Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Twin Peaks, Season 1, Episode 4

by Jill Duffy

[Jill Duffy continues to look episode by episode at Twin Peaks, which she is watching for the first time. For more in this series, click the label at the bottom.]

Episode 4 in season 1 of Twin Peaks gets a couple of good laughs.

First there is Lucy watching Invitation to Love, the soap opera that is the show within the show. It’s a trashy daytime program that has momentary appearances, as we watch others watching it. This time, Lucy, the admin at the sheriff’s office is watching it while at the front desk. When she’s asked, “What’s going on?” (meaning, “What’s going on here in the police house?”) she rattles off the state of every character on the show. This one is in a coma. That one had her heart broken.

Second, there’s a scene in which slapstick Deputy Andy’s gun accidentally goes off because he drops it while he and the others are trying to sneak up on a hotel room.

Later, to correct Andy’s mishandling of the weapon, Truman, Andy, Cooper and Hawk go to practice their gun skills at the shooting gallery. Toward the end of that scene, Cooper fires a few rounds at the target, and when it’s retrieved, we see he’s only made four holes (meaning two rounds missed the target entirely) but all four are on the target sheet’s face. His response: “four through the eyes and one for each nostril,” meaning two of his shots were so precise as to go through the pre-shot holes exactly.

There’s a good deal of plot development in this episode, but much of it is not really catching my interest. Catherine, Josie, Horne, and god knows who else, are all plotting against one another to do something with the mill. Norma’s husband Hank is about to be let out of prison, and something is up between him and Josie, though we don’t know what. Meanwhile on the murder mystery front, the team discovers that they must track down a bird who may have been present when Laura was killed.


Marc Caputo said...

Nicely done, Jill. That rattling off of what's gone on shows up (in one form or another) a few more times during the series, always to humorous effect.

Exposition is always a tricky little bugger; you don't want to be so 'Basil Exposition' (c'mon - you know who I'm talking about...) that the characters would be better off talking to the screen, but you don't want to lose casual viewers/repulse new ones. Doing it like this serves its purpose, while slyly teasing on it.

Remember, even the almighty LOST was guilty of bad expo in its first season; there was one episode when Sawyer pretty much said, "[name of character]? You mean the one who yada, yada, yada and did blah, blah, blah?" They've done a much better job of late, but they slip once and awhile.

But, I have to ask you - in the shooting scene - Hawk tells of how love for a woman can affect you. Then, Truman, loading his gun and shooting it while talking about his one true love, gets filmed from this heroic angle with the music swelling behind him (I know you just saw it - got carried away). Did you find that hokey or REALLY well done?

BTW, wait til you see THAT play out. God, I loved this show.

Jill Duffy said...

Mark, I don't feel like that scene in the shooting gallery was hokey, but I don't know if I thought it was brilliantly done either. It certainly ends on a comedic note, stifling the conversation about love.

Whenever Hawk is present, there seems to be an excuse to talk of emotional and spiritual things, without judgment (unlike, say, the Log Lady who is seen as a little nutso).