Things we know about the Horne family from part 10 (and things we can safely conjecture)
1. Johnny lives!
He looks like hell, but his run-in with the wall (and power outlet?) was not fatal. It does seem like his jaw is wired shut for some reason. He’s also totally immobilized in a straight-back chair, presumably for his safety.
2. Sylvia and Johnny do not live at the Great Northern.
They in fact seem to live in a gated community, based on the voice on the intercom alerting Sylvia to Richard’s approach (more on this later).
3. Richard calls Sylvia his “Grandma.”
He calls her this, and the guy on the intercom calls him her “grandson.” Sylvia also refers to Richard’s “grandfather,” and I think we can safely assume this is Ben, based on the mention of money here and then later in her phone call to Ben’s office. I see three possibilities to explain this revelation of Richard’s grand-parentage:
i. Sylvia is Richard’s biological grandmother, meaning he’s the son of one of her two (known) children—Johnny or Audrey. This is the Occam’s Razor idea (i.e., it’s probably Audrey). But just because this theory is the easiest doesn’t automatically mean it’s true. We are watching a Lynch/Frost project, after all, and they have gone to great lengths to withhold info and tease us about both Richard and Audrey. The easy answer could well be a red herring.
ii. Sylvia is actually Richard’s “step” grandmother—i.e., he calls her “grandma” because she is the wife of his grandfather, not because of biology. This would mean that any children Ben may have had with any of the number of women he’s slept with over the years could still be Richard’s mother/father. For the record, this could also include Donna. Remember that TP has always been part soap opera, so let’s not get too hung up on how “realistic” it is that Donna would take the name Horne for herself or for her child. If it would make sense on Invitation to Love, I think it’s fair game! 🙂
iii. Sylvia has “served” in the role of Richard’s grandmother to hide the truth of some other scenario. Such as Ben actually being Richard’s father, having knocked up some lady who dumped the baby off on their doorstep. This is a little far fetched, granted, but it’s possible.
4. Richard and Sylvia are estranged.
We can tell this from Sylvia’s immediate reaction to his arrival. Based on Sylvia’s remark to Johnny that “we can’t make him mad,” it seems likely that there is a history of this sort of violence between them. There are also perhaps some subtle hints that they were once on better terms—Richard’s first tack in getting money from Sylvia is to, however briefly, try to be charming and appeal to their relationship (calling her “grandma,” rather than BITCH or CUNT right off the bat). He also knows the house well enough to not only know that Sylvia has a safe, but exactly where it is in the house. So maybe this suggests he’s spent some time there in the past, and was once trusted enough to have been told about or have seen the safe.
5. Richard is a monster.
Yeah, I know we already figured this out, but bear with me. Everything crappy he’s done so far has had some sort of motive, whether he’s just being a sullen brat, violently rebuffing some girl’s flirtation at the Roadhouse, practicing road rage, hiding his manslaughter of a small child, murdering a witness to his crime, robbing his grandmother, etc., etc…. During his attack on Sylvia, however, his threat to “cornhole” Johnny if she doesn’t give him what he wants really tips the scale. Let’s not forget that Johnny is almost certainly related to him (father? uncle? half-brother?), and he’s both mentally stunted and under great duress because of Richard’s presence there. In fact, Richard is not only attacking his grandmother in this scene, he’s doing so while threatening to anally rape his mentally deficient relative who is also immobilized, recuperating from a pretty major physical trauma, and forced to witness the attack.
You might very well say “so what?” to all this, and to that I would say that this is important because we have not really seen a villain so purely irredeemable in Twin Peaks before (even Leo and Hank had their moments—and Jean Renault had that fancy message-speech about Cooper bringing the evil to the town). In effect, Richard is basically a young Frank Booth: amoral, narcissistic, and cruel. Some will cite this as proof that he’s the spawn of DoppleDale. And these “some” may be correct, IDK. There is an important distinction, however: DoppleDale (and BOB by extension) is at least smart about his criminal behavior, and he never loses control. Richard is just pure, unfocused id.
6. The combination to Sylvia’s safe is 49047.
This means nothing to anybody but me probably, but this is also the postal code for Dowagiac, MI. That’s a town I used to live in. Crazy, eh? 🙂
7. Sylvia and Ben are (probably) divorced now.
She doesn’t live with him, and at the end of their phone call, she threatens him with her lawyer. A pretty common threat between acrimoniously divorced couples. It’s unclear how long this has been the case (recent enough for Richard to still call her “grandma” in the case of scenario #3.2 above). This might not change anything, but it could well suggest that there’s even more off-screen family drama than we’ve been privy to heretofore. I think it’s probably a good idea to not be too hasty with conclusions we draw about the Hornes any time soon. They may yet have a few surprises in store for us.