Considering the dark and mind-bending climax to the previous episode, Episode Three kicks off with in an oddly sunny manner. First off, as Cooper notes, it’s a beautiful day (see above).
Upon waking up from his post-dream sleep, Cooper goes to the Great Northern’s dining lounge where he is confronted by Audrey, who is lying in wait for him. I find it odd that Audrey’s comments are the first time Cooper has heard about Laura Palmer working at the Horne Department Store perfume counter, alongside Ronette (and other girls who ply their wares at One Eyed Jack’s, as we learned last episode). And this, mere moments after Cooper remarks upon Audrey’s perfume? Strange.
The oddness continues when Cooper is joined by Sheriff Truman and Lucy for breakfast. His unbridled enthusiasm about the weather, the quality of the food at the Great Northern (“Nothing beats the taste sensation when maple syrup collides with ham!), and his insouciance at having forgotten the name of the killer are all somewhat off-putting.
Another strange bit of business, what’s up with Cooper telling Truman and Lucy that they were both in his dream, when as far as we could see, they were not? Could this simply be just another tossed-off reference to The Wizard of Oz, as Lynch is occasionally wont to do? This seems too cheap, all things considered.
Laura Palmer has been dead for a few days now, but she's looking like one of those saints who refuse to rot.
Ben Horne getting up close and personal with his Department Store's one time perfume counter girl. What kind of a rinky-dink morgue is the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department running, anyway?
Albert Rosenfield is fighting with Dr Hayward, Ben Horne, and Deputy Andy in order to get more time with Laura’s corpse.
His cavalier demeanor with the bone drill and speculum are downright sinister, particularly with poor, purple Laura rotting away on the table behind them.
Cooper and Truman show up. Rosenfield hurls a series of anti-rural insults at Truman, as he has at everyone else since he’s been in town.
Truman’s had enough. Decks Rosenfield, who ends up sprawled atop Laura’s corpse, face-to-face with her.
He takes his sweet old time climbing down from off her corpse.
Just a point of interest: Rosenfield is the first Jewish name so far encountered in the series (and town). Could that have any significance to his behavior? Is Rosenfield Lynch’s version of a stereotypical “big city Jew”, or is it just a coincidence?
Cooper, in a moment of touching humanity and respect for the dead, gently cradles Laura's hand and replaces her arm on the slab.
It's a moment which also happens to mirror a similar scene in the classic 1931 version of Frankenstein, in which Victor explains to a freaked out Fritz that there's nothing to be afraid of...
It's just some tissue, after all.
Leland, getting a shot of some sort (or having blood drawn), watches more of the “Invitation to Love” soap opera.
Laura’s cousin (and Leland’s niece) Madelaine, aka "Maddy", shows up. She’s a brunette version of Laura, with glasses. Played by the same actress.
At the café, Norma talks with her husband Hank’s lawyer about his parole hearing. She’s obviously not looking forward to having him back in her life, but she seems like she’s stuck with it.
Poor Big Ed. Guy looks like a real winner.
As Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman pay a visit to Leo, Cooper is delighted by some ducks.
Leo, decked out in his best over-one-shoulder pair of work overalls, angrily chops wood.
Bobby Briggs has a bizarre moment with a crucifix and some palm fronds. Hosanna to the most high, I suppose.
Bobby and his father have a discussion about honor, responsibility, and how scary funerals are. Bobby isn’t afraid, he’s looking forward to making a scene.
Back at the sheriff’s office, we find out that Native American deputy Hawk is a tracker: “One of the best.”
Rosenfield’s forensic discoveries include the fact that Laura had cocaine in her system, and on her person. Various twigs and fibers and distinctive wounds. She was bound twice during her ordeal. Another small plastic fragment, this time with the letter “J”.
When Rosenfield wants to file a complaint about Sheriff Truman, Cooper refuses to sign it, and gives a very old timey “small town values” speech that seems almost sarcastic in its sincerity.
This impression is increased by Cooper punctuating that speech with a message to Diane indicating that he hopes to one day move to Twin Peaks, a goofy smile spreading across his gob.
Nadine’s got some weird-ass ceramic knickknacks, like the cherub head on a stump with some sort of red butterfly thing, a boot, and a bloody-toed ballerina, above, and the one-eyed pilgrim lady, below.
Obviously, Big Ed recently gave Nadine some loving, as she’s over the moon.
We get a little background on this not particularly interesting part of the series, letting us know that the Nadine, Big Ed, Norma Jennings triangle is a long standing one. At least since high school.
When Nadine asks about James’ bike, and she says “James who?” it rings funny, because we haven’t seen much of James Hurley in the series so far.
But speak of the devil, and up he pops. He says he isn't going to Laura's funeral... just can't do it. Runs off in an angsty, adolescent huff.
Audrey Horne is looking fine with her hair slicked back.
Secret door in the Great Northern? Cool.
Audrey watches from a secret place in the Great Northern's walls as Dr Jacoby tries to get her brother, John, to take off his Native headdress.
The wind is blowing hard through the trees.
This fat preacher is very archetypal of the kind of person who becomes a Protestant man of the cloth, in my experience anyway. A bloated mediocrity with bargain basement memories and hand me down pomp.
At a funeral like this...
...with so many odd people gathered together...
...and others who think they've got it all figured out, but don't...
...it seems almost inevitable that everything is primed to blow at the slightest provocation. All that's needed is a spark to ignite it.
That spark comes in the form of John Horne's somewhat inappropriate (but understandable) outburst, when he shouts "AMEN!" at the end of the preacher's sermon...
...thus giving Bobby Briggs an opening, which he takes by pulling a James Dean, Catcher in the Rye act, decrying the hypocrites and phonies in faux anguished style. In its own way, Bobby's speech is even more clichéd than the preacher’s, as if that were possible.
It's a fight! It's Laura's two high school beaus, Bobby Briggs versus James Hurley, aka James Dean 1.0 versus James Dean 2.0!
The grown ups look like they might be trying to hold on to the final remaining shreds of decorum and decency, this being a funeral after all, but nope!
Leland shockingly flings himself atop Laura’s casket, which malfunctions, turning into a macabre, malfunctioning amusement park ride.
As the gears grind away, "the whole thing's gone haywire!", and Leland rides the casket down...
...and Leland's wife Sarah looks on, disgusted...
"Don't ruin this, too!" she shouts.
Tragedy turns to comedy, as the scene devolves into one big, sick joke.
By which I mean, quite literally, a joke. Here Shelly narrates a play-by-play of the day's events at the RR.
...and back again.
A couple creepy locals, who are more than a little reminiscent of the ever-smiling elderly couple from Lynch's Mulholland Drive, are enjoying Shelly's recreation.
Big Ed, Sheriff Truman, and Deputy Hawk are gathered at the RR, wondering whether they should let Agent Cooper in on some deep, dark bit of Twin Peaks history.
What's up with that creepy, ugly, half duck, half baby creature hiding in the plastic shrub next to Big Ed, there? Any possible connection to the ducks Cooper noticed back at Leo's?
When Cooper arrives and immediately deduces that Big Ed is in love with Norma, they decide to confide in him. They begin by talking about a drug bust that they've been setting up with some of the more trustworthy local men. But there's more... a secret society called the Book House Boys, stretching back generations. Why the need for such a group? Truman describes how Twin Peaks is different from other places, and that they like it that way... but that uniqueness comes at a price. There's "a back end to that"... "a sort of evil out there, something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you want; a darkness, a presence. It takes many forms."
They introduce Cooper to the the Book House secret greeting (an index finger slid down the right side of the face) and bring him to the location.
James Hurley and Joey Paulson have Jacques Renault’s youngest brother, Bernard, janitor at the roadhouse, tied up. They found him with an ounce of cocaine. He’s got a hilarious French Canadian accent. Bernard tells Truman that Jaques will be at the roadhouse to tend bar, as usual, later that night.
Upon arriving for work, Jacques Renault figures out something is wrong...
...when he sees that the red bus light blinking atop the roadhouse.
How did whoever lit the light know to light it?
Jaques calls Leo for a “border run”.
"And I don't like waiting!"
Shelly gets home just as Leo is leaving. He doesn’t tell her where he’s going. After he leaves, we see that Shelly’s got a gun, a nice pearl-handled pistol, perfect for such a dainty lady.
She hides it with the bloody shirt.
Sheriff Truman visits with Josie, who has a premonition of sorts about something bad happening to her. Katherine and Ben Horne have plotted against her.
Katherine is spying on them via intercom.
Josie informs Truman that she has found a second set of books. When they go look for them, they’re not there.
Katherine has gotten to the second, cooked set of books, and hides them in a strange place.
In a hiding place not so dissimilar to the one where Shelly has hidden Leo's bloody shirt and her gun... a false bottom to a drawer, instead of a false panel on a bureau.
There are many odd items in this drawer, although I can't really make out what most of them are.
Catherine confronts Pete about betraying her.
Cooper goes to the cemetery at night.
He finds Dr Jacoby by Laura's grave site. They have an odd exchange about how the Dr feels that he used to be a bad man...
...but that Laura (somehow) changed all that.
Dr Jacoby confesses to being a bad man, but says that Laura Palmer changed all that.
Truman and Josie do the horizontal mambo.
A full moon burns and we cut to Cooper asking Hawk if he believes in souls.
Hawk replies "several."
Hawk proceeds to tell Cooper about a Blackfoot legend, “waking souls that give life to the mind and the body, a dream soul that wanders.” They wander to far away places, the land of the dead. Hawk is sure that Laura, on the other hand, is in the ground.
Leland begs in vain for someone to dance with him. It’s tragic and disturbing and pathetic.
As a different version of the theme, one more deep and resonant, mainly piano, with a lot of the electronic elements removed, plays, as Cooper and Hawk offer to take Leland home. To which he replies, voice filled with sorrow: "Home."
In Summary: We’re beginning to learn more about the hidden history of Twin Peaks... but not much! Everything is unfolding slowly, deliberately. After the Pilot Film and the first three episodes of seven for the series proper, that means we're halfway home now in covering the first series. I'm thinking I'll start being more picky about what I choose to point out from hereon out, so that my concordances are less summaries of events, and more commentary on symbols, resonances, references and the like.