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!
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?
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.
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.
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;
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.”
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.
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!
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”!
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.