Kalin (Rod Steiger) is a crazy old religious fanatic who is rich enough to own a meatpacking plant and hire goons to work for him. Underneath the meatpacking plant, he has a secret prison and an electric chair that he uses to electrocute people who he feels have escaped justice. Helping out Kalin is a crazy preacher, played by Isaac Hayes (!), who waxes philosophically about how much he loves the smell of burning flesh.
While Kalin and the gang are executing people below ground, parole officer Kimberly (Heather Graham) is above ground and wondering why so many ex-cons are mysteriously vanishing. Kimberly is worried that someone may be executing them but then she gets distracted by a politician named Stanford (Lyman Ward). Stanford wants Kimberly to work on his campaign because she looks like Heather Graham and he’s a sleazy politico.
Meanwhile, a man named Hamilton (Michael Beach) has escaped from prison. Hamilton claims that he was framed for a murder that he didn’t commit but no one is willing to believe him. However, Hamilton is telling the truth and the murder was actually committed by Stanford! The only people who know that Stanford is the murderer are Stanford, his wife (Lauren Hutton!!), and his maid (Zelda Rubinstein!!!).
It all leads to one question: How did all of these talented people all end up in this crappy film!?
The strange thing about Guilty As Charged is that, even though the film is centered around the death penalty, the film itself doesn’t seem to have any opinion on the issue. Kalin and his followers are crazy religious fanatics who claim that they’re doing God’s work by executing people and Hamilton is an innocent man who has been marked for death so you would think that the movie is against the death penalty. But then, in a twist that makes no sense, Kalin reveals that he knows that Hamilton is innocent and he’s only using him to get to Stanford and suddenly, the film is for the death penalty. Kimberly is worried that someone is targeting ex-cons but, by the end of the movie, she’s targeting ex-cons herself even though nothing’s happened that should have made her change her mind.
Guilty as Charged is technically a comedy, though most of the jokes are too thuddingly obvious to provoke even the slightest of a smile. Hayes wins some laughs, just because he seems like he’s having fun. Rod Steiger bellows as if he’s getting paid by the decibel and doesn’t seem to be having any fun at all. Guilty as Charged isn’t funny and it’s not thought-provoking but at least it’s got Isaac Hayes.
I would like to think that when the Palme d’Or is awards in Cannes, it’ll be half as exciting as when Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) picked up his second Best Actor trophy in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.
Now, the scene below is actually the extended version of the scene that actually appeared in the movie. In the movie, you just see Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) watching his latest film and then cut to Dirk picking up his award. In the extended version, we get to see everyone’s reaction to Dirk winning. They’re all there — Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy, Nina Hartley, John C. Reilly, Melora Waters, Luis Guzman, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, Robert Ridgely (as the memorably corrupt Colonel), and, of course, the dearly missed Philip Seymour Hoffman.
I can understand why Anderson chose to go with a shortened version of this scene. Boogie Nights is a long film and obviously, it wasn’t totally necessary to see how everyone reacted to Diggler’s victory. (By that point, in the film, we already knew how everyone felt about him.) That said, I do prefer the extended version. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that Boogie Nights was more than just the story of Dirk Diggler. Instead, it was the story of a group of outcasts who became a family.
Anyway, let’s hope that whoever wins the Palme d’Or will be a bit more enthusiastic about it than Dirk.
That’s a question that people have been asking for 129 years. Arguably the world’s first famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper killed at least five prostitutes in the Whitechapel section of London. Some claim that he killed as many as twenty. He may have also written several taunting letters to the police. Again, some say that the letters are authentic and some say that they were hoaxes. Hell, there’s even some people who say that Jack the Ripper himself is a myth and the five murders attributed to him were actually five unconnected crimes. It was speculated that Jack the Ripper was a butcher, a surgeon, or maybe a midwife. Just as suddenly as the murders began, they ended. The London police claimed that he had committed suicide by jumping into the Thames. Few people believed them then and even less now.
The reason that there is so much uncertainty is because Jack the Ripper was never caught. He was never identified. There were stories of confessions, though many of them came from the mentally infirm or they were heard by someone who was a friend of someone who claimed to be the Butcher of Whitechapel. At one point, there was even a claim that Jack’s diary had been found.
As a horror fan, a true crime fanatic, and a lover of history, I’ve read quite a few theories about who Jack the Ripper was. Nearly every prominent (or, at the very least, remembered) Victorian has been accused of having been Jack the Ripper. Oscar Wilde has been accused of hiding a confession in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Various members of the Royal Family have been fingered as the culprit. Even Lewis Carroll could not escape accusation. The true crime author Patricia Cornwell wrote an entire book where she (wrongly) accused the painter Walter Sickert. Cornwell’s case could basically be summed up as follows: “Walter Sicket’s paintings were weird. Walter Sickert must be Jack the Ripper.” Apparently, she managed to destroy one of Sickert’s paintings while looking for clues.
The truth of the matter is that Jack the Ripper was probably some guy who no one has ever heard of, most probably one of the unknown men who lived and worked in the shadows of Whitechapel. For all the talk of Jack being a doctor, it can be argued that the surgical precision of his murders has been overstated. He didn’t get away with murder because he was particularly clever. Instead, he got away with it because, in 1888, even fingerprinting was considered to be a radical science.
But, honestly, that’s not very intriguing. For those of us who have researched the case, it’s far more interesting to speculate that Jack the Ripper was either a famous person or that the murders were all the result of a huge conspiracy.
That’s certainly the appeal of From Hell, the 2001 film from The Hughes Brothers. Making the same basic case as Bob Clark’s Murder By Decree, From Hell argues that the Jack the Ripper murders were the result of a royal conspiracy. In reality, that theory has been discredited but it certainly is the most cinematic of all the possibilities.
And, speaking of cinematic, it must be said that From Hell is very stylish movie. Though the title comes from one of Jack the Ripper’s letters, From Hell also could just as easily be used to describe the film’s vision of Whitechapel. Whitechapel is full of shadows and secrets and the blood flows freely. If Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) isn’t killed by Jack the Ripper, it’s just as likely she’ll be killed by one of her clients. Even as the murders are committed, life and business in Whitechapel goes on. What other choice is there? It’s either risk being killed or starve.
It falls to Frederick Abberline (Johnny Depp) to solve the murders. The real-life Abberline was an almost legendary detective who lived for decades after the final Jack the Ripper murder. The movie’s Abberline is an opium addict who always seems to be on the verge of a breakdown. When he and Mary Kelly fall in love, you’re not really sure if it’s something to be happy about. Abberline seems just as likely to go crazy as everyone else.
From Hell is an uneven and somewhat overlong movie but I like it. Heather Graham and Johnny Depp give somewhat odd performances but the oddness fits right in with the Hughes Brothers’s vision of a world that’s been turned permanently upside down. It’s a movie that’s full of atmosphere and the story is intriguing even if it’s never exactly convincing. For obvious reasons, I can’t reveal who plays Jack the Ripper but I will say that he gives a very good performance. When he says that, “One day, men will look back and say that I gave birth to the 20th century,” you believe him.
As always, a full recap will be posted either later tonight or tomorrow!
1. We’ve all known a stoner like Jerry.
2. I was wondering if we’d hear anything else about or from Annie in the revival, especially since Heather Graham was not listed as being in the cast. Actually, I’m a little bit surprised that she’s not still working at the diner. Apparently, nobody ever leaves that place.
3. I always enjoy Harry Goaz’s performance as Deputy Andy, in both the original series and the revival. There’s an authenticity to Goaz that allows him to make even the strangest of dialogue convincing.
4. It was nice to see Warren Frost, getting in one last hurrah as Doc Hayward. Frost passed away last year, after filming his scenes. When I watched the original Twin Peaks, I was struck by how Warren Frost almost seemed like he had stepped out of a Capra film. He was the epitome of small town decency and fortitude. Frost was the also the father of Twin Peaks co-creator, Mark Frost.
5. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Laura Dern’s skill with profanity. For all the talk about how important a collaborator Kyle MacLachlan has been to David Lynch, one could argue that Laura Dern has been just as important. Along with appearing in Blue Velvet, Dern also starred in Wild at Heart and Inland Empire. For whatever reason, she — along with Naomi Watts — seems to be the perfect Lynch actress.
6. Ever since the new cast was announced, I’ve been wondering who David Koechner would play. It’s hard to think of any other actor who does quite as well with playing obnoxious characters as Koechner.
7. OH MY GOD! Suddenly, Dougie’s a badass! I have to admit that I’m also getting a big kick of Dougie/Cooper’s childlike fascination with badges.
8. It took 6 episodes but, finally, Richard Beymer and Ashley Judd are back.
9. How many Renault brothers are there? Has it occurred to anyone to just not hire them to work at the roadhouse? It seems like that would be a way to avoid a lot of trouble.
10. I loved the shot of Doppelganger Cooper leaving his cell and walking down that dark hallway.
11. For the first time since the series began, we end somewhere other than the roadhouse. Instead, we end at the much more wholesome diner.
12. So, Doppelganger Cooper is on the loose and it looks like Dougie/Cooper might be getting his face on the news as a result of beating up Ike the Spike. I’m sure that won’t lead to any complications.
— Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie) in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
Even among fans of the show, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is controversial.
If you read Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, you’ll discover that many members of the television show’s cast either didn’t want to be involved in the film or didn’t care much for it when it came out. Fearful of being typecast, Kyle MacLachlan only agreed to play Dale Cooper on the condition that his role be greatly reduced. (Was it that fear of being typecast as clean-cut Dale Cooper that led to MacLachlan later appearing in films like Showgirls?) Neither Lara Flynn Boyle nor Sherilyn Fenn could work the film into their schedules.
When Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me premiered at Cannes, it was reportedly booed by the same critics who previously applauded Lynch’s Wild at Heart and who, years later, would again applaud Mulholland Drive. When it was released in the United States, the film was savaged by critics and a notorious box office flop. Quentin Tarantino, previously a fan of Lynch’s, has been very outspoken about his hatred of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. When I first told people that we would be looking back at Twin Peaks for this site, quite a few replied with, “Even the movie?”
And yet, there are many people, like me, who consider Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me to be one of David Lynch’s most haunting films.
It’s also one of his most straight forward. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is a prequel, dealing with the events leading up to the death of Laura Palmer. Going into the film, the viewer already knows that Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) is full of secrets. They know that she is using drugs. They know that she is dating Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), while secretly seeing James (James Marshall). They know about her diary and her relationship with the reclusive Harold (Lenny Von Dohlen). They know that she is a friend to innocent Donna Hayward (Moria Kelly, somewhat awkwardly taking the place of Lara Flynn Boyle). Even more importantly, they know that she has spent the last six years of her life being abused by BOB (Frank Silva) and that BOB is her father, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise). The viewer starts the story knowing how it is going to end.
Things do get off to a somewhat shaky start with a nearly 20-minute prologue that basically plays like a prequel to the prequel. Theresa Banks, who was mentioned in the show’s pilot, has been murdered and FBI director Gordon Cole (David Lynch) assigns agents Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) to investigate. Chester and Sam’s investigation basically amounts to a quick reenactment of the first season of Twin Peaks, with the agents discovering that Theresa was involved in drugs and prostitution. When Chester vanishes, Dale Cooper is sent to investigate. Harry Dean Stanton shows up as the manager of a trailer park and David Bowie has an odd cameo as a Southern-accented FBI agent who has just returned from the Black Lodge but otherwise, the start of the film almost feels like a satire of Lynch’s style.
But then, finally, we hear the familiar theme music and the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign appears.
“And the angel’s wouldn’t help you. Because they’ve all gone away.”
— Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
A year has passed since Theresa Banks was murdered. The rest of the film deals with the final few days of the life of doomed homecoming queen Laura Palmer. Laura smiles in public but cries in private. She is full of secrets that she feels that she has to hide from a town that has literally idolized her. She has visions of terrifying men creeping through her life and each day, she doesn’t know whether it will be BOB or her father waiting for her at home. She knows that the world considers her to be beautiful but she also know that, within human nature, there is a desire to both conquer and destroy beauty. When she sleeps, she has disturbing dreams that she cannot understand but that she knows are important. At a time when everyone says she should be happy to alive, all she can think about is death. Everywhere she goes, the male gaze follows and everything that should be liberating just feels her leaving more trapped. For all the complaints that Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is somehow too strange to be understood, it’s not a strange film at all. This is David Lynch at his most straight forward. Anyone who thinks that Laura’s story is incomprehensible has never been a 17 year-old girl.
This is the bleakest of all of David Lynch’s films. There is none of broad humor or intentional camp that distinguished the TV show. After the show’s occasionally cartoonish second season, the film served as a trip into the heart of the darkness that was always beating right underneath the surface of Twin Peaks. It’s interesting how few of the show’s regulars actually show up in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. None of the characters who represented goodness are present. There’s no Doc Hayward. No Sheriff Truman. No Deputies Andy or Hawk. No Pete Martell. No Bookhouse Boys. Scenes were filmed for some of them but they didn’t make it into the final cut because their tone did not fit with the story that Lynch was seeking to tell. The Hornes, Dr. Jacoby, Josie, none of them are present either.
Instead, there’s just Larua and her father. As much as they try to deny it, Laura knows that she is going to die and Leland knows that he is going to kill her. Killer BOB and the denziens of the Black Lodge may be scary but what’s truly terrifying is the sight of a girl living in fear of her own father. Is Leland possessed by BOB or is BOB simply his way of excusing his own actions? If not for Leland’s sickness, would BOB even exist? When Laura shouts, “Who are you!?” at the spirit of BOB, she speaks for every victim of abuse who is still struggling to understand why it happened. For all the talk of the Black Lodge and all the surreal moments, the horror of this film is very much the horror of reality. Leland’s abuse of Laura is not terrifying because Leland is possessed by BOB. It’s terrifying because Leland is her father
David Lynch directs the film as if it where a living nightmare. This is especially evident in scenes like the one where, at the dinner table, Leland switches from being kindly to abusive while Laura recoils in fear and her mother (Grace Zabriskie) begs Leland to stop. It’s a hard scene to watch and yet, it’s a scene that is so brilliantly acted and directed that you can’t look away. As brilliant as Ray Wise and Grace Zabriskie are, it’s Sheryl Lee who (rightly) dominates the scene and the rest of the film, giving a bravely vulnerable and emotionally raw performance. In Reflections, Sheryl Lee speaks candidly about the difficulty of letting go of Laura after filming had been completed. She became Laura and gave a performance that anchors this absolutely terrifying film.
“Mr. Lynch’s taste for brain-dead grotesque has lost its novelty.”
— Janet Maslin
“It’s not the worst movie ever made; it just seems to be”
— Vincent Canby
If you need proof that critics routinely don’t know what they’re talking about, just go read some of the original reviews of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
And yet, having just rewatched the show and now the movie, I can understand why critics and audiences were baffled by this film. This is not Twin Peaks the TV show. There is no light to be found here. There is no comic relief. (Even Bobby Briggs, who had become something of a goofy anti-hero by the time the series ended, is seen here shooting a man in the head.) There is no exit and there is no hope. In the end, the film’s only comfort comes from knowing that Laura was able to save one person before dying. It’s not easy to watch but, at the same time, it’s almost impossible to look away. The film ends on Laura’s spirit smiling and, for the first time, the smile feels real. Even if she’s now trapped in the Black Lodge, she’s still free from her father.
Since this was a prequel, it didn’t offer up any answers to the questions that were left up in the air by the show’s 2nd season finale. Fortunately, those questions will be answered (or, then again, they may not be) when the third season premieres on Showtime on May 21st.
But, all good things must come to an end and, at least until the third season premieres on Showtime later this month, we have reached the end of Twin Peaks. Episode 30 brought the story to a temporary end. (The movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, was a prequel about the last days of Laura Palmer. It’s a haunting film and one that we’ll look at tomorrow but, at the same time, it doesn’t offer up any answers to any of the questions that the finale left hanging.)
A little history: Twin Peaks was a huge success during its first season but, during the second season, ratings plunged. According to the book, Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks by Brad Dukes, neither David Lynch nor Mark Frost were as involved during the second season as they had been during the first. As compared to the genuinely unsettling first season, the second season struggled to find its voice. Was it a mystery? Was it a broad comedy? Was it a show about the paranormal or was it a soap opera? It was all of that and, for many people, that was too much. Today, of course, audiences are used to quirkiness. They’re used to shows that straddle several different genres. It’s no longer a revolutionary idea to be openly meta.
But in 1991, Twin Peaks was the show that ABC both didn’t know what to do with and, by the end, didn’t really want. It was regularly moved around the schedule and, often, weeks would pass without a new episode. Consider this: nearly two months passed between the airing of The Path to the Black Lodge and the final two episodes of the show. (Miss Twin Peaksand Beyond Life and Death were both aired on June 10th, 1991.)
For the final episode, David Lynch returned to direct and, though hardly anyone saw it when it originally aired, it’s an episode that left such an impression that — 25 years later — Showtime agree to bring the series back. The third season of Twin Peaks will premiere later this month but until then, let’s go ahead and recap Beyond Life and Death.
One last time, we open with Angelo Badalamenti’s beautiful theme music and those haunting shots of Twin Peaks.
We start at the sheriff’s station, with Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy (Harry Goaz) having a moment. Lucy talks about how scared she was when the lights went out and then says she found herself wondering what would happen if they were stuck in an elevator in the hospital and she went into labor. Andy replies that, if that happened, he would deliver the baby “in front of God and everyone.” Awwwww!
In Harry’s office, Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Hawk (Michael Horse) stare at the cave drawing while Harry (Michael Ontkean) says that he has deputies in three counties looking for Windom Earle. Windom appears to have vanished. Cooper replies that the only hope they have of finding Windom and Annie is in the map.
“Fire walk with me,” Cooper says, softly, “Fire walk with me.”
Pete (Jack Nance) steps into the office and announces that the Log Lady stole his truck. I love the way that Jack Nance delivers the line, “The Log Lady stole my truck!” (Sadly, Nance was murdered just a few years after the end of Twin Peaks.) Pete says that, when last seen, the Log Lady was driving into Ghostwood Forest.
“Pete,” Cooper announces, “the Log Lady did not steal your truck. The Log Lady will be here in one minute.”
“12 rainbow trouts in the bed,” Pete says.
This triggers Harry’s memory. He announces that there is a circle of 12 sycamores in Ghostwood Forest. It’s called Glastonbury Grove. Hawk says that Glastonbury Grove is where he found the pages from Laura’s diary. Cooper suddenly says, “That’s the legendary burial place of King Arthur! Glastonbury!”
“King Arthur is buried in England,” Pete says, dismissively, “Last I heard anyway.”
Right on time, The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) shows up at the office.
“Where’s my truck?” Pete demands.
“Pete, Windom Earle stole your truck,” Cooper says.
Pete looks very confused. Jack Nance really acted the Hell out of this scene. (Interestingly enough, Catherine Coulson was, in real life, Nance’s ex-wife.)
The Log Lady ignores Pete. She has a jar of oil that she hands to Cooper. The Log Lady says that her husband claimed that the oil was the opening to a gateway. Everyone agrees that it smells like scorched engine oil. Cooper has Hawk bring in Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine), who says that she smelled the oil the night that she was attacked and Laura Palmer was killed.
Out in the woods, a pickup truck comes to a stop in front of Glastonbury Grove. Inside the truck, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) forces Annie (Heather Graham) to look at the 12 rainbow trout in back. Annie tells Windom that, if he’s going to kill her, to go ahead and get it over with. Windom says that there is plenty of time for that but, right now, he is enjoying the fear that he is feeling.
(After being portrayed in far too cartoonish a manner over the past few episodes, Windom is finally menacing again. For that matter, this is the first — and, as fate would have it, the only — episode where Heather Graham seems to be truly committed to her role as Annie. This episode directly challenges anyone who thinks that David Lynch is merely a visual artist who can’t direct actors.)
As Annie recites Psalm 141, Windom drags her through the woods. Windom shoves her into the the middle of the grove.
“I tell you, they have not died,” Windom recites, “Their hands clasp, yours and mine.”
Suddenly, in the middle of the woods, the red curtains appears. Windom leads the now zombified Annie through them.
At the Hurley House, Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) is looking over the heavily bandaged Mike (Gary Hershberger) and Nadine (Wendy Robie). Meanwhile, Ed (Everett McGill) is cheerfully talking to Norma (Peggy Lipton) by the fire place. (I like the fact that, with everything that’s going on, Ed and Norma are just happy to be together.) Just as Ed and Norma start to dance, Nadine suddenly gets her memory back and starts to shout about silent drape runners. Nadine demands that Ed make everyone go away.
At the Hayward house, Eileen (Mary Jo Deschanel) sits in her wheelchair and stares at Ben Horne (Richard Beymer). Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) comes walking down the stairs, carrying a suitcase. Eileen begs Donna not to leave but Donna starts screaming about not knowing who her parents are. Ben steps forward and apologizes. He says he only wanted to do good. He wanted to be good. He says that it felt good to finally tell the truth.
Doc Hayward arrives home and is not happy to see Ben. Ben is begging for forgiveness when, suddenly, his own wife (Jan D’Arcy) comes walking through the front door. She demands to know what Ben is trying to do to their family.
Donna looks at Doc Hayward and starts to chant, “You’re my Daddy! You’re my Daddy!” Eileen looks away, which is a polite way of saying, “No, Ben’s your Daddy and you’ve got a half-sister that everyone likes more than you.”
Ben tries to apologize again and, after 29 episodes of never losing his temper, Doc Hayward finally snaps and punches Ben. Ben falls back and hits the back of his head on the fireplace! Oh my God! Is Ben dead!? Is Doc Hayward now evil!?
(I know the answer but I’m not going to tell you until the end of this review.)
At the Martell House, Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy) is all excited because he’s figured out that the key is the key to a safety deposit box. He steals the key from the pie plate and replaces it with a duplicate. However, Pete steps into the room just in time to see Andrew doing it.
In the woods, Cooper and Harry come across the abandoned truck. They walk into the forest but Cooper suddenly announces that he must go alone. Cooper takes Harry’s flashlight and walks through the forest. Eventually, he hears the hooting of an owl and comes across Glastonbury Grove. Cooper steps into the circle and the red curtains appear. As Harry watches from a distance, Cooper steps though the curtains.
(Though it may just be coincidence, the red curtains always make me think about the opening of Dario Argento’s Deep Red.)
Cooper finds himself in the red curtained hallways. He walks until he reaches the room from his dreams. As the lights stobe, the Man From Another Place (Michael Anderson) dances while a lounge singer (Jimmy Scott) sings about Sycamore Trees. The Man From Another Place eventually hopes into a velvet chair. It’s deeply unsettling to watch because we know that, behind one of those curtains, BOB is lurking.
In the forest, Andy finds Harry. They sit outside of Glastonbury Grove and wait for Cooper to return.
Morning comes. We get a few final shots of the countryside around Twin Peaks. The mountains. The bridge where, 29 episodes ago, Ronette Pulaski was discovered battered and nearly catatonic. The forest. The countryside was beautiful when we first saw it but, after spending 31 hours in the world of Twin Peaks, it is now impossible to look at that wilderness without wondering what secrets are being concealed beneath the tranquil surface.
Harry and Andy are still sitting outside of Glastonbury and there is something truly touching about the sight of these two friends loyally waiting for their third friend to return. Andy volunteers to go to diner to get them breakfast. Harry says, “Yes.” Andy lists off all of the usual Twin Peaks food. Coffee. Pancakes. Desert. “Yeah,” Harry replies. When Andy finally asks if Harry wants pie, Harry falls silent. How can anyone eat pie with Cooper missing?
Meanwhile, at the bank — OH MY GOD! YOU MEAN WE’RE NOT GOING TO THE BLACK LODGE TO FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH COOPER YET!? — an old lady sleeps at the new accounts desk. (It’s a very Lynchian image, to be honest.)
Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) comes in and says hello the elderly bank president, Mr. Mibbler (Ed Wright). Mibbler is really happy to see Audrey, even after she explains that she is going to be chaining herself to the vault as a part of her environmental protest. For whatever reason, almost all of David Lynch’s film features at least one elderly character who moves slowly and is utterly clueless about the world around them. Mr. Mibbler is certainly a part of that tradition.
(Speaking for myself, I like the way that the scene in the bank is shot and acted but it still frustrates me that, during the 2nd season, Twin Peaks could never quite figure out what to do with Audrey. When Kyle MacLachlan vetoed any romance between Cooper and Audrey, it pretty much destroyed Audrey’s storyline. To make us believe that Cooper and Audrey could actually fall in love with other people, the writers kept Cooper and Audrey from interacting and, as a result, it often seemed that Audrey was trapped in another, rather less interesting show. While Cooper investigated the Black Lodge and Windom Earle, Audrey was stuck playing Civil War with her father and improbably falling in love with John Justice Wheeler. Even in the finale, Audrey mostly serves as a distraction from the show’s main storyline. The character deserved better.)
Andrew and Pete show up at the bank. Mibbler is shocked to see that Andrew is still alive but Andrew is more concerned with opening up that deposit box. It takes Mibbler a while to find the box but when he does, he promptly opens it. What’s inside the box? Well, there’s a note from Thomas that read, “Finally got you, Andrew. Love, Thomas.” And there’s a bomb, which promptly explodes.
Oh my God, is Audrey dead!? Well, the episode never reveals who died or survived in the bank. However, having looked through the recently published The Secret History of Twin Peaks, I know the answer and I will reveal it at the end of this review.
At the Double R, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) and Betty (Charlotte Stewart) are sharing a booth and, as opposed to the way they were portrayed all through the first season, they appear to be very much (and very playfully) in love.
At the counter, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) watches his parents making out and then turns to Shelly (Madchen Amick.) He asks her to marry him. Shelly mentions that she’s still married to Leo and then she and Bobby start going, “Arf! Arf! Arf!,” which is a strangely cheerful callback to the way that Bobby and Mike taunted James Hurley at the end of the pilot. Bobby says that Leo is up in the woods, having the time of his life. A jump cut quickly reminds us that Leo is actually up in the woods trying to keep a bunch of tarantulas from falling down on his head.
Suddenly, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) and Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) step into the diner. They walk right over to Maj. Briggs. Dr. Jacoby says that Sarah has a message for him, one that she felt was very important. Speaking in the distorted voice of Windom Earle, Sarah says, “I am in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper. I’m waiting for you.”
And here is where the finale basically goes insane. Seen today, the final 20 minutes of this episode remain genuinely unsettling and often rather frightening. I can only imagine how audiences reacted in 1991. I did a little research (which is a fancy way of saying that I looked on Wikipedia) and, believe it or not, the top-rated television show in 1991 was 60 Minutes. Needless to say, the finale of Twin Peaks was about as far from 60 Minutes as you could get.
In the Black Lodge, Cooper still sits in the room with red curtains. The Man From Another Place tells him, “When you see me again, it won’t be me.” The Man From Another Place explains that the room with red curtain is a waiting room. (Purgatory, perhaps?)
“Some of your friends are here,” The Man From Another Place continues.
Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), dressed in black, walks in and sits down beside The Man From Another Place. “Hello Agent Cooper,” she says, speaking backwards. “I’ll see you again in 25 years. Meanwhile.” Laura vanishes.
(The 25 years explains why, way back in the third episode, Cooper appeared to be a much older man in his dream. It’s also interesting to note that, later this month, the 3rd season of Twin Peaks will air roughly 25 years after the 2nd season ended.)
Suddenly, the room service waiter (Hank Worden) appears with a cup of coffee. “Hallelujah,” he says. “Hallelujah,” the Man from Another Place agrees.
The waiter places on a table next to Cooper. Suddenly, the waiter is gone and the Giant (Carel Struycken) stands in his place. The Giant sits down next to The Man From Another Place.
“One and the same,” he says.
(Even though I know what’s going to happen, watching this scene still makes me nervous. The Giant, the Waiter, and The Man From Another Place are the only friends that Cooper has in the Black Lodge. Once the Giant leaves, who will be the next to come out?)
The Giant vanishes. The Man From Another Place rubs his hands together and gets a sinister little smile on his face. As he has done so many times since the series began, Cooper attempts to drink his coffee but discovers that it is now frozen solid. Suddenly, it’s not frozen and it pours out of the cup. Then, just as suddenly, it’s thick and only slowly dribbles out when Cooper tips the cup.
“Wow, BOB, wow,” the Man From Another Place says. He looks directly at the camera and says, his voice now much more rougher, “Fire walk with me.”
It’s an incredibly unsettling moment in an already unsettling episode. By this point, we all know what “Fire walk with me” means.
There’s an explosion. A woman (Laura or Annie?) screams. The lights start to strobe. Cooper walks out of the room and finds himself, once again, in the hallway. Having heard the scream and knowing what BOB did to Ronette, Laura, Maddy, and countless others, it is a coincidence that the only decoration in the hallway is a reproduction of the Venus de Milo, a beautiful woman who does not have the arms necessary to protect herself? As well, it is surely not a coincidence that the Black Lodge could just as easily pass for an “exclusive” section of One-Eyed Jack’s.
Cooper steps through another set of curtains and finds himself in a second room, one that looks just like the first room except that it’s deserted.
Cooper returns to the first room where The Man From Another Place snaps, “Wrong way!”
Cooper goes back to the second room. At first, it appears to be deserted but suddenly The Man From Another Place appears, laughing maniacally. “Another friend!” he says and suddenly, Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee), dressed in black much like Laura, steps into the room. “Watch out for my cousin,” she says and then vanishes.
Cooper returns to the first room, which is now deserted.
Suddenly, the Man From Another Place appears beside him.
“Doppleganger,” the Man says.
Laura, her eyes white, suddenly stands in front of Cooper. “Meanwhile,” she says.
Suddenly, Laura screams and the lights start to strobe again. Still screaming, Laura charges at Cooper. Cooper runs from the room and suddenly, finds himself in the Black Lodge’s foyer. He realizes that, like all of Windom Earle’s victims, he has been stabbed in the stomach. Cooper staggers back into the hallway and, following a trail of bloody footprints, he returns to the second room.
In the room, he sees himself lying on the floor next to Caroline Earle (Brenda E. Mathers). Like Cooper, Caroline has been stabbed. Suddenly, Caroline sits up and … IT’S ANNIE! Cooper calls out her name but suddenly, the bodies disappear and the strobe lights start again.
Calling Annie’s name, Cooper returns to the first room. Annie is waiting for him. “Dale,” she says, “I saw the face of the man who killed me. It was my husband.”
“Annie,” Dale says.
“Who is Annie?”
Suddenly, Annie is a white-eyed Caroline and then she transforms into the still shrieking Laura. Laura turns into Windom Earle. As Cooper and Windom stare at each other, Annie materializes and then vanishes again. Windom says that he will set Annie free but only if Cooper gives up his soul.
“I will,” Cooper says and, for the first time, Cooper’s voice is now as distorted as all the other inhabitants of the Black Lodge.
Windom stabs Cooper in the stomach and suddenly, there’s another explosion. The strobe lights start again and Windom is screaming for help. Cooper, no longer wounded, sees that BOB (Frank Silva) has grabbed Windom. Windom screams and BOB snaps, “BE QUIET!”
(As scary as BOB is, it’s undeniably satisfying to see Windom Earle finally not in control.)
BOB tells Cooper to go. Windom, BOB explains, is wrong. “He can’t ask for your soul. I will take his!”
Windom screams as BOB literally rips his soul out of his head. Finally, Windom falls silent. As BOB continues to laugh, Cooper runs from the room. Suddenly, someone else comes running through the room and — OH NO! IT’S A DOPPELGANGER COOPER AND WOW, IS HE ACTING WEIRD!
Cooper walks through the hallway when suddenly, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) steps out from behind a curtain. His hair is brown again but his eyes are now white. Leland smiles and says, “I did not kill anybody.”
Doppelganger Cooper appears and chases after the real Cooper. They run through the Black Lodge until Doppelganger Cooper manages to grab the real Cooper.
BOB appears and stares straight at the camera. AGCK!
Suddenly, at Glastonbury Grove, the curtains appear. Night has fallen again but Harry is still loyally sitting in the forest, waiting for Cooper’s return. When he sees the curtains, Harry runs into the circle of trees and finds the bodies of both Cooper and Annie.
Cut to the Great Northern. Cooper wakes up in bed, with Doc Hayward and Harry sitting beside him. Speaking in an oddly mechanical tone of voice, Cooper first says that he wasn’t sleeping and then asks, “How’s Annie?” Harry says that Annie is at the hospital and she’ll be okay.
“I need to brush my teeth,” Cooper says.
In the bathroom, Cooper squeezes an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink. He then rams his head into the mirror and, as the reflection of BOB stares back at him, he starts to laugh. “How’s Annie?” he mocking repeats. “How’s Annie?”
And, with that deeply unsettling turn of events, Twin Peaks came to a temporary end. This brilliantly directed episode ended with three cliffhangers. What happened to Ben? Who died at the bank? What happened to Dale Cooper?
I promised you answers to some of those question so, according to The Secret History of Twin Peaks, here they are:
Ben survived his injury.
At the bank, the bomb killed Mr. Dibbler, Andrew, and Pete. (Perhaps not coincidentally, both Dan O’Herlihy and Jack Nance died long before Showtime announced that it was reviving the show.) Audrey survived, largely because Pete shielded her with his body. Shaken by the violent death of both her brother and her husband, Catherine returned to Ben everything that he had signed over to her. Catherine became a recluse.
As for what happened to Dale — well, that’s question that we will hopefully get an answer to when Twin Peaks returns to Showtime on May 21st!
Well, that concludes our Twin Peaks recaps! Thank you everyone for reading and thank you, Jeff and Leonard, for going on this adventure with me!
Now, how about we all get some coffee and slice of cherry pie?
Here we go, with the second to last episode of the season.
“Miss Twin Peaks” starts with Leo (Eric Da Re), chained up as punishment for attacking Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh – The Day After Tomorrow). While chained, he unlocks the chains for Major Briggs (Don Davis), and sets him free.
“Save Shelly.” he whispers, as Major Briggs rises to his feet and wanders off. Some time later, Windom Earle returns, asking how Briggs escaped. He would normally use the taser user he has on Leo, but has come up with a better idea – a better game – one that involves a bag of something he shakes with a sinister smile. A bag, worse than electricity? Doesn’t seem so bad, so far.
We cut to the Double R Cafe, where Norma presents some pies to Annie (Heather Graham – Horns, The Hangover) and Shelly (Madchen Amick) for the Miss Twin Peaks event. She tells them that she expects to see them in the Winner’s Circle. The pagent would be good for the town, to heal over the loss of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). When asked if the town will honor her on the 20th Anniversary of her Miss Twin Peaks win, Norma laughs it off as bribery, as she’s a judge this year.
At the Great Northern, a barefoot Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is sitting by the fire and dressed in red, a very subtle suggestion to her being a new woman. Ben (Richard Beymer) steps into the room with a series of books in each hand. He tells her they are the collected religious works of the world – The Bible, The Koran, The Talmud, The Tao-Te-Ching, among others. He carries these in the hopes that he’ll find the good within himself on reading them, but in explaining this to Audrey, she appears distracted. He notes this to be because of Jack (Billy Zane), who’s flown off to Brazil. She still misses him fondly, and fears she’ll never see him again. Ben promises her she will, but Audrey waves it off.
Changing the subject, Audrey informs her father that there’s a connection between the bank and the Packards, which Ben will look into. Ben asks Audrey if she’s considered joining the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant. Although Audrey scoffs at the idea, Ben explains that they could use the Pageant to voice the town’s concerns over preserving the wildlife and the Horne family plans. She reluctantly agrees to do so.
Meanwhile, Andy (Harry Goaz) is in the precinct, staring at the drawing recreation from the Owl Cave. Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) explains to Truman (Michael Ontkean) that on the night of Josie’s (Joan Chen – Demolition Man) death, he saw BOB (Frank Silva) appear. He theorizes that perhaps Josie’s fear is what attracted BOB, and ultimately caused her death. Listening in via the hidden mic in the room, Windom Earle now has what he needs. If he can reach the Black Lodge and BOB, his vengeance against Dale Cooper will be complete. He celebrates this briefly, and we can see that the bag he had is now empty. As he approaches Leo, he bids him farewell, telling him he liked him, but that he has to pay for letting Briggs free.
We follow a line of string that appears to be tied to Leo’s teeth, going up and over him and leading to a box full of tarantulas! Nope! Nope, a million times, Nope. I would have rather Windom Earle just set the cabin on fire and leave Leo inside. Poor Leo. Yeah, he was a douche, but even he didn’t deserve all that, whatever his fate becomes.
A dance rehearsal for the Pageant. Donna and Shelly can’t help but laugh at all of the awkward positions that Tim Pinkle (David L. Lander) has the girls doing, while Nadine (Wendy Robie) and Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson) are upset at it all. Tim has a tiny loss of composure when questioned about his methods. Lana (Robyn Lively) appears to be really into it, however, probably under the impression she’s already won. She also happens to be the only dancer in heels, for some reason.
The judges – Norma, Mayor Dwayne Milford (John Boylan), and Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) are looking on. Norma has to step away to handle some business, which leaves just the right opening for Lana to step in and improve her chances on becoming Miss Twin Peaks She mentions there’s something she’s looking for in the storage room, and asks Dick for some help. He joins her in the storage room with a flashlight. Lana’s communication style is through touch (because let’s face it, it’s easier to convince someone of something if there’s the slightest physical contact involved), and through this, she finds what she’s looking for. She doesn’t even need the flashlight to do so.
In Cooper’s room, Cooper records a message to Diane explaining that they’re working hard on the cave etching, and that Windom Earle is looking for the same source that they are. Should it fall into his hands, the ramifications could be disastrous. On a side note, Cooper praises Annie, who he’s very much warming up to.
Annie appears at Cooper’s door. He lets her in and she states she needs help with the Public Speaking part of the contest. Cooper explains that the Ghostwood Development could cause some problems for the town and the wildlife. In the midst of their conversation, Cooper makes a move.
“I don’t want to talk about trees anymore.” He simply says before kissing her. She leads him to his bed and they have a passionate moment together. I hope he remembered to pause his tape to Diane.
We’re watching a home movie, of Nadine and how she tackled Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger) in wrestling class and fell in love. She and Nadine are in a room with Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), Ed (Everett McGill) and Norma. Ed reveals to Nadine that he’s going to get married to Norma. Nadine’s stare is intense, but she smiles through it, holding on to Mike’s hand a little too tightly.
“Really?! Well that’s wonderful Eddie, ‘cause me and Mike are getting married, too!”, she says. You can hear the bones in Mike’s hand crack, and he wails in pain.
Major Briggs stumbles through the forest, finally making it to a road. He arrives just in time for Hawk (Michael Horse) to almost hit him with his Patrol Truck. Hawk gets out and puts Briggs into the truck.
The next scene has Briggs shivering and drinking water. It’s almost the same kind of shiver that Pete had. Cooper inspects Briggs and notes that he’s been shot full of Haloperidol, the same drug that the One Armed Man used to keep MIKE at bay. They try to find out where Windom Earle took Briggs, but they can’t get much from him. Andy comes back into the room, checking on the pictograph. Cooper says that if they aren’t at the right place at the right time, they might be able to find their way into the Black Lodge.
Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie), Pete (Jack Nance), and Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy) are trying to open the little box that was inside of the original black box given to Catherine. After a bit of frustration, Andrew throws the tiny metal box to the ground and shoots it with his revolver. This breaks the mini box open and reveals a key. Catherine puts the key inside a glass cake container, in full sight so that no one will steal it.
Donna comes downstairs in the Hayward house, dressed for the Pageant. She confronts her parents, demanding to know what the deal is between her mom (Mary Jo Deschanel) and Ben Horne. The parents won’t tell her, so she decides to get her answers from Ben.
Back at the precinct, Cooper realizes that one element was misread. He’s able to deduce that the map refers to Jupiter and Saturn coming into conjunction. They also learn that entering the portal requires Fear and/or Love (“Fear and Love open the doors.”, Briggs mumbles). If Windom Earle takes the Queen – in this case, Miss Twin Peaks – to the doorway, he should be able to get it to open. At least, that’s what I made of it. As they discuss this, Andy has a relegation, but is unable to share it, as Andy knocks over the bonsai plant. The plant breaks, and reveals Windom Earle’s bug. Now aware that he’s been listening in the whole time, Cooper, Truman and Andy head over to Miss Twin Peaks Pageant.
Here we are at the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant. The ladies of Twin Peaks are having an opening dance number. The show is underway, and there are a number of things occurring. Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) notices the Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) sitting by the bar, but then also notices her standing about 30 feet near him, by the restroom. When Bobby approaches the log lady by the door, we find it’s actually Window Earle, who bonks him on the head with his log, knocking him out.
Meanwhile, Lucy is dancing on stage. For someone due to have a baby in less than a year, she handles herself well on stage. Cooper and Truman arrive, and Truman notes that they have deputies surrounding the place. After her number is Lana’s, which is a bellydance that entrances the audience and the male judges. Lana’s gaze is focused primarily on Dick and Dwayne as she dances. Andy arrives on the scene, looking for Cooper to tell him what he was unable to say before.
Audrey gives a short speech on fighting for the environment, before leaving and seeing her dad before heading back out. Backstage, Donna confronts Ben, and asks him for the truth. We all learn that she is in fact Ben Horne’s daughter and Audrey’s half-sister. She runs off in tears before any major explanation can be given.
Annie gives a moving speech, one that catches Dick’s attention. Audrey also has a great speech. Lucy meets with Dick and Andy backstage to inform them that Andy will be the father of her child. Andy is surprised, and Dick is elated. Andy promises to be a great father, but he has to locate Cooper, and he leaves her standing there. It’s a humorous moment in the mix of everything.
The announcement is underway. The winner and the new Miss Twin Peaks is…..Annie Blackburn!! There’s applause from the crowd as Annie accepts her award. Lana peeks out from behind the crowd to stare at Dwayne as if to say “What happened?”.Dwayne turns to Dick and asks him about the vote. Dick replies that Annie’s speech won him over.
The lights suddenly go out, and then flicker like a strobe. Very similar to Brian DePalma’s Carrie, we have pandemonium as everyone tries to evacuate. Nadine, standing under a ladder, is hit on the head with a sand bag, knocking her unconscious. Cooper catches sight of Windom Earle, but in trying to reach him, Earle sets of a flashbang that disorients Cooper. This gives Earle enough time to capture Annie with some chloroform and get out of the building. When Cooper comes to his senses, he tells Truman, who starts to get a perimeter setup. It’s here that Andy is finally able to reach Cooper and tell him what he found.
The puzzle they’ve been studying isn’t a puzzle at all, but a map!
So now, we come to the Season Finale (and ultimately the Series Finale) of Twin Peaks, which Lisa will close out tomorrow. Can Cooper save Annie? Can he catch Windom Earle? Is Nadine okay? What about Lucy and Andy? What about that blooming key? Will Donna confront all of her parents? Will Leo manage to escape the box of tarantulas? Hopefully, all of these will be answered.
This is my final piece on Twin Peaks. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about this show as we have writing about it. A lot of work went into this from different sides. This has been an awesome project to be a part of, and I’d like to give a quick thanks to both Lisa and Jeff for having me on board.
Our latest episode begins with a closeup of Rusty Tomasky’s (Ted Raimi) face as the members of the Twin Peaks police force struggle to get the giant paper mache chess piece out of the gazebo. While this goes on, one of Rusty’s friends talks to Andy (Harry Goaz), Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Harry (Michael Ontkean). Rusty was in a band and was supposed to play a gig at Snake River. On the way there, a tire went out on the van and a man emerged from the woods, wanting to know if Rusty wanted some “brew.” Rusty’s friend starts to cry, which makes Andy cry.
Cooper says that Windom has taken another pawn but he did not tell them his next move. “Windom Earle is playing off the board.”
The next morning, at the sheriff’s station, Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) asks Andy what he knows about saving the planet. Andy says that styrofoam never dies and people need to stop tossing their beer cans into Pearl Lake. Lucy says that tomorrow will be D-Day, “Dad day.” She will be choosing her baby’s father, either Andy Brennan or Dick Tremayne. She will also be entering the Miss Twin Peaks contest because she and the baby could use the money.
At the Great Northern, Doctor Hayward (Warren Frost) is giving Ben (Richard Beymer) a physical examination. Hayward tells Ben that he believes that Ben is trying to do the right thing but that he needs to stay away from Eileen. Ben says he has no choice. He has to do what his heart commands him to do. Wheeler (Billy Zane) steps into the office. He says that he has been looking for Audrey. Ben says that Audrey should be back any minute but Wheeler does not have a minute. His business partner has been murdered in Brazil.
In the attic of the Hayward house, Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) looks over her birth certificate and sees that the identity of her father has been left blank. She finds a scrapbook, full of pictures of her parents with Ben.
Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) returns to the Great Northern, where Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) is waiting for her. Hawks tells he that Cooper needs to see her at the station, immediately.
In his office, Ben is still talking to Wheeler. Ben is more concerned about Stop Ghostwood than Wheeler’s dead business partner. Wheeler says that he has no choice but to go. Not realizing that Audrey’s back, Wheeler gives Ben a note and asks him to deliver it to her. Wheeler leaves the office.
At the sheriff’s station, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) has obtained all of the Project Blue Book files dealing with Windom Earle. Briggs plays a video tape of Earle ranting about the Black Lodge. Cooper says that Earle did not come to Twin Peaks to get revenge on him. Instead, he came to Twin Peaks to find the Black Lodge. Now, they just have to figure out how the Black Lodge is connected to the drawing found in the cave.
Little do they know that, through the microphone hidden in the bonsai tree, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) is listening to their conversation. Earle tells Leo (Eric Da Re) that the time has come to invite Major Briggs to a Project Blue Book reunion.
At the diner, an old woman who we have never been seen before is eating cheery pie when her hand starts to shake so uncontrollably that she has to grab it with her other hand to stop it.
In a booth, Shelly (Madchen Amick) reads her Miss Twin Peaks speech on how to protect the environment to Bobby (Dana Ashbrook). Bobby says that he has been thinking about his relationship with Shelly. Bobby says that he knows he has not been a great boyfriend but, when he saw Shelly kissing Gordon Cole, something in his brain snapped and he realized how much he loved Shelly. They share a passionate kiss that is interrupted by a phone call from Cooper.
At the Roadhouse, preparations are being made for the Miss Twin Peaks Contest. Mayor Milford (John Boylan) tells Lana (Robyn Lively) that the other two judges are going to be Norma Jennings and Richard Tremayne. The Mayor says that all they have to do to win is get Lana alone in a room with Richard. He tells her to wear “a dress slit all the way to Seattle.” The Mayor then starts to cry, wishing that they could just elope. Lana says that she will only marry him if she wins Miss Twin Peaks.
At the station, Cooper tells Audrey, Shelly, and Donna that all three of them are in danger. He orders them to check in with the sheriff at least twice a day and to never go anywhere alone.
At the cabin, Windom is talking about blood-drinking priests while Leo cleans up. Leo sees a picture of Shelly’s face glued to a playing card. Windom says that if Shelly wins Miss Twin Peaks, she will die. He says that Leo can help if he wants. “No!” Leo says before trying to attack Windom with the zapper, which does not work because, even though Leo has managed to grabbed the zapper, he is still the one wearing the electric collar. Leo ends up zapping himself.
Audrey returns to the Great Northern, walking through the lobby and barely missing Wheeler, who is checking out. Audrey goes to Ben’s office, when Ben welcomes her back and then tells her that the Stop Ghostwood Campaign needs a spokesperson. Ben wants her to enter Miss Twin Peaks. Audrey wants to know where Wheeler is. Ben finally tells her that Wheeler had to leave for the Brazilian rain forest and tries to give the letter to Audrey. Audrey leaves, hoping to catch Wheeler at the airport.
At the sheriff’s station, Cooper, Harry, and Andy are examining the cave drawing. Cooper says that the symbols suggest a time but a time for what? Cooper admits that he is having a hard time focusing because he can not stop thinking about Annie. Suddenly, Cooper’s hand starts to shake until he grabs it with his other hand.
Major Briggs is walking through the woods when he is approached by Windom Earle and Leo, who are wearing a horse costume. “Hello, Wilbur!” Earle says before shooting the Major with a tranquilizer dart.
At the airport, Wheeler is getting in his private plane. He stops to take one final look for Audrey.
At the diner, Cooper orders a slice of cheery pie and uses a quote from St. Augustine to encourage Annie (Heather Graham) to enter the Miss Twin Peaks contest. Cooper confesses that he spends most of his time thinking about Annie. Annie says she spends all of her time thinking about Cooper. Cooper asks Annie to go dancing with him and leans in to kiss her. Dishes all of the counter and syrup ominously drips on the floor.
At the airport, Pete (Jack Nance) drives Audrey across the airstrip, letting her off in front of Wheeler’s plane. Audrey runs in front of the taxiing airplane, yelling for Wheeler to stop. Luckily, Wheeler does stop before running her over.
“I’m a virgin!” Audrey says, “I want you to make love to me.”
“Here and now?” Wheeler asks.
“It’s your jet.”
Realizing that Audrey has a point, Wheeler leads her into his plane, while Pete watches from his truck. Pete has tears in his eyes. Suddenly, his hand starts to shake uncontrollably.
At the cabin, Earle interrogates the bound Briggs, shooting arrows at him whenever Briggs says that he is not at liberty to divulge any information. Earle gets annoyed and gives the major a shot of truth serum. Earle asks Briggs what his greatest fear is.
“The possibility that love is not enough,” Briggs says.
(I would have said salmonella but that’s just me.)
Under the influence of the serum, Briggs says that the signs in the cave mean that “there is a time, if Jupiter and Saturn meet, they will receive you.”
At the Martell house, Catherine (Piper Laurie) is showing Eckhardt’s lunar box to Andrew (Dan O’Herlihy). Andrew pushes the buttons the box and it pops open, revealing another box. Andrew smashes that box, revealing yet another box inside.
At the Roadhouse, Annie and Cooper are dancing. Looking at the decorations for the Miss Twin Peaks pageant, Annie tells Cooper that she has decided to enter. Annie says that being Miss Twin Peaks would be like being in a fairy tale. “And you’re the queen,” Cooper says.
Suddenly, time freezes for everyone but Cooper. The lights go down. The Giant (Carel Struycken) appears on the stage, shaking his head “NO.” Cooper looks confused though it should be obvious to him that the Giant is saying, “No, do not enter the contest!”
At the airport, Wheeler’s plane finally takes off. Pete gets out of his truck and is approached by a newly mature Audrey who says that she finally met the man of his dreams and now he is on his way to Brazil. Audrey cries that Wheeler offered to take her fishing but he never did. Pete says he has some tackle in the truck. Pete tells her that the best cure for a broken heart is trout’s leap at midnight.
At the cabin, Leo is shaking and the Major is screaming. Earle is singing about mummy wheat. Earle has figured out that the drawing is actually a map to the Black Lodge.
At the dance, the Giant finally disappears. As Cooper kisses Annie. Mayor Milford tries to get a microphone to work. “Something’s not right,” he says, “there’s something wrong here.”
In the woods, Killer BOB (Frank Silva) emerges from a portal while the red curtains are reflected in a nearby puddle.
With only two episodes left, this was a pretty good episode. All of the disparate plotlines of the latter half of the second season are finally coming together and the appearance of both the Giant and BOB at the end promises that the finale will be a return to the Twin Peaks of old.
Leonard is doing tomorrow’s episode and then Lisa is doing the finale so this is my last recap. I have really enjoyed rewatching Twin Peaks and sharing my thoughts about the show with all of you. Thank you for reading!
— Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) in Twin Peaks 2. 19 “Variations on Relations”
“Tastes kind of woody.”
— Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson), same episode
Well, everyone, we’re coming towards the end.
There’s only a few more episodes to go and then Leonard, Jeff, and I will be finished with our look back at Twin Peaks. Have you been enjoying it? I hope so! And, before you feel too sad about the end of our look back, remember that, on May 21st, a new season of Twin Peaks will premiere on Showtime! Who knows? Maybe we’ll even review it on this site.
Today’s episode is the 19th of season 2. It was the first episode, since Arbitrary Law, to be written by the show’s co-creator, Mark Frost. It was directed by Jonathan Sanger, who in 1980 produced a film called The Elephant Man. The Elephant Man was, of course, directed by David Lynch. It was Lynch’s first mainstream success and it’s totally reasonable to say that, if not for The Elephant Man, Lynch would probably never had a chance to put a show on American television.
We start with the opening credits. Knowing that the show is nearly over and that this latest review series is about to come an end, Angelo Badalamenti’s opening theme music sounds even more ominous than usual. Both Joan Chen and James Marshall are still listed in the opening credits, despite no longer being on the show. Not listed: Heather Graham, Billy Zane, or Kenneth Welsh, despite the fact that the last few episodes have revolved around them.
Harry (Michael Ontkean), Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), Andy (Harry Goaz), and Hawk (Michael Horse) return to the Owl Cave and discover that someone has already turned the lever and caused the cave to collapse. “Someone’s been here already,” Cooper says, “they did our work for us.” Because Hawk can basically do anything, he notices a footprint and immediately recognizes it as being the same footprint that was found outside the power station.
“Windom Earle,” Cooper says.
“What would Windom Earle be doing here?” Harry asks.
Hey, here’s a better question — why did they leave the Owl Cave unguarded? Why didn’t they try to turn the lever themselves? Why didn’t they at least try to replace the part of the wall that fell off so that the lever wouldn’t just be out there in the open? I realize that Cooper is supposed to be silly in love with Annie right now but this is still a mistake that he wouldn’t have made during the first season.
(One of the more annoying things about the latter half of the second season is that the characters are much more inconsistent. Cooper’s level of competence changes from scene to scene.)
Cooper orders Andy to copy the drawing on the cave wall. (To me, the drawing looks a lot like the mountains around Twin Peaks.)
We fade to Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) taking about how there was once a place of goodness called The White Lodge. As Windom speaks, he smokes a pipe and, not for the first time, I find myself wondering if maybe Windom’s actually a hobbit. Windom explains that the White Lodge was a ghastly place and then, literally, says “Heh heh.” I know Windom’s supposed to be some sort of supergenius villain but he’s no Killer BOB.
Leo (Eric Da Re) listens as Windom explains that there was also a Black Lodge and the Black Lodge was a place of pure evil. Windom intends to find it. As the camera pans across the cabin, we see that Leo and Windom have a visitor. We’ll call him Heavy Metal Stoner Dude (HMSD for short) and he’s played by Sam Raimi’s brother, Ted. HMSD says the story’s cool but he was promised beer and a party.
“In time, young man,” Windom says, “Everything in time.”
Then, Windom starts to play that damn flute of his again.
At the Martell house, Pete (Jack Nance) is staring at a chess board and talking (to himself) about how much he loved Josie. He even recites a poem or two. Catherine (Piper Laurie) comes in the room and tells him to stop feeling sorry for himself. Catherine wants to open the box that Eckhardt left behind but, as Pete quickly notices, there’s no keyhole. It’s a puzzle box! Pete tells a long anecdote about going on a date with two twins in Guam and then says that it could take years to open up the box.
At the Double R Diner, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) tells Shelly (Madchen Amick) that he’s figured out the secret of success. “Beautiful people get whatever they want,” Bobby says. (It’s true. We do.) “When was the last time you saw a hot blonde go to the electric chair?” Bobby asks. (Again, Bobby is correct but he’s Bobby so we won’t give him too much credit.) Bobby has decided that Shelly needs to enter the Miss Twin Peaks Contest. When Shelly tells Bobby that he’s being ridiculous, Bobby grabs her wrist and says, “Bobby’s in charge!”
Meanwhile, the Mayor (John Boylan) and Lana (Robyn Lively) sit in a booth, letting us know that, despite being with the town’s lethal sex goddess, the Mayor hasn’t had a heart attack yet. Lana says that she wants to be Miss Twin Peaks. I just remembered that Robyn Lively starred in Teen Witch. Top that!
Cooper comes in and, of course, immediately goes to the counter and tells Annie (Heather Graham) that he needs doughnuts and coffee. Cooper also asks Annie to accompany him on a nature study. Cooper says he gets a tingling sensation when he talks to Annie. “Interesting,” Annie says.
Considering that I happen to like both Heather Graham and Kyle MacLachlan, I never thought I would say this but Cooper and Annie have got to be the most annoying couple ever. First off, MacLachlan — whose performance is usually perfect — goes overboard with Cooper’s awkward shyness. It’s as if the show is so desperate to convince us that he and Audrey actually don’t belong together that Cooper is now being written like an idiot in an effort to make us go, “So that’s what true love looks like! People in love don’t have chemistry or intelligent conversations like Cooper and Audrey did! Instead, they get a blank look in their eyes, grin an empty grin, and talk about nature studies!”
As Cooper pays for the doughnuts, Shelly recites the poem that was left for her by Windom Earle. Cooper recognizes the poem and says that he needs to see it immediately. Shelly hands over the poem and Cooper leaves but not before promising to pick Annie up at 4:00 sharp.
At the station, Harry reads over the poem and Cooper explains that Audrey, Donna, and Shelly have all been contacted and presumably targeted by Windom Earle. Cooper also explains that he once sent the same poem to Caroline. If Windom’s goal is to hurt Cooper, I can understand targeting Audrey but why Donna and Shelly? Neither one of them has really had anything to do with Cooper.
In the Conference Room, Maj. Briggs (Don S. Davis) watches as Andy draws the cave symbol on the chalk board. The Major correct Andy’s drawing as Cooper steps into the room. Cooper says that he needs the Major’s help but that he can’t tell him how or why.
“Go on,” Major Briggs nods.
(It’s interesting how Briggs has gone from being Bobby’s abusive, ultra-strict father to being some sort of seer. I like the change, though. Don S. Davis, who died just recently, was far too good an actor to be wasted as just another abusive father figure. His simple but firm delivery of “Go on,” is a masterclass in great acting.)
Cooper explains that the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department is investigating three separate cases: the disappearance of Leo Johnson, the appearance of Windom Earle, and the drawings found in Owl Cave. (Why would the sheriff’s department investigate cave drawings? Isn’t that a job for Werner Herzog?) Cooper says that logic would say the three are unrelated but he disagrees. Cooper calls them three notes in one big song.
“What can I do to help?” Briggs asks, wonderfully nonplussed.
Cooper says that he needs to know exactly what Windom Earle was doing with Project Blue Book. Briggs explains that, after his disappearance, his security clearance was revoked. He also says that there are certain moral values that must be taken into consideration.
“Yes, sir,” Cooper says, “I understand.”
Briggs asks if this information will help to save lives. Cooper says that it will. Briggs than asks if the drawing is a copy of what was found in Owl Cave. Briggs explains that he once saw the same thing in a dream. Briefly, a monk-like figure wanders across the screen, followed by an owl flying through outer space.
Back in reality, Maj. Briggs says, “I will do what you ask.”
Hawk enters with Leo’s arrest report. Cooper looks over Leo’s confession and then announces that the poem was transcribed by Leo Johnson.
Menawhile, at the Great Northern, the Stop Ghostwood Estates campaign continues with a charity wine tasting. Ben (Richard Beymer) explains to Dick (Ian Buchanan) that Audrey will not be around to help because she has, quite conveniently, been sent to Seattle. (This also means that Audrey won’t be around to get in the way of the Cooper/Annie romance.) Dick is wearing an oversized bandage on his nose. Ben says that they will also be paying Dick’s medical bills and they’ll be providing him worker’s comp.
“Capital!” Dick says, “I’ll alert my attorney.”
As Dick walks away, Ben mutters that the urge to be bad is hard to resist. Personally, I prefer evil Ben to this Ben but I do like the fact that, even when Ben tries to be good, he still comes across as being sinister.
At the cabin, Windom Earle is still acting like a cartoonish super villain. (This is to be expected since Windom is a cartoonish super villain but it’s still hard not to be disappointed that he’s not the calculating genius that Cooper originally described.) Windom has got HMSD wrapped up in some sort of big paper mache thing. HMSD thinks that it’s a float for the Lilac Parade so he’s shocked when Windom shoots him with an arrow. Or, he would be shocked if not for the fact that he’s dead.
(Sadly, HMSD’s last words are: “What’s with the arrow, man? This isn’t funny.”)
Meanwhile, at the Roadhouse, the Judging and Rules Committee of the Miss Twin Peaks Pageant is meeting. The committee is made up of Doc Hayward (Warren Frost), the Mayor, and Pete. (I assume that Laura Palmer was last year’s Miss Twin Peaks since she was everything else in town.) Ben has asked to address the committee. Ben suggests that this pageant should have a pro-environmental theme. Ben says that this year’s question-and-answer session should deal with how to save the forests.
“We’ll take it under advisement,” Doc Hayward says.
The various candidates for Miss Twin Peaks are asked to approach the committee. There’s Lana and Donna and Shelly and Nadine (Wendy Robie). Nadine shows up with Mike (Gary Hershberger). When Bobby (who is there with Shelley) asks Mike what he sees in Nadine, Mike whispers something about the combination of sexual maturity and super human strength in Bobby’s ear that is apparently so impressive that all Bobby can do is shout, “WHOA!”
(Remember when Mike and Bobby were drug dealers who killed people? A lot has changed since the first season.)
Meanwhile, at the Martell house, Harry is trying to get answers from Catherine. He’s trying to understand who Josie was. Catherine gets the puzzle box and says that it might have something to do with Josie. As Harry looks at the box, Pete comes in the room and says that every beautiful woman in Twin Peaks is competing for Miss Twin Peaks. Except, of course, for all the ones have died over the past month…
Anyway, Pete takes the box from Harry and accidentally drops it on the floor. Catherine snaps, in the worst line in the history of Twin Peaks, “Butterfingers!” However, the box opens as soon as it is dropped. And what’s inside? Another box, this one with a weird lunar pattern design on it.
(Maybe the blue key from Mulholland Drive is inside that one. Who knows?)
Meanwhile, Cooper and Annie are sitting in a rowboat in the middle of the lake. Annie says that she always struggled to make friends when she was younger. Annie says that she’s had one serious boyfriend but doesn’t want to talk about him. Annie explains that she left the convent and returned to Twin Peaks so she could face her fears “where everything went so wrong.”
Obviously, Annie is a lot of fun at parties.
Watching this scene, I again marveled at the total lack of chemistry between Heather Graham and Kyle MacLachlan. If the Annie/Cooper relationship was meant to make us forget about the fact that Cooper and Audrey were meant to be together, scenes like this one didn’t help. Even when Cooper and Annie kiss, it’s like watching two mannequin collide. That’s not meant as an insult to either Kyle MacLachlan and Heather Graham. I’ve raved about both of them on this very site. It’s just that the Annie and Cooper scenes are incredibly awkward and unconvincing.
Anyway, after Cooper and Annie kiss, we see that they are being watched by Windom Earle, who is not even bothering to wear a disguise at this point.
At the Great Northern wine tasting, snobby people are drinking wine and Dick is serving as their host. That this scene works is due almost entirely to Ian Buchanan. It’s a lot of fun to watch and listen to him as Dick pretentiously describes each wine. The fact that I don’t drink wine and consider wine tastings to be the height of bourgeois snobbery only served to make me enjoy this scene even more.
(And, of course, I love Dick but you already knew that.)
Andy and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) are at the wine tasting, Andy attempts to show off his knowledge by pointing out that, along with red wine, there are also white wines and sparkling wines. Andy also makes the mistake of tasting his wine before he was supposed to, leading to Dick yelling, “Spit out!”
(I’m resisting the temptation to make a certain joke at this point. You will thank me later.)
At the diner, Gordon Cole (David Lynch) is out on a date with Shelly. It’s sweet little scene, actually. Cole can actually speak in his normal voice and, while he may not be the world’s greatest actor, David Lynch has an oddly likable screen presence. Interestingly, David Lynch and Madchen Amick have more chemistry than Heather Graham and Kyle MacLachlan. If the Showtime revival opens with Shelly and Gordon married and living in Portland, I wouldn’t be upset. (If the show opens with the Mayor of Portland talking about his strange younger brother, Dale Cooper, I’ll be even happier.)
Cooper comes in with Annie so, of course, Cole starts shouting again. “THIS WORLD OF TWIN PEAKS SEEMS TO BE FULL OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN!” he announces. Cole also adds that “PEOPLE WHO NEED PEOPLE ARE THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!” Cole says that he doesn’t know when he’ll be returning to Twin Peaks, a line that’s extra poignant because, by this point, I imagine David Lynch probably knew his show wouldn’t be returning for a third season.
Just as Cole leans in to kiss Shelly, Bobby walks into the diner, demanding to know what’s going on.
“YOU ARE WITNESSING A FRONT 3/4 VIEW OF 2 ADULTS SHARING A TENDER MOMENT!” Cole replies.
Seriously, they’re so cute together!
Back at the wine tasting, Dick asks everyone what flavor of wine they just tasted.
“Tastes kind of woody,” Lucy says.
“No,” Dick says with a condescending smile. “Lana?”
“Banana?” Lana suggests.
Yes, Dick says, there is a hit of banana. At this point, Dick’s nose bandage has become soaked in wine.
From the back of the room, Andy shouts out that he tasted chocolate.
“Why don’t we just skip the wine and have a banana split!?” Lucy shouts.
Way to go, Lucy! TOP THAT!
Later, Lucy does top that by spitting her wine in Dick’s face, explaining that she’s pregnant and not supposed to drink.
In the Great Northern lobby, Cooper and Wheeler (Billy Zane) stare into the fireplace. Cooper is thinking about Annie. Wheeler is thinking about Audrey and it just feels so wrong. Wheeler says love is Hell. Cooper replies that “(t)he Hindus say love is a ladder to Heaven.” Shut up, Cooper. I never thought I’d say that but I’ve lost a lot of respect for him now that, after making such a big deal about not allowing himself to get emotionally involved with anyone, he has managed to fall madly in love with a blank slate who has only been in town for three days.
Meanwhile, it’s an awkward dinner at the Hayward house, where Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) wonders about her mother’s relationship with Ben Horne. What about happened to Donna’s sister? She hasn’t been seen since the first season. Maybe she ran away when it became obvious that everyone who knows Donna eventually ends up either dead (Laura, Harold, Maddy, Leland) or, like James, in San Francisco.
Donna asks her mother (Mary Jo Deschanel) how she knows Ben Horne. Doc Hayward immediately says, “I told Donna about that benefit that you’re working on….”
(OH MY GOD, DONNA IS BEN’S DAUGHTER! Which means that she is Audrey’s half-sister. After reading all the stories about Lara Flynn Boyle and Sherilyn Fenn not getting along behind the scenes, this amuses me.)
Anyway, Donna gives her mother a hard time about seeing Ben while both of her parents try to change the subject. If only Donna was as concerned about her suddenly missing sister.
That night, the police discover a huge crate has been left in the gazebo. When Cooper and Harry open it, they discover a giant paper mache chess piece. And inside the chess piece is the dead body of Stoner Heavy Metal Dude. A note from Windom Earle is also found, announcing that the next victim will be someone who Dale knows.
Cooper says that Windom appears to be changing the way he plays the game, which is a polite way of saying that he’s a bit of an inconsistent character.
This episode wasn’t bad, though I still find myself cringing whenever Cooper and Annie start flirting. But the scene with Cole and Shelly were fun and I’m really growing to appreciate Richard Beymer’s performance as the new, conflicted Ben Horne. Two of my favorite Twin Peaks supporting actors, Ian Buchanan and Don S. Davis, got some good scenes as well. While this episode can in no way match anything from the 1st season, it’s not bad for a 2nd season episode.
Well, there’s only three more episodes left and then the movie! Jeff has tomorrow’s episode. Then Leonard will be covering Sunday and then I’ll be back for the finale. As for the movie — we’re still playing rock scissors paper to figure out who gets to play it. We’re doing best out of a 1,000. It could take a while.
While we figure it out, check out what led us to this point!