2.5 The Orchid’s Curse
“Maybe our dreams are real.”
With the imminent drop happening for the safe release of Audrey, Cooper catches a break. He finds the note under his bed from Audrey that points him to One Eyed Jacks and he decides to be proactive. He and Henry sneak into the club and rescue Audrey in a tense and entertaining sequence. In the process, Cooper punches a woman who tries to stab him in the back. He sure knows how to handle the ladies.
Meanwhile, the show teases out all sorts of potentially supernatural elements. When Donna tries to lure Harold outside, he ends up writing in pain once he passes the the threshold. Is he under some curse? Nadine’s recovery not only has made her think she’s 18 years old, but she also possesses some form of super strength. And then when Rousseau kills Blackie, the bloodstains suggest something potential vampiric. Is Twin Peaks hiding supernatural creatures and dark curses in plain sight?
“Cooper, you remind me today of a small Mexican Chihuahua.”
Co-creator and co-writer David Lynch appears in this episode as Cooper’s supervisor, Gordon Cole. Despite his hearing aid, he often mishear almost everything and often state what people just said. He also speaks so loud that when he gives Cooper a dressing down in private, everyone can hear the conversation. Comedic gold and another delightful addition to the cast.
Keeping on the sunny side of Twin Peaks, this episode also explores the goofiness of young love. James talks to Donna about wanting to make the euphoria of love last forever. Shelly and Bobby throw a party for Leo’s birthday, which descends into them being rather childish. Nadine’s mental return to 18 plays up the absurdity of youth as she’s a grown woman acting like a young girl with a crush she won’t admit to herself. And while there’s also the bitter reality laced to each of these stories, it’s Harold’s disillusionment with Donna after she tries to steal Laura’s journal that ends the exploration of love in this episode on a bitter note.
The cynicism of greed also grinds forward in this episode. As Audrey recovers from being subjected to heroine, Ben seems far more interested in the fate of the money than the fate of his daughter. Josie’s web of intrigue finally catches her in a trap and she grabs a overdue debt from Ben before leaving Twin Peaks under the duress of a mysterious man, forced to return to Hong Kong.
But ever darker than this is a supernatural threat. Gerard is found and it’s discovered that a sinister spirit inhabits him, which was once a companion to a similar spirit known as Bob. It turns out these spirits need familiars and Bob needs a host. Most people are unable to see Bob’s true face when he inhabits someone, usually only his victims. Gerard’s instincts lead them to expect that Bob is at the Great Northern Hotel.
2.7 Lonely Souls
“I think he was hurt inside in a way I couldn’t understand.”
“Everybody’s hurt inside”
The opening scene of this film is a great example of the humor of this show. After the serious events of the last episode, everyone is chilling in a row in front of the reception desk at the police office silently eating donuts and coffee. The mundanity is broken by a dark monologue by Gerard that Cooper quickly deflates. Then Gordon begins yelling. Here, none of the humor is dismissive, sarcastic or cheeky. It’s more of the dry variety from the first season.
This light opening moment gives way to a lot of bleakness in the rest of the episode. Harold hangs himself. It’s sad to see such a tormented, sweet character end it like that. The secret diary of Laura Palmer reveals the long, dark history she had with Bob. He was some sort of sinister presence throughout her life.
Audrey confronts her father about what happened at One Eyed Jacks, says she was the masked girl. Ben ends up confessing that he slept with Laura and that he also loved her. For the first time in the show, Ben feels vulnerable and human, yet another example of how Laura was able to deeply affect those around her.
While some strange things have happened, this is the episode where things get Lynchian. Mrs. Palmer receives a premonition of a horse in her living room. Margaret speaks of an omen. The singer at the bar sings with an ethereal air reminiscent of several Lynch films. Cooper receives another vision from the giant. And then the reveal comes: Leland is Bob.
This is discovered when Leland attacks Maddy. It’s a chilling, magnificent sequence. The clicks of the record player giver a dissonant sound. Whenever the spirit of Bob is seen in the place of Leland, the camera is sped up and the sound warped, creaking this slow, uneasy sequence. The sequence constantly alternates back and forth between Leland and Bob. The use of spotlights during the scene also connects the presence of light with the presence of spirits. And when Maddy finally dies, Cooper, Donna and Bobby sense something deeply troubling
2.8 Drive with a Dead Girl
“Some of my best friends are white people.”
After discovering the spirit known as Bob inhabits Leland, Donna and James visit him. He seems a little eccentric, but normal enough. It’s here that the madness of grief might be the perfect cover for Bob in Leland. It’ll also be interesting that both Leland and Bob have killed, but for different reasons. Bob is certainly wicked, but it’s not as if he’s responsible for all the evil Leland has done.
Lucy’s story provides a much needed reprieve from the heavy and dark supernatural elements in this episode. Her sister Gwen (Kathleen Wilhoite) comes for a visit. There’s a great scene where she talks to Hawk about the history of the Native Americans. Another funny moment is when Andy sees Lucy holding her nephew. Lucy’s world is not as remarkable or adventurous as the world of many other characters, but it’s still interesting and keeps the show grounded and shows how everyday people are just as interesting as those who go off on the daring adventures.
Henry and Cooper finally part ways on the case. While Henry has placed a lot of trust in Cooper, he finally admits he doesn’t believe in the visions or the Tibetan techniques, he believes in hard evidence, the empirical world. And, in this case, the hard evidence points to Ben. In many ways, Twin Peaks is about the limits of the scientific world in the quest for truth because the audience knows Cooper’s belief of something bigger is what gives him greater insight into the world and a closer understanding of the truth.
The episode ends with the discovery of the body of Maddy.
It has happened again.
© 2014 James Blake Ewing