Twin Peaks 2.9-2.11

2.9 Arbitrary Law

“Maybe that’s all Bob is: the evil that men do.”

The discovery of a page of Laura’s secret diary reveals that Laura had the same vision Cooper had with the midget. This proves that she indeed was the woman he saw, the woman who whispered the name of the killer in his ear, the name he can’t remember. Somehow time must work differently if Laura had this vision before Cooper received it. Gerard also tells Cooper that the giant is known to him. The world of the supernatural expands.

Cooper gather all the key suspects together and Major Briggs brings the old man from the hotel. Cooper receives a vision and remembers the words Laura told him: “My father killed me.” It unfolds in a magnificent sequence. A still shot of everyone in the room frozen in time as Cooper receives the vision, the giant fading out of view as the vision draws to a close.

And then Cooper pretend to be arresting Ben, having Leland come along as his lawyer. Ends up throwing Leland in the cell, and Bob is drawn out. It seems Lelands is unaware that he kills. Bob confesses to the murder and then leaves Leland. It’s a great sequence and Ray Wise does a great performance as both Bob as Leland and then Leland. Then Leland discovering what he has done under the influence of Bob dies in grief.

Where does the show go from here? The resolution of Laura’s murder answers the initial mystery of the show, and there are certainly dangling mysteries left, but nothing as big or unifying to drive the show. Will it become a hunt for Bob? Will something else come along? It does seem to beg larger questions of what is evil and what do we truly know of its nature? Also, what do we know of our own universe?

2.10 Dispute Between Brothers

“There’s nothing quite like urinating out in the open air.”

This episode is the first jump in time, taking place three days after the events of the previous film. With the case of Laura Palmer complete this is a natural breaking point in the season. The episode opens at the funeral dinner of Leland Palmer, showing how even amid tragedy, the town is brought together.

With the case resolved, Cooper is prepared to take a short vacation. However, he ends up getting suspended from the FBI for the unsanctioned interference with a Canadian case when he rescued Audrey at One Eyed Jacks. There are also a good amount of drugs missing. Audrey does finally get Cooper to admit that some of his reservations are because he hurt someone in the past. Cooper says they can’t be together, and Audrey seems to take it in stride.

The episode feels like a stopgap. There’s no clear sense of where the show wants to go from here. Is it going to be about Cooper’s suspension? Are they going to start hunting for Bob with Major Briggs? Or is there something else that is going to come up to carry the rest of the season? There’s not a clear call to action and it leave this episode floundering and directionless.

2.11 Masked Ball

“Unfair advantage. How many of those girls were varsity wide receivers?”

This episode begins with the calm of two characters in supremely unsettling situations. Mrs. Briggs is surprisingly unconcerned with the mysterious disappearance of her husband. It has happened before and it seems routine to her. Cooper also remains calm in front of internal affairs, refusing to try to justify what he did that was wrong, saying he will take the heat he deserves to take. “There are things I cannot control.” It makes me wonder if anyone has ever written about the Tao of Cooper. That’s probably a thing.

Twin Peaks often delivers something delightfully unexpected. In this episode, it’s transgender FBI agent Dennis/Denise played by David Duchovny. It’s played in pretty good humor, especially because Cooper expects to meet the man he knows from the past. It also plays funny against the backdrop of small-town America who wouldn’t be used to someone transgender.

The show has dealt a lot with age disparity relationships. Nadine is hitting on Mike (Gary Hershberger) who is still in high-school and James leaves Twin Peaks for a nearby town and is getting involved with an older married woman named Evelyn (Anette McCarthy). While the show does emphasize that they are 18, it still pushes the boundaries of what is considered socially acceptable in American culture. Oh yea, and Audrey and Cooper dance together in this episode, so maybe that relationship isn’t completely over.

Cooper also talks about something called The White Lodge. It’s uncertain what this might be. There’s a suggestion it could be related to Major Briggs and the government project he is working on. Hawk knows of it and says it is a place where the spirits that govern man and nature reside. It’s another interesting mystery, and it’s addition makes me wonder if the rest of the season will be more about tracing multiple trails rather than pursuing one overarching mystery.

© 2014 James Blake Ewing