Twin Peaks: Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer

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Aright welcome back to my third (!!!) post in my Twin Peaks series. Lately I’ve been on a kick of completing all sorts of little tasks and projects that I’ve set for myself. What’s notable about this is that I’ve been doing it consecutively. It’s only been about two weeks but if I make it to week three then science says it will become a habit. Here’s hoping.

So ~officially~ we are on the second episode of the first season even though unofficially there have been three episodes so far. You can catch up on the pilot and the first episode recaps through the links. As always, none of these posts will be free from spoilers.

Let’s get into it.

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The previous episode gave us the rundown on all of the major affairs and most of the major scandals that’s going on in the picturesque town of Twin Peaks. Going into this show you think it’s just going to be a simple whodunnit murder mystery over the golden girl. Dale Cooper, who is an outsider to Twin Peaks like us, takes up whittling because as he says,

That’s what you do in a town where a yellow light still means slow down and not speed up.

However we find out that the majority of the residents of this town are not what they seem. Laura, who started the meals on wheels program, who got good grades and was popular. Laura, was also addicted to cocaine, and a drug dealer and dabbled in some sex work.

This is not to say that all these traits can’t coexist or that she is to blame for her death. This show did come out in the early 90s and this is generally the attitude and how they are framing Laura’s story. (So far.)

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Another character that is leading a double life is Laura’s boyfriend, Bobby Briggs. He’s a football hero, one of the popular kids but on the flip side he is also a drug dealer and is having an affair with Shelly Johnson.

This episode we start to make real strides into solving all of the mysteries of the show and we start to get a clearer picture of the seedy underbelly of Twin Peaks.

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We pretty much pick up right where the previous episode ended. Ben Horne has just gotten done being  jackass to his daughter and then he joins them for an uncomfortably silent family dinner. It is quickly interrupted by the arrival of Ben’s brother, Jerry. Ben lets him know that the deal with the Norwegians fell through because of Laura’s death. (But really it’s because of my queen Audrey.) I don’t really understand what Jerry does for Ben’s business, it seems like he’s just out and about in Europe trying to find investors.

[Side note: I actually did have that sandwich that’s described in the show. A baguette, stuffed with butter and camembert. It really is truly delicious. But I didn’t eat it like the way Ben does, he’s an animal.]

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If you had any doubts before if Ben was a creep or not, he confirms it this episode. To make Jerry feel better about the failed deal, Ben proposes that they go to One Eyed Jacks which is a casino and a secret brothel. One Eyed Jacks isn’t located directly in Twin Peaks, it’s in Canada, but it’s close enough that the brothers Horne just have to take a quick little boat trip to. I really have to give them props for being absolutely faithful to the whole casino/deck of cards theme.

Ben isn’t taking Jerry there to gamble, apparently there is a “new girl” who is “freshly scented from the perfume counter” and Jerry has a 50/50 chance of being “first in line.” Barf. And double barf again when you remember that Ronette had worked at that perfume counter recently.

Next we see Donna and James and their little dinner date with Donna’s family. I was initially going to skip over it because I find Donna and James so boring together. Every time they try to push this narrative that they loved each other all along but never knew because of Laura just makes me roll my eyes. No, you guys just think you’re in love because you’re still in shock and grieving over your friend’s death. Also all they seem to do is stare into each other’s eyes and whisper to each other about what they’re going to do and ugh, sick of it.

The first time that I watched this however I was honestly shook how Donnas’ parents were just like, “Well we’re going up to bed. Good night kids!” And just left James and Donna by themselves. Like… my parents would never. I think the only kind of ~parenting (I don’t really know what else to call it lol, even though I don’t feel like it’s technically that. Anyways. Whatever.)

It was kind of cute how Donna’s dad, Dr. Hayward lingered a little and asked if Donna was going to go to church with them in the morning lol. And then when he reminded her again that they were going to leave at 9am.

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While this is happening Bobby and Mike go to their pick up point, which is a hole in a tree, in the woods lol. Inside a football there’s some cocaine, and just as they are about to leave Leo Johnson steps out from the shadows demanding the second half of the money that they owe him. Which is actually in Laura’s security deposit box. There is also this mysterious man that is seen in the woods, but only Bobby seems to be the one who can see him.

Leo makes some typical threats, and it’s pretty clear that he suspects it’s Bobby that Shelly is sleeping with. Bobby later vows to kill Leo but at the moment you can see he is terrified and is trying to calm Leo down. It’s been hinted that Bobby knows about Leo’s “dark side”. Which I honestly don’t think is a stretch because Leo doesn’t exactly hide that he’s an abusive, controlling dick.

This also makes me wonder just how much coke they must be moving. Although to be honest I know nothing about how much coke costs so lol maybe twenty grand is an appropriate figure for a small town.

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The next day starts us off with an update about another one of Twin Peaks dysfunctional couples in unhealthy relationships. It seems pretty clear lately that Nadine is unbalanced. She goes through extremely dramatic mood swings and it seems that Ed is only with her out of obligation as he cheats on her with Norma Jennings pretty much all the time.

Nadine’s current obsession are her drape runners. She wants to make them silent and she believes that cotton balls will solve her problems. However, Ed accidentally drops some grease on them as he’s coming home to shower from his job fixing cars and this is when we learn that Nadine is amazingly strong.

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However, later on Nadine is ecstatic that Ed greased up her cotton balls because now she has those silent drape runners she’s always wanted. I’ll give it to Nadine though, she’s already dreaming of all the money she’s going to be making when she patents this.

The last half of the episode focuses on the main mystery: Who killed Laura Palmer?

Going by the clue in Laura’s diary, her last entry said:

Nervous about meeting J tonight

SA Dale’s method of narrowing down his list of suspects is unorthodox to say the least. He opens up about Tibet and how much he admires the Tibetans and how he wishes he could help them and the Dalai Lama. He then segues into a dream he had where he learnt this “trick”. He says one of the names out loud, and throws a rock at a glass bottle.

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This is how he narrows down his suspects to Dr. Jacoby, whose rock struck the bottle but did not break it. And Leo Johnson whose rock broke the bottle. The clue “Jack with One Eye” was slipped underneath Cooper’s door at his hotel room. We all know it was Audrey who did it. I love her, she is always working out ways to take down her dad.

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I know, and I have to remind myself that a of Lynch’s work doesn’t mind bending reality a little bit. The whole Tibet and ~I had a dream nonsense smacks of mystical orientalism to me, but back then those things were able to happen without as big a public outcry as it would be now.

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Back at the Double R Diner, Donna is having an after church meal with her parents when Audrey walks in. Audrey has taken a liking to black coffee because of her crush on Dale, and the two have a cute little moment where they giggle over crushes. Probably what they were doing before Laura’s murder caused such an upset in their lives.

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We learn that Audrey didn’t exactly like Laura from Donna. Audrey clarifies by saying there were things about Laura that she didn’t like, but Laura was always kind and a patient tutor for her brother Johnny that Audrey loves her for that.

Audrey drops some more clues about her issues with Laura by asking Donna if Laura ever talked about her father. When Donna presses Audrey for what she means, she remains mum before saying, that Ben used to sing to Laura.

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The way Audrey says it, looking down and on a sigh, I can hear how this fact makes her a little sad and a little jealous of the fact that her father was always kinder to Laura. You can also sense her unease as she knows her father is a louse and doesn’t want to think too deeply on whether or not her father and Laura had an affair.

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And then in one of the most iconic scenes, she just gets up and starts dancing by herself, while sighing, “Isn’t it too dreamy?”

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Later on that evening we see Pete Martell sneak a key to Josie while his wife, Catherine, asks him about the FBI visit today. Josie takes the key and discovers that Catherine has two sets of accounting ledgers, with very different entries. Fixing the books seems quite small compared to her other upcoming crimes. Such as arson, and more fraud.

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It’s easy to forget about Laura’s parents while all these things are happening in the town. In a very sad last scene, we see how Laura’s parents are still adrift, lost in their own grief for Laura.

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It’s kind of sad, because sometimes when I think of my own death, I obviously view it as life is over. When in reality, it’s really only my life that is over and everyone still has to go on dealing with their own problems while also dealing with their grief. If they have nothing to distract them then it can quickly consume them as it has with Laura’s parents.

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The tail end of the episode introduces us to the Red Room, which will loom large over the rest of the series as it progresses. It starts out in Dale’s dream, and there we finally learn about the One Armed Man (Mike) and he tells us about Bob. This dream sequence always scares the shit out of me for several reasons.

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The general eeriness of it all is enough for me lol but then I genuinely find Bob to be terrifying. That was a brilliant casting choice for Lynch lol because there is this kind of menacing aura about him.

After that Cooper is back in the Red Room, and there The Man from Another Place, says one of the most iconic lines in the shows history: “That gum you like is going to come back in style.”

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Cooper mentions that Laura is right there in front of him, but The Man from Another Place says that that is her cousin and they look a lot alike. (Which is notable for a future episode.) At the end, Laura gets up, kisses Cooper (idk why, I felt like that was unnecessary) then whispers in his ear who killed Laura Palmer.

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Dale wakes up and phones Harry to tell him the news. He refuses to divulge who actually killed Laura and says that the news will keep till the morning.

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While I’m watching the episode it honestly doesn’t feel this fast or action packed. In fact in doing these recaps I’m always surprised by how much they squeeze into forty five minutes.

Favourite Looks from this Episode:

Again, there weren’t that many that I truly loved and was slayed by. A lot of the outfits the characters have worn before, or they all dress in a uniform.

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Josie is truly my saviour in these fashion dry episodes. Sure she only appeared briefly wearing a nightgown and yet another fabulous robe. I tried so hard to get a grab of her nightgown because it was soo gorgeous. White silk and the top is kind of a butterfly style. Her sister in law Catherine Martell gets a mention this episode because her robe is also pretty.

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I tried really hard to get a grab of this. But as skeezy as they are the Horne brothers are flashy dressers. I loved how Jerry had a little Eiffel Tower charm dangling from his bowtie.

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The madam of One Eyed Jacks, Blacky, also wore a very dramatic black gown. I love the structural shoulders, but wish they could have hemmed the dress a bit more or given her higher heels.

Special honorary mention goes to Audrey’s top in the diner scene.

As always, thanks for reading and see you at the next recap (:

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