Thursday, January 20, 2011


The Score: 10 out of 10

Twin Peaks' story could have easily spiraled out of control after its runaway freight train of a first season hit such a powerful stride, but David Lynch and Mark Frost do remarkable work at keeping the show on track. The two-part premiere episode and this follow-up episode help rein in the various story threads while keeping the show on course for the climactic revelation of Laura's killer in just five more episodes. But Lynch ensures we stay on our toes as we organically delve deeper into Twin Peaks' fascinating mysteries.
Twin Peaks Vintage Promos
Fans of the TV Series LOST (2004-10) Should Take Note that Agent Cooper
Explains to Albert Rosenfield Some History About the Dharma
Albert Debriefs Cooper on the Forensic Evidence Discovered Regarding the
Murder of Jacques Renault
Agent Albert Rosenfield has a cynicism that sharply contrasts yet strangely complements Agent Dale Cooper's positive attitude. The interpersonal dynamic between these polar agents is one of the more intriguing professional relationships in the show. Neither Albert nor Cooper ever come across as completely right or entirely wrong, although their approaches to the investigation differ.
Opening of Episode 9
Albert Playfully Inserts Humorous Fictional Objects Found in Renault's Stomach
Cooper is Pleased to See Albert Begin Loosening Up as he Jokes About Things
Other than Rustic, Small-Town Life
Both Federal agents seem aware of their personal limitations and value the unique perspective offered by the other. In this fashion, Albert and Cooper are an extraordinarily effective investigative team. And although Albert is not assigned as partner, he continues to take on a vital role in the murder investigation and is easily one of the most valuable weapons in Cooper's arsenal.

Following the Anonymous Tip She Received in the Mail Via Norma's Diner,
Donna Hayward Looks into Laura's Meals on Wheel Route
Donna Encounters a Bizarre Grandmother and Grandson who Seem to have
a Strangely Deep Understanding of Laura Palmer in Spite of Protestations of
Not Knowing Her
To those Familiar with David Lynch's Short Film The Grandmother (1970),
 this Grandmother and Grandson Should Look Vaguely Familiar
Twin Peaks Almost Feels Like Grand Central Station to Lynch's Subconscious,
Where You Will Find Elements and Characters from All his Other Works
The Grandson from David Lynch's The Grandmother (1970)
The Grandmother is Upset When She Discovers Creamed Corn on her Plate,
Even After She Apparently Requested No Creamed Corn
The Food is Important in Twin Peaks and Particular Types of Food are Often
Symbols of Some Abstract Concept
In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) Creamed Corn Symbolizes Pain
and Suffering (Garmonbozia)
The Grandmother Explains her Grandson is Studying Magic
Leading Us to Wonder if he is the Magician Referred to in Mike's Poem
During Cooper's Red Room Dream
The Grandmother Suggests Donna Contacts Harold Smith, Who Lives Next
Door and was a Friend of Laura Palmer's
But Harold Does Not Answer the Door
So Donna Writes Him a Note with her Phone Number
David Lynch tends to have at least one surreal sequence in each of episode of Twin Peaks he directs. The psychic visions of the heart-shaped pendant, the various manifestations of Bob, Cooper's dream in the red room, the multiple visitations by the giant, and this conversation between Donna and the Tremonds. Lynch is really playing his "A" game in Twin Peaks as he seamlessly blends abstract elements into the narrative without skipping a beat in the story. These surreal sequences do not feel like random asides, but like scenes that carry the audience closer to resolving the central mysteries. These sequences are vital steps in the progression of the plot and grow organically from the root story.
When the Actors had Trouble Adjusting the Stools, David Lynch Told them
to Integrate their Attempts to Lower the Seats into the Scene
Agent Cooper Shares a Brief Apology to Ronette for Distubring her as Truman
Reads Aloud the Stool Operating Instructions
After Spending an Unscripted Minute of Screen Time Trying to Get the Chairs
to Work Correctly, Cooper and Truman Tenderly Ask their Questions
Cooper Pulls Out a Sketch Artist's Rendering of Leo Johnson
"Ronette, is this the man who attacked you?"
Ronette Gently Shakes her Head No
Cooper Shows Ronette the Other Drawing
A Sketch Artist's Rendering of Sarah Palmer's Description of Bob
Ronette Nods Yes as she Begins Convulsing and Reliving the Terror of Laura's
Murder the Night they were Attacked
Agent Cooper finally has eyewitness testimony from someone who saw Bob in the flesh, so to speak. Unlike Sarah Palmer and Cooper, Ronette witnesses Bob with her own eyes in real life. While this might be confusing to understand at first, Lynch will clarify that people will often see Bob while he is possessing a human host. Therefore, Ronette probably did not see who Bob was possessing, but only saw Bob's spirit itself. David Lynch will help reinforce this point in episode 14, which we will discuss in detail next week.

The Horne Brothers Discuss which Packard Sawmill Account Ledger to Burn
Unsure of the Soundest Strategy, the Brothers are at an Impasse
So they Decide to Roast Some Marshmallows Instead
Jerry Could Hardly Be Any Happier, Eating his Smoked Cheese Pig and
About to Eat Some Roasted Marshmallows
With Bob Identified, the Deputies Get to Work Spreading the News
With Eyewitness Corroboration, the Sheriff Authorizes Distribution of Bob's
Likeness Across the Town in Hopes that Someone has Information on Him
The Log Lady Takes a Seat Next to Major Briggs in One of the Quirkiest
Pairings of Characters in the Series to Date
Norma Mildly Confronts the Log Lady About her Propensity to Spit Out
Pitch Gum and Stick it to her Booths or Elsewhere and Requests Her to
Spit it Out into Ashtrays from this Point Onward
The Log Lady Orders a Bear Claw Donut with Great Intensity
The Log Lady then Engages Major Briggs in her Own Unique Brand of Small Talk
Major Briggs is Remarkably Polite and Respectful, in Spite of the Log Lady's
Odd Line of Questioning
She Informs the Major of a Message from her Log, Which she Delivers to Him
Rather than Shrug Off the Communication as Cryptic Nonsense, Major Briggs
Recognizes the Significance of "Deliver the Message"
In a Humorous Pun on a Plaque Kept in the Office of Pres. Harry S. Truman,
Sheriff Truman's Namesake, We See a New Meaning of "The Buck Stops Here"
Sheriff Truman Receives a Call from Ben Horne
Ben Calmly Reports his Daughter Audrey has been Missing for the Past Two
Days and then Sips Down Some More Fine Wine
Agent Cooper is Far More Concerned Over Audrey's Disappearance than
Her Own Father
Ben then Disconnects from the Sheriff and Goes Back to Business with Jerry,
Who Makes a Follow-Up Call with the Icelandic Investment Group
Leland Palmer Pops into the Room to Suggest they Call the Icelanders
Ben and Jerry Soon Realize that Leland has Already Called the Icelanders to
Inform Them About the Sawmill Fire, Something the Horne Brothers Wanted
to Keep Under Wraps for Now
As Ben and Jerry Perform Damage Control on the Problem Leland Caused,
Leland Sees a Copy of the Sketch of Bob
As Ben and Jerry Disconnect from the Icelanders, Leland Shares with the
Horne Brothers that he Saw this Man as a Boy and he Needs to Tell the Police
Ben Asks Jerry to Kill Leland, Perhaps Half-Jokingly, Perhaps Not
Leo Johnson on Life Support at the Hospital
Doc Hayward Informs Shelly About Her Husband Leo's Condition
Shelly Cannot Help But Cry with Conflicting Emotions Over Being Freed
from Her Husband's Abuse, But Guilty Over his Nearly Vegetative State
Doc Hayward Offers Shelly a Friendly Hug of Comfort
Later that Night Bobby Convinces Shelly that Bringing Leo Home Would
Enabling them to Scam the Insurance and Live Like Kings
Audrey Wants to Find Out if Laura Worked at One-Eyed Jacks
So She Intercepts a Bucket of Ice Intended for Emory Battis, the Sleazy
Manager of Horne's Department Store Who Recruits Many of the Girls
Emory's Bizarre Fetishes Conveniently Immobilizes Him for Audrey
Audrey Dismisses the Other Girl from Her Duties and Begins Interrogating Battis
She Tests Emory by First Asking Questions to Which She Already Knows the Answers
After Some Prodding with Possible Strangulation, Emory Admits that Laura
Used to Work at One-Eyed Jacks
Audrey Learns that Laura was Supposedly Fired for Drug Use (Doubtful
Considering Blackie's Addiction to Heroin) and that Ben Horne Probably
Knew of Laura's Employment
Although Audrey has learned more than she bargained for in her investigation at One-Eyed Jacks, she is in a precarious situation now that Battis is aware of what she is doing. Audrey's only hope is to act decisively to escape back home.
Major Briggs Visits Agent Cooper at the Great Northern
The Log Lady Inspired Major Briggs to Deliver a Message Received on Deep
Space Monitors Aimed at Far-Off Solar Systems and Galaxies
The Air Force Monitors and Analyzes the Signals from Outer Space, Which
Tends to be Only Random Radio Clatter
But at the Moment Agent Cooper was Shot Two Days Earlier, a Clear
Message was Received Amid the Space Garbage
The Owls are Not What they Seem
Major Briggs Explains that Cooper's Name Later Appeared Three Times
Agent Cooper is Perplexed by this Piece of News, Unsure of What it Portends
And the Log Lady Seems to Understand Far More than One Would Assume
This scene reveals in part why Major Briggs is stationed in Twin Peaks, a fact not even known by his family. All of the disparate story threads of the series are starting to come together. Every major character in town has significant involvement with Laura Palmer's murder case to one degree or another. By the end of the series, we will see everyone's storyline cross over into one another's domains in one of the most intense and bizarre conflagrations of psychic phenomena ever presented on television.

James, Maddy, and Donna Record a Love Song Together in this Surprisingly
Humorous Yet Intensely Real Love Triangle
Just You (Key Corrected)
Maddy Ferguson and Donna Hayward Sing Back-Up to James
Doc Hayward Informs Donna that a Harold Smith is on the Phone for Her
Donna Sets Up a Time to Meet with Him to Discuss Laura

Maddy Ferguson is frightened by this bizarre vision of Bob attacking her in the living room. James is obviously attracted to Maddy, seeing a Laura in her. Donna is hurt by the strong bond of love attaching James to Laura, hoping that her connection to James was stronger than Laura's. Maddy almost seems to channel Laura in this scene, sharing an intense moment of intimacy with James while they were singing. Perhaps this inexplicable moment of synchronicity opened up a psychic floodgate, enabling Maddy to see clearly the danger she is in while living in Twin Peaks with Laura Palmer's face.
Cooper's Troubled Dream
Agent Cooper has a Disturbing Dream Recounting the Giant's Statement:
"The owls are not what they seem."
Cooper Shares Sarah Palmer's Vision of Bob Hiding at the Foot of Laura's
Bed, But with an Owl's Face Appearing Over Bob's Face
Agent Cooper is Awaken by an Important Phone Call
Audrey Asks Why Cooper has Not at One-Eyed Jacks Any Longer, Assuming
the Moment She Saw Him on the Surveillance Camera in Blackie's Office
was on Audrey's Behalf, Not Part of his Independent Investigation
Cooper Insists Audrey Comes Back Home as they are Disconnected
Next week we will analyze Episode 14, which marks the return of David Lynch as he directs the most pivotals moments of Twin Peaks. All episodes can be found in an excellent box set: Twin Peaks - The Definitive Gold Box Edition. Twin Peaks can also be found in 720p HD format at the iTunes Store. Many of the episodes can be viewed in lower definition at IMDBCBS, and Fancast.
UK Horror Channel Twin Peaks Promo
Editor's Note: After this article was originally published, the author of this blog was invited as a guest to discuss this episode of Twin Peaks for The Twin Peaks Podcast. Here is a link to our article detailing the experience. This blog's author also created a visual presentation to complement and enhance the podcast. The video is embedded below for viewing pleasure.
The Twin Peaks Podcast for Meals on Wheels

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