Monday, April 24, 2017

All the Twin Peaks #8

Sorry, darling but I like the blondes.
Twin Peaks Journal
Episode #8 The Last Evening
Airdate: May 23, 1990
Written by: Mark Frost
Directed by: Mark Frost

Summary: Doctor Jacoby is beaten by a mysterious assailant; Deputy Andy shoots Jacques Renault; Leo torches the sawmill with Shelly and Catherine inside; Nadine Hurley attempts suicide; Lucy tells Andy she's pregnant; Hank shoots Leo; Ben tries out the new girl at One-Eyed Jack's (who happens to be Audrey), Cooper is shot.

Other Areas of Interest:
*How fitting that among other various talents, Cooper can count cards!  

*Jacques drives a goddamned EL CAMINO! YES! 

*Nadine's suicide setup is pretty elaborate. Poor Nadine. 

*Norma seems to be visibly disgusted by Hank, as we all are.

*Leland is starting to lose it.

Rating: 🍩🍩🍩🍩 (Four doughnuts out of four possible)

There are some seriously amazing moments in this episode: 1. Cooper's subtle reaction of disapproval when Jacques, during their interview at One-Eyed Jack's, says that Leo "was doin' a real number on her (Laura)," which was accomplished mainly by a sudden tight closeup on Cooper's eyes, and 2. Sheriff Truman's look of utter fury and badass as he and his team close in on Jacques Renault. What a couple of guys.

I suppose the bigger issue here, the theme, if you will, is that the murder of Laura Palmer has become secondary for Cooper. Even though still an outsider, the crime has now begun to affect Cooper on almost the same level as the others---Truman, Doc Hayward, James, etc.,  and not just as an agent of the law, there's emotion involved now. He's angry when Jacques nonchalantly brags about the sexual escapades with Laura, just as Truman is when he finally gets his chance to arrest who he believes is Laura's killer. It matters to us in the same way as we too have become invested and want justice.

Old girl finds JR, Dallas, 1980.
What we saw Cooper's dream is the suggestion Cooper will eventually solve Laura's murder, but also that the dream itself was bizarre in a way that only David Lynch could conceive---the room was red and sinister, a little man was speaking in what sounded like backwards-dubbed language, and Laura Palmer whispered into Cooper's ear who her murderer was. It's a valid assumption that Cooper both has grown to care about the people of Twin Peaks AND is intrigued by the mystery of his dream and the strangeness of the events surrounding the murder (I'm mostly referring to Sarah Palmer's visions, The Log Lady, The One-Armed Man, and Cooper's ability to tie all this together to the assumed-to-be-related murder he mentioned at the town meeting). We are on the brink of getting resolution with all this and then, BANG BANG, in a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers (props back to the old school "Who Shot JR," for paving the way), Cooper goes down. A perfect episode with a perfect half-cadence conclusion to leave us high and dry, waiting for the next season.

Best Lynch Moment: Leo hiding behind the door with an axe
Best Line: "Be quiet, I'm thinking. . ." --Catherine to Shelly as the mill bursts into flames
Coffee, Pie, or Doughnut References: 1

Friday, April 21, 2017

All the Twin Peaks #7

"Audrey, you're a high school girl . . . "
Twin Peaks Journal
Episode #7, Realization Time
Airdate: May 17, 1990
Written by: Harley Peyton
Directed by: Caleb Deschanel

Summary: Lucy gets the results of her pregnancy test (wait, WUT?); Leo shoots Waldo the bird; Cooper, Truman, and Big Ed go to One-Eyed Jack's; Maddie sets up Doctor Jacoby; Audrey goes undercover at One-Eyed Jack's; someone spies on Doctor Jacoby.

Other Areas of Interest:
*Perhaps if Audrey would have postponed her little surprise-I'm-naked-in-your-bed thing with Cooper she might have been better received. . .

*Madchen Amick's acting is stepped-up as Shelly tells Bobby about shooting Leo, I believe it! Go, Shelly, GO! Red nails just like Lula Fortune in the mirror, crying.

*Unicorn=ancient symbol of purity? How ironic for "freshly-scented" perfume counter (One-Eyed Jack's) recruits. I gag thinking about stuff like this actually happening. I want to take all the exploited girls away in a death rig like Furiosa in Fury Road. And what do the hearts next to each counter girl's name mean? Ronnette got like three.

Jacques: That's Me! 
*Cooper has wealth of good ideas and seems sophisticated but at heart a gleeful little nerd. I bet he was awesome in shit like chemistry and physics. And quite attractive.

*Poor Jacoby. Innocent in all of this but takes a pretty big fall. And James' constant touching of Maddie is a little creepy. They all should have known that getup was a dead giveaway---Laura would never have worn that many layers of clothing. Maddie looks like a padded preschool teacher with all that garb piled on.

Rating: 🍩🍩 (two doughnuts out of four possible)

So here we are, back at the bizarre stuff again: high school girls getting recruited to whorehouses, talking birds, and Josie being an awkward liar. The anticipation of going to One-Eyed Jack's grows, bringing us toward an exciting conclusion!

The loose ties thus far: Jacques Renault/Leo Johnson (did they kill Laura? And what's up with that bird?), Catherine/Ben/Josie (Who will come out of this one on top?) James/Donna/Maddie/Jacoby (Was there something going on with the shrink?) Hank/Norma/Big Ed/Nadine (just unfortunate, all around). LELAND PALMER (getting creepier and creepier).

Best Lynch Moment: Leland, unobserved,  sits erect on the couch and watches Maddie sneak out of the house
Best Line: "I don't like birds,"--Cooper, when declining to feed Waldo
New Characters: Waldo the Myna Bird
Coffee, Pie, or Doughnut References: 2
Journal Entry of the Day: The Queen of the Double R, Norma Jennings

All the Twin Peaks #6

Twin Peaks Journal
Episode #6, Cooper's Dreams
Airdate: May 10, 1990
Written by: Mark Frost
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

Summary: Cooper, Truman, Doctor Hayward, and Hawk visit the Log Lady and investigate Jacques' cabin; Audrey gets a job at Horne's Department Store; Maddie agrees to help James and Donna; Ben and Josie plot to burn the mill; Leo is assaulted by Hank Jennings and then shot by Shelly.

Audrey greets Cooper in bed (!).

Other Areas of Interest:
*Cooper has no patience for the Icelanders

*Ray Wise really is a genius as Leland. So much crying! All this dancing is just sad, and Catherine just makes it worse by imitating his moves.

*Cooper gets giddy over the Fleshworld situation---"Let's see who's writing to Ronnette!" Sometimes he seems like a little kid.

*Leo's phone call home---I MISS YOU, SHELLY? What, he misses hitting her? I suppose we should assume that he requires service in the bedroom as well as other areas of the house, or maybe Shelly really is just a maid to him? I want to believe that Hank is really just following up on his investment gone bad with Leo, but with the way he was leering at Shelly in the diner, I suspect he might have been thinking of the long game and a future without Leo and maybe a tumble or two with her? Hank is only slightly less disgusting than Leo; his one redeeming factor is that he seems to defer to Norma, who I still cannot believe dated/smashed with/married Hank.

Shut your eyes and you'll burst into flames!
*The Log Lady, Margaret Lanterman, is the first person to openly challenge Cooper in anything, she slaps his hand away from the cookies. How forward of her!

*The lineup shot of the four (Cooper, Truman, Hayward, and Hawk) is really sweet, it makes them all look badass and powerful and it conveys the importance of  Jacques' cabin as they all pause, scoping it out before launching into it. Julee Cruise playing softly on that turntable off in the distance just makes it all the more creepy, because why not? (Where we're from the birds sing a pretty song, and there's always music in the air.)

Rating: 🍩🍩 🍩 (Three doughnuts out of four possible)

After watching these episodes several times, it's been fun noticing little nuances that each new or different writer or director brings to his/her production. For example, this episode, written by Frost and directed by LLG has great emotional range and has a somewhat lesser focus on the strange/grotesque factors--(the episodes Lynch writes and directs are the opposite of this). Cooper's childish side, Leland's anguish, and the repeated encounters with the Icleanders' song are interesting situations with big emotions, and these scenes contribute to how the show manages to stay lighthearted and heavy in perfect balance throughout the first season. Nice work.

Best Lynch Moment: Getting to know the Log Lady
Best Line: "Wait, what kind of cookies?" ---Hawk
New Characters: The Icelandic Investment Group, Emory from Horne's Department Store
Coffee, Pie, or Doughnut References: 4
Journal Entry of the Day: Your favorite and mine, Shelly Johnson! I guess I thought she needed an Airstream trailer with some flamingos or something. Poor Shelly. It always made me sad she had to light her cigarettes on the stove (with all that hair just waiting to ignite) and then had to do all Leo's disgusting laundry OUTSIDE. We all want a better life for Shelly.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

All The Twin Peaks #5

"I saw this man in my dream."
Twin Peaks Journal
Episode #5, The One-Armed Man
Airdate: May 3, 1990
Written by: Robert Engles
Directed by: Tim Hunter

Summary: Sarah Palmer describes the man she saw in Laura's room; the one-armed man is found; Norma's husband, Hank, is paroled; Cooper and Truman investigate Laura's bird bites; James meets Madeline Ferguson; Leo impresses Ben Horne by killing Bernard Renault and promising to burn down the mill; Cooper searches Jacques Renault's apartment and find Leo's bloody shirt; James and Donna can't find the necklace.

Other Areas of Interest:
*There seems to be some weirdness going on between Leland and Sarah when she's talking to the cops. Is Leland making fun of her "visions?" She seems pretty annoyed with him after he brings up the necklace vision . . .

*Ah, Lucy and Andy are "together," or were, maybe.

*Cooper asks Jacoby if Laura had problems, "Oh my, YES."

*Hank is a damned creep. What's up with that domino? Quit putting it in your mouth. Yuck. I can't believe Norma hit that.

*Cooper and Truman stepping up to shoot targets after having emotional conversation about broken hearts is awesome.

Rating; 🍩🍩🍩1/2  (3 and 1/2  doughnuts out of 4 possible)

Things are getting complicated. According to Donna, Laura said her mother was "spooky." How about the fact that both Sarah AND Cooper have had visions/dreams of the same creepy guy? And while Laura's death is the catalyst for the story, it's a far cry from being the only strange occurrence around here. Everyone's either having an affair or plotting to ruin someone's life (with Ben Horne or at the request of Ben Horne). The drama is escalating nicely---at this point really anyone could have killed Laura and it's like a game of Clue over here, trying to narrow it down.

And about the doppelganger theme (introduced first on "Invitation to Love," the soap opera the characters seem to enjoy). See "Mirror Image," on The Twilight Zone for the endgame of all this business.The Madeline Ferguson situation is a giant red flag.

Hey, it's me! Seems legit. . . 

Best Lynch Moment: Ben Horne taking "Little Elvis," for a bath.
Best Line: "File it under "f" for "forget it,"--Cooper to Gordon Kohl regarding Albert's report on Sheriff Truman
New Characters: Gordon Kohl (voice), Hank Jennings
Coffee, Pie, or Doughnut References: 1
Journal Entry of the Day: The one, the only, LEO JOHNSON

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

All the Twin Peaks #4

Twin Peaks Journal
Episode #4, Rest in Pain
Airdate: April 26, 1990
Written by: Harley Peyton
Directed by: Tina Rathbone

Summary: Cooper tells Truman and Lucy about his dream; Truman punches Albert; Maddie Ferguson arrives; Norma Jennings talks to her husband's parole officer; the town attends Laura's funeral; the Bookhouse Boys interrogate Bernard Renault; Josie and Truman get it on; Leland Palmer is slowly losing it.

Other Areas of Interest: 
* Cooper flirts with Audrey to get her to give up her handwriting sample. On One-Eyed Jack's---"Women, you know, work there." How subtle!!!

I'm not scared of funerals, I LOVE funerals!
*Bobby reaches up to crucifix at first to perhaps imitate and then to strangle Christ. If only there was something that could get him and his father to communicate!

*Shelly is quite the hit with the old codgers in the diner doing the imitation of Leland falling on the coffin schtick!

Rating: 🍩🍩🍩🍩 (Four doughnuts out of four possible)

We know most of the characters by now, but what about the town as a character? This may sound a bit sentimental, but what makes this episode great and sets it apart from the previous three is that we see the beginning of a change in Cooper (a good one, not a stupid one that comes later when he does that dumb-ass thing and falls in love with an ex-nun), and it's Twin Peaks itself that's driving this.

Cooper starts by pulling rank on Rosenfield for not releasing Laura's body for the funeral, he replaces Laura's hand back on her chest after Rosenfield knocks it off, records a query to Diane about potentially purchasing real estate (in Twin Peaks), and then joins Truman's little secret society to look into a crime that has absolutely nothing to do with Laura Palmer. He's becoming invested in the community! It's a hidden, creepy little town, but there's something about it we're all drawn to . . .

"We all knew she was in trouble,"

Best Lynch Moment: Leland Palmer pitching abruptly onto coffin
Best Line: "To Laura, Godspeed." --Cooper
New Characters: Madeline Ferguson, Joey Paulson, Bernard Renault
Coffee, Pie, or Doughnut References:4
Journal Entry of the Day: Maddie

Monday, April 17, 2017

All the Twin Peaks #3

I wanted to be boat girl, but whatever.
Twin Peaks Journal
Episode #3: Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer
Airdate: April 19, 1990
Written by: David Lynch and Mark Frost
Directed by: David Lynch

Summary: Ben and brother Jerry go to card-suit themed brothel; Bobby and Mike have been involved in drug deals with Leo Johnson, who wants more money; Cooper uses an ancient Tibetan rock-throwing technique to narrow down list of people of interest; Albert Rosenfield arrives; Nadine is successful in inventing silent drape runners; Cooper dreams of Laura.

Other Areas of Interest:
*Ben and Jerry with those Brie sandwiches---there seems to be some innuendo implied with these sandwiches that I really don't care to explore any deeper, although Jerry looks down at the sandwich when discussing Laura's death, was there something more between them?

*Doc Hayward uses good old-fashioned intimidation to orchestrate his daughters' chastity---"Will you be joining us for church tomorrow, Donna?" Eh, James is dim enough, it probably was all that was needed.

*The new girl at One-Eyed Jacks looks very much like Laura Dern (Lula? is that you?)

*When Cooper throws the rocks for each "J" name, two rocks hit stumps, James Hurley and Josie Packard. All the other rocks must mean something, right?

*Cooper smiles big when Laura kisses him in the dream . . . (!)

Rating: 🍩🍩🍩🍩 (Four doughnuts out of four possible)

This is one of my favorite episodes. You really get a firm sense of direction in the Lynch-helmed ones, and this has it. There's something giddy and immature about Ben and Jerry Horne together, being naughty and going off to screw whores, just as there are cheesy moments peppered throughout the episode (Ben serenading Blackie, Big Ed and Norma, Lucy babbling on about which names to erase, and so on) but Lynch gives everything just the perfect amount of silly time and then cuts before it gets to be too much because just as you start to think things are silly or cheesy all the time, you get a Leo Johnson scene or that red room at the end, and things are dark and serious as hell, reminding us all that in the middle of all the doughnuts and coffee and dorking around, some pretty sinister stuff has been going on, too. Balance. Without it the show would be all soap opera or all violence instead of a skillful weaving of both, at once.

Best Line: "Leo needs a new pair of shoes!" --Leo, shining light onto own feet.
New Characters: Jerry Horne, Blackie O'Reilly, Albert Rosefield, Little Man Dancing
Coffee, pie, or doughnut references: 6
Journal Entry of the Day: These two, Bob and Leland (shudder).

Sunday, April 16, 2017

All the Twin Peaks #2

Twin Peaks Journal
Episode #2, "Traces to Nowhere"
Airdate: April 8, 1990
Written by: David Lynch, Mark Frost
Directed by: Duwayne  Dunham

Summary: Cooper receives preliminary autopsy report
of Laura Palmer; Leo criticizes Shelly for neglecting to
do his hidden bag of laundry, then becomes angry because whoops his bloody shirt was in there; the high school boys get sprung from the clink.

Pete makes coffee and has a problem with a fish, Catherine and Ben are having an old-person affair with each other; Deputy Hawk sees a one-armed man; the Log Lady's log will someday have something to say; Leo abuses Shelly; Dr. Jacoby has the necklace, Sarah Palmer sees some scary-ass dude in a vision at the foot of her daughter's bed. Who the hell was that?

yeah, NO.

Other Areas of Interest

* Cooper seems intrigued by/suspicious of Audrey immediately.

*Leo's truck: BIG PUSSYCAT. (??)

*Ronnette's father's tone is amusing, "She used to joke, it was the sweetest-smelling job she ever had." Has she had other, less-sweet-smelling jobs, then?

*Norma seems a bit cold toward Cooper until he orders more pie.

*Leo putting the soap in the sock to give Shelly a "code red,"---was he a Marine like Bobby Peru?
I love your hair, Donna! #CutsbyToad

Rating: 🍩🍩🍩 (Three doughnuts out of four possible)

This episode takes us further and offers a bit more information on the lead-up to Laura's murder and what was happening with everyone else in town. For example, Josie and Sheriff Truman are involved; Catherine and Ben Horne are involved; Shelley and Bobby are involved, Big Ed and Norma, and so on. And there seems to be some confusion or at least complications over who Laura Palmer really was---was she the coke-snorting homecoming queen dating the quarterback, or the picnic-dancing sweetheart dating the biker? Tutoring Josie in English, organizing meals on wheels, tutoring Johnny Horne? She seems really over-scheduled, I'd probably need cocaine, too.

Best Lynch Moment: Cooper meeting Audrey---"Do your palms ever itch?"
Best Line: "By God those things will be quiet now!"--Nadine Hurley
New Characters: "The Bookhouse Boys," the One-Armed Man
Coffee, pie, or doughnut references: 9
Journal Entry of the Day: Hey there, Sarah! Have a smoke on me, kay?

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Here it is: bad collage and terrible criticism!

Pilot Episode
Airdate: April 8, 1990
Written by: David Lynch and Mark Frost
Directed by: David Lynch

Summary: Welcome to Twin Peaks, Washington! A guy goes out fishing and happens upon the dead body of a young woman, wrapped in plastic. As the community grieves the loss of the girl, Laura Palmer, an FBI Special Agent rolls into town, ready to guide the local law enforcement as they try to discover who killed her.

Other areas of interest:

* A girl named Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) delightfully spoils her father's business deal
* Two high school dudes, Mike (Gary Hershberger) and Bobby (Dana Ashbrook), act douchey
* Biker guy and girl with the decade's greatest mushroom cut bury a necklace
* Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) seems to have heightened senses about her daughter and could stand to lay off the Virginia Slim 120s. Damn.

*The pilot opens on a shot of the very lovely Josie Packard (Joan Chen) in front of a mirror, messing with her lips. As we see more, Ms. Packard has a very "kept woman" vibe, but there is definitely more than meets the eye going on with her. First name starts with "J," though, just in case that becomes important later on . . .

*That ceiling fan is creepy.

*Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) seems a bit . . . touched (to use proper psychological terms, affect is off, giggling at inappropriate moments, improperly forward with Cooper). He's probably on drugs.

*"Nervous about meeting "J" tonight," WHICH J? This is a mystery!!!

*Is that bank clerk Sheryl Lee dressed up in a wig and huge glasses? VERY FUNNY, LYNCH. I guess he just couldn't get enough of her.

Okay, maybe it's a beer. 

*WHAT THE HELL IS THIS CAT LEO JOHNSON DRINKING, CREME DE MENTHE? This is my favorite thing visually, so far. It's like he's this badass macho trucker but yet takes pulls from his fancy-bottled liqueur whilst threatening his wife for smoking multiple cigarette brands.

 And it's hard for me to decide whose perm I enjoy more, Leo's or Shelley's. Do I need to say I disapprove of spousal abuse and how he belittles her? I DISAPPROVE.

Rating: 🍩🍩🍩🍩 ( 4 doughnuts out of 4 possible).

Overall, the way this pilot was written and directed really make it an outstanding television achievement. Nothing like this had been done on network television before---things like Pete Martell's constant mumbling to himself, the slow dolly down the empty hall in the high school while the principal announces Laura's death, Cooper's excitement over pie and coffee, and the unconventional pauses between lines of dialogue, reaction shots, and the nagging feeling that something is a bit off with every single person in this community--this is what happens when an amazing director does television.

Finally, Laura's Page from my journal:
Oh, and spoilers, I guess.

Happy Tax Day!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sorry I ain't been around . . .

I last posted here in February of 2013.

Kind of a lot has happened since then but I still dig on all this and as always, have things to say, so as the Black-Eyed Peas so eloquently put it, let's get it started. I'll try to be brief, poignant, and entertaining (and I'll be failing at 1 and 2).

1. HOMELAND (spoilers) 

I'm a huge fan of Homeland, have been since the beginning. I think we actually left Christmas of 2013 early in order to get home and finish the season we'd been binge watching that week, and with the exception of season 4, I've enjoyed each consecutive year's offering. And as a bloated, self-important, longtime fan, I'll even go on record and say I thought they did a great job this year.

From what Twitter has to say, people were really piss-and-vinegared about the finale--Quinn's er, resolution, as it were, and sure, it was unfortunate. You know what else is unfortunate? EVERYTHING ELSE ON THAT SHOW. Oh, you liked Brody? Yeah, things went poorly for him. You enjoyed Saul and Mira together? Yeah, no more of that. David Estes? Farrah? Dana Brody? Just kidding, everyone thought Dana Brody was an insufferable brat, but whatever. These were all interesting, well-written, well-developed characters and all of them had bad things happen to them because it's a show about THE CIA. No one gets a fun, happy life, least of all Carrie and least of all Quinn. If you wanted an ending where they frolicked off into the sunset I think you may have been watching the wrong show.

Quinn was a legit badass, one of my very favorite characters of all the shows I'm invested in. What made him so striking was that he was damaged and competent---the best at his job, but intelligent enough to know that the job he was so very good at was killing him, little by little. Many times the writing referenced Quinn's desire to leave intelligence, but someone or something always pulled him back in and because he was the best black ops agent Dar Adal had ever recruited, he got every shit job that came along because no one ever got 'er done like Quinn. (We don't ever want to know what happens on the wall, we just know that we want him on that wall, we need him on that wall.)

What happened to Quinn in Berlin was terrible, and what happened to him after was terrible. Yeah, he was in love with Carrie. Yes, it would have been nice if they got together and left the life to go raise Frannie and Hop on a beach somewhere, but it was never gonna happen. If Quinn didn't have a stroke, something else would have done it, because EVERYTHING ON THIS SHOW IS UNPLEASANT. Maybe I've spent too much time watching Kathryn Bigelow's films, but people who have difficult jobs often times don't get a lot of blissful moments. I think Quinn got that, and so did Carrie. He did a noble, selfless thing in the end, not just for Carrie but for the PEOTUS, as well. Too bad she turned out to be such a snake in the grass. I know I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm very excited to see what they do with that dynamic next year---remember all those years with Evil President Charles Logan on 24? Everyone loved hating that guy.

Salutes to Rupert Friend for his amazing portrayal of Peter Quinn, here's one of my faves of his:


This guy!

May 21 is the premiere date of the new Twin Peaks reboot, a two-hour long episode! I've started a re-watch and plan on dropping these creepy little reviews I did of the show the first time I watched all the episodes back in the 90s which referenced things like

Best Lynch Moment: Cooper meeting Audrey, "Do your palms ever itch?"
Best Line: "By God those things will be quiet now!" --Nadine
Coffee, Pie, or Doughnut Count: 9

I don't want to know anything beforehand, but Kyle MacLachlan has been extremely active on Twitter, answering questions live and liking/retweeting a ton, so that's been pretty rad. I think they're all as excited as we are! See you there? SEE YOU THERE.

3. I'm teaching a Tarantino film class for Minneapolis community ed this spring, which is pretty much the class I've been wanting to teach since I started doing film classes there in 2012. Wednesday nights, 7pm. Link below, if you're interested. Need to be at least 16, kids, and FYI, films will contain violence.

Film Appreciation: The Films of Quentin 

Hopefully I'll see you there, too!