Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Twin Peaks Tuesdays: Episode 19

By Edward Copeland
Is it too soon to say that I'm starting to join in the naysayers who feel that the wheels are coming off of Twin Peaks as it marches on after the revelation of Laura's killer and the death of Leland Palmer? I'm not as critical of all the storylines like others are: Ben losing his mind is amusing me as is Nadine in high school. The scenes involving mysteries surrounding Major Briggs' disappearance and Cooper's continued legal problems with the foreboding of Windom Earle hold my interest. However, the feuding Milford brothers, Dick and Andy and little Nicky and, most especially, James' by-the-numbers film noir storyline are trying my patience.

Thankfully, this episode begins with one of the better threads as Bobby once again tries to get Ben Horne to put him to work. A disheveled Horne has created an odd structure atop his desk, which he feels indicates balance. Bobby tries to keep Horne on subject and asks him if he received the tape where he and Leo discuss burning the mill. "Frankly," Ben says, "I'm surprised Leo could master the technology." Still, Ben relents and gives Bobby an assignment: Follow Hank and take photos and see what he is up to. As Bobby exits Ben's office, he nearly runs into newlywed Lana Milford, who is running down the hall of the Great Northern shrieking at the top of her lungs.

At the sheriff's office, Cooper is meeting with a real estate agent, assuming that Twin Peaks could become his permanent residence. The agent asks which property he'd like to see first and Cooper lets a coin decide. When it lands, it rests on the photo of a property called Dead Dog Farm. The agent apologizes, saying she didn't realize that house was in there as it has a reputation for bad luck. That doesn't discourage Agent Cooper, who says that's the one he wants to see first. In the lobby, Andy, Dick and Lucy are getting a rundown on little Nicky's tragic past from a woman (Molly Shannon) who works for the orphanage that placed him with Dick as a foster parent. Nick has had a past filled with tragedy involving the death of his parents and other misfortune. The visit is interrupted when Harry calls Andy away on a call to the Great Northern: It seems that Dougie Milford has expired in his honeymoon bed, surrounded by all sorts of sexual books and devices. Mayor Milford says his brother never could say no to a woman and then tosses one of the sexual tomes at Harry, saying that it is the murder weapon and Lana should be arrested. Outside the room, Lana insists she is cursed, telling a story about how her first kiss with a boy with braces ended up with the young man having a broken jaw. Hawk is obviously smitten nonetheless, but he looks none too smooth when someone opens the door behind him and he falls backward.

At the high school, Coach Wingate gives an inspirational speech about breaking the color barrier in sports as he announces that he's breaking the gender barrier by allowing Nadine to join the wrestling team. To prove her skill, she takes on the team's best wrestler, Mike. Throughout their match, Nadine tries to get Mike to go out on a date with her while Mike tries to help her through the match, afraid she'll get hurt, but of course he's the one who ends up getting slammed and pinned. Later, he begs Donna at her locker to pretend that they are still dating so he can get rid of Nadine, but Donna won't help. Perhaps an older woman is what he needs, she suggests, but Mike doesn't want to date someone who can body slam him. Meanwhile, in the ever-tedious noir storyline in another town, James meets Evelyn's brother, Malcolm (Nicholas Love) who works as Jeffrey Marsh's chauffeur. The real estate agent shows Cooper the rundown property known as Dead Dog Farm and Coop soon realizes that coin brought him there for a reason as he finds evidence of a recent meeting as well as traces of baby laxative and cocaine.

Dick takes Nicky out for another outing, only he encounters a flat tire and has to get his hands dirty to fix it. The rambunctious child keeps steering the wheel, honking the horn and generally annoying Dick. He orders him out of the vehicle. When Nicky asks if he's mad, Dick says no and the kid goes off and sobs. Suddenly, the jack slips and Dick is nearly crushed. Nicky comes running back and hugs Dick, saying he was afraid he'd lose another parent. A senior officer in the Air Force drops by to talk to Harry and Cooper about Major Briggs. He asks specifically about any wildlife in the area and Coop mentions hearing an owl. Dale inquires about the White Lodge, but the officer insists that is classified. Dale mentions the message that Briggs brought him from their outer space monitors, but the officer corrects him: The messages came from beneath the woods. He says that Briggs has hardware most could only dream of and his disappearance could make the Cold War look like a case of the sniffles. Meanwhile, James grows seemingly dumber by the minute and starts making out with Evelyn, just as Jeffrey comes home. Bobby delivers his photos to a very pleased Ben, who has now dressed himself in a Confederate uniform and seems to be re-enacting the Civil War with toy soldiers.

Back at the Packard homestead, Catherine and Pete sit down for a celebratory meal with Josie serving as their maid. Pete admits he thinks Catherine is being too hard on Josie, but Catherine reminds him that Josie played a role in Andrew's "death" and tried to destroy her as well. Pete still can't believe Josie could be capable of such things. Cooper receives another chess move from Windom Earle, only he's startled because Windom's response to his move arrived before his move was even published in the paper, meaning Earle knew what he would do. Audrey visits Dale and shows him the photos Bobby took for her father, photos that show Hank and Ernie meeting with Jean Renault and the mountie at Dead Dog Farm. Coop says that Audrey may have just saved his life. Agent Bryson arrives and Cooper shares the good news and Audrey displays some jealousy, not realizing he isn't really a woman. After Audrey gives Cooper a big kiss and leaves, Denise asks who the babe is, surprising Dale who figured Bryson wouldn't be interested in the opposite sex anymore. "I may be wearing a dress but I still put my pants on one leg at a time, if you know what I mean," Bryson replies. At the sheriff's station, the mayor still insists that Lana be charged in his brother's desk but the young woman annoys Lucy as well, exhibiting some sort of entrancing power on all the men who cross her path.

Ed and Norma share a quiet talk at the Double R, a talk that is watched by Hank, though Chris Mulkey obviously wasn't available for the episode since he wasn't in the credits and Hank is depicted only by a hand playing with his signature domino. Following his near-death experience with little Nicky, Dick tells Andy that they need to do some detective work to learn how his parents really died. At the Double R, Denise corners Ernie in a booth and tells him he's ready to send him away for life for parole violations unless he helps them set up Jean Renault with a fake drug deal. Back in noirland, James hears what sounds like a brutal beating and Malcolm pays a visit to his room, telling him that Jeffrey has always abused Evelyn and he's always vowed to kill him one day. At the Briggs residence (whose living room happens to have a lamp in the shape of an owl), Bobby comes home to find his distraught mother. He does his best to comfort her about his missing dad when suddenly lightning flashes and Major Briggs is standing in the living room in an old-fashioned pilot's uniform. He tells Bobby to put out his cigarette and fix him a stiff drink as he hugs his wife. She asks if everything is OK to which the major replies, "No, not exactly."

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