Continuing the point I've noted on my postmortem rewatch about how various Parts seem to have their own internal logic and themes: this one is almost aggressively a "traditional" sequel/continuation in many scenes, with name-drops for Annie, Harold, the season 1 shooting cliffhanger, the bank explosion, even a freeze-frame reference to Nancy, of all people! As glad as I am that S3 stubbornly insisted on being its own odd thing instead of an 'X Files'-style "revival," there is undeniably a charm to this approach, and I can understand the fans who were upset that the series didn't do more of this kind of thing.
What can we glean about the Woodsmen from their appearances? They seem to be on Mr. C/Bob's side (or, if Mr. C and Bob are NOT exactly on the same side -- a possibility -- they're on Mr. C's side, as they work to keep Bob inside him, which we know from Part 5 is something Mr. C wants). They seem linked to the death of Garland and whatever happened in "the Zone," as a Woodsman appears in the cell next to Bill in Part 2, in the morgue with Garland's body here, and of course one of them eventually kills Bill. There is some evidence linking Mr. C to what happened in the Zone as well (Mr. C seems disturbed in Part 2 that "Phillip" knows about his meeting with Garland). But it seems extremely unlikely that Mr. C would plant Dougie's ring...he would know that the FBI has some knowledge of tulpas, and the last thing he would want is to lead them to Dougie before his hitmen could take Dougie out. So maybe Mr. C/the Woodsman killed Briggs, but some other Lodge entity snuck the ring inside of Garland right under Mr. C's nose?
Or, better yet...Mike came to Garland in a dream the night before (wherever Garland was "hibernating") and gave him the ring. Garland, knowing his time had come but that the ring could be the salvation of good Coop and the downfall of Mr. C, swallowed the ring before going to meet his fate. I like this, because it gives Garland agency and a heroic end.
Sorry, I'm rambling.
Speaking of rings...we now know a prison guard gave Ray the Owl Cave ring. Presumably this is the guard we see at the far end of the hallway when Ray appears. Intriguingly, the guard only ever appears with a bright flashlight-burst obscuring his/her form almost completely.
Little moments I love: Frank's two-fingered chicken-peck typing, Dougie writing on/poking his blotter with the pen, Beymer's physicality when he palms the room key (this feels SO quintessentially Ben), Tammy suddenly popping into frame on the plane (I have to say, I've always been a Tammy/Bell supporter, but I really love her on this rewatch).
Ben describing Laura Palmer as a "long story" is a massive understatement. I have to imagine -- whether L/F/Beymer intended it or not -- that Ben is forced to remember in that moment the fact that he had sex with a high school student his daughter's age, and the effect that had on his wife and Audrey (whatever is going on with her). I imagine that plays a big part in Ben resisting the urge to ruin Beverly's marriage.
We all suspected that Mr. C raped Diane after this Part aired, but rewatching it knowing that for a fact makes Kyle's performance all the creepier. He seems not only unrepentant but perhaps unaware that his actions were even wrong. He asks her if she's mad at him and agrees with her that he'll never forget that night, as if they're simply former lovers who had a falling-out. Sociopathic and chilling.
Gordon tells Diane that whatever is going on with Cooper has to do with something she knows about. This obviously references Lois Duffy/tulpas. But I wonder if Gordon realizes yet that Diane herself is a tulpa and is being sly? I doubt it, but it's a fun extra level to the line whether he intends it or not.
My new most-desired prequel is a show about Diane and Janey-E's mother. The woman who produced those two spitfires had to really be something.
As a lifelong Marx Bros. fan, I have to give a shoutout to Doc Hayward's 'Animal Crackers' quotation (although the use of trout is less funny than the original elephant). There's not a doubt in my mind that this line and the Chico reference in Part 17 were Frost, given his professed love for them, and I have to assume that Warren introduced Mark to the Marxes when he was a kid. I find it very sweet that Mark gave his dad this line (and I adore the way Forster plays it: he clearly already knows the punchline and is indulging Will to some extent, but also is genuinely amused by Will's joy and earnestness).
I really wonder about the Hayward family. Will is seemingly having breakfast alone by the stream in Middlebury, Vt. I wonder if he's still with Eileen.
The scene of Beverly's home life is sure odd. I guess DKL just wanted to give Judd something more meaty to play (and she does great work), but it's just not an interesting scene and it never pays off.
I was on the fence about the sweeping initially, feeling that DKL might have finally taken his captive-audience excruciating-pacing shtick (which I generally love -- see: shovels) too far. However, I like it more and more. Another user pointed out that Jack Fisk discusses DKL having been a street sweeper at one point in the MD documentary, and I can just imagine the enthusiasm with which DKL directed the actor. On this rewatch, it also resonated with me due to my old high school job as a movie theater usher. I wonder if this crossed DKL's mind at all...using sweeping as a break in the action, to me, feels very much like the moments in a movie theater that no one thinks about, when one story has ended and the next has yet to begin. This is probably just a personal association, but I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that it was on DKL's mind on some level.
The Renaults having owned the Roadhouse for 57 years seemingly retcons Jake Morrissey out of existence (the owner of the Roadhouse and the Bookhouse in TSDoLP and the Pilot script/deleted scenes). Too bad...he was one of my favorite non-characters/trivia questions.
This is one of those Parts that feels like law enforcement overload. I enjoyed most of it a lot, but I was so relieved to enter Dougie's more human everyday world -- ironically flagged by an establishing shot of the sheriff/'FBI Story' statue! And even there, we get the Fuscos and Ike the Spike.