Since today is Sheryl Lee’s birthday, here’s one of the best all-time examples of foreshadowing.
From the 1991 finale of Twin Peaks:
I used to devour those Doc Savage pulp novels reissued as paperbacks by Bantam Books. You know, the ones with those cool James Bama covers? They were filled with action, adventure, intelligence, and good humor, as written by Lester Dent under the pseudonym ‘Kenneth Robeson’. Doc himself was a paragon of goodness, trained from birth in the arts and sciences, a perfect physical specimen adept at all the fighting disciplines with near super-human strength. In fact, one could make a case for Doc Savage as the world’s first mass-market superhero, the Man of Bronze predating DC’s Superman (The Man of Steel) by a good five years.
Doc’s amazing adventures screamed for a screen treatment, but it wasn’t until 1975 that producer George Pal bought the character’s rights from Dent’s widow Norma and made DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE. Pal, whose credits include sci-fi classics like WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, WAR…
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“Fire, walk with me!”
— Leland/Bob (Ray Wise) in Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law”
Well, this is it.
This is the episode where the “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” storyline was finally resolved. So, let’s jump right into it:
Following the haunting opening credits, the show opens with a shot of the dead body of Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee), still wrapped in plastic. A flashlight shines on her face. It’s a very disturbing shot, for all the obvious reason. It is perhaps not a coincidence that this episode was directed by Tim Hunter, who previously directed River’s Edge, an entire movie that revolves around a lifeless body that is dumped next to a river.
This fades into a shot of Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), Harry (Michael Ontkean), Albert (Miguel Ferrer), and Hawk (Michael Horse). It’s the morning and they are walking through the woods. It’s an interestingly framed shot and the fact that it’s done in slow motion gives it a dream-like feel. It’s as if they’re four gunslingers walking towards some alien version of the O.K. Corral.
Albert is holding the letter “O” that was put underneath Maddy’s fingernail. Albert tells them what they already know. The same man who killed Laura also killed Maddy. White strands of fur, perhaps from a rug, where also found on Maddy’s body.
Harry says that they need to call Maddy’s family. “Leland should have their number…”
NO, HARRY, LELAND’S THE MURDERER!
Fortunately, Cooper speaks up. He asks Harry to give him 24 hours so that Cooper can “finish this.” Albert says that only Cooper knows where he’s going but that he needs to do whatever needs to be done “before this beast bites again.” Albert has such a way with words.
Cut to a restaurant that I don’t think we’ve seen before. Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) is sitting in a booth when James (James Marshall) comes to meet her. Wait — are Donna and James meeting somewhere other than the Double R or the Roadhouse!? Well, just stab Norma in the back, why don’t ya?
Anyway, James is all happy because he went for a drive on his motorcycle. He then gives Donna a ring and says that he just feels that they should be together all the time. Donna agrees but I have a feeling that this won’t last.
Meanwhile, at the Double R, Norma (Peggy Lipton) is probably wondering where Donna and James are. She’s also having to deal with Vivian (Jane Greer), who is eating her food and being just as critical as ever. Norma complains that nothing she does is ever good enough. Vivian, who is pretty obvious M.T. Wentz, gives Norma advice on how to make the perfect omelette.
Andy (Harry Goaz) eats a slice of pie and keeps repeating “I am a lonely soul,” in French. Donna and James walk up to him so I guess they were at the diner all the time. That’s weird because that booth that they were sitting in earlier looked nothing like anything we’ve ever seen in the Double R before. Anyway, they want to know what Andy’s talking about, like it’s any of their business. Andy tells Donna that he’s repeating the words of Harold Smith’s suicide note and that, of course, reminds Donna that she’s essentially responsible for Harold killing himself. Donna says that she needs to find Agent Cooper.
Apparently, she manages to do just that because, in the next scene, Donna is leading Cooper up to the house of Mrs. Tremond. Fortunately, for all of us who had forgotten, Donna explains that Mrs. Tremond told her about Harold Smith and, also, that Mr. Tremond had a strange grandson who performed magic and said the same French phrase — J’ai une âme solitaire — that Harold used in his suicide note. Donna says that the note had to be a message.
(Yes, Donna, the message was probably something like, “Someone who pretended to be my friend totally betrayed me and now I’m dead.”)
Reaching the Tremond House, Donna is shocked when the door is answered by a woman that she’s never seen before. Yes, the woman is named Mrs. Tremond. No, there is no old woman or little boy living in the house. However, this Mrs. Tremond does have an envelope that was left in her mailbox on the day that Harold killed himself. The envelope is addressed to Donna.
And what’s in the envelope? A page from Laura’s secret diary!
Laura wrote that, on February 22nd, she had a strange dream. She was sitting in a chair in a red room, with a small man (Michael Anderson) and an old man. Laura wanted to tell the old man who BOB was but she couldn’t make herself understood. Cooper realizes that he and Laura had the same dream! Laura also wrote that BOB was only scared of one man, a man named MIKE.
On February 23rd, Laura wrote, “Tonight is the night that I die. I know I have to because it’s the only way to keep BOB away from me.”
(If you’re not already totally disturbed by all this, just reminds yourself that Laura is writing about her father.)
Cooper goes to see MIKE (Al Strobel). Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) is there, which is not surprising since Doc Hayward appears to be everywhere. He explains that Gerard/MIKE is in pretty bad shape. Cooper asks how he can find BOB. MIKE says that Cooper must ask the Giant but he is not clear on just how exactly Cooper can find the Giant. MIKE tells Cooper that 1) he has all the clues that he needs and 2) Cooper has “so much responsibility.”
Cooper steps out into one of the Great Northern hallways and sees the old waiter (Hank Worden) carrying a tray that has one glass of milk on it. “I know about you,” the waiter says. “That milk’ll cool down on you but it’s getting warmer now.”
“Getting warmer now,” Cooper repeats before heading over to Ben’s office. Harry is in the process of searching Ben’s office and is super excited because he thinks that he’s found more evidence proving Ben’s guilt. Both Harry and Cooper notice the white fox rug, which would seem to indicate that Maddy was in Ben’s office.
“He killed Maddy here!” Harry says.
As if by magic, Albert pops up and reveals that Maddy died the night before last, between 10 pm and midnight. “That fits,” Harry said, “we didn’t take Ben in until after midnight…”
Cooper nods but you can tell he’s thinking, “Nope, the Giant would totally disagree with you on this point.”
At the Sheriff’s station, Andy approaches Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and says he wants to talk about “his” child. Not now, Andy! I mean, I think you and Lucy are a cute couple and all but there’s some important stuff going on….
In the holding cell, Ben (Ricard Beymer) is visited by Catherine (Piper Laurie), who is still poorly disguised as a Japanese man. (So, I guess anyone can just wander around the sheriff’s station whenever they feel like it?) Not realizing that he’s talking to Catherine, Ben says that he cannot proceed on the Ghostwood Estates deal until he gets a better lawyer and gets out of prison. Catherine then reveals her painted toenails and says that she intends to make the rest of Ben’s “pathetic existence” miserable. Ben signs over the mill and Ghostwood Estates to Catherine, hoping that she’ll give him an alibi for the night Laura was murdered. Catherine says she’ll consider it and then leaves.
(Silly Ben! You should have signed over the Mill first and then held off on Ghostwood until after Catherine talked to the Sheriff. Of course, if Twin Peaks took place today, DNA testing would have already gotten Ben out of jail.)
At the Palmer house, Leland (Ray Wise) greets Donna, who is dropping off a tape of a song that she and Maddy did with James. Donna is wearing a pair of Laura’s old sunglasses. She also lights a cigarette in the Palmer house. Donna’s the best!
Anyway, Donna tells Leland about Laura’s secret diary. Needless to say, Leland is disturbed by the news. Suddenly, he gets a call from Maddy’s mother. Maddy hasn’t shown up in Montana. As Donna listens, Leland says that he took Maddy down to the bus station.
After hanging up, Leland pops a stick of gum in his mouth and announces that Maddy never made it home. (“That gum you like is going to come back in style.”) Anyway, Donna is worried but Leland tells her not to worry. He goes over to a mirror and straightens his tie. BOB (Frank Silva) stares back at him.
Leland goes to get a glass of lemonade. When he returns, Donna is staring at all of the pictures of Laura on the mantle. Leland walks up behind her and — AGCK! — strokes her hair. He tells her that he knows the “cure for what ails you.” He puts some cocktail music on the phonograph and, suddenly, we’re no longer seeing Leland. Instead, we’re seeing BOB and he is pure nightmare fuel. However, Donna still just sees Leland acting like goofy old Leland.
Leland starts to dance with Donna in the middle of the living room but suddenly, he yanks her close to him and violently embraces her.
The doorbell rings. Leland goes to answer it, leaving a very shaken Donna. Fortunately, it’s Harry at the door. He explains that they need Leland’s help. There’s been another murder. Harry says he can’t go into specifics but he needs Leland to go with him. Leland and Harry leave and Donna is able to make her escape.
Donna meets with James at the park. (James rides up on his motorcycle and — well, I’ve defended James in the past but here, he just looks like kinda dorky. Sorry, James.) Donna tells James that Maddy’s dead.
“I gotta go,” James says, “Nothing matters. Nothing we do matters.”
Having discovered ennui, James jumps on her motorcycle and leaves Donna behind.
Night rolls in. Thunder. Lightning.
At the otherwise deserted Roadhouse, Ben sits in a booth. Cooper and Albert sit at the bar. Everything important happens at the Roadhouse, apparently.
Leland, escorted by Harry and Ed (Everett McGill), enters. After telling Leland that they are going to be meeting someone, perhaps the killer, Cooper has all the tables and chairs cleared off the floor. While this goes in, Hawk enters with the catatonic Leo (Eric Da Re) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook). Everyone who has been a serious suspect in the murder of Laura Palmer is now in the Roadhouse.
“Hail, hail,” Ben says, “the gang’s all here.”
Cooper then proceeds to do the Agatha Christie thing, announcing that the killer is someone in the room. He talks about his duty as a member of the FBI. He seeks simple answer to difficult questions. (Don’t we all?) Dale says that, after employing all of his other deductive techniques, he is going to try to something new. “For a lack of a better word,” he says, “magic.”
Suddenly, Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) shows up with the waiter. Major Briggs says that he was on his way home when the waiter flagged him down and asked for a ride to the roadhouse.
The waiter gives Cooper a stick of gum. Leland/BOB smiles and says, “I know that gum. I used to chew it when I was a kid.”
(That’s an interesting line, for many reasons. Last episode, Jerry wondered how he and Ben had grown up to be who they were. Leland is now talking about the gum that he used to chew as a child, which presumably would be the same time that BOB was living next door to his summer house. Throughout Twin Peaks, the innocence and hope of youth is contrasted with the dark secrets of adulthood.)
The waiter tells Leland that the gum is going to come back in style, which leads to several freeze frames. Time has stopped for everyone but Cooper, who is now seeing the Man from Another Place dancing in the room with the red curtains. Laura is whispering in Cooper’s ear but this time, he hears what she has to say. “My father killed me.” The Giant appears and hands the ring back to Cooper. The Giant vanishes.
“Ben Horne!” Cooper announces, “I would like you to accompany me back to the station! You might like to bring along Leland Palmer as your attorney.”
At the station, Ben is forcefully led to down to interrogation. Leland/BOB follows behind them. However, once they reach the interrogation room, Harry suddenly shoves Leland into the interrogation room, slamming and locking the door behind him.
Leland/BOB starts to howl like a wild animal while pounding on the walls. Cooper tells Hawk to release Ben.
“Leland?” a stunned Ben says.
“That’s not Leland,” Cooper says.
Cooper then explains that Laura told him that Leland killed her in a dream. Always the master of the understatement, Harry says, “We’re going to need stronger evidence than that.” That’s okay. Cooper’s sure that he can get a confession.
While Hawk aims a gun at Leland’s head, Cooper interrogates him. It quickly becomes obvious that Leland is now totally possessed by BOB. BOB taunts Cooper about something that happened in Pittsburgh and then says that Leland was a good ride but he’s too old and weak now. BOB says that it’s time to “shuffle off to Buffalo…”
(The implication, throughout both the show and the feature film that followed, is that Leland — as BOB — had been molesting Laura since she was a child. Since most child molesters were themselves molested as children, the suggestion that BOB used to live next door to Leland would suggest that BOB previously possessed someone who molested Leland. Twin Peaks has such a reputation for being a “strange” show that I think people overlook just how disturbing its portrait of the “perfect” family truly was.)
Having gotten their confession, Harry, Cooper, and Hawk leave Leland alone in the interrogation room.
Meanwhile, Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) shows up to see Andy and … no, I’m sorry. I love Andy and Lucy and I enjoy Ian Buchanan’s performance as the hilariously shallow Dick but now is not that time for the baby subplot. There’s some serious stuff going down with Leland/BOB right now…
(Lucy does say, “I’m going to keep my baby.” Papa don’t preach…I’m in trouble now…papa don’t preach…)
Outside the interrogation room, Cooper reveals that 1) Ben had the wrong blood type and 2) both Leland and the Man from Another Place danced. In other words, it’s a pretty good thing that they got that confession because I’m not sure dream dancing would hold up in court.
Uh-oh, Leland/BOB is shouting in the interrogation room. It’s the fire walk with me poem! That’s never good!
“I’LL CATCH YOU WITH MY DEATH BAG!” Leland/BOB shouts, “I WILL KILL AGAIN!”
Suddenly, the smoke detector goes off and the sprinklers come to life. With water raining down upon him, Leland/BOB rams his head into the door, leaving a mix of blood, skin, and probably brains behind.
Harry and Cooper rush into the room, to discover Leland lying on the floor, dying. Leland, who now seems to be Leland again, cries for his daughter and begs for forgiveness. Leland says that he saw BOB in a dream and that he invited BOB in. And when BOB “came inside” him, he made Leland kill Laura. As Leland died, Cooper tells him that it’s time to walk down the narrow path and enter the light. Leland says that he can see Laura and then dies.
(That may sound silly but I had tears in my eyes. MacLachlan and Wise are brilliant in this episode.)
We cut to daylight. Cooper, Harry, and Albert walk through the woods, where they run into Maj. Briggs. Harry says that Leland was insane but Albert argues that people actually did see BOB in visions.
Maj. Briggs says, “Gentlemen, there is more in Heaven and Earth, than is dreamt of in our philosophy.”
Harry says he’s having a hard time believing that BOB existed. Cooper asks — and this question gets to the heart of the David Lynch aesthetic — whether it’s any more comforting to believe that a man would, of his own free will, rape and murder his own daughter.
Major Briggs asks if it matter what causes evil. Cooper says that it does. “It’s our job to stop it.”
Albert suggests that BOB may have just been “the evil that men do.”
(Meanwhile, the spirit of Shakespeare looks up and says, “I sense that I am being quoted without attribution…”)
“Where’s BOB now?” Harry wonders.
Cut to an owl flying straight to the camera. End with a freeze frame!
Seriously, that was a great episode. I wonder how people reacted to it in 1990. From what I’ve read, a lot of people stopped watching before this episode, which is a shame.
Well, Laura’s murder has been solved. I guess the show’s over now. Thanks for reading everyone and…
Oh. Apparently, the show did go on and we’ve got 13 more episodes to review.
So, join us tomorrow for another review! And until then, why not check out the story so far:
Previous Entries in The TSL’s Look At Twin Peaks:
What do you think, Cooper?
“What I want and what I need are two different things, Audrey”
— Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time)
In anticipation of the Showtime revival in May, Leonard, Jeff, and I have been reviewing every single episode of the original Twin Peaks! Today, I will be taking a look at the 7th episode of season 1, “Realization Time.”
Now, I have to admit that I was not originally assigned to review this episode. Much as I did with Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer, I literally got down on my knees and begged for the chance to review this episode. Once again, as I explained why I felt that I was predestined to write this review, I shed many tears and threatened to utilize the power of excessive whining unless I allowed to do so. Eventually, it paid off.
Why did I want to review this episode? Well, first off, it’s a strong Audrey episode and, as I discovered while writing my previous Twin Peaks review, Audrey Horne is who I would be if I was a character on Twin Peaks. She is the character to whom I most relate.
(Audrey was such a popular character during the initial run of Twin Peaks that, apparently, Mulholland Drive was originally conceived as being a spin-off in which Audrey would have gone to Hollywood and solved crimes. In other words, no Audrey, no Mulholland Drive, no polls declaring Mulholland Drive to be the best film, so far, of the 21st century.)
Secondly, this was the final episode to feature Waldo the Myna Bird and I just happen to love the way that whenever Harry Goaz, in the role of Deputy Andy, said the name “Waldo,” he would drag out each syllable so that the bird’s name became “Walllll DOE.”
Anyway, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at Realization Time!
We start with those beautiful opening credits, that mix of machinery and nature that reminds us that Twin Peaks is a David Lynch production, even if this particular episode was directed by noted cinematographer Caleb Deschanel.
(Deschanel’s wife, Mary Jo, also played Ben Horne’s unhappy wife. Interestingly enough, in the 1983 best picture nominee The Right Suff , for which Caleb Deschanel received an Oscar nomination, Mary Jo played the wife of John Glenn.)
This episode opens where the last one left off. Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) is naked in Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) bed and Dale is explaining that he is an agent of the FBI and, as such, he has taken an oath to uphold certain principles. He tells Audrey that she needs a friend and he says he is going to get them two malts and that she is going to tell him all of her troubles.
This is one of those scenes — and there’s a lot of them to be found in the first season of Twin Peaks — that really shouldn’t work and yet it does. Everything about it, from Cooper’s corny sincerity to the promise of two malts, serves to remind us that Twin Peaks often has more in common with an idealized 1950s than with any recognizable modern era. I think that only Kyle MacLachlan could have made Cooper’s lines come across as being sincere as opposed to condescending. Being rejected by an older man who has just found you naked in his bed is not as pleasant experience as this episode makes it appear to be. And yet, Fenn and MacLachlan both do a great job at selling this scene.
And yet, there’s one key line in this scene that I think is often overlooked. When Audrey says that she can’t tell Cooper all of her secrets, she then asks him, “Do you have any secrets?” Cooper says, “No.” However, we know that’s a lie. We know because we saw the way that Cooper smiled when Laura kissed him in his dream. We know that Cooper is not the asexual puritan that he pretends to be. When Cooper says that there’s a difference between what he wants and what he needs, we perhaps understand his meaning more than he does.
We learn one of Cooper’s secrets the next morning when he shows up at the police station and discovers Harry (Michael Ontkean) and Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) looking in on Waldo the Myna Bird. Doc Hayward explains that myna bird’s have an amazing ability to mimic the human voice but they only do it when they’re feeling playful and Waldo is definitely not in the mood. He asks Cooper if he wants to give Waldo some food. Cooper replies, “I don’t like birds,” and steps back in such a dramatic fashion that you’re left wondering what terrible bird-related misfortune befell Cooper during his youth.
(Personally, I suspect this was meant to be yet another one of the first season’s many Hitchcock references. There’s a few more in this episode, which we’ll be getting too shortly.)
Don’t feel to bad for Waldo, though. While Dale, Hayward, and Harry are watching the bird, Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) enters with the forensic report on Jacques Renault’s cabin. There was only one exposed negative on the roll of film and it’s a picture of Waldo biting Laura Palmer’s shoulder. BAD WALDO!
Realizing that, regardless of how much he may hate birds, Waldo is the only witness they have, Dale leaves a voice-activated tape recorder at the base of Waldo’s cage. When Waldo speaks, they’ll have it on tape. Dale also suggests heading up to Canada and investigating One-Eyed Jacks. When Harry points out that he has no legal authority in Canada, Dale says, “That’s why I was thinking it would be a good job for the Bookhouse Boys.” Yay! Vigilante justice!
Last episode, Shelly (Madchen Amick) shot Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re) and we all cheered. Well, it turns out that Leo survived. He’s hanging out in the woods, watching his house through a pair of binoculars. That’s how he sees Bobby showing up at his house and Shelly greeting him with a kiss. It’s interesting to note that, when Shelly was talking about Leo in The One-Armed Man, she lamented that she only married him because of his red corvette. However, Bobby — who seems to be destined to grow up to be another Leo — drives a black corvette. Shelly needs to stop picking her men based on their car.
While Leo sits outside with a sniper rifle, a sobbing Shelly confessed to Bobby that she shot Leo. Shelly may be upset but Bobby thinks that all this sounds like a good thing. “Leo Johnson is history!” he declares. No, Bobby, Leo is sitting outside with a sniper rifle. Fortunately, for Bobby, Leo has a police scanner with him and he hears Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) announcing that Waldo has been talking. Leo gets into his pickup truck and drives off.
At the Hayward House, Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle), James (James Marshall), and Maddy (Sheryl Lee) listen to the tape that Maddy found in Laura’s room. It turns out to be one of several tapes that Laura recorded for Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn.) On the tape, Laura wonders why it’s so easy for her to get men to like her and, for a few minutes, I was worried that we’d have to deal with another “James-Gets-Weepy” scene. Fortunately, Maddy distracts him by pointing out that there’s one empty case in Laura’s collection of tapes. The missing tape was recorded the night that Laura was killed. James deduces that Jacoby must have it and that Jacoby might also be Laura’s killer. He comes up with a plan to get Jacoby out of his office so that he and Donna can search for the tape. What if Jacoby gets a call from Laura? Everyone looks over at Maddy.
At Horne’s Department Store, Audrey attempts to convince a customer to buy a perfume that will make her smell like a forest. Since most forests smell like death, the customer really isn’t interested. She wants a perfume that makes a statement. Audrey suggests hanging the perfume around her neck. “It’s a perfume. It’s a fashion accessory. Two statements for the price of one?” “I don’t appreciate your attitude,” the customer says. If only I had a dime for every time that I’ve heard that…
Anyway, Audrey isn’t really all that concerned about making sales. She’s got an investigation to conduct! This means hiding in the manager’s office and listening while he recruits one of Audrey’s co-workers to go work at One-Eyed Jack’s as a “hospitality girl.” The manager says that the co-worker’s positive and money-hungrey attitude will take her far in life. (It’s all about attitude at Horne’s Department Store.) Later, Audrey deftly manipulates that co-worker into giving her the number to One-Eyed Jacks. Audrey’s the best.
Meanwhile, at the Double R, Hank (Chris Mulkey) is working at his new job and boring Shelly with inspiring stories about his time in jail. Little does Shelly know that, before she shot Leo, Hank beat him up. They have something in common and personally, I think they’d make a cute couple. I mean, Hank may be sleazy but he’s so damn likable.
Of course, Harry doesn’t like Hank but that’s probably just because of all the drug dealing and other assorted crimes that Hank has committed. When Cooper and Harry stop by the diner, Harry tells Hank that if he misses one meeting with his parole officer, he’ll be sent back to jail. Harry tells Cooper that people never change but Cooper is too busy appreciating a cup of black coffee to worry about Hank Jennings. Cooper tells Harry that the secret of happy living is to give yourself a random present, like a good cup of coffee.
(It’s played for laughs but again, the important word to remember is secret. Twin Peaks is all about to secrets.)
At the Hurley House, Nadine (Wendy Robie) watches the latest episode of Invitation to Love. When Big Ed (Everett McGill) enters the room, Nadine announces that she’s eating bon bons because a patent attorney rejected her silent drape runners. Ed assures her, in one of my favorite lines ever, “Nadine, there’s plenty of patent attorneys. We’re just going to have to keep looking until we find one that understands drape runners.” McGill delivers that line with just the right amount of gravitas too. If I ever lose an eye and become obsessed with drapes, I hope my man will be as understanding as Big Ed Hurley.
At the Packard Mill, Pete Martell (Jack Nance) laments to Harry that a fish he recently caught was bigger before he sent it to the taxidermist. “Once they take all the innards out,” he explains, the fish loses something, a reminder that everything that makes existence interesting (in both Twin Peaks and life itself), lies directly under the surface.
Harry’s come to see Josie (Joan Chen). He knows that she was at the Timber Falls Motel on Tuesday but he doesn’t know why. (She was spying on Ben and Catherine.) At first, Josie lies and says she was at the mill on Tuesday but eventually, she reveals her secret. She also tells Harry that she heard Catherine talking about burning down the mill. Harry swears that he won’t let that happen.
Later, that night, Cooper, looking incredibly dashing in a tuxedo, is preparing to go to One-Eyed Jacks with Harry, Hawk, and Ed. Cooper has $10,000 of the FBI’s money for them to use in the casino. “Whenever I gamble with the bureau’s money, I like a 10 to 15% return,” he says. Cooper’s a gambler? Who would have guessed, especially since Cooper claimed to have no secrets?
Twin Peaks, like most of David Lynch’s films, borrowed a lot from classic film noir and nowhere is that more obvious than in the next scene. An insurance agent (Mark Lowenthal) had dropped in on Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie). The agent’s name is Mr. Neff, as in Walter Neff from Double Indemnity. He’s visiting because a life insurance policy has been taken out on Catherine by … Josie Packard! And, as Mr. Neff goes on to explain, it appears that Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) originally said that he would make sure that Catherine signed the papers! Apparently, thinking it was strange that Catherine would be “too busy” to appear in person to sign the policy, Mr. Neff held off on giving Josie and Ben the last page that needed to be signed. Catherine, realizing that she’s been set up, coolly says that she’ll have to look over the policy with her lawyer before signing anything. It’s a fascinating scene because both Catherine and Neff realize what’s happening but neither comes right out and says it. Apparently, this was Neff’s only appearance and that’s shame because Mark Lowenthal gives a fun, scene-stealing performance in the role.
Meanwhile, at the police station, Waldo the Myna Bird is feeling well enough to say, “Laura … Laura…” Suddenly, there’s a gunshot. Hawk, Dale, and Ed — who were busy trying on disguises in the next room — run into the conference room. Someone — and we know that had to be Leo because he was the one with the sniper rifle — has killed Waldo!
And I have to admit that I felt really bad about Waldo. The shot of Waldo’s blood dripping down on the uneaten conference room donuts is far more horrifying than you would think, based on the description. In just one and a half episodes, I had grown rather attached to Waldo. The fact that we know he was talking because he was finally feeling playful again makes his death all the more tragic. Andy, with tears in his eyes, reaffirms why he’s one of my favorite minor characters when he says, “Poor Wall-DOE!”
Dale listens to the tape. As Angelo Badalamenti’s somber music plays in the background, we hear Waldo say, “Laura! Laura! Don’t go there! Hurting me! Hurting me! Stop it! Stop it! Leo, no!” As the camera cuts between Dale and Harry listening to Waldo mimicking Laura’s death, I stopped to once again marvel at the genius of Twin Peaks. This scene should have been ludicrous. Instead, I’m getting teary-eyed just writing about it.
Leaving behind the unfortunate Waldo, we go to One-Eyed Jacks. Cooper and a bewigged Big Ed show up. (Cooper’s wearing a pair of glasses that look unbelievably adorable on him.) Blackie (Victoria Catlin) approaches them, which gives us a chance to witness flirtatious Cooper. On the one hand, flirtatious Cooper is specifically written to be kind of dorky. That’s just who Dale Cooper is. But, on the other hand, nothing he says is as dorky as the way Jerry and Ben Horne behaved when they visited One-Eyed Jacks in Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer. Cooper, at least, has the excuse of being undercover.
Blackie takes one look at Big Ed and announces, “You look like a cop.” Cooper smiles and says, “I’m the cop,” which leads to Blackie says that Dale looks like Cary Grant. Ironically, MacLachlan would play Cary Grant in the 2004 film, Touch of Pink.
Meanwhile, Maddy sneaks out of the Palmer House, barely noticed by Leland (Ray Wise), who is sitting in the shadows. It’s time for Operation Freak Out Jacoby and here’s where we get this episode’s other big Hitchock reference. In order to fool Jacoby, Maddy has not only taken off her oversized glasses but she’s also put on Laura’s clothes and is now wearing a blonde wig. Now is as good a time as any to point out that Madeleine Ferguson’s name comes from Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a film that starred Kim Novak as Madeleine and Jimmy Stewart as Scottie Ferguson. In Vertigo, of course, Novak played two roles, just as Sheryl Lee does here. In Vertigo, Novak was used to trick Jimmy Stewart into believing the woman he loved was still alive. Essentially, that’s the same thing that James and Donna are planning to use Maddy to do to Jacoby.
Back at the Great Northern, Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) and Ben (Richard Beymer) are partying with the Icelandic businesspeople. (Iceland appears to be full of a lot of fun people.) Jerry is enraptured with the Icelandic people but Ben is more concerned about getting the contracts signed. It turns out that the Icelanders only want to sign the contracts if they can do it at One-Eyed Jacks. Ben agrees and then sends Jerry out of the office so that he can call Josie. Apparently, the plan is to kill Catherine in the fire that Ben hired Leo to set.
It turns out that Ben and Jerry are not the only Hornes heading to One-Eyed Jacks, Audrey has already arrived and is meeting with Blackie. As soon as Audrey enters Blackie’s office, we immediately notice all of the red curtains. That’s never a good sign. Audrey hands Blackie her resume. “Hester Prynne,” Blackie says, as she looks the resume over, “Pretty name.”
Audrey has made the mistake of claiming to have worked extensively in Canada. When Blackie started to quiz Audrey about where specifically she had worked, I yelled, “Degrassi! Say Degrassi!” (Later I realized that was foolish on my part, as Twin Peaks predates Degrassi by over a decade,) Instead, Audrey makes the mistake of mentioning an obviously fake “dude ranch,” (which I guess is where they grow dudes because I’ve never quite understood that term) and answers a question that Blackie asks about someone named Big Amos.
Big mistake. It turns out that Big Amos is a dog and Blackie read The Scarlet Letter in Canadian high school.
(That said, borrowing the name of a Nathaniel Hawthorne heroine is such an Audrey thing to do that it automatically becomes the greatest thing ever.)
Blackie asks Audrey for one good reason not to kick her out. Fortunately, there’s a cheery nearby so that Audrey can take it, eat it, and then use her tongue to tie the stem in a knot. (Before anyone asks, despite having a very flexible tongue, I cannot do that. However, neither can Sherilyn Fenn. Apparent, she already had a pre-tied stem in her mouth when they shot the scene.) Audrey has the job, which — considering how much her father and uncle love visiting One-Eyed Jacks — has the potential to be all sorts of creepy.
Inside the casino, Dale is playing blackjack, His original Jamaican dealer goes on break and is replaced by … JACQUES RENAULT (Walter Olkewicz).
At Jacoby’s office, the good doctor (Russ Tamblyn) is watching Invitation to Love because, apparently, that’s the only show that plays on Twin Peaks television. When the phone rings, the Hawaii-obsessed Jacoby answers with a somewhat perfunctory, “Aloha.” (In my experiences, a true Hawaiian can make even the most somber “Aloha” sound like an invitation to the greatest party ever.) On the other end, Maddy pretends to be Laura. She tells Jacoby to go to his door. “There’s something waiting for you.”
And indeed there is! A VHS tape has been left outside Jacoby’s office. The tape features Maddy (as Laura) holding that day’s newspaper. From the payphone, Maddy tells Jacoby to “Meet me at Sparkwood and 21 in ten minutes.”
(Everything in the town of Twin Peaks revolves around wood, both figuratively and literally.)
What James, Maddy, and Donna don’t realize is that they’re being followed by Bobby, who is just as shocked as Jacoby to see “Laura” apparently alive. (Now is as good a time as any to, once again, point out that Laura was named after the title character from Otto Preminger’s Laura, a film noir about a woman who is incorrectly believed to be dead.)
When Jacoby runs off to find “Laura,” James and Donna sneak into his office. Meanwhile, Bobby plants cocaine in James’s motorcycle. As for Maddy, she hangs out around the gazebo, little realizing that someone is watching her from behind the trees…
What a great episode! Tomorrow, Leonard looks at the finale of season 1!
By the way, if you want even more Lynch, be sure to check out Gary’s review of three of Lynch’s short films and Val’s look at a music video that was made for one of Lynch’s songs.
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“She said that people tried to be good. But they were really sick and rotten on the inside, her most of all. And every time she tried to make the world a better place, something terrible came up inside her and pulled her back down into hell, and took her deeper and deeper into the blackest nightmare. Each time it got harder to go back up to the light.”
— Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) in Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams”
Hi, everyone! Well, though it wasn’t specifically planned, we’ve got a bit of David Lynch festival going on here at the site. Not only are Leonard, Jeff, and I reviewing every single episode of Twin Peaks (in anticipation of next month’s Showtime revival) but right now, Jeff is focusing on movies with a Twin Peaks connection for his Movie A Day feature and Val is currently highlighting the various music videos that Lynch has directed over his career. And, while we’re on the topic, Erin put together an artist profile for David Lynch a few years back. Be sure to check them all out if you haven’t already!
As for the sixth episode of Twin Peaks, I have to admit that I was really excited when I saw that it was called “Cooper’s Dreams.” OH MY GOD, I thought, MORE DREAMS! YAY! So, you can imagine my surprise when I watched the episode and Cooper did not have a dream. Apparently, David Lynch and Mark Frost made the specific decision not to title any of their episodes. Instead, they just called them “Episode 5,” “Episode 6,” and so on. It was ABC that assigned and came up with the title for each episode. Some the titles they came up with were pretty good. (I will always love the sound of Zen, Or the Skill To Catch a Killer.) Other titles, like “Cooper’s Dreams,” were just kind of there.
(That said, the title isn’t totally random. It does ultimately work for this episode.)
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at Cooper’s Dreams!
We open with the opening credits. Yes, I know that’s redundant but I will always mention the opening credits because I love them so much. After watching the opening credits, you literally feel like you could step outside and find yourself in the town of Twin Peaks. They are quite simply amazing.
The show begins with a shot of a blood-red full moon, the same moon that hung over the end of the previous episode. On the soundtrack, we hear singing. Lots and lots of singing. It turns out that there’s a bunch of drunk businessmen from Iceland at the Great Northern and they’re currently celebrating some sort of beer holiday. They’ve managed to wake up Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). For the first time since the series began, we get to see Dale actually peeved about something and it’s a wonderfully funny moment, even though it is also used to highlight one of the key themes in the series. Grabbing his tape recorder, Cooper announces that this proves that “once a traveler leaves home, he has lost 100% of his ability to control his environment.” The inability to control a previously undiscovered and unknown environment is, in many ways, the engine that keeps this show moving.
Why are the Icelandic businessmen at the hotel? Again, it has to do with the Horne Brothers and their attempts to try to attract developers to the town. Since their deal with the Norwegians fell through, Ben (Richard Beymer) and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) have moved on to Iceland. When I reviewed the pilot, I speculated that the Norwegians were meant to be a reference to Henrik Ibsen, who was the David Lynch of his day. However, after doing hours of research, I honestly can’t come up with any subtext to the use of Iceland in this episode. My best guess, quite frankly, is that no one ever expects a bunch of Icelandic businessmen to show up at a hotel in upstate Washington.
The next morning, a grouchy Agent Cooper drinks coffee and complains to his waitress about his lack of sleep. Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) sits down at his table and tells him that she’s gotten a job at her father’s store and wonders if she could help Cooper investigate Laura’s death.
“When I was your age, Wednesday was traditionally a school day,” Cooper says, reminding us all that he’s essentially a man out of time.
Audrey picks up on this, telling him that she finds it hard to believe that Cooper was ever her age. She then mentions that she’s 18. In other words, perfectly legal.
In his office, Ben talks to Jerry. Jerry is super excited, as usual. Ben is worried about business, as usual. Jerry announces that the Icelanders are “insane for the Ghostwood Estate projects!” (The name Ghostwood is interesting, considering that the woods around Twin Peaks appear to be literally haunted.) Ben and Jerry’s celebration is interrupted by the arrival of Leland Palmer (Ray Wise). As usual, Leland is distraught. He says that, as Ben’s attorney, he needs to be a part of the Iceland deal. Obviously, neither Ben nor Jerry want him freaking out the Icelandic businessmen with talk of his dead daughter and they both try to convince him to go on a trip somewhere. While Leland sobs, another Icelandic drinking song begins in the background. Of all the characters on Twin Peaks, Leland’s grief is always the most raw. While we’re not surprised by the venality of the Horne brothers, even sympathetic characters rarely seem to know how to respond to Leland.
(Of course, there’s a deeper and more disturbing reason behind Leland’s breakdown but that will have to wait for a later review.)
As I watched this scene unfold, I once again found myself thinking about how impressive the production design of Twin Peaks was. I really love Ben’s all-wood office. Even Ben’s nameplate is carved out of wood.
Meanwhile, at Jacques Renault’s apartment, the investigation continues. Harry (Michael Ontkean) tells Dale that Renault can’t be found and neither can his brother, Bernie. Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) confirms that the blood found on Leo’s shirt was not Laura Palmer’s. Instead, it was Jacques Renault’s. Dale isn’t surprised by any of this. Instead, he’s more interested in the copy of Flesh World that Jacques had hidden up in his ceiling. Flesh World was the magazine that featured both a “personal ad” from Ronette Pulaski and a picture of Leo Johnson’s truck. This copy of Flesh World contains a letter that was mailed to Ronette from Georgia. The letter comes with a picture of a bearded man wearing a blue night gown. “That’s no Georgia peach,” Harry says.
Oh, Harry. Never change.
Back the Johnson House, Shelly (Madchen Amick) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) are playing with her pistol and role playing various scenarios that involve forcing Leo to cook before shooting him. At the risk of being unpopular, I have to admit that I really like Shelly and Bobby as a couple. Yes, they’re both unlikable and sleazy and they’re both trying way too hard to frame Leo for Laura’s murder. But, even with all that in mind, they just seem like they belong together. Maybe it’s just because they’re both so pretty. Who knows?
Shelly and Bobby’s fun gets interrupted twice. First, Andy (Harry Goaz) drops by and, while Bobby hides, Shelly says that she overheard Leo having an argument with Jacques. Immediately after Andy leaves, Leo calls. Leo wants to know if anyone’s looking for him. Shelly assures him that no one is and begs him to hurry on home, all the while staring down at the gun in her hand.
Meanwhile, Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Ed (Everett McGill) are having relationship drama of their own. Norma stops by the auto yard to tell Ed that Hank’s (Chris Mulkey) gotten parole and is coming home. Ed mentions that Nadine (Wendy Robie) is meeting with a patent lawyer. “The silent drape runners?” Norma asks. I don’t know what Norma’s being so snarky about. Silent drape runners sound like a great invention to me! Anyway, Ed and Norma decide to give up on their relationship. The scene veers a bit too close to getting a bit too mawkish but Angelo Badalamenti’s theme music saves it.
At Horne’s Department Store, the manager makes the mistake of trying to assign Audey to a position other than the perfume counter. Audrey replies that if she doesn’t get to work where she wants to work, she’s going to rip her dress, scream, and tell everyone that he made a pass at her. Perfume counter it is!
Meanwhile, Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) meets James Hurley (James Marshall) at a lakeside gazebo and, as I watched them talk, I found myself wondering if maybe Cooper didn’t have a point earlier. Audrey’s at the department store, blackmailing her way to a sales job. Bobby is playing with Shelley. James and Donna are at the gazebo. Does anyone in this town go to school!? I guess Mike (Gary Hershberger) is probably there, pushing freshmen into lockers and leering at cheerleaders. But otherwise, Twin Peaks High School is probably close to being deserted by this point.
Anyway, James tells Donna that his father was a musician and his mother was a writer and that neither one of them was a good parent. He wants his relationship with Donna to be an honest relationship. In my research of this show, I’ve seen a lot of criticism of James Marshall’s performance in the role of James Hurley. Personally, I think Marshall did the best that he could do with a character who tended to be a bit of a drag. All things considered, James Hurley could be a little bit whiny. I mean, yes, his parents sucked. But his uncle is willing to do anything for him. His beautiful girlfriend may have been murdered but now he has a new beautiful girlfriend. Nobody thinks that he murdered Laura. And he apparently never has to actually go to school. Cheer up, James!
(I read an interesting interview with James Marshall where he said that James Hurley started out as the cool James Dean of Rebel Without A Cause, just to become the weepy James Dean of East of Eden. That’s the perfect way to put it so give Marshall some credit for that.)
Back at Jacques’s apartment, we’re reminded why the police are too busy to enforce the truancy laws. They’ve got a murder to solve! Searching the apartment, Dale finds pictures of a cabin that has red curtains (just like the curtains from his dream). He realizes that the curtains are also visible in one of the personal ads in Flesh World, an ad that, like Ronette’s, was apparently placed by Jacques Renault. Though her face isn’t visible, Dale deduces that the picture with the red curtains features Laura Palmer. Hawk (Michael Horse) mentions that the Renault brothers have a cabin on the border. Dale suggests that everyone pack a lunch and prepare for a walk around the woods.
(I have to admit that, during this scene, I kept getting distracted by the painting of a sad clown hanging on the wall. I found myself wondering it was the same sad clown who used to show up whenever I would play The Sims. I hated that clown and, whenever he would show up, I would always lead him into a room with a fireplace, delete the door, place a dozen rubber trees in front of the fireplace, and then light a fire. You do what you have to do when it comes to sad clowns.)
At the Double R Diner, James and Donna have a meeting with Maddy (Sheryl Lee) and her oversized red glasses. Maddy is one of those characters who I always struggle with. She is way too cheerful for own good but I think that may have been intentional. Whenever she smiles and innocently says that everyone says that she and Laura were exactly alike, it’s a reminder that Laura Palmer was not at all who people thought she was. Laura was, to quote the Man From Another Place, full of secrets. Cheerful, happy Maddy is who everyone assumed Laura was but Maddy is also never as interesting a character as Laura was. Maddy’s fatal flaw will ultimately prove to be that she has no secrets and therefore, no understanding of just how dangerous the world can be. Anyway, Donna and James tells Maddy that they want to solve Laura’s murder. Maddy agrees to help.
Far more interesting is the interaction between Hank and Norma. Having just gotten out of jail, Hank is hanging out at the diner when Norma and Shelly come in. Both Norma and Shelly have gotten makeovers and now look like they should be posing for Diane Arbus. Hank tells Norma that he won’t try to kiss her. He wants to earn his place back in her heart. Even though I know Hank’s a bad guy, Chris Mulkey gives such a charming performance that I can’t help but like him.
Meanwhile, it’s family counseling with the Briggs family! Bobby, his military father (Don S. Davis), and his cross-wearing mother (Charlotte Stewart) are meeting with Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn). Jacoby is wearing a tie with a turtle neck sweater. Let that sink in.
Despite Jacoby’s sartorial missteps, this is one of the best scenes in the entire episode. Jacoby sends Maj. and Mrs. Briggs out of the office and has a one-on-one discussing with Bobby. As they talk, it becomes apparent that Jacoby’s main interest is in finding out about Bobby’s relationship with Laura. Because Jacoby was secretly treating Laura, he knows exactly what to ask Bobby to get a reaction. Jacoby is not only investigating Laura’s death but he’s also taunting a romantic rival and, ultimately, actually helping Bobby have a breakthrough. For the first time, Bobby cries and shows some sign that he actually has human feelings. Both Tamblyn and Ashbrook give amazing performances in this scene.
In the woods, Cooper, Harry, Hawk, and Doc Hayward (who I guess is some sort of cop now) search for the cabin. They find a cabin but it’s not the cabin that they’re looking for. Instead, it belongs to … THE LOG LADY (Catherine E. Coulson). YAY! The Log Lady will explain everything.
“Come on in,” The Log Lady says, “My log does not judge.”
Inside the cabin, the Log Lady adds, “Shut your eyes and you’ll burst into flame.”
“Thanks, Margaret,” Harry replies.
The Log Lady, who wears the same oversized red glasses as Maddy, says that 1) they’re two days late and 2) that her log saw something significant. The Log Lady assures her log that she’ll do the talking and then says that, the night Laura Palmer was murdered, the log was aware of many things. The owls were flying. There were two men. There was much laughing. Two girls. A flashlight passing the bridge. “The owls were near,” the Log Lady says, “the dark was pressing in on her.” Eventually, the owls were silent.
After leaving the Log Lady, Dale says that the two girls were Ronette and Laura. And the two men? Jacques and Leo? Or could it be that the two men are symbols of something far more disturbing?
The group finally comes across the cabin with red curtains. Inside,a record player plays the haunting sound of Julie Cruise singing about the night and Dale remembers the Man from Another Place saying that, where he and Laura are from, there’s always music in the air. There’s no sign of Jacques but there is a camera. And a myna bird named Waldo.
According to the Netflix subtitles, the next scene begins with people “Singing Home On The Range In Icelandic.” We’re back at the Great Northern Hotel. Like a femme fatale in a film noir, Josie (Joan Chen) sits in the shadows of an office and smokes a cigarette.
Meanwhile, in the Great Timber Room (everything’s about wood), a reception is being held for the Icelandic businessmen. The Horne Brothers have invited the best and brightest of Twin Peaks. Catherine (Piper Laurie) and Pete (Jack Nance) show up. Jack tells Catherine to go easy on the alcohol so Catherine immediately orders a drink.
Ben talks to the businessmen. He says, “What do you get when you cross a Norwegian with a Swede? A socialist who wants to be king!” I’ll be sure to remember that joke in case I ever find myself trapped in an elevator with a Bernie Sanders supporter.
Catherine and Ben meet in Ben’s office, little realizing that they’re being watched by Audrey. Apparently, the Great Northern is full of secret passages and Audrey, being a badass, knows about every single one of them. But even beyond the fun of a secret passage, this gets back to something that I’ve been saying since my very first review of Twin Peaks. This show is about the unknown that lies underneath the facade of normalcy. Just as it’s inevitable that Laura Palmer would be full of secrets, it’s inevitable that the all-wood Great Northern would be full of secret passages.
(The scene of Audrey crouches in front of a peephole also is a nice visual shout out to Psycho.)
Audrey discovers that Catherine is upset because Ben had a poker chip from One-Eyed Jacks in his suit. Audrey’s smile as she watches Catherine slap Ben is one of the main reasons why I relate so much to Audrey. Like me, she loves to observe the melodrama while, at the same time, remaining slightly detached from what’s actually happening. By observing through a peephole, she mimics what every viewer is doing while they watch Twin Peaks unfold on a screen, regardless of whether that screen belongs to a TV, a laptop, or a phone. Audrey is the audience. She loves Cooper because, in the tradition of Gary Cooper, he’s the perfect cinematic hero and the audience always loves the hero. She wants to know who killed Laura less out of a sense of justice more out of a need for the story she’s watching to have a proper conclusion. Audiences always demand a perfect and proper conclusion.
Uh-oh, Leland’s shown up at the party! And he’s dancing! And sobbing! Catherine runs out onto the dance floor and starts to dance with him, a big smile plastered across her face. When Leland starts to pound his fists against his head, Catherine mimics him but she does it with a smile. The Icelandic visitors start to dance as well. Soon everyone is beating their head and laughing, except for Leland who is still sobbing. It’s a whole new party and again, as always, Leland is pushed to the side. Significantly, it is Audrey — who was so detached just a few minutes ago — who watches Leland and starts to cry. Again, she is the audience, suddenly touched by Leland’s plight. She alone understands the scene that she’s watching. This scene is Twin Peaks at its absolute best, a combination of raw emotion and painfully dark comedy.
At the Palmer House, Maddy calls Donna that she found an audio tape in Laura’s bedroom. They agree to meet tomorrow and listen to it. Sure, why not? What else are they going to do? Go to school?
Back at the Great Northern, Ben is having a secret meeting with … JOSIE PACKARD! OH MY GOD, COULD IT BE JOSIE IS NOT AN INNOCENT AS WE ALL THOUGHT? Well, yeah. It’s Twin Peaks after all.
At the Johnson House, Leo finally returns. First Hank shows up and beat him up, yelling at him for mismanaging their drug business. When Leo tries to take it out on Shelly, she shoots him. Good for Shelly.
Dale finally arrives back at his room. He’s annoyed to hear that the Icelandic singing is still continuing. He’s even more annoyed when he realizes that someone is waiting for him in his dark room. He draws his gun. “Turn on the light!” he announces.
The light comes on and … there’s a naked Audrey in his bed! “Please, don’t make me leave,” she says.
With that, the episode ends. This is one of those episodes that starts out a little bit slow but, by the end, it actually becomes a classic. Between the Jacoby therapy session, the meeting with the Log Lady, and Leland’s dance, this was ultimately Twin Peaks at its best.
Up next: “Realization Time”
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It’s all about team work.
Aren’t Lisa and Leonard doing a great job with their Twin Peaks reviews? Yesterday, I was reading Leonard’s review of Rest In Pain and I immediately thought to myself, “I’m going to have to up my game if I want to keep up.” That’s what team work does. It challenges you to work harder and hopefully, it makes you better at whatever it is that you do.
For instance, Twin Peaks is usually thought of as being the “David Lynch show” but actually, there were several different creative voices involved and all of them left their mark on the series. The show was co-created by veteran TV writer, Mark Frost (whose father, Warren Frost, played Doc Hayward). Many of the show’s scripts are credited to Harley Peyton, who also wrote the film version of Less Than Zero. Even Jerry Stahl, of Permanent Midnight fame, is credited with writing an episode. While Twin Peaks had an easily identifiable style, only six of its 30 episodes were actually directed by David Lynch. The other episodes were directed by directors like Uli Edel, Todd Holland, and Caleb Deschanel. Even Diane Keaton directed an episode during season 2. All of them brought their own talents and perspectives to this show and upped their game.
Episode 5, “The One-Armed Man,” was written by Robert Engels and directed by Tim Hunter. Hunter, who directed two more episodes during the show’s second season, is best known for two sensitive films that he made about teenagers, Tex and River’s Edge. Of the two, the surreal River’s Edge (which features Dennis Hopper playing a one-legged drug dealer who lives with a sex doll) feels the closest to Twin Peaks.
Episode Five opens with Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) giving a description of Killer BOB (Frank Silva) to Harry (Michael Ontkean) and Andy (Harry Goaz) while Doc Hayward and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) listen. When Leland (Ray Wise) wanders into the room and taunts Sarah about having had two visions, Sarah talks about seeing someone digging up Laura’s necklace, making Donna uncomfortable since she’s the one who buried it in the first place.
(Whenever I see Grace Zabriskie and Warren Frost play a scene together, I am reminded of their later work on Seinfeld, where they played the bitter parents of Susan Ross and Mr. Ross was revealed to have been a former lover of John Cheever.)
Back at the police station, there’s a happening. Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) is caught up in the latest episode of Invitation to Love, where the storyline seems to parallel the efforts of Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) and Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) to run Josie (Joan Chen) out of business. FBI Director Gordon Cole (voiced by David Lynch, himself) calls in to let them know that Albert has discovered that Laura Palmer was bound by household twine and that the marks on her shoulder came from a bird. When Harry and Andy show Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) the sketch of BOB, Cooper identifies him as one of the men from his dream.
Dale also finally interviews everyone’s favorite psychiatrist, Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn). Jacoby tries to beat Cooper at his own game, speaking in riddles and comparing the people of Tibet with the native Hawaiians. Jacoby says that, when it comes to Laura, he can not violate doctor-patient confidentiality but he does share that “Laura was a woman” surrounded by boys and that, on the night Laura was murdered, he was following one of the men that Laura had told him about. When Jacoby says that the man drove a red corvette, both Harry and Dale realize that he is talking about Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re).
Lucy interrupts to let Dale and Harry know that Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) has just called. He has tracked down MIKE, the one-armed man!
At the Timber Falls Motel, Ben and Catherine are having another tryst and discussing their plans for setting the mill on fire and forcing Josie into bankruptcy. What they do not know is that Josie is sitting outside in her car, taking pictures.
The Timber Falls Motel is also the current home of the one-armed man and, as Harry, Andy, and Dale pull up, they are met by Hawk who tells them that the man is in room 101 and that his full name is Philip Michael Gerard. (The One-Armed Man shares his name with Richard Kimble’s relentless pursuer on The Fugitive, a show that itself centered around the search for a one-armed man. This episode aired years before the film version and Tommy Lee Jones reintroduced the world to the character.)
Andy has a Barney Fife moment when, standing outside of Room 101, he accidentally drops his gun and it goes off. (“Gunplay,” Catherine says in her cabin, “Sounds serious.”) When not even the sound of gunfire can get Gerard to open the door, Harry and Dale kick it in and discover their one-armed man stepping out of the shower.
Looking at a the drawing of BOB, Gerard says that he has never seen him before but that he does “look like someone.” When Cooper asks if he has a friend named Bob, the one-armed man replies, “Bob Lydecker is just about my best friend in the world.” He says that he’s been at the hospital because Bob, who is apparently the “best veterinarian in the county,” is in a coma. Gerard is a traveling salesman, selling shoes. He says that he lost his arm in a car accident. He admits that he did have a tattoo on the arm that he lost. In tears, he says that the tattoo said, “Mom.”
Al Strobel was a real-life amputee whose cameo in the pilot, riding in an elevator with Cooper and Harry, was originally meant to be his only appearance, a one-time homage to The Fugitive. Lynch was so impressed with Strobel that he filmed some additional scenes with him that were used in the version of the pilot that was released theatrically in Europe. (Those scenes were later incorporated into Cooper’s dream.) In this episode, Strobel gives a memorable performance that justifies Lynch’s decision to expand his role.
At the high school, Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) is smoking in the girl’s room and begging Donna to help her investigate Laura’s murder. Audrey says that if she can solve the murder then maybe Dale will take her away with him. When Audrey mentions One-Eyed Jacks, Donna proves herself to be just as crushworthy as Audrey by replying, “Isn’t that a western with Marlon Brando?” Considering that One-Eyed Jacks was a box office flop that was released years before she was born, Donna’s knowledge of Marlon Brando’s filmography is truly impressive.
At the prison, Norma (Peggy Lipton) promises the parole board that, if Hank (Chris Mulkey) is released, she will give him a job at the diner and they will live together as “husband and wife.” That will be interesting considering that Norma is now having an affair with Hank’s former best friend, Ed Hurley (Everett McGill.)
Meanwhile, Dale, Harry, Andy, and Hawk have pulled up in front of Dr. Bob Lydecker’s vet clinic. Hawk immediately high-fives a biker. Harry pets a little girl’s rabbit. Cooper notices that a convenience store is right next to the clinic and sends Andy, who is still shaken up from nearly shooting himself, to discover whether the store sells the type of twine that was used on Laura.
Inside the clinic, Dr. Lydecker’s receptionist says that the sketch of Killer BOB looks nothing like the good doctor. As a woman leads a llama through the waiting room, Dale asks whether Lydecker had any bird patients. As Cooper explains to Harry, “The bird that attacked Laura Palmer is a client of this office!”
Meanwhile, back at the Johnson House, Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) is fooling around with Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook). Shelly says that Bobby’s outburst at the funeral really turned her on. Bobby says that he’s going to “fix” James Hurley. “Fix me first,” Shelley replies. Bobby asks when Leo’s coming back and Shelly says that Leo will be gone for hours. Whenever Shelly says that Leo won’t be back for a while, that is usually Leo’s cue to kick open the door and start yelling.
However, that does not happen this time. For once, Leo does not show up. According to Shelly, he is with “creepy Jacques, that Canuck who works at the Roadhouse.” Realizing that Jacques must be the one supplying Leo with cocaine, Bobby does his innocent act. He says that he knows that Leo has been selling drugs at the high school, maybe even to Laura. Now, if only he can find evidence linking Leo to Laura, maybe they can get Leo out of their lives forever. Shelly helps out by showing Bobby the bloody shirt that she found in Leo’s truck. She also shows Bobby the gun that she just bought and she asks Bobby to show her how it works. Hopefully, Bobby’s better with a gun than Andy.
Speaking of which, Andy is still feeling upset over nearly shooting himself so, back at the police station, Andy, Cooper, Harry, and Hawk gather at the shooting range for some gunfire and male bonding. They all agree that women cannot be understood and they all marvel over Dale’s marksmanship. Not only does Dale do dream interpretation but he can shoot a man in the nostrils.
At the diner, Norma thanks a man named Toad for his tip. When Shelly comes in, they bond over their shared experience of being married to loser drug dealers. Shelly says that she’s ready to get rid of Leo but, after seeing him at the parole hearing, Norma is now less sure about her plan to divorce Hank and marry Big Ed. She is even more unsure after she gets a phone call telling her that Hank got his parole. He is coming home.
Meanwhile, Ed’s nephew, James (James Marshall), is using the diner’s payphone (remember those?) to call Donna. However, James is distracted when Maddy (Sheryl Lee), Laura’s look-alike cousin, walks into the diner. After James approaches her, Maddy explains that she and Laura used to be close but had recently drifted apart. Maddy says that she lives in Missoula, Montana. Missoula just happens to be the birthplace of David Lynch.
Meanwhile, at the Great Northern, Audrey deftly manipulates her father into giving her a job working at the perfume counter at Horne’s Department Store. Audrey says that it is because she wants to learn the family business but actually, it’s because both Laura and Ronette Pulaski also worked at the perfume counter. Ben agrees and then leaves so that he can hire Leo Johnson to burn down the Packard Mill. Who suggested Leo to Ben? Hank Jennings!
At the police station, Cooper, Harry, and Andy pour over the files on all of the birds treated by Dr. Lydecker. Albert faxes over a reconstruction of a poker chip from One-Eyed Jacks that was found in Laura’s stomach, along with the information that the bird bites on Laura’s shoulder came from a mynah bird. At the exact moment, Andy redeems himself by announcing that Jacques Renault owns a mynah bird named Waldo.
When the police show up at Jacques’s apartment, Jacques is not there. However, Bobby Briggs is. Bobby runs as soon as the police arrive and manages to escape out a back window. (Assuming that Bobby is Briggs, Hawk gives chase but loses him in the woods.) Cooper finds what Bobby was planting the apartment, Leo’s bloody shirt.
In the woods, Donna and James go to the location where Donna buried the necklace and discover that Sarah Palmer’s vision was correct. Someone followed them and dug up the necklace. Donna and James agree they have to solve the murder and share a kiss while an owl watches above.
At the mill, Pete (Jack Nance) asks Josie if she would consider entering a fishing competition with him. Josie and Pete? That would be an interesting match. But Josie soon has more to worry about, after she receives a drawing of a domino in the mail. No sooner has she looked at the drawing then she gets a phone call from a man asking her if she got his message.
Who is on the other line?
The suddenly very important Hank Jennings!
“The One-Armed Man” is a good episode, one that moves the story forward, introduces some new mysteries, and justifies that faith that David Lynch put into collaborators like Tim Hunter and Al Strobel. As I said at the start of this review, it’s all about team work.
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David Lynch loves Dreams.
Whether it’s the nightmare of losing a loved one in Lost Highway, the dreams of being more than what you are in Dune, or the waking nightmare waiting around the corner of a diner in Mulholland Drive, Lynch has always managed to have a dream sequence be a story driving medium. So, with Episode 3’s fantastic ending, we’re left with some major clues to the truth if they can be deciphered. Imagine living in an age before cell phones and Twitter. An episode like that comes on and the moment you arrive at your workplace (or school), the first conversation on everyone’s lips is “What the heck was that?!” While I don’t quite recall how big the impact was, Twin Peaks was a highly talked about show for its time. A cliffhanger like that was pretty daring, particularly for being only the third episode.
Episode Four, “Rest in Pain” opens at the lodge, with Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) waiting for Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) to make an appearance. She obviously has a crush on him, and he asks her to join him for breakfast. Though she’s unable to stay for long, Audrey explains that she was the one who left the “Jack with One Eye” note under Cooper’s door. Telling him that Jack’s is something like a brothel (“Men go there….women work there.”), they’re able to piece together that both Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine) worked for Audrey’s dad at the perfume counter of his store. Is there a connection between the two locales? Before they can elaborate any further, Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) enter the dining hall, causing Audrey to excuse herself at Cooper’s suggestion.
Cooper welcomes his companions and gleefully orders a short stack of griddle cakes, which sounds really good. Now comes the question that has everyone leaning forward in their seats with anticipation. When asked who killed Laura Palmer, Cooper goes over the dream from the night before – of Mike and Bob with the “Fire…Walk With Me” tattoo, the backwards speaking midget (Michael Anderson, Carnivale) and his cousin who looks a lot like Laura. This red room dream sequence may be extra important to the Revival, as it takes 25 years into the future. The cousin mentions she’s filled with secrets and that sometimes, her arms bend back. Additionally, where she’s from, the birds sing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air. The woman whispers the name of Laura’s killer….but Cooper is unable to remember what she said to him.
Dammit, Cooper. You’re an FBI agent, how could you forget something as important as that?!
This, of course, is a good thing, because we really can’t have the mystery solved that quickly, can we?
The next scene is one of my favorites in this episode. It has Dr. Hayward and Al Rosenfeld (Miguel Ferrer) fighting over Laura Palmer’s body. Hayward needs to make preparations for the funeral, yet Rosenfeld is determined to perform an autopsy. It doesn’t help that Rosenfeld has a quip for everyone he runs into, clearly displaying his animosity for the small town life and it’s inhabitants. Ferrer was known for playing that guy you just wanted to pop in the mouth, particularly in his roles for Robocop and the really awful Deep Star Six. It wasn’t until TV’s Crossing Jordan that I saw Ferrer could be more of a good guy. It was a treat seeing him here on the show and in researching the Twin Peaks Revival, I found out he was part of the cast before his passing. Film fans will also make the connection to David Lynch’s Dune here, as Lynch worked with Miguel’s father, Jose in that film. The scene ends with Rosenfeld opening his mouth a little too much and getting socked for his troubles by Truman. Cooper intervenes, giving control of Laura’s body to Dr. Hayward but asking Rosenfeld to make his tests quick and with little damage. For a scene that deals with a dead body in the room, it has just enough comedy in it to lighten the mood without turning into something akin to the Naked Gun series.
Back at the Palmer home, Leland (Ray Wise, also in Robocop) is still grieving over Laura when he’s surprised by a visit from Laura’s cousin Maddy (Sheryl Lee). He can’t help but stare at her in disbelief, possibly because of how much of a resemblance she bears to his daughter. We can’t help staring because of the connection to the dream. Is this the “cousin” the midget was referring to? I liked Wise’s reaction of disbelief here. Either way, it was nice small scene.
If there’s one storyline in Twin Peaks that I could care less about, it’s Norma (Peggy Lipton) and Hank (Chris Mulkey, from Michael Crichton’s Runaway). Hank’s parole officer, Mr. Mooney stops by the Double R, and explains that her husband is being released soon and into her care. Having been a model prisoner, the early release brings him back into Norma’s life, who clearly doesn’t want to have him around. She could have moved on after his imprisonment, but her dating life wouldn’t work out with a homicidally jealous ex popping around the shop now and then. It helps to set the tone for Hank’s introduction to the shop, if nothing else.
Cooper and Truman visit the house of Leo Johnson, to ask him about Laura Palmer. He initially states that he doesn’t know her, and then confesses that the heard of her. After Cooper reads him his rap sheet, Leo states that he was on the road and called his wife Shelley (Madchen Amick) from Butte, Montana. Granted that she can support his alibi, that takes him off the suspect list. Damn, I kind of thought he could be the one up to that point, particularly with the football incident in the previous episode.
At Bobby Briggs’ (Dana Ashbrook) house, his father (Don Davis) has a conversation regarding the upcoming funeral, where he tells his son to not be afraid of it. Bobby has other plans for the funeral, which he barks about. “Afraid!! I’m gonna turn it upside down!!!” Truly, I’ve never seen anyone so excited about attending a funeral since Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers. He could have yelled at his mother for some meatloaf and it would have fit perfectly here.
Cooper and Truman meet up with Rosenfeld, who gives them the breakdown of what he found on Laura. Cocaine was found in Laura’s diary, along with two different kinds of twine. Rosenfeld reveals that the twine used on Laura’s wrists were also the same used on Ronette, and it appears to have come from a railroad car. Laura was apparently tied in two places on her arm. When Rosenfeld demonstrates this, Cooper mutters a line from his dream..”Sometimes my arms bend back.” Again, an element from the Dream makes an appearance, which lends a great deal of credibility to Agent Cooper’s prowess. Most FBI agents would have relied on extreme forensics work and motives, but here we have an individual whose dreams are possibly taking him in the right direction so far. Rosenfeld mentions he also found industrial strength soap, suggesting that the killer washed his hands on site. Additional clues include what appeared to be bite or claw marks on her shoulder, and a chip of plastic taken from her stomach with the letter “J” on it. There’s that letter “J” again, for Jack’s, perhaps?
So where does this leave us? If the killer washed their hands, they were methodical. The chances they’d leave any other evidence behind other than what was found on the body doesn’t likely. That could also possibly rule out the still missing One Armed Man suspect Hawk is searching for. Additionally, Laura’s clues bring more questions than answers.
On the way out, Rosenfeld pulls Cooper aside and asks him to assist in having assault files brought up on Sheriff Truman. Cooper refuses, letting Rosenfeld know that during his time at Twin Peaks, all he’s seen has been peace and goodwill. Personally, I’m surprised Cooper didn’t hit Rosenfeld at that point, but the forensic scientist leaves empty-handed. Cooper makes a recording note to maybe buy some property in the town of Twin Peaks.
When I originally joined on this project, I started with the episode I was assigned, but it was the next scene that made me jump back to the beginning of the series and continue through it’s conclusion. We have Ed (Everett McGill, Dune), who returns home and receives a hug from his wife Nadine (Wendy Robie). At this point, I stared in shock and then started laughing. I wasn’t aware the two actors were even in this show together. I know the pair from Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs, so seeing them in this context (they were a sibling pair in the film) was just weird. I have to go back to that movie at some point to see the chemistry there again.
Anyway, Nadine gushes about her love for Ed, and how she used to watch him in high school with Norma. Ed’s eyes are a bit jaded here, as if his mind is more on Norma than on Nadine, but they’re both interrupted with the arrival of James. Ed informs him that they have to get ready for the funeral, but James tells them they can’t and leaves. It seems Laura’s passing has struck a nerve with everyone in town, but wouldn’t the person who carried half of his sweetheart’s necklace want to be at her funeral to pay his last respects? Unless of course, either the guilt of being with Donna gotten to him, or he has secrets of his own to hide.
Back at The Great Northern, we find Audrey dressed for the funeral. She sneaks into one of the special cubbyholes and peeks in on an adjoining room. She finds Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tambyn, West Side Story) helping to put Johnny (Robert Bauer) in something more suitable for a funeral. She closes the peeking hole and we move along.
The next scene opens with the swaying of trees. We are all gathered for the funeral of Laura Palmer, and the best scene in the entire episode. The priest gives a small sermon, with everyone close to Laura surrounding her coffin, save for Dr. Jacoby. Cooper, his guard always up, takes notice of Bobby’s disgust at the sudden appearance of James at the funeral. We cut between the major players with the priest’s reflection on Laura, who he also loved in a way “reserved for the headstrong and bold”. Donna seems a little pained at the thought, while Audrey still can’t keep her eyes off of Cooper. They exchange the smallest of smiles before Johnny exclaims an Amen to the crowd. It’s here that Bobby steps up with an even louder “Amen”, ready to actually turn things upside down as he promised. He blames everyone present for Laura’s death, stating that they were all aware she was in trouble, but no one came to her aid. The entire town failed her in his mind, and this causes a brief fight between Bobby and James. The two have to be restrained by separate parties.
It’s here that something magically weird occurs, because it just wouldn’t be Twin Peaks without something strange. To even think about it makes me laugh, but in the context of the story, I suppose it makes sense. In the middle of the altercation, Leland is so overcome with grief that he throws his arms open and flings himself on top of Laura’s coffin, the result of which damages the hydraulics. The coffin goes down into the hole and rises again slowly, repeating the action. Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) admonishes Leland for his actions. “Don’t ruin this too!”. It takes something somber and totally spins it on its ear. I laugh every time I see it.
By the time you’re done feeling bad about Leland’s actions, we find ourselves at the Double R by night. Shelley is re-enacting the coffin sequence to some laughing patrons. We find Ed, Hawk (Michael Horse) and Truman waiting for Cooper to arrive. Ed is sure that Cooper’s not going to get what’s they’re planning, but Truman takes him up on the wager. After making his order – Huckleberry Pie and Ice Cream with Coffee – Cooper immediately catches the look between Norma and Ed. When he brings this to Ed’s attention, Ed can only sigh. Truman gives him the tab for the Pie and Ice Cream. Truman explains that they’ve been doing some detective work of their own, as some drugs have been smuggled into Twin Peaks. Truman also tells of a secret society that helps to protect Twin Peaks from darker forces for more than 20 years.
Cooper, Ed, Hawk and Truman head over to the Book House Boys, a quasi Dead Poets Society Club. Here they find Bernard Renault, the brother of Jacques Renault. Truman mentions that he was caught with cocaine and they ask him about his connections to his brother. While they’re questioning Bernard, Jacques is about to enter the Book House Boys club when he notices a flickering red light on the roof. This causes Jacques to run to the nearest pay phone (wow, pay phones), where he makes a call to Leo, asking him to get him out there. Leo agrees to meet him and leaves Shelley behind. The scene ends with Shelley removing her gun and hiding it behind a panel in a nearby dresser.
Josie Packard (Joan Chen) and Truman meet back at the lodge later that night. Truman releases that something’s up with her, but she’s not quite ready to share. After pressing the issue, Josie states that Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie, Carrie) and Ben Horne ( Richard Beymer, Free Grass) are out to hurt her. What she doesn’t realize is that Catherine is listing in on her conversation via the intercom system. Josie opens a vault to show Truman the two sets of ledgers that show their books are being cooked, but only one is there. We’re shown that Catherine has the other book under a desk panel in her room. Not much else is said about this, so we can only speculate that more of this will come to light in a later episode.
At the cemetery, we find Dr. Jacoby finally paying his respects. Cooper also makes an appearance. Dr. Jacoby describes the pain of losing Laura as she was the only person who made him feel anything, despite the time he spent listening to others’ issues. We come to find that even he is affected by the loss, and he hopes that she can forgive him for not making an appearance earlier that day.
Josie is fearful that what happened to Andrew may happen to her, and that Catherine and Ben are after the Mill. With the Mill and Josie gone, they’d have the land to do with as they please. Truman promises to protect her, and they have a passionate moment right there on the rug. In the back of my mind, I found myself thinking “Hey, stop that! Catherine can probably still hear all your moaning!”, but of course, they’re unaware of this.
The final scene of this episode brings us back to the Great Western, with Cooper asking Hawk about his belief in the Soul. Hawk mentions there are many souls. In particular, there is the Dream Soul that wanders the land of the dead and brings life to the mind and the body. On whether Laura may be one of these, Hawk assures him that “she’s in the ground”. They raise a toast to their name and drink. Leland, also present at the location, begs for anyone to dance with him while the music plays. To dance the way he did with Laura’s picture in his hands. Cooper offers to take him home, to which Leland concedes. This final part was a little weird to me. Leland’s dance compulsion seems a really quirky thing, but then again, it’s not every day one has to bury their daughter.
So, we have a few answers to the Dream sequence, but even more questions on top of that. We’ll have to see where it all goes.
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