Twin Peaks 1.7-1.8

1.7 Realization Time

“What I want and what I need are two different things.”

In the last episode, we say the escalation of the Cooper/Audrey relationship. She goes for the old-school “show up in his bed naked because that always turns out well” plan. In the opening of this episode Cooper gives her a good little lecture on the difference between desires and needs and the values of morals and then says she’s probably confused and just needs a friend. In other words, he friendzones her like a pro. Well played, Cooper, well played.

It’s interesting that Cooper, the man from the city, is the most morally upright character in the show. Everyone else in the town appears that way at first glance, but everyone is secretly reveling in some sort of vice. He claims he’s a man with no secrets, but I’m skeptical. Perhaps there is some darkness from him we haven’t seen yet.

After all, this show is all about discovering the secret lives of characters. Donna and James find the tape and discover Laura’s relationship with Dr. Palmer. We’ve gotten the sense of her kinky nature in the past. In this quest for truth that many of the characters have, they’re confronted with very different people than the one they thought they knew. Maybe each person is unknowable completely, one can only know and see parts of them.

This episode also deals with characters deliberately putting on fronts with ulterior motives. Audrey’s work in her dad’s store allows her to uncover how young girls are recruited for One Eyed Jacks club and she sneaks in and poses as a potential girl. Ed and Cooper also go undercover at the One Eyed Jacks club as big-time gamblers. And Maddy, Laura’s cousin, poses as Laura in order to lure Dr. Palmer out of his office so Donna and James can search his office for a missing tape.

1.8 The Last Evening

“Got a trout on the line, Jack. This one’s a keeper.”

A lot of stuff happens this episode, it  being the season finale. While my gut instinct is to try to recap all that happens, instead, I’d rather share character moments from this episode that demonstrate how effective the show is at fleshing out these characters in just a handful of episodes. At One-Eyed Jacks, Cooper plays Jacques (Walter Olkewicz) like a violin. We see him really turn up the secret agent stuff and it’s pretty great.

This season demonstrates a lot of relational strife. Pete (Jack Nance) and Catherine (Piper Laurie) have been two characters that have had a fun, biting rapport, but when Catherine finds her back against the wall, there’s a moment of surprising frankness and tenderness between them. While Hank feels like a bit of a threat, his attempts to get back with Norma result in some great moments of distance from Norma, a hesitancy that is understood, but also complicated. Can these relationships be reconciled or is it too late? For Nadine, it’s too late and she decides to kill herself.

I love that Andy gets a big hero moment. Jacques gets the drop on Harry, and Andy shoots him in the shoulder. He also finds out what the trouble is with Lucy. In a lesser show, Andy and Lucy would be goofy side-characters that exist purely for comic relief. But this show treats them as if they’re real human beings with their own problems and lives that go beyond that which is needed for the core story, and the warmth and affection for those characters shines through.

The moment that shows just how messed up and twisted this world is involves Audrey and Ben. Audrey is posing as one of the girls at One-Eyed Jacks and Ben, the proprietor makes it his business to try out the new girls. No, it doesn’t go that far, but Audrey just barely staves off his advances behind a mask. It’s a pretty creepy moment, one that is a succinct encapsulation of how perverted, twisted and dark many of the secrets of Twin Peaks are.

And then the season ends on a cliffhanger. Cooper is shot three times and left bleeding on the floor of his hotel room.

© 2014 James Blake Ewing