Twin Peaks “The Orchid’s Curse” Episode 13

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At time of writing there’s been six new episodes with the seventh due to be broadcast later this weekend but forget about new Twin Peaks! Let’s take a look at episode 13, entitled; “The Orchid’s Curse”. Despite the episode name sounding like a reasonably good title for a 70’s American ninja movie we don’t actually get any martial arts… shame really, I was enjoying the craptastic bout between Hank and Mak Takano at the end of last episode.

We start our episode with an unfamiliar view of The Great Northern’s entrance and some cleverclog shoved a lovely mauve gradient filter on the camera lens. This makes the clouds look like they’re about to unleash some purple rain, purple rain… but Prince does not make an appearance. I guess he was too busy filming Graffiti Bridge, the sequel to 1984’s Purple Rain… or something… I’m sure there’s a point to this?
Anyway, Cooper’s alarm causes him to wake up and the first thing he must do is speak to Diane on his trusty dictaphone. He explains that he had a dream where he was eating a tasteless gumdrop until he realises that the gumdrop was in fact one of his ear plugs.
I often have reoccurring dreams and they always seem to be about sucking the most phallic examples of food until I realise this penis is no food at all! I’ve been duped!
But you know, while I allude to the idea of having my mouth violated in my sleep… male rape is not funny despite what countless TV shows and films would have you believe.
Pop culture is weird.

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So… yeah? Anyway, you may recall that Cooper was shot a few episodes previous, so in order to “re-cooper-ate” faster than I can make references to that shit called “Star Trak”, he’s standing on his head? What?! Oh alright, whatever… anyway, it’s only then that he finds Audrey’s note that has remained hidden under his bed for the last few episodes.
Surely room service would’ve vacuumed his room? Apparently not!
At least now he knows where she’s been since the season one cliff hanger!
To be honest, the scene where she last speaks to Cooper over the phone I was under the impression that Cooper would have figured out where she was when she started gushing over how good he looked in a tuxedo but I guess Cooper isn’t staring at CCTV cameras in casinos yet… SHIT! Sorry, SPOILERS! I should have said that was a SPOILER for episode 4 or should I say; 34? Well, it will be numbered “34” on this blog because, things…

Down at the Sheriff’s Department, Hawk has returned from speaking to some of Leland’s old neighbours from when he was growing up. Nobody remembers Bob, it seems.
Also, Hawk really needs to go for a piss and so he hurries off… come to think of it, Bobby Briggs was speaking to another Sheriff Truman in episode 34 and he needed to go for a piss, so maybe that’s a reocurring theme? When people speak to someone called “Sheriff Truman” they usually need to take a leak… SHIT! Sorry! SPOILERS! I should have put a warning and I know I could very easily add a sentence to the top of this article, especially considering I could do that when I’m editing it but… fuck it.

Lucy makes a brief appearance in this episode, she’s off to Tacoma to visit her sister’ Gwen because I’m sure she’s bound to make an appearance later this season… shit… sorry, spoilers etc.
Anyway, Cooper arrives and informs Truman that he knows where Audrey is.

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Over at the Johnson household, a salesman is demonstrating a cradle that is designed to be not very effective in hoisting up invalids into bed. It’s interesting to consider that both Cooper and Leo Johnson were shot in the torso and one of them is doing handstands, breaking into a dodgy casino / brothel to rescue a girl and the other is in Dribble City, Coma State.
Then again, Twin Peaks and making sense don’t tend to go hand in hand… just look at the first fifteen minutes of episode 33, Cooper travels through the nether realm only to escape through a plug socket… spoiler…
Anyway, Bobby has introduced himself as Leo’s cousin because he’s fucking Shelly and the salesman is from Clearwell Mobility or something, anyway the harness, cradle-thing is faulty as fuck and while Bobby and Shelly are presumably screwing (off screen), the salesman is stuck in the cradle and being thrown from left to right in comedic fashion.
It’s odd that the salesman is there to demonstrate the hoist since Judge Sternwood has not made a decision on whether or not Leo Johnson will be sent home from the hospital. He’s still one of the main suspects of… erm… shit, who was murdered?!

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Talking of Judge Sternwood, he’s presiding over the Jacques Renault murder case with Leland Palmer standing trial for the aforementioned murder. We’re not in a courthouse but instead we’re at the Bang Bang Bar because it doesn’t open until the evening and the cleaner couldn’t be bothered to sweep the up the peanut husk covered floor. I’m not sure why the trial is being held in a bar but maybe that’s just the kind of thing that a sawmill town does! So, the DA wants Leland to be detained without bail but then good ol’ Harry S. Truman…

…not that one, gives a good spiel regarding Leland Palmer being “an all right geezer who wouldn’ ‘arm a fly” so Judge Sternwood’s like, “yeah fam, Ayez no dickhed. Dat Leland iz safe innit, ‘e’s hair is fuckin’ nang bruv!” Or something along those lines?

Hey, Donna’s being a cunt again! Down a shot! Sorry! I forget that that I’m often playing my own drinking game whenever I’m watching Twin Peaks. Every time James sulks or Donna acts like a cunt, I mainline a pint of vodka… obviously I don’t but… you know it’s weird but the more I learn about all the shit that happened behind the scenes the more I genuinely dislike Lara Flynn Boyle. She seems like a right bitch and I’ve already touched upon her ability to “method act” like a jealous dumbass in a previous article but here she is; ruining an agoraphobe by forcing him outside.
Next she’s going to force the blind to see by snapping their canes and killing their guide dogs!

In Donna’s attempt to steal Laura’s secret diary she tricks poor, creepy Harold Smith into stepping foot outside his front door where he ends up having a seizure. It’s almost like the start of an episode of House… except Massive Attack doesn’t play… yeah…

So we return to the Bang Bang Bar and the Judge is examining all the evidence against Leo Johnson. Even though he’s a vegetable, the town of Twin Peaks needs some closure to the whole Laura Palmer-thing. During a brief recess, the Judge talks to Truman and Cooper.
Cooper is absolutely certain that Leo isn’t the killer.
Judge Sternwood decides that Leo should not stand trial and that he should be sent back home and into Shelly’s care. Shelly seems a bit lost but at least she’ll benefit from all that supposed money, hah! Yeah, like anyone can live off a carer’s allowance!? You’d be more financial endowed if you became a vegetable yourself!

It’s worth mentioning that the District Attorney that is present during Leland’s trial is the same guy that Norma and Hank mistake for the travel writer in the previous episode. Hank had stolen the DA’s wallet and the DA reminds me of this character;

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Come to think of it…? I don’t believe that it was worth mentioning that at all!

Next in a long line of plots is Nadine’s fractured psyche. Big Ed has brought her home from the hospital and she still believes that she’s 18 years old and in high school. James is there to greet them and he’s shocked by the change in Nadine’s personality. Big Ed tells him that they will need to “roll with the punches”, in other words; it’s a bit like Good Bye Lenin, that German film starring Daniel Brühl. Set in 1989 East Berlin, a young man’s mother is hospitalised prior to the collapse of Communism. The doctor advised that the mother shouldn’t stress out because it might kill her but she’s a massive Commie so what will happen when she discovers that the country she loves is no longer under Soviet rule?
Okay, it’s completely different and there’s no correlation other than the fact that the mother in Good Bye Lenin is a woman and so is Nadine actress’ Wendy Robie… it’s a tenuous link but…
Anyway, we get a reminder that Nadine has super human strength because she accidentally rips the door off the fridge. I guess they’ll have to throw some of the food away now, what a waste.

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Our next scene involves everyone’s favourite racist stereotype’ Mr. Tojamura, it’s blatantly prosthetics. I remember watching TV in the early 90’s where everything was in 4:3 ratio and in crappy definition but it’s still obviously someone in fucking make up… it’s Piper Laurie in yellow face and it’s actually pretty hilarious. Anyway, “Mr. Tojamura” has a business proposition for Ben Horne. It’s a business proposal that will end up excluding the Icelanders from Ben’s Ghostwood Estate-thingy so he accepts Tojamura’s cheque for $5,000,000 and is exceptionally happy with himself.

After Tojamura leaves, Hank enters and Ben orders him to hide in the back room because Cooper is about to arrive for the ransom money. In the space of a few short minutes, Ben has made a deal with Mr. Tojamura, spoke to Jean Renault about paying Audrey’s ransom, instructed Cooper about the exchanging Audrey for the money and he’s ordered Hank to follow Cooper… he’s barely smoked two puffs from his cigar! He’s a busy man, that Benjamin Horne!

We catch up with Donna and Maddy, they’re planning to royally screw over Harold Smith and later in the episode they do! Basically, Donna seduces Harold and when she’s being a monumental cock tease, Maddy struggles to open the hidden compartment in Harold bookcase. When he discovers Donna’s betrayal, he loses his shit and when you think he’s going to stab them both he decides to ruin his creepy, creepy face with a hand rake.

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At One Eyed Jack’s; Jean Renault is showing off his wonderful Assassin’s Creed cosplay to Blackie. He’s made a nifty spring loaded wrist knife… weapon thing and he’s totally not going to use it on Blackie later in this episode. Instead he plans to use this weapon against Cooper during the handover. Oh and they plan to kill Audrey as well, they’re villains, you see. It’s kinda what they do.

It appears that Deputy Andy is covering the reception and he’s covered in post-it notes. Interesting fact; a chemist at 3M was trying to invent a new type of super glue and failed but the result ended up being a low-tack adhesive… I’m not sure why he chose anaemic-yellow but maybe he was being conscious of dyslexics? Maybe? Fuck, I don’t know and I don’t even know if what I just typed was true or I just made it up?
You know what’s a good adhesive? Cum. Good old fashioned baby gravy and Deputy Andy has just received some relatively good news. He had weak sperm but apparently his spunk is now potent. Good work, Andy… you are, “a whole town”.

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While at the Sheriff’s Department, Cooper and Truman are going over their super secret plan. They’ve decided to exclude Hawk because what they’re doing is incredibly illegal. Yes, he is an FBI agent but they’re crossing the border into Canada and that’s a big no, no.

Cooper and Truman have decided to wear black sweaters because black sweaters are the most stealthiest of apparel. Truman subdues a guard and they make their way inside where it’s not long until Cooper finds and rescues Audrey. As a strung out junkie, she’s still hot but she’s not in a fit state to walk so Cooper slings her over his shoulder while Truman witnesses Jean Renault murdering Blackie with his Assassin’s Creed write knife thing. Renault notices Truman and fires off a shot before making his escape.
As they’re about to leave One Eyed Jack’s they’re stopped by an armed guard but then they’re saved by Hawk who… holy fuck! He throws a massive knife that ends up lodged in the guy’s back, effectively making Hawk a murderer! Cripes!

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A lot happens in this episode and we finally get some resolution with the Audrey kidnap plot. The one stand out moment, for me at least, was the moment when Cooper tells Judge Sternwood that he’s only been in Twin Peaks for 12 days! Less than a fortnight but when it comes to watching a show, it’s easy to lose track of time… just watch The Walking Dead and Carl’s character is supposed like, 12? But the actor is probably closer to 20 than 10.
As a final note… yes, I’m about to talk about Star Trek but the Jake Sisko character in Deep Space 9 started as a short 10 year old and by the end of the series he was taller than most of the principle cast… it’s called the fucking second law of thermodynamics!

I’m going to give this episode an arbitrary rating; 9 Prince Pseudonyms out of 9. Yes, Price did have 9 pseudonyms throughout his career… of course he did.

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New Twin Peaks… First Impressions

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Co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost have made things easy for me… Since many of my regular readers will be more than aware that I’m a a monumental Trekkie and practically all of my Twin Peaks “reviews” feature at least one reference to my favourite science-fiction franchise.

Well, Ashley Judd makes an appearance as Benjamin Horne’s business associate. So what? You may ask… or not? But I don’t care! I merely write these articles to be entirely masturbatory. I write for myself, goddamnit and if you don’t like them then there’s plenty of articles in this vast myriad of bullshit we call; WordPress.

So… Ashley Judd, wonderful and sexy’ Ashley Judd. You know, she’s prolific in the women’s rights movement. Fuck, seriously? Do we really need women’s rights in the 21st century? Is humanity that fucking dense? Every person on the planet comes out of a woman and there’s enough arseholes out there to justify having a discussion about gender equality? Fuck this planet, it’s dumb as shit and I’d rather hang out in the Black Lodge, in monochrome with Carel Struycken and a crazy tree with bubblegum stuck to the top… why the fuck aren’t we equal? What’s the problem!?

Sorry, I swear, the older I get the more of a feminist I become or as I like to refer to myself; a rational human being. Anyway, Ashley Judd appeared in a couple of episodes of The Next Generation as Ensign Lefler. She appeared in one of the best episodes and also one of the most hilariously awful episodes and I’m totally going to focus on the latter.

So… it’s the fifth season of Star Trek The Next Generation and Wesley Crusher is on holiday and visiting his “mom” and the rest of the Enterprise crew. But Riker being Riker has fucked some lady on the pleasure planet of Risa and he’s brought back a game that Trekkie’s affectionately called; “suck disk”… it’s a virtual reality game that give you high doses of dopamine by sucking up disks and eventually the entire crew gets hooked like it’s a 2016 university campus with a shit load of Pokémon Go gyms.

I know what you’re thinking, am I writing about Twin Peaks of Star Trek? But just like David Lynch I’m traversing against the grain. I’m not giving you what you want because this series outwardly refuses to do so, so why should I?

Was there much of Twin Peaks in the first four episodes? It’s hard to “Ashley Judge”… fuck… yeah, that was pretty bad.

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I think it’s fair to say that there’s more of David Lynch in these first four episodes than there is actual Twin Peaks. If you’re a fan then you’re basically a pig in shit. This is pure, 100%, fifth gear’ David Lynch. We start with a guy who is watching a glass box, he’s being paid to do this and it’s incredibly cryptic. From what I gather, this guy is almost like that die hard fan who has spent too much time (in front of a box) watching countless murder mystery TV shows in vain hope that one day Twin Peaks will return. Maybe it’s a metaphor? Maybe it’s not?

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We’re also teased with scenes taking place in a couple of familiar locations. We revisit Ben and Jerry Horne. Ben’s still the cigar chomping businessman, Jerry is still exceptionally eloquent when describing a food product, in this case he’s talking about banana bread that is laced with THC. But as much as they’re the same, they’re also different. Gone is Jerry’s kinky leather duster, gone is Ben’s overly active sexual libido. We also catch up with Dr. Jacoby who is… well… let’s just say that David Lynch might be trolling us since we end up watching paint literally dry. And we also revisit the Sheriff’s Department with Lucy, Deputy Andy and Hawk.

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But something is missing and it is staring you right in the ears. The familiar, comforting soundtrack that played throughout the first two seasons in nearly missing but this is certainly intentional.

We’re certainly building up to something here and I just can’t wait to digest the next episode but would I say that I actually enjoyed watching the first four episodes? Honestly, no. Was I intrigued? Fuck yeah! Was I confused? Totally! Will this new season turn out to be just as good as the first? Only time will tell but I know one thing. David Duchovny’s acting was on point, he was great as returning character’ Denise… it’s a shame his recent turn in the new X Files felt as wooden as Margaret’s log.

The Log Lady returns but her presence is understandably melancholic. Sadly, actress’ Catherine E. Coulson was dying of cancer at time of filming and it is as heart-wrenching as it is obvious. Tears stream down her face as she speaks to Hawk and in a way you can tell that this is Catherine’s way of fortifying her legacy. She’s an integral part of Twin Peaks, the popular culture surrounding this glorious and unique series.

So to see her one last time was both joyous and exceptionally sad.

Kyle MacLachlan in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Cooper returns, sorta… and it feels like the focal point, the mystery of season three is really about Cooper’s journey back to Twin Peaks. I just hope he gets there sooner rather than later. I want the old Cooper back. I want to see Audrey Horne, I want to see James and Bobby either butting heads over a quarter of decade rivalry or finally burying the proverbial hatchet. I want to see a happy end for Laura’s “mom”; Sarah Palmer who, at the moment is just drinking and smoking while watching animal murder on a massive TV.

I can see how this new series could be polarising. Since many enjoyed the soap opera styling of the original as well as the typical Lynchian weirdness and at the moment we’re mainlining David Lynch right into the veins. We’re practically being enveloped into a surreal nightmare with hardly any holes of familiarity to take air in. Our comfort zone and our preconceptions have been thrown to wind and while some might hate that, I relish in this new frontier of outright weirdness because abiding my a recognised formula is boring as fuck.

We need change to grow and to evolve so let’s celebrate the return of one of the most notorious shows to ever grace television screens. Twin Peaks is back!

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I’m going to keep this article short because I’d rather save the good shit for my season three “reviews” but I will give these four episodes an arbitrary rating and that rating is… Four blue roses out of five space boxes and something to do with a cars cigarette lighter… seriously? Man, that first few scenes of the third episode… I thought my brain had totally capsized.

About that Star Trek Discovery trailer…

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Many of my usual readers will know that I have a serious problem with restraining my love for Star Trek when it comes to writing about Twin Peaks. Nearly, if not all “reviews” have been strewn with Star Trek references like bird shit on a bus shelter and yet I’ve not actually dedicated an entire article to my most beloved franchise!?

I’ve gushed over Skyrim and Fallout. I explained why Negan is the hero that The Walking Dead deserves and now all that’s about to change because today you will discover that… I really fancy Sonequa Martin Green. Hey, Sherilyn Fenn is still my 90’s crush okay, don’t worry!
But I really liked Green’s character’ Sasha in The Walking Dead, she was an utter badass but as soon as I heard the announcement that she was going to play the lead in the next Star Trek series I knew that her tenure was drawing to a close. As a fan of the comic book there’s this character called Holly that ends up being turned into a zombie by Negan in order to fuck up a hostage negotiation and Sasha’s story lifted elements from Holly’s comic book arc… so, she was bound to die in the season finale.

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But enough of The Walking Dead and no, I’m not going to litter this article with tangential nonsense from Twin Peaks. Instead, I’m going to focus entirely on Star Trek. So, without further adieu here’s my thoughts on the trailer for Star Trek Discovery.

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First, there were two trailers that were released. One used to promote the upcoming CBS All Access streaming service and one for Netflix and despite both using the same footage I certainly preferred the Netflix trailer. I’m a fan of the Canadian band’ M83 and the trailer used a song that I like and it felt better edited.
I usually pick up on slightly awkward scene cuts and the opening moment with Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Philippa Georgiou talking to Green’s First Officer Michael Burnham about “getting her own command” was obviously several scenes shoved together. I didn’t like the bit at the end where we see a Klingon swinging his bat’leth (fancy Klingon sword) at the camera, it just didn’t work for me.

Would you believe that as a die hard Trekkie, this was my only complaint?

Well, it is 2017 and the internet is a thing so it’s no surprise that the trailer on YouTube was not well received. I wasn’t exactly shocked to discover that many of the negative comments revolved around the main character being a black woman. As I said, I wasn’t shocked… it’s the internet and in the age of Gamergate, complaints about an all-women Ghostbusters and pussy-grabbing Donald Trump being “POTUS”. Was it any surprise in this true age of the idiot that a new Star Trek show was getting shit thrown at it?

I swear to Kahless! If this society becomes any more dumb, I’m going to dye my hair pink, dress like a lesbian and dig up my old Tumblr because I’m gonna go full on SJW!

This is the problem with Star Trek.
The best thing and the worst thing about Star Trek is it’s fans. Some, not all are so fickle that they’d rather their favourite franchise die with no hope of it’s corpse finding planet Genesis.
Seriously, they would rather no resurrection of the franchise they claim to love so dearly… it’s illogical?! It’s like saying, Agent Dale Cooper would rather not have a cup of coffee in Tibet if given the chance!

Oops… sorry, I did say I wouldn’t reference Twin Peaks.

If you’re a fan of Star Trek and you like the gazillion different ships that have appeared in the franchise then I implore to check out Trekyards on YouTube. Captain Foley and Commander Cockings always dig deep into the lore of Trek and their expert analysis on the ships are a treat for any fan but when they posted up the trailer on their Facebook page… well, things got messy quicker than Commander Sonak in a transporter accident.
And a lot of the frustration was down to people’s inability to divorce their mindset away from the visual aesthetic of a show from 1966.

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Sure, one comment made me think. They said that Star Wars can evolve the look but still retain the atmosphere of “a galaxy far, far away”. Just look at the original Star Wars and compare the Stormtroopers from that film to the new films. Even Rogue One looks spot on but that franchise, that universe is supposed to be set further than the Delta Quadrant, it’s in “a galaxy, blah blah away”. Whereas; Star Trek is set in our future, our interpretation of our future and this includes the aesthetic aspect.

If we were going to stick with the established lore of Star Trek then we would need to explain The Eugenics Wars of the 1990’s. Allow me to explain, within the established history of Star Trek there was a huge war that spanned between 1992 and 1996 where Khan (of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan fame) became the ruler of most of the world. Hey, maybe when Kirk and crew went back in time to 1986 to save some whales, only to create inbred whales because they only save two siblings… maybe, the time line got changed? Again?!
It’s Star Trek, sometimes the timeline fucks up.

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What I’m getting at is; in 1966 I very much doubt that prolific series’ creator and general womaniser’ Gene Roddenberry actually gave any thought to the possibility that the show he was creating was going to have some huge pop cultural impact?

When it came to revitalising Star Trek in the late 70’s, the uniforms changed from the primary colours of the original series to that of disgusting pastel shades that reflected the time period. In the late 80’s when the Enterprise D sought out the final frontier, everything looked like an 80’s office-cum-cruise ship and then in the early 2000’s the crew of the original starship to bare the name “Enterprise”(… well, kinda) looked grounded in near gritty realism. The point is, each show reflected the era so why the fuck would a progressive show need to look back into order to look forward?

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Okay, I will admit that this show is a prequel to the original Star Trek. The trailer mentions that this is set 10 years before Captain Kirk, Spock and The Enterprise. But should the uniforms look like they did in the original pilot episode? Well, there’s certain cues. As Trekyards pointed out in their recent video, some of the previous iterations featured a lot of blue. Just look at the jumpsuits from 2001’s Star Trek: Enterprise… yeah, this promo pic makes the uniforms look more mauve / purple but that’s probably down to the lighting. In the show, they were undoubtedly blue.

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Then there’s the uniforms in the opening minutes of 2009’s Star Trek where Kirk’s father sacrifices himself so that Cameron from House MD can give birth to baby Kirk. There’s a lot of blue.

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But I don’t think the criticism is the blue uniforms, it’s more to do with this series straying away from the typical primary colours that we’re used to seeing in The Original Series and The Next Generation. Yet, you’ll rarely see criticism thrown at the uniforms as shown in Star Trek II and all the way up to Star Trek VI? The characters are all dressed in a very Naval fashion, which is odd considering that Starfleet isn’t supposed to be a military organisation… well, they’re not supposed to be, but they do fly around with a shit load of weapons and they have military ranks. They’re also not supposed to have money in the future and yet there’s gambling and Scotty remarks about buying a boat in one of the films. So they do have money, I guess?
In an early episode of The Next Generations, Captain Picard has to explain to a businessman that has recently thawed out from being frozen; “A lot has changed in three hundred years, people are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of ‘things’. We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions.” but then Data also owns a cat and I bet Riker had to buy that trombone… are you telling me that Geordi received FREE eye care? I call bullshit on that!

There’s a lot of inconsistencies in Star Trek but there’s also 546 hours worth of television episodes and films. Thousands upon thousands of people have been involved in bringing Star Trek to the masses, of course there’s going to be inconsistencies. Klingons have pink blood but I’ve seen them bleed red in an episode or two. “Vulcan has no moon” Said Spock but when we see Vulcan in The Motion Picture, there’s moons! Unless he meant that literally, as in; another alien race wouldn’t call their planet’s orbiting planetoid a “moon”… you know what? I’m going to talk about the trailer now.

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So we see our first glimpse of Captain Georgiou’s ship’ the USS Shenzhou as it cuts through a dust cloud. It looks nimble and threatening. She reminds me of the USS Reliant from The Wrath of Khan with the under slung warp nacelles. But the bridge appears to be on the bottom of the ship instead of the top. That’s certainly a change from the usual design philosophy but I quite like it. It means the crew can look out on to a planet that they’re above, it’s an interesting change and one that I welcome.

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Originally, Gene Roddenberry stated that the bridge had to be on the top so that the audience had a sense of scale. Having a window does this better, in my opinion.

Back in 2009 when JJ Abrams directed the Star Trek reboot movie, some Trekkies complained that the bridge had a massive window at the front of the bridge instead of the usual view screen. Well, I don’t know about you but if I were a bridge officer on a Federation starship, I’d want a window to see, you know? SPACE. How cool would that be? Is it practical? Yes, of course it is. “But, but enemy ships could easily shoot the bridge crew or they could use binoculars and see the shield frequency on one of the computer screens so that their photon torpedoes could pass right through their shields!”
If you’re going to be so petty then how is it that every alien race automatically knows which angle to orientate their ship? There’s no universal “up”… I swear, it’s like these anally retentive Trekkies have their Trill symbiont rammed right up their arses!

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We also get a look at a really cool looking communicator, very reminiscent to The Original Series ones and then Captain Georgiou and Burnham get “beamed up” from a location that isn’t a sound stage or Vasquez Rocks. They filmed in Jordan and here’s an interesting fact for ya, you big nerd, Star Trek Into Darkness was the first time that Star Trek was filmed outside of the Americas. Crazy, right?! And yet fans have complained about the production quality of this new show?

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We get a good look at the bridge of the USS Shenzhou and there’s a few cues from the original series, such as the red trim on the Captain’s chair being very reminiscent to the… those… er, kinda pointless bars that encircled the bridge of the original Enterprise. The bridge of the Shenzhou also looks a bit like the USS Franklin’s bridge from last years’ Star Trek Beyond with a little bit of Voyager thrown into the mix with it’s near brushed metallic look of the computer consoles.

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It’s worth mentioning that the eponymous USS Discovery that this series is named after does not feature in this trailer. In fact, half the cast don’t appear. Rekha Sharma from Battlestar Galactica and the most recent episode of the awesome fan series’ Star Trek Continues, Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful) and even Jason Isaacs, who is supposed to be the Captain of the USS Discovery just don’t feature at all.
So, I’m going to speculate that the Shenzhou will probably get destroyed in the pilot episode… poor Michelle Yeoh! The Captain always has to go down with their ship. Well, unless you’re Picard or Kirk…

We also get a good look at the Klingons and Gre’thor! Fans weren’t happy, of course they weren’t.
It’s like people forgot that Klingons change depending on who is writing or directing. Just look at the original Klingons and compare them to their counterparts in the beginning of The Motion Picture.

Sometimes Klingons are an allegory for Communist Russia, sometimes they’re Space Samurai as per Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, sometimes they’re Space Vikings, sometimes they’re stupid or they’re Worf. People were saying that they didn’t even look like Klingons but take a gander at some of the pictures I’ve placed in this article… there are similarities. The colours that are used, the greys, the golds for example. We even get head ridges and just because these Klingons aren’t sporting dodgy facial hair or Gene Simmons wigs doesn’t necessarily mean that other Klingons won’t.

Maybe memories are short but look at the first two seasons of The Next Generation… most of those episode’s suck. Try watching all of season one on Netflix, oh you got to “Code of Honor” and switched off? Of course you did, Picard and crew visit the planet of the African stereotypes or even worse; “Angel One” which is a horribly awkward commentary on Apartheid that ends up just being a little bit racist.

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Maybe some fans have rose tinted glasses or maybe it’s just typical hipster, millennial whining for whining’ sake? I don’t know and I never said I had any answers. All I know is that, we have a new Star Trek show and from what I’ve seen so far, it looks fucking good.

Visually, this is practically on par with a feature film. The shots with Burnham in her awesome Starfleet space suit looks amazing and the asteroids encircling a distant singularity really gives us a better perspective of space than punched holes in black card (as per The Original Series). Never has space been shown in such grandeur in a Trek show.

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But what we really need to do is wait for the pilot episode, let’s see if this is any good. Let’s see if we’re really going to boldly go where no one has gone before… or maybe it’ll be shit? But like Q; I’ll judge this show when it is finally broadcast. As a fan, a “Trekkie”, I’m just happy for new Star Trek.

So live long and prosper and if you don’t then blame entropy and your own inability to control your finances!

I give this trailer four lights, FOUR LIGHTS out of FOUR LIGHTS!

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Phew! You know what? I was worried that I might not be able to focus on the task at hand without having to make pointless pop culture references to things that are barely related to this article’s subject matter. But I managed it better than my own finances and unlike the Star Trek, I’m a slave to the corporate machine so if you liked this article enough to donate a dollar or five, maybe some gold pressed latinum? Then check out my Patreon; Click here!
Support creative people and if I make enough then I’ll be able to buy a new laptop since all my money from working my arse off goes on bills and food. And if you’re not as rich as the Grand Nagus then you can still support me by sharing this with your friends and fellow red shirts. The more people, the merrier!

Twin Peaks “Laura’s Secret Diary” Episode 12

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When I designed the time machine in my novel I wanted the interior to look like an old, worn down office with decade’s old perforated ceiling tiles, dented filing cabinets and water coolers that were so old that the water tasted like tobacco smoke and charity shop clothes. I honestly didn’t want to go for the usual Apple store aesthetic or steampunk bullshit and so when this episode opened with fucking wood fibre acoustical ceiling tiles… fuck me, I was in heaven!

And this episode has one brilliantly creative opening scene; we’re deep in a ceiling tile hole! David Fincher probably watched this part and thought; “Yep, I’m totally going to steal that!”
I remember in the early 2000’s, I had such a hard on for Fincher and Fight Club… I was in awe of the incredible way he was able to craft a scene… blah, blah… yeah, that bit where Edward Norton is talking about the corporate galaxy and the camera travels throw a maelstrom of disposable Starbucks coffee cups and twisted Krispy Kreme boxes. Yeah, cool scene right? Fight Club was so edgy…

Anyway, digressing back to Twin Peaks. Upon first inspection we’re lead to believe that this tunnel that we’re travelling down might be in the woods. It has all the appearances of a rabbit’s warren and all the while we can hear the cries of woman screaming “Daddy!”. We exit the tunnel it is only then that we realise that we’ve exited out of my beloved perforated ceiling tiles… phew! Just give me a moment… right, okay. I’ll stop gushing over fucking ceilings.

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The scene properly begins in the interrogation room, the last episode concluded with Leland Palmer being arrested for the murder of Jacques Renault (oh and Donna finding Laura’s secret diary). Ray Wise confesses to murdering the man whom he believed killed his daughter and shit, Ray Wise is just absolutely fucking incredible. From the expressions on Cooper, Truman and Doctor Hayward it’s hard for them to accept.

As Cooper and Hayward leave the room, the good Doctor explains that no man should ever have to bury their child. Cooper asks him is he approves of murder. He utters no and Cooper walks off and then we’re treated to a bit of light comedy when Deputy Andy asks the Doctor if he could re-take his sperm count test. Doc hands him a semen collection cup… because Doctor’s usually carry those kind of things, I guess? And so we kick off this episode’s sub plot; Andy has to have a wank at the Sheriff’s Department.
With a copy of “Fleshworld” in hand, since they’ve got a load of those from a previous episode, he heads of the toilet only to clumsily bump into Lucy. She’s disgusted in him and for good reason… is he going to masturbate with the aid of evidence from an ongoing murder investigation?
I suppose he is!

In the reception, Cooper and Truman are discussing Leland’s claims that Bob lived in a house with a white picket fence. Bob is apparently short for “Robertson” and no one of that name had lived in the house that Leland described, very fishy indeed! Then Andy, being his usual clumsy-self accidentally drops his cum and it rolls under a chair. As he’s bent over, Cooper notices Andy’s new boots… they’re the same brand as the ones they found hidden along with Leo’s drug stash. Andy explains that he purchased a pair from the one-armed man. Following his usual intuition, Cooper needs to find Phillip Gerard AKA the one-armed man… again!

Our next scene introduces us to “Desk Clerk”, she’s played by Bellina Logan and given the amount of dialogue she had and the way she chews the scene you would expect her to become a series regular. Now, I’ve watched every episode and correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t believe she appears again? Anyway, the reason I mention her is because her first acting gig was in a TV show called; “A Man Called Hawk”… so what? You’re probably asking… or not as the case may be, I mention it because I need to reference Star Trek in some way and A Man Called Hawk starred Avery Brookes, you know, Captain Sisko from Deep Space Fucking Nine!
Anyway, “Desk Clerk” is acting so damn much I’m half expecting to see Barry from Eastenders dressed up as the genie from Aladdin because I’ve not seen this much forced enthusiasm from an actress since I last watched pantomime, or children’s TV. She could probably buy Justin’s House and sublet it back to Mr. Tumble!
Shit, these references will be totally lost on my American readers.

So, “Desk Clerk” informs Benjamin Horne that a famous travel writer is heading to Twin Peaks, yep it’s another sub plot. Season Two is filled to the brim with so many sub plots, the main plot practically gets forgotten about. Her enthusiasm impresses Ben and he buggers off to his office where the villainous Jean Renault is waiting for him.

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I should mention that Michael Parks, who portrayed Jean Renault sadly passed away this week at time of writing and a part of me is starting to get paranoid. Since I started writing these articles, Warren Frost (Doc Hayward), Miguel Ferrer (Albert Rosenfield) and now Michael Parks have passed away. My shitty articles must be cursed! I also wrote a review on Rogue One and that featured CGI Leia and Carrie Fisher died… it’s like I’m in crappy episode of Goosebumps or something?! Look, if any other cast members die between now and my next article then I’m going to only exclusively write about Theresa May or Donald Trump from now on because no offence, why can’t cunts die instead of people in a beloved cult TV show from the 90’s?
Can I write that? I’m not entirely sure if it’s ethical? Sod it! It’s “satire” guys, we can “joke” about politicians dying right? Like, dying horribly… like, slow combine harvester-related death’ horrible. Getting slowly crushed by a steamroller so that their guts explode out of every facial orifice.
What was I supposed to be writing again?

Oh yeah, Twin Peaks! So, Ben Horne is propositioned by Jean Renault and when I say “propositioned” I mean, “demands ransom” for the safe return of Audrey who has been doped up with what I can only assume is that tasty, tasty heroin. Ben’s not overly pleased, especially when Jean demands that Agent Cooper should be the one to deliver the ransom money.
Ben has no choice but to agree to Jean’s demand.

We catch up with Donna at the Double R Diner where she is picking up Harold Smith’s meals on wheels order from Hank, he’s being his typical slimy-self. Norma is excited to hear that the bloody famous travel writer from this episode’s B plot might make their way to her quintessential American diner. Are they a food critic or a travel writer? I’m not even sure the script even knows and I’m sorry to say but this is certainly a sign of things to come for this series.
Hank’s almost as enthusiastic as “Desk Clerk” and tells Norma that he’s going to head off and buy some table cloths, candles and all that shit just so he can spruce the place up.
Oh and he also asked her to call Big Ed because we’ve got to name drop him since he doesn’t appear in this episode. In fact, where’s Bobby, Shelly… James? Nadine? Where’s half the fucking cast?!
So, Hank asks Norma to call Ed because he works at the gas station and well, maybe this travel writer is going to stop to fill up their car… maybe? What? Why? Who cares?

Donna’s having “TV lunch” with Harold, you know, when actors are in a scene with food and they’re not Brad Pitt so nobody actually eats a single thing. Harold’s boot is almost disturbingly too close to his plate of food, I don’t know why I find that unsettling especially when his boots are most certainly clean since he never leaves his house? Eurgh… I just don’t like it.
Anyway, they’re drinking wine and Harold plucks Laura’s secret diary from the table behind him. It’s the same book from the end of last episode and Harold suggests a toast to the memory of Laura by reading an excerpt. In this case, it’s Laura describing Donna and how she fears that Donna wouldn’t like her if she knew about her particular fantasies. Basically, Laura’s mega cock hungry… like Elsa Jean in a room chock full of massive man meat, pounded until she literally shits out of her ears… anyway, Donna suggests that maybe he gives the diary to the police but he acts typically weird and creepy. He then goes on to explain that because he’s a poncy twat he likes to “write a living novel” about “people” etc.
To each their own.

Ben Horne shows Cooper the video that Jean Renault left him and pleads for Cooper to deliver the ransom money. Ben’s his usual conniving self and I’m really surprised that our favourite FBI agent hasn’t seen through Ben’s ruse, it’s almost as if this episode is, dare I say? Filler?
Honestly, apart from the opening scene there’s not much progression in terms of the main plot but then again this is season two of Twin Peaks, so what do you expect?

I will say that Michael Parks makes for one very memorable villain. He sounds like Pepé Le Pew and he acts just as much like Looney Tunes most famous sex offender. He intimidates and dominates in equal measures and when Emory Battis drags a doped up Audrey into Blackie’s office,
we’re unsure of how far he will go. So when Audrey mentions that Battis had hit her, Michael Park’s Jean Renault guns him down and cradles a devastated Audrey.
Upon first viewing I wasn’t much of a fan in the way they handled Audrey, I felt she was underused and had become just a damsel in distress. In my opinion, she was slowly becoming a wasted opportunity.

Returning to the Sheriff’s Department, Andy is trying his best to reconcile with Lucy. She ends up blowing up at him and he saunters off in rejection. Cooper then tries his best to get to the bottom of Lucy’s problems… it’s his duty as a Special Agent. After all, he’s just solved one out of two murders so he’s free to complete one side quest. I usually do the same when I play Skyrim, once I’ve become the de facto leader of the Dark Brotherhood or fucking College of Winterhold I like to unwind and go back to the sanctity of Whiterun and do a menial side quest, it’s palate cleanser… no one really wants to “Find the Redguard Woman”, who gives a fuck?!
Anyway, Cooper failed a speech check with Lucy because he obviously hasn’t found an Amulet of Dibella nor has he crafted a Fortify Speech potion… and so he speaks to Sheriff Truman about his incredibly illegal rescue mission across the Canadian border.

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Back at the Double R and after a scene where Hank and Norma mistake a district attorney for the famous travel writer, Donna and Maddy are chewing the fat in one of the booths, Donna pretends to not be pissed off at Maddy for kinda stealing James even though she hasn’t really… it’s all a bit of a messy love triangle. Donna then lies and says she’s seeing someone else, you know’ Harold Smith because she’s like, really “convincing”. She then goes on to explain that Harold has a copy of Laura’s secret diary. Maddy is so over this shit and I’m left thinking, has Maddy just moved to Twin Peaks? Wasn’t she just visiting for the funeral?

Previously in this episode, Josie Packard has returned with a shit load of shopping. She pretended to be concerned for Pete who is torn up over Catherine’s supposed death in the lumber mill fire. Truman is suspicious of Josie but she does what she does best, act innocent and then utilises her sex appeal to halt any further suspicion from the poor, naive Sheriff.
So they fuck on the sofa and while a storm rages outside we can see Mak Takano peering through the window at them.

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Returning to the Sheriff’s Department, we’re introduced to yet another new character; Judge Sternwood who will be presiding over Leland Palmer’s court hearing. He’s played by veteran actor Royal Dano who you may recognise from old movies you’ve never seen… he probably played a thousand cowboys? I dunno. He sounds like how I imagine the KFC guy to sound like but despite looking like a sugar plantation owner, he is certainly likeable and later we discover that he had a hot younger wife because why not?
Season two has a reoccurring theme of old men with girls that are a quarter of their age… it’s a bit like that category on Pornhub that only elderly guys click on.
While we’re here Dick offers to pay for Lucy’s abortion, at least he’s pro-choice!

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There’s some other stuff such as the introduction of a rubbery-faced, supposed Japanese man named as Mr. Tojamura played by “Fumio Yamaguchi” and then we discover the link between Josie and Mak Takano. He’s travelled from Hong Kong on behalf of a man named Mr. Eckhardt and he wants her to return to Hong Kong with the insurance money from the lumber mill fire. She then explains that she has a problem with Hank and our episode concludes with a lame early 90’s fist fight in the Double R Diner. Mak Takano is a martial artist because, of course he is! You’ve seen his website, right? Anyway, Hank has all the fighting prowess of William Shatner and Takano hands him an ultimatum; “Don’t fuck with Project Mayhem!”

Look, this is an average episode but at least by the end we’re moving the plot forward… well, not the main “Laura Palmer murder” plot! Cooper is slowly formulating his rescue plan, Donna enlists the help of Maddy to steal Laura’s secret diary and Andy is having his sperm counted again.
I enjoyed the episode but it’s not as good as any of the first season outings so I give this episode; four attempts to pronounce Chuck Palahniuk’s surname out of five.

Also, if you’re a fecalpheliac and you like my shit enough to donate to my internet begging page on Patreon then now you can; price of a coffee or how ever much you like and if you’re not financially endowed enough then feel free to share this with your friends, family, loved ones, pets, strangers, that ex on Facebook you sometimes stalk and while you lament on your own poor life choices, they’re probably fucking their new lover on that sofa that YOU also helped pay for but then you totally screwed it up, didn’t you. Now all you have left is a search history that mostly comprises of Elsa Jean in various compromising positions. (https://www.patreon.com/grahamstoner)

Netflix’ Iron First Episode One

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I’m not going to make a habit of reviewing Marvel intellectual properties. I mean, there’s a whole wealth of articles regarding the many fucking cinematic / televisual iterations of Marvel superheroes and I’m sorry if I accidentally confuse some characters from DC Comics with that of Marvel, it’s a given since I don’t read comic books… well, I read The Walking Dead and I believe the six volume opus that is Akira is one of the greatest pieces of literature from the last century. Watchman is a modern classic and pretty much most of 2000AD’s back catalogue of characters, like Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper and ABC Warriors are better (in my opinion) to that of Spiderman or Wolverine. Hell, Wolverine and Deadpool wouldn’t look out of place on the pages of the “Galaxy’s Greatest Comic”!

But I do remember watching the 90’s Spiderman and X-Men cartoon shows as a kid, I was just not overly invested in characters that looked, well… a bit naff. I mean, look at this;ironfist

And I think Johnny Alpha looks like a badass and that dude has some weird fucking banana helmet!

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I digress, it’s not that I have a love / hate relationship with the “MCU” or “Marvel Cinematic uneh…” far from it, I thoroughly enjoyed Netflix’ Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I haven’t got around to watching Luke Cage yet so I guess that must make me a racist??!!
Watching him plough the tiny Jessica Jones was pretty fucking hot if you ask me… anyway, I’m not here to talk about people act-fucking, I’m talking about Iron Fist, or The Iron Fist or Danny Rand: The Immortal Iron Fist. You know? I never even heard about this character until now and he’s so lame that even the script likes to be a little bit tongue-in-cheek when it comes to his representation. Moments when he declares that he’s the “Iron Fist” is met with side glances and sighs but that doesn’t mean he’s a terrible character.

In fact, he’s one of the most fun lead characters in all of the Netflix / Marvel shows. Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil was a bit of a Bible-basher, hey I’ve read the New Testament in it’s entirety so I have a fondness for giving The Bible a good old frisky wank but he is a bit anally retentive. Jessica Jones was awesome but a bit of a pretentious cunt and Luke Cage is just a big mother fucker who is impervious to pretty much anything and because of this, his personality was almost too cool for mutant school. Danny Rand AKA Iron Fist has a likeable naivety about him. He’s cocky and yet modest, strong yet seemingly vulnerable in a world that he barely recognises as his own.

The first episode doesn’t really feel much like a Marvel superhero show. I don’t recall anyone even mentioning “Iron Fist” nor does he use his glowing yellow hand power… seriously? Is this, this guy’s fucking super power? He has an impervious glowing fist? Just one? Why doesn’t he just go full-on Super Saiyan? Also, he’s beyond adept at martial arts but then again, so are all the thugs that are sent to him later on in the episode. It’s a bit odd but it makes sense from a action sequence perspective because if he’s the only one that capable and he’s just round housing everyone into submission then each fight scene would be incredibly dull.

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We’re introduced to him while he’s walking, bare foot around Manhattan while listing to “So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast. Very subtly ironic considering he looks like he’s the only guy not on drugs at Woodstock. His hair is a bit of a mess and he’s got a beard, he’s wearing a skanky hemp shirt thing and trousers that look like they smell of stale semen and dog piss and yet his eyes are clear, sober and infused with determination. As an viewer with no knowledge of who this character is, I’m most certainly intrigued and he’s even listening to an old early 2000’s iPod… dare I say, it’s a second generation iPod? Fuck, I don’t know? I once did a bit of research for my second episode “review” of Twin Peaks… thing is, I knew what a fucking 2nd gen iPod looks like since I’ve probably still got mine.

So why is Danny Rand perambulating around Manhattan looking like a gap year student who has just returned from travelling around Asia? Well, he’s only gone and survived a plane crash at age 10, only to be picked up by Nepalese monks and trained to be a fucking ninja.
This is some kind of David Carradine shit right here…

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So, Danny Rand was a rich kid whose father was an influential businessman. Both Danny’s parents died in the plane crash and Western society has believed Danny to have been dead for the last 15 years. It comes as no surprise when he arrives in the lobby of this exceptionally high end corporate ziggurat only to be told to leave. He looks like a homeless bum and that’s exactly what he is!
He has no home, hardly any possessions and he doesn’t even own a pair of shoes!
Anyway, he’s insistent about talking to “Harold” and nobody believes him to be Danny Rand.

Who would? Also, are you telling me that he’s spent the last 15 years in Nepal and he hasn’t picked up an accent? I’ve got an uncle who has lived in Canada for close to 20 years, maybe more, maybe less and he sounds quote Canadiany.

So he ends up using his martial arts to subdue a few guards (Iron Fist, not my uncle) and he nonchalantly escapes in a lift and heads to the top floor and this is where he meets his childhood friends whom have grown to become insufferable corporate twats. Neither of these two characters recognise Danny either! So he’s out on his arse again… and this is basically the plot of the entire first episode.

Danny the tramp is desperately trying to convince his old childhood friends that he is in fact the heir to this massive company and these two executive douches are just outright mean to him. It gets to a point where this episode and only this episode kinda feels like an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
My attention was still held for ransom and because this is Netflix, I ended watching the next episode and then the next.

After Danny’s failed attempt to speak to the only people who might recognise him for who is is, he heads to his own home. It’s one of those big old New York brownstones, he even remembers where the spare key is kept for the front door but the lock has since been changed and its then that we discover that he’s one hell of a Parkour expert. He steps up a mere 15ft balcony as if it were a curb.
A big dog growls at him and he uses his Buddhist/Crocodile Dundee shtick to subdue the animal before quietly closing the doors on the calmed pooch.
Then he starts abiding by stealth game logic where even if he’s slightly caste in shadow then nobody will be able to see him because his childhood friend’ Joy has returned home… Danny’s old home and he’s standing on a flight of stairs and watches her from like, not exactly far away and she’s totally oblivious?

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Anyway, he confronts Joy and tries his hardest to convince her and it’s all going well until he basically tells her that he broke into her home. She’s pissed at him and as he leaves, a taxi nearly ploughs into him except he’s the fucking Iron First, right? He just flips over the car as if it were haphazardly placed Hot Wheels car… I was going to say “Matchbox cars” but then realised that even in my youth, Hot Wheels have bought Matchbox and nobody is that nostalgic about fucking die-cast toy cars…?

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Oh… they are…

Later, he’s doing some tai chi in Central Park, as you do and Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing donates some spare change since she believes him to be just your typical homeless guy. Jessica Henwick is an English actress who appeared in some BBC children’s adventure series alongside Benedict Wong who just so happens to be in Doctor Strange… another Marvel property, as if we weren’t already drowning in this shit.

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Henwick does a brilliant job and in later episodes, she is a fucking badass and now I’m assuming that she will get her own show. It’s on the cards right? I mean, I’m sure there’s going to be a Daredevil / Jessica Jones / Luke Cage and Iron Fist crossover…

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Of course there is and look! The girl is even standing at such an angle as to show off the curvature of her arse because that’s what media is. Entertainment Weekly totally fucked that up, it’s bullshit photoshop is what it is! Look at their feet? Fucking graphic designer couldn’t even be bothered to add some kind of shadow so now the characters look super imposed.

Next we head to the dojo where the Colleen Wing character is a martial arts instructor… because, of course she is! She’s one of those characters who really wants to improve the lives of inner city kids by teaching them how to fuck people up in style because nothing is more confident-boosting that learning how to crane-kick.
Danny wants to work for her and I guess he wants to get it on since I doubt he was getting much sex at the monastery… if he’d crashed near the Vatican then [insert obvious joke about Catholic Priests here]. She kicks him out but not before giving him a pair of shoes so I guess she’s pulling the old “playing hard to get” bullshit.

Overall this is an enjoyable show but was it necessary? Well, no art is actually necessary and would the television landscape appear any different if this series didn’t exist? Of course not, Iron Fist isn’t breaking new ground but it a fun show from what I’ve seen so far.
My favourite characters are the two siblings’ Joy and Ward. They’re uptight business executives who take life way too seriously and yet they’re fun to watch. They do “TV business”, the kind of “business” you only really see on TV, it’s all board meetings and people talking about figures for the next quarter and dumb abbreviations that make little to no real sense but it doesn’t matter. This isn’t a series show about “business”, it’s a fucking superhero show about a hippie with a magic fist.
I don’t even know what this fictional company does?
Fuck knows, they’re probably poisoning the water in some scummy, run down suburb while profiteering from modern day slavery, you know? that old cliché!

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So, would I recommend Iron Fist? Whatever. Like my opinion is any more valid that your own. You don’t need my validation, if you’ve already paid for Netflix then check it out or watch Star Trek Voyager or Louis Theroux? Make a choice and live by your code… I give Iron Fist; 5 whiny bitches moaning about white-washing out of 5.

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Twin Peaks “The Man Behind Glass” Episode 11

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I’ve read posts you people wouldn’t believe! Sorry, I was going to jump right in with this review/recap of episode 11 but I’ve just discovered something that has seriously pissed me off. IMDb, right! IMDb was my outlet, my last bastion of 90’s message board fun and now it’s gone. All those posts are now lost to time, like piss in rain… time to give up on clinging to the past.
I was involved in a decade-long discussion about the Shinya Tsukamoto film; “Vital” about a young man coming to terms with amnesia by unwittingly studying the corpse of his girlfriend who died in the same car crash that gave him the amnesia! It’s a touching movie and it’s nothing like Gen Sekiguchi’s “Survive Style 5+”; a film that also has a man who is coming to terms with the death of his girlfriend… same fucking actor… but completely different films okay?!
The result was a confusing mess of a discussion that spanned a decade and now it’s gone… gone like Rutger Hauer’s sanity.

Anyway, I know some of my regular readers will be slightly disappointed with this article since I have not found any Erdős-style link between any of the actors that appeared in this episode and Star Trek. I’ve practically exhausted all the principle cast members and the two new characters that appear in this episode have never appeared in an episode of any iteration of Star Trek… BUT! I have found a link to another popular science fiction show so… I guess you’ve got that to look forward to! Right?

The episode begins with an interesting “lazy susan” shot of Ronette Pulaski in the hospital. The camera continues shifting 360° until we halt on Cooper, Sheriff Truman and possibly my favourite character’ Albert Rosenfield.
Ronette is convulsing and needs to be restrained by hospital staff, Albert is the first to notice that Ronette’s I.V. drip bag has been spiked. They soon discover that the person who messed with her I.V. also stuck a small letter R under her finger nail. The modus operadi of the murderer of not just Laura Palmer but also Teresa Banks!

So far they’ve discovered the following letters; R, B and T… like an abbreviated “Robert” or “Bob”… it’s so easy being a detective. Shit, I’d happily give up my job and become a homicide detective as long as I can be even more cynical than I already am. Also, I like drinking a load of whisky, I’ve practically got the perfect makings of a detective!

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We catch up with… sigh, Donna. She appears in this episode quite a lot and there’s even a bit where her “method acting” comes into play.
She’s meeting up with the mysterious Mr. Smith. Harold Smith and he suffers from severe agoraphobia or agraphobia, apparently both can be inter-changeable. Odd, I thought “agraphobia” was the fear of sexual assault and “agoraphobia” was the antonym of claustrophobia but it’s not. Then again it’s quite rational to be afraid of sexual assault so I guess you don’t really need a “-phobia” word for that!
Anyway, Mr. Smith is undeniably creepy to the point where, if he was wearing a belt made from nipples you’d think; “Hey, he’s wearing a belt made from nipples! That’s our’ Harold!” But no, he’s not planning on dumping Donna in a hole and forcing her to [insert Silence of the Lambs references here]. Do androids dream of silent lambs? Silence of the electric sheep?
I’m not really going anywhere with that Bladerunner reference… or am I?

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Well, Mr. Harold Smith is played by Lenny Von Dohlen who is mostly known for the 1984 film’ “Electric Dreams” but he also appeared in one of the best episodes of Red Dwarf. Yep, that’s the science fiction reference I was referring to.

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In that episode he plays a cop who apprehends the Red Dwarf crew in a “full immersion video game”, you see, the crew have been apparently playing a game called “Red Dwarf” but they’ve actually been poisoned by a “despair squid” and so everything is a hallucination. The episode is exceptionally well done and it presents themes that really feel like a Philip K. Dick story.
Talking of dick, we’re also introduced to another character in this episode but more on that later.
Instead, Donna and Harold talk about Laura Palmer. She asks him how long he has known Laura and also why she never mentioned him to any of her other friends?
He expunges suspicion from her mind by informing her that they had known each other since she first started meals on wheels and that she liked to think of Harold as her mystery man. It’s not made clear if their relationship was of a sexual nature but Laura was an excessively sexual animal so I wouldn’t put it past her.
Anyway, he’s a bit of a horticulturist as evident by the ridiculous amount of flowers in his home.

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He got in contact with Donna because he wanted her to place a flower on Laura’s grave.
Being an agoraphobic, he can’t do it himself so he’s hoping Donna could do him a favour.

Here’s another reference to Red Dwarf;

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The next scene involves; Cooper going over the evidence they have on the letters that were found under the victim’s fingernails as well as a list of people who have seen Bob. This is Laura’s mom, Cooper himself, Maddy and Ronette. He explains that there is a psychic link, Albert is being his usual sarcastic self. He even insults Sheriff Truman again and this results in Truman threatening to punch Albert again.
Then we get this awesome bit of dialogue;
“Now you listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method… is love. I love you Sheriff Truman.”
Replacing his shades, he leaves the room… Truman isn’t sure what to make of it.
Cooper tells him; “Albert’s path is a strange and difficult one.”

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While in the Sheriff’s Department, Lucy is visited by a man wearing a fucking ascot and dated Lucy while she and Deputy Andy were on a break. I can’t find the right word to describe him, he’s a complete…erm, a total? What’s the right word? Yeah, he’s an utter twat.
His name is Dick and the irony is not lost whenever anybody mentions his name. It becomes a bit of a rolling gag during the second season.
Anyway, he wants to take Lucy out for lunch and so we’re treated to a scene that only exists for two reasons. 1) To show the audience that this Dick guy is a monumental… bellend and 2) To further progress this dumb new plot line; who is the father of Lucy’s baby?
It’s fairly forgettable, much like this pantomime character’ Dick.

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Back at the Sheriff’s Department, Leland Palmer informs Sheriff Truman and Dale Cooper that he knows Bob. He remembers him from when he was a kid and Bob used to frighten him, he also seemed a bit obsessed with fire and then Leland repeats a line that Bob used to say; “Do you want to play with fire, little boy?”
Truman heard the same sentence from James when he was recalling a moment he heard it from Laura. There’s no doubt that Bob is most certainly involved! See… I’m a great fucking detective!

James and Maddy are in the diner, furthering this slightly boring plot line and when Donna see’s Maddy’s hand on James’ she starts utilising that “method acting” that I previously mentioned.
In a very recent interview Sherilyn Fenn said (this part is taken from http://www.alternativenation.net/david-lynch-thought-twin-peaks-stars-in-love-actor-kiboshed-storyline/); “There was no plan, Dale Cooper ended up at the hotel, so put her with Audrey. We weren’t supposed to be together, but after we were together, something was on film that really worked, and instead of having his character go towards Joan Chen, which was their original plan, they had him start to come towards me. So his girlfriend, Lara Flynn Boyle [Donna], kiboshes an astonishing thing.”

She added, “I remember saying, ‘David [Lynch], is this how it goes? An actor complains, because she’s the girlfriend, and then you change?’ Then she started smoking in scenes, and doing strange things, I think she danced in a scene.”

“I was really upset they moved me away from Dale Cooper. The funniest thing, which you maybe heard me say before, is now Kyle [MacLachlan] will admit the truth, then he wouldn’t. At the time, he was saying, ‘No, her character is too young for me.’ Okay, meanwhile he is with a girlfriend, I’m 24-25, his girlfriend is 19, right, get it? Madchen [Amick] is 17, and then they bring in Heather [Graham], who is younger [too]. Whatever, silly.”

“On screen chemistry can be very different from off screen chemistry. Kyle and I were friends, we didn’t have what I’d call chemistry, but when Special Agent Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne came together, something happened. It just did, and at some point, David said, ‘Are you in love with Kyle?’ I said, ‘God no! No! Not even a little! Not at all, but Audrey thinks he’s the bees knees.”

Digressing back to the episode; it seems obvious that Lara Flynn Boyle has a serious issue with jealously to such an extent that she utilises it as a form of method acting. It’s obvious on screen, her scenes where she portrays jealous emotions seem exceptionally authentic.

It is really frustrating because once the whole Laura Palmer investigation plot is over, Audrey and Cooper rarely spend any time together and I think they play off each other so well. Hopefully, we’ll see this on screen chemistry in the upcoming season three.

Actually, this is a good time to mention this; season three will be starting in a month’s time (at time of writing, obviously) and my usual articles will take a slight hiatus while I focus on the new season. I plan on writing the usual bullshit shortly after each new episode then once we’ve all been hugely disappointed with the new season, I shall return to the comfort of the old shit from 1991… and to think I was hoping to finish the whole series prior to the release of the new one! Hey, even the best-laid plans of a GCSE-studied book often goes awry, all right!

Talking of Audrey, here’s a scene at One Eyed Jack’s. Blackie and Emory Battis have her tied up and doped up and all the while one of the other show girls is shooting the whole thing onto tape. It’s actually quite dark, there’s this young girl who has been held captive and her captors have injected her with heroin. Pretty dark and yet by the end of the scene Blackie even mentions that this whole scenario bares resemblance to what happened between her and Benjamin Horne.

We return to the Sheriff’s Department where Shelly Johnson is seeding her insurance fraud scam, Cooper can see through her bullshit. Mike, the one armed man is also there and selling shoes to Sheriff Truman. When he notices the wanted poster of Bob, Mike retires to the toilet to dose himself with medicine, his episode of panic attack subsides and he exits the toilet cubicle as a man possessed and desperate to find Bob. The syringe he was about to inject himself with remains idle on the floor.

Next, we’re introduced to Jacques Renault’s brother’ Jean. Michael Parks has an impressive CV! Check him out on IMDb… fucking IMDB… fuck you, IMDb! Can’t believe they fucking got rid of their message boards!

C’mon Graham! You’re nearly at the 2000 mark… time to wrap this shit up!

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Cooper and Truman speak to Dr. Jacoby who is recovering from his heart attack. His hospital bed looks more like an Hawaiian fever dream and a young, pretty girl is also there… apparently she is his wife. She looks like she’s barely 18 but fuck it, we know Dr. Jacoby is riding the cusp of paedophilia. Anyway, Cooper and Truman… I wonder what their mileage is in just this one episode? They’re travelling all over the fucking place!
So, they’re here to question him on the murder of Jacques Renault and I should mention that his brother’ Jean has been introduced in this episode because he wants revenge for the death of his brother. He, apparently blames Cooper for Jacques death, even though we all know it’s Leland.

In order for Dr. Jacoby to remember the events leading up to Jacques murder, he needs Cooper to hypnotise him and just when he’s about to tell them (and the viewer) we cut to Donna laying Mr. Smith’s fucking flower on Laura’s grave.
Then she starts getting all jealous like the dickhead she is and yeah, she ends up walking in on James and Maddy sharing a hug and a kiss… then she turns the jealously up to 11 and storms off! I’m guessing that the Donna character and Lara Flynn Boyle are just too fucking similar to be classed as “acting”. No wonder she’s not in the upcoming season three… she’s probably going to go full; “Sean Young”, you should never go full “Sean Young”!

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The episode ends with jealous Donna visiting Mr. Smith and noticing that Laura had another, secret diary that is in the possession of this fucking nut job.

I give this episode 10 Starbugs out of 10 and smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast.

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Hotline Miami

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Ever been amongst friends and asked the question; what are your top ten favourite videogames of all time? Well, I’m not doing a top ten list, sorry. But I’m talking about one game that will forever be in my top ten and that game is Hotline Miami.

Created by Dennaton Games (Programmer’ Jonatan Söderström and Artist’ Dennis Wedin) and published in October 2012 amongst a vast plethora of Triple A titles, Max Payne 3, Black Ops II and Halo 4 as examples. There was one game that gave me an experience that far outweighed it’s bigger budget contemporaries. In my previous examples, of which I’ve only played Max Payne 3 and Blops2; Hotline Miami in all it’s dayglow 16Bit glory cemented its characters, location and narrative into my memory in a way that those aforementioned first/third-person-shooters didn’t.
Five years later and I’m not playing Max Payne 3 or Black Op II, no, I’m still playing Hotline Miami and the reason for this is certainly down to the how the game presents itself.

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We’re thrown into a new reality that resembles an ever more hyperbolic, drug-fuelled and violent version of 80’s Miami. We view this world with brain-damage induced synesthesia and neon sunglasses. Our ears are filled with the sounds of stylish murder and faux-80’s synth.
It’s a shot of heroin with an nostalgia chaser before being thrown into the lapping waves of South Beach. Each day starts with ringing synapses and even louder ringing phones, the stale taste of too many B52’s and Singapore Slings still linger in the mouth. The memory of gouging eyes and splitting skulls no longer causes nausea.
This is Hotline Miami.
And to think that this game resembled a 16Bit top down shooter of old. A game that is more than just anachronistic in aesthetic, since many parts of the game’s meandering plot (spread over 2 games) takes place prior to start of the 16Bit era. 16Bit games didn’t start appearing until late 1987 and even then it would be a year before the era of the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis).
Our first introduction to the world of Hotline Miami starts on 3rd April 1989. I would have been 6 years old and as far as I’m aware, there was no masked vigilante roaming around Miami with a lust for ultra violence.

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But how does this game operate and what makes it different from other games of the genre?

Let’s look at the mechanics of the game. Hotline Miami is an assertively slick and quick reactionary’ top down shooter where you die, over and over again, until you persevere with only muscle memory as your only helpful trait.
An enemy can kill you in less than a second, you have no health meter and more often than not you will start each level with only your fists. Weapons are numerous; from pistols to shotguns, lead pipes to fire axes. There’s even a frying pan in two of the levels, a detail that can be easily missed amongst the frenetic action and splashes of claret.
And this is where this game furthers it’s anachronistic personality since there is no way this game could be played on an old gamepad or joystick of the era. Dual analogue thumb sticks or the precision of a mouse and keyboard is the key for survival and yes, I know that there were mouse and keyboards in 1989 but did you see a games console or arcade machine with such peripheries? No.

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After completing each level, the player is scored against factors ranging from Killings, Boldness, Combos, Time Bonus, Flexibility, Mobility and Special. Though, I will admit that I’m not sure how these factors are actually scored and I’ve been given a low rating despite finishing a level quick and efficiently… obtaining an A+ rating for each level is a formidable task for even the most accomplished of gamer!

The story of Hotline Miami follows an unnamed protagonist that fan’s started calling; “Jacket”. He’s semi based off of Ryan Gosling’s character from Drive. He’s a former US Special Forces operative turned brainwashed vigilante for the cause of a secretive society known only as 50 Blessings. Throughout the game, Jacket is given assassination missions by mysterious and cryptic answering machine messages… this all seems simple enough right? Well, did I mention that San Francisco was nuked in 1985 after both the US President and USSR President were assassinated? No? Well, this is a plot point that can be easily missed if you’re playing both Hotline Miami 1 and 2 without taking in it’s complex and divergent narrative.
An entire book could be written on the intricacies of the story line. How a collection of a few choice pixels can speak volumes instead of a huge info dump.
I’m fascinated by the plot, the characters and the world that Dennaton Games had created.
There’s a reason why Hotline Miami is a modern cult classic and that’s to do with my generation’s slight obsession with nostalgia for the 80’s but then again every generation has a fondness for things from 20 – 30 years previous. Look at American popular culture during the 70’s; Grease, American Graffiti and Happy Days were immensely popular at the time and those intellectual properties were about the 1950’s.

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By 2010, 80’s revivalist movies had appeared fairly regularly in the cinema. Remakes of Nightmare on Elm Street, The A-Team and The Karate Kid reminded us why movies were better in the 80’s. In 2015 people kept asking where their hoverboard and flying cars were.
I suppose we seek warmth and security from a time where we had no real responsibilities, where the term “social media” would have been easily attributed to a book club.
During the apex of 80’s revival, Hotline Miami was released and in a world where most games were brown and grey first person shooters, Hotline Miami gave us a game that not only harked back to our youth but played incredibly well.
It also helps that through all the frustration of trying to complete that one (pain in the arse) level the game also gave you immense dopamine-induced satisfaction.
By the end of the first game you’re even asked to question your own association with violence and why you enjoy it. It’s provocative in a sense, after all you’re not entirely expecting this game to ask such a poignant question.

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If you’ve never played these games then I urge you to pick it up. It’s available on Steam, PSN or Xbox Live and prepare to start listing Pertubator or Carpenter Brut as your new favourite musicians.

I give both Hotline Miami 1 & 2; 5 Star Trek references in a review for Twin Peaks out of 5.

Twin Peaks “Coma” Episode 10

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My last review was a bit quote heavy and made up 16.8% of my last article. Oh man, that was a long ass article. Jesus! My sincerest of apologies, I shall endeavour to be more concise and I have already name checked the irregular cast members to see if they’ve appeared in Star Trek.

None of them have so… I’m all out of ideas!

Our episode begins like so many episodes have done before; at the Great Northern Hotel. Cooper and Albert Rosenfield are having breakfast while a smoking barbershop quartet hum in the background. They’re oddly positioned within the frame while in the foreground Cooper and Albert almost bookend the aforementioned quartet. The two FBI agents discuss Jacques Renault’s murder… he was suffocated! See! I said that in my last piece. That’s not me being completely oblivious on how a fucking script works! Sometimes mistakes do happen… why does this sound like some weird confessional? Anyway, Cooper attempts to enlighten Albert on the history of King Thothori Nyantsen, the first Tibetan King to be touched by the Dharma and in by doing so, he and the Kings that succeeding him were known as the Happy Generations.

He belonged to the Yarlung Dynasty from Southern Tibet and Buddhist legend tells of a chest that fell from the sky and landed on the roof of his palace. Inside the chest were four items, including one of those cool Singing Bowls, some jewels and one of those little yellow capsules you get inside Kinder eggs.

What relevance does this story share with this episode? Well, Cooper once had a dream about the plight of the Tibetan people and in this dream a secret Tibetan method of deduction was revealed to him.

I had a dream where I was thrown into a deep pit by modern day pirates on a tropical island, the pit functioned as a toilet and for two days the men would use the quite large latrine to shit and piss on me while they waited for me to die. Then on the third day, starved, fatigued and ill from being pissed and shitted on, one of the men slipped and fell. I bite his nose off and gouged his eyes until he either died from the agony or from choking on his own blood.

Using his machete, I severed his limbs and used his bones to climb out of the pit… I never gained any special deduction method from that fucked up dream but I now know how to make a ladder.

Digressing back to the scene, we learn from Albert Rosenfield that the FBI have no lead on Jacques Renault’s killer. This is obviously good news for Leland Palmer.

Agent Cooper also informs him that his ring is gone, vanished during his spiritual visitation.

This scene ends with a suspicious Asian Man, I kid you not, his character name is “Asian Man”.

He’s definitely Asian, Japanese to be exact. The actor is Mak Takano and I urge you to check out his website; www.maktakano.com

He’s basically, the most Japanese man on the fucking planet. There’s this massive picture of him, being all stoic while wearing a Gi, he’s even got a fucking black belt! The Shō pipe music that plays in the background fully cements Mak Takano-san as one of, if not the most Japanese man on the planet.

If he doesn’t spend every dawn, meditating on top of a mountain or practising his Kamehameha technique then I just don’t know if I could handle that level of disappointment. Reality would undoubtedly collapse due to a severe lapse in logic. Maths would stop working and our planet, no, the fucking universe would end up looking very much like a shrivelled up and burnt old sphincter.

Japan, yeah!

Our next scene just gets weird, like unsettling’ weird. Donna is dressed like a middle aged woman who is clearing out the garage on a Sunday. She’s wearing a body warmer, come on Donna! You were looking pretty damn sassy in the last episode. What happened?

Shit, it’s the son of David Lynch in this scene! I guess, you have seen Eraserhead right? David Lynch made a film about parental anxiety. The main character’ Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) murders his own offspring but not before allowing said offspring to become sick. Then he fantasises about a girl who steps on unborn babies… and David Lynch is a father?!

Wow!

Anyway, Donna is following up on her own investigation. She’s taken over Laura Palmer’s meals on wheels job in her own investigative attempt where she meets Mrs. Tremond played by the forever old’ Frances Bay.

Frances Bay was an odd one, odd but cool. She made her acting début at the age of 59. She left her parents at age 16 to pursue a life in Hollywood… I guess she kept on walking past LA, by accident? I dunno, maybe she crawled her way to Hollywood, maybe pretended to be a dog with worms and shimmied her arse all the way to Hollywood?!

Anyway, she eventually made it to Hollywood and starred in Kojak, Happy Days and a shit load of films and TV shows. She even appeared in Karate Kid and Happy Gilmore.

If anyone could claim to be a prolific old lady in TV and film then it is Frances Bay… her last movie was released in 2013 and she’s probably still playing old ladies in films in Heaven because heaven’s a thing I guess?

The scene involving Mrs. Tremond and Donna is brilliantly off kilter. I know, I like to hate on the whole Donna and James bullshit but that doesn’t mean I dislike the characters. Donna gives Mrs. Tremond an apprehensive side glance, it’s a great facial expression and for some reason it sticks in my mind.

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Anyway, this scene is incredibly cryptic. With the “young David Lynch” stealing the creamed corn from Frances Bay’s plate with “magic”. I’m sure there is some meaning behind it but fuck am I going to try and decipher it!

Donna leaves with some info from Mrs. Tremond; apparently “Mr. Smith” was a friend of Laura’s and he just so happens to live next door so Donna knocks on his door but he doesn’t answer. Maybe he’s got social anxiety or he’s agoraphobic or something, who knows?! Maybe we find out in the next episode… we do.

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Meanwhile, Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman are at the hospital. Again. This time they want to talk to Ronette Pulaski who has been in a coma since the pilot episode. After a funny bit where both Cooper and Truman are trying to adjust the height of their seats. Cooper shows Ronette a couple of Deputy Andy’s sketches, one is of Leo Johnson while the other is of Bob and yet when the camera draws into focus, the sketch of Leo kind of looks a bit like Leland Palmer… odd, huh?!

When it comes to Bob’s picture, Ronette freaks out and repeats the word; “Train! Train! Train!”

Cooper already knew about the murder scene and Bob’s involvement so no new leads here.

What is interesting about this scene is how it ends; The electricity goes out but just before it does we can hear Bob’s wolf-like growl.

If you’re not aware by now that Twin Peaks has a supernatural element and you’ve seen up to the second episode of season two, then you fail at watching television. Me? I watch everything via a PlayStation so I also fail at watching television.

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It’s at this point in the episode where more of the comedic elements come into play. The next scene involves Ben and Jerry Horne, sitting by the fire place in Ben’s office at the Great Northern Hotel. Jerry is chewing on a delicious looking smoked cheese pig-thing, whatever it is, I want it.

They’re discussing Catherine’s ledgers and they’re at loggerheads as to which ledger they should destroy. Should they burn the fake one or the real one? Both have their own merits but since this is Ben and Jerry we’re talking about, they decide to eat food instead… namely’ roasted marshmallows.

It is certainly odd that Ben hasn’t noticed that Audrey is missing? She has spent the last couple of days in One Eyed Jack’s and you’re telling me that he’s not seen her at the hotel? She spent most of last season just loitering about the Great Northern so, c’mon Ben!?

At the Double R we catch up with Log Lady, she’s chewing on spruce gum. She did this in the last episode but I just assumed she was chewing on gum but apparently it’s called “pitch”. I had to research that because nobody chew’s “pitch” in England.

Here’s this little fact about “pitch”; “Real spruce gum is not easy to chew. It is not soft or sweet. Hard and crumbly is more accurate along with pieces of bark and bits of insects. But if you have good teeth and patience it will in time become a stiff gum. And if you leave it on your bedpost over night the gum turns hard and crumbly again.” – Green Deane (hwww.eattheweeds.com/a-pitch-for-spruce-gum/)

That’s pretty fucking disgusting! And it seems to be rarely sold in the States (nowadays), so if you want to chew of this shit, head towards the the Canadian border, near where Twin Peaks was filmed… I’m telling you, it’s the perfect place to find the good shit! Some primo Black Spruce, Picea mariana, hombre!

Totally went off topic there but I’d never heard of spruce gum before and if you’re a millenial reading this then I guess you’ve probably not heard of it either!

Anyway, the scene with Log Lady is a set up for a later scene. She talks to Major Briggs at the Double R diner and informs him that her log has something to tell him. Log Lady “translates” the log; “Deliver the message”, the log insists. The mind spunk within Major Briggs head cavity starts to churn, he knows exactly what the “message” he must “deliver” and fuck… we’re getting into X Files territory here but more on that at the end… basically Major Briggs visits Cooper and… well, look I’m only five minutes into the episode alright…

Anyway I digress, talking about “spunk”? the next scene is about Deputy Andy telling Lucy that he can’t possibly be the father of her baby because he had a sperm count and the Doctors told him that he was sterile, he proclaims that he first thought that being sterile meant he doesn’t need to take a bath but then again, he only donated sperm because he “likes whales”… Andy is just dumb, he’s like, later season’ Homer Simpson or final season# Joey from Friends.

Friends… what a great show, amiright?

Since we’re at the Sheriff’s Department we might as well catch up with Sheriff Truman and Cooper. Hank had dropped by to sign his weekly parole papers and it is in this scene that we learn that Hank and Truman used to be friends, like full on BFFs but nothing last forever and despite Hank being one of the best damned Bookhouse Boy’, he’s still the worst. But sometimes a person’s worst-self is their best-self and Hank is the best scum bag north of Leo Johnson.

Hank leaves and Cooper receives a call… it’s Ben Horne and he’s only just realised that Audrey is missing.

Ben Horne still has business to attend to…yep, that fucking Ghostwood Estate thing with the Icelandics. Ever heard of that Icelandic phone app? It’s called Islendiga-App and its purpose is to stop Icelanders from accidentally dating their cousin. There’s like, only 300,000 people in Iceland? I guess, it’s quite a common occurrence?

Anyway, the Icelanders are concerned for the future of Ghostwood on account of the lumber mill fire and since Leland Palmer is Ben’s accountant, he has tried his to best to mitigate any issues much to annoyance of Ben and Jerry. Leland seems completely oblivious to just how dirty his clients are.

Then Leland spots the wanted poster featuring Bob and it is here that we learn that Leland knows “of that man”. Leland goes on to mention that he knew him when he was a boy and it sounds like Bob probably molested a young Leland Palmer!? Just how old is Bob?

As we head towards the last quarter of the episode it’s worth mentioning that this episode is one of the ones that David Lynch directed. It’s got all the hall marks of a David Lynch directed episode… it even says it at the beginning!

That’s probably why he stuck his son in there?

You ever wonder what goes through the mind of someone with really weird fetishes? Like, why a person is turned on by the strangest shit? Look, I can understand someone having a foot fetish but how does someone discover that they’re sexually attracted to the idea of listening to a vacuum cleaner?

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Audrey confronts Emory Battis, he’s the guy who manages the perfume counter at Ben’s store. She surprises him with some asphyxiation erotica but not the good kind, not the David Carridine kind.

No, she wants answers and she’s Audrey Horne and she always gets what she wants!

Unfortunately, despite learning of her father’s connection to Laura Palmer there’s no real tangible evidence. I doubt Emory Battis is going to testify?

He’s strung up like a Japanese schoolgirl for fucksake, he’s in no position to do anything!

Cooper is about to hit the sack when Major Briggs comes to deliver a very important message… basically the parts of Cooper’s conversation with the giant in the last episode has been intercepted by Major Briggs’ radio telescope. His classified mission is to listen out for aliens and as far as he’s aware, aliens have made contact in the most Lynchian of ways.

What could have been explained as the delusions of a shot man at death’s door now has substance.

This mystery has certainly taken yet another unexpected turn!

Talking of unexpected turns, here’s the next scene on YouTube… just watch it, seriously. It’s one of, if not the most cheesiest fucking thing you’ll ever see in your miserable life. Watch it, digest it and thank me for giving you this fucking cheeseboard:

But then Maddy gets a visitation from Bob and the cheesiest scene turns into carefully realised horror. Bravo David Lynch, bravo.

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And finally, we conclude with Cooper as he dreams all kind of shit. He’s awoken by Audrey who is calling from One Eyed Jack’s but before she can tell him of her location the phone is cut off my Blackie. Audrey is in some serious shit!

Overall, this is a brilliant episode made better by having Lynch in the captain’s chair and since I have made any references to Star Trek yet… well, apart from “captain’s chair”… he’s a picture of Richard “Ben Horne” Beymer in an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Fucking Nine!!!

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Fallout: New Vegas Completed in One Go!

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A few months ago I wrote my most divisive article and for the first time in my life, I was sent hate mail. Personal and aggressive insults were thrown in my own general direction like emblematic rotten fruit at the grand stage of allegory!
Why was I sent such colourful metaphors? Was my article politically charged? Was it about Brexit or Trump? Dare I say, was it an article about why Star Trek is better than Star Wars?
No.

The article was 3,470 words detailing my reasons why Skyrim is better than Fallout 4, though I did conclude the article by singing the praises of the best modern Fallout game and that is Fallout: New Vegas (“that game just pisses all over EVERYTHING!” – I mentioned at the end of the aforementioned article).

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Fallout: New Vegas is probably more of a direct sequel to Fallout 2 than Fallout 3 was.
Allow me to explain without spoiling the plots of both the first two pre-Bethesda games; The originals were set in a nuclear devastated California whereas 3 and 4 are set on the east coast of war torn America. New Vegas is an oddity in that it was published by Bethesda but the game itself was developed by Obsidian Entertainment. It’s easy to forget that the more popular entries in the series (Fallout 3 and 4) were not made by the originators of said series… unlike New Vegas.
New Vegas utilised ideas and even carried over plot threads from Fallout 2 and it also recycled musical assets from the original games. The original raider gangs such as the Khans, Vipers and Jackals make appearances. The Crimson Caravan, who feature in the original Fallout also make an appearance.

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Actually, just to get this out of the way I’m going to list a load of references that I’ve picked up on because I’m such a massive Fallout geek. First up is Marcus, the super mutant that can join you on your adventure in Fallout 2, he’s in New Vegas as the leader of Jacobstown. Also, the daughter of another companion character pops up in New Vegas.

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You’ll find Cassidy in the NCR Mojave Outpost. She’s drinking her sorrows away, which is slightly ironic considering her father’ John Cassidy was the proprietor of a bar in Fallout 2’s Vault City.

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There is also a character named Bruce Isaac who is on the run from the Bishop criminal empire from New Reno (a location in Fallout 2). If memory serves, you can sleep with the crime bosses wife in Fallout 2 so it is entirely possible that Bruce Isaac is on the run from the offspring of the player’s character from the second game!
Another very obscure reference to Fallout 2 can be found when talking with Daisy Whitman in Novac. She reveals that she once crashed a Vertibird (Fallout’s version of a helicopter) and funnily enough, you may have found her wreckage if you had played Fallout 2!
Oh and Michael Dorn, you know, Worf from Star Trek The Next Generation provided his voice for the supermutant’ Marcus in both Fallout 2 and New Vegas.

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I had to get at least one Star Trek reference in this article!

Okay trust me, that just saved me from hitting speed bumps in the article. So why am I gushing over a 7 year old game? Is this article about why Fallout: New Vegas is better than Skyrim?
Do I really need to write an article to explain the obvious?
Fallout: New Vegas IS better than Skyrim. It’s also better than Fallout 3 and 4 but I don’t really need to explain why? I mean, I haven’t even written an article about why flat earth conspiracy theorists are wrong… did you know that water is wet? Can you see my point?
So what is this article actually about…

I’m going to detail my failure at accomplishing and successfully completing New Vegas in one sitting.
My brother came to visit me and he’s a relative newcomer to the Fallout franchise. I’m sure he might have watched me play the originals back in the late 90’s but it wasn’t until Fallout 4 that both my brother and I really had actual discussions about Fallout lore.
Okay, I will admit that our attempted speedrun was mostly me just hogging the controller but he said he wasn’t fussed. I liked to imagine that maybe he thought he was watching some New Vegas expert and found watching me play it more compelling than actually playing it himself but maybe I’m completely wrong and he was just bored. Fuck knows?

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Firstly, I need to establish that this speedrun was never going to utilise any glitches or bugs. Yeah, I know the quickload/crippling yourself cheat that permanently grants you a massive speed bonus but my brother had not played New Vegas before and I thought it’d be cool to just try and complete the game in one go without cheating.
Well, we suffered from one corruption of data and at least three crashes in the hours that we played it.
I blame Bethesda for making a really buggy game engine!
Seriously, we lost at least an hour or two of game progress because of Bethesda and their lack of proper quality control!

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Now, I’ve played New Vegas a hell of a lot. I might not be as knowledgeable as Jon @ Many A True Nerd but fortunately, I’ve watched many challenge runs on his YouTube channel so I also had a little bit of help there in regard to enemy spawn locations.

I booted up my old PlayStation 3, dusted off my copy of New Vegas Special Edition, tried to find a fucking USB lead that actually plugged into my dead Dualshock 3 controller and bunged it in. According to my last save game, I had played New Vegas in the summer of 2015. Probably enthused by Bethesda’s E3 announcement that Fallout 4 was due for release later that year.

Both my brother and I were greeted to the opening FMV of an NCR Ranger shooting a raider. Soon, Matthew Perry’s Benny shoots me in the head and buries me in Goodsprings cemetery. We’re revived by Doc Mitchell who helps us craft our player character for this attempted one-sitting-completion challenge.

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What are we going to call ourselves? “Sonic” because at the time we were going to try and complete the game in under an hour. The archaic PlayStation 3 virtual keyboard had all the functionality of an old Nokia 3310. I had a numerical keypad in which to type with, for some reason? I’m sure the PS3 had a proper virtual keyboard but my past-self must have been quite quick with txt spk!
Our first stumbling block was typing the name “Sonic”… it kept turning into “Sonia” so “Sonia the hedgehog” was the name of our character.
She had to be female. The reason selecting this gender is that New Vegas favours a female protagonist over a male one. With the Black Widow perk, we would be dealing +10% damage to male opponents and we’re granted a very important ability later on down the line.
Since we would be fighting Caeser’s Legion during this playthrough I knew that we would be fighting mostly male enemies so playing as a woman made a lot of sense.

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We then had to pick our S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats. “S” stands for Strength, “P” for Perception, “E” for Endurance, “C” for Charisma, “I” for Intelligence, “A” for Agility and “L” for Luck.
I knew that we would be a very low level character by the time we reached the climatic battle for Hoover Dam. Just to explain this for people who usually read my Twin Peaks reviews; for every action such as a kill or completing a task, you will gain experience points that can be used to improve specific traits of your choosing. Each trait has a rating that caps at 100 so a character with 20 points in “Lock Pick” will not be able to even attempt to unlock a high level door.
As for the stats, we didn’t need to be concerned about how agile or perceptive or strong we were. We just needed to focus on the stats that granted us two things; we needed high Endurance so that we can tank and be bullet sponges and we needed to be able to talk ourselves out of situations so an equally high Charisma would be important. We also got to pick our first Perk. This is a bonus that can grant a specific benefit while penalising something else. In this instance, we had to pick “Good Natured” since we would be given an additional 5 points to our Speech trait right off the bat.

This may interest fans of Fallout more than those who have never played it but our S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats at the beginning of this playthrough was as follows;

Strength: 2 – We weren’t going to fight with melee weapons and carry weight wasn’t a concern.
Peception: 3 – At no point would we really engage in any long ranged battles.
Endurance: 10 – For obvious reasons.
Charisma: 10 – Ditto.
Intelligence: 5 – At this point we had run out of allocation points and were just juggling stats
Agility: 5
Luck: 5

By the time I had got to Intelligence, we had run out of allocation points and it didn’t seem wise to raise or lower the last three stats so it made sense to keep them at 5.

Next we pillaged Doc Mitchell’s house for every single item of value and then sold them at the next available store and then we would be able to make out way to the New Vegas Strip where we could get our revenge on Benny!
First we headed towards Hidden Valley, just so we could fast travel to visit the Brotherhood of Steel (for a later quest) then to Black Mountain so we could easily reach the El Dorado Sub Station for one of the conditions to kick off the final mission.
Then we made our way to Camp McCarran so that we could sneak past the guards and hop on the monorail to gain access to the New Vegas Strip. We didn’t have enough reputation with the NCR nor did we have enough money to buy a passport or even a fake passport so this was the quickest and best way to the Strip.
Our first attempts ended in failure, the NCR troopers tried to kill us when we ignored their warnings to keep clear of the monorail but because the game has a active day and night cycle and nearly every character has a routine that is set to said time table (because the programmers are fucking awesome), the guards were leaving their post to go to bed. We saw our chance and caught the monorail to the Strip.

We were stopped by an NCR trooper when we departed from the monorail station and when we expected a full blown shoot out we were relieved when the trooper gave us generic advice.

Breathing a sigh of relief that we weren’t going to get killed for the first time in this playthrough we then realised that we hadn’t ranked up enough to gain the Black Widow Perk that we desperately needed. So we fast travelled back to Goodsprings and did some of the early missions just to gain enough experience so we could grab that very important perk.

As quick as we had accomplished the first act of this game we still lacked a few of the basic qualities inherent with being an accomplished speedrunner.
For the record, the quickest speedrun of New Vegas (completion at any percentage) is by Swags_The_Dog in December 2015. His time was 20:54.1… less than 21 minutes!
This is a game that can take hundreds of hours if played at a very gingerly pace. I completed it in around 30 – 40 hours in my first playthrough.

Swags_The_Dog completed it in 21 minutes?! What the fuck!

So we sorted out Goodsprings problem with the local gang known as the Powder Gangers but once we had gained enough experience points we went straight back to the New Vegas Strip and with the much needed Black Widow Perk acquired we made our way to The Tops casino for our confrontation with our would-be killer’ Benny.

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The easiest way to kill Benny is by being a woman and having the Black Widow Perk. Here you have the option to flirt with the guy who tried to murder you.

So the screen cuts to black and Matthew Perry displays some of that acting talent that made Chandler in Friends such a compelling character. Then in typical male fashion he decides to sleep off the amazing sex and here you’re given the option to murder him… we do just that and head downstairs in our “sexy sleep wear” attire… because, why not?

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So, my brother and I had just completed the first big bit of the game. Would we side with the Legion? The NCR? Mr. House or “Yes Man” the automaton that has to obey our every command? Well, we had to go for Yes Man because that’s how you quickly complete a game that has 200+ hours of gameplay!

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We headed towards the Lucky 38 casino where Mr. House resides. Mr. House is the rather pragmatic “owner” of New Vegas. Modelled after real life millionaire playboy Howard Hughes, Mr. House is one of the faction leaders. He’s also voiced by René Auberjonois who also played Odo from Deep Space 9;

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We had to kill Odo and fortunately our Endurance was high enough that Mr. House’s robots couldn’t kill us as we made our way to where the actual living corpse of Mr. House resides (in the game his consciousness is uploaded onto a computer, to kill him you have to “wake” him up). Because he looks like this;

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We could easily kill him and thus, we’re now the only person who can rule New Vegas! We didn’t even need to do any of Mr. House’s quests and instead we could follow the Yes Man route towards completion is the most efficient time possible (seriously, how amazing is this game?).

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But first, let’s get a little bit geeky. Other than the sexy sleep wear, our character had been wearing an armoured vault suit (because it was blue… “Sonia the hedgehog” etc.). We had just acquired Benny’s unique weapon’ the 9mm pistol named; Maria and we had a load of junk from the various Special Edition packs such as a kick arse grenade launcher.
Well, this particular grenade launcher saved our arse when we did a mission for Yes Man so it did come in handy.
But what did Sonia the hedgehog look like with the limited graphical fidelity of Fallout: New Vegas? Wel, at the time I didn’t know I was going to write this article so…
Well, she was nondescriptly Asian (because her namesake came from Japan) with bright blue and spiky double mohawks so the while aping off “Sonic the Hedgehog” kinda worked, I guess?!

It was at this point that we hit a slight snag in our attempted speedrun. I had accidentally misinterpreted something that Yes Man had said to me so we ended up having to venture towards Cottonwood Cove, where the Legion resided. Here, we would have to utilise our high Charisma to gain favour with Caeser just so we could install this games McGuffin’ the “Platinum Chip”.
For those unfamiliar with New Vegas, the Platinum Chip upgrades Mr. House’ robot army and since Mr. House is now dead, the robot army is given to the one person who now owns New Vegas… namely; Sonia the hedgehog.

But due to my faux pas, we had to spend an hour or two travelling to Cottonwood Cove (we got killed so many times) just to use this fucking McGuffin and then we had to speak to a few of the lesser factions in the Mojave Wasteland. Fortunately, we had already reached the various fast travel locations on the map when we first started this challenge run. So we didn’t have to travel there on albeit virtual’ foot.

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After making contact with the other factions such as; the Boomers, the Brotherhood of Steel, the Great Khans and a few of the New Vegas Strip casino ownders, we were ready to take on the final mission!
For those familiar with New Vegas, you might find it funny to know that the only weapons we had in our possession was Maria (Benny’s unique 9mm pistol) and that recharger gun that can be stolen from the Silver Rush shop.
We had played over 5 hours and the game had crashed several times. One of our save games had become corrupted and we had to redo one or two sections of the game but we were here!
We were doing the final mission!
We had also negated (roughly) 70% of the actual game and we had only actually died twice. In fact, we didn’t even heal ourselves for hours, our health counter had sat at within 80% range for a long, long time.
But we were finally here!
The final mission and guess what?

A glitch locked us out from leaving a specific room (please, if any readers can enlighten me then I would be grateful). We had to turn on the power to Hoover Dam and when we did, we couldn’t leave the room because the door was locked.
Somewhere, over the vast and non-played 200+ hours of gameplay, I had fucked up somewhere.
I hadn’t spoken to the right person or completed the right tasks in a specific order.
Instead, me and my brother were stuck. Stuck between an upgrade Securitron and a fucking locked door.
Had the game bugged out?
All we needed to do was make it to the east side exit of Hoover Dam and then onto Caeser’s camp where (in less than 10 minutes) I could have ran up to Legate Lanius and utilise my maxed out Charisma and Speech to negotiate with the final boss.
Seriously, what other game allows you to actually negotiate with a final boss?
I swear, for all of the technical faults. New Vegas was made in a fraction of the development time of most game titles and still; it is one of the best role playing games ever made.
Sorry, I digress, through negotiation we could have turned Legate Lanius towards my agenda, New Vegas would be independent!
Free from the NCR, free from the Legion and we could have completed New Vegas in less time than it takes most players to actually get to the location with all the casinos.

But, unfortunately we hit a hurdle.
We didn’t get to hear Ron Pearlman’s last contribution to the Fallout franchise. A presence that started with 1997’s; Fallout. He wasn’t present for Fallout 4 for some fucking reason so as far as I’m concerned, without Ron Pearlman’s famous line then you haven’t got a proper Fallout game.

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Sorry but as much as a enjoyed Fallout 4 and no matter how many hours I pump into it, it’s not a proper Fallout game!

Anyway, I was stuck with my save game in a state of perpetual war. The Legion would be in constant stalemate with the NCR until we attempted to complete the final mission but due to a bug, my brother and I just couldn’t finish it and believe me, we tried A LOT! Attempt after attempt resulted in death. We lost hours of game time due to crashes and so we drew the conclusion that we just wouldn’t be able to change the outcome of this war.
And so… yeah, if you know how we can overcome this bug then please drop me a comment but until then… War, war won’t actually fucking change… at all… so yeah… I failed a speedrun and I dragged my sibling into this mess… fuck.

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Twin Peaks “May the Giant Be With You” Episode 9

1

Between May and September 1990 audiences were left waiting attentively for the second season of Twin Peaks. Was Agent Cooper dead? Highly unlikely but still we open the episode with our man’ Cooper lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the stomach.
Fans who had recorded the episode onto video would’ve been able to rewind and watch the closing moments with predictive analytical eyes. As long as the tracking lines were relegated to either the top and bottom of the screen then chances are they would have noticed that despite being shot three times, only one bullet had caused an entry wound.
Looks like our favourite FBI Agent was wearing a bullet-proof vest under his tuxedo and it may have well just saved his life! That is, if he’s able to get some much needed medical treatment.

You may recall, he had ordered room service.
Warm milk.
You may also recall that he was on the phone to Deputy Andy who is still on the line, calling out Cooper’s name.
While lying on floor, blood staining his nice white linen shirt, the oldest, most decrepit manuel arrives at Cooper’s hotel room with a glass of warm milk.
He doesn’t seem to realise that Cooper had been shot nor had anyone been alerted by the multiple gunshots. Instead, this old room service waiter wanders over to Cooper and asks; “How’re doing down there?”
Politely, Cooper asks him to put the milk on the table and call a doctor. The old man is obviously fraught with senility so he puts the glass of warm milk on the table, picks up the telephone receiver and obviously forgets what he was supposed to be doing. All the while Deputy Andy is calling out Cooper’s name.
He hangs the phone up and informs Cooper that he has done just that.
“Did you call a doctor?” Asks Cooper but the old manuel’s hearing is shot.
He struggles to make out what Cooper is saying, “Huh?”
“Doctor…” Cooper reiterates.
“It’s… hung… up.”
“Thank you…” Replies Cooper.
At a snail’s pace, the old man takes a few short steps to the table and picks up the receipt book, “Does this include gratuity?” Asks Cooper as he’s about to sign for the room service.
“Oh yes, sir!” Beams the old man.
Cooper scrawls his signature.
“Thank you! Thank you, kindly!” Says the old man, he’s about leave but he feels compelled to let Cooper know that the milk will go cold soon.
He’s about to leave when he turns to the dying Cooper, “I’ve heard about you.” He smiles before giving Cooper a thumbs up.
Not only has the old man just thrown one of Cooper’s trademark gestures but he’s completely oblivious to Cooper’s potential fatal circumstance. It makes for an incredibly funny and yet suspense-filled scene.
The old man slowly leaves, Cooper remains dying on the floor, then the old man returns and repeats; “I’ve heard about you.” And gives Cooper a thumbs up once more.
Exhaustively, Cooper slowly raises his forearm and reciprocates by giving the thumbs up to the old man.
The old man is so happy now. It’s like he’s just received a wave from his favourite celebrity and now he leaves Cooper to bleed to death.

If I was going to bother writing a Top 10 Best Moments in Twin Peaks, this scene would definitely be in the Top 3, along with the notorious dream sequence, that shitty scene where James is playing guitar and singing while Maddy and Donna are providing backing vocals… and most of the Top 10 would comprise of either scenes that include Audrey or Leo.

Cooper is visited by Lurch from the Addams Family movie, though I actually recognised him from Star Trek The Next Generation because, hey, I’m writing a fucking review of Twin Peaks and I just can’t help myself when it comes to referencing Star Trek.
Anyway, he played this character;

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Mr. Homn was a valet of Lwaxana Troi. Lwaxana Troi was also Counselor Troi’s mother and she was played by Star Trek creator’ Gene Roddenberry’s sometimes wife, I guess… you already knew that. Carel Struycken was your go-to actor for weirdass lanky mutha fuckas.
But you already knew that… anyway, Carel Struycken appears to Cooper and tells him; “I will tell you three things.”
And this being Twin Peaks, you know that they’ll be weird;
1) “There’s a man in a smiling bag.” – Yeah, that’s Jacques Renault’s hanging body bag in the hospital. It looks like it’s smiling… it goes without saying that David Lynch directed this episode.
2) “The owls are not what they seem.”
3) “Without chemicals… he points.”
He then asks Cooper for his ring and that he; “will return it to you when you find these things to be true.”
He also tells Cooper that there is a clue in Leo’s house and that “You will require medical attention.”
Yeah, no shit!

Unfortunately, by the time Cooper’s hallucination / dream / actual-fucking-visit from a bona fide spirit ends we cut to the familiar sight of One Eyed Jack’s neon sign… oh c’mon! How does Cooper get out of this mess?!
Anyway, once our little establishing shot ends, we watch as Ben Horne arrives inside the room where his own daughter is in a rather unenviable position. I’m pretty sure a popular franchise from the early 90’s wouldn’t allow incest… yeah… I’m… er… totally certain of it!
Audrey attempts to hide behind the curtains of her four poster bed much to Ben’s amusement. Poor guy doesn’t even know that the “new girl” is his own daughter.
We cut, yet again and this time we’re in a different part of the this Canadian casino-cum-brothel. Jerry Horne is showing Blackie who’s boss by insulting her and then nullifying any rebuttal with heroin. Jerry leaves the room with Blackie in the process of shooting up some of that tasty, tasty scag.
We return, not to Cooper but Audrey as she’s telling her father to leave… Ben obviously doesn’t recognise the voice of his own daughter but this game of playing hard to get is getting him hard so he puffs on his big, phallic cigar and pretends to leave.
Audrey is wise to his deception and just as he pulls the curtains aside to reveal her, she’s already hid her face with a mask… and just before it gets really awkward Jerry knocks on the door.
Looks like their dodgy deal has hit a snag and so Ben leaves but not before propositioning his own daughter again.
Audrey lowers her mask to reveal a face strewn with disgust and contempt.

We return to the Great Northern Hotel and Cooper still hasn’t died yet. But then again, I totally understand how long it takes for a person to die from a bullet to the gut. I’ve seen Three Kings and Reservoir Dogs… how funny is that scene where Harvey Keitel is driving Tim Roth to the warehouse and Tim’s like; “I MCUN’T MERLEAVE ZHE TOTT MEH!” and Harvey’s like; “You’re gonna be okay-e-ay!”
I’m in stitches, every time I watch that scene.
I think everyone knows that getting shot in the stomach takes ages to kill you, it’s like, the best place to be shot because you’ve got enough time to watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy before you even need to phone a taxi to take you to the hospital… on the other side of the fucking country!
Wait a minute, why was Lord of the Rings, specifically “the Rings” part in plural? There was only one ring, right? Anyway, Cooper gave his ring to the giant and giants were in Lord of Rings! So, I’m not waffling on, all right.
See… there’s a link.
Now! Watch! As I make a reference to Star Wars(!)… this episode is called; “May The Giant Be With You”.
BOOM!
I swear, I’m going to totally “drop the mic” when I finish this “review” and by “mic” I mean, “laptop”… right out of the window.

8

Did you know that co-creator’ Mark Frost makes a cameo in this episode? He plays a news reporter on TV. And there’s this weird sub plot about bad hospital food. Half this feature-length episode takes place in the hospital. Leo was shot. Nadine is in a coma, Dr. Jacoby is recovering from a heart attack. Shelly and Pete are also in the hospital due to smoke inhalation. Bobby goes to visit Shelly at one point, so he’s there as well. Norma goes to check up on Shelly and while she’s there she also spots Big Ed keeping vigil over comatose’ Nadine. Jacques Renault is dead in a body bag. Oh and that Ronette Pulaski girl from the pilot episode is in there as well… remember her? The studio didn’t have faith in the audience’s ability to retain information so there’s a fancy fade / edit-thing (technical term).
We see her for the first time in a while.
I’m forgetting something?
Who am I forgetting?

2

That’s right, there’s something on the floor of Cooper’s hotel room… not just Audrey’s note that Cooper hasn’t seen yet, Cooper is on the floor of his hotel room. He’s taken a shot to the stomach and now he’s talking to Diane, though he hopes he set his voice recorder onto voice activation mode.
As he laments about stuff, his regrets, how “being shot is not as bad as [he] always thought it might be.” He then goes on to say; “As long as you can keep the fear from your mind. But I guess you can say that about almost anything in life. Its not so bad as long as you can keep the fear from your mind.”
Great advice.
He looks to his left hand and “Oh my god. The ring is gone.”
“At a time like this, curiously, you begin to think of the things you regret or the things you might miss. I would like in general to treat people with much more care and respect. I would like to climb a tall hill – Not too tall. Sit in the cool grass – Not too cool. And feel the sun on my face. I wished I could have cracked the Lindburg kidnapping case. I would very much like to make love to a beautiful woman who I had genuine affection for. And of course, it goes without saying, that I would like to visit Tibet. I wish they could get their country back and the Dalai Lama could return. Oh I would like that very much. All in all, a very interesting experience.”
I love the shoe-horning-in of either David Lynch’ or Mark Frost’s political opinion on China’s occupation of Tibet. You could easily argue that China’s invasion ended feudal and theocratic rule but most of this sentence has been taken from another article that I, honestly, couldn’t be bothered to read.
Yeah sure, let the Dalai Lama return to his country… #FreeTibet… and all that jazz… anyway back to Twin Peaks.

Let’s talk about the four month broadcasting gap. Back when audiences were thrown a pretty hefty cliffhanger, Twin Peaks had become an exceptionally popular show. More than that, it became a monumental pop culture phenomenon.
What does a studio do when a show is popular?
Well, for some reason they moved it from the Thursday night slot, ensuring the often mentioned; “water cooler discussion” where people would chat about the episode with their work colleagues on a Friday.
This helped to generate hype because fuck! Only CERN had access to the World Wide Web in 1990!
People had to make do with TV Guide or a review in a pft… newspaper.
Hah! Losers.
So ABC, in their infinite wisdom decided to move Twin Peaks to a Saturday Night slot, this is a death sentence for shows. It reminded me of when AMC cut the budget in half for the second season of The Walking Dead. That show was immensely popular and they wanted to double the number of episodes at half the cost so that’s why the second season is famously known at the “farm season”. It’s set on a boring fucking farm and hardly anything actually happens.

In 1990, ABC had intellectual property that was sky rocketing and they decided to sabotage their own product. Because, who knows? Maybe they’re idiots or something?
Well, actually this isn’t entirely true. ABC didn’t actually own Twin Peaks and they didn’t have any creative control of it (thank fuck!). I’ve read enough articles on this subject matter to know that the move to a Saturday slot was intentional. The executives had always hated the show for not failing when they thought it would and they would rather lose potential revenue than admit that they were wrong. So they loaded that ship up with plague rats and drilled holes in the bilge, just so that ship would sink… petty.
Fucking.
Wankers.
But all clouds have a sliver of linen and if Twin Peaks had gone on to run for ten or more seasons, maybe it’s significance within pop culture would have diluted and you wouldn’t be reading this shit on your phone while taking a crap when you’re supposed to be working.

6

You’ll never guess who ended up in hospital?
Yep, Agent Cooper ends up in hospital… along with the rest of the cast of Twin Peaks.
Over two thousands words and I’ve barely covered the first twenty minutes of an episode that is an hour and a half long!
By the time you finish reading this “review”, you could’ve watched the damn episode!
Cooper awakes to find Sheriff Truman, Dr. Hayward and Lucy. The good Sheriff asks Lucy to brief Agent Cooper; “Leo Johnson was shot. Jacques Renault was strangled. The mill burned. Shelly and Pete got smoke inhalation. Catherine and Josie are missing. Nadine is in a coma from taking sleeping pills.”
I’m not sure why she felt the need to inform Cooper about Nadine but it’s fun none the less.
By the way, Jacques Renault was not strangled – he was suffocated.
Anyone who knows a thing or two about auto asphyxiation erotica would agree with me.
Jacques succumbed to being smothered with a pillow, Leland Palmer didn’t strangle him at all!

While I’m on the subject, Leland has either been possessed by Bob or he’s turned Super Saiyan.
Yep, I’m totally throwing in a Dragonball Z reference.
Death kinda lost meaning in Dragonball… especially after the Frieza Saga, amiright?!
Regardless, Maddy is still staying at the Palmer household. I’m not entirely sure why but Sarah, Laura’s “mom” asked Maddy if she misses Beth, her own “mom”. Maddy is preoccupied with being fucking bat-shit crazy, I guess it runs in the family.
Anyway, the awesome Ray Wise appears and starts singing; “Oh mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey. A kiddley divey too, wolden ewe.” Try singing that fast!
Both Maddy and Sarah are taken aback by Leland’s sudden hair colour change. Where he once had dark brown hair, he now has silver hair… it suits him to be honest.
Something is seriously amiss with Leland Palmer!

3

In Ben’s office, he’s talking to Jerry about their snag. Ben desperately wants to know the location of Catherine. He also wants to know about Leo’s condition and he also wants an explanation from Hank as to why Leo “isn’t being measured for a plot in Ghostwood Memorial Park.”
Suddenly we hear; “Oh mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey. A kiddley divey too…”
It’s Leland and he proclaims; “I’m baaaack! Back and ready!”
It’s moments like this that seem totally unscripted and improvised. From the moment the brothers Horne start dancing to Leland’s song, I can’t help but feel that the actors were given free reign to do whatever they wanted and if that is the case then that is awesome.

The next scene is set in and around Leo Johnson’s house. For a supposedly big time drug dealer, he sure lives in utter squalor and he even likes to stash his cocaine under some wooden decking… for some reason that is never entirely made clear.
The always fun’ Agent Alfred Rosenfield makes a return and this time he’s here because Cooper was shot. Obviously the Federal Bureau doesn’t appreciate it when one of their field agents is shot and so Alfred has returned.
There’s even a brilliant scene where he’s able to utilise abstract reasoning to deduce the height and even the favoured dexterity of the assailant.
Also, there’s a scene (in the hospital) where Big Ed is telling an empathic Agent Cooper about his history with Nadine. How he was once with Norma, but Norma ran off with Hank. Ed ended up marrying Nadine because he was royally messed up in the head. Then he accidentally shot Nadine’s eye out and while he’s talking about his fucking life story, Albert Rosenfield is there and taking the piss.

Seriously? I have no discipline when it comes to writing these so-called articles. I mean, this episode of Twin Peaks in feature-length and I’ve barely mentioned a majority of this episode. Instead I made lazy references to other franchises.
Case in point; here’s a picture of the late Miguel Ferrer in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock… look, it’s Agent Rosenfield in Star Trek everybody! Two Star Trek references in one article:

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Let’s make it a hat trick… look it’s Madchen Amick in a shit episode of The Next Generation:

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We have a couple of scenes involving Donna and James, basically Donna asked Maddy for Laura’s old sunglasses and it seems like Donna is kinda possessed by the ghost of Laura. She’s acting very strange in deed and I don’t believe this is ever really acknowledged in season two. Characters mention that Donna is acting strangely but it is never really an actual plot point. Regardless, she wants to see James while he’s in jail and she basically wants him to fuck her through the bars. He’s not having any of it because, well… he’s James. He’s a wet flannel of a character.

We don’t get any Leo in this episode, which is a damn shame. Instead we get a scene involving Shelly and Bobby in the hospital. Bobby, for some reason pretends to smoke a curtain pulley and then he ends up pretending that it’s a stethoscope. Now, whereas Donna and James are just the worst, Bobby and Shelly are just great. Their on screen chemistry just works and I swear they were probably fucking off set. Their plot for the remainder of season two is fun, especially involving Leo but that’s an article for another day.

While they’re at the hospital, Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman have a talk with Dr. Jacoby. He’s certainly become a lot less creepy since his debut appearance in the first episode. Anyway, he’s recovering from his heart attack and Cooper wants to know if he saw or heard anything when Jacques Renault was being murdered by Leland Palmer.
Jacoby smelt scorched engine oil… and this is certainly cause for concern. The mysterious’ Bob stinks of burnt oil and according to the tape that James played to Sheriff Truman;
“I never put it together until I heard the tape.” Says James, “Where she says this guy can really light my fire… I remember this one night, when we first started seeing each other, she was still doing drugs then. Well, we were in the woods and she started saying this scary poem over and over about fire. And then she said. ‘Would you like to play with fire little boy. Would you like to play with Bob. Would you like to play with Bob.’”
Truman is taken aback by this, “What did she mean by that?”
“I don’t know. Laura said a lot of nutty stuff. Half the time it just went right by you. This stuck though.”

We’re also not short of scenes in Norma’s Double R Diner. Actually, one of my favourite scenes appears in this episode. I like it and not for its absurdity but for its’ god damned “emotion”.

7

Bobby Briggs saunters into the diner with cigarette in hand and it’s here that he finds his father’ Major Garland Briggs, the Major asks for his son to join him. There’s animosity between them but Major Briggs starts describing a dream he had; “ This was a vision. As clear as a mountain stream. The mind revealing itself to itself. In my vision I was on a veranda of a … vast estate, a palazzo of some fantastic proportion. There seemed to emanate from it … a light from within this … gleaming, radiant marble. I’d known this place. I … I in fact had been born and raised there. This was my first return. A reunion with the … deepest well springs of my being. Wandering about I noticed happily that the house had been immaculately maintained. There’d been added a number of additional rooms but … in a way that blended so seamlessly with the original construction one would never detect any difference. Returning to the house’s grand foyer, came a knock on the door. My son was standing there. He was happy and care free. Clearly living a life of … deep harmony and joy. We embraced. Warm and loving embrace, nothing withheld. We were, in this moment, one. My vision ended and I awoke with a … tremendous feeling of … optimism and confidence in … you and your future. That was my vision of you.”
And while the elder Briggs tells his son of his vision, Bobby can’t help but attain glazed-over eyes.
I can’t put my finger on why this scene resonates with me, it’s probably the superb script and the delivery by the late and great Donald Sinclair Davis, PhD.
His vernacular is endearing, welcoming and yet demanding. It’s a damn shame we lost this brilliant actor and yet I can’t help but feel a little bit sombre in the knowledge that in the past months we’ve lost both Miguel Ferrer and also Warren Frost. It’s also worth mentioning that this episode is dedicated to the memory of Kevin Young Jr. whom died at the hands of his own babysitter. Exceptionally tragic when considering the circumstances.
Kevin Young Sr. was a production assistant on the show and he also appeared in many episodes of Twin Peaks as the fat guy in the diner with the trucker cap.

I don’t want to end this article on a low but it had to be said and my heart goes out to Mark Frost, he lost his father and it’s a damn shame Warren will not be able to see the continuation of Twin Peaks this coming May.

Hey, Audrey’s still at One Eyed Jacks, looks like Cooper HAS forgotten something. Even the Giant informs him of this! We also get a scene where Audrey, who is now held captive at One Eyed Jacks starts to pray for Agent Cooper.
“To be perfectly honest I think I’m in a little over my head.” She says as she hopes that Cooper comes to her rescue. And like all the great characters in Twin Peaks, she is deeply flawed. She honestly believes that she’s going to continue helping Agent Cooper in his investigations.

pulaski

The last scene is possibly one of the most disturbing sequences to feature in Twin Peaks as coma-girl who shares the same surname as… Doctor Pulaski! Four fucking Star Trek references! Holy shit! I’m definitely going to have to drop this laptop out of my window!

5

Jesus, this is a long one. I suppose I could go on and mention that awkward dinner scene where Alicia Witt plays a song… yeah, Alicia Witt, she was in Dune… look;

alicia

And The Walking Dead;

alicia 2

Shit, I’m on a roll here. I’m going to give this episode… I don’t know, erm… 4 Star Trek references out of 3.

I promise my next one will be shorter and it’ll probably have less references.

Yeah right.