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The Nooses Tighten in Twin Peaks

“Realization Time”

If you look at current political events, you can tell the generational barrier is ever more palpable. Worldviews, stances and decisions between age groups seem diametrically opposite. I don’t mean to get political here; I promise I have a point, other than feeling righteously salty. Much as how we take after our parents, we inherit the social ethos they inherited from their parents. And they did what we are to do now: we cope and make do to survive and thrive. Sometimes, these means are perilous and done out of little choice. It is nature becoming a tragedy.

We already looked at the kids’ “inheritance” last episode through Bobby, Audrey and, of course, Laura. Now it’s time to act upon this terrible burden. It’s time to act with responsibility and decisiveness. Never give in, reach out to those you love, and push forward. I’m convinced of the existence of Dale Coopers out there. The point is made early in tonight’s episode.

“When a man joins the bureau he takes an oath to uphold certain values. Values that he’s sworn to live by. This is wrong Audrey, we both know it.”

Tonight, we start off at the Great Northern Hotel. Last episode certainly left an impression with Audrey in Cooper’s bed. We saw her in a vulnerable state, seeking a trustworthy presence or some palimpsest alluding to it. However, the nudity and the transgressive nature of using somebody else’s bed may allude to a sexual connotation associated with said presence. I’m no psychologist and I don’t mean to assume anything, but it doesn’t seem farfetched considering Audrey and Dale so far. So, what is Cooper to do with someone who appears to him as both vulnerable and sexual?

He doesn’t make her leave – because he’s not an asshole. He doesn’t sleep with her – because he’s very aware that she’s basically a child. Let’s not fall into anachronism regarding sexual behaviour concerning an age gap. They may have enjoyed flirting, but principles are principles. This is a reason Cooper is somebody to look up to. Faced with rejection as a romantic partner, Cooper offers a different kind of love: that of friendship. Platonic affection appears beautifully here, despite how wonderfully this pairing works. As a side note, I’ve read that David Lynch actually wanted these two to pair up, but Kyle MacLachlan argued against it. For the purpose of platonic love and the subversion of expectations, I feel it’s the right decision. An offer of friendship is golden.

“Hey Waldo, what’s up?”

The following morning, Andy comes in and tries to talk to Lucy. She doesn’t appear very enthusiastic. She receives a call, apparently concerning a personal issue. Judging by the tone of her voice and the fact that it’s from a doctor, our beloved receptionist may suffer from some unspoken problem. It’s a small but concerning moment. After hanging up, Cooper arrives to get some work done about the clues found last episode. Dr. Hayward and Sheriff Truman are also present; goodie. (Please be alright, Lucy; she sounds heartbreaking when sad.)

The good doctor exposes a pretty thorough research on Waldo, the bird. The most important feature is the fact that this species is very skilled at mimicking voices. Sadly, Waldo’s not in such a sweet state. Starved and dehydrated, he can’t quite say anything for the record. Negligence is a terrible facet of animal abuse; in order to get the dirt, Waldo must get better. Cooper’s not very interested in nursing Waldo, though; he doesn’t like birds (I don’t either). Shortly after, Deputy Hawk arrives with results from forensics.

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Jacques Renault indeed had three people in his cabin: Laura, Ronette and Leo. The exposed negative found in the camera is a picture of the bird. With this new information, Cooper decides to leave his voice recorder with Waldo to catch anything he has to say. They confirm also that the poker chip they found belongs to One Eye Jack’s. This is cool because Jacques also had a job dealing at the place’s casino. The arrow is pointing in his direction. However, the place is on the border: beyond the police’s jurisdiction. Not to fear, however, as they can do some digging not as police, but as the Bookhouse Boys, oh yeah.

“Shelly, Leo Johnson is history. Understand?”

Meanwhile, Bobby arrives at Shelly’s for breakfast. Alas, he doesn’t know Leo has his eyes on the place through the distance, with a rifle. The wound on Mr. Plausibility’s arm has him pretty miffed; finding out Bobby’s the one seeing his wife probably doesn’t help his growing anger. Now, Shelly doesn’t seem to be very happy about shooing her own husband. Actually, she’s terrified Leo will want to kill her now. Bobby comforts her, promising to take care of her and him, in both senses of the word, respectively. He’s also going to take care of James, whatever that means. Although Bobby appears a “nobler demon” than we first thought, he is still one to hold a grudge; that’s determination in his eyes.

Little do they know, Leo is lurking outside, ready to kill them both. However, Lucy makes an unlikely save via her talking about Waldo on the police band radio. Clearly, Mr. Plausibility needs to keep his ear to the ground as the investigation about Laura’s murder goes on. Given the progress made, Leo needs to leave his vengeful urges for another time and get the fuck out of there.

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“Call this number. Ask for Black Rose.”

At the Palmers’, Maddy, Donna and James listen to the tape. It’s the recording Laura made for her sessions with Dr. Jacoby. There is a rather lustful tone to her words, which makes them uncomfortable. Maddy also found another tape case; this one’s empty, though, labelled February the 23th, the night Laura died. They conclude that the psychiatrist is in the possession of this tape (they’re right) and they mean to obtain it. James, sad to the bone, has a plan. They’ll lure him out of his office with a phone call by Laura. But how are they going to accomplish this? While we leave them off to it, let’s join Audrey on her first day at her first job.

Her attitude goes unappreciated by the costumers, but not by us viewers. The manager asks to have a word with her. Instead of heeding his request, Audrey sneaks out back and uses her speech skills to get in his office. She helps herself to a cigarette, as you do, and hides in the closet for another Blue Velvet call-back. From her perspective, we see the manager recruiting Jenny, her co-worker for a job with someone called “Black Rose”. Coast clear, Audrey steps out and reads the manager’s black book. It features girls’ names, one of which is Ronette Pulaski. Leaving the manager’s office, she grabs the glass unicorn he gave Jenny as a gift.

“Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Everyday, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen.”

Now let’s join Hank on his first day at his job! He and Shelly chat affably for a bit, nothing big, apparently. But he knows about Ed, and he looks ominously purposeful to do something about him. Trooper drop by, not for lunch, though. Apparently, Truman knows Hank; he’s come to make sure Hank doesn’t forget his parole officer’s visits. There’s a brief staredown as Hank slightly drops his good demeanour. Much like Norma, Truman suspects Hank’s actually changed. The atmosphere’s heavy with a dread of possible history between these two men. Shelly comes about to offer some coffee. Truman means to leave, but Cooper stops him to let him in on one of bit of wisdom.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t turn down the good things in life; whether big or small, for example, a nice cup of black coffee. It only takes one look at Cooper’s expression at first sip to see the blissful conviction here. Speaking of conviction, let’s return to the department store. Back at the perfume counter, Audrey chats with Jenny after work. Being the skilled liar, she fools Jenny into thinking she was given the same opportunity. Audrey thus obtains the Black Rose’s number, which sounds all sorts of sombre if you think and say it.

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“Rejected, rejected, that’s what he said. Nobody else is gonna say anything different.”

Meanwhile, at the Hurley’s, Nadine watches “Invitation to Love” while eating chocolates. Finally, the feeble-looking bespectacled guy shoots the biker guy in a supreme act of nemesis, as you do. However, she’s rather distraught about not being able to accomplish her goals, as we all do sometimes. Rejection about her drape runners hit her hard, and she starts to think herself defeated. Ed won’t have it; he won’t let her give up – and neither shall we, Nadine. Even if there is something unsaid by Ed, good nature permeates this marriage.

On the other side of things, Truman needs to have a talk with Josie. This is a relationship where trust is starting to erode. He knows she was at the Timber Falls Motel, though she denies it. Sad-looking, she admits at being there – to follow Catherine and Ben and get proof of their affair. She tells Truman that she overheard Catherine talking about the possible arson to come. The Sheriff believes her, but we know there’s far more to what she’s saying. In any case, Josie’s affection for Harry is tinted with a cold pragmatic tone. In the eyes of the police, suspicion will fall on Catherine while the true Packard endgame occurs behind curtains.

“Oral surgeons, Harry. Big spenders vacationing among the firs”

Sometimes, when undertaking a daunting task, you need to be outfitted and equipped accordingly. I can think of a dozen scenarios in which this proves imperative, and plunging into an evil casino-brothel is certainly one of them. Cooper, dapper for the occasion has some bureau money to spare. Given his confidence, it’s safe to assume this is not a reckless liberty he’s taking. He gives Ed three hundred for blending-in and leisurely purposes while Truman asks for a word. He’s very troubled about Josie’s words concerning the possible arson and her own life. Cooper seems to doubt whether she’s telling the truth; nonetheless, his friend’s affection for her suffices to look into it. All said, the Boys leave for the casino. Audrey comes in, just barely missing him. She’s looks desperate to get in touch with him.

Meanwhile, Catherine gets a visit from an insurance salesman about her new life insurance policy. A signature is missing: hers; the binder takes effect at midnight tonight, so she must sign. However, she’s no fool, as she takes her time to read the sheet. The beneficiary of this insurance policy is Josie Packard, which instantly arouses her suspicion. This is looking unusual, to say the least. The insurance-man reveals that it was Mr. Horne who offered to collect the signatures for the policy. Without giving herself away, she manages to put off signing this for the moment. She soon realises that a ledger is missing.

Back at the hotel, Audrey slips another note under Cooper’s door. As she walks about the hallway, she looks at a new hotel guest being helped into his room. The thin Asian man greets her, polite and silent as he walks in. An uncharacteristic and subtle brown note disrupts the jazzy music in this scene, imbedding this man with instant suspicion.

“Laura… Laura… Don’t go there… Hurting me… Hurting me… Stop it… Stop it… Stop it… Leo no… Leo no.”

The rain pours and the thunder crashes. At the Sheriff department, the Boys try bugs and disguises for infiltration into One Eyed Jack’s. Meanwhile, in the conference room, Cooper’s recorder turns on automatically to the sound of Waldo saying “Laura… Laura”. The camera pans in on a photograph hanging on the wall as Waldo repeats what he said. Then, a gunshot shatters the photograph’s frame, alerting the Boys. Outside, Leo escapes with his rifle in hand while Waldo bleeds all over the donut spread in the conference room.

Cooper listens to what little of the bird’s testimony could be captured on the recorder. Leo may have killed the bird, but not before he said something of interest. Mr. Plausibility’s now much more than a likely suspect. Alas, poor Waldo! I knew him, dear readers: a fellow of infinite zest, of most excellent caw. He had borne me on his back none times for he was not a large bird. And now, how abhorred in my imagination fucking Leo is! I know I’m hardly adhering to the metric here, but I’ll aim to get away with it as often as I can. Waldo’s worth it.

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“This just might be your lucky night”

Bespectacled Cooper and Curly-stached Ed enter One Eyed Jack’s under the guise of Barney and Fred. Blackie is quick to greet them on their first visit. This is thin ice, for Blackie’s no fool. Nonetheless, with some charm and some wit, our heroes jump this hurdle on their way to the casino room. There’s no sign of Jacques Renault yet, so they have to bide their time and maintain their cover. “Ed, let’s gamble” Cooper says. I can think of no better way to describe the events that will follow.

Remember James, Donna and Maddy earlier? Well, it’s time to follow up on their plan. Maddy sneaks out that night with a paper bag in hand. She, however, fails to notice that an ominous-looking Leland saw her leaving. A bit later, Donna and she meet up with James at another location. Cue “Theme of Laura” once more as Maddy steps out of Donna’s car and approaches James (and the viewer). As her features become more visible upon coming into the light, her resemblance to Laura strikes truer than ever. James looks to be in awe at how much a blonde wig can accomplish. Donna steps out of the car with a camera in hand.

At the hotel, the Horne Brothers are having a gay old time with the Icelanders, as you do. Ben has a word with Jerry in private to know when their signing. Apparently, they want to seal the deal at One Eyed Jack’s. Before leaving, Ben phones Josie to ask about Catherine. They need her to be in the mill; it’s going down tonight. As Josie hangs up, we see that Hank is with her. Could he be…? A WILDCARD!?

“There’s something waiting for you”

We return to One Eyed Jack’s to find that Audrey’s also in attendance for this fateful night. Clad in a sensuous black dress, she comes into Blackie’s office. She has come to apply for a job with a fake name and resume in hand. Audrey, what, in the name of Mabel Pines’ sweater collection are you doing!? It’s peculiar and that she chose Hester Prune as her name, given the dual and apparently mutually exclusive characteristics to The Scarlet Letter’s protagonist Hester Prynne, which also apply to Audrey. Still, Blackie sees through the bull really quick. She ends up hiring her only because of a tongue trick the young woman’s capable of doing with a cherry. Blackie appears to be unaware that she’s Ben’s daughter.

Out in the Black Jack table, Cooper’s the absolute ace. He’ll even compensate for Ed’s losses out of his winnings, for he’s a pal. Jacques, a gross-looking guy, finally shows up to deal cards at the table. The stakes are high, which can also be said about the kids’ gambit on Dr. Jacoby. They call the man at his office from a payphone and have Maddy do the talking. As we already know, the man’s an emotional mess, so his attention is instantly captured. As per the instruction of “Laura”, Jacoby goes to the door, with a revolver in hand for precaution. Outside beside his door, he picks up an envelope with a video tape.

He plays the tape and sees “Laura” holding that day’s newspaper. He’s convinced it is her now. She tells him to meet her at a specific location in ten minutes. Now it’s time for the untold second phase. Maddy is to wait for Dr. Jacoby while James and Donna ride off elsewhere. Little do they know, Bobby’s in the bushes and he witnesses “Laura”. Meanwhile, Jacoby plays the tape once more and spots a gazebo in the shot, which was probably unintended by the kids.

Dr. Jacoby drives off to the location, and James and Donna sneak into his office; alas, they were tailed by Bobby. Engrossed in their plan, they leave James’ motorbike unattended. Bobby gets a wee bag of cocaine from his sock and stuffs it into the bike’s gas tank. His intent appears utterly venomous as he leaves the scene afterwards. With a foreboding screech in the ambience, we return to Maddy’s location. We see her waiting for Dr. Jacoby from the eyes of an unknown presence. Thus, the episode ends with uncertainty equally delightful and dreadful. The sense of urgency is palpable in the air and all parties are in place. Drop by next week for the season’s finale.

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Images courtesy of CBS

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Devotee of coffee, whiskey and baleful sentiment. I also write a lot of things.

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