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Twin Peaks: Realization Time

“Secrets are dangerous things.”

This is very much a penultimate episode. All the strands of the mystery are starting to come together (or to unravel) but it’s hard to discern exactly where they’re leading. Meanwhile, further mysteries continue to develop, raising the question of how, or whether, the Mill is related to Laura’s death, whether Josie is exactly what she seems, and how Hank fits into all of this. Lynch and Frost originally envisioned Twin Peaks as an interlocking set of mysteries within mysteries, like a rainy nesting doll. We can see that plan in evidence here.

Cooper resisted Audrey’s adorably blatant attempts to seduce him. While she seems comfortable with the idea of a friendship and malteds, she’s continuing to pursue her own branch of the investigation, and has even found a hidey-hole similar to the one in the Great Northern from which to figure out the connection between the perfume counter and One-Eyed Jack’s.

Coop also resisted the myna’s charms. (I don’t like birds, either, which endears him to me.) The myna bird Waldo is just a piece in the mystery puzzle, and the picture that is emerging has something to do with Flesh World, One-Eyed Jack’s, Leo Johnson, and those evil Canadians, the frères Renault. We know there’s a drug angle, too, but Cooper and Co. don’t seem to have pursued that lead.

The myna bird parroted Ronette and Laura in the train car, and Maddie, Donna, and James listened to one of Laura’s tapes to Dr. Jacoby. Twin Peaks does a great job of making Laura come alive through these bizarre media in a way that The Killing could only weirdly imitate. (In The Killing, too, most of the scenes of Rosie after her death were images—film and pictures—rather than words. It makes a difference.)

The previous episode’s cliffhanger was resolved off-screen: Shelly did hit Leo, but not enough to incapacitate him. In the language of another favorite show, Shelly has now woken the dragon and only has a high school footballer to rely on in her struggle with her sniper-inclined freakish husband. The Leo/Shelly intersected weirdly with the myna bird plot, as Leo used his sniper rifle not against Shelly but against the bird. And to top-off the crazy romantic hijinks, as if the implicit parallels between Shelly and Leo, and Norma and Hank weren’t foreboding enough, Harry and Coop both don’t trust Hank’s ostensible attempts at recovery. Neither do we.

Weird theme of presents in this episode: Cooper talks about giving oneself a gift, the perfume counter-girl got a unicorn, Laura made a present of her troubles to Dr. Jacoby, Nadine wanted to give Ed gifts, and Audrey wants to make a present of her information to Cooper. It’s a theme, but I’m not sure whether it’s of any significance.

There’s a more obvious theme of disguises: Cooper and Ed as tri-city gamblers, Audrey as a prostitute, and, most importantly, Maddie in a blond wig playing at being Laura. It’s hard to separate costumes like those from the more subtle disguises that, for instance, Ben and Jerry wear when pretending to be nothing but upright businessmen. Or Josie—and we ought not forget that the first shot of the series was Josie, looking in a mirror, putting on make-up.

Bits and Pieces:

• Cooper: “Harry, I’m gonna 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.”

• Blackie: “Got a name?”
Coop: “Barney and Fred, just in from the tri-cities.”
Blackie: “Well…Fred, what’s your line?”
Ed: “Own a gas station. Um, I’m an oral surgeon.”
Blackie: “Well, I’ve got a Chevy parked out back with a serious root canal problem. You want to take a look?”
Ed: “I was hoping you might need a little gum work. Because I’d sure like to get a look under your hood.” Way to go, Ed!

• Blackie: “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t airmail your bottom back to civilization.”

• Coop doesn’t like birds. I don’t like birds, either.

• Lucy’s brooch may be the most fascinatingly ugly piece of jewelry I have ever seen. Also, Lucy seems to have some sort of medical condition. I wonder if that’s related to her coldness towards Deputy Brennan?

• Agent Cooper in a tux, on the other hand, is a beautiful sight. And Big Ed didn’t look too shabby, either.

Clues, Questions, and Answers:

• No sense of what the connection between Hank and Josie is, but Josie did reveal that she’d been at the motel taking pictures of Ben Horne and Catherine Martell.

• Josie clued Harry in one Ben’s and Catherine’s plan to burn down the mill.

• Catherine found out there was an unknown life insurance policy in her name. Ben and Josie are conspiring, and Hank’s along for the ride.

• Maddie-as-Laura asked Jacoby to meet her at the corner of Sparkwood and 21. That’s the intersection where Laura got off James’s bike on the night she died, right? And: spark wood (fire), 21 (blackjack).

Everything is left hanging at the end: will Josie follow through on the plan to get Catherine to the mill (and presumably to kill her)? How will the plan to trick Jacoby with an ersatz Laura turn out? Will Audrey be safe at One-Eyed Jack’s? What will the repercussions of Bobby putting cocaine in James’s gas tank be?

Three out of four unicorns, ancient symbols of purity, tamed only by the young at heart.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

1 comment:

  1. Just some thoughts on episode 7:

    ---WHERE are Audrey's parents??? Don't they keep tabs on her????

    ---How many men is Josie "in bed" with?

    ---Audrey's hiding place in the department store...wouldn't someone SMOKING in your office be OBVIOUS??? Wouldn't you be able to smell it?


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