Wednesday, July 26, 2017


We begin with a beautiful shot of a blazing full moon as seen through the pines. Perhaps an indication that this episode is going to be a “night side” episode, wherein dream logic, and symbolic messages, and intuition are all just as important, if not more so, than solid, tangible evidence, or verifiable facts.

There are actually two or three moments in this episode that underscore the unreliability of scientifically verifiable fact, or wherein synchronicity and coincidence are key to unraveling the show’s mysteries. I will point those out as they occur.

Cooper complains to Diane that he can’t sleep because Jerry has arrived with a large group of potential Ghostwood investors from Iceland, and they’re celebrating in raucous Viking fashion. He asks her to send him two pair of ear plugs that he uses when he’s in New York City. He figured he wouldn’t need them in pastoral Twin Peaks. Is this the show telling us that small-town America is capable of being just as evil as big city America?

As ever, Audrey waylays Cooper during his (coffee only today) breakfast at the Great Northwestern’s restaurant. She reveals her intention to help with his case.

Audrey sidles up close to Cooper and says: “I can’t believe you were ever my age.”

Cooper says he has the pictures to prove it, then asks: “How old are you?” 18, Audrey answers. To which Cooper replies, somewhat coyly: “See you later, Audrey.”

Jerry Horne, Ben’s Kubrickean amalgam brother, is back. He’s speaking fluent Icelandic with one of the investors. How does he know all these languages? Jerry is definitely an otherworldly type, what with his indefatigability and his access to countless useful skills.

There is something strange about Jerry's shirt. The pattern of the buttons—from top to bottom: backslash, dot, vertical line, double dot, dot—is altogether new to me. I’ve never seen their like before, although they did remind me of the old style of blazing for trails that I learned in my years of Scouting. Here is the patter on its side:

Ultimately, Jerry’s shirt almost makes him look like one of those white dominoes Hank plays with. I have a difficult time believing this wardrobe choice was purely coincidental. If you think you know what this could represent, please let us know in the comments section!

Jerry reveals that he’s in love with a Viking ice queen named Heppa, and that she’s given him a huge leg of lamb. “You crush some garlic, some fresh mint, that’s rotisserie heaven!”

Ben informs Jerry that he’s planned a big to-do, “a gala reception… all of Twin Peaks’ best and brightest” for the investors, to be followed, if necessary, by a little trip up to “you know where”, while giving the one-eyed sign.

Of course today, a quarter century since Twin Peaks first aired, we have the Internet. And with the Internet comes easy access to information, which means even easier access to total crap information. Even the most basic of online searches relating to the symbolism of covering one eye will reveal literally millions of results giving you literally thousands of different interpretations. 

The choice, at this point, becomes which one you find more credible; to which are you willing to give the benefit of the doubt? Are the people making this sign alerting us to the fact that they're Freemasons by making the sign of the Eye of Providence? Or are they practitioners of ritual magick, making the sign of the Eye of Horus? And what, if anything, does Lady Gaga have to do with the Illuminati? Or else, could Ben's secretive sign-making have something to do with the fact that it isn't good form to be bellowing out the name of a whore house in your place of business? 

We'll leave this mystery for other, braver souls to unravel. For now, let's get back to the show.

Leland Palmer enters Ben’s office, looking rough as usual.

When Ben suggests Leland take a vacation with his wife, Sarah, Leland says “I’m afraid to, Ben! I’m afraid!” Why would that be?

At Jaques Rennault’s apartment, Cooper and the Sheriff Department look around.

There is a painting of a traditional French-Canadian style fiddle on the apartment wall.

On the table, there is a water bong for smoking marijuana, a pair of googly-eyes novelty glasses, spilled popcorn and orange peels, and a yellow wax candle. Quite the bachelor pad.

Here’s one of those moments I mentioned where science and reason actually thwart the seekers. When Dr Hayward reveals that the blood on the shirt discovered in Jacques’ apartment isn’t Laura’s, Cooper automatically assumes that it’s Jacques’, but we know this isn’t possible, because Shelly got to the shirt before Jacques went missing. All we really know is that the blood is AB-.

Upon inspecting a ceiling light fixture, Cooper discovers a hidden swinger’s magazine and a series of correspondences relating to the personals ads therein. It’s the same edition that they’d previously found in Laura’s safe deposit box.

Among the mailed in replies to the ad, they find a photograph of a cross-dressing man. Sheriff Truman declares him “no Georgia peach.”

Once again, they spot the photo of Leo’s long-haul truck.

Shelly and Bobby Briggs continue to scheme and fantasize about what they’re going to do to Leo. Deputy Andy shows up and Shelly tells him that he’s been fraternizing with “someone named Jaques”, as she and Bobby planned.

After Andy leaves, Shelly and Bobby celebrate until Leo calls in to check and see if anyone’s been looking for him. She tells him there hasn’t been. The plan comes together.

Norma visits Big Ed at his gas station to inform him of Hank having achieved parole. Neither of them appears ready to tell their significant others about the other. Nadine, who is in a nearby town meeting with patent attorneys about her silent drape runners, “isn’t well”, according to Ed, although he doesn’t know what the problem is exactly.

For a moment, the lovers are seen behind a large metallic X. Perhaps a sign that, despite their avowals of love for each other, things will not end well for them?

Audrey meets with Emory, who manages the department store for her father, Ben. 

She threatens to accuse him of sexual assault if he doesn’t let her work the perfume counter.

Her scheme succeeds. She seems rather pleased with herself, as usual.

James reveals to Donna his deep dark secrets, these being that his dad didn’t really die, but instead was a bum musician, and that his mother is a failed writer and alcoholic bar fly.

Donna seems to feed on James’ shame and secrets, which seem to be her main source of sustenance. Secrets and shame.

They promise to each other to figure out what happened to Laura, because “she’s out there, wandering like a restless spirit.” The music swells, and we get a scenic view of the lake. Ah, love in bloom!

As the search of Jaques apartment continues, Cooper opens a cabinet to find some snapshots taped up. 

One of them features men wearing giant novelty hats, their bellies painted with faces, fake arms dangling from their waistlines. 

Another features a woodland cabin with red drapes, which Cooper recognizes from his nocturnal visit to the Red Room.

A (very) dark clown looms over Cooper’s right shoulder, as the shooting target did in a previous episode, while he examines responses to Ronette’s ad in the magazine.

Hawk returns with information about the PO Box in the magazine. It was Jaques Rennault’s. Cooper finds that two different ad numbers from the magazine mailed to the same address: Ronette’s and someone else’s.

The ad that wasn’t Ronette’s reads: “Young student requires education in the ways of love. Only generous and mature men need apply.” The language indicates an initiate in search of an initiator for initiation. Again, this has resonances with ritual magick and ancient "mystery school" traditions.

This shot reminds me of the album cover for Emerson Lake and Palmer’s album... 

...Trilogy. Which might seem like a totally useless connection to make, unless you were to obtain a copy of said album and open it up to reveal a gatefold that looks like this...

Yes, that's the progressive rock power trio supergroup made up of Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer, in a deep, dark woodland area of some sort, brooding ominously and accompanied by a gaggle of doppelgangers... or what's the word, if there's more than one doppel? Anyway, let's move on... Cooper, who believes the ad was placed by Laura based on the photograph (which doesn’t show her face). When Sheriff Truman asks how he recognizes her, Cooper responds: “The red drapes.”

Maddy meets with James and Donna, who continues with her secrecy kick.

After James goes to get Maddy a Cherry Coke, Donna fills Maddy in on the whole “We knew Laura better than anyone / she was in some serious trouble / we swore on her grave to solve the mystery” spiel.

Meanwhile, the freshly paroled Hank lurks behind them, creepily creeping on their conversation. He listens in as Donna asks Maddy to look for an alleged “secret hiding place” in Laura’s bedroom, where she’s staying with the Palmers. Maddy gobbles it up, agrees to help out.

Maddy didn’t drink the Cherry Coke James bought for her.

Hank ponders what he’s heard until Shelly and Norma show up, fresh from their day at the beauty spa. They both seem inordinately happy, until…

…Hank grabs Norma’s arm and makes creepy overtures and insincere claims that he’s gonna “try really hard” to be a better man.

In the RR’s kitchen, Shelly watches another episode of the soap opera Invitation to Love. It’s a scene of a thug beating up a milquetoast while someone else is tied up, watching helplessly.

For the first time, we see Dr Jacoby actually doing some work, this time a family therapy session with the Briggs.

Jacoby’s office is decked out in a Hawaiian motif, with some Polynesian tiki objects and other out-of-place sculptures, such as the stylized black leopard sculpture and the bizarre totem-like creatures beside it.

Perhaps these are meant to be seen as alien cousins to the ceremonial and artistic objects created by the Native cultures of the Pacific Northwest?

Bobby reveals that his father has killed someone. “In wartime” his father responds, which is “different”, although any explanation as to how it’s different remains unspoken.

After Jacoby gets Bobby’s parents to leave, he really does a number on Bobby’s head.

By suggesting Laura laughed at him when he cried after they first had sex (presumably something she told him during her secret sessions), he gets Bobby to (apparently) reveal a number of things about Laura, such as the fact that she wanted to die, and she told him as much.

Pushed to reveal more, Bobby assumes the traditional psychoanalytic pose of reclining on the couch and, the scene thus set, says about Laura: “She said people tried to be good, but they were really sick and rotten, 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… deeper and deeper into the blackest nightmare, and every time, it got harder to get back to the light.”

Jacoby pushes Bobby, and Bobby confirms as he asks: “Did you sometimes have the feeling that Laura was harboring some awful secret, bad enough that she wanted to die because of it, bad enough that it drove her to constantly try to find people’s weaknesses and prey on them, tempt them, break them down, make them do terrible degrading things?”

Jacoby gets Bobby to admit that Laura wanted to degrade people, and that she got him to sell drugs so that she could have them.

It is difficult to say whether this “breakthrough”, which is questionable on its face, is a result of Bobby expertly twisting Jacoby’s dark fantasy view of Laura into an alibi of sorts for his involvement in the dirty drug business that ultimately got her killed. It is interesting, however, that Bobby’s “breakthrough” is followed by the score swelling to majestic heights to really underscore the intensity of the moment. Also, Bobby’s face cross-fading into the image of a soaring bird, usually a symbol of freedom, might signal that Bobby was being sincere, and that by confessing, he freed himself of a great burden.

Within moments, however, this archetypal symbolic interpretation is called into question, when another bird (indeed, perhaps the very bird we’d just seen flying away as a representation of Bobby freeing himself of the guilt over Laura’s death) alights over our questing seekers and observes them as the continue their own investigations.

This bird is quite clearly a raven… which has its own, altogether more sinister, symbolic weight. Whether they be seen as mediators between life and death, the spirits of the dead roaming the earth...

...or simple bad omens, there are few animals more closely associated with myth and legend (especially Native American) than the raven.

Cooper, Truman, Hawk and Dr Hayward make their way through the woods and come upon a cabin. "Watch your step, there, city boy!"

Is it the same one as in the photograph collected from Jacques' apartment? They can't be sure.

But they're determined to investigate. A repeat of the ELP pose! Mount Rushmore? What is this supposed to represent? Anyone with a clue, let us know in the comments!

Here, they once again encounter Margaret, the Log Lady.

The Log Lady, Margaret, speaks in riddles, and her manners are odd, but friendly.

Hawk is particularly interested in the Log Lady’s sugar cookies.

Apparently, Cooper and friends are two days late (“They move so slowly when they’re not afraid”). Margaret reveals that her husband was a logging man who met the Devil. He died in a fire the day after their wedding. “Fire is the Devil hiding like a coward in the smoke.”

Hawk, comforting: “The wood holds many spirits, don’t they Margaret?” Note, it’s not the woods that hold these spirits, but the WOOD… as in her log?

Margaret reveals what her log saw, but only after Cooper asks it.

The Log’s Revelation: “Dark. Laughing. The owls were flying. Many things were blocked. Laughing. Two men, two girls. Flashlights pass by in the woods, over the bridge. The owls were near. The dark was pressing in on her. Quiet then. Later, footsteps. One man passed by. Screams. Far away. Terrible, terrible… one voice… girl… further up, over the ridge… the owls were silent.”

Hawk hears music playing. They follow, as the raven that had been observing them flies off.

“And there’s always music in the air”, from Cooper’s dream. A record player is continuously playing a spooky tune.

They find Jacques’ bird, Waldo.

Also, a camera set up with film still in it. And there’s blood on the floor.

The cuckoo clock sounds, but fails to activate. Truman forces the door open and a poker chip from One Eyed Jack’s pops out.

But not just any poker chip… it’s the chip with a missing letter “J”… the piece that was found in Laura’s stomach.

Here, once again, we can see that Cooper’s intuition (recognizing the red drapes from his dreams is the only reason they’re even at the cabin) has proven to be more accurate and more fruitful to the outcome of the investigation than forensic work (which has erroneously led them to believe that the blood on the shirt is Jacques Rennault’s).

Josie smokes ominously in the dark, the very portrait of noir femme fatale-dom.

Catherine and Jack Martell show up at the Great Northwestern’s Timber Room for the Icelandic investors’ to-do. All Twin Peaks’ “best people” are there.

Major Briggs assures one potential investor that there remains a “vestigial interest” in his nation’s folklore in the region. The investor patronizes him.

Catherine approaches Ben, and pours her drink over his shoes. He tells her to meet him in his office in ten minutes.

Over the image of Audrey overhearing Ben setting up this meeting with Catherine, we can hear that he continues schmoozing: “Ah, Thor. I’ve been meaning to ask you! Are you familiar with the work of Knut Hamsun?”

Hamsun won the Nobel prize for literature and was one of the most influential and popular Scandinavian authors of all time, which means that of course our invisible friend Thor is familiar with his work. Unfortunately, this bit of comic business is likely to be lost on the average viewer.

On a personal note, your humble blogger has read Hamsun’s early novel Hunger, and found it intriguing, to say the least. In fact, even the most cursory perusal of Hamsun’s themes and works – particularly his mythopoeic view of the natural world and his Romantic reaction against those who value pure reason above all else – makes it apparent that much of it could fit quite well with Lynch/Frost’s Twin Peaks project.

One final point of interest is the fact that Hamsun became an avid, some would say rabid, supporter of Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich, very late in life. Once again, this may or may not have any bearing on why Ben Horne is apparently a fan of his.

Audrey once again gains access to the walls, from where she spies on her father and Catherine.
Catherine quizzes Ben about the 1000$ poker chip from you know where’s (again, for the second time in this episode, One Eyed Jacks becomes a place that cannot be named).

He claims Jerry gave it to him as a good luck charm. She slaps him, three times, across the face.

Ben embraces Catherine atop his desk as they discuss burning down the mill. Then Ben offers Catherine a breath mint AFTER kissing her. Audrey finds this hilarious (as do I).

Jerry begins talking up the Ghostwood Estates project, giving a JFK-like spiel about how “We are all Icelanders!”

Someone starts playing music, Pennsylvania 6-5000, and once again, Leland begins dancing, weeping, and freaking out.

Ben urges Catherine to dance with him, as cover. She does so.

When it doesn’t appear to be working, Catherine improvises, copying Leland’s disturbed and disturbing moves.

The awful tragedy of it all finally cracks through Audrey’s bad girl tough as nails veneer. For the first time in the series, we see her experiencing sincere sorrow.

This scene is often cited as one of the highlight moments of the first series. With good cause, I believe. It is a perfect blend of the horrible, the bizarre, the surreal, with the utterly mundane and familiar. It is simultaneously funny and heartbreaking; a pretty accurate if grim summation of the so-called Human Condition... the symptoms of which it is the task of all great artists to strives towards diagnosing.

Josie in the dark again. Why? The sound of reveling can be heard in the background. Where is she? Not at the mill, that’s for sure.

The Palmer house at night.

Maddy sneaks down the steps. She’s found something in Laura’s room. She calls Donna to tell her about it.

It’s an audio tape, from a place where she used to hide cigarettes, in her bedpost.

Laura in the dark.

Back at the Great Northwestern, we get a beautifully Kubrikean shot of Ben Horne sneaking down a hallway.

Ah, so THAT’S why we could hear partying while Josie sat in the dark! She’s at the Great Northwestern!

And she’s in cahoots with Ben Horne?! What the fuck!

Shelly lights a smoke off the stove top.

Leo’s home. And he’s readying the arson.

Leo is ambushed by Hank, who tells him to “do as your told” or else he’ll murder Shelly, then him!

Leo bursts in on Shelly, demands a beer.

When she shows concern for him, he yells at her and knocks her down.

She’s had enough, pulls out her gun and shoots him.

We don’t see what happened, but he runs off screaming in an otherworldly fashion, knocking the light in such a way as it goes swaying, Hitchcock-style.

Cooper arrives back from his and the Sheriff department’s woodland excursion.

He’s exasperated to find the Icelanders still partying.

An antler is holding his room's door open!

He enters the room, gun drawn...

...and discovers Audrey Horne, upset and naked, in his bed.

In Summary: Altogether an intriguing episode, and one in which the theme of intuition, properly applied, potentially being an important adjunct to the tools of science and reason, is well expressed. Also, the soap opera elements are falling into place, even as the central mysteries remain remote as ever.

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