Twin Peaks Revisited: 1.06
TV revivals are a big thing. In 2016, The X Files returned to our screens after a 14-year absence and here at The Digital Fix, we revisited key episodes across its ten seasons and two movies. But there is one revival that is surely bigger than that; Twin Peaks will be returning for an unprecedented third season, directed by David Lynch and set twenty-five years after season two’s shocking ending. It is a revival that has everyone excited and anxious in equal measure. With a phenomenal cast, including nearly every original actor there is hope that Twin Peaks’ new season can recapture the magic of the first year and a half. So, like The X Files, we’ve decided to revisit each episode in the build up to the show’s return. We’ll treat each revisit fresh and try to keep major conjecture to future episodes separate. So whether you’re seeking to revisit an old classic or ready to find out what all the fuss is about, let’s return to the world of Twin Peaks…
Cooper visits the Log Lady with Truman, Hawk and Dr Hayward and learns about the darkness in Twin Peaks. Bobby and Shelley plot to kill Leo, Ben plays Catherine and Josie against each other, and Audrey seduces her way through her investigation into Laura's murder...
One of the most memorable characters in Twin Peaks was Catherine Coulson’s Log Lady; up until now she’s been mostly on the peripheral of the events taking place, but in this episode Cooper and Truman encounter her as they go in search of Jacques Renault’s cabin. It is a wonderful scene; Truman, Deputy Hawk and Doc Hayward all treat her with the upmost respect, understanding her talk in metaphors, her flashes of anger and her willingness to listen to what her log has to say. Cooper doesn’t come out of the scene well though; she slaps his hand when he tries to defy custom by taking a cookie before the tea is ready and biting remarks when he tries to interrupt her.
But it is an important scene and perfectly encapsulates the weirdness of Twin Peaks; the spirit in her log is just as essential an eye witness as Bobby or Donna. And while there has been the suggestion of something supernatural in the woods, it is the Log Lady who speaks of owls and devils; if there was ever a character as attuned to the real darkness in this town it is her and everyone, particularly Truman, knows it.
Most significantly, we learn of a third man out there the night Laura Palmer was killed, suggesting that while Leo and Jacques are complicit in the seedy life Laura was living, they are just a red herring when it comes to her murder. And there is a real sense of progression in this episode; the hunt for Jacques Renault leads to his cabin with the red curtains (surely significant considering Cooper’s dream) and the blood and twine used to bind Laura and Ronnette. It also leads to the revelation – or at least confirmation – that Laura also appeared in Flesh World. The Miner Bird, another witness in her murder is discovered and the clues start to come together as Twin Peaks heads towards its season one finale (just two episodes later). And yet, there is so much to discover, so many plot lines bubbling away that it still feels as if the show is getting started.
Everything is bubbling along nicely; Bobby and Shelley plot to kill Leo, though they still jump at the slightest possibility that he might turn up any moment. Hank returns to Norma, who is temporarily dumped by Big Ed because of Norma’s obvious mental illness. Maddy joins the secret investigation into Laura’s murder Donna and James are conducting, discovering a secret tape hidden in her cousin’s bed post. Doctor Jacoby uses rather unethical methods to discover more about Laura while conducting therapy with Bobby, proving just what a creepy, nasty piece of work he really is.
Catherine and Ben plan the downfall of Jose Packard and the destruction of the mill, unbeknownst that his daughter Audrey has been secretly spying on them. But perhaps the biggest twist is Ben finding Josie in his office; is this another shady deal? Sitting there smoking her cigarette in the darkness, looking like some femme fatale, she does not appear the innocent widow we have seen her before. Perhaps the darkness in Twin Peaks affects even the best of people?
Sherlyn Fenn continues to steal the show as Audrey Horne; while her attempts to seduce Cooper and help in the investigation fail at the start of the episode, her admission that she is eighteen offers the spark of potential in a relationship between the FBI agent and her, however inappropriate it might be. It’s easy to see why, during the show’s original run, there were many fans shipping Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne.
Proving to be far more engaging than the sappy Donna and James, she blackmails her way to working at the perfume counter at her father’s department store, threatening to cry attempted rape if the manager does not meet her demands. It’s an interesting scene; given that Ronnette and Laura both worked there it is not unreasonable to suggest that the manager was complicit in the induction of young women to One Eyed Jacks. Is his initial refusal to let her work on that counter an attempt to protect Audrey or cover his own back? Audrey ends the episode, seemingly distraught over the discovery of her father and Catherine’s affair naked, in Cooper’s bed.
Ben double-crossing Catherine with Josie, Maddy discovering Laura’s secret tape, Audrey trying to seduce Cooper and the cliffhanger of Hank attacking Leo before Shelly finally follows through and shoots her husband…there is a lot to ponder as the episode ends. And just who is the third man the Log Lady’s log referred to? It’s another episode that continues to up the show’s game. There’s less of the melodrama soap we’re used to, though the singing Icelanders waking Cooper up at three in the morning add the sense of fun we’re used to. Catherine Coulson’s Log Lady gets a great scene after standing in the shadows for rest of the season and with her, we really start to see the murder mystery and the supernatural collide…
The Log Lady : (talking to her log) “ Shhhh. Let me do the talking. Dark. Laughing. The owls were flying. Many things were blocked. Laughing. Two men. Two girls. Flashlights, in the woods, pass by, over the ridge. The owls were near. The dark was pressing in on her ...Quiet then. A gentle wind. Footsteps, later, one man pass by. All quiet. Screams, far away. Terrible. Terrible. One voice...”
Cooper: “Man or girl?”
The Log Lady : “ Girl.... Further up. Over the ridge The owl were silent.”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
Who is the third man the log observed? All would be revealed in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and the revelation of Laura Palmer’s killer in season two. The interesting thing about the show at this point is that the Cooper and Truman are so far from the truth, the real killer is not even in their line of investigation. And that’s what makes the mystery so captivating.