The Twin Peaks Log: S.2 E.8
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.
The first episode after Laura Palmer’s killer is revealed is a jarring mix of tones. It’s bookended by Lynchian horrors: the exterior shot of the Palmer household where Maddy is murdered and the final scenes where the police find Maddy’s body wrapped in plastic. Ray Wise’s performance as Leland has always been over the top, but once it’s revealed that he’s possessed by BOB he goes full cartoon supervillain. Where once his singing and dancing seemed sad, they’re now supernaturally sinister. Leland driving erratically and singing reminded me of, bear with me here, the baddie played by Ben Gazzara in the 80s action flick Road House, who also has a habit of swerving around and singing old timey songs. (Lest you think I’m as far out as one of Jerry Horne’s bow ties, I’ll note that the sassy waitress from Road House, Kathleen Wilhoite, appears in this episode as Lucy’s annoying sister.)
Now that we know he didn’t kill Laura, Ben Horne gets a weird, humanizing flashback to a coming of age moment of his youth where a beautiful but shadowy girl danced for him in his childhood bedroom. Maybe it’s the music or the Stand By Me-ish kids playing young Ben and Jerry, but it’s a weird scene (not David Lynch-weird, just weird) that doesn’t quite work. What else doesn’t work: the bore-me-to-fucking-tears subplot about Norma’s waspish mother coming to town. Moving on. Audrey’s brush with death hasn’t dimmed her fire one bit, and she goes to Cooper to talk about her father and One Eyed Jack’s. I admire her ability to just hop on Cooper’s bed like the failed nude seduction attempt there wasn’t a thing (just leave me in shipper hell where I belong). And as much as I love Cooper, it was kind of amazing to see Sheriff Truman finally be like, “Enough with the giants and dreams,” and do actual police work. Even if he’s got the wrong man.
The opening shot shows a tree reaching for the Palmer house again, just like the opening shot in S.1 E.4 (the one with Laura’s funeral). The dark side has struck again, and nature is still a hostile force.
Ben and Jerry hanging out on the bunk bed in jail reminded of when Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil get thrown in jail in The Simpsons episode Brother From Another Series (sibling issues + jail + bunk beds). Jerry is technically there in his role as a lawyer rather than a prisoner, but something about him being there seemed right. The Simpsons played around with Twin Peaks references fairly often. There was the Chief-Wiggum-Red-Room dream in Who Shot Mr. Burns, Homer watches a TV show obviously parodying Twin Peaks in Lisa’s Sax, and surely there must be other fun bits.
Leo is basically Shelly and Bobby’s baby. They have to bathe him, feed him, dress him, wipe dribble off his face, and prop him up in a chair (like a high chair). They squabble over money and whose turn it is to take care of him, just like stressed out new parents. And when Leo says “New shoes” they react with shock and a little edge of excitement—it’s like he just said his first words. Of course, babies are more interactive and cute than Leo is, but that’s what the bundle of joy they wound up with.
Everyone is sad that Leland died, but they’re also given a sense that the bad times are over and everything will go back to normal. They shouldn’t feel so relaxed.