Tuesday, July 18, 2017


The second episode proper begins with yet another of many scenes featuring domestic meal-taking. This time, it’s dinner at the Horne household, where Ben's disturbed, 28-year-old son Johnny, whom Laura used to tutor, is decked out in a full Native American headdress for some reason. As part of the rustic lodge decor, the screen continues to be filled with First Nations art of the Northwest Coast style, which is an extremely rich and varied network of differing artistic traditions. The works present throughout the series so far do not belong to a single tradition, although I've seen numerous instances of Salish and Haida works, such as is visible on the left side of the screen on the image below.

Uncle Jerry’s "back", even though it's the viewing audience's first time meeting him, and he’s brought brie and baguette sandwiches back from France with him.

Lots and lots of brie and baguette sandwiches. Literally dozens of bags full.

Ben and Jerry (their names allegedly chosen to match that of the ice cream company) both seem to love these sandwiches, as they try to speak with their mouths full of them.

Bringing so many bags filled with a European "delicacy" into a room/lodge filled with Native imagery (built on land stolen from Native Americans) strikes me as a possible satirical statement about the way these altogether ridiculous people live.

Possible Kubrick homage: Ben and Jerry talk about “a new girl, freshly scented from the perfume counter” (like Ronette!) working at One Eyed Jack’s, over the water (and the border) in Canada. According to Ben, Jerry’s got "a 50/50 chance of being first in line". To which Jerry responds: “All work and no play make Ben and Jerry dull boys.”

One Eyed Jacks, of course, is a Marlon Brando film that Stanley Kubrick worked on for months before Brando decided to direct the film himself. Also, Uncle Jerry cuts a peculiarly Kubrickean figure… sort of a cross between Dr. Strangelove, Alex from Clockwork Orange and Jack from The Shining (from which the “all work and no play” maxim is taken).

Furthermore, the aforementioned pervasive presence of Native American motifs throughout the Horne properties and elsewhere throughout Twin Peaks is also reminiscent of The Shining. Unlike Kubrick’s film, however, I don’t believe Lynch intended a sly political commentary. Instead, I think he likes the way the large sculptures of Pacific Northwest Native tribes resemble the iconography of Ancient Egypt and Babylon, such as the Sphinx, or the Winged Bull.

It occurs to me at this point, considering the series' sheer volume of visual references to Native American culture, art, and thus, inescapably, myths and legends, that I should definitely do more research in this direction. I can already think of a few good places to begin. The first book of Peter Levenda's Sinister Forces trilogy, for instance, devotes a great many pages to some of the darker practices of our haunted continent's Pre-Columbian, First Nations cultures.

Keep watching this space for more details. Now, let's get back to Episode 2... and to One Eyed Jack's.

The boat Ben and Jerry take to Canada is quite a thing.

There can be no denying that the bar at One Eyed Jack’s has a definite Kubrick feel to it. The lighting alone!

Red, white, and black, the colors of fascism and Nazism, as well as particularly important colors in ritual magick traditions. Also, did Lynch have a psychic flash of Eyes Wide Shut during filming? Just kidding.

And that antler chandelier is breathtaking.

The Witching Hour! Uncle Jerry marks it by saying “Well!” to no one in particular.

After talking on the phone with Deputy Hawk about the one-armed man seen at the hospital, Cooper gets a mysterious note about “Jack with one eye”, an obvious reference to One Eyed Jack’s.

A completely new and ominous element to the score is introduced for Bobby and Mike’s midnight trek through the woods.

It’s Leo’s football, with drugs in it.

Next, Leo appears from out of nowhere, and he's got a shotgun. The drug deal, with the money for it being stuck in Laura’s safe deposit box, is becoming more complicated.

There’s a mysterious dark figure hiding in the woods! Is he with Leo? Instead of answering the question, Leo forces Mike and Bobby to run for their lives, then mockingly throws the short order of illegal narcotics at them. It lands on the hood of Bobby's car with a thud. Mike is thoroughly freaked out and has had enough.

Ed, greased up beyond recognition from working in the garage, messes up Nadine’s silent drape runner invention.

Nadine, who was working out, sees that Big Ed has upset her invention.

In a fit of anger, Nadine freaks out and literally bends a steel bar with her bare hands.

I mean, what the Hell?!

Cooper and the police are setting up an experiment of sorts.

It apparently involves lots of donuts...

A fair measured distance...

Some logs and a bottle...

And an outdoors-ready blackboard with some chalk. Before we find out what this is all about, we cut to...

Shelly, whom we'd last seen being brutalized by her husband, the increasingly suspicious scumbag trucker Leo. So no wonder she isn’t interested in watching a soap opera called "Invitation to Love".

Meanwhile, over at the RR Cafe, Ed commiserates with his beautiful mistress, Norma Jennings. These seem like superfluous characters at this point... more local color than anything particularly germane to the central mystery. So it's back to the experiment! What can it all possibly mean?

I mean, how do China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama figure into things?

Well, it apparently involves Agent Cooper becoming deeply moved by the plight of the Tibetan people in the wake of a dream he had three years ago.

The dream also revealed a deductive technique involving mind/body coordination operating hand-in-hand with the deepest levels of intuition.

In other words, as the assembled Twin Peaks Sheriff's force lean in, it's obvious we’re now deeply in “woo” territory.

If I can be frank for a moment, it seems to me as though this whole exercise is just a clever, cheeky way for the filmmakers to go over the large cast of characters for the audience's sake, in order to help them get to know all the names and how they’re all related to Laura Palmer.

Actually, upon further consideration, that seems to be the ONLY reason for this exercise.

The bottle wobbles when Dr Jacobi’s name is mentioned...

But it shatters when Leo Johnson’s name comes up. This guy is obviously giving off some intensely bad vibes.

After a commercial break, we get a breath-taking shot of one of the titular Peaks (the first image above, at the very top of this entry).

Then we see the RR Café, with a logging truck driving past, just beneath the looming mountain, thus bringing us closer to the interior, where Donna is having lunch with her mom and dad.

Audrey walks in and orders a black coffee (just like Agent Cooper), then has a creepy conversation with Donna.

She then begins dancing to the “dreamy” (or dreamlike?) music.

A bloody rag is discovered by Deputy Hawk a half-mile from the crime scene.

Albert Rosenfield and his team arrive from the FBI. He’s an asshole, but a forensic genius.

Lucy sticks her tongue out at him for being rude.

Big Ed’s goose and egg look particularly glorious all lit up in the night. But am I seeing things, or does that radiating egg take on the allure of a fissured rectum?

Nadine , as terrifying in her joy as in her rage, is lit like a silent horror movie monster as she demonstrates that Big Ed hadn't ruined her silent drape runners after all. Turns out greasy cotton balls were the key to their silent operation!

It’s Leland Palmer’s turn for a mental breakdown as he puts on a record, Glenn Miller's Pennsylvania 6-5000...

...and begins dancing with a photograph of Laura, weeping and shrieking all the while.

Sarah walks in on him and demands to know “What is going on in this house?!” Knowing what we know, the image of Leland hunched over the blood-smeared photograph of Laura--is that what she looked like in the moments after she bit off her own tongue?--is a powerful foreshadowing.

Cooper sleeps, and for the first time…

We enter Red Room.

A thick red curtain surrounds everything. The floor is a black and white zigzag pattern, almost but not quite reminiscent of Masonic Lodge floors with their black and white checkerboard patterns. Cooper appears to have aged significantly. A dwarf in red, his back turned, shivers malevolently.

The One Armed Man spotted by Truman, Cooper and Hawk in the hospital begins to speak.

“Through the darkness of future pasts, the Magician longs to see. One chance opts between two worlds. Fire, walk with me. We lived among the people. We say, convenience store. We lived above it. I mean it like it is, like it sounds. I, too, have been touched by the Devilish One. A tattoo on the left shoulder. Ah, but when I saw the face of God, I was changed! Took the entire arm off. My name is Mike. His name is Bob.”

Upon hearing his name, Bob calls out: “Mike! Mike! Can you hear me? Catch you with my death bag! You may think I’ve gone insane, but I promise… I will kill again.”

Candles surround a mound of dirt, and Laura's half-heart locket, currently in the possession of Dr Jacobi... or is this the half that was found at the crime scene? We are left to ponder, as the dwarf, identified in the credits as The Man from Another Place, turns around, revealing himself, and begins speaking in an odd, forwards/backwards style.

The fact that the Man From Another Place begins by clapping his hands and saying “Let’s rock!” is funny, considering that most people associate reverse speech with the notorious “backwards masking process”, which was allegedly used by bands like Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest to hide Satanic messages in their recordings.

In fact, many secret societies, initiatory orders, and individual practitioners of magickal rites have long engaged in exercises involving reversal for a number of reasons; everything from keeping secrets to expanding the mind’s ability to focus and visualize.

One of the key popularizers of such exercises was none other than the Beast 666 himself, Aleister Crowley, who wrote, in his book Magick: Liber ABA and reproduced in this edition of the Equinox journal: “Let him train himself to think BACKWARDS by external means, as set forth here following: (a) Let him learn to write BACKWARDS. . . (b) Let him learn to walk BACKWARDS. . . (c) Let him. . . listen to phonograph records REVERSED. (d) Let him practice speaking BACKWARDS. . . (e) Let him learn to read BACKWARDS. . . (f) Instead of saying “I am he” let him say “eh ma I”.

Laura (or is it?) appears to signal with the universal sign for keeping secrets by touching her nose.

Something, that bloody rag perhaps, floats past behind the red curtain.

The Man From Another Place says: “I’ve got good news. That gum you like is going to come back in style.” Referring to the Laura doppelganger, he says: “She’s my cousin, but doesn’t she look almost exactly like Laura Palmer?”

Cooper asks whether or not she is, in fact, Laura Palmer, to which the doppelganger replies: “I feel like I know her, but sometimes my arms bend back.”

The Man From Another Place says: “She’s filled with secrets. Where we’re from, the birds sing a pretty song, and there’s always music in the air.” And then, creepily, he begins to dance.

Cooper awakes with a wild lick of hair standing up from his head. He calls Sheriff Truman and claims that he knows who killed Laura Palmer, but also says revealing who it is can wait until morning. Cooper begins to snap his fingers to the tune in his head, the same smoky smooth jazz that the Man From Another Place was dancing to.

Cut to the Man From Another Place, who is still dancing as the credits roll.

In Summary: Wow. Okay, so, I guess aside from needing to look into Native American iconography and legends of the Pacific Northwest, I’ll also need to have a deep think about the Lodge and its inhabitants. What a wild ride... what a show!

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