Twin Peaks Revisited: 2.02
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…
Albert Rosenfield warns Dale Cooper that his former partner Windom Earle has escaped, Audrey's plans backfire and she becomes a prisoner at One Eyed Jacks, Donna begins her investigation by taking on Laura's Meals on Wheels route, Ronnette Pulaski is questioned and Maddy has a terrifying vision of Bob.
David Lynch directed the second episode of season two and the change in tone that came with the first episode of the season continues here. The supernatural elements that hovered at the edge of the story in season one are becoming far more prominent, but the focus on Bob serves that well. For the first time, his face is out in the open, on posters across the town, asking if anyone has seen this man. He appears in Cooper’s dreams, as a terrifying vision to Maddy, a long-lost connection to Leyland and a terrifying memory of Ronnette Polaksi’s past. For the first time Dale Cooper is on the path to Laura Palmer’s true killer, but there are still a lot of steps to take to get there.
It’s also worth noting that with Lynch heavily involved in the episode, so does the elements of oddball comedy that he so noted for. From the long, awkward scene as Cooper and Truman try to adjust their chairs before interviewing Ronnette, to poor Andy getting tape all over his face as he tries to stick up posters of Bob in the diner to Major Briggs being ‘introduced’ to the Log Lady’s Log and ‘The Buck Stops here’ beneath the head of the deer in Truman’s office. It all has its quirky charm, even if it threatens to descend the episode into comic anarchy in the first half. As I continue my re-watch, I am becoming more and more irritated by Jerry Horne. While Ben can flit between serious darkness and kooky, making him a believable of larger than life character, Jerry feels like a kooky characterure that I could do without.
Fortunately, there is enough mystery to ground the silliness. The opening conversation between Dale Cooper and Albert Rosenfield, despite having some wonderfully sardonic dialogue from Rosenfield, also lays the groundwork for the end of season two with the first mysterious mention of Cooper’s insane former partner Windom Earle.
Donna’s investigation brings her meals on wheels customer Mrs. Tremond and her son with a magical ability to disappear creamed corn, but it is Tremond’s neighbour that might yield more answers about her deceased best friend. And of course Bob’s presence grows stronger; the scene where Maddy watches in horror as Bob strides into the Palmer’s living room and crawls over the sofa towards her is terrifying; without a sound Frank Silva delivers a chilling, supernatural villain. How ironic that he was just a prop master working on Twin Peaks, when he was caught in shot during the filming of the second episode of season one. Sarah Palmer’s vision was a striking one and David Lynch uses Siva to great effect here as he becomes more prominent. Most interesting, is Leyland’s revelation that the image of Bob on the police posters was a neighbour from his childhood. That’s a very creepy connection, and one that will soon be explored to great effect.
Audrey’s fate grows more perilous; after Ben tells Sheriff Truman his daughter is missing. She attempts to blackmail the Horne’s Department store manager (with his frankly bizarre fetish of having his toes painted while a cowgirl stripper does the hoovering). Sherilyn Fenn delivers a real gusto in her performance (“I’m Audrey Horne and I always get what I want”), but this is already an Audrey far removed from the bratty daughter of the first two episodes of season one. Her determination yields answers; Laura came to One Eyed Jacks before being thrown out for using drugs. She even manages to get a call out to Cooper before her plan backfires and she officially becomes a prisoner of Blackie and her insidious cohorts.
And while other plotlines, like the missing ledger from season one continue to bubble away and Shelley and Bobby decide to bring human vegetable Leo home to cash in on his insurance cheques (a very bad idea!) Lynch uses this episode to drive the wider, darker elements of the show forward. Outside of Laura’s murder, season one was largely driven by the machinations of characters like Ben Horne, Josie Packard and Catherine Martell. Season two has mostly put that to bed and now Cooper is being visited weekly by the mysterious supernatural giant, while Major Briggs reveals the radio waves his secret government agency captured on the night he was shot. THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM and later that night COOPER / COOPER / COOPER…
These are strange and sinister omens indeed.
Everything from the opening scene with Cooper and Albert, particularly these two delightful conversations…
Albert Rosenfield: “I've performed the autopsy on Jacques Renault. Stomach contents revealed... let's see, beer cans, a Maryland licence plate, half a bicycle tire, a goat, and a small wooden puppet. Goes by the name of Pinocchio. ”
Dale Cooper: “You're making a joke! ”
Albert Rosenfield: “I like to think of myself as one of the happy generation. ”
And his description of the poor waiter from the season two opening episode…
Dale Cooper: “Who shot me Albert? ”
Albert Rosenfield: “My men are interrogating the hotel staff and the guests as we speak. They're the usual bumper crop of simple-minded, rural no-nothings and drunken fly fishermen. Nothing so far. Oh by the way, I personally found and talked with the waiter who delivered your glass of warm milk from that night. The world's oldest and most decrepit room service waiter remembers nothing unusual about the night in question. No surprise there. Being 104 years old, Senor Drool cup has, shall we say, a mind that wanders. ”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
Lynch packs a lot in. Windom Earle gets a first mention here; he will of course be responsible for leading Cooper into the Black Lodge at the end of season two after he kidnaps Annie.
There is also a lot of information about Bob. Ronnette reacts badly, confirming his presence at the night of Laura’s murder. With her geeky glasses gone and vision of Bob, Maddy is becoming more like Laura than ever before and it is no coincidence that she has the vision in the Palmer’s living room, where she will soon meet her tragic fate. And as for Leyland – does his possession by Bob go as far back to his childhood?