Twin Peaks: Coma

“Deliver the message.”

Creamed corn. It's never a delightful dish, but Twin Peaks makes it eerie, creepy—you pick a synonym for disturbing, and it’ll be accurate. Donna’s first Meals on Wheels visitation is a strange bed-sitting room inhabited by a desiccated old woman and her magical grandson, capable of teleporting creamed corn from one location to another as quick as you can snap your fingers. He claims to be “un homme solitaire.” Or was he not talking about himself?

Perhaps he was talking about Harold Smith, the recluse who lives next door. Whether or not the Creepy Grandson was delivering a message to Donna, Donna’s message to Harold got through.

Albert had a message of his own: Wyndham Earle, Cooper’s old partner, has “flown the coop” and fled the insane asylum. It really seemed to throw Coop for a loop. As Billie would say, I nominate that figurative “coop” for Most Obvious Symbolism: can Cooper contain whatever threat Earle represents? And what threat does he represent, anyway?

The Log Lady’s log told Major Briggs to “deliver the message.” (And that’s where we get our Theme of the Week, obviously.) Major Briggs interpreted that to mean disclosing top-secret stuff to Cooper. Deep-space monitors aimed at galaxies “far beyond our own” receive “radio-waves of gibberish.” On the morning Cooper was shot, the monitors received a comprehensible message: “The owls are not what they seem…Cooper.” How could Bob be related to the owls? (Thematically, that is. Probably not genetically.)

Ben Horne delivered a message of his own: Audrey has been missing for at least two days. Cooper still hasn’t remembered the note that fell under his bed (also a message). Could that be what the Giant told him he’d forgotten (in the dream message)?

Clues, Questions, and Answers:

• Hank used to be a Bookhouse Boy.

• Ronette Polaski recognized Bob as the man in the train car.

• Leland Palmer recognized Bob as a man who lived next door to his grandfather’s summer house when Leland was young.

• Audrey discovered what we’ve known all along: her father owns One-Eyed Jack’s. And then got caught by Blackie.

Bits and Pieces:

• Albert: “I believe it’s customary to ask after the health of one recently plugged three times.”

• Log Lady: “You wear shiny objects on your chest. Are you proud?”
Major Briggs: “Achievement is its own reward. Cream?”

• Creepy Grandson was played by David Lynch’s real-life son.

• The stool scene is wonderful. As much as I love the rocket-fire pace of shows like The Vampire Diaries, I also love these lazy moments that make something as weird as Twin Peaks feel neatly mimetic.

• The Horne Brothers’s dilemma about the ledgers almost sounded like some sort of philosophical quandary.

• Leo is propped up so he can see himself in a mirror as soon as he wakes up. What a shock that will be for him.

• The department store manager’s fantasy is darn complicated.

• Donna, Maddie, and James are undergoing quite a complicated love triangle. The song was a neat shorthand for everyone’s complicated emotions.

• Lazy reviewer confession: I’ve started fast-forwarding through the Lucy and Andy scenes. As Harry says, “Let’s not waste our time.”

Two figurative messages really marked this episode: that creamed corn scene, and the sketch of Bob floating around Twin Peaks. The Bob sketch is like a message without a recipient, a picture that will cause something to happen even if we don’t know what it is yet. The creamed corn scene, on the other hand, is a message to the viewer. It’s a glimpse of the strangeness of Twin Peaks (the town). That pervasive eerie quality is more prevalent already in the second episode of this season. Either we’re seeing more of it, or the boundaries between the mundane and the surreal are weakening. That might explain what Bob was doing in the Hayward’s living room.

Three and a half out of four smoked-cheese pigs.

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

3 comments:

Greg Quinnell said...

I have yet to watch Twin Peaks yet (it's high up on my list, though) but I just watched the most brilliant episode of Psych, called Dual Spires, which is a tribute episode to Twin Peaks: http://www.megavideo.com/?v=N9FJ6F6E

Josie Kafka said...

That's the only episode of Psych I've seen, Greg. It's wonderful.

Greg Quinnell said...

Reason enough to make you wanna watch more, no? There's so many awesome, awesome episodes. The Yin/Yang trilogy, for one. Then there's... well... really, I don't wanna spoil it for you. :)