Sunday, August 13, 2017


Uh-oh! Looks like the sixth post-pilot episode of Twin Peaks begins with a pretty serious continuity error. The first thing we see in this episode is a clear and beautiful half moon hanging up in the sky. Unfortunately, the previous episode kicked off with a giant, up close image of a clearly FULL Moon, as seen through some pines! The events of the previous episode took place no more than two days previous to the beginning of this episode, and not the six or seven days it would have taken for such a drastic change in lunar phase. Oh well... I guess that's bound to happen when a series has directors hopping on and off willy-nilly, episode by episode. That's why I think having Lynch and Frost oversee the entirety of Season Three is such a brilliant move... and I can hardly wait to get started on it! The few sneak peaks I've had are driving me crazy with antici....pation.

"So do you want me to leave or what?"
Back at the Great Northwestern, Cooper is dealing with Audrey’s rather forward propositioning (he arrived to find her nude in his bed) by dealing out some pretty definitive rejection. In fact, his rejection of Audrey seems sort of forced, in a way... far more Boy Scout than necessary.

We don't suspect Cooper of being gay, but his odd, conflicting behavior with Audrey, particularly in this scene, is jarring.

I mean, he can barely stand to even look at her. I mean, I know Cooper is... "special", but how prudish can a worldly, Big City FBI man really be? And he's going to fetch them both some fries and a malted--traditional 50’s fare--over which, presumably, they will have a girly "dish" session? Come on.

Once again, this whole "everybody in this town has secrets" business is hammered home with all the subtlety of a truck driving through a plate glass window.

Andy and Lucy – what’s up with these two?

The show has been teasing their relationship problems, without ever really establishing that they're engaged in a relationship, for long enough now, it seems to me. And now Lucy's having a health crisis?


Cooper pops into the Sheriff's office with his hand-carved pipe again, piping a jolly tune.

Dr Hayward and Sheriff Truman are working with Waldo the Myna bird, studying the species and trying to nurse it back to health by hydrating it and feeding it some fruits (Dr Hayward calls for fresh apples, as "these grapes are right on the edge").

Why apples over grapes? Both are Old Testament fruit (Genesis for apples, Exodus for grapes). Probably no significance, though.

Speech being a form of play for the Myna bird, Waldo should start talking again as soon as he's in better health. Cooper doesn’t want to feed him. Doesn’t like birds for some reason. Really? To the point of saying so? What’s up with that? Seems out of character. Also, the Myna species' origins are in southeast Asia. Could this be significant?

Hawk enters the office with a bunch of forensic findings. It turns out Rennault’s cabin was recently party to three guests – Laura, Ronette and Leo.

The one and only exposed negative in the camera found at the scene contains an image of Waldo perched on Laura’s shoulder.

Cooper considers Waldo to be a witness, because it can talk. In order that the Sheriff's office can go and do field work, Cooper sets up a voice activated recorder, which will kick in when and if Waldo decides to start talking.

Forensics has also finally traced the "J" fragment found in Laura's stomach to the 1000$ chip from One Eyed Jack's. Hawk points out that Jacques Rennault is dealing blackjack there, so Cooper suggest they pay a visit to One Eyed Jacks. And seeing as it's out of their jurisdiction, over the border in Canada, Cooper enthusiastically suggests that this is a task tailor made for the Bookhouse Boys.

Meanwhile, on the sleazier side of town, Leo, whose left arm is wrapped in bloody bandages, is spying on Shelly.

Through a pair of binoculars, he watches as Bobby Briggs shows up to romance HIS woman.

Thoroughly enraged, Leo switches from binoculars to a rifle scope. He draws a bead on his home's front door, waiting for Bobby to exit, so he can kill him.

Meanwhile, inside Bizarro Xanadu, Shelly weeps and whines and goes into hysterics as she tells Bobby everything that happened with Leo – about her shooting him and the weird aftermath, when “he screamed and screamed and sounded like an animal!”

Before Leo gets his chance to murder Bobby, he overhears on his police scanner Lucy mentioning to some unidentified other person how Sheriff Truman considers Waldo to be a witness, because "it can talk!" He races off.

Donna, Maddy, and James listen to some of the tapes that Laura recorded for Dr Jacoby... the ones about her “big secrets”. These tapes kind of make Laura seem like a bit of a creepy person, to be honest.

At this point in the series, you begin to wonder if Lynch and co were trying to create the single most complicated character in the history of TV drama. Was she the best of the best among Good Girls? or among the naughtiest and most femme fatale-ish of Bad Girls? Is it possible for her to be both at the same time? and, if indeed it is, is it really all that interesting? a subject worthy of such extended and prolonged meditation?

I don't pretend to have answers for these hypothetical questions, and I certainly don't believe that Twin Peaks' ample charms begin and end with the Laura Palmer mystery. Speaking of the mystery, they discover that there's an empty tape from Feb 23rd, the night that Laura died. The three of them figure Dr Jacoby still has the tape (seeing as he couldn't have returned it after she died). They plot to break into Jacoby's office by fooling him into believing Laura is still alive, using look-and-sound-alike Maddy as bait.

For me, about a third of the way through Episode Six of the first season, Laura Palmer just got a bit less interesting. This, I suspect, will be a temporary development. Stay tuned for details!

At Horne's Department Store, Audrey isn't doing too great of a job at the perfume counter, insulting one elderly client desirous of a scent that doesn't smell so much "like the forest". She also suggests the same client "make a statement" by wearing the perfume bottle around her neck, so as to get "two statements for the price of one". Real cute.

Of course, Audrey isn't here to sell perfume. She's here to suss out what's going on at the perfume counter... and to find out what the connection with One Eyed Jacks is all about.

To do this, she tricks one employee into running outside to witness a non-existent bus accident...

...then pulls one of her hide-and-watch schemes, this time from within the closet of her direct superior, Emory--the same man she bamboozled into giving her a perfume counter job in the previous episode--as he instructs her co-worker, Jenny, in the details about her new gig... across the border at One Eyed Jack's!

Audrey's investigation is already paying off impressive dividends! Not bad for a teen aged novice, and no Nancy Drew, she!

Emory informs Audrey's co-worker that she's been accepted for work at One Eyed Jack's, and he gives her a gift in a red-wrapped box. "It's a unicorn! Ancient symbol of purity. Tamed only by the young at heart."

The unicorn, of course, is a heck of a lot more than just "a symbol of purity". In fact, giving the gift of a unicorn to a girl who is about to be introduced into the sex trade can be seen as pretty savage sarcasm when you take into consideration the traditional method for hunting the unicorn, which entails having a young virgin maiden sit in a field until a unicorn, "through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself ... forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it." In this case, however, it seems the reverse is true. It's as if "young maidens" are so intrigued by the ferocity and wildness of an "adult" place like One Eyed Jack's that they ignore the obvious danger to themselves and walk right in, where they are easy pickings for the "hunters", like BOB and other predators.

After Emory escorts Jenny out of the office so they can go find her some "elegant" clothes for her debut night, Audrey sneaks out and examines Emory's "little black book", which has the names of all the perfume counter girls who've gone on to work at One Eyed Jack's. Ronnette's name is near the end, with a maximum FOUR blood red hearts after her name. Jenny's name is there, without heart rating as yet. Interesting to note that Jenny's name was first entered into the book on February 25th, which means that her "test run" took place a mere two days after Laura and Ronnette's dual ordeals.

Audrey ends up swiping the unicorn of Emory's desk.

Hank is being an asshole, chatting up Shelly and extracting information about Big Ed...

Swiping a nice Zippo from a customer...

Being a slimy, obsequious jerk to Sheriff Truman, etc.

Lynch/Frost take this as an opportunity to indulge in one of the series' most inexplicable (but now universally understood) obsessions: Coffee worship! When Shelly offers Coop and Harry a cup on the house, the Sheriff is about to refuse, but Cooper lays a bit of wisdom on him: "Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee."

To which Sheriff Truman replies: "Like Christmas." And they enjoy their java.

Audrey proves herself to be a resourceful, clever girl. She snagged the unicorn for a reason! Using it, she's able to fool Jenny into thinking that she, too, is going to be trying out for a hostess position at Jack's. This way, she's able to get the phone number for the house Madame, Black Rose.

Nadine is watching 'Invitation to Love', where the character of Chet shoots a bad guy. The effect is very different from when Shelly shot Leo.

What's that on top of Nadine's TV, anyway? That Bell thing? It looks like the giant bell in the freak-out sequence of Twin Peaks, The Return, Episode 8, in the White Lodge. The one that sounded the alarm when the first atomic bomb was detonated. More about this bell, later. And the bad guy in the soap opera. He's falling into... are those... red drapes?

Nadine is eating bon-bons in a depression over the rejection of her drape runners.

Big Ed shows up, all spiffed out and ready to check out One Eyed Jack's with Cooper, Truman and Hawk. He urges Nadine to "never give up", even though... why?

Sheriff Truman confronts Josie Packard (whom we only just found out has been screwing Ben Horne on the down-low) about why she was spying on Ben and Catherine at the motel where the boys confronted the One Armed Man.

Using her womanly charms, Josie succeeds in bluffing and lying her way through Sheriff Truman's halfhearted interrogation, even going so far as to plant the idea that Ben and Catherine are the ones who are going to burn down the mill (and get rid of her, in the process).

Getting ready for an "unofficial" Book House Boys visit to One Eyed Jack's across the border in Canada, riding in a brand new Cadillac, dressed to the nines.

Sheriff Truman and Big Ed are suitably impressed by Cooper's natty attire.

Truman confides in Cooper, relaying Josie's fears about potential murder/arson. Coop is justifiably suspicious, and Truman understandably defensive. Unfortunately, this is a case in which propriety leads to an erroneous conclusion, as Coop decides that Truman's instincts are good enough for him. Obviously, they're not.

As the boys head out to One Eyed Jack's, a particularly ominous totem pole fills a third of the screen. What is that thing at the bottom? An autopsied Sasquatch?

Audrey leaves a message for Cooper, having just missed him.

Thanks to a persnickety insurance agent, Catherine Martell is made aware of an apparent plot to kill her and collect on her life insurance; a plot concocted by her supposed co-conspirator Ben Horne and her despised sister-in-law, Josie.

It's worth a million dollars.

The agent obviously senses that something is not quite kosher in all this. He offers Catherine his services, should she need anything... "anything at all." Catherine manages to keep her cool long enough for him to leave, but she's obviously caught unawares by this development.

"Think... think..."

She goes to check on her cooked books, in her special hiding place... and they're gone! Catherine lets out an almost animal-like gasp of exasperated rage.

Audrey slips a note under Cooper's door. She's obviously going to be trying something tonight... a visit to One Eyed Jack's? To try out as an escort?

She catches the eye of a visitor on the way out. She'll probably see him at Jack's!

The Book House Boys are putting on their disguises (fake mustaches, wigs) and concocting their background stories.

In the room with the donuts...

Waldo rocks in time to the thunder. He begins to speak, softly.

The automatic tape recorder picks up on his voice, and begins recording.

A shot rings out!

It's that nogoodnik, Leo. It took him a while, but he managed to silence Waldo. Why would he want to do that, anyway?

Feathers and blood on the donuts.

Waldo's cage, a bloody mess.

Cooper, Sheriff Truman, Hawk, Andy, Shelly and Big Ed run in and listen to the recording.

They hear that Waldo was saying Laura's name, then "hurting me", then "stop it", then "Leo no!"

Though no doubt saddened by the death of Waldo, and concerned about a madman like Leo running around with a rifle, tying off loose ends, the Book House Boys still go through with their undercover visit to One Eyed Jack's.

Cute banter with Blackie, the Madame, ensues. Big Ed slips up and says he owns a gas station before switching to their story about being oral surgeons. "Fred and Barney". Heheh...

Cooper and Big Ed survey the scene and report to Hawk.

Hawk is at a remote listening station in a truck parked outside.

Hawk listens and takes notes.

Maddie leaves the Palmer house quietly, on a mission of her own.

Sitting alone in the dark, Leland watches her leave.

This is an episode of missions. The Book House Boys and Audrey are on missions at One Eyed Jack's; Maddy, Donna and James are on a mission to discover what Jacoby has to do with all this; Leo is on a mission to tie up loose ends; Ben and Jerry are on a mission to get the Icelanders to invest in Ghostwood Estates; Josie and Ben are on a mission to do God knows what for God knows what reasons.

As part of their mission, Maddy disguises herself as Laura Palmer.

The effect that this has on James is... understandable.

While entertaining the Icelanders, who are singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (which Ben seems not to know), Ben and Jerry are also shown eating ice cream. That can't not be on purpose.

Jerry says of the Icelanders, who have just returned from a tour of the Ghostwood Estate location: "The trees! They worship them! I caught a couple of them hugging pines!"

Jerry tells Ben that the Icelanders are ready to sign, all they need is more fun. A trip to One Eyed Jack's! "Road trip!" Jerry shouts as he trips and spills a bit of beer.

After Jerry leaves, Ben gets on the phone with Josie, to ensure that Catherine is at the mill tonight (presumably so that she dies in the fire and they can collect her life insurance policy).

But what's this? Josie's in cahoots with... HANK?!? Goddamn, that girl gets around.

Speaking of girls who get around, Audrey almost blows her chance at working for One Eyed Jacks, thanks to a poorly concocted cover story and phony name (Hester Prynne?).

But she salvages it with her now legendary cherry stem tongue-twister act.

I was at university when this series was on the air, and it was an absolute phenomenon on campus. People could NOT stop talking about this show, and this scene was a big part of the show's legend.

EVERYBODY, whether they be guy or gal, was trying to tie knots in cherry stems with their tongues.

Meanwhile, in another part of Jacks, the Book House Boys continue to gamble.

They finally encounter Jacques at a Blackjack table.

Jacoby is watching 'Invitation to Love' at home. Apparently, this program runs 24 hours a day in Twin Peaks.


Maddy, James and Donna's incredibly convoluted plan to mess with Jacoby...

...involving videotape and newspapers and surreptitiously delivered packages... put in motion.

Unfortunately, they're being stalked by that evil fucker Bobby Briggs...

...who manages to hide a bunch of cocaine in the gas tank of James' motorcycle in an attempt to frame him and get him out of the picture.

In Summary: This was one of the least intriguing episodes of the series so far, as far as esoteric symbolism goes. Nothing more than a few glancing nods towards paganism (Jerry's comment about worshiping trees) and the obligatory shots of Pacific Northwest First Nations artwork. It sure did advance the plot a bunch, though! Anyway, I promise not to take as long between episodes next time, and I also promise to shorten these up for the second season... mostly because I'm anxious about getting to the third season! But also because I realize that synopses are of limited value, and that most people reading this would rather be pointed in weirder, more fruitful directions for further research and study. Cheers!

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