‘Twin Peaks’ explained, ‘Part 10:’ Men behaving badly

Twin Peaks Explained Part 10
Amid the various digressions and riddles presented in each new episode of Twin Peaks, you’d be excused for openly wondering on occasion just what exactly this show is about — not just narratively, but thematically. While there are many angles you could take — the town of Twin Peaks itself, beset by substance abuse, could be read as a requiem for small town America — one of the most prominent strains in the show, both in the original run and the new, is the presentation of evil.

Evil in Twin Peaks is often depicted in otherworldly figures, such as the woodsmen or the Black Lodge, the nightmarish home of menacing spirits like BOB and the Man from Another Place. But evil also tends to manifest in mundane ways. Even BOB, the body-snatching archvillain of the original show, most often took the form of an ordinary, if creepy, man in a trucker jacket. In The Return, Cooper’s doppelgänger, the primary antagonist, is similarly ordinary: He’s just Cooper with a leather jacket and a flowing mane, the kind of person who wouldn’t look out of place browsing the metal section at a record store.

twin peaks explained part 10 tp richard horne

Villainy in Twin Peaks is distressingly ordinary, and Part 10 exemplifies this, opening on two acts of disturbingly realistic violence and abuse. The episode begins with Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), having run over a child in a previous episode, arriving at the home of the witness who saw him driving, Miriam Sullivan.

Richard wears a mask of friendliness at first, but his reflection looms in Miriam’s glass door, and he drops his charade when she reveals that she sent written testimony to the sheriff. He bursts through her door in a fury.

twin peaks explained part 10 tp richard reflection

A number of critics over the years have accused Lynch’s works of misogyny: In his review of Blue Velvet, Roger Ebert decried the depravity shown toward Isabella Rossellini’s character, even describing Lynch as “sadistic.” It’s a strain of thought that’s still present in criticism of the new run of Twin Peaks. The accusations maintain that Lynch’s camera revels in the destruction of the female body.

Yet when Richard tramples into Miriam’s home, the camera does not follow. Instead it remains still, watching the motorhome tremble as we hear the violence within. The show refrains from showing us the attack, keeping the audience at a distance, a voyeur disturbed by the implied violence.

twin peaks explained part 10 tp motorhome

A similar moment follows, when the show shifts to Carl Rodd’s (Harry Dean Stanton) trailer park. Carl sits outside, strumming a guitar and singing. It’s a gentle moment, shattered by a mug flying through the window of a nearby trailer.

twin peaks explained part 10 tp mug

The camera pans up to the broken window, as we hear yelling from within, and the camera lingers a while. Rodd does not intervene; he simply shakes his head and mutters that the situation is a “fucking nightmare.”

twin peaks explained part 10 tp broken window

The show then cuts to the inside of the trailer, where Becky (Amanda Seyfried), last seen in a blissful, drug-induced haze with her husband Steven (Caleb Landry Jones), is now cowering on a couch as Steven screams at her, snot and spittle dripping from his face. While their relationship hardly seemed a storybook romance in the first place — he was unemployed, she was borrowing money from her mom to maintain their lifestyle — in this moment it is truly grotesque.

In both these scenes, Lynch keeps the audience outside at first. Like Carl, we hear the disturbance, and are forced to wonder — though it doesn’t take much imagination — what is happening within. While some might call it voyeuristic, the scenes render us all neighbors who hear a couple fighting next door, disturbed by the implication of domestic violence but unwilling or unable to act on that disgust.

Twin Peaks has always found evil in the shadowed corners of mundane life, and the show’s villains, as mentioned, often aren’t villains, but mere men who do their evil just out of sight. Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), the seemingly ideal American father, molested his daughter for years under the influence of BOB, eventually killing her and setting the show’s original mystery in motion. Richard Horne beats Miriam unconscious and leaves her to die, turning on her gas oven and lighting a candle. He later forces his way into his grandmother’s house, throwing her to the ground and demanding money. Steven Burnett raises a fist as he berates his wife.

Like the drugs that flow through Twin Peaks’ dive bars and back alleys, violence is lurking behind closed doors, carried out by mortal men.


The third DLC for ‘Spider-Man’ swings onto PlayStation 4 next week

The third part of Spider-Man's episodic DLC, Silver Lining, releases on December 21. The episode focuses on Silver Sable and Hammerhead, and it includes three new suits for Peter Parker.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.