Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Twin Peaks Tuesdays: Episode 8

BLOGGER'S NOTE: Today, I'm beginning a new feature (or folly, depending how it goes). Since I finally got my hands on the new DVD release of Twin Peaks' second season, I've decided to pretend as if the show is airing once a week and will do episode recaps as if I'm watching them for the first time and they are airing for the first time. So please indulge me and pretend that we are suddenly back in the fall of 1990. I hope you Peaks fans out there enjoy this exercise.

By Edward Copeland
After a summer waiting for the return of David Lynch's spectacular, groundbreaking new series after a mere eight episode run last spring (the disparity in episode numbering stems from the fact that the very first episode was titled "Pilot" and the shows didn't start getting numbers until the second installment), Twin Peaks finally has returned with a two hour premiere directed by Lynch himself and filled with the show's signature deft mixture of offbeat humor, emotion and creepiness.

For those who forgot where we left off (and the only people who possibly could have forgotten were the ones who stopped watching the show), the series' main mystery of "Who killed Laura Palmer?" was just the main unanswered question as the first season finale fit the true definition of a cliffhanger with the following events
1. Someone attacked Dr. Jacoby in the park.
2. Laura's father Leland smothered drug smuggler Jacques Renault to death.
3. Leo tied up Shelly in the Packard Saw Mill and lured Catherine there, before setting it ablaze for Ben Horne; Pete braved the flames try to save his wife.
4. Leo found Bobby at home and was about to kill him when Hank Jennings shot Leo.
5. Audrey, undercover at One Eyed Jack's, was about to be discovered by her father who owns the Canadian brothel.
6. Big Ed discovered that Nadine had taken an overdose of pills in an attempt to commit suicide.
7. Bobby and Mike had framed James by putting cocaine in his motorcycle and he was arrested.
8. Lucy shocked Deputy Andy with the news that she's pregnant.
9. Agent Cooper opened his hotel room door at the Great Northern only to be shot three times.

Shew. That's a lot of loose ends to tie up and even with two hours, they don't get to most of them. First up, in a scene certain to delight fans and frustrate casual viewers, we begin with a wounded Coop (Kyle MacLachlan) lying on his hotel room floor as a decrepit waiter (played by veteran character actor Hank Worden) doesn't seem to notice the severity of his condition and is more intent on just delivering the milk Coop ordered and having him sign the bill. He also notices the phone that was left off the hook with Andy speaking on it when Cooper went to answer the door and the waiter was kind enough to hang it up. "I hung up the phone for ya," the decrepit old man tells the prone and bleeding agent, who meekly replies, "OK." The waiter does take time to add as he's leaving, "I've heard about you" several times and gives Coop the thumbs up. It's funny and frustrating, but eventually it gives way to the introduction of another character who appears to be from another world, a giant (Carel Struycken) who delivers Cooper three puzzling clues and takes his ring, promising to return it once Coop learns that what he says is true: 1) there's a man in a smiling bag; 2) the owls are not what they seem; and 3) without chemicals, he points. He also tosses in "Leo locked inside a hungry horse" before vanishing and leaving Cooper bleeding on the floor.

The episode leaves Cooper as well, switching to the situation across the border at One Eyed Jack's where Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) is anxious to break in "the new girl," unaware that it is his own daughter Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn), sleuthing undercover hoping to find out more about Laura's murder. She does her best to fend off Ben's advances while his brother Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) is outside taunting One Eyed Jack's manager Blackie (Victoria Catlin) by denying her a needed fix of heroin. Soon though, Jerry comes knocking to inform Ben that a situation has arisen and Audrey escapes though Ben tells her as he leaves, "You know how to interest a man" and promises to come back. Before the brothers Horne have returned to the Great Northern, the still-bleeding Agent Cooper starts dictating to Diane on his tape recorder, hoping he left it on voice activation (The dialogue is contained on the audio cassettes of Cooper's notes put on sale earlier this year). Before Coop gets too far, Harry, Hawk and Andy (Michael Ontkean, Michael Horse, Harry Goaz) arrive and Cooper loses consciousness before awakening at the hospital, mumbling about the wood tick he was trying to get when he lifted his bulletproof vest that enabled his injuries.

Once awake, Harry asks Lucy (Kimmy Robertson, now listed in the main credits) to bring Cooper up to speed and she informs him that Leo (Eric Da Re) was shot and is in a coma, Nadine (Wendy Robie) took an overdose of pills and was in a coma, the mill burned, Shelly and Pete (Madchen Amick, Jack Nance) have smoke inhalation, Josie and Catherine (Joan Chen, Piper Laurie) are missing and that Jacques Renault (Walter Olkewicz) was murdered, prompting Cooper to understandbly ask, "How long was I out?" Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) tells Cooper that hospital hasn't seen this much activity since a fabled fire back in 1959. Despite Doc's objections, Cooper insists that he's well enough to get back on the job, merely asking for a couple hours to get dressed before they go to search Leo's house.

Meanwhile, things remain off-kilter at the Palmer household where Maddie (Sheryl Lee) tells her Aunt Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) that she had a dream about a certain part of the living room carpet before Leland (Ray Wise), apparently having had a restful night's sleep after smothering Jacques to death, emerges for the day energetically singing "Marzie Doats" and sporting a full head of white hair. Leland's good mood and singing follows him to the Great Northern, ready to return to work and even getting Ben and Jerry to dance along as he continues to sing. Later, Ben and Jerry find Hank Jennings (Chris Mulkey) standing in the dark of Ben's office and push him for answers as to why Leo isn't dead, whether Catherine could be and where are Josie's whereabouts. Hank tries to offer an explanation, but Ben reminds him that he and his brother are the brains and that he's merely a bicep who is to flex for them when he's told to.

Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) is undergoing a personality change, having Maddie fetch Laura's sunglasses for her and turning dark and seductive as she wears them. She visits dim bulb James (James Marshall) in the jail and surprises him with her moves, including suddenly smoking cigarettes. James asks when she picked up the habit and Donna says she only smokes when she's tense. James, missing a lot of obvious reasons why she might be tense, asks when she got so tense to which she replies, "When I started smoking." Donna also receives a note urging her to check into the Meals on Wheels program in which Laura participated.

As the still recuperating Cooper resumes his investigative duties, the delightful asshole of an FBI agent, Albert Rosenfeld, (Miguel Ferrer) arrives to unload fresh new insults and to look into Dale's shooting. Ferrer's brief appearances in season one were a treat, but he's on fire upon his return as he alienates sweet Andy and tries to stifle a laugh as Cooper encounters Big Ed (Everett McGill) in the hospital, who tells of his history with Nadine and how she lost her eye. Albert also brings Coop some unwelcome news: his ex-partner Windom Earle, who went insane and was locked up in a mental hospital, has escaped. While still at the hospital, Coop also spots the late Jacques Renault hanging in a body bag that resembles a smile, answering one of the giant's first clues. Andy solves another puzzler for him when he discovers that Leo had been jailed in Hungry Horse, Montana, on the same day Teresa Banks was murdered, making him unlikely as Laura's killer.

One of the most touching scenes in the season two premiere happens when Major Briggs (Don S. Davis) encounters his son Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) at the Double R Diner. The major, who was portrayed in season one almost exclusively as a strict disciplinarian, shares with his son a calming dream he had about Bobby's future and how hopeful it made him. His sincerity almost brings the stunned Bobby to tears, though he's brought back to reality as he spots Hank and remembers that he saw him shoot Leo, though he keeps the information to himself.

The Palmers pay a dinner visit to the Haywards where Leland continues in his good mood as Doc grills him about the sudden change in his hair color. Leland can't explain it, but says he feels as if a giant burden has been lifted from his shoulders. He's still grieving for his slain daughter, but something has changed. He then proceeds to engage in another song, this time "Get Happy" with perhaps a potentially important lyric: Get ready for judgment day. As he sings though, Leland faints, much to Sarah's embarrassment and as Doc brings him back around, Leland is ready for the show to go on urging them to "Begin the Beguine."

Back at One Eyed Jack's, Audrey, having escaped her encounter with her father and endured a tongue lashing from Blackie, prays to Agent Cooper that he find the note she left him, which slid under the hotel bed when he was shot. As Cooper prepares to go back to sleep after his extremely long and eventful day, the giant pays him another visit to tell him that three people have seen "him," but only one his body and that person is ready to talk. The giant also tells Cooper he forgot something, presumably reminding him about Audrey's note. Back at the hospital, Ronette Pulaski (Phoebe Augustine) begins to stir out of her coma, having flashbacks to the Laura's murder in the train car and, in one of the most frightening, quickly edited sequences the series has produced yet, she relives the crime and sees horrifying glimpses of the long-haired man that popped up in Cooper's dream and Sarah's vision. I'm sure some will complain, but I found the second season premiere to be great and I'm grateful for the show's return.

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I got the second season as a gift, and will join you in your twin peaks tuesdays.
Glad to hear it. I was hoping people would join in.
I myself picked up the second season this weekend and am very excited to start watching it again.

I am going to try to catch up so I'm tracking with you.

This was my favorite show of all time and am glad to have the entire collection.
Ed -

Even though I'm a few eps ahead of you, I'll be checking in as well.

Tuning into the beginning of S2 wasn't easy after the ride that was the finale of S1. I'm over it now and can watch that scene for whatever the hell it is -- but upon that first viewing I was bordering on pissed off.

(I eagerly await your recaps of the James/Evelyn storyline.)
how does bob kill Laura?
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