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 by 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 climactic 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 rating 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 our 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 an active day and night cycle and nearly every character has a routine that is set to timetable (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 a 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 sleepwear” 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. Modeled 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 sleepwear, 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? Well, 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 traveling 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 owners, 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 were; 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, my brother and I were stuck. Stuck between an upgraded 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 run up to Legate Lanius and utilised 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 I 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 a 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 through to September of 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 analytically predicative eyes. So, as long as the tracking lines were relegated to either the top and bottom of the screen then chances were that they would have noticed (despite being shot three times) that only one bullet had caused an entry wound.
With the advent of the Deluxe Visual Datadisks (more commonly known as the DVD), viewers would have noticed that 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 the 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. Portrayed by veteran cowboy actor Hank Worden what, at the time was over 90 years old at the time of filming.
He doesn’t seem to realise that Cooper had been shot nor had anyone been alerted by the multiple gunshots. Instead, this old cowboy dressed as a waiter wanders over to Cooper and asks; “How’re you 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 man Hank’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.
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 hand gestures but he’s completely oblivious to Cooper’s potentially 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 elated. 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 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 going to be 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 states that he will return it to him when finds 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 Jacks 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 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 hiding 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 was 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… there’s a link.
Now! Watch! As I make a reference to Star Wars(!)… this episode is called; “May The Giant Be With You”… like “May The Force 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 subplot 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?

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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. It’s 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 finish reading.
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 cultural phenomenon.
What does a studio do when a show is popular?
Well, for some reason they moved away 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 as the “farm season”. It’s set on a boring fucking farm and hardly anything actually happens.

In 1990, ABC had intellectual property that was skyrocketing 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 thousand 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:

ferrer

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

madchen

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 indeed 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 offset. 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 a 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 a 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 wellsprings 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 carefree. 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. who 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 fewer references (and quotes).

Yeah right.