Monday, August 10, 2009

Twin Peaks, Season 2 Episode 14 (or episode 21)

By Jill Duffy, girl reporter

[Jill Duffy, girl reporter, continues her episode by episode look at Twin Peaks. This is going up on a weird day because I have been away from the internet. Things will return to normal soon.]

Another murder has just occurred in Twin Peaks, and the sheriff and his team are looking for clues and piecing together what happened in the moments before they discovered the body. But this murder is not like the ones that came before it. We in fact don’t care about the guy who died—he’s a vagrant—and we don’t hear much him. Instead, the focus is on the killer: Wyndam Earl.

When Laura was killed, the focus was on her killer, too, but it was also on her with the assumption that only through understanding Laura could we figure out who her murderer was and how he knew her. It was never thought to be a random act of violence with Laura, but for this new dead man, Cooper explains, he was picked at random to be a person with no meaning, just a pawn to sacrifice.

The third scene (there’s a very short second scene in which Audrey provides some set up to what’s happening with her father) is terrifying. Leo awakens and tries to kill Shelly. He fully attacks her, comes at her with an axe, and she tries to defend herself. Bobby shows up outside their house, hears Shelly’s screeches, and is able to come to the rescue and help Shelly, who actually stabs Leo in the leg, which causes him to retreat into the woods.

The scene is nearly five minutes long. Lynch and Frost really draw out horror in Twin Peaks to such an extent that it’s almost unwatchable for me. In most of the movies I watch, there’s a lot of build-up to horror, and it’s the suspense that’s terrifying. In Twin Peaks, we see minutes upon minutes of slow struggles and blood-curdling screams. We get the full effect of how awful a five-minute attack really is.

Wyndam Earl is now the focal point of the show—or rather, the plotline that involves Wyndam Earl, as we have hardly seen the mad man himself—though the other characters are charging onward. James is still living with an older woman, working as her mechanic, and I mostly fast-forward through those scenes. I watched them all in full once, the first time I watched Twin Peaks a few months ago, and at the time I remember groaning every time he or the co-actors in his storyline came on. Dr. Jacoby is observing (and explaining) Ben Horne’s madness. Horne thinks he is the general of the south in the Civil War and is reenacting battles using figurines. Andy is trying to uncover the truth behind little Nicky’s parents’ deaths. Norma, Big Ed, and Nadine are still wrapped up in their love triangle.

Briggs has the other main plotline, but it seems to come and go. I’m actually more interested in his very X-files-like scenario than anything else. The supernatural stuff that went on with Bob had my attention, and now I want to know what supernatural stuff is going on with Major Briggs. I want to know what the secret service knows. I want to know what the White Lodge is all about. But instead of finding out a little bit and opening up new avenues of curiosity, the same few key words keep stringing me along. Someone will mention the White Lodge, but I know as much about it now as I did three or four episodes ago.

Pete is still hilarious, and Catherine is dynamite to watch (and her diction is musical), but they get little screen time in this episode. However, when they do appear, we learn more about Andrew, Catherine’s supposedly dead brother, who is not at all dead. Pete does a good job of being “us,” the audience, asking what happened to Andrew and how Josie and Eckhardt are tied up with them.

When Eckhardt does show up, checking into the Great Northern Hotel, there’s demonic music and his face is shown in sunglasses with a fire reflecting in them—the sign of evil in this show. This is one of those clues and tip-offs that never goes anywhere later. We can only assume that, had the show continued past two seasons, perhaps these and other clues could be pursued and fleshed out later.

What could it have been? What might have happened to keep me interested and push the show forward? How about if someone totally unexpected died, like the Lucy, the pregnant secretary at the sheriff’s? What if Catherine became possessed by Bob? What if Wydam Early seduced Donna or Audrey?


Meggaedon said...

I like the direction you're on with this entry. You've associated this episode with emotions, how it makes you feel/what you think of what's happening, whereas I've seen in the previous entries a more objective touch. Every time you mentioned "I" it felt as if we were the same because generally we noticed the same cues and thought up similar ideas, scenarios.
I noticed you were taking notes while watching the episodes, but this particular entry is tainted with a hindsight you'd achieve from knowing what happens begin to end. I like it. Combining the two elements might be a good idea if you're thinking of doing this for another show (oh, say, Mad Men for example).
Anyway, those were just some thoughts. Kudos.

Jill Duffy said...

Thanks, Meggaedon. I'll try to wrap up the series with more reflection. I have some journalistic training, as the "girl reporter" tag line might show, which accounts for the more objective posts.

I started to watch Mad Men and only got 3 episodes in before I ditched it.

I'm not a huge TV person. What I've followed (or caught up with on DVD) in the last, say, seven years years have been:
- The Wire
- Lost
- The Sopranos (a little spotty)
- Weeds (2 seasons behind)
- Slings and Arrows
- Six Feet Under
- Coupling (British version)
- Freaks and Geeks -- oh how I love Freaks and Geeks!

Any recommendations for something to watch and blog about?

Jill Duffy said...

Minor correction: Wyndam should be "Windom."

Meggaedon said...

Well other than that you misspelled Windom's name as "Wydam Early" while uttering over and over again in different words: "Who is John Galt?".

Never seen any of those shows, except for Weeds which is, on the whole, quite vulgar for my taste. I hear Six Feet Under is a great show. I don't really have much time to watch shows, but there are few I'm up to date with (and have been for years):
-Dexter. Michael C. Hall really knows how to star a series. Watch an episode and you tell me what isn't writable about that show.
-Californication. David Duchovny.
-Metalocalypse, solid cartoon. Worth it as a hypothetical Beatles sketch. Also, worth it as a renegade comedy heavily influenced by Black Metal. Might be too brutal for your eyes, though.

Enjoy the shows!