discuss an out from her marriage. Red crashes the family meeting to Shelly’s delight, and she pops outside to see him as Bobby looks on with a hangdog expression. While she’s trying to get her kid out of a bad situation, Shelly’s falling back into old habits herself by necking with a new bad boy.
Gunfire breaks the awkward tension as it hits the RR Diner. Bobby runs to investigate the commotion. A woman shouts down her hunting-fatigues clad husband for leaving a gun in the car, which his identically dress son found and shot out from the minivan window. Bobby empties the gun as the child stares him down like he doesn’t give a shit (his father doesn’t either, apparently). The car behind them honks incessantly, so when Bobby attempts to calm the driver down, she verbally honks that they’re late for dinner and an unseen “she” is sick—and “she” really is. A child in the passenger seat slowly rises, arms out like a zombie, vomit sputtering out of her mouth. The driver screams as Bobby stares dumbfounded. This just ain’t his day.
Hawk and Truman, back at the station, look over a magic map that always stays current, matching it to Major Briggs’ cryptic note. Hawk notes fire and corn stalk symbols to Truman—fire can be good or bad, depending upon its intention, but it’s not traditional fire either. It’s more like modern-day electricity. The corn stalks are blackened, signaling disease as opposed to healthy, fertile corn. The two come together to form black fire. Truman asks about the winged circle symbol at the map’s top, but is told that it’s something he doesn’t ever want to know about. The Log Lady calls as well, warning Hawk that there’s fire where he is going.
In South Dakota, Gordon tries to steady his left hand, now shaking after his experience in the portal. He requests to see the photos of Ruth’s arm, and more specifically, the coordinates written on it. Albert brings out the image, catching Diane mouthing the numbers to herself. The last few digits are smudged, but Albert doesn’t finish revealing where the initial set lead to before Macklay and Tammy appear with coffee and doughnuts.
In Las Vegas, Cooper barely absorbs the update that the insurance claim on the Mitchum brothers’ property is the real deal and that he, the lucky son of a gun, gets to break the news and a $30 million check to the fellas! As it turns out, the Mitchums have already requested a meeting with “Dougie,” thanks to Tony’s machinations, and want to take the agent out to dinner. Upon the 5:30 pickup time, the One-Armed Man beckons Cooper into Szymon’s coffee shop and he leaves with a cardboard box.
Of course, the Mitchums have other plans. Bradley talks with Rodney over their 2:23 p.m. breakfast about a dream he had. At first, Bradley’s anxious to cap Dougie, but as the time nears, the dream becomes clearer. He has reservations; after all, Ike “The Spike” is out of the way because of Dougie. Rodney calls bullshit, but Bradley insists that, in the dream, Rodney’s cut from the fly incident healed up. The bandage is ripped off—the cut is gone.
When Cooper arrives, Bradley freaks out over the sight of the cardboard box. He pleads with Rodney that they cannot kill Cooper if a certain item is inside, whispering the contents to his brother out of the agent’s earshot. Rodney confronts Cooper at gunpoint, demanding to know if a cherry pie is in fact in the box. It is so—Bradley’s vision is confirmed to be more pleasant than the ending of “Se7en,” and a frisking reveals the check for $30 million. Belushi’s stellar performance here is starting to make me forget about “According to Jim.” Almost.
The ecstatic Mitchums take their new best friend out to dinner, where they enjoy champagne and some “damn good” pie. Just as a note from the restaurant piano stirs a glimmer of recollection, Cooper is thanked by the other Silver Mustang winner. The former slot machine addict, cleaned up and reunited with her long lost son, smooches her dear Mr. Jackpots for having changed her life for the better, letting the brothers know that a very special man is in their presence. Here’s hoping he gets to turn things around for the town of Twin Peaks, and fast.
More “Twin Peaks” Coverage:
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 10 Recap: We’re Up All Night to Get Lucky
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Park 9 Recap: You’re Gonna Have Yourself a SCUB-y Snack
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 8 Recap: Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 7 Recap: A Little Ditty ‘Bout Coop and Diane
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 6 Recap: Call It, Friendo
- ‘Twin Peaks’ Part 5 Recap: Shovel Yourself Out of the Shit
- 'Twin Peaks' Parts 3 and 4 Recap: Doughnut Disturb
- The Time Presents Itself: 'Twin Peaks' Premiere Is A Beautiful/Terrible Nightmare
- Episode 195: ‘Twin Peaks’ and Other Tales
- There's Always Music in the Air: Revisiting the 'Twin Peaks' Soundtrack