by Jill Duffy
[Jill Duffy continues her episode by episode look at Twin Peaks, which she is watching for the first time. For more in this series see the label at the bottom of this post.]
Episode 5 of Twin Peaks is a little bit all over the map, but there was one scene that I really liked.
Cooper, Truman, Hawk, and Dr. Hayward go hiking through the woods in search of a cabin with red drapes. First they come upon the Log Lady, and after having tea with her and learning an unintelligible version of how Laura was murdered (“Dark. Laughing. The owls were flying. Many things were blocked. Laughing. Two men. Two girls. Flashlights passed by. In the woods, over the ridge. The owls were near. The dark was pressing in on her. Quiet then. Later, footsteps. One man passed by. Screams. Far away. Terrible. Terrible. One voice.” … “Girl. Further up. Over the ridge. The owls were silent.”), they set off again in search of the red drapes.
They trudge along slippery banks of ground blanketed in Pacific Northwest pine needles, four men on a mission to find something somewhere, though they’re not sure exactly what or exactly where.
As they march through the woods, Hawk hears a faint song in the distance. It’s a tune that’s both dark and airy. A woman’s voice sings. It’s both hopeful and sad. It’s both soft and low-fi.
All the music tracks used in Twin Peaks are rehashed over and over, and until this point in the show, none of them have had words. (Actually, one of the songs is shown in the pilot being sung by a performer at The Roadhouse, but that is the only instance.) Since the pilot, I believe this is only the second piece of music that has been new to the show.
So Hawk hears the music and now they must go toward it.
Then there is a shot in which the four avengers line up in three-quarter view. It looks like a scene from a cowboy movie, like an old poster perhaps. The shot holds for a moment, long enough for it to become its own image. There is a close-up of a crow or raven. There is a long shot of the bird in flight.
The cuts in this scene are so much like a great Western. I remember watching The Wild Bunch in college and learning to pay attention to movement between tight and wide angles. It’s a very pretty scene, even though it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the show’s look and feel.
The song becomes clearer and clearer. We hear the singer: “To the night. Shadows walk. Shadows walk.” They find the cabin, enter, and see a record stuck on repeat. Cooper says to himself, “And there’s always music in the air,” repeating what the Man from Another Place told him in his dream.