TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (dir by Mark Frost)


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And now, the Season Finale of Twin Peaks.

Season Finales are the best part of TV shows for me. When done well, a great finale will answer some of the questions presented through the season while also setting up new ones for future episodes. Planting the right seeds can result in water cooler talk (or crazy Twitstreams) that will last the entire hiatus. The idea is to reward the audience for their participation, but leave them wanting. Shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have had closing episodes leading to long-term discussion. Twin Peaks was no different, for its time. Some bridges are mended, some are broken, and a cliffhanger or two helped to round out the episode.

Episode 7, “The Last Evening” opens a view of a sunset with pine trees. We find this is just the backdrop for some wall paper in Dr. Jacoby’s (Russ Tamblyn) office. James  (James Marshall) and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) visit Dr. Jacoby’s office, which was recently vacated due to the lure they set up with Maddy impersonating Laura. Inside, they discover a small box filled with cocktail umbrellas. Each one is labelled with a memory – “I first lay eyes on Mimzy.”. Everyone collects something, but drink umbrellas is somewhere on the stranger side of things. As they look around, Donna accidentally turns on Jacoby’s music, which James fixes by turning down the volume. In the frantic mess of trying to stop the music, Donna discovers a coconut and recalls Laura recorded statement on this. They open the coconut to reveal two more clues, an audio tape and the other half of Laura’s heart necklace. So, this sheds some light on the story. It looks like Dr. Jacoby was maybe closer to Laura than most knew. It fits with his not showing up at the Funeral and what he told Cooper about the way she made him feel in comparison to the other patients of Twin Peaks.

Could Laura have been an obsession for Jacoby that simply went too far?

James and Donna leave on his motorcycle with the necklace. The scene closes in on Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), who comes out of the shadows, firing an imaginary bullet at his nemesis. The drugs he left in the gas tank are sure to frame James, a final zinger after their fight at the Funeral.

The next scene has Dr. Jacoby arriving at the park with the Gazebo he saw in Laura’s video, rather than going to Sparkwood and 21, as directed. Peeking from the bushes (as seems to be the local habit in Twin Peaks, maybe even the meaning behind the town’s name), Jacoby discovers Maddy walking around and waiting for someone. Jacoby is momentarily lost in his memories at the sight of Laura, failing to notice a dark figure approaching him from behind. The figure beats Dr. Jacoby repeatedly before recognizing that the man is having what appears to be a heart attack. Jacoby witnesses Maddy being picked up by Donna and James, and calls out to them weakly before they depart. His cries go unheard.

The camera closes on Dr. Jacoby’s wide eyes as he is left behind in the park. Darkness embraces him, and perhaps this closes the loop on Jacoby. Were he truly Laura’s killer, would someone really need to kill him as well? What if someone witnessed what he said, taking his words and his reaction on seeing Laura as an admission of guilt? Then again, it could simply be someone going to any means to tie up their loose ends.

We then find ourselves at the roulette table of One-Eyed Jack’s. Ed (Everett McGill) isn’t having the best of times here, but Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) appears to be doing quite well at the blackjack table. In pure James Bond fashion, his eyes are focused on his dealer, the infamous Jacques Renault (Walter Olkewicz). Cooper is so focused on the task at hand that he kindly refuses a whispered proposition from one of Jack’s Ladies. He slides a purple poker chip towards Jacques, one with a hole that matches the broken piece of plastic found in Laura’s stomach in her autopsy.  On telling Jacques that he’s a friend of Leo’s, Jacques immediately denies having heard of him. Cooper offers to buy Jacques a drink, since they have much to discuss.

We cut to Blackie O’Reilly’s (Victoria Catlin)office. Audrey Horne enters the room, dressed in a beautiful white and red lingerie that really brings out a pop in her eyebrows. That may sound weird, but hear me out. Eyebrows tend to frame one’s eyes. Oddly shaped and/or off-colored, they can change the look of a person’s face. If you think that’s odd, compare Rooney Mara’s Elizabeth with Noomi Rapace’s in The Dragon Tattoo films and tell me I’m wrong. Audrey Horne (and by extension, Sherilyn Fenn) has some impressive eyebrows, along with a little beauty mark on the left side.

AudreyOEJ

Okay, getting back on track.

Approaching Blackie’s desk, Audrey glances down at the video feed and notices Cooper sitting at the blackjack table. He must have read her letter, the probably thinks, though the audience knows that the envelope is still unopened in Cooper’s room at the lodge. This catches her off guard, but she quickly recovers. Blackie informs Audrey that she’s to meet the owner of One Eyed Jack’s for a special rendezvous. Audrey asks who the owner is, but Blackie won’t tell. Blackie has Audrey pick a card. The Queen of Diamonds is chosen, and Blackie rests her hand on Audrey’s, giving her a knowing smile.

We cut to One Eyed Jack’s and a truly smooth scene. Cooper and Jacques are having drinks. Cooper asks Jacques if he knows him. When Jacques claims that he doesn’t, Cooper has him take the broken poker chip from his pocket and explains its importance – that he and his brother were doing drug running with Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re) and even going so far to mimic Waldo the Bird’s “Laura” chirp. Jacques tries to bolt, but Cooper grabs him and asks how he believes Leo was ever able to finance the drug running they did. Jacques puts things together and figures that Cooper is the one truly in charge. He also doesn’t know who was covering the dealing on the U.S. Side of the border, though mentions it was a “high school kid”. Cooper gives him $10,000 and offers him a mission stateside. Jacques agrees to meet Cooper at the water processing plant at Black Lake, which he doesn’t realize is what everyone needs for his extradition.

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Before Jacques leaves, Cooper asks him one final question on how the chip ended up the way it did.  Here comes the reveal. Jacques explains that Waldo liked Laura, and happened to say her name often. At the cabin, everyone (Ronette, Leo, Jacques and Laura) partied pretty hard with drugs, and Leo was the one who let the bird out of the cage. In the middle of their tryst, Laura complained about the bird. According to Jacques, Leo responded by putting the chip in her mouth and asking her “bite the big one, baby”. The moment is something of a gross out, with a close up of Jacques mouth as he says that phase. Cooper thanks him and sends Jacques on his way, letting Hawk (Michael Horse) and Sheriff Truman know that the trap is set.

Meanwhile, Audrey is making preparations to meet with the owner of One Eyed Jack’s. Who is this mystery man? What’s his connection to Laura? Can Audrey get any information out of this that can lead to Laura’s murderer (and improve her standing with Agent Cooper)? Can she get out of this situation? Where is Cooper? The scene is brief, but it serves to set up where Audrey stands by the end of the season.

Shelly (Madchen Amick) washes her hair in the kitchen sink, setting her pistol on the table next to her. When she gets some shampoo in her eye, she tries to reach for the towel. We can see that the towel is being pulled just out of reach. Someone else is in the room. She makes the realization just a second too late as Leo grabs her before she can really get her gun. “You made me do this, Shelly, you made me!” he yells at her before the scene cuts away.

Nighttime. The Water-processing plant. Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and Andy(Harry Goaz) are waiting for Jacques Renault to make his appearance. When he does, the police arrive in force and corner him.  Truman makes it official, arresting him for the attempted murder of Ronette Pulaski and the murder of Laura Palmer. A brief scuffle occurs and Renault breaks free, grabbing an officer’s gun to use on Truman. Before he can fire a shot, however, Jacques himself is shot in the shoulder and slumps down to the ground near a car. Lo and behold, Truman’s savior is none other than good old Andy, who’s redeemed himself since his gun went off some time ago. It was a indeed a great moment for our favorite deputy and he shines here.

Andy Saves The Day

We’re at Donna’s place. With her father (William Frost) on the phone in the other room, she moves to the kitchen where James and Maddie are standing, along with a type player. They play the tape they found from the coconut. It’s Laura’s voice, who explains that she’s “a weird mood”. She goes on to say that James is a sweet guy and all, but she’s looking for something a little more edgy. Laura speaks of a mystery man that’s tried to kill her a few times during sex, but that she’s into it. She doesn’t give the man’s name, but gives a clue with his red corvette. So now, the truth is out. Laura was with Leo, on purpose, and in a relationship with a few sadomasochistic tendencies. Consoled by Donna, James says he’s happy to know the truth, else he would have followed along in the belief that Laura was still very much innocent in nature. Donna’s father comes in from the other room, to tell her he has to rush to the hospital for an incident and leaves.

That’s one of the running themes in this episode of Twin Peaks. Some of the characters here have changed natures. Some you thought were kind, you come to find weren’t. Some you thought as wicked do have some good intentions, deep down.

The next scene has Leo bringing in canisters of gasoline to the Mill, making the necessary preparations to burn it down. Getting rid of two birds with one stone, he has Shelly tied and gagged in the Mill as well. He informs her that she has a much time as it takes for the explosive he set to explode to think about what she did to him. He also mentions that Bobby Briggs is a dead man and that she broke his heart. Is this the end of sweet Shelly, who just wanted to get out of an unstable relationship?

We’re now at Ed and Nadine’s place. A blanket is set on the floor, as Nadine (Wendy Robie) kneels on  it while wearing a beautiful pink dress. A lullaby version of Angelo Badalmenti’s theme plays sweetly here as she pours herself both a glass of water and a bowl full of pills. She says “Goodbye”, her depression getting the best of her. Will Ed, who’s back at One Eyed Jack’s, be able to reach her in time?

At Josie’s (Joan Chen), Hank (Chris Mulkey) receives his money and mentions that it doesn’t quite seem like enough. He presents a story to her on the value of the 18 months he spent in jail, and suggests that he was the one who killed Josie’s husband (probably for her). He also mentions having taken the rap for a vehicular manslaughter charge. This scene is set up well with Mulkey hitting a mark that has him standing under a deer’s head. The angle presents him with horns by his head as he talks to Josie, making him appear much like the Devil in 1922’s Haxan or Tim Curry’s Darkness in Ridley Scott’s Legend, laying bare all of her sins. Hank also informs her that “once you’re in business with someone, you’re in business with them for life, like a marriage”. To solidify the union, he cuts both their thumbs open and mingles their blood, leaving Josie in a state of shock and me thinking of all the germs they just shared. It’s a scene that gets the job done and makes both characters more interesting, in my eyes. It takes Hank and suddenly makes him more useful than I felt he was for most of the season, and also gives Josie a larger problem than just the threatened destruction of the Mill. Additionally, she’s not the innocent princess she played herself out to be. Can Josie escape this situation? What would she have to do to make that happen? How long will she have to keep paying Hank to keep him quiet.

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The next scene finds us in Catherine Martell’s (Piper Laurie) office, and this one is really cute. Pete (Jack Nance) walks in, finding Catherine rummaging through her files and angry at something she can’t find. She turns on him, asking him where the account ledger is. Pete claims he didn’t take it, and Catherine accuses him of maybe working with Josie to undermine her. As they talk, Pete has to close the window blinds to keep the nosy co-workers from doing that Twin Peaks past-time. They reminisce over the past, the love they had. Pete bears her no ill will over how she’s been as of late. She reveals she’s in trouble, and needs his help. They make amends and he agrees to help. It’s a tender moment.

It’s a dark and stormy night. At the precinct, Hawk and Ed are telling everyone about how Andy saved the day. The story falls within earshot of Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), who walks over to the kitchenette. This is it. It’s Andy’s moment, she’s impressed. He steps into the kitchenette, closes the doors for a bit of privacy and throws all his longing into a single heartfelt kiss that (thankfully) Lucy responds to. At this point, I’m truly happy for Andy.

AndyTakingShots

“Aw! There you go, Andy!!”, I say with a little applause.

“Oh Andy…” Lucy says. I lean forward to listen, smiling.

“Punky”, he says, listening.

“Punky?” I ask, thinking of Punky Brewster, an old show from the ‘80s.

“I’m pregnant.” Lucy says.

“What!!!???” I say, blinking before laughing. “What is with this show!?”

Andy, of course, is shocked into silence, as is everyone else. Lucy steps out of the kitchenette and informs everyone there’s “Fresh coffee” available before returning to her desk. It’s Ed head shake as he walks off camera that sells the scene. What the heck happened here?

Lucy receives a call from Bobby, playing as if he’s Leo. He tells her that Agent Cooper should look into James and that he’s an “Easy Rider”, alluding to the classic Dennis Hopper film featuring bikers smuggling drugs in their gas tanks.

At the hospital, Jacques Renault is being interrogated by Truman and Cooper. On questioning, Jacques confesses to taking Ronette and Laura to the cabin as well as taking the naughty photos of them (at Laura’s request). He got into a fight with Leo over a bottle that was broken over his head. Jacques woke up outside of the cabin, with Leo, Laura and Ronette gone. He knows nothing of the train car, but used Leo’s shirt to stop the bleeding in his head. Truman and Cooper speculate that Leo took the girls to the train car, and that they need to get Jacques to testify against Leo. They have their man.

Truman and Cooper also check in on Dr. Jacoby, the reason for Donna’s dad rushing into the Hospital. According to Dr. Hayward, Jacoby reporting getting a call from Laura Palmer and saw her by Easter Park before the incident. This changes things in the investigation for Cooper and Truman. As far as they know, the body they buried is Laura. Rosenfeld (Miguel Ferrer) confirmed it, and others did. What did Jacoby see out there?

As we reach the final 10 minutes of the episode, the pace quickens.

While searching for the Ledger, Catherine Martell receives a call from Hank, telling her the Ledger can be found at the mill. She makes herself ready to go, taking a revolver with her.

Hank confesses his feelings to Norma (Peggy Lipton), in that he wants to earn her trust again. He simply asks for a bit more time. However, even with a kiss, Norma knows that trusting Hank might bring her more trouble than she’d want.

Ed finally returns home to find Nadine unconscious on the floor. He quickly calls for an ambulance. Cradling her in his arms, he asks her not to leave him. Despite what he feels for Norma, there’s still a lot of love for Nadine there.

Back at the precinct, Lucy gives Truman the note about the call from “Leo”. On the way out to pick up James, Truman runs into Leland, who’s heard that they have a suspect in custody. Truman won’t give any details, but Leland gets the idea that the hospital might have the answers.

James is brought in. James gives Cooper the tape of Laura, but Cooper has questions for him, mostly about the drugs in his gas tank. Is James going to jail? Can he exonerate himself?

At the Great Western, Ben Horne receives a call from Hank, saying that they have to close the loop on Leo. Ben gives the go ahead. When Bobby goes by Shelly’s to check in on her, he’s confronted by Leo, who attacks him with an axe. Before he can land a killing blow, a shot rings out from outside, hitting him in the neck. He falls to a slump on the soft, and when Bobby peeks out the window, he finds Hank walking away. Bobby leaves Leo to his fate. What’s funny here is that the tv mirrors the reactions of the audience. I thought that was well done.

Shelly is tied up still at the Mill. Catherine, who’s amazingly calm in this scene, manages to rescue Shelly as the Mill begins to burn down. The scene transitions with someone hitting a fire alarm, but instead of being at the Mill, we’re at the hospital. A dark figure tapes Jacques Renault’s free hand to his bed and then proceeds to suffocate him with a pillow. As the pillow is pulled back, Leland Palmer is revealed as Jacques’ killer, justice served for what was done to his daughter. Back at the Mill, Pete rushes in with a fire extinguisher to rescue Catherine, if he can. Will he survive the fire? Did Catherine or Shelly?

Ben Horne can be seen signing some documents, sitting at a familiar desk with red drapes. We come to find he’s in Blackie’s office at One Eyed Jack’s. Blackie congratulates him on the deal with the Icelanders, referring to him as Boss. Boss?! He asks to have a look at the “New Girl”. As the finishing touches are being made on Audrey, she instantly recognizes the voice of Ben Horne, her own father as he begins to enter the room. Though neither have seen the other in this scene, Audrey now knows that he is the owner of One Eyed Jack’s. She’s also in some serious trouble.

The finale ends with Cooper returning to his room at the Great Northern. He’s pleased at the silence of having the Icelanders gone. With the exception of hot milk and a warm bed, he’s looking forward to it. “24 Hour Room service must be one of the premiere achievements of modern civilization.” He says. Stepping into the room, he finds an envelope labeled “My special agent”, presumably from Audrey. When the phone rings, he picks it up, but is distracted by a knock at the door. We can hear either Hawk or Andy on the phone, informing him that Leo Johnson was shot, but this doesn’t reach Cooper’s ears. On opening the door, a dark figure faces him, armed with a silenced pistol.

The pistol fires three times, and a thud is heard as we fade to black. Is Cooper Dead? Who shot him? And if he is dead, who’s going to save Audrey?! These and other questions will hopefully have answers in tomorrow’s recap of the Season 2 Premiere, which I’m also writing.

I’ll promise to keep it short next time.

Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
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15 responses to “TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (dir by Mark Frost)

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