How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie?
Twin Peaks is a show that’s fascinated with the female form. The pilot episode of the series is literally all about the female body, the wrapped-in-plastic form of Laura Palmer and whatever secrets surround this sad sight. And from there it only escalates. The seductive swaying of Audrey Horne to music only she can hear. Norma and Shelly hiding adultery behind their demure waitress outfits. The girls of One-Eyed Jack’s, dressed up and dealt to customers like hand of poker. The near-identical figures of Laura and her cousin Maddie. The unknown motivations and alluring figures of Josie Packard, Lana Budding Milford, Ms. Jones, even Evelyn Marsh. So many of the show’s plots place women front and center, relying on both their physical allure and their hidden depths to drive the story forward.
As season two of Twin Peaks winds down, it has narrowed its focus and it is on love, and the likelihood that it may not be enough to conquer evil. Indeed, when Major Briggs is given some kind of truth serum by Windom Earle and Earle asks what he fears most in the world, Briggs responds, “The possibility that love is not enough.” Not for anything specific, just not enough.
David Lynch and company are interested in asking many questions about the nature of good and evil, the soul, and the universe, discussions that play out in Cooper’s interest in Tibetan philosophy and the ambiguity of what BOB truly represents. Yet it’s also a show with a deep romantic streak
At first, Harry’s hangover is a funny running gag in this episode, as several different characters give their opinions as to the best cure for one, from Cooper’s attempt to make Harry throw up to Annie’s “teetotaling and prayer”. It becomes such a plot point, however, repeatedly brought up and emphasized with a tongue-in-cheek attitude, that it takes on a deeper meaning.
Of the many sins committed by the plots of Twin Peaks season two, the most egregious of them is that they destroyed the sense of unity that held the show together at the outset. Without Laura Palmer to serve as a central story element, characters lost their excuse to interact with each other
“To beginnings…and endings. And the wisdom to know the difference.” Andrew Packard says this to Josie, pertinent words considering Josie’s unusual fate this episode, but they also apply to several dissoluting relationships that occur.
“Slaves And Masters” is an episode of Twin Peaks that’s ripe with the feeling of change. The plots that the show spent too much time on over the last few episodes are finally drawing to a close, and the mysterious figures—Windom Earle, Thomas Eckhardt, Andrew Packard—are emerging from the shadows.
One of the most successful things about Twin Peaks was its uniquely seamless ability to balance the dark and the light. Thanks largely to the competent handling of David Lynch, the series has become known for both its horrifying and surreal moments as well as its goofy humour, and for the unparalleled way (at least for a time) it could flit between them, combine them, and manipulate them. One single scene could be simultaneously terrifying and chuckle-inducing, and it became up to you to determine how you were supposed to feel about that. It was challenging, but remarkably and consistently effective.
One of the early ideas behind Twin Peaks was that the murder of Laura Palmer was never intend to be the central focus of the show for long—in fact, David Lynch and Mark Frost are often cited that if they’d had their way the murderer would never be revealed. Instead, it was meant as a mechanism to introduce us an audience into the world of Twin Peaks, meeting the various eccentrics and peeling back the curtain—red or otherwise—hanging over their secrets. The town would generate stories on its own, and eventually questions of Laura and her death would fade away into the ether.
Twin Peaks without David Lynch is certainly not the same, but it’s impossible to completely lose the magic. Watching these season two episodes can sometimes feel like you are consistently making excuses, forgiving this scene and that scene and placing it within the proper context for it to go down a little easier. The truth is that so much of the series still works, even as it tries to work against all that has been built by, say, giving James his own storyline.
The long-awaited revival of Twin Peaks returned from its own horrific limbo in the Black Lodge earlier this month, when David Lynch announced on Twitter that he’d worked out a deal with Showtime to honor his original commitment to direct the third season—only six weeks after he’d walked away from the project in a similarly public fashion. The news was met with universal acclaim and relief, because after being told this unique show was coming back, it felt wrong that the auteur from whose mind it sprang had to be involved to usher his creation into its next stage of life. They wanted to see it so much, in fact, that the show’s original actors even took to social media to offer character-specific similes on what losing him would mean to the show.
Over the course of its run and subsequent release on home video and DVD, the tv series Twin Peaks has garnered a number of fans, many of whom have lamented the hasty end of the show, brought about by a cancellation and marred by network interference. Fans of David Lynch, who was a driving force for the …
Over the years, the supernatural mystery series Twin Peaks has garnered a number of fans who discovered the series via DVDs and other services after it had gone off the air, with both fans who watched the series while it aired and fans who subsequently fell in love with it lamenting the show’s cancellation. Thus, …
Dale Cooper belongs in Twin Peaks. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it appears to be a more complicated issue in this episode. As the writers struggled to figure out where to go from here, they realized that Cooper had no real reason to stay in town anymore. About half our time is spent watching him say goodbye to everyone and prepare to head out, only to be interrupted as he finds out that he is being suspended from the FBI and must stay put. Clearly, the writers just needed a reason, any reason, to keep him in Twin Peaks.
A lot happens this week. Usually, Twin Peaks is a series that follows its own pace, setting its own rules and moving forward slowly but surely. Last week felt like something of a bizarre stasis as Leland continued to roam free and everyone else mourns, investigates, meanders. Here, the truth is revealed to everyone, not just us. It comes to Cooper first, of course, in a dream. But this is an overstuffed episode, absolutely fascinating in what it tries to pull off and in its relative failures.
Have you ever begged a secret out of someone? They let a tiny piece slip, and suddenly finding out the whole truth is the only thing that matters. You plead that they just tell you. You pick away at them, breaking them down, again and again until it goes on too long for either of you and you can’t take it anymore, you just need to know and they need to tell you, right now. They sigh, dramatically. They pause. They tell you truth. It isn’t at all what you expected, but now you know, you finally know. Now what?
“Fellas, coincidence and fate figure largely in our lives.” Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) The moment is still seared into the pop culture consciousness; the pretty blonde Homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) found dead and wrapped in plastic on the shores of an picturesque Washington logging town. The show Twin Peaks is still …
And finally, the truth. Leave it to David Lynch and Mark Frost, though, to offer something less than comforting. The pair may have been bitter from the pressure to reveal the killer, which they never intended to do, but regardless, this is a brutal hour of television. It’s difficult to imagine that many viewers, so wrapped up in the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer, were all that satisfied with the answer once it came, not that an answer could ever have been as satisfying as the question. The truth is more horrifying than any of us could have imagined.
So much of the time, the care we have for other people brings us pain. Allowing yourself to have love for someone else puts you in a state of vulnerability, a scary place where it becomes far easier to wound. Sometimes, it’s from outside sources, but it can also come from within. The problem is that we can’t help ourselves. There is nothing more powerful than the love and care we have for others, even if we know pain will come. But especially if we don’t.
As ever, the citizens of Twin Peaks are obsessed with the secrets of Laura Palmer. “Do you want to know the ultimate secret?” Harold asks at the end of “The Orchid’s Curse”. “Laura did. The secret of knowing who killed you.” This is a hint at who Laura’s true killer is, but this scene also reveals just what kind of power Laura held over this strange town. Donna needs to know what’s in her secret diary—not necessarily because it could help with the murder investigation, but because she feels as if she didn’t truly know her friend. The more she learns about Laura, the more secrets that emerge. Did she know her at all?
Every time I write the above line, ending with “on ABC”, I am reminded of the fact that Twin Peaks aired on one of the main broadcast networks in 1990. Not only that, but that for a brief period of time, it was the most popular show on television (the pilot managed over 34 million viewers). This is often remarked upon, but it never gets less strange to write and recall. Around this point is where interest began to wane, however, with this episode drawing only 12 million.
“The Man Behind Glass” gives us our first real indication of the bizarre and broad lengths that Twin Peaks’ writers would explore in the show’s second season. I’m talking, of course, about Nadine, who wakes up from her coma with some new abilities. These aspects of the series, which only pile up in the coming episodes, are generally treated with a shaking head, as the show seems to be asking its audience, “What about this? Huh? Is this what you want?”, though those that defend these odd explorations consider them to be admirable eccentricities, fun and (occasionally) insightful. Full disclosure: I tend to agree with the latter.