How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie?
Lesli Linka Glatter
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.
“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.
In the first scene of “Cooper’s Dreams,” Agent Cooper complains to Diane via tape recorder that the sense of peace he found in Twin Peaks has been shattered, proving one of his oldest maxims: “Once a traveler leaves his home he loses almost 100% of his ability to control his environment.” And indeed, control is something that’s slipping away from Cooper at every turn this episode. When a rowdy gang of businessmen wake him up at 4 am, it leaves him looking worn down during a key part of the investigation. His normal sense of equipoise fails him in the presence of the Log Lady, who slaps his hand for inopportune timing. And at the end of the day, he returns to his room hoping for peace, only to find Audrey Horne naked in his bed, begging him not to send her away. So often the smartest man in the room, this episode shows Cooper being pushed by circumstances, rather than the other way around.
All’s well in the world of Homeland: Dana and Jessica are spending quality mother-daughter time with each other, Carrie and Saul share drinks and stories about the good ol’ days as they effortlessly run the short-handed CIA and Peter Quinn skips around Langley with a smile on his face singing Christmas tunes year-round. This is the feel-good season to balance out all the horrific things going on elsewhere in the land of television. Wait, what?
One of the big weaknesses of the first season of The Newsroom, alongside the poor characterisation of many of the show’s women, was the often preachy tone that would accompany storylines, as the writers often struggled to balance the show’s depiction of a fearless news team with an ability to humanise the opponents to the debate, or a portrayal of the core cast as three-dimensional characters rather than simply mouthpieces. The exploration of real-world consequences and conscience attacks suffered by the team at ACN did a lot to mitigate this issue, and while the second season premiere showed promise in further exploring this storyline, this week’s episode manages to fall down the rabbit hole once again, taking a few steps backward from a lot of character progression the show has made, and delivering an unpleasant episode this week, where the bad qualities outweighed the good.