TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham)


Twin Peaks

This is where Twin Peaks starts to go into uncharted territory.

“Masked Ball”, directed by Duwayne Dunham, marks the first full episode after the closure of the Palmer case. We begin in the best way possible – a long motorcycle ride out of Twin Peaks with James Hurley (James Marshall). He’s moving on, and the audience is brought along for the ride.

At the precinct, Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) speak with Betty Briggs (Charlotte Stewart) over the disappearance of Major Briggs (Don Davis). Apparently, Betty seems to be aware of the Major’s disappearances, and goes on to state that it happens from time to time. It’s a strange angle to this new story arc. When Betty leaves, Cooper whispers to Truman that the light he saw was a powerful force in the woods. Strange things are always at work at Twin Peaks, it seems.

Hawk (Michael Horse) and Andy (Harry Goaz) come in with a package with a gift from Dougie Milford (Tony Jay, Shere Khan from Disney’s Animated version of The Jungle Book). Dougie is getting married, something that happens as often as the return of the salmon, according to Hawk. A wedding seems an interesting change of pace, considering we’ve had two funerals over the course of the show so far.

A call comes in from Gordon Cole (David Lynch) to offer his support to Cooper. Due to his actions across the border at One Eyed Jacks, he’s now under investigation by the FBI. Gordon asks if everything Cooper is accused of is true, to which Cooper denies it. To help investigate the drug angle with the Renaults in Twin Peaks, Cole states they’re sending in Dennis Bryson (David Duchovny, just a few years before The X-Files).

Cooper meets with Roger Hardy (Clarence Williams III, The General’s Daughter). and two other personnel. Talk about time travel. On the table is one of the first Apple laptops ever made in 1989, weighing in at about 16 pounds. When asked about what he wants to bring to the defense, Cooper admits he has no defense. Yes, he did travel outside of his jurisdiction to One Eyed Jacks, but overall, he’s “innocent of any wrongdoings”. This statement causes Hardy to go “off the record” and have the computer shut down.

TP-Interrogation

“Dale, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.” Hardy starts, asserting that an individual of the Bureau should be able to stand up for themselves. Cooper speaks of the magic of Twin Peaks. The life in the trees and animals, and the elements that have amazed him so far. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really help his case. Hardy keeps the suspension in effect and it’ll be up to the D.E.A. And the Canadians to decide his fate. Cooper rises and takes one last look at his badge and pistol before leaving as Citizen Cooper. I liked that they ended with the badge and pistol. The audience has to wonder what he’s looking at for a moment before revealing it.

The next scene has us in High School, with Nadine (Wendy Robie) bounding down the stairs and running into Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle). On greeting Donna, Donna asks if she’s seen James. Nadine states she hasn’t. I suppose James didn’t tell anyone he was leaving. She asks Donna if she happens to still be going out with Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger). Nadine feels that she and Mike have some great chemistry going on, though Mike doesn’t seem quite in on this knowledge, given the cold shoulder he gives her in the hallway.

“What about Ed?”Donna asks. If she’s with Ed (Everett McGill), how should she be with Mike? Nadine has a plan. Ed’s at home, Mike’s at school, she’ll find a way to manage it, and Ed’s old enough to be her father, she adds. I enjoyed that scene. Any comedic scene with Wendy Robie in this show, I’m for it.

Twin-Peaks-Donna-Nadine.jpg

Meanwhile, James makes a pit stop at a local bar, where he finds a young blonde dressed in red. Over beers, she mentions she has a Jaguar that needs fixing. James has just the skill set for that sort of thing. She introduces herself as Evelyn Marsh, and he plays the jukebox, perhaps wondering what he’s getting himself into. First Laura, then Donna, then Maddy, then Donna, now this? Goodness.

Back at the precinct, Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan, Panic Room, One Life to Live) brings little Nicky by. Dick explains to Andy that they’re going out for a malted and wanted to bring Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) along. Since both men are vying for Lucy’s affections, treating Nicky well seemed like it would work out in either man’s favor. Andy states that Lucy is at the Great Northern, helping with the Milford wedding, which reminds Dick that Dougie’s getting married again. It’s like an annual event, this wedding. When Dick moves to change their plans, Nicky becomes upset. Andy chimes in, saying that he’d love to come along for the malted. Reluctantly, Dick has him come along.

Here comes one of my favorite scenes, back to back. In Truman’s office, Truman asks Cooper what they should do if they can’t clear him. Cooper’s answer to this is that the Giant told him that the path is formed by laying one stone at a time, meaning they’d have to cross that bridge when they get to it. Cooper asks both men of the White Lodge that Briggs spoke of. Hawk, who’s also in the room, states that the White Lodge is another world. The White Lodge is where the spirits reside, and that there’s also a Black Lodge. The Black Lodge carries the shadow selves of each person, and everyone has to pass through that at some point in their lives. They refer this as The Dweller on the Threshold, and if you fail to pass through, your soul will be annihilated. Sounds pleasant, no?

The intercom rings, letting everyone in the room know that Agent Dennis Bryson has arrived. As one of the finest minds in the D.E.A., he should be able to get right to the bottom of the drug issues in Twin Peaks.

So, in walks Dennis, who is a woman now. Duchovny, along with Wendy Robie later on, pretty much steal this episode from everyone else.

“It’s a long story…” she starts, “but I prefer Denise if you don’t mind.” The magic of this scene is that it takes just a finger snap for both Cooper and Truman to adjust to this. Hawk might need a little time, but after that heartbeat, everyone’s accepting and is down to business. Denise says she’ll look into things and will get back to everyone, since both she and Cooper are staying at the Great Northern.

TP-Denise

We’re at the High School weight room. It’s leg day, and Mike is on the leg press. Nadine sits at an adjacent leg press machine, but not before putting the pin in the maximum weight allowed. She holds his gaze as she pushes the set with ease. Mike asks her what she wants, but she suggests that he’s a little forward. The wrestling coach (Ron Taylor) catches sight of the weight and offers Nadine a position on the wrestling team, much to Mike’s surprise.

Truman is home, and Josie is in bed. It’s morning. Holding each other, Truman asks her to tell the truth about what she’s been keeping secret. She reveals that she worked for a man in Hong Kong named Thomas Eckhardt, who took her off the streets and taught her about business. After that, she met her husband Andrew. When Truman inquires about Mr. Lee, she explains that Lee worked for Eckhardt, who still feels he has a claim to Josie. Josie believes that Eckhardt is who killed her husband, but I’m wondering if she’s not being truthful. Wasn’t it brought to light that Hank Jennings (Chris Mulkey) was involved in Andrew’s murder. Truman accepts this and all is well, for now. I don’t normally enjoy the Josie / Truman scenes, but I’ll admit that this was nice.

At the RR diner, Roger Hardy is having some of the pie there, of which he’s heard great things. Hank and Ernie Niles (James Booth) steps into the room. With great pleasure, Norma (Peggy Lipton) informs Ernie that her mom has left him, which he doesn’t take too well. Hank reassures him that it will allow him to concentrate more on the work at hand.

Meanwhile, Nicky is given his malted, with Andy and Dick at his side. Nicky blows the whipped cream into Dick’s face, and spins Andy’s chair, causing him to fall to the floor. Neither man is faring well with Little Nicky, and by the end of the scene, I’m shocked they haven’t held him down and checked his scalp for triple 6’s.

At Evelyn Marsh’s garage, James is doing the repair work on the Jaguar. She states that her husband, Jeffrey, loves the car and that he’s currently away on business. Jeffrey has to have the most beautiful toys, according to Evelyn. This causes James to have a mini speech about his motorcycle and how it’s more important about where it can take him. As a rider, I can easily relate to nighttime rides to nowhere. It’s a great feeling. Evelyn offers a room for him while he’s fixing the car, leaving him to wonder where all of this is going.

I should also note that the actress who plays Evelyn, Annette McCarthy, bears a wild resemblance to Priscilla Barnes from Three’s Company (an old show from the late 70’s). It’s rather odd.

TP-James-Evelyn

Back at the Great Northern, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) is watching old videos of the establishment when Hank walks in. Ben is haggard, scruffy looking and is upset that Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) has gotten over on him. Ben talks about rearranging the furniture in such a way where it’s aesthetically pleasing to the owner – basically Feng Shui. Hank informs Ben that he’s no longer working for him and that ownership of One Eyed Jack’s has changed. Ben deduces that it’s now Jean Renault (Michael Parks) who owns the establishment. Ben goes back to watching his videos, making finger puppets for his amusement.

RIII--Twin Peaks

In his room, Cooper receives a tape from Windom Earle. On the tape, Windom goes on to say that he and Cooper will cross paths, and eventually, “the King must die.”

We’re at Dougie’s wedding. When the priest asks if there’s anyone who objects, Mayor Dwayne Milford (Dougie’s Brother) chimes in. “She after his money.” He barks, but Truman pulls him to the side. Dougie comforts his bride to be (Robyn Lively) and they continue on.

TP-Wedding

In his room, Cooper receives a call from Denise, who asks to meet him at the wedding. Cooper takes a brief moment to make a tape for Diane to tell her about what happened Denise.

Cooper finds Denise comfortably sitting at the bar, waving the bridal bouquet. “Unfair advantage”, she says, smiling. “How many of those girls were Varsity wide receivers.” Denise explains that cocaine was found in Cooper’s car, but it does appear to be a frame up. Dwayne watches on as the bride and groom share a piece of cake, and states that his brother’s pretty much a “trout on a hook” when it comes to women. Pete takes the comment in stride, which has me wondering if he was thinking of Catherine at that moment.

Denise-Bouquet

Cooper asks Denise what happened to her. Denise explains she was working on a bust where the drug dealer in question “would only sell to transvestites”, so she played the part, found it relaxing, and just kept with it. “It’s not something you exactly plan on.”, She adds.

Dale meets the bride and groom, and Truman chuckles over it. According to him, Dwayne and Dougie have had this wedding fight every year. More partying continues and Cooper shares a dance with Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn), while Andy & Denise are also enjoying themselves on the dance floor. Overall, it was a fun scene, peppering some comedy throughout.

Josie and Catherine come to an agreement that has Josie working for Catherine hand and foot. When Josie leaves the room, Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy, Halloween III: Season of the Witch) steps in and says that everything’s going according to plan. What’s he doing among the living?!

Overall, for a post Palmer Case episode, I thought it did well.  Both Duchovny, Robie and the wedding scenes were standouts here. Where it’s all going, I’m not sure I can say. I’m on deck for tomorrow’s episode. We’ll find out then.

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
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
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