Twin Peaks Revisited: 2.07
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…
Harold Smith is found dead, the pages of Laura Palmer's diary torn to shreds. Ben Horne becomes the prime suspect in Laura Palmer's murder and is arrested. Tojamura reveals his / her identity to Pete and the real killer is revealed as Maddy is horribly murdered...
Laura Palmer's killer has finally been revealed and it is a shocking, brutal moment. The seventh episode delivers one of most shocking cliff-hangers in TV history, the murder of Maddy lingering on your mind long after the episode has ended. As with the discovery of Laura Palmer's body wrapped in plastic and Cooper's 'twenty-five years later' dream, it stands as one of Twin peaks most iconic moments. Does the revelation of who is possessed by Bob come too quickly? Perhaps, a sign of the studio's interference in wrapping up the show's central murder mystery. But it also completely works because it is so sudden; giving the pacing of the show to date, you would have expected some time between Mike's talk of possession last episode and the revelation of who that person is. Revealing the killer - and that it is Leyland of all people - is a sledgehammer of a revelation.
But the rest of the episode is pretty great too, building on that cliffhanger of the last episode that the person possessed by Bob is at the Great Northern Hotel. Of course, Leyland was seen there last episode but remains conspicuously absent from the scenes in this one (you really have to pay attention to what happened before). Lynch delivers his usual oddball charm as Mike (in Philip Gerard's body) sits in the foyer of the hotel with Cooper, Truman and Doc Hayward, reviewing every inhabitant while a mass of sailors bounce balls on the wooden floor. The arrival of Ben Horne to end the proceedings sends Mike / Gerard into an hysterical state.
At which point, all suspicion is on Ben Horne. It's a fantastic double bluff before the episode's devastating reveal at the end, but an obvious one too. Ben has been a despicable character from the start, revelling in shady deals, blackmails, playing off Catherine and Josie and revealing himself as the owner of the brothel and criminal enterprise One Eyed Jacks. Fuelled by the traumatic events of her kidnapping, Audrey confronts him, revealing herself as the meek 'new girl' Prudence that Ben attempted to seduce and demands to know if he slept with Laura. It's the first time we see Ben losing the upper hand and Richard Beymer delivers surprising vulnerability as he admits he not only did sleep with Laura but he loved her. When he fails to answer Audrey's question over whether he murdered Laura, she shops him in to Truman and Cooper.
Audrey has come a long way quickly, arguably much more so than the likes of fellow class mate Donna (remember that they're still supposed to be in school?). Ben's arrest while he attempts to make a deal for the Ghostwood Estate with mysterious Japanese business man Tojamura, throws the audience completely off the trail of the real murderer, making that ending all the more shocking. As for Tojamura, he's always seemed rather fake, even for the surreal world of Twin Peaks and the reveal that he is Catherine in disguise is a very fun moment. Tojamura's gruff line to Pete " I've been strangely attracted to you" as he confronts him at his home is a fantastic comic moment and the reveal that Pete's wife is alive a joyous moment, coming just at the right time before the real terrors of the episode are unleashed.
The episode also cleverly intertwines other sub plots around Twin Peaks's central mystery so as to make the end scenes all the more shocking. The opening shots of Hawk, Cole, Cooper, Andy and Truman drinking coffee and eating doughnuts is a wonderfully kooky introduction before they set off on their errands. The ominous and yet seemingly impossibly journey toward's Leo's 'awakening' continues. I still find it hard to feel for Bobby and Shelley, realising that even with Leo's insurance money, they can't afford to live. Naturally Bobby proves to be the immature dick he is, bailing at the first opportunity. But the moments in which they react in sheer terror to Leo's mumurs or sudden movements are a delight to watch. Where Shelley was more endearing was in her tearful farewell to Norma, giving up her job at the diner to care for Leo and realising that she has trapped herself in a nightmare by her own design.
Nadine's school girl persona is still ridiculous, but I think on the right side of fun at this point. Seeing Norma's reaction to her was delightful and Nadine's "Eddy I am so happy I could just kiss you to death!" before smacking a big smooch on his lips was hilarious. Bobby and Mike finding the tapes in the heels of Leo's boots suggests a new mystery while Harold Smith is found hanging in his greenhouse, the secret diary of Laura Palmer torn to shreds. I'm not sure if you are meant to feel sorry for Donna in her final scenes with James at the Roadhouse, but I can't help but feel - despite Harold's deeply unsettled mind - that his suicide is all her fault? Cooper's investigation of the diary does reveal more unsettling details about Bob though, a 'friend' of her father who abused her from an early age. It makes that final revelation all the more horrific.
And poor Maddy. The moment she turned up in Twin Peaks she always seemed destined to become her cousin and her death at the hands of Leyland / Bob is no different. The scene early in the episode where she tells Sarah and Leyland she is leaving tomorrow, while they drink coffee and read the morning papers suggests they had already replaced Laura with her dark-haired doppelganger and her aunt and uncle's sweet words are all the more tragic in light of her fate.
And what a fate it is. Lynch delivers a masterful, atmospheric build up to her murder. Sarah crawling down the stairs while the record player plays with no noise is deeply unsettling, something out of a horror movie. The suggestion perhaps that she has been driven mad not just by her daughter's death but the horrors that live within her home? It certainly puts her madness in a new light. Inter cut with all the shots of trees blowing in the night, and Angelo Badalamenti's forbidding, evocative score, Cooper finds himself confronted by the Log Lady, the harbinger of some of Twin Peaks's supernatural elements over the course of the show. "We don't know what will happen or when but there are owls in the Roadhouse." With that Cooper finds himself face to face with the giant once more and the chilling line "It is happening again."
It is harrowing to watch, Ray Wise seemingly transformed into a deranged, smiling killer as he grins back at Bob's reflection in the mirror. I can only imagine the gasps audiences must have had when Twin Peaks was first aired; could such a huge spoiler survive more than an hour in today's internet-driven world? Probably not. The intercutting between Leyland and Bob as he drags Maddy screaming into the living room, dragging her around in circles in some kind of macarbe dance is utterly terrifying. The blood on her lips, her eyes wide, Sheryl Lee coveys every moment of Maddy's fear as she is bashed and beaten to death. Surprisingly it is the moment he slides the letter under her fingernail as she lies barely alive on the floor that is the most unsettling, a final sealing of her fate as Laura's replacement.
Episode seven is a masterpiece. If the new season can have an episode that is even half as good as this one, it will be a success. It keeps the audience on their toes to the very end, playing one huge double bluff before that final, shocking revelation and murder. There would still be a couple of great episodes to come, but this was the pinnacle of Twin Peaks and what a height it reached.
The whole exchange between Pete and Catherine, disguised as Tojamura...
Catherine:“ Since the moment we met, l have been strangely attracted to you.”
Pete: “ You just better get the hell out of here, mister.”
Catherine: “ There's something about your eyes, so warm and deep. And blue as the sky. Dummy, it's me. lt's me.”
Pete: “ Catherine? You look terrible.”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
The entire mystery is laid out in this episode and it is a brutal one so there's not much left to tell. We'll see more of Bob's personality emerge in Leyland in the coming two episodes before his death. Maddy will be found wrapped in plastic at the end of the next episode, completing her role as Laura's doppelganger while Ben will be charged for Laura's murder before the real culprit is caught.