Twin Peaks “Traces to Nowhere” Episode 2


So in the last review, if you can really call it that, I gushed over David Lynch because, well, he is David fucking Lynch!
But did you know that he was only the co-creator of Twin Peaks, yes! That’s right, it didn’t just come from that twisted brain of his.
On the topic of David Lynch’s brain, I’ve only just realised what his iconic hairstyle is… it’s kinda like; “drunken-Morrissey”!
Anyway, I digress; who is this elusive co-creator? The Alfred Russel Wallace to Lynch’s Charles Darwin, the Nikola Tesla to Lynch’s Thomas Edison, the other half of the collaborative effort that resulted in the cult wonder that is Twin Peaks?
Why? It is none other than Mark Snow who is best known for composing another iconic pop cultural phenomenon; The X-Files theme tune!
Mark was born Martin Fulterman and changed his name during his cumulative teenage years when he joined a progressive punk rock band in the late 1950’s. During that time America was recoiling from having lost the Second Amendment Wars, otherwise known as the War Against Guns… a war that they’re still losing to this very day.
When Mark joined the military during the 1960’s he only had one goal in mind and that was to take every conceivable drug in Vietnam, if only to alleviate the horrors of being in a tropical jungle surrounded by other drugged up Americans in what we now call; The War on Drugs but history likes to call it; The Vietnam War.
It was during this time that he came up with the idea to collaborate with David Lynch on a TV show that wouldn’t air for another couple of decades and because Mark Snow was a twin and he was obsessed with mountains… the name of the show would be; “Twin Peaks”.
In a completely hypothetical interview for a newspaper that doesn’t actually exist he said; “I had this utterly strange dream in the back of a resting Huey gunship helicopter. The propeller blades were rotating, ever so slightly as I peered up at them in quiet contemplation. I puffed once more on my cigarette while The Doors’ The End played on my Ipod. Ipod’s were quite big back then, they could only hold 5 gigabytes and they refused to synchronise with any Windows machine. It was okay, after all, I owned an Apple Mac. I knew my time in Vietnam was coming to an end and very soon President Nixon would be decorating me with the Purple… Badge of er… Hearts? I was quite stoned and Larry Fishburne (as he was called back then) gave me a tab of acid. Boy, did I see some serious shit! David Lynch spoke to me! His face was all like a Salvador Dali painting, melting for eternity and he said; ‘Mark… Mark… MARK!!!! Fucking Twin Peaks, MARK!’ And it was then that I knew what I must do, I had to collaborate with Lynch and make one of the weirdest murder mystery shows ever made!”
The rest is history…
You know what, it wasn’t Mark Snow (creator of The X-Files theme tune), it was Mark Frost an American novelist and screenplay-ist(?) whatever. He also wrote those two awful Fantastic Four films that starred Jessica Alba, the future-Captain America and that Welsh guy who appeared in Titanic (“IS THERE ANYONE ALIVE OUT THERE!”).
What more is there to say about Mark Frost other than he’s top-billed in the “creator” credit and nobody gives a flying fuck about him because David Lynch is, David Lynch so without further tangents (yeah right!) let’s talk about Episode 2; “Traces to Nowhere”.
We start with Special Agent Dale Cooper as he is talking to “Diane” on his Dictaphone.
I’m starting to think that “Diane” doesn’t exist and that Cooper’s poetic and almost exhaustive musings are nothing more than his own way to expel information from his brain.
His entertaining ramblings seem more like an internal monologue that he chooses to say out loud and yet the camera chooses not to show him yet. We see his gun, resting on the bedside table of his “clean, reasonably priced” hotel room. then a rifle that is held to the wall by deer hooves, a stuffed pheasant and a duck, an odd painting of a landscape with three birds ascending, a mounted fish on the wall and then…
Wait… why the hell is he hanging upside down in his underwear?

Regardless, he’s wearing some really odd footwear. They’re actually inversion gravity boots and they’re primarily used by Richard Gere in that movie’ American Gigolo. So, these are a thing apparently?! Do you want to hang upside down? Grab some inversion gravity boots!
So our favourite Special Agent concludes his message to the possibly non-existent Diane with this wonderful bit of dialogue;

“Diane, it struck me again earlier this morning, there are two things that continue to trouble me. And I’m speaking now not only as an agent of the Bureau but also as a human being. What really went on between Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys and who really pulled the trigger on JFK?”

Yep, you’ve got your priorities all sorted right, Dale?
He heads down for his breakfast and then we’re treated to his famous line; “You know, this is – excuse me – a damn fine cup of coffee.” And what makes it so memorable is his delivery. He has such an enthusiasm that is both startling refreshing for a lead character and yet unbelievably goofy. I can’t think of another character like Dale Cooper and that’s great because there can be only one Dale Cooper. He’s an odd specimen amongst many in this show and this is a show where each character has their own idiosyncrasies. Each one feels memorable even if they’re only on screen for a brief moment.
As Cooper is enjoying his coffee he is interrupted by the obviously flirtatious, force of nature that is Audrey. Her screen time is limited in this episode, which is a shame because the actress should have been my 90’s crush. Sorry, Gillian Anderson, Sherilyn Fenn is where it’s at!
She still has an agenda that we’re not privy to and I’m under the impression that she is Twin Peaks’ femme fatale. A clear signifier of this is her red high heels, there’s a reason why the camera lingers on her provocative footwear and red has been reserved for this brand of stock character ever since detective films moved over to colour from black and white.
She doesn’t enlighten Cooper with any new leads or information, instead, she seems to be trying to steer his attention. Maybe she is just attracted to him but if there is one thing I know about Miss Audrey Horne is that she only loves herself. To her, she is a celestial being where other people are merely within her gravitational pull.
And so the scene ends with her asking Special Agent Dale Cooper if his “palms ever itch?”

Cooper finds his way to the Sheriff’s Department where the Sheriff don’t like it, rock the casbah. And everyone is enjoying sweet, sweet confectioneries. Even the human embodiment of helium; Lucy with the voice of an angel if that angel was a chipmunk is chowing down on a donut. The crying Deputy Andy is stuffing his face with a donut and there is like, nine or ten empty donut boxes just sitting there! Even Sheriff Harry Truman is in on the act in a wonderfully comedic scene.
Cooper bursts in, practically has a conversation with or in this case, at Sheriff Truman who has just forced the rest of his donut into his mouth. Cooper has already planned out their entire day but Cooper really needs to urinate so the scene ends but not before he tells Truman about the amazing coffee he just had.
They question Donna’s father who happens to be a physician. He delivered Laura Palmer but he couldn’t bring himself to do the autopsy despite that scenario being wonderfully poetic. Instead, he assisted and we’re given a breakdown of her heinous cause of death, it certainly wasn’t quick and it definitely wasn’t painless. The physician concludes with “who would do a thing like that?”

Well, we’re momentarily dragged away from Cooper and Truman and to the residence of Shelly and Leo. I’m starting to realise that they’re actually a couple and Leo is as abusive as he is suspicious.
He demands that Shelly do his laundry where she makes a startling discovery; his favourite shirt is caked in dried blood. “Who would do a thing like that?” Indeed.
It seems that Leo is more than capable of violence but is he the killer? The red flags are there but they’re so big and garrish as to be way too obvious. I would postulate that this is yet another red herring. Instead of washing his shirt, she hides it. He returns and continues to act like an abusive arsehole by grabbing hold of her cheek and ordering her as he always does.
Yep, Leo is a nasty piece of work alright but I still don’t think he’s the killer.

Back to business as Cooper and the Sheriff interrogate James the biker, the scene is very similar to the interrogation of Bobby from the previous episode. Cooper even shows James the video that he obviously shot and yet Cooper seems surprisingly sympathetic with James.
The biker is hesitant but he answers Cooper’s questions truthfully and we now know that Laura Palmer ran away from James for no discernible reason at half past midnight. He is stricken with grief because that moment was the last time he saw her alive.
We learn that Laura and James had been having a secret relationship behind Bobby’s back but Laura had left for unknown reasons. Cooper displays Laura’s crappy half-heart necklace and asks; “who has the other half of this heart?”. As the audience, we know he buried it and we also know that it was dug up but sod this! We are now treated to one of the, if not most, cheesiest flashback ever committed to celluloid.
The colours are more vivid, the scene is entirely in soft focus and we even have a “wobbly transition”, I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term?

I love this show.
I’m two episodes in and I love this show.
Good work David Lynch and Marky Mark Iceberg.

Hey look, it’s Leo and he’s being an arsehole again and now he knows that his bloodied shirt is missing. He later attacks Shelly with a bar of soap in a sock. It doesn’t matter because Bobby and Not-Eric Stoltz are back and they’re both hamming it up. In fact, the ham is so great its Dukeshill Cooked Wiltshire Ham – On the bone. Regardless of their terrible acting abilities, we do learn a few things, like why Laura Palmer had $10,000 hidden in her safety deposit box and that the money is supposed to be for Leo. Wow, Leo! You might be the real celestial being that everyone orbits!

Did you know that Zooey Deschanel has a mother? Well, I sure didn’t until her “mom” popped up in Twin Peaks. Her character is wheelchair bound but that doesn’t stop her from going fast with those fancy go-faster stripes! I can just imagine a little ten-year-old Zooey sitting on David Lynch’ lap as he directs her “mom”.
“Hey, Zooey’s mom. Keep pretending to be busy. Donna, your fictional daughter, is going to ask you why you didn’t wake her. Just tap on that calculator a little bit, keep your hands busy because you’re supposed to be disabled.”
Note: She’s not really wheelchair-bound in real life and David Lynch didn’t direct this episode. It was directed by Duwayne Dunham who also directed Disney Channel films and edited Return of the Jedi… at time of writing, I was actually wearing a Return of the Jedi T-Shirt, weird.
The scene revolves around the revelation that not only was James in love with Laura but both James and Donna were also in love as well. Twin Peaks has so many love triangles the place is a fucking emotional polygon, it’s a polyamorous polytope of promiscuous proportions and the more we learn about their partnerships the more perspicacious we are of their perpetuation within this place.
Then, by some form of narrative magic, we’re treated to a scene where both Big Ed’s wife and his lover bump into each other at the supermarket. Big Ed’s wife wears an eye patch and she is absolutely obsessed with having silent runners for her drapes. Well, she’s ecstatic because she has finally figured it out and if you too want silent runners, just utilise cotton balls!
Big revelation, right there!

Other than Big Ed being the uncle of the biker’ James. I don’t really know what this sub-plot has to do with the main course of this show. But then I remember that I’m watching Twin Peaks and that maybe I should’ve left my brain at the door.
The crux of this episode revolves around Cooper and Truman’s questioning of some of the colourful cast of characters but another major plot point is that; not only did Dale Cooper drink a “damn fine cup of coffee” today, he also drank the worst possible combination and that is fish-infused coffee courtesy of Jack “Eraserhead” Nance. What is the meaning behind this?

Maybe the plot is trying to tell Cooper that old adage; you win some, you lose some.
Regardless, they question Jocelyn Packard and Cooper had already utilised his keen abstract reasoning method to deduce that the Sheriff and Jocelyn are having a relationship.
The Sheriff already stated that with Cooper around, he may need to study medicine and change his name to Doctor Watson*.
In a way, Special Agent Dale Cooper shares characteristics with Sherlock Holmes.
For those of you who don’t know, Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character by Portsmouth goalkeeper’ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The character of Holmes proved to be very popular but his popularity has since waned and now this marvelous literary creation is relegated to the bowels of google searches. A shame really, for such a great nearly-forgotten character.
*Doctor Watson was Sherlock Holmes’ platonic life partner, not many people know this so I’m very surprised that such a niche reference was made in this episode.
By the end of this episode, we learn the identity of the person who dug up the necklace and it was none other than that creepy psychiatrist; Dr. Lawrence Jacoby and he marvels at the necklace while listening to Laura’s voice on his own Dictaphone… we’re a screen fade away from seeing this guy having a wank.
He’s one creepy fucker but is he the killer?
Who knows? Oh look, it’s the credits.
Rest In Peace Laura Palmer, Rest In Peace.



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