Welcome to another “review”, “retrospective”… I suppose you could call them reviews? After all, I do conclude each article with an arbitrary rating of the episode in question… I guess this is a good segue talk about review scores.
Yes, let’s talk about review scores before I get to the highly nutritious meaty portion of this article.
We start our story in 1984, the year of my birth and a time when we all wore grey jumpsuits and John Hurt freaked the fuck out whilst wearing a fancy rat-cage on his head. Fashion in the 80’s was nuts back then.
Newsfield Publications launched Crash Magazine, it was a monthly publication that was totally dedicated to the awesome ZX Spectrum “home computer” (as we used to call them). Oh and ALL THIS was just open fields back then, Sainsburys was still called J Sainsburys and Liverpool would be Champions of The Football League (something they haven’t done since 1990… because they suck).
Crash Magazine used to review shitty old Spectrum games with an absolute mind-boggling modulus system. Allow me to explain with this prime example of a review for the role-playing game; Dun Darach by Gargoyle Games. Crash Magazine scored it, a very high 97%. Though I’m guessing Crash Magazine scored it highly as a result of the game paying reference to Newsfield Publications’ headquarters. One of the level screens featured the name of the street that Crash was produced. An odd little homage to the popular publication of that time.
Either that or the programmers were telling Crash Magazine, in a subtle way, that they knew where they lived and if they scored Dun Darach badly then they’re going go all medieval on their arses with their fantasy swords.
Now, a 97% scores relatively normal for a product of high quality and there is no doubt that Gargoyle Games did indeed, produce a good product (not bad for a team of two guys) but that score of 97% comprised of six elements, calculated as a mean average.
For example, here is a section of the review:
General rating: An excellent value for money game which has a lot of scope coupled with brilliant scenario and graphics. Truly a mega game.
Use of computer: 85%
Getting started: 91%
Addictive qualities: 97%
Value for money: 94%
Now, I don’t know about you but how the fuck can the “Use of computer” be only 85%? I mean, the game required all of a standard ZX Spectrum’s memory! Dun Darach required 48 kilobytes and most ZX Spectrums had 48 kilobytes. If you had an older machine, you wouldn’t even be able to run this supposed “mega game”!
Okay, some of the other percentages kinda make sense… actually no they don’t! For starters, how the hell can you equate “Getting started” to 91%? Does “Getting started” involve sticking the tape into the player and waiting fifteen minutes for the thing to load?
As for Addictive qualities, go to any rehabilitation clinic and I doubt that they have a modulus scale for hard drugs. Could you imagine a care worker telling you that cocaine is “85%” addictive whereas heroin is “90%”?
Then if you do the maths, this overall score of “97%” is just utter bullshit because I worked out the mean average of those 6 aspects and I got 92!
Dun Darach should have been scored as an overall of 92%! Not ninety-fucking-seven!
My point being is that, if one particular publication from nearly 33 years ago could legitimately score a product in such a way then why can’t I just make shit up?
So, Audrey Horne is waiting for Special Agent Dale Cooper at the The Great Northern Hotel. Our man’ Cooper seems to relish routine and whereas he can often be poetic, he can also be concise. He’s a man that knows what he wants and he seems to always be one step ahead of everyone apart from the mysterious killer. When he orders a pie, he knows exactly how he likes it and when he drinks his coffee, he does so in a manner of a twat you find at a wine tasting-thingy (I’ve never been invited to a wine tasting evening).
Audrey is dressed in seductive red, her face is made up and she looks like the product of the 1950’s, there’s not much in the way of late 80’s / early 90’s fashion sense and this is definitely a good thing. In contemporary shows, women all have the same hairstyle. Watch any show that has been produced recently and every woman has this hairstyle that goes all curly at the bottom but is also straight at the top. Why, why is that?
Actually, I think I’ve figured it out! Allow me to “mansplain” it, you see filmmaking takes a long time and sometimes the production schedule may require a scene to be shot out of sequence with the chronology of the narrative. So, having a hairstyle that is curly at the bottom reduces the risk of continuity errors. Fuck knows if that’s true or not, but it makes sense.
Anyway, Audrey is eagerly waiting for Cooper, just so she can flirt-like-fuck, though I’m at odds here. Is her infatuation just a “schoolgirl” crush (Sherilyn Fenn was 25 at the time of the shooting and yet she’s playing a high school student), or does she have some kind of agenda that we, the audience, are not privy too yet?
I made a mention of the slip of paper that Cooper discovered in the last episode. In that scene, he read it, sniffed the paper and smiled. Now we know why.
Cooper comments on Audrey’s perfume, it’s almost as if he is reciprocating her flirtatious advancements. He then asks her to write her name on a slip of paper while he checks the note he received for comparison.
He calls her up on the whole One Eyed Jack note that she left and she admits that she left it there to help the Special Agent. Even though she wasn’t friends with Laura Palmer, she states that she knew “her the best”. This layer cake of mystery has just laid yet another tier but it’s nice to know that this series does provide answers to the already stated questions. In fact, this episode does answer some nice little mini-mysteries as we lead on to the halfway point of season one.
But for now we have been left with another little detail; Laura Palmer worked with the escaped rape victim from episode one, the one who is still in some kind of TV coma or something. Apparently, Laura and Ronette Pulaski (coma-girl) both worked at the perfume counter at Audrey’s father’s department store. Cooper now knows of the Canadian brothel that Audrey’s father also frequents with his brother. Could this mean that both Laura Palmer and Ronette Pulaski worked at One Eyed Jacks as well? The signs all point to yes but this is Twin Peaks after all!
Sheriff Truman and Lucy enter this scene, Cooper flirts with Audrey before he asks her to leave because he has official police business. It is now apparent that Truman was the person that Cooper rang the previous night, straight after his crazy, crazy dream.
Truman is eager to find out what Cooper knows but instead, Cooper wants to tell the Sheriff and Lucy about his dream. Truman presumes the content of Cooper’s dream and says “Tibet?”.
The Special Agent then goes on to explain his dream but mentions that he forgot who the killer was, instead his dream is a code or something.
“Break the code. Solve the crime.” He re-iterates.
Amusingly, Lucy dictates this with almost child-like enthusiasm.
The next scene involves Sheriff Truman punching Albert Rosenfield, you see, Rosenfield is played by Miguel Ferrer and Miguel Ferrer always plays arseholes that you would want to punch. Apparently, Rosenfield is a forensics expert and he wants to drill Laura’s brain and speculum’ the fuck out of that corpse just so he can find more clues as to who killed her. Surprisingly, he finds a lot! He even comments that, if he had more time to examine her (she was due to be buried and Truman lost his cool with Rosenfield’s attitude), then he would have found a lot more clues.
I like this because Rosenfield is an absolute bastard but he is also absolutely right.
He has no connection to the victim, he’s pragmatic and all he cares about is doing his job efficiently so that Cooper has more evidence and clues to go on.
I’m seriously loving the characters in this show, they’re interesting and exceptionally dynamic.
Another fine example of this can be found in the characters of Big Ed, played by Everett McGill, who also featured in David Lynch’s Dune and also featured in the awesome film’ Quest for Fire and his wife’ Nadine, Wendy Robie… she played a Cardassian scientist on Star Trek Deep Space Nine… in an episode that was pretty forgettable. Oh well, she does mostly stage work anyway.
Interesting fact! The Cardassians made their debut in the Star Trek The Next Generation’s 86th episode; The Wounded in 1991. Three years before Robert Kardashian rose to prominence during Orange Juice Simpson’s 1994 murder trial. Any connection to the Kardashians and the Cardassians is pure homonym only and there is no fucking conspiracy.
I’ve looked and there is no connection.
Though I still blame Kim Kardashian for the terrible occupation of Bajor and the oppression of the Bajoran people.
Digressing back to Twin Peak… Big Ed and Nadine, so while I have poked fun at their dynamic as a comic-relief double act and I even mentioned in previous parts that eye-patch wearing’ Nadine is bonkers as fuck, there is no denying a sense of tragedy. When Ed is around Nadine, he looks off into the distance with guilty resentment.
Then in this scene where Nadine can barely remember her nephew’s name (James the Biker) that I realise that she isn’t “bonkers as fuck” she’s slowly becoming afflicted with a degenerative mental health condition.
She’s grasping onto Big Ed and says; “I used to watch Norma and you at those football games. She was so pretty. And you made such a handsome couple. But I knew, even though I was just a little nobody, just a little brown mouse, I always knew inside, once you got to know me, we’d be together forever”
And as viewers, we know that Big Ed is having an affair with Norma.
All she’s got now is fucking silent runners for her drapes! Oh, and ornaments – she appears to have painted eye patches on her ornaments.
When I first started watching Twin Peaks, I assumed it was just a murder mystery. I knew it would be weird and this is by reputation alone, but I didn’t know that this series would have such an excellent ensemble or tragic characters. Though the acting can be slightly off-kilter and could be described as pretty campy, the characters live and breathe. We end up caring about them and as we reach the midway mark of the season one, what will happen when we draw closer to solving this mystery?
There’s more to these people than their odd idiosyncrasies, they each have their own agendas and they’re not certainly divulging their secrets. I’m also aware that we shouldn’t judge these characters at first glance alone. What are they hiding?
Most of the cast, if not all major characters are in attendance of Laura Palmer’s funeral and after the eulogy, Bobby decides it’s appropriate to chastise everyone. Blaming everybody for Laura’s death. How much of that is true is open to interpretation and who knows? Maybe the killer is in their midst?
“What are you looking at? What are you waiting for? You make me sick. You damn hypocrites make me sick! Everybody knew she was in trouble, but we didn’t do anything. All you good people. You want to know who killed Laura? You did! We all did. And pretty words aren’t gonna bring her back, so save your prayers. She would have laughed at them, anyway.”
Obviously, there is more to Laura Palmer than the girl that everybody loved. She had a dark side but how much of that side played a part in her death?
Bobby’s nemesis’ James doesn’t appreciate Bobby’s outburst and the two run at each other in slow motion. They fight but they’re pried apart by Cooper, et al.
Then Ray Wise collapses onto the coffin and cries as the coffin lowering device (the real actual term for these things) breaks under his weight and so the coffin lowers and rises with Ray on top. This moment is played for laughs. This is demonstrated in the following scene where Shelly is explaining the scene to two old men who laugh as she acts it out in a comedic fashion.
Remaining in the Double R Diner, Cooper is sat with Big Ed, Hawk and Sheriff Truman.
They’re about to let Cooper in on their secret society; the Bookhouse Boys… yeah, it sounds incredibly lame but it’s time to go on an RPG-style Sidequest(TM) and so they bring Cooper to their lame Bookhouse Boys clubhouse where Cooper discovers that James is also part of this super lame secret society.
Truman explains Twin Peaks to Cooper; “there’s a sort of evil out there…something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you will, a darkness, a presence. It takes many forms, But it’s been there for as long as anyone can remember. And we’ve always been here to fight it. The men before us, the ones before them…the ones after we’re gone.”
In the Bookhouse is the brother of the drug dealer that Cooper and Truman are searching for. This drug dealer has ties to Leo Johnson and considering that Leo is their prime suspect, they need to find this drug dealer for some reason? I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention.
Regardless, Cooper then decides to spy on that creepy psychiatrist and that psychiatrist is a one, Dr. Jacoby and he’s dressed like a New Age exorcist as he delivers flowers to Laura’s grave.
Cooper presses Jacoby for information and surprisingly the psychiatrist comes off as not creepy at all. He just really wanted to help Laura Palmer… apparently, Laura Palmer was seriously fucked in the head.
There are also some other “plot-things” but some threads are just not as compelling as others. I believe it would be worth looking over the entire series as a whole if only to see the relevance of some of these meandering plot points.
I also sense that there is a slight paranormal aspect that is slowly working its way into the narrative.
Overall, I have no idea how this series will end.
I’m also well aware that there is a third season on the horizon and I’m not even on the second one yet!
General rating: Some weird shit happened, I was entertained.
Use of time: 33%
Getting started: 57%
Addictive qualities: 99%
Value for money: 84%
Overall: Double Cheese Burger