Say what you will about Lynch and Frost, but don’t say they play it safe (most of the time), as episode 6 is one of their ballsiest yet. Not only do we see old friends, we meet some new ones, some of whom are pretty bad hombres. Saying this is my favorite episode so far seems a bit silly, but there was a flow to it that hadn’t been apparent in the previous episodes. The pacing was simply spot on, and the emotions you feel this week, are enough to rip your heart out.
We pick up right where we left off with Dougie staring at the statue. Aside from being unable to answer questions from the security guard, he develops a strange fascination for his badge that he wants to touch. It’s yet another step in remembering who he really is. He’s taken home again much to his wife’s annoyance (we begin to see why he would want to cheat on her), and is handed a manila envelope that had been laying on the doorstep.
After eating a sandwich he’s told to go upstairs and say goodnight to his son, Sonny Jim. He takes a bag of potato chips with him and sits on his son’s bed. He offers him a potato chip but Sonny Jim declines, as he just brushed his teeth. Dougie gently places a chip on the blanket for him to have later. It’s really a very sweet scene, ending with them in a battle of turning the light on and off with the clap of a hand. The good feeling is short lived when his wife yells for him to come downstairs. In the manila envelope was a picture of Dougie and Jade hand in hand. She storms off and he starts going through the case files he brought home, making doodles of stairs and steps in each one. He then sees a vision of Mike in the black lodge, telling him to wake up and not die.
We then see Albert on the way to a bar for an assignment, and when he gets there, we find out he’s meeting the hitherto unseen but frequently referenced, Diane. Laura Dern plays the enigmatic woman, and I have to say I was surprised by her look. From the early days of TP, I’d always thought of Diane as some super powered Girl Friday. The one person in the office who knew everything and everyone and got it done before you could even ask. I pictured her with glasses, semi long hair and a penchant for librarian skirts. The Diane in the bar was none of that. With her 20’s hair bob cut, long fingernails, and martini at the ready, she seemed more like the woman who goes to a Detective to help find her husband, only to discover she actually killed him. I can’t wait to see how her character develops.
Richard Horne returns, and we see him in a garage meeting with Red (Balthazar Getty looking like a poor man’ Henry Rollins) for a drug deal. Not only does Red find his hands fascinating, he does a pretty mean trick with a dime as well. A trick that really freaks out Horne, almost as much as Red calling him kid, pisses him off. If I have one complaint about this week’s episode it’s that this scene goes on a bit too long.
Harry Dean Stanton pops up as the trailer park owner. He and a friend head into town, and on the way he remarks that he’s smoked for 75 years. He looks it too. Intercut with this are shots of Horne driving recklessly, still upset about being called kid as well as freaked out about the dime trick. We also see some bits of a mother and son playing in the park where Stanton is sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee. We expect the inevitable to happen, but it’s still shocking when it does occur. Horne runs over the kid who’s trying to cross the street, and keeps on going.
We see the kid go under the truck and we’re left numb. One of those unspoken rules in film is not showing violence towards children, and of course Lynch will have none of that. It’s perhaps the most shocking scene so far, and the agony of the mother cradling her dead son’s body will leave you with a tear or two in your eye.
There’s one last bit I want to mention from this week’s show, and that’s the psychotic little person with a penchant for murdering people with an ice pick (although it could be an awl too, you decide). This killer is indeed the stuff of nightmares. He gets two pictures of people to kill, one of which is Dougie and the zeal and gusto he displays in killing his first victim is savage. Even Frank Booth would be a little taken aback. I can’t wait to see more of this character, as he really stole the episode for me.
One of the interesting things I’m finding, and liking actually, is the time spent on the old characters (aside from Cooper), has been relatively minimal. We’ve been introduced to more new characters, and I like that. Although, I still want to see more of Matthew Lillard’s character. Season 3 is really finding its groove now, and as we’re a third of the way through, I’m only more excited for what the future brings. Lynch is bringing everything he has, and we’re all the better for it. I never expected him to take a safe or obvious route in the return, and I was right. It may not please all TP fans, but this is more than I could have hoped for so far.