Twin Peaks: Laura’s Secret Diary

“There are no solutions here.”

Ah, defamiliarization. Such a familiar technique. The opening scene of “Laura’s Secret Diary” shows us a microscopic view of the inside of an acoustical tile as Leland Palmer stares at it, accompanied by what sounds like the myna-bird saying “Daddy? Leland? Daddy?” Lynch likes the uncanny-magnification technique: like the hidden spaces that shouldn’t exist, a close-up view of the world shows just how many unknowns surround us in our everyday lives.

Leland being unmasked as the killer of Jacques Renault feels rather like a panacea: our sheriff heroes and FBI knight are gradually defeating all of the lesser foes, but new ones keep popping up—and we’re still not sure who killed Laura Palmer. Everyone is gradually being eliminated, and Bob is still a mystery.

Donna hasn’t abandoned her quest to find Laura’s killer, even though she doesn’t seem to be drawn in to the Bob-mystery at all. The search is changing Donna: she is becoming more manipulative as she gets drawn into Laura’s odd life. Laura describes her “insides” as “black and dark and filled with big, big men and dreams of different ways that they might hold me and take me into their control.” Does “control” refer to sex and rape, or to some other form of control?

Harold Smith sees himself as a reporter-at-small, collecting stories to create a universal pastiche of the human experience. He withdraws from the world and attempts to efface his own mark on it by watching but not participating. Or, maybe, watching is his form of participating. Either way, Donna attempts to “fix” him in a way she never tried to fix Laura. I don’t anticipate that working out well.

Meanwhile, life goes on: Lucy and Andy continue to have reproductive issues, Hank and Norma are trying to make the diner a success, and poor Big Ed is saddled with a crazy wife. Harry suspects Josie of complicity in Catherine’s death. Jean Renault continues his manipulations of Audrey and Ben Horne, and Coop is gradually getting drawn into yet another local issue, forced to abandon his FBI persona and act as a Bookhouse Boy to save Audrey.

Clues, Questions, and Answers:

• The anonymous Asian man that we’ve seen glimpses of for a few episodes now was watching Josie and Harry through the window. He and Josie are scheming about something, that’s for sure.

• Very interesting map of the town and outlying areas in the conference room. I think the intersection where Laura got off James’s bike is right in the center.

• Judge: “Before we assume our respective roles in this enduring drama, just let me say that, when these frail shadows we inhabit now have quit the stage, we’ll meet and raise a glass again together in Valhalla.” Valhalla, white houses, Twin Peaks as heaven, the major’s white palace: I’m sensing a theme. Salvation and damnation as places.

Bits and Pieces:

• Andy: “I was wondering if it was the sort of test you could take over, like a driver’s exam.”

• Hank: “Babe, we’re going to trick this place out like Christmas on the Fourth of July.”

• Cooper: “Are you still seeing this Dick?” That’s high-brow humor.

• Lucy: “Was it just your ascot?”

• Coop’s high-tech memorandum/calculator is oddly like a PDA.

• M.T. Wentz, the incognito/a travel writer, is coming to Twin Peaks. Could he be the mysterious Mr. Tojamura now residing at the Great Northern?

So much of the conflict in this episode is between men and women: suspicion, sacrifice, clothes-ripping sex, and manipulation. So much of the resolution, on the other hand, comes from good men banding together to fight the forces of evil. The judge said, “Life is hard…It’s harder in most places than in Twin Peaks.” True, in terms of base survival, access to clean water, etc. But emotions and stakes seem so much higher in Twin Peaks than in most places. Is Twin Peaks heaven, like Cooper said? After all, “heaven is a large and interesting place.”

Three out of four diaries

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

1 comment:

Gregor said...

Thanks for this -- nicely written and I'm following with my dvds.