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.
Yay, I am so excited to finally be participating in the Twin Peaks roundtable! Over the holiday, I went on a Twin Peaks binge watch which is unusual because I don’t think Twin Peaks lends itself to binge watching in some ways. It’s such a slow contemplative and complex show that you need time to mull over it. At the same time, because it’s so complex, it’s better to watch all at once so you don’t forget all those little details and strange omens like:
Anyway, each time I watch Twin Peaks I am surprised by how slow it is–like if it were a photograph there would be a lot of negative space. I think it is so interesting to see that in a television show. And it’s this slowness that intensifies the surrealism and the small town-ness.
This whole singing thing, I mean, of course, James, ugh. I wasn’t sure there if Donna’s facial expressions indicated an increasing realization of just how boring James is or jealousy.
Also, ending each episode with Bob is just terrifying. Could they stop that? I can think of so many horror films with creepy tastic creatures, characters, concepts, etc., but the seeming simplicity of Bob and his facial expressions just gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Throughout the entire singing scene all I could think was “you two could do so, so much better than James.” He is so boring and ick.
Ginnis, I love what you said up there: “each time I watch Twin Peaks I am surprised by how slow it is–like if it were a photograph there would be a lot of negative space.” It’s so true. During any scene that focuses on one particular character you can almost feel the slow movements of the other townies, just out of sight.
One of the most disturbing relationships is between Blackie and Audrey. Blackie is excessively controlling towards Audrey. Yes, she is the manager and Audrey is an employee, but she is absolutely hell bent on forcing Audrey to follow orders. When Laura didn’t work out they just fired her, why not fire Audrey for getting a customer complaint on her first day? It’s possible that Blackie knows she’s Audrey Horne and is using her for a power play (I do not recall this plot point), but I think this touches on the strange power dynamic in all employer/employee relationships. So often management will focus on minor issues that they can enforce rather than the ultimate goal of a project. I feel like Audrey has been in a horror movie ever since she started at One-Eyed Jack’s. Each time she’s on screen I feel like shouting for her to run, but she keeps sticking around, looking for clues. It’s the worst high school job ever.
This episode is a great example of Lynch knocking common, everyday objects askew to create an atmosphere of unease. There’s nothing overtly creepy or sinister about creamed corn, a vacuum cleaner, or a barbershop quartet, but David Lynch films them in such a way that they become oddities and the viewer is thrown off balance. Why is there a barbershop quartet behind Cooper and Albert? Is Emory really turned on by the sound of the vacuum cleaner? What the hell is the deal with the disappearing creamed corn? Explanations would be beside the point, and frankly useless (though we do see the creamed corn again). These are details that make the world of Twin Peaks so familiar but unsettling.
Audrey remains queen of my heart. Cooper also has one of my favorite lines after he finds out that she’s missing: “I find myself thinking not of clues or evidence, but the content of her smile.”
When James, Donna, and Maddy began singing, my thought was, “oh no, not this fucking song.” Why wasn’t “Just You” the smash hit of 1991? Oh yeah, because James and Donna are the worst, that’s why. I have no time for their embarrassing teenybopper crap. But then the scene cuts to another one of Maddy’s visions and–and oh fuck, BOB slowly entering the room and crawling over the couch like an animal is terrifying.
BOB is becoming a more menacing presence in Twin Peaks. Not only have Cooper and Maddy “seen” him, but Leland recognizes him from some point in his past too. And that poster! Nightmare fuel.
Even the name “BOB” starts to sound creepy the more you watch Twin Peaks. It’s one of the simplest, most common names out there, but David Lynch finds a way to make it sound frightening and otherworldy.