Twin Peaks: Check Mate

“Everything is known to me, but beyond my reach.”

In the previous episode, Major Briggs’s colleague described their search for communication from space and the parallel search, in Twin Peaks itself, for information from “below.” This episode begins with something spacey (a shot of the stars) and something that might be “below”: an overexposed white stone chair, the Major in the chair, and an owl big enough “to cloud [his] mind.”

Although the visuals look dated, this is an excellent scene, and most of that excellence is due to Don S. Davis’s delivery. He has the thankless task of speaking grammatically-precise sentences of vague prophecy and portent, yet he manages to do so with such quiet dignity that I could watch him do it all day, even if we never arrived at a particular answer as to what the heck is going on.

Or maybe we do know enough: we know Briggs and an unofficial group within the Air Force is looking for the White Lodge. Why? Well, probably because it exists. Where will that search take them? We don’t know, because they don’t know. We just know that all this is real, because we have utter faith in Major Briggs and his pureness of both heart and intellect.

I have less faith in his son, Bobby. In the previous episode, Bobby spoke lovingly of his father, which made me like him more. In this episode, he leaves Shelly to deal with Leo because he’s “Ben Horne’s new boy.” He deserved that slap, and more. I can only hope he manages to redeem himself soon.

The highlight of this episode—the scenes that I’ll bet were featured heavily in promos at the time—was the stand-off at the Dead Dog Farm and its resolution by David Duchovny’s Denise, the deviously delightful DEA agent, dragged up as Dennis. (Say that ten times fast.) I love the way Denise decided to cross-dress as male just to mix things up, but then used her feminine wiles and damn-fine legs to help Coop out of the hostage situation.

I said last week that my theory is that the Dead Dog Farm is the real-world equivalent of the White Lodge. A bad photocopy, if you will. While he was trapped inside, newly-deputized Coop didn’t want to die. Does that imply that he has “imperfect courage”? Or was his reaction to his own impending death perfectly reasonable? He also needed help to get out. If Coop finds the White Lodge, will he be man enough to handle it?

Clues, Questions, and Answers:

Jean Renault told Cooper: “Before you came here, Twin Peaks was a simple place…Quiet people lived a quiet life. Then, a pretty girl dies, and you arrive, and everything changes...Suddenly, the quiet people are quiet no more. Suddenly, the simple dream becomes the nightmare. So, if you die, maybe you will be the last to die. Maybe you brought the nightmare with you. And maybe the nightmare will die with you.” Is Jean just talking about his desire to return to the simpler world of drug-dealing and tourism? Or does he sense the dark forces at work in—or below—Twin Peaks? Either way, his woeful speech seems like terrible foreshadowing.

Other Things that are Still Happening:

• Ed and Norma are still filled with longing. Nadine is still horny. Ben is still crazy.

• James is still caught up in a bad Lifetime movie.

• Harry is still madly in love with Josie, despite her dominant emotions being resistance and feigned helplessness.

This episode ended on a horrifying cliffhanger: Shelly hearing noises in her perpetually half-done home and then seeing this OMFG:

The flickering lights are happening all over town, and they also reveal a murdered vagrant in Harry’s office. Windom Earle has made another move, and I think we should be just as frightened by his murderous impulses as we are by the fact that he, like David Lynch himself, seems to use electricity to mark a new stage in the game.

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?)

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