Twin Peaks: Demons

“It’s not a game.”

The overall plan for Twin Peaks was to reveal mysteries within mysteries. A good plan, but the result is an odd statement about the nature of investigations. Finding Laura’s killer is the just task—but at what cost? Cooper says that Audrey’s near-death wasn’t the first time his actions have brought suffering to someone he cared about in the name doing what he had to do. Where’s the line between investigating a crime, and causing more terribleness to happen? Is it possible to win the “game” of justice and crime?

James is taking Cooper’s advice to heart and trying to convince Donna (and Maddie) to stop the “plans” and scheming because of the damage they cause to both the investigators (well, if we can call the kiddos by that lofty name) and, in this case, to Harold. I’m not really sure what we’re supposed to make of Harold. Are we supposed to like him, to share his pain, to feel terrible at Donna’s betrayal of his trust? He just seems mopey and overly self-involved to me. Agoraphobia is a real and difficult condition, be he tries to make himself into a romantic hero to account for his fears. Maybe it is my distaste for romantic heroes that makes me dislike him. (Move along, Lord Byron. I won’t play your game.)

Shelley and Bobby are certainly rethinking their own strategy for getting rich off of Leo’s misery. And Leo’s waking up!

Maddie, too, is slipping into the dark side of the investigative process: become the Laura that people see when they look at her. She seems fairly stable in her sense of self, though: “Now I’m just me again.” It’s hard to get a sense of her as a character, of course, since all we know of her is the ambiguity of her post-Laura existence in Twin Peaks, away from her home and her real self. As she returns to her sense of self, she plans to return to Missoula. (Missoula always reminds me of this episode of Angel.) Her character arc raises the question: can we become fully immersed in someone else in the cause of justice (or revenge) and maintain our self? Is the self even a unified whole, or are parts of it dictated by how people see us?

I’ve been rather neglectful of Josie’s role in the mysteries-within-mysteries. She has been working for Ben Horne to scam Catherine out of the mill money and to get the insurance money. She also seems to be working for someone else based out of Hong Kong, and is intimidated by Mr. Mysterious. And all of this is, for her, wrapped up in sex: sex with men who want her to do something, and sex with the man she truly loves but can’t be honest with, good Harry Truman. Josie’s character, like Laura’s, seems to change depending on the man she is talking to. Does that make her vulnerable like Laura?

The real highlight of this episode for me is David Lynch, who plays Coop’s boss. Not only is the whole hard-of-hearing thing hilarious (my mother is hard of hearing, too, and many of our conversations are just like Gordon’s and Harry’s). Lynch/Gordon Cole also referred to Philadelphia, Cooper’s problems there, and Wyndham Earle, whom Albert talked about a few episodes ago. Wyndham Earle, escaped lunatic FBI agent, sent Cooper a chess move. It’s a little foreboding.

Clues, Questions, and Answers:

• Audrey felt “black cold” when she was still on the nod. (Does anyone say “on the nod” about someone who’s on a lot of heroin these days?)

• Albert’s finds: traces of a vicuna coat in the hall outside of Cooper’s room; a weird combination of medication in the one-armed man’s syringe; papers from a diary outside the traincar.

• Leland took a bit of fur from the stuffed animal in Ben Horne’s office. It’s not a vicuna. (I looked up vicuna—they’re like alpacas with sheepish tendencies.) He is also singing the old standards instead of just listening to them.

• Mike’s speech: “There is no need for medicine. I am not in pain. My name is Mike. I am an inhabiting spirit. [Philip Gerard] is host to me. [Bob] was my familiar. [Where he comes from] cannot be revealed. He is Bob, eager for fun. He wears a smile, everybody run. Do you understand the parasite. IT attaches itself to a life form and feeds. Well, Bob requires a human host. He feeds on fear and the pleasures. They are his children. I am similar to Bob. We once were partners. Through the darkness, the future past, the magician longs to see, one chants out between two worlds, ‘Fire walk with me.’ But then I saw the face of God and was purified. I took off the arm but remained close to this vessel, inhabiting from time to time, for one single purpose, to find Bob. This is his true face, but few can see it—the gifted and the damned.”

Bits and Pieces:

• Harry: “The coat was vicuna?”
David Lynch: “Sounds real good, Sheriff, but I already ate.”

• David Lynch: “There’s the one-armer now!”
• That Very Same One-Armer: “Since when is selling shoes against the law?”

• David Lynch: “Cooper, you remind me of a small Mexican chihuahua.”

• David Lynch: “Sometimes two and two don’t equal four.”

• Mr. Tojomura: “I find adherence to fantasy troubling and unreasonable.”
Pete: “You’re not from around here, are you?”

• This is the point in the show where Donna starts to get crazy thin.

Lots of “game” language in this episode. The Sheriff and Donna, Ben Horne and Josie—they all refer to the cycle of investigations, crimes, occlusion, and revelation as a game. The game theme will become even more prominent as the season progresses, as the chess move Wyndham Earle sent clearly foreshadows. In the meantime, Mike’s speech revealed that Bob inhabits other people’s bodies and is associated with the Great Northern Hotel. I sense a resolution.

Three and a half out of four vicuna.

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

1 comment:

Emily said...

Wowsers! vicuña coats seem like they'd be hard to come by! this was interesting:ña-world’s-rarest-fabric