Hey Joel, I posted this as a comment originally on the actual blog post but it was marked as spam/not showing up so I'm posting my original response here:
Re: neighborly kindness of those around Dougie/Mr. Jackpots. it's fun to note that the positive energies of Cooper are still present even within the incomplete vessel/fragmented Coop. Dougie/Jackpots brings good fortune and happiness to those around him too, bettering their lives much the same way that cooper did before (see any moment of the original 2 seasons, and even in FWWM when he provides Laura a companion and a comfort). Examples within The Return: giving that poor old woman at the Casino a chance to win jackpots, giving Sonny Jim reasons to laugh/smile (and to be fair, this is symbiotic because Sonny Jim also gives Coop reasons to smile/shows his "father" kindness), and even in this episode, when Dougie takes Frank's coffee for himself, Frank is forced to try Green Tea Latte. And to frank's surprise, he really loves it! As much as Coop loves black coffee. I absolutely adore do when Coop and Frank are both euphorically consuming their drinks together. It's just such a moment of pure joy because they both look so happy with what they have. If it were not for Cooper taking his coffee, Frank would never have known that Green Tea Lattes were his thing.
On the rest of the episode, well it really was distinct from Parts 1-4, wasn't it? This episode just had its own identity, with increased music and warmth and color and emotion. I loved Parts 1-4 but it was clearly more of a cerebral affair. In fact when I first watched Parts 1-4, I had a feeling that was essentially to the Return what the Deer Meadow prologue was to FWWM: a distinct first act, thematically and narratively connected to the subsequent acts but with its own identity (aesthetic, style, tone). And Part 5 seems to verify this to me, with this episode beginning a transition from that first act/prologue into the more balanced visceral+cerebral opus I expect the return to be in the end.
It's amazing to watch these Parts and be able to see where Frost + Lynch were equal, and where the two diverge. Not to make it sound like they were not united on this Return, but what I mean is that it's interesting to see things that feel more Frostian or more Lynchian and then stuff that is more shared between them. Whether that's conceptually or textually, doesn't matter. For example, I love Wally Brando Brennan so much (hope we see more of him), but from the first time I watched his scene I just knew that he was a predominantly Frostian character: his voice, his concept, all 80% at least Frostian. The way the scene played out tho felt Lynchian and reminds me of On The Air too.
The Golden Shovel scene was pretty fun, also kinda felt like a modern invitation to love, especially since Nadine is a loyal viewer of his broadcasts lol. And it makes sense, in this age it is not a daily soap opera that we tune into as a collective but numerous streaming digital channels, YouTube Netflix Hulu on demand etc.
Frank Truman really interests me because he is obviously a Truman like his brother, sharing similar traits of patience and kindness and silent sturdiness. However, he is not just a simple proxy, but a unique individual. He's an older brother and as such he has those older brother qualities: he is a harder man than Harry, colder and tougher enough compared to the gentle sensitivity of Harry, as well as more pragmatic possibly and more willing to upgrade definitely (the updated tech and resources of the sheriff department including an expanded roster of deputies and other staff) but while these differences can be better in some situations there are of course demerits to it also (notably, the increased sheriff department and increased professional/superior-subordinate distance creates space for corruption to enter--see deputy Chad for a prime example of this, who evokes shades of Deer Meadow--whereas Harry's more intimate and close operation ensured that only good men and women were the law of the land) . Also, we get a lovely new dynamic we haven't seen on Twin Peaks before; whereas Harry was a bachelor in a turbulent love affair with the beautiful but dangerous Josie, Frank Truman is married with a family! He doesn't just have his sick brother to care for, but a frustrated wife, children and maybe grandchildren (need more info but it seemed like Frank is quite the patriarch), and even in-laws (his father-in-law at least)! This is fertile ground for character and story. Love it.
And lastly, man that scene with Becky in the car with the 50s pop song... damn amazing, like you said "rapturous". Wow.