TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (dir by Diane Keaton)


“Get a life, punk!”

— Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) in Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters”

Well, it had to happen some time.

We have reached the “Slave and Masters” episode of Twin Peaks.  Judging from what I’ve read online, most fans seem feel that this episoode was the worst in the show’s history.  Myself, I don’t know whether it is or isn’t.  I’m writing this introduction before watching the episode.  I guess I’ll know soon enough.

Interestingly enough, this episode was directed by actress Diane Keaton.  When I first saw Keaton’s name listed as director, I assumes that she must have been a fan of the show and that she lobbied for the chance to direct an episode.  However, according to Relections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks by Brad Dukes, the opposite was true.  While the cast all liked and respected Keaton as a director, there was also a feeling that she didn’t seem to actually know much about the show.  Considering that the show had suffered a severe ratings decline during the 2nd season, it seems probable that Keaton was hired to direct in an attempt to generate some new interest in the once hot show.

If that was the plan, it didn’t work.  Apparently, the ratings for this episode were so low that Twin Peaks was put on hiatus a week after it aired.  It was only due to a letter-writing campaign that ABC decided to air the last six episodes of the season.  In short, it can be argued that this episode was truly the beginning of the end for Twin Peaks‘s original network run.

So, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at the 23rd episode of Twin Peaks, “Slaves and Masters.”

As always, we begin with the haunting opening credits and Angelo Badalamenti’s lushly romantic (yet ominously threatening) score.  The mood has been set.  We have returned to the world of Twin Peaks.

After the credits, we immediately cut to a close-up of a chess board.  In slow motion, the camera glides over all of the pieces.  The Queen, The pawns, the King, the Bishop, the little horsey guy.  (I don’t know much about chess, sorry.)

Suddenly, we’re no longer looking at chess pieces.  Instead, the camera is panning up the legs of Evelyn Marsh (Annette McCarthy), who is dressed in black and even wearing a black veil and — OH MY GOD, HAS THIS STORYLINE NOT BEEN RESOLVED YET!?  Seriously, when people talk about Season 2 not being as inspired as Season 1, they’re talking about this half-assed film noir rip-off that James (James Marshall) rode into after he hopped on his motorcycle and left Twin Peaks.  From the minute that Evelyn first showed up, I knew exactly what was going to happen with her, James, and her husband.  Much like the whole Audrey kidnapping subplot, the Evelyn Marsh subplot should not have lasted any longer than an episode and a half.  Instead, it’s still going on!

Anyway, the cops are talking to Evelyn and Malcolm (Nicholas Love) about how someone might have killed her husband.  Malcolm is quick to blame James but Evelyn seems a little bit more conflicted about it.  There is a funny moment when Malcolm says that James was hired to fix the Jaguar and the cop can’t figure out how to spell Jaguar.  That made me laugh but, otherwise, this whole scene felt predictable and unnecessary.

Meanwhile, at Wallie’s Bar, a dozen cops are sitting at the bar, smoking cigars and listening to opera music.  (Weird image is weird but it’s just weirdness for the sake of weirdness.)  James and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) are in a corner of the bar.  Donna says that they need to get help but James is all like, “I don’t need nobody!”  He says that Malcolm framed him and that he just needs to talk to Evelyn.

Donna goes to call Ed but ends up having to talk to Nadine instead.  Though we only hear Donna’s side of the conversation, it sounds like Nadine is talking about her new boyfriend.  If her new boyfriend is Mike (Gary Hershberger) than that means that Nadine is now dating Donna’s ex and yet, Donna seems to be remarkably okay with that.

Back at the Sheriff’s station, Harry (Michael Ontkean) and Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) are interrogating Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) and Shelly (Madchen Amick).  Bobby wants to know why Harry and Cooper aren’t making more of an effort to track down Leo.  Cooper asks Bobby about the night that the mill burned down.  Bobby lies and says that Hank Jennings shot Leo.

Harry says that he’ll have some deputies watch the house.  Bobby claims that he’s all the protection that Shelly needs.  (For some reason, Bobby is acting like a methhead in this scene.)  When Bobby and Shelly leave, they pass Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer), who takes one look at Bobby and shouts, “Get a life, punk!”

(We love you, Albert!)

After giving Harry an out-of-character bear hug (but that’s okay because I like it when dudes hug it out), Albert explains that he’s been sent to Twin Peaks by Gordon Cole.  He has brought with him a picture of Windom Earle, in which Windom looks like an extra in a 1930s gangster movie.  He also brings the news that Windom has been mailing different pieces of clothing to police agencies across the country.

Windom has mailed:

1. A white veil

2. A garter

3. A pair of white slippers

4. A peal necklace

5. A wedding dress

Oh my God, I said as Albert listed the items, Windom Earle is marrying Pippa Middleton!

Cooper says that the clothing belonged to Windom’s dead wife (and Cooper’s ex-lover), Caroline.  Albert says that Windom is definitely making his move and then says that Cooper looks good in the muted earth tones of a flannel shirt.  That was nice of Albert.

Meanwhile, in his cabin, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh) plays a flute while Leo (Eric Da Re) lies on the floor.  (I have to be honest that these cabin scenes between Windom and Leo made me think about Peter Boyle burning down Gene Hackman’s hut in Young Frankenstein.)  Once Leo wakes up, Windom — who was previously described as having a mind like a diamond, cold and precise — starts acting like a Satanic little wood sprite.  He jumps around the cabin.  He says a lot of evil quips.  He beats Leo with a flute and then reveals that he’s placed a collar around Leo’s neck.  Windom can electrocute Leo whenever he feels like it.  Windom forces Leo to eat gruel while Windom pretends to be a kitty cat.  “Purrrr,” he says.

(Windom’s a genius so why is he acting like a sadistic towel manager?)

We cut to Ed (Everett McGill) laying in bed with Norma (Peggy Lipton) and talking about how it’s been twenty years since they first fell in love.  They agree that it’s sucked not being together.  Suddenly, they hear Nadine (Wendy Robie) arriving home.  Norma starts to leave but Ed says, “No, no.  We may as well talk to her now.”  Sure, Ed — have this conversation with Nadine while you and Norma are laying in bed in your underwear.  That’ll really avoid any hurt feelings.

Suddenly, Nadine rips the bedroom door off of its hinges.  She comes into the room, carrying a wrestling trophy, and then jumps into bed with Ed and Norma.  Nadine apologizes for beating up Hank and then says that she knows about the two of them.  Nadine says it’s okay because she’s in love with Mike now.

Cut to the Martell house, where Harry and Cooper are talking to Josie (Joan Chen) about what happened to her in Seattle.  Josie says she doesn’t know who killed Jonathan.  Harry begs Josie to tell him the truth.  Out of nowhere, a surprisingly cheerful Cooper announces, “I think I’ll get another cup of Joe!”

(Somewhere, Joe Biden looks up and says, “Oh my God, they’re talking about me in an old episode of Twin Peaks!”  No, Joe, they’re not.  Sorry.  Maybe later.)

While Cooper’s getting more coffee, Pete (Jack Nance) stumbles in.  He has picked up the dry cleaning and can barely see above all of the clothes that he’s holding.  He and Cooper do that thing where, instead of being smart and putting the clothes somewhere first, they stand around and attempt to have a conversation, despite the fact that Pete is about fall over backwards.  When the phone rings, Pete gives the clothes to Cooper and now its Cooper’s turn to struggle to remain standing.  Eventually, Cooper puts the clothes on a chair (was that so hard!?) and then picks one thread off of a jacket.

Speaking of Josie, the phone call was for her.  It turns out that the call is from Thomas Eckhardt (David Warner) and he is wondering if he and Josie could get together.  Thomas reveals that he is responsible for Jonathan’s death.

After hanging up the phone, Thomas and his assistant, Jones (Brenda Strong), stare at a black trunk.

Meanwhile, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) is apparently still convinced that he’s a Civil War general because he’s talking to Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) about Stonewall Jackson.  Much like all that stuff with Evelyn Marsh, this is a plotline that should have been resolved after an episode and a half.  Instead, it’s been dragged out way past the point of being amusing.  The Ben-Goes-Crazy storyline is the epitome of how Season 2 abandoned surrealism in favor of just being weird for the sake of being weird.

It turns out that Ben and Jacoby have an audience.  Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) are listening.  Johnny Horne (Robert Bauer) is rocking back and forth while wearing a Native American headdress.  And there’s a few members of the Hotel Staff, who have been transformed into some sort of marching band.

While Ben rants in his really crummy Southern accent, Jerry and Audrey leave the office.  Audrey is worried about her father but Jerry seems to be fairly indifferent.  (Needless to say, this goes against everything that we’ve previously seen about Jerry and his relationship with Ben.)  Audrey points out that, conveniently enough, she is set to inherit the entire Horne business empire if anything happens to Ben and that Jerry better do what she says or she’ll cut him off.

Audrey returns to Ben’s office, where Dr. Jacoby looks perplexed.  Audrey walks up to him and says she wants her father to turn back to normal. Jacoby says that he’s got it all taken care of.  Bobby shows up, dressed like a Confederate soldier.  Ben sings Dixie.  Can this storyline just end, please!?

Meanwhile, at Walli’s, Evelyn is still dressed in black.  Though the bar appears to be closed (there are chairs on the tables and everything), Evelyn is drinking.  Suddenly, Donna walks up to her.  Why is Donna still there?  How much school can you miss in Twin Peaks?  Why are Evelyn and Donna both hanging out in a bar that appears to be closed?

Suddenly, the bartender wanders by, lingering just long enough for Evelyn to order Donna a drink, “one that has a little umbrella in it.”  Okay, is this bar closed or open?  If it’s open, why are the tables covered in chairs?  This stuff is confusing, especially for a non-drinker like me.

Anyway, Donna gets mad when Evelyn says that she won’t help James.  Evelyn explains that life is crap.  (Her words.)  Suddenly, Malcolm (Nicholas Love) shows up and tells Evelyn to go home.  He then threatens Donna and Donna reacts by yelling and then crying.

Back at the station, Albert reveals that the thread that Cooper found was from the carpet outside of Cooper’s hotel room.  Apparently, this proves that it was Josie who shot Cooper at the end of Season 1.  Bad Josie!

After swearing Albert to secrecy, Cooper heads to Harry’s office, where Harry is playing darts.  Harry tells Cooper that the dead vagrant has been identified as being Eric Powell, a former member of the Merchant Marines.

“Powell was Caroline’s maiden name!” Cooper says.

Cooper says that this is all a big chess game to Windom.  Harry says that, if Cooper needs a chess expert, they have one of the best right in town.  And his name is Pete Martell!

At the diner, Pete shows of his mad chess skills by playing and winning four games at once.  Cooper is impressed and invites Pete to help him play Windom’s chess game.  Pete better be good because, every time that Cooper loses a piece, Windom is going to kill an innocent person.

Shelly walks into the diner and asks Norma if she needs any help.  Norma hires her back.  Then Harry shows up and says that he needs to talk to Norma.  They slip into the kitchen where Harry explains that Hank is going away for a long time.  Norma’s okay with that but I’m not.  Hank may be a sociopath but he’s hella charming.

That night, Thomas shows up at the Martell house, where he is greeted by Catherine (Piper Laurie).  Thomas appears to be slightly surprised by the sight of Josie in her maid’s uniform.  Thomas and Catherine drink wine, eat dinner, and discuss art and killing.  It quickly becomes apparent that Thomas has shown up to take Josie and that Catherine is more than willing to allow him to do that, for a price.

Meanwhile, at the Marsh house, Evelyn is stunned when James shows up in the living room and demands to know why Evelyn killed her husband and attempted to frame him.  James says that it was hella lame to manipulate him with everything that he’s been going through.  Evelyn confesses to everything.  She says that she set James up.  She says she did it for the money and also just because she felt like doing it.

Suddenly, Malcolm barges into the room and knocks James out.  Malcolm says that they can now kill James and claim that it was self-defense.   And you know what?  He has a point.  Bye, James.

Meanwhile, Ben and the gang recreate another Civil War battle.  This whole Civil War subplot is so freaking stupid that I don’t even feel like talking about it anymore.  While pretending to be General U.S. Grant, Dr. Jacoby announces that he’s surrendering.  Having won the Civil War, Ben proceeds to faint.  When he wakes up, Ben says that he had the strangest dream about being a general during the Civil War.  He even does the whole “And you were there …. and you … and you!” thing.  Anyway, Ben appears to be back to normal.

At the cabin, Windom is putting on a disguise.  He continues to torment Leo with the electroshock collar.

At the Marsh mansion, James is still unconscious on the floor while Malcolm and Evelyn look down on him.  Donna watches from outside the window.  When Malcolm repeats that they can kill James and make it look like self-defense, Donna runs into the living room and screams, “NO!”

As Evelyn watches Donna cry over a motionless James, she stands up.  Uh-oh, she’s got a gun.  Evelyn shoots Malcolm and then says that she’ll frame Malcolm for her husband’s death though I don’t think it’ll be that difficult a frame-up because Malcolm is actually guilty.

At the Great Northern, Cooper walks down a hallway and stops in front of an elevator.  He looks at a picture of Caroline that he has in his wallet.  As he does this, a poorly disguised Windom Earle steps off the elevator.  Windom goes to the front desk an drops off a note for Audrey.  (Oh, goddamnit, is this going to be the start of yet another Audrey-gets-kidnapped storyline?)  He also notices several postcards that all feature owls.  “Owls,” he says.

Cooper arrives back at his room.  He finds a white mask on his bed.  Windom Earle has been there and he’s left a taunting message.  The episode ends with Windom’s line: “It’s your move.”

Agck!

As for this episode, it definitely felt a bit off.  The main problem is that it focused on two largely uninteresting subplots — Evelyn Marsh and the Civil War — and portrayed Windom Earle as so cartoonishly evil that it’s hard to believe that he could also be the villainous mastermind that Cooper’s spent the last few episodes describing.  It was a weak episode but at least it finished off the whole Evelyn Marsh thing.

Always look on the bright side of life.

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

 

 

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter)


“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!

AGCK!

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…

What?

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:

  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

What do you think, Cooper?

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel)


“In our world, he’s a shoe salesman and lives among the shadows.”

— Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With a Dead Girl”

As always, this episode of Twin Peaks starts with the opening credits and, after 15 episodes, Angelo Badalamenti’s theme music has never sounded more haunting and the images of life in Twin Peaks — that mix of machinery and nature — has never seemed more ominous.  Things that seemed quaintly beautiful when they were first seen — like the waterfall or that bird sitting in trees — now seem threatening.

The opening credits give us time to reflect on what we’ve seen so far.  We’ve seen the venal Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) repeatedly ignore his own family in the pursuit of money.  We’ve seen Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re) abuse his wife, Shelly (Madchen Amick).  As of the previous episode, we now know Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), previously one of the show’s most sympathetic characters, not only murdered and raped his own daughter but then killed his niece as well.

You have to wonder if Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) still considers Twin Peaks to be “heaven,” just because it’s a town where “a yellow light means slow down instead of speed up.”

We open with an exterior shot of the Palmer house.  We can hear Maddy (Sheryl Lee), once again, screaming for help.

The next morning, the Palmer house is quiet.  Inside the living room, the camera moves over several pictures of Laura.  One is of her as a child.  Another is that famous homecoming photo.  We hear the sound of Leland laughing and immediately notice that there seem to be a lot of golf balls on the floor.  The camera pulls back to show us Leland, wearing a suit and looking disturbing cheerful, practicing his golf swing.

James (James Marshall) and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) knock on the front door.  They say that they came by to say goodbye to Maddy but Leland tells them that Maddy has already left.  He tells them that she thought they were going to come by the previous night and that she was a little bit disappointed that she didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to them.  Smiling like a father from a 1950s sitcom (and, at this point, it’s definitely not a coincidence that Twin Peaks, as a town, often seems to be a relic of a decade that is often thought of as being both “the good old days” and a symbol of repression), Leland says that they could write to her in Montana if they want.

(Today, Leland would never get away with this.  James and Donna would be texting Maddy like crazy.)

After James and Donna leave, Leland glances in a mirror and sees BOB (Frank Silva) staring back at him.  From upstairs, Mrs. Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), who apparently remembers nothing about the previous night, asks Leland to remember to sign them up for “Glenn Miller Night at the club.”

“Don’t worry, dear,” Leland says, with a big and creepy grin, “I won’t forget.”

Before leaving  for the club, Leland grabs his golf bag out of the closet.  Briefly, we catch a glimpse of Maddy, stuffed inside the bag.

(AGCK!  Seriously, Leland/BOB has got to be one of the scariest things ever.)

In his holding cell, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) wins my sympathy by 1) being an innocent man accused of a terrible crime and 2) obsessively trying to wipe down the bars of his cell.  Seriously, that’s one reason why I could never handle being arrested.  Put me in one of the filthy cells and I can guarantee you that I’d do whatever I had to do to get out of there.

A cheerful Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) shows up to see Ben and I was happy that he did.  Jerry may be one of the most cartoonish characters on Twin Peaks (and that’s saying something!) but, after spending all that time with Leland/BOB, Jerry’s silliness is a relief.  Jerry has just returned from Japan and he even has a small Japanese flag pinned to his suit.

Jerry explains that, since Leland has been charged with murdering Jacques Renault, he will be handling Ben’s case personally.  (Of course, neither realizes that Leland is also responsible for the murder that Ben has been charged with.)  Unfortunately, Jerry doesn’t appear to be a very good attorney.

However, Jerry is impressed by the fact that Ben has bunk beds, which leads to an odd flashback of Ben and Jerry, as children, watching a woman named Louise Dombroski dancing in their bedroom while holding a flashlight.  (Even as children, Ben wore  suit and Jerry wore a bowtie.)

“Lord,” Jerry says, from the top bunk in Ben’s jail cell, “what’s become of us?”

Meanwhile, Lucy’s (Kimmy Robertson) back!  She shows up with her sister, Gwen (Kathleen Wilhoite), who is telling a long story involving a rusty nail and a purple toe.  (I tuned her out because rusty nails freak me out.)  Lucy asks Hawk (Michael Horse) if he’s seen Andy (Harry Goaz).  Gwen, meanwhile, worries that Hawk “must hate all of us white people after all that we’ve done to you.”

(Did I mention that Gwen had a crying baby with her and how much I was hoping that Gwen would only be around for a scene or two?  She’s kind of annoying.)

At the Great Northern, Harry (Michael Ontkean) and Cooper have just finished talking to the One-Armed Man.  As they walk past the lobby, they see Leland dancing with a golf club.

(Over the course of watching Twin Peaks, one thing that I’ve really grown to enjoy doing is spotting all of the strange guests who appear to stay at the Great Northern.  This episode, the guests appear to be a cross-section of gruff fishermen and Catholic schoolgirls.)

When Harry approaches Leland, Leland apologizes for creating a commotion with his dancing.  “Just call me Fred,” Leland says, which might be a reference to Fred Astaire but could just as easily be a reference to the fact that, at this point, Leland has been possessed for so long that it’s debatable whether Leland Palmer even exists at this point.  He’s either BOB or he’s Fred but he’s definitely not Leland.

Harry tells Leland that they’ve arrested Ben.  Leland says that they’re must be some sort of mistake but then promises Harry and Cooper that he will allow the law to handle it.  Leland stumbles out of the lobby.  As soon as he’s away from prying eyes, Leland starts to cry but then starts laughing.  He is nearly caught by Cooper, who steps up behind him and asks Leland to let him know if he can remember anything unusual about Ben’s behavior on the night of Laura’s death.

(Ray Wise, by the way, gives an absolutely amazing performance in this episode.  I don’t care if this episode aired nearly 30 years ago, give that man an Emmy.)

Harry and Cooper return to the sheriff’s station, where they watch as Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) draws blood from Ben’s finger.  (Twin Peaks was obviously made before DNA testing became commonplace.)

Jerry is there, protesting Ben’s treatment.  It’s obvious that everyone is enjoying making Ben’s life difficult, which actually makes me feel even more sorry for Ben.  Cooper reveals that Jerry graduated last in his class, passed the bar on his third attempt, and that his license has been revoked in several states.  Hey, Cooper — that’s fine and all but Jerry is absolutely right when he says that Ben is being deprived of his constitutional rights.

Cooper tosses Laura’s diary down in front of Ben, demanding to know if Ben knows what it is.  Cooper reads from the diary and tries to goad Ben into confessing.  It’s interesting to watch this scene because it’s hard not to feel that the normally upright Cooper has a hidden agenda here.  Cooper has become a father figure to Audrey and here’s his chance to get rid of Audrey’s actual father.  Twin Peaks is full of bad fathers, both literally and figuratively.

At the Johnson house, Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) listens to that microcassette that he found during the previous episode.  It’s a recording of Ben hiring Leo to burn down the Packard Mill.  Bobby is excite because this is his chance to blackmail Ben.  Meanwhile, Leo (Eric Da Re) spits up all over Shelly and her pretty blue nightgown.  BAD LEO!

At the Double R, Norma (Peggy Lipton) is shocked when her mother, Vivian, suddenly shows up!  Not only does Vivian appear to be rich but she’s played by Jane Greer, who starred in the classic film noir, Out of the Past.  By her presence alone, Greer serves to remind us of the huge debt that Twin Peaks has always owed to the conventions of film noir.

It turns out that Norma’s mom is very critical of both Norma’s cooking and Hank (Chis Mulkey).  It is also revealed that Norma’s mom has married a man named Ernie (James Booth), who appears to still be stuck in the 70s.

Norma says that she’s feeling nervous because there’s a food critic coming and that, with Shelly having quit to take care of Leo, she’s short of help.  “That’s why you made the place look nice,” her mom says.  (Passive aggressive for the win!)

At the Great Northern, the One-Armed Man (Al Strobel) wakes up when his armless shoulder starts to twitch.  “He’s close….” he says.  Unfortunately, the only other person in the room is a nurse and she doesn’t really seem to be paying attention.  The One-Armed Man asks her for a glass of water.  When she leaves the room, she passes a deputy.

Now, we’ve never seen this deputy before so I assume that he’s mostly there so he can be killed later on.  He walks into the One-Armed Man’s room and the One-Armed attacks him from behind.  Bye bye, Deputy Redshirt.  “I’m so sorry,” the One-Armed Man says before climbing out a window.

(Actually Deputy Redshirt is just knocked to the floor and doesn’t die but you can still be sure that this would never have happened to Hawk.)

Hank finally shows up at the Double R Diner, apologizing for being late.  It turns out that Hank has been missing for a few days.  Norma gets mad at Hank but seriously, Hank is the most charming ex-con in Twin Peaks.  Hank gets Norma to forgive him but then realizes that Vivian is working in the kitchen.  Uh-oh!

Pete (Jack Nance) comes by the sheriff’s office and catches Harry birdwatching.  As Pete talked to Harry, I noticed that Harry has a large picture of the other Harry S Truman — the mafia-connected President, old Give ‘Em Hell Harry — hanging in his office.  Pete tells Harry that Josie has left Twin Peaks.  Pete and Harry both talk about how they both loved Josie.  Harry laments that he stood there and watched as Josie left with her assistant.  Pete realizes that the “assistant” was probably Catherine in disguise.  The fact that Harry has yet to realize any of this gives us some insight into why the FBI has basically taken over the role of law enforcement in Twin Peaks.

Andy finally returns to the sheriff’s station and is shocked to see Lucy, holding Gwen’s baby.  Andy sees the baby and, assuming that Lucy somehow gave birth to a 4-month old baby over the weekend, he promptly faints.

Pete sneaks into the holding cells and plays a tape for Ben.  Ben listens to Catherine (Piper Laurie) explaining that she’s alive and that she remembers that Ben was with her on the night that Laura Palmer died.  Catherine is willing to provide an alibi but only if Ben signs over both the mill and Ghostwood Estates over to her.  Pete starts to giggle like a maniac.  (Pete!  I thought you were a nice guy!)  As an angry Ben tears apart his jail cell, another deputy that we’ve never seen before stares in at him.

Meanwhile, Leland is happily driving down a street.  He’s singing.  Sorry, I’m not going to look up which song that he’s singing.  He’d driving rather recklessly, which will certainly bring him to the attention of Cooper and Harry, who are currently driving along the same street.  Cooper is even whistling the same song that Leland is singing, a reminder that Cooper is not quite as upright as everyone thinks.  He has secrets of his own.

(I was tempted to point out that the scenes of Leland driving are shot in much the same way as the driving scenes in Lost Highway but, seeing as how David Lynch did not direct this episode, I’m going to assume it’s just a coincidence.  That said, Caleb Deschanel does a good job of recreating Lynch’s unique visual style throughout this episode.)

Just as I predicted, Leland nearly collides with Harry and Cooper.  They pull him over, right next to the golf course.  As the three of them talk, we hear the sound of golf balls being hit in the distance, and we are reminded that there is a golf bag in Leland’s trunk and that Maddy is currently in that bag.

Leland lies and says that, on the night Laura was murdered, Ben got a phone call and had an angry conversation with someone about a “dairy.”

“A diary?” Cooper corrects him.

“That could be!” Leland says.

Lucy calls for Harry.  While Harry goes back to the police cruiser, Leland asks Cooper if he’d like to see his new golf club.  Leland leads Cooper to the trunk of his car.  While he’s getting the club, Harry shouts that the One-Armed Man has been found.  Cooper looks away from Leland just as Leland sneaks up behind him with the golf club raised…

AGCK!

And yet, I have to admit that I laughed when I saw Leland about to bash the unsuspecting Cooper with that club.  It all comes down to Ray Wise’s brilliant performance as Leland/BOB.  Wise does such a good job of playing the role that we totally believe that he could successfully fool everyone in town.  We know that he was fully capable of killing Cooper at that moment but no one else would ever suspect such a thing to be true.  Even though everyone knows that he killed Jacques, everyone still thinks of him as being Leland Palmer, the somewhat goofy 1950s sitcom dad.

At the police station, Andy has recovered.  Gwen is talking to him about a time that she fainted in the produce section.  “People want terrible things to happen to you,” Gwen tells him, “I know.”  Meanwhile, Hawk leads the One-Armed Man through the police station.

In the interrogation room, Harry, Cooper, and Jerry watch as the One-Armed Man walks in a circle around Ben.  The One-Armed Man announces that “He’s been close but BOB is not here now!”  Jerry demands that Harry either charge Ben or let him go.  That may have been a mistake because Harry promptly steps forward and charges Ben with murdering Laura.

Cooper pulls Harry outside and says that they’re “saddling the horse before we’re ready to ride.”  Now, suddenly, Cooper thinks that Ben is innocent.  Harry tells Cooper that they can’t base the entire investigation on dreams and giants.  They need hard evidence and, what little evidence they have, all points to Ben Horne.

At the Great Northern, Vivian is eating dinner with Norma, Hank, and Ernie and critiquing all of the food.  OH MY GOD, could Vivian be M.T. Wentz!?  While Norma and Vivian excuse themselves to go to the ladies room, we discover that Hank and Ernie were in prison together.   Ernie used to be a gambler but he says that he’s “out of it” now.

That night, in his hotel room, Cooper talks into his tape recorder.  He says that Ben Horne is in custody and that the investigation is nearly done.  The trail, Cooper says, is narrowing but the last few steps are always the most difficult and dangerous.

Someone knocks on the door.  No surprise, it’s Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn).  She wants to come in and talk to the man who will be her new father figure if Ben is sent to prison.  Audrey asks if Cooper arrested her father.  Yep.  Did he do it?  That’s for a court to decide.  (Awww, Dale.  Your faith in the system is so touching, if misplaced.  Never change.)   Audrey says that all she ever wanted was for her father to love her and not be ashamed of her.

I watched that little scene with tears in my eyes, becoming so overcome with emotion that it was a bit of a relief when Cooper’s phone rang.  After answering it, a suddenly alarmed Cooper orders Audrey to go back to her room and lock the door.

At the waterfall, the police are in full force.  Maddy’s body, wrapped in plastic, has been found.

Between Ray Wise’s brilliant performance and that haunting final shot of Maddy, this episode left me exhausted.  As uneven as the second season was, this episode (and the one that preceded it) are as strong as anything seen during the first season.

 

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

 

 

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford)


(This Good Friday review of the fifth episode of the 2nd season of Twin Peaks is dedicated to my mom, Gloria Elena Marchi, who would have been 59 years old today.  So, it better be a good episode, right?)

This episode of Twin Peaks was directed by Graeme Clifford, an Australian filmmaker who has several films and tv shows to his credit.  As an editor, Clifford worked on some of the best films of the 70s, several of which share the surrealistic vision of David Lynch.  Among the films that Clifford worked on: Robert Altman’s Images, Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell To Earth, and the ultimate cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The Orchid’s Curse (and, as I pointed out yesterday, I love the pulpiness of that title) is the only episode of Twin Peaks that he directed.  It’s also the first of four episodes to be credited to writer Barry Pullman.

Let’s take a look at The Orchid’s Curse!

Following the haunting opening credits, we get Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).  Dale is waking up in bed and, as always, talking into his tape recorder.  He had a dream that he was eating a tasteless gum drop, just to wake up and discover that he was chewing on one of his ear plugs.  As I listened to Dale speak, I breathed a sigh of relief.  After the previous episode had him acting all out-of-character, it was nice to have the old Dale back.

Dale notices an envelope taped underneath his bed.  It’s a note from Audrey, telling Dale that she’s gone up to One-Eyed Jack’s.  Okay, Dale — now you know where Audrey is!  GO RESCUE HER!

At the police station, Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) comes in and wow, is he mad!  Oh wait — he just has to go to the bathroom.  As he explains to Harry (Michael Ontkean), two retired school teachers live in the house next to the Palmer summer home.  Neither of them have ever seen BOB before but apparently, they made him drink two pots of tea before telling him that.

Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) tells Harry that she’s going to down to Tacoma to see her sister, who has just had a baby.  She offers to stick around long enough to show the temp how to do everything.  Harry tells her that they’ve got it covered but Lucy obviously knows better.  As an administrative professional, I related so much to Lucy in this scene.

At the Johnson house, a salesman named Mr. Pinkle (David Lander) is showing Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) and Shelly (Madchen Amick) a product that he calls “porto-patient.”  Basically, it’s a harness and crane that allows you to drag around a comatose person  Shelly and Bobby are obviously planning on having some fun with Leo.  Sure, how could that backfire?  Bobby does worry that porto-patient appears to be a death trap and that they don’t want to kill Leo because then they won’t get his disability checks.  Pinkle explains that it’s either porto-patient or a wheelbarrow.

Meanwhile, Judge Sternwood (Royal Dano) is holding court at the Roadhouse, for some reason.  In my last review, I forgot to mention that Judge Sternwood travels with a much younger “law clerk.”  I’m going to guess that the character of Judge Sternwood was based on Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

William O. Douglas

Anyway, it’s time for Leland Plamer’s arraignment.  Prosecutor Lodwick (Ritch Brinkley) argues that Leland (Ray Wise) should not be given bail because of the seriousness of the crime and “the oft-witnessed instability of Mr. Palmer after the death of his daughter.”  Harry speaks on Leland’s behalf.  Harry says that Leland is a well-respected member of the community.

(Meanwhile, Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz) gets even more adorable by doing courtroom sketches, all of which are pictures of the back of Leland’s head.)

Judge Sternwood released Leland on his own recognizance, a ruling that will prove to be so ill-thought that it actually could have been issued by William O. Douglas.  (But I kid the late Judge Douglas!)

At the Harold Smith House, Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) shows up with another Meals on Wheels tray.  Harold (Lenny von Dohlen) is waiting for her, a glass of wine in his hand.

“What’s behind those deep blue eyes today?” Harold asks.  Oh, Harold!

Donna says that she’ll share her life with Harold, as a part of his “living novel,” but only if he lets her read Laura’s secret diary.  Harold offers to read the diary to her but he emphasizes that the diary must not leave his living room.

Donna starts telling Harold about her life but quickly turns things on him, asking where he’s from and where he grew up.  Harold’s from Boston and he says he grew up in books.  As I watched this scene, I found myself marveling at Lenny von Dohlen’s wonderful performance.  Harold is definitely creepy but von Dohlen still brought a definite sweetness to the character.  I actually found myself starting to get a little bit mad at the way that Donna was manipulating him.

Seriously, Donna, don’t hurt Harold!

Donna, apparently, was not listening to me because she snatched Laura’s diary and, teasingly, used it to lead Harold outside.  Harold immediately had a panic attack, which should teach Donna an important lesson about trying to act like Audrey.

Back at the Road House, Judge Sternwood rules on Leo’s competency.  Leo’s lawyer is played by songwriter Van Dyke Parks and, as I watched this scene, I found myself wondering why every lawyer and judge in Twin Peaks — with the exception Leland Palmer — insisted on dressing like an extra in a 1950s western.  I mean, it kind of works and I guess you could make the argument that Judge Sternwood holding court in the Roadhouse is meant to pay homage to Judge Roy Bean.

In other words, Roy Bean + William O. Douglas = Judge Sternwood.

Judge Sternwood summons Cooper and Harry to the bar so that he can deliberate on Leo’s competency while his “law clerk” serves up drinks.  Sternwood drinks something called a Black Yukon Sucker Punch.  Yuck.

Anyway, because he’s not a very good judge, Sternwood rules that Leo is not competent to stand trail and sends him home with Shelly.

At the Hurley house, Big Ed (Everett McGill) and James (James Marshall) attempt to adjust to a new life in which one-eyed, middle-aged Nadine (Wendy Robie) thinks that she’s a teenager.  Nadine goes to get a drink and rips off the refrigerator door.  Apparently, that’s something that’s going to be happening from now on.

At the Great Northern, Ben (Richard Beymer) enters his all-wood office and is informed that a Mr. Tojamura is here to see him.  Mr. Tojamura is the Japanese man that Ben saw last night, the one who smart viewers will have already figured out is actually Catherine (Piper Laurie) in a not very convincing disguise.  Anyway, Tojamura says that he represents an investment firm that wants to invest in the Ghostwood Project and Ben gets all excited and…

WHY ISN’T BEN WORRIED ABOUT AUDREY!?

See, this is one thing that bothers me about season 2 of Twin Peaks.  During season 1, Ben was greedy and amoral.  He wasn’t a great father but, at the same time, he did love his daughter.  That was what made Ben an interesting character.  But, in season 2, Ben is just a caricature of an evil businessmen.  Reportedly, after not interfering during season 1, ABC interfered a lot in season 2 and it’s obvious when you see how a character like Ben has been robbed of all his nuance.

Ben gets rid of Mr. Tojamura and then suddenly, Hank (Chris Mulkey) pops out of a secret passage and informs Ben that Cooper is on his way.  On schedule, Cooper enters the office and Jean Renault (Michael Parks) calls from Canada.  Jean wants Cooper to drop off a briefcase full of money at a merry-go-round, at midnight.  “Leave it by the horse’s head.”

After Cooper gets the briefcase and leaves, Hank once again pops out of the secret passage.  Ben tells Hank to follow Cooper, to make sure the money is delivered, and to bring back Audrey.  Hank is confused.  Shouldn’t Cooper bring back Audrey?  No, Ben explains, Cooper isn’t coming back.  Also, because Ben is cartoonishly evil now, he tells Hank to try to bring back both Audrey and the money.

That night, at the Hayward House, Donna and Maddy (Sheryl Lee) are conspiring on a way to ruin Harold’s life.  Donna will distract Harold and Maddy will sneak into Harold’s house and steal the diary.  Maddy, who tends to jump at her own shadow, seems like the worst possible person to use in a situation like this but then again, maybe that’s exactly why Donna’s using her.

See, this what I think is going on in Donna’s head: Maddy gets caught, Harold kills her, and then Donna gets James to herself.  Donna has crossed into the dark side!

At One-Eyed Jacks, Jean and Blackie (Victoria Catlin) are rehearsing how Jean will get the briefcase and then kill Cooper with a blade that he has hidden underneath his sleeve.  Can Jean and Blackie just die now?  They’re kind of boring as villains.  And every minute they’re alive, that’s another minute wasted on this stupid Audrey-bring-held-hostage subplot.

At the police station, Andy is struggling to figure out how to answer the phone and transfer calls.  That’s right!  Nobody appreciates a good administrative professional until she’s gone!  Anyway, Andy calls the lab and discovers that he’s no longer sterile.  As Doc Hayward puts it, “They’re not just three men on a fishing trip.  They’re a whole damn town.”  So, Andy could be the father of Lucy’s baby!  Woo hoo!  Excited, Andy calls Lucy in Tacoma and is shocked to learn that Lucy is not visiting her sister.  Instead, she’s at Adams Abortion Clinic.  “OH MY GOD!” Andy say.

In Harry’s office, Harry and Cooper are planning a raid on One-Eyed Jack’s.  Hopefully, it won’t take them as long to attack as it took Rick to stand up to Negan on The Walking Dead.  (Rick Grimes and Sheriff Truman have a lot in common but that’ll have to wait for a future post.)

Deputy Hawk comes in and says that he found out that the One-Armed Man has been staying at a motel but nobody’s seen him in a while.  Hawk found a hypodermic needle and a weird drug in the motel room.  “Weird, deep smell,” Hawk says.  Harry sends Hawk home, apparently forgetting that Hawk is a member of the Book House Boys and, therefore, there’s no reason to leave him out of the planning of the raid.

At the Double R Diner, Maddy rushes in and asks for a cup of coffee to go.  She doesn’t even notice that James is sitting at the counter.  James looked a little offended and I was worried he was going to get all weepy but instead, he just said, “Hi.”  Maddy says that she can’t talk now and, under Donna’s bad influence, she lies and says that she’s going back home.

At the Harold Smith House, Donna is talking to Harold.  Donna tells Harold about the time that she and Laura went down to the Roadhouse to meet boys.  The story starts with Laura talking Donna into wearing a short skirt and ends, as these often do, with skinny dipping.  Harold, who would have loved Twitter, says that the story was beautiful.  Meanwhile, Maddy lurks around outside.

At One-Eyed Jack’s, Cooper and Harry are also sneaking around outside.  They’re both dressed in black, like Daniel Craig in the poster for SPECTRE, so we know that it’s commando time!  As an owl — “The Owls are not what they seem,” — watches, Harry takes out one of the guards.  They sneak through the backdoor and find themselves in the brothel section of One-Eyed Jacks, which is full of young women in lingerie and middle-aged men who all give off a “Ted-Kennedy-About-To-Drive-Mary-Jo-Kopechne-Home” sort of vibe.

Outside the Harold Smith House, Maddy drinks the coffee that she got at the Double R.  Meanwhile, inside the house, Harold is telling Donna about orchids.  Harold and Donna finally kiss and, overwhelmed, Harold has to leave the room.  This is Maddy’s cue to break into the house and help Donna ruin the man’s life.

As Maddy lurks towards the house, Cooper is busy lurking around One-Eyed Jacks.  “Hi,” Cooper says, grabbing Jean’s main lackey, “would you take me to Audrey Horne please?”  Cooper is led to a bedroom, where an unconcious Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) is tied up.  After punching out Jean’s main henchwoman, Cooper untied Audrey.

Meanwhile, Harry is watching Jean and Blackie talking in another room when, suddenly, Jean stabs Blackie to death.  Well, that one down.  Jean spots Harry and runs off.  At the same time, Cooper runs up, carrying Audrey over her shoulder.  Cooper and Harry start to run for the exit when they run into a bald man holding a gun.

“Goddammit,” I yelled, “I thought this stupid kidnapping plot was finally over!”

Suddenly, the bald man falls dead.  There’s a knife on his back.  It turns out that Deputy Hawk not only followed Harry and Cooper to One-Eyed Jack’s but he’s totally cool with killing people.  Hawk’s a badass, y’all.

Outside One-Eyed Jack’s, Hank watches as Cooper, Harry, Audrey, and Hawk run off.  He calls Ben but is then grabbed from behind by Jean.

At the Harold Smith House, Maddy is looking for the diary but, because Maddy is generally incompetent and no longer wearing her big red glasses, she is struggling to find it.  Donna, who is in the greenhouse and waiting for Harold to return, tries to direct her.  You can tell Donna’s thinking, “Why couldn’t it have been me and Laura looking for Maddy’s secret diary instead?  That would have been so much easier!”

Suddenly, Harold’s back!  He’s brought Donna big flower!  Harold’s so sweet.

Despite Donna’s efforts to distract him, Harold sees Maddy stealing Laura’s diary.  Cornering Maddy and Laura and holding a scary-looking gardening tool, Harold shouts, “Are you looking for secrets!?  Do you know what the ultimate secret is!?”

At this point, I was hoping Harold would quote Jean Renior’s The Rules of the Game and say that the ultimate secret is that everyone has their own good reasons.  Instead, Harold says that it’s “the secret of knowing who killed you,” and proceeds to use the tool to cut open his face!

NO, HAROLD!

Maddy screams, as well she should.  Way to destroy someone’s life, Maddy.  I realize that it was Donna’s plan but Maddy’s the one who took too long to find the diary.

Plus, I just don’t like Maddy.

Cooper to the rescue! Yesssssssss!

Anyway, that’s it for The Orchid’s Secret.  This was a definite improvement over the previous episode, even with the kidnapping subplot.  The performances of Lara Flynn Boyle and Lenny von Dohlen elevated this entire episode while Pullman and Clifford did a pretty decent job recreating the unique style of Lynch and Frost.

All in all, a worthy episode.

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

TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland)


“Heaven is a large and interesting place, sir.”

— Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary”

I have to admit that I initially got really excited when I saw who had directed Laura’s Secret Diary.

That’s largely because I misread the name and I briefly thought that the episode was directed by the veteran horror director, Tom Holland.  I happen to be friends on Facebook with Tom Holland and I immediately started to try to figure out the least intrusive way to ask him about his experience directing for Twin Peaks… But no, on second glance, it turned out that the director of this episode was Todd Holland.  Todd Holland is another veteran director, though he’s best known for directing sitcoms.

Speaking of credits, this episode is credited to four different writers.  Along with Twin Peaks mainstays Mark Frost, Harley Peyton, and Robert Engels, credit is also given to Jerry Stahl.  Like Holland, Stahl worked on several sitcoms but he’s probably best known for his memoir, Permanent Midnight, in which he wrote about his experiences as a drug addict in Hollywood.  Permanent Midnight was later turned into a movie, starring Ben Stiller as Stahl.  (Of course, before all that, Stahl wrote the script for an odd sci-fi film called Cafe Flesh, a movie that many consider to be one of the best pornographic films of all time.)  As quoted in Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, Mark Frost says that Stahl wrote the initial script for Laura’s Secret Diary but the script was a “an absolute car wreck… He turned in a completely incomprehensible, unusable, incomplete script a few days late and as I recall there were blood stains on it.”  Stahl’s script was rewritten by Frost, Peyton, and Engels.

How did they do?  Well, let’s take a look at Laura’s Secret Diary!

As always, we start with the opening credits, attempting to lull us into the town’s false sense of security.  What’s interesting is that, with each subsequent viewing of the opening credits, those shots of Twin Peaks and the woods and the waterfall become more and more ominous.  Since the series started, we’ve learned a lot about goes on in those woods.  We know what’s lurking underneath the surface.

The show begins with a disturbing image, one that feels extremely Lynchian even if it was directed by Todd Holland.  We start with an extreme closeup of … well, we don’t know what we’re looking at it.  It appears to be a white surface that is covered with dark holes but, only as the camera pulls away, do we realize that we’re looking at the wall of the police station’s interrogation room.  On the soundtrack, we hear screams and a distorted voice repeating the words, “Daddy!” over and over again.

(As unsettling as this may be, it’s even more disturbing if you know what’s going to happen in the next few episodes.  Twin Peaks is one of the few shows that is even more unsettling in retrospect.)

We then see that Leland (Ray Wise) is staring at the wall while Harry (Michael Ontkean) and Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) attempt to talk to him about the death of Jacques Renault.  Leland confesses to the murder, crying as he does so.  As always, Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) is standing in the background, watching.  Doc Hayward is always watching in the background, almost enough to make me wonder if he’s real or if he’s just a dream character, a symbol of old-fashioned decency who has been fantasized into existence by the beleaguered citizens of Twin Peaks.

After Leland’s confession, Hayward and Cooper talk.  When Hayward expresses some sympathy for Leland, Cooper snaps, “Do you approve of murder, doctor?”  (This is our first clue that Cooper’s going to spend most of this episode not acting like his usual friendly self.)  Cooper then storms off, probably leaving Hayward to wonder just what exactly he did wrong.  However, Hayward doesn’t have long to wonder because suddenly, he’s got Andy (Harry Goaz) to deal with.

Andy is concerned that he “flunked” his “sperm test” and wants another shot.  Doc Hayward gives him a specimen jar and tells him to put it in a brown paper bag once he’s done with it.  “I’ll be in the car,” Hayward says.  Andy goes off with the jar and a copy of Flesh World (and I think it might be the same copy of Flesh World that contained Laura and Ronette’s personal ads).  Of course, he happens to run into Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), who is none too happy to see her ex-boyfriend heading to the men’s room with a pornographic magazine.  “Hmmphf!” Lucy says.

While this drama unfolds, Harry informs Cooper that the judge will be arriving that afternoon.  His name is Clinton Sternwood.  He travels the circuit in a Winnebago.  The district attorney is also coming.  His name is Darryl Lodwick.  Also, it turns out that no one named Robertson ever rented the house next to the Palmers’ summer cabin.  The house is currently rented to a family named Kalispell.  I’m assuming that it must be Funny Name Day in Twin Peaks.

Andy wanders by and, being Andy, he accidentally drops his specimen jar and it rolls underneath a chair in the waiting room.  As Andy tries to retrieve it, Cooper sees that Andy is wearing the same brand of boots that they found at Leo Johnson’s house.  Cooper asks about the boots and Andy thinks he’s asking about sperm and hilarity ensues.  Anyway, it turns out that Andy bought the boots from the One-Armed Man, who is apparently still missing.

At the Great Northern, a frantic employee runs up to Ben Horne (Richard Beymer).

“Mr. Horne!” she says.

“Walk and talk,” Ben says and…

Wait a minute!  WALK AND TALK!?  AARON SORKIN, YOU’VE JUST BEEN RIPPING OFF TWIN PEAKS!

But anyway, the employee informs Ben that she’s heard a rumor that M.T. Wentz is coming to Twin Peaks.  Well, of course, he is.  It’s Funny Name Day, after all.  But apparently, M.T. Wentz is some sort of famous travel writer.  No one knows what Wentz looks like but a favorable Wentz review could put the Great Northern on the map.

Ben steps into his office and finds Jean Renault (Michael Parks) waiting for him.  Oh my God!  M.T. Wentz is Jean Renault!?  No, actually, it turns out that Jean is just there to show Ben a video tape of Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) being held hostage.  Renault wants money and he wants Dale Cooper to serve as the delivery man.

At the Double R Diner, Hank (Chris Mulkey) tells Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) that she looks pretty today and Donna says, “Thanks,” and considers that Hank is just as troubled as James Hurley but he doesn’t cry as much.  However, Hank ruins his chances by making fun of the people on Donna’s Meals on Wheels route.  “You wouldn’t understand,” Donna tells him.

Norma (Peggy Lipton) tells Hank that she’s just heard that M.T. Wentz is in town.  Hank has no idea who that is.  Apparently, they don’t read restaurant reviews in prison.  Norma explains that a good review from M.T. Wentz could being a lot of business to the Double R, especially if it appears in a “Seattle paper.”  Apparently, Norma is hoping to corner the vegan hipster market.

Though Hank doesn’t know who M.T. Wentz is, he still grabs a hundred dollar bill from the register and then leaves to buy flowers and other stuff that could make the Double R look worthy of a good review.  He also tells Norma to call Big Ed.  Big Ed can help clean the place up!  Norma nods.  It’s not as if Big Ed ever has anything else to do.

Meanwhile, Donna is having lunch with Harold Smith (Lenny Von Dohlen) and it must be said that Harold is probably on the cuter end of the recluse scale.  Donna has to be happy that she didn’t get stuck with some sort of Howard Hughes-type with uncut finger nails and empty Kleenex boxes on his feet.  Harold offers to read something from Laura’s secret diary.  Donna says sure.

Harold reads a passage where Laura talks about how much she loves Donna.  Laura worried that Donna wouldn’t be her friend if she knew “what my insides are really like.”  Donna starts to cry and Harold apologizes.  Donna says its okay but she wonders if maybe they should give the diary to the sheriff.

“No,” Harold says, “I’ve read this from cover to cover.  There are no solutions.”

(Harold wasn’t the only person who read Laura’s diary from cover to cover.  The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was written by Jennifer Lynch and published shortly before the start of the second season.  I’ve ordered a copy from Amazon and I’ll read it as soon as it arrives.  Maybe if y’all are really nice to me, I’ll even write a review of it.)

Harold explains that people tells him their stories and he places them in a larger context.  “Friends and lovers,” Harold says, even though there don’t seem to be any around.  “Maybe you’ll be come one,” Harold says, as the creepy meter goes off the charts.

Meanwhile, at the Great Northern, Ben tells Cooper that Audrey has been kidnapped.  Cooper is upset that Ben has circumvented “normal channels” and has contacted him directly.  Uhmmm … is it just me or is Cooper kind of being a dick in this episode?  This definitely does not seem to be the same Dale Cooper who has been present in every other episode of the show.  It’s almost as if the script for this show was written by an outside writer who 1) hadn’t ever really watched Twin Peaks and 2) was struggling with personal issues of his own.

Meanwhile, at the Martell House, Josie (Joan Chen) has returned from Seattle.  Oh my God, could Josie be M.T. Wentz!?  IT WOULD EXPLAIN SO MUCH!  But anyway, Josie tells Pete (Jack Nance) that she’s sorry about the mill burning down and that she’s happy that Catherine was around to take care of things.  Pete mentions that Catherine died in the fire.  Josie and Catherine share a hug, even as Pete explains that they still haven’t found Catherine’s body but they’re still going to have a service.

“I don’t know what, exactly, we’ll be burying,” Pete says…

Wait!  If they haven’t found Catherine’s body, then she’s probably still alive!  Maybe Catherine is actually M.T. Wentz…

At One-Eyed Jacks, Emory (Don Amendolia) leads Audrey into an office where a displeased Jean is waiting.  Emory says that “Ms. Horne was a very bad girl, refusing to take her medicine.”  When Jean realizes that Emory has been hitting Audrey, Jean shoots him.  Good for Jean!

At the police station, Andy tries to approach Lucy but Lucy’s like, “Go talk to your magazines!” and she starts waving a big pair of scissors at him.  At that point, Cooper walks into the station and tells Andy to go get some air.   Cooper’s not in a good mood.  He doesn’t have time for all of this.  (In the past, Cooper would have made time but, in this episode, Dale Cooper is suddenly a raging jerk.)  After Andy leaves, Cooper orders Lucy to explain what’s bothering her.

Lucy complains that Andy doesn’t work out, doesn’t wash his car, and doesn’t own a sports coat.  That’s why she dumped Andy and started going out with Dick Tremayne.  Tremayne owns a lot of coats, Lucy explains.  Cooper asks Lucy if she knows what she wants.  “I don’t know!” Lucy wails before running off.

Having ruined Lucy’s life, Cooper tells Harry that, even though he can’t give any specific details, he needs one of the Book House Boys.  “The best one,” Cooper says.  (In other words, not James.)  “I’ll set it up,” Harry says, “9:30 at the Roadhouse.”

(Why do I have a feeling that Cooper’s going to show up at the Roadhouse and find Doc Hayward waiting for him?  Actually, the Book House Boys are starting to remind me of the Brets from Flight of the Conchords.)

That night, at the nearly deserted Double R Diner, Norma and Hank watch as a fat man with a beard (Ritch Brinkley) walks in.  “That must be him!” Norma says.  The fat man orders a cheeseburger and then heads to the bathroom.  Hank, proving the he really doesn’t understand how parole works, steals the man’s wallet while he’s gone.  Hank quickly discovers that the bearded man is not M.T. Wentz.  Instead, he’s Darryl Lodwick, the district attorney.  Hank might want to return that wallet.

At another booth, Donna and Maddy (Sheryl Lee) talk.  Maddy tries to apologize while Donna smokes a cigarette and glares at her.  She wants to steal the diary from Harold’s house.  She’ll do it with or without Maddy’s help.

As it rains outside, Harry goes to the Martell house and sees Josie.  Josie tries to distract him by modeling a sexy black dress that she bought in Seattle.  Being a paragon of truth and justice, Harry refuses to be distracted.  He demands to know if Josie set the fire at the mill.  “How could you!?” Josie responds.  Josie and Harry end up making love on a couch while a mysterious Asian man watches from outside.

(M.T. Wentz, maybe?)

At the police station, as lightning flashes outside and thunder rumbles, Lucy drinks a cup of coffee.  Judge Sternwood (played by Royal Dano, a veteran Western character actor) shows up at the station, followed by Harry and Cooper.

Sternwood asks how Cooper is finding Twin Peaks.

“Heaven, sir,” Cooper replies.

“Well, this week, heaven includes arson, multiple homicides, and an attempt on the life of a federal agent,” Sternwood replies.

“Heaven is a large and interesting place, sir,” Cooper says, a line which immediately made me think of Eraserhead and that radiator woman singing that, “In Heaven, everything is fine.”

Judge Sternwood and Cooper walk off and Lucy finally thinks that she can relax and drink her coffee.  Suddenly, here comes Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan).  Now, I have to say that, of all the new characters who showed up during the second season, Dick Tremayne is probably my favorite.  He’s just such a salesman.  Of course, he’s a jerk, too.  But Ian Buchanan gives such a lively performance.

Dick says that he hasn’t slept.  He hasn’t eaten.  He’s been a fool.  Dick has realized that he must do the right thing and that means … giving Lucy $650 for an abortion.  Lucy kicks him out of the station and then locks herself in Harry’s office, loudly sobbing.

Andy escorts Leland to his meeting with the judge, only briefly stopping when he hears the distraught Lucy cry out, “OH DICK!  WAS IT JUST YOUR ASCOT?!”

Judge Sternwood talks to Leland, saying that he knows Leland to be a decent man and a good attorney.  Sternwood says that procedures must be observed but promises to raise a glass with Leland in Valhalla.  Since Lodwick is still at the diner, the Judge decides to hold off on determining bail until the morning.  Leland says that’s fine and that everyone’s being very nice to him in jail.

After Leland is escorted out, the Judge tells Harry and Cooper that they all have very difficult jobs.  Maybe not as difficult as M.T. Wentz’s job but difficult nonetheless.

At the Great Northern, Ben is talking to the Lumber Queen semi-finalists while the mysterious Asian man stares at him.  Ben and the Asian Man bow towards each other.  The Asian man is checking into the hotel.  He says that he only pays in cash and that he’s from Seattle.  Oh my God, could it be M.T. Wentz!?  That’s certainly what the desk clerk thinks…

Except, of course, we know that it’s not M.T. Wentz.  It’s pretty obvious that the Asian man is actually Catherine Martell in disguise.  It doesn’t matter how much makeup she wear or how much she lowers her voice, Piper Laurie is Piper Laurie.

At the Martell House, Josie’s cousin, Jonathan (Mark Takano), has arrives.  Josie introduces him to Pete. Pete goes off to get coffee and suddenly, Jonathan sneers and says he doesn’t know how Josie survived living in Twin Peaks.  Jonathan says they have to get back to Hong Kong.  “Are there any complications?” Jonathan asks.

(Oh, there’s always a few.  It’s Twin Peaks!)

Meanwhile, at the Roadhouse, Dale waits for the arrival of the best Book House Boy.  Now, I have to admit that I was expecting either Hank or maybe M.T. Wentz to come walking through the door.  Instead, it’s Harry!

“Are we in any particular hurry?” Harry asks.

“Harry, let me buy you a beer,” Dale says.

Sure, Cooper, why not?  I mean, hey, IT’S NOT LIKE AUDREY’S BEEN KIDNAPPED WHILE TRYING TO HELP YOU OUT OR ANYTHING!

Seriously, what’s going on with Dale in this episode?

Hey, Cooper — remember Audrey!?

At the Double R, Hank (who apparently lives in the diner) is woken up by someone knocking on the front door.  When Hank goes to answer the door, he is attacked by Jonathan.  Jonathan knocks him to the floor and then says, “Blood brother.  Next time, I take your head off.”

And this rather frustrating and uneven episode of Twin Peaks comes to an end.

It’s hard to know what to make of Laura’s Secret Diary.  There were parts that I really liked, like the opening shot in the interrogation room and some of the humor between Andy, Lucy, and Dick.  But, at the same time, you’ve got Dale acting totally out-of-character, the strangely unresolved M.T. Wentz thing, and it’s hard not to feel that Audrey Being Kidnapped is a storyline that should have been resolved in two episodes, as opposed to being dragged out for as long as it was.  Audrey is too important a character to spend the first half of season 2 in a daze.

Tomorrow’s episode — The Orchid’s Kiss!

(That sounds like the title of one of the paperbacks that my sister would select for Artwork of the Day, doesn’t it?)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (dir by Caleb Deschanel)


“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?

Walter Neff

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!”

Rest in Peace, Waldo

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.

Kyle MacLachlan as Cary Grant in 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.

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

 

 

TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter)


“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.)

Go to Hell, Sad Clown!

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.

Jerry Horne announces that they are all Icelanders.

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”

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