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 6th installment of Twin Peaks is Episode 5.
It’s the secrets people keep that destroy any chance they have at happiness. -James
Twin Peaks is chock full of affairs. By Episode 5 we have Shelly/Bobby, Josie/Pete, Catherine/Ben, Norma/Ed, Laura/James, and there’s probably more outside of those. They’re all brought together for different reasons, but a constant is that the people are more genuine and less guarded with their secret lover than in their primary relationship. None of the characters are ever completely honest with each other, but they allow themselves to be more vulnerable in their secret relationships. They know how each other work, for better or worse (i.e. Cathy not buying it for a second that Ben doesn’t go to One-Eyed Jacks).
And it’s James, of all people, who points out that secrets can also poison relationships. Norma and Ed are torn between their love for each other and their sense of responsibility to their spouses, and they feel trapped and hopeless. Bobby and Shelley are turned on by the dangerous, clandestine nature of their affair–would their relationship really be happier, I wonder, if Leo was out of the picture? At least Shelley finally takes a shot at Leo (yay!), but he runs out of the house like a grunting, wounded Hulk (nay).
Margaret and her Log probably have the healthiest relationship in the show, come to think of it. I love the scene where Cooper and the police visit her. The Log Lady lives in a log cabin! Of course she does! And all of her lines seem heavy with importance, rather than being simply quirky for the sake of quirkiness (something that a lot of Lynch imitators miss). Things to think about: the owls are watching, fire is associated with the devil, and there’s the repeated connection between spirits and wood. The soul of Margaret’s husband, she claims, inhabits her log. James and Donna talk about Laura as a restless spirit while they look out at the trees. The name of Benjamin’s Horne’s development project? Ghostwood. And then there’s the eerie melody of Julee Cruise’s song playing endlessly in the empty woodland cabin–she sounds, for a few moments at least, like a ghost.
Audrey is another standout character in this episode. Whereas other characters are secretive about their true intentions, Audrey zeroes in on Cooper like a torpedo and tries to tell him of her plans to infiltrate the perfume counter and help his case. Audrey isn’t too young (she’s 18) but she’s still young. She has a ruthless streak, and femme fatales her way into the perfume counter, but she’s also very vulnerable. She cries when Leland has another public breakdown at the Great Northern–the only one in a crowded ballroom who shows empathy for him–and there’s a note of sad desperation in her voice when Cooper discovers her naked in his bed. Even if the age difference makes him unattainable, Cooper is still the best human connection she had right now.
Oh my gosh, Audrey crying for Leland just broke my heart. SHE IS A GOOD GIRL! Previous to that scene, for me, she felt a little phony; I can see that she’s still playing a role, or role playing (sort of a Marilyn Monroe/Peter Pan cross), and making mischief for the sake of it sometimes without any apparent remorse (that scene from the pilot with the coffee cup and the pencil. Audrey, no! Naughty!), but between the crying and the please don’t send me away in Cooper’s room, I feel like I have a handle on her as a sweetheart acting out, rather than an unpredictable, amoral liar with no motive. She fleshed out the personal interactions between other characters and added dimension to them and to events within the town, but now she feels like she’s present in the writing for her own sake too.
I am so charmed by Bobby and Shelley’s weirdo too-young relationship. They’re both such daft babies! They’re having so much fun faking grown-up together! And we’ve seen that they both have reason to revel in babyish make-believe selfishness for a bit, too. They’re teenagers who slipped into dangerous lifestyles and unhealthily intense romances, and it’s really nice to see them actually getting on. They’re helpful friends to each other, and that’s something neither of them seem to have realised that a romance (or even life?) can or should include. I hate Leo so much, he makes me so nervous, and I worry tremendously about these stupid kids. I sort of admire how well they’re coping with the situation they’re in.