Twin Peaks: The Black Widow

“Living a life of deep harmony and joy. Or something like that.”

Back in “Dispute Between Brothers,” Special Agent Dale Cooper expressed his desire to relocate to Twin Peaks. As his current professional difficulties have left him at liberty, Twin Peaks decides to take a detour into the realm of house-hunting. Dead Dog Farm: “It’s worse than it sounds.”

Well, sort of. As the real estate agent explains, the farm is named for a principle: “Of all the people in the world, the best and the worst are drawn to a dead dog. Most turn away. Only those with the purest of heart can feel its pain. And, somewhere in between, the rest of us struggle.”

Leaving aside the awesomeness of a life-lesson imparted by a real estate agent (oh, this wacky show!), there are some interesting ideas here. As I’ve made clear in the past few reviews, second-season Twin Peaks feels like two shows to me: One, a flat soap opera about what I’m calling the “Other Things that are Still Happening.” Two, a fascinating portrayal of Dale Cooper’s journey off “the edges of the board,” as he said last week.

We can define those two shows—or those two sets of characters—in terms of the real estate agent’s description: Cooper is like those “with the purest of heart.” Harry might be, too. Bob is the type of man drawn to a dead dog for other reasons. And “the rest of us” are those characters living boring, melodramatic lives, turning away from the abject misery and pure potential represented by the White Lodge and its shadow self.

Major Briggs, that “deeply weird individual,” as Bobby described him in a touching scene, is definitely one of the pure-hearted. His return was welcome, and signaled by the flashing lights—here, lightening—that signify a change in reality throughout David Lynch’s oeuvre:

Plus, he was dressed like Snoopy:

As Twin Peaks shows, the purest of heart and the rest of us don’t exist in separate worlds. Epic Good and Evil can also draw garden-variety good and evil, just as the Dead Dog Farm drew the cocaine-dealing baddies, who have been using it as a meeting house. Does Major Briggs’s mysterious return mean that the worlds are getting closer together? Will the plan to use Ernie the CPA will go flawlessly? We’ll find out soon.

Clues, Questions, and Answers:

• Feuding brothers, Civil War madness, double-crosses: I’m sensing a theme of duplicity.

• Coop flipped a coin to figure out which of two houses to visit, and the coin landed on a third—the Dead Dog Farm—which led to him catching the bad guys and clearing his name. Tibetan Method?

• I’d argue that the Dead Dog Farm is the real-world equivalent of the White Lodge. The real-world equivalent of the Black Lodge will show up in two episodes.

• Mrs. Briggs was sitting next to an owl lamp.

• Let’s take a moment to appreciate the scene screencapped above, in which Audrey’s reaction to Denise is the realization that women can be DEA agents, too. (Well, “more or less.”) What a great example of feminism and identity politics intersecting, and an illustration of the simple way that just seeing a role model can change a young person’s life.

Other Things that are Still Happening:

• Ben Horne is getting crazier, and Bobby is getting wrapped up in the Horne family drama.

• The Mayor’s brother is dead, and his sexy wife might be a BDSM witch.

• Norma and Ed are filled with longing and regret.

• Is Little Nicky really the devil? Dick and Andy think so:

Josie Kafka reviews The Vampire Diaries, True Detective, Game of Thrones, and various other things that take her fancy. She is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

1 comment:

Docnaz said...

Delightful episode, I thought. I can' t see Denise as anyone but David Duchovny/Mulder. I love any time Shakespeare is recited and I recite along. I thought the Marsh driver was the character who played Andy at first. I liked this episode better than the last, but even the bad episodes have laugh out loud moments. Hawk falling backwards through the door was great.