Cooper: “What I want and what I need are two different things Audrey.”
Thoughts on Realization Time:
• Cooper’s comment to Audrey does a nice job of summing up the clash between civilization and savagery that permeates this show on so many levels. Choosing between what’s wanted and what’s needed is an exercise in the use of the “moral faculty,” something that Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger (aka, the muthafunkin’ devil) claims is the exclusive province of humanity. It’s the willful refusal to choose “correctly,” or the far-more-tragic corruption of good people and “right” choices (as heard about during Bobby and Jacoby’s couch chat) that seems to damage and damn so many in this town.
• Episode Six picks up where five left off – with a naked, vulnerable Audrey begging Cooper to let her stay in his bed. And because this is network television, and not porn/my inner fantasy life, Cooper mans up, hands her a shirt, and offers to take her downstairs for (and I can’t believe I’m typing this unironically) two malteds and some fries.
Diane, there have been a lot of bizarre happenings and unlikely occurrences in the town of Twin Peaks this season, but I believe this to be the unlikeliest. Frat-boyish joking aside, I like how this scene again shores up Cooper’s unyielding dedication to Truth, Justice, and the American Way. I like that Cooper tells Audrey that he doesn’t have any secrets, and I like that even knowing that this isn’t true it nonetheless still feels right. Cooper’s an honest, upstanding man in a world with too damn few of them.
• So, it’s all but confirmed for us that Lucy’s snippy behavior toward Andy is related to her doctor in some way. I think we’re all on the same page here: she’s pregnant.
Cooper: “I don’t like birds.”
• That’s just the sort of random line we’ve come to expect from Cooper, but given what we’re intuiting about Twin Peaks and its owl population (and perhaps its larger avian population), Coop’s line takes on a kind of ominous quality. Maybe, the show suggests, Cooper’s right not to like them. He, Truman and Doc Hayward are examining the mynah bird found in Renault’s cabin, and we learn that mynahs are terrific mimics – capable of reproducing the human voice. When we finally hear the mynah bird talk, it serves as one of the show’s more chilling moments for me as a viewer.
Cooper: “Well, now we know who and when. We don’t know why.”
• Thanks to their sweep of the cabin, the Sherriff’s Department has placed Leo and Jacques at the scene along with Ronette and Laura. The third man mentioned by the Log Lady remains as-yet-unidentified. They also further confirm that the poker chip found came from One Eyed Jack’s, and here we see Cooper consciously bend the rules for what I think is the first significant time on the show. He tells Truman that they’ll need to call in the Bookhouse Boys, since Canada is out of their official jurisdiction. That’s downright rebellious of Cooper, but then, the FBI of this show is filled with agents who go by-the-book yet off-the-cuff all at once.
• We find out for certain here that Shelly didn’t kill Leo, she just shot him in the arm. This is disappointing on at least two levels: For one, I have no idea how this resulted in Leo stalking around in the woods outside the house while Shelly hung out inside. If an abusive brute is shot by his wife, is he really going to turn around and run into the woods? For another, I want Leo dead. On the plus side, he looks good and shaken when he hears Lucy refer to the mynah bird on the scanner.
Laura: “What’s up doc. Just a few words before I go to sleep. I feel like I’m going to dream tonight. Big bad ones, you know, the kind you like. It’s easier talking into the recorder. I guess I feel I can say anything. All my secrets. The naked ones. I know you like those doc. I know you like me too. That’ll be my little secret okay. Just like your coconut. Why is it so easy to make men like me? And I don’t even have to try very hard. Maybe … if it was harder …”
• Jeepers that’s creepy.
Emory: “Its a unicorn, ancient symbol of purity. Tamed only by the young at heart.”
• …But maybe not as creepy as this. We’re getting deeper into the woods here, watching as Horne’s scout gives us a firsthand look at how girls move up the “foodchain” from the Perfume Counter to One Eyed Jack’s. The symbolism of the unicorn is unmistakable, and makes this scene uncomfortable to watch. It’s fairly common knowledge that, according to myth/legend, only virgins are capable of taming unicorns. That’s the purity that Emory refers to here. And that means that Emory’s giving Jen a symbolic gift of her own virginity – in seeming exchange for the literal virginity that he’s bargaining away from her here. That’s a mockery of a “gift.” It’s frankly loathsome.
• Voyeurism continues to dance around on the scene as Audrey observes all of this from another of those convenient hiding places she’s so fond of. Thanks to her Nancy Drew-ing, she discovers a little black book with Ronette Pulasky’s name inside, and takes it with her when she leaves.
Maybe My Favorite Cooper Line of the Series: “Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Everyday, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men store, a catnap in your office chair or two cups of good hot black coffee.”
• Good advice.
• I think it’s hilarious that Cooper and Ed pose as oral surgeons out for a wild night on the town. It becomes especially hilarious when Ed starts conflating dentistry and garage work as he “flirts” with Blackie.
• I’d forgotten how the Mill plot turns more interesting here, as Catherine becomes aware of an apparent plot to double-cross her.
• Big Ed in a permed wig and a mustache = greatness. And Blackie’s right – Cooper absolutely looks like Cary Grant.
• Audrey’s audition at One Eyed Jack’s = a different kind of greatness. I knew a girl once who could do the cherry stem trick. And the answer to your unspoken question is no, you sickos. Jeez. I like that Audrey picks Hester Prynne as her fake name, and chooses “the lost dude ranch” as a random resume-builder. It’s such a stupid, innocent, perfect choice – the kind of “clever” decision that only seems clever to the young and naïve.
• Cooper having left his trusty tape recorder under the cage to capture the bird’s sounds while he and Big Ed go out for a night of undercover work, Renault’s mynah bird is all alone and unprotected. So, of course, this being Twin Peaks, Leo shows up to assassinate it. Which is a pretty Peaksian moment, really. Let me repeat: Leo, with one arm bandaged (anyone have a theory as to why the guy hasn’t capped Shelly or Bobby yet?) drives up to the police station in the middle of the night with a rifle and assassinates a recovering mynah bird so that it won’t talk. All of that’s kind of quirky/funny/strange. Only, things don’t end there. Cooper and Truman come back to find the bird blasted to bits – blood spattering the doughnuts below the cage like so much raspberry filling. The tape recorder captured the bird’s mimicry before it died however, and what’s on it is horribly disturbing. Hearing the disembodied, inhuman voice of the Myna bird chant “Laura….Laura….Leo, no!….Leo, no!….Hurting me…..Hurting me…” was the episode’s most chilling moment for this viewer. The blood on the donuts? Also weirdly disturbing.
• We enter deeper into Vertigo territory tonight, as Maddy is transformed by Donna and James into a dead-ringer for Laura (easy enough to do, with Sheryl Lee playing both parts). It’s not clear why they had to do this – I’d think there are far easier and less identity-blurring ways of getting Jacoby out of his digs. But that’s not really the point here. Lynch has things to say about victimization and double identity that this transformation aids/will aid.
Jerry: “You should have seen them at the tour of the site. The trees Ben. They worship them.”
• Jerry’s mocking their guests, but the Icelanders’ “worship” of trees is something to keep in the back of your mind going forward. Remember Hawk’s words to the Log Lady in the last episode: the wood holds many spirits.
• The episode’s second creepiest moment closes things out: James and Donna inexplicably leave Maddy in the park at night (Message to Laura’s “Best Friends”: You do realize that Laura’s killer is still out there? Leaving an exact duplicate of her to wander around a park in the dark might not be the best idea) as Bobby watches them suspiciously from the bushes. But Bobby’s not alone. Someone’s watching all of them – someone with a breathing problem and a fondness for those shudder-inducing aural cues this show wields so expertly and mercilessly. What we have here are at least three layers of voyeurism, possibly four: Donna, James and Madeleine are “watching” Dr. Jacoby, Bobby is watching Madeleine, someone else is watching Bobby watching Madeleine “watching” Jacoby…and we’re watching all of this. Voyeurism is a running theme in Lynch’s work. It’s a prerequisite in a lover of quality film and television (or in my case, a lover of film and television that is sometimes of quality). We the audience are participating in an act of voyeurism as intrusive as any perpetuated by the characters on the show. As mentioned in last week’s column, this makes us complicit, to some extent, in the evil that men do within the world of the show. This (to my twitterpated mind, at any rate) manages to say something dark about our desires in a way that’s all the more discomfiting for being so subtle. As we watch this layered exercise in illicit peeping, are we waiting to see Maddy punished for Laura’s transgressions by an unseen hand? Are we anticipating it, even hoping for it? From the moment Maddy is reintroduced as Laura’s doppleganger I’d argue that we are.
• Who is the mysterious figure observing all of this with his heavy, seemingly-asthmatic breathing? The most obvious answer is: The Killer. The least obvious answer is: Taylor Lautner.
• That’s all, folks! It’s ballot-casting time again. What say you, Chudizens? Doth Twin Peaks live? Or doth it die? Vote Renew or Cancel in the comments below, or in the thread on Chud’s message board. And here’s a bit of shameless self-promotion for you, because if there’s one thing people can’t get enough of, it’s desperate pleas for marginally-larger infamy: If you’re enjoying Lost & Found and want to help me spread the word about this misshapen column-that-walks-like-a-man, then tweet a Tiny URL link for this week’s column with the Lost&Found. You’ll receive karmic credit allowing you to negotiate the form you take in the next life. Go from fruit fly to goldfish, or dungbeetle to…another kind of beetle. Amaze your friends!
This week’s Twin Peaks Ephemera
Each week I’ll link to a bit of pop culture ephemera that was created around the time of Twin Peaks’ airing, or that was created due to the show’s influence/inspiration, or is otherwise related to the show. This week brings ads for Japan’s Georgia coffee, created by David Lynch at the height of the show’s success:
There’s a fourth ad, but it’s arguably slightly spoilery. Those of you who haven’t seen the show before, skip it. You don’t want to ruin the storyline for yourself. Those of you who have seen the show before, here’s the fourth ad:
Catch up on Lost & Found!
• Lost & Found: An Introduction, A Proposition, A Preponderance of Purpled Prose
• Lost & Found: And The Winner Is…
• Lost & Found: Twin Peaks (S1, Pilot)
• Lost & Found: Twin Peaks (Eps. 1 & 2)
• Lost & Found: Twin Peaks (Eps. 3 & 4)