Welcome to our biweekly roundtable of Twin Peaks where we are working our way through every. Single. Episode. Some of us are regulars and some of us newbies, but none of our experiences are the same. So get yourself a damn fine cup of coffee, watch along with us, and feel free to chime in on the comments section. Say anything you like, our log does not judge. Note: The first installment of Twin Peaks is commonly referred to as The Pilot while the second episode aired is considered to be Episode One. We will be designating each episode using this criteria. The 7th installment of Twin Peaks is Episode 6.
We pick up on last episode’s lulu of a cliffhanger as Dale Cooper enters the Good Person Hall of Fame. He manages to turn down Audrey’s offer without making her feel bad about it, which is basically a magic trick. He’s kind and mature, respectful, and not patronizing. That’s not likely to make Audrey crush on him less — I have little cartoon hearts bubbling around my own head just thinking about it — but he handles it perfectly.
I’ve always been glad they didn’t go down the Cooper/Audrey hookup path. “She’s 18, it’s legal!” wouldn’t make it not creepy. And Audrey has enough problems with a father like Ben Horne. But it makes sense that she’d still be stuck on Cooper. She wants to impress him, and help him, so she decides to launch an extremely ill-advised undercover operation at One-Eyed Jack’s. Audrey is smart and resourceful, but she’s not quite as sharp as she believes she is or she’d never go through with it. “Hester Prynne” — oh my god, Audrey, come on.
Can you do the cherry stem trick? (I can.)
Note: Cooper looks so great in his tuxedo that even Sheriff Truman and Ed Hurley are a little dazzled by it.
Trivia: The insurance agent who meets with Catherine Martell is named Walter Neff, which is the name of the doomed insurance agent in Double Indemnity.
Blood on the donuts, noooooooooooo! It’s also sad that Waldo the myna bird got killed, I guess. But at least Waldo left some extremely creepy clues on the tape recorder before his unfortunate demise.
Ed Hurley’s wig and mustache are hilarious. Watch Cooper’s face during their initial meeting with Blackie — he’s as entertained by Ed’s performance as we will ever be.
Speaking of costumes: it’s Maddie as Laura! Complete with a wig as crappy as you might expect high school kids to be able to get on short notice. I like the literal layers of character there. The show’s having some fun with us.
And remember: every day, once a day, give yourself a present.
The “give yourself a present” philosophy is a beautiful one. Dale Cooper, you absolute prince! I’m not one for the Agent Cooper is so dreamy team, I really don’t like his hair, but that scene, the way that went, that was totally dreamy behaviour.
Ed’s suit though. Ed’s suit is a beaut.
I’m so worried about Audrey. Don’t really get the cherry stalk thing — a penis is bigger than a cherry stalk, usually… right…?
Cooper turning down Audrey after she shows up naked in his bed may be the greatest act of self-control in human history. Sherilyn Fenn is so gorgeous in this episode, she’s practically incandescent. (And Cooper didn’t even see the cherry stem trick!) Cooper’s so damn decent about it, too. When he talks about getting chocolate malts and fries and listening to her problems, it’s a testament to the strength of Maclachlan’s performance that the lines never sound phoney or corny. Agent Cooper is nothing if not entirely genuine, which is why it’s interesting to see him go undercover later in this episode, Clark Kent glasses and all.
Going undercover is a theme in this episode: Cooper and Audrey independently infiltrate One Eyed Jack’s, and Maddy, living up to her Vertigo namesake, impersonates Laura to trick Dr. Jacoby. Annie’s already pointed out the absurdity of Audrey naming herself “Hester Prynne,” but Cooper and Big Ed aren’t much better with their “Fred and Barney” routine. (Big Ed’s fake mustache = best sight gag in the episode.) Since this is a comic book site I should mention that our heroes sneaking into One Eyed Jack’s reminded me of the X-Men’s first venture into the Hellfire Club in “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” Okay, so Black Rose is no Emma Frost, and Audrey isn’t going to be devouring suns anytime soon, but these evil lingerie gambling sex clubs all look alike.
I feel like I should say something about Josie Packard, but the mill plotline bores me. It’s interesting to compare Josie to someone like Audrey, though. Audrey pretends to be the femme fatale (smoking in the closet, eavesdropping on secrets!) but is much more innocent than she appears, while Josie at first seems innocent and vulnerable but definitely has some femme fatale in her. How about the flannel she was rocking? What’s amazing about Twin Peaks’ pseudo-1950s aesthetic and fashion is that it actually makes the series seem less dated than a lot of shows that were made much later.
One last observation: is the glass unicorn given to perfume counter girl a reference to The Glass Menagerie? In that play, the glass unicorn belongs to a sad, lonely girl named Laura — in the end, everything comes back to Laura.