6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 1970s


David Niven at the 1974 Oscars

Continuing our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 1970s.

Dirty Harry (1971, dir by Don Siegel)

“Well, I’m all torn up about his rights….” Detective Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) says after being informed that he’s not allow to torture suspects for information.  Unfortunately, in this case, the Academy agreed with all the critics who called Harry a menace and this classic and influential crime film was not nominated.  Not even Andy Robinson picked up a nomination for his memorably unhinged turn as Scorpio.

Carrie (1976, dir by Brian DePalma)

The Academy liked Carrie enough to nominate both Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.  The film itself, however, went unnominated.  It’s enough to make you want to burn down the prom.

Suspiria (1977, dir by Dario Argento)

In a perfect world, Goblin would have at least taken home an Oscar for the film’s score.  In the real world, unfortunately, Argento’s masterpiece was totally snubbed by the Academy.

Days of Heaven (1978, dir by Terence Malick)

If it were released today, Terence Malick’s dream-like mediation of life during the depression would definitely be nominated.  In 1978, perhaps, the Academy was still not quite sure what to make of Malick’s beautiful but often opaque cinematic poetry.

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter)

“The night he came home!” should have been “The night he went to the Oscars!”  The film received no nominations and it’s a shame.  Just imagine Donald Pleasence winning for his performance as Loomis while John Carpenter racked up almost as many nominations as Alfonso Cuaron did this year for Roma.

Dawn of the Dead (1978, dir by George Romero)

If the Academy wasn’t willing to nominate Night of the Living Dead, there was no way that they would go for the film’s longer and bloodier sequel.  But perhaps they should have.  Few films are cited as an inspiration as regularly as Dawn of the Dead.

Up next, in about an hour, the 1980s!

 

Film Review: White Boy Rick (dir by Yann Demange)


Last night, as a part of my attempt to get caught up with the films of 2018, I watched White Boy Rick.

As you might guess from the title, this film is about a white boy named Rick.  It’s based on the true story of Richard Wershe, Jr., who grew up on the streets of Detroit.  His father sold guns out of the trunk of his car and, by the time he turned 14, Rick was running with drug dealers and street gangs.  (The fact that he was white while all of his friends were black is what led to him getting his nickname.)  Rick became an informant for the FBI and, according to Wershe, the government helped him build up his reputation by supplying him with the drugs that he would then sell on the streets.  When the FBI eventually decided that Wershe was no longer a useful asset, he was arrested for dealing and sentenced to life in prison.

The story seems like one that has the potential to say a lot that needs to be said about not only the economic realities of life in a dying city but also about the role that race plays in America’s often misdirected “war on drugs.”  Unfortunately, the film falls flat because, with the exception of a few scenes, it never really convinces us that Rick was really worthy of being the subject of a film.  While the film surrounds him with interesting supporting characters, Rick himself remains something of a cipher.  Rick is played by a young actor named Richie Merritt.  Merritt’s has the right look for the character but you never get the feeling that there’s anything going on underneath the surface.  Rick comes across as just being a moron who got lucky and then, eventually, not so lucky.

The supporting cast fares a bit better.  For instance, Matthew McConaughey plays Rick’s father with just the right amount of manic energy and Bel Powley has a few harrowing scenes as Rick’s drug addicted sister.  Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie don’t get to do much as Rick’s grandparents but it doesn’t matter because they’re Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie.  (All Bruce Dern has to do to make a character interesting is look at the camera.)  Jennifer Jason Leigh plays one of Rick’s FBI handlers with the perfect hint of subversiveness.  You’re never quite sure whether she’s messing with Rick’s life because she’s incompetent or because she’s enjoying it.  Unfortunately, the supporting characters are often so interesting that Rick often gets overshadowed.  He’s a bystander in his own story, which may have been the film’s point but, from a storytelling point of view, it hardly makes for compelling viewing.

Admittedly, there are a few memorable scenes to be found in White Boy Rick.  At one point, Rick goes to a wedding at the mayor’s mansion and he’s a sight to behold in his blue tuxedo.  In another scene, it’s explained to Rick why, when it comes to being arrested, charged, and incarcerated, the stakes are very different when you’re black than when you’re white.  In scenes like that, you kind of get a hint of White Boy Rick could have been if it had been centered around a more compelling character.

As it is, though, White Boy Rick is well-made but kind of dull.  It’s definitely a missed opportunity.

 

Horror Scenes That I Love: Carrie Destroys The Prom


Today’s horror scene that I love comes from 1976’s Carrie.

This scene starts out on a note of happiness with Carrie (Sissy Spacek) and Tommy (William Katt) being named as Queen and King of the Prom.  Things, however, get a bit ominous when Sue (Amy Irving) notices that bucket of pig’s blood and Nancy Allen and John Travolta hanging out underneath the stage.  Things get even worse when the coach (Betty Buckley) refuses to listen to Sue and tosses her out of the gym.

And then suddenly, there’s blood everywhere and Piper Laurie’s chanting, “They’re all going to laugh at you …. they’re all going to laugh at you….”

Is everyone really laughing at Carrie?  I believe some of them are.  Norma is definitely laughing because I think the shot of the coach laughing is included to let us know that some of the laughter is strictly in Carrie’s mind.  Nothing about the character would lead us to suspect that the coach would laugh.  In fact, seeing as how the coach just threw out Sue, it’s debatable whether she would even be back among the crowd by the time the pig’s blood came down.

(Plus, would everyone be laughing even with Tommy, the most popular kid in school, lying dead on the stage?)

Anyway, regardless of whether they were all laughing or not, we all know what happens next!

Here’s The Trailer For White Boy Rick!


Here’s the trailer for White Boy Rick!

Now, White Boy Rick is based on a true story that’s actually pretty interesting.  At the age of 14, Richard Wershe, Jr. was the youngest criminal to ever become an informant for the FBI.  Of course, once the FBI got what they wanted from him, Wershe was left on his own and, when he was 17, he was arrested for selling cocaine and sentenced to life in prison.  Wershe, who was finally paroled in 2017, claims that the harsh sentence was politically motivated and that he basically learned how to become a successful drug dealer through his work for the government.

It’s a great story and, with more and more people questioning both drug prohibition and national law enforcement, a timely one.  The film’s got a good cast, with Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bel Powley, Rory Cochrane, Piper Laurie, and Bruce Dern all in supporting roles.  The director, Yann Demange, previously directed the great ’71 and is definitely an up-and-coming filmmaker.  Rick is played by a Richie Merritt, who will be making his film debut in the leading role.

As for the trailer itself, it’s effective.  I had a hard time understanding some of the dialogue and it’s hard to really judge Merritt’s performance based on what’s present here.  But I like the look of the trailer and the music is damn near perfect.

Some are saying this movie might be an Oscar contender.  We’ll have to see!

TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 17 (dir by David Lynch)


I imagine that there are a lot of upset people right now.

Maybe you’re one of them.  Maybe, even as I sit here typing this, you are seething with rage.  “18 hours and it ends with Cooper trapped in yet another fucked up situation, with Laura Palmer still screaming!?  What the Hell!?”

Well, my advice would be to calm down.  Did Twin Peaks: The Return ends on a conventional note?  No.  Has anything about Twin Peaks: The Return been conventional?  Hell no.  This is a David Lynch production, after all.  And Lynch has never shown an interest in tidy endings.  In fact, if anything, Lynch has never shown much of an interest in endings.  Blue Velvet concluded with a fake bird.  Lost Highway ended with Bill Pullman appearing to transform yet again.  Even Mulholland Drive ended with that evil creature still living behind Winkie’s.

As far as I’m concerned, Twin Peaks: The Return provided 18 of the most intriguing hours in television history.  Am I little bit frustrated that it didn’t end on a definite note of conclusion?  Sure.  (With 15 minutes left in Part 18, I found myself saying, “Uhmmm … what about Audrey?”)  But I’ll tell you right, I’m going to have a lot of fun debating what it all meant.  Art is not about easy solutions.

(For the record, next weekend, I’m going to binge watch all 18 hours and then maybe I’ll post my conclusions.)

It could be argued that this should not be called a conclusion.  As Ryan pointed out in this week’s peaks, the story continues.  There may or may not be another season on Showtime.  There may or may not be another Twin Peaks movie.  Hell, Mark Frost may or may not write another Twin Peaks book.  And, if none of that happens, the story will continue in our imaginations.

I went back and forth on whether or not to review both Parts 17 and 18 together or separately.  In the end, I decided to review them separately because I consider Part 17 to be the conclusion on the third season of Twin Peaks while Part 18 feels like it’s laying the groundwork for a fourth season.

Let’s get to it!

Things open in South Dakota, with Gordon Cole (David Lynch) lamenting to Albert (Miguel Ferrer) and Tammy (Chrysta Bell) that he couldn’t bring himself to shoot Diane.  After Albert says that Cole is going soft, Cole replies, “Not where it counts, buddy.”  That line made me laugh, despite myself.  Lynch just has such a sincere way of delivering his lines.

Cole goes on to explain that, before his death, Major Briggs shared, with him and Cooper, his discovery of an extremely evil and negative force that, “in olden times,” was known as Jowday.  Jowday eventually got shortened to Judy.  Briggs, Cooper, and Cole put together a plan that could lead them to Judy.  Apparently, before his disappearance, Philip Jeffries said that he was on the verge of discovering Judy.  Cole theorizes that the Doppelganger is looking for Judy.

Suddenly, the phone rings.  It’s Agent Headley (Jay R. Ferguson), calling from Las Vegas, to announce that they’ve found Dougie Jones but that Dougie disappeared again.  Mullins (Don Murray) asks to speak to Cole and gives him a message from Cooper.  Cooper is on his way to Twin Peaks, to see Sheriff Truman!

In the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, the lock-up is still nosiy.  The drunk (Jay Aaseng) and Deputy Chad (John Pirruccello) take turns taunting each other.  Eyeless Naido (Nae Yuuki) continues to whimper.  Freddie (Jake Wardle) and James (James Marshall) listen.

At the Great Northern, Ben (Richard Beymer) gets a call.  Jerry’s turned up in Wyoming, apparently convinced that he can kill people with his binoculars.  It might be time to say, “No more drugs for that man,” as far as Jerry is concerned.

The next morning, the Doppelganger (Kyle MacLachlan) wanders through the woods outside of Twin Peaks.  The vortex opens above him.  The Doppelganger vanishes.

In the building above the purple sea, the disembodied head of Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) floats between two pictures, one of the woods and one of the Palmer House.  The Fireman (Carel Struycken) waves  his hand.  In the background, we hear the electrical hum that been haunting the Great Northern.

The Doppelganger materializes outside of the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station.  As he walks towards it, he is seen by Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz).  At first, I was worried that the Doppelganger was going to kill Deputy Andy but instead, he greets him with a cold, “Hello, Andy.”

Andy leads the Doppelganger into the station, where they meet Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster).  When the Doppelganger turns down a cup of coffee, everyone knows something strange is happening.  Then, Andy starts to have visions of him and Lucy standing in the lobby, looking at something.

Meanwhile, in the holding area, it turns out that Chad has got a key hidden in his shoe.  He gets out of his cell and heads for the weapons locker.  When Andy shows up, looking for Hawk, Chad comes at him with a raised gun.  But fear not!  Freddie Sykes uses his green glove of power to throw open the door his cell, smashing Chad in the face and knocking him out.

Meanwhile, Lucy informs Truman that he has a phone call and he really needs to take it.  Reluctantly, Truman takes the call and finds himself talking to … DALE COOPER!  Dale and the Mitchums have just entered the Twin Peaks city limits and are on their way to the station!

The Doppelganger, realizing what is happening, reaches inside his jacket for a gun when suddenly — bang!  The Doppelganger crashes to the floor.  Standing behind him, holding a gun, is Lucy!

(Making this scene especially satisfying is that, during the second season Twin Peaks, Lucy was exclusively given comedic subplots that had nothing to do with the main storyline.  25 years, she finally gets to save the day.)

Way to go, Lucy!

Cooper tells Truman to make sure that no one touches the Doppelganger’s body until he arrives.  Andy steps into the office with Hawk, Naido, James, and Freddie.  Suddenly, just as in Part 8, the woodsmen appear and start working on the Doppelganger’s body.  While that happens, Cooper and the Mitchums show up.  And then Cole, Albert, and Tammy show up.  It’s getting crowded in that office!

Suddenly, the spirit of Killer BOB (represented by an orb that contains stock footage of Frank Silva) emerges from the Doppelganger’s body and lunges at Freddie.  Despite getting bloodied in the process, Freddie is able to use his green glove of power to smash BOB’s face into a thousand pieces.  Yay Freddie!

Cooper puts the ring on the Doppelganger’s finger.  The Doppelganger vanishes.  Yay Cooper!

Cooper gets the key to his former hotel room from Sheriff Truman.  “Major Briggs told me Sheriff Truman would have it,” Cooper explains.  (Yay Major Briggs!)

Now, what happens next is interesting.  A lot of positive things happen.  Bobby Briggs (Dana Asbrook) comes in the office and Cooper tells him that he and Major Briggs are proud of him.  Blind Naido is revealed to actually be the real Diane, in disguise.  (And yes, the real Diane still has eyes.)  Cole and Albert are reunited with their friend.  And yet, through the whole scene, we see the face of another Cooper, this one with a blank expression, superimposed over the action.

This was when I started to suspect that the finale might turn out to be a bit controversial.  Are we seeing reality or are we watching a dream, a memory, or a wish?  Not even the presence of the Mitchum girls in pink, passing out finger sandwiches, can change the ominous tone of all this otherwise positive scene.

Cooper glances at the clock in Truman’s office and sees that the minute hand seems to be stuck.

A distorted voice says, “We live inside a dream.”

Oh shit, I thought as I watched this scene, we’ve got 30 minutes left and things are about to get so seriously fucked up…

“I hope I see all of you again,” Cooper says, “every one of you.”

The room goes black.  Cooper’s superimposed face continues to passively stare.

Suddenly, Cooper, Diane, and Cole are slowly walking down a dark hallway.  I believe they’re in the Great Northern because, when they reach a door, Cooper uses his old hotel room key to open it.  He tells Cole and Diane to wait behind and then he enters the room.  “See you at the curtain call,” Cooper says.

Inside the room is MIKE (Al Strobel) who recites the Fire Walk With Me poem.  MIKE leads Cooper up a staircase and into the room the holds the metal device the contains the spirit of Philip Jeffries.  Cooper asks to be sent back to February 23rd, 1989, the night of the death of Laura Palmer.

“Cooper,” Jeffries says, “remember…”

“ELECTRICITY!” MIKE exclaims.

Suddenly, Cooper’s back in 1989.  He’s watching Laura (Sheryl Lee) sneak out of her house and jump on the back of James Hurley’s motorcycle while a jealous Leland (Ray Wise) watches from his window.  Cooper watches them in the woods, listening as Laura tells James that Bobby killed a man.  (This is true.  Before he became everyone’s favorite lawman, Bobby shot a Canadian drug runner in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  I always wondered if that would be acknowledged.)

Cooper watches the familiar scene play out but, when Laura jumps off of James’s motorcycle, Cooper steps forward and changes history.  Instead of allowing Laura to walk off to be murdered, Cooper tells her that he is taking her home.  “I saw you in my dreams,” Laura says.

The next morning, we see another familiar sight: Laura’s body on the shore, wrapped in plastic.  The body disappears.  In archived footage from the original Twin Peaks pilot, we watch as Pete Martell (Jack Nance) says good morning to Catherine (Piper Laurie) and then heads out to fish.  Except, this time, there’s no body to distract him.  Instead of calling the police and reporting a murder, Pete goes fishing.

(It’s a sweet image and it was nice to see that, despite having been dead for 21 years, Jack Nance, who starred in Eraserhead and was the former husband of Catherine “Log Lady” Coulson, still appeared in the revival.  Part 17 was dedicated to his memory.)

Where is Laura?  Despite not being dead, she’s not in her house.  However, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) is.  Sarah is smashing the famous picture of Laura as homecoming queen into little pieces.  Disturbingly, this would seem to indicate that, at the time that Laura was being abused and eventually murdered by her father, Sarah was not a bystander but was instead possessed by the same evil that possessed Leland.

Cooper leads Laura through the woods.  Suddenly, Laura screams and is gone.

Standing in front the red curtains of the Black Lodge, Julee Cruise sings.

End credits.

On to Part 18, which I am about to rewatch after which I will write up a review.  It might be a few hours.  Until then, why not check out some of the other 81 Twin Peaks-related posts that we’ve published this year at the Shattered Lens!

Twin Peaks on TSL:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  29. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  30. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.21 “Miss Twin Peaks” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Leonard Wilson
  31. TV Review: Twin Peaks 22.2 “Beyond Life and Death” (directed by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  32. Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  33. Here’s The Latest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  34. Here’s The Newest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  35. 12 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two by Lisa Marie Bowman
  36. This Week’s Peaks: Parts One and Two by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  37. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  38. 4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition by Lisa Marie Bowman
  39. This Week’s Peaks: Parts Three and Four by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  40. 14 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Three by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  42. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman 
  43. 18 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  44. This Week’s Peaks: Part Five by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  45. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  46. 14 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  47. This Week’s Peaks: Part Six by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  48. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  51. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  52. Ten Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  53. This Week’s Peaks: Part Eight by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  54. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  55. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  56. This Week’s Peaks: Part Nine by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  57. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  58. 20 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  59. This Week’s Peaks: Part 10 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  60. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  61. 16 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  62. This Week’s Peaks: Part 11 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  63. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  64. 20 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  65. This Weeks Peaks: Part 12 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  66. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  67. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  68. This Week’s Peaks: Part 13 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  69. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  70. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  71. This Week’s Peaks: Part 14 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  72. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  73. This Week’s Peaks: Part 15 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  74. 24 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks; The Return Part 15 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  75. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 15 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  76. 32 Initial Thoughts about Twin Peaks; The Return Part 16 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  77. This Week’s Peaks: Part 16 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  78. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 16 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  79. 18 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 17 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  80. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return part 18 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  81. This Week’s Peaks: Parts 17 and 18 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal)


Welcome back to Twin Peaks!

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!

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

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman

 

 

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (dir by Jonathan Sanger)


“Butterfingers!”

— 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 for Annie, it’s obvious that she was a hastily created character.  Much as Cooper’s competence changes from scene to scene, the same can be said of Annie’s innocence.  Yesterday, Jeff compared Annie to an Amish girl on rumspringa and I think that’s the perfect way to put it.  She didn’t spend the last few years on Mars, after all.  She was just in a convent.

Anyway, back to the show:

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.

(I mean, seriously, Audrey nearly died trying to help Cooper.  Annie just pours coffee and acts as if living in a convent was the equivalent of getting stuck on Mars with Matt Damon.)

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!

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

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland