Welcome to my First-Watch of the original 30 episodes of the 1990-91 television series Twin Peaks. Below are the bulletpointed notes I jotted down while watching the episode “May the Giant Be with You.” This is the second part of a two-part recap.
- Over at the Double R Diner, HANK JENNINGS is busy bussing tables as MADDY FERGUSON sits alone in a booth, wearing sunglasses. DONNA HAYWARD comes into the restaurant and joins Maddy. Maddy gives Donna the sunglasses, which belonged to LAURA PALMER (who looked a lot like Maddy, come to think of it), and then Maddy destroys her own presumably prescription glasses. She says she’s never wearing them again.
- I wear glasses. I can’t see well without them. This is a strange thing to do. Certainly not something that someone who really needed glasses would do. I suppose she could be switching exclusively to contact lenses, but she doesn’t say that.
- Donna lights a cigarette. Maddy asks if it’s true what she’s heard about JAMES HURLEY. Donna says they don’t know if they are responsible for what happened to DR. LEONARD JACOBY. Maddy then tells Donna about LELAND PALMER‘s hair turning snow-white.
- NORMA JENNINGS comes into the diner and delivers a letter addressed to Donna. Another clue. The note reads: “LOOK INTO THE MEALS ON WHEELS.” This was just one of Laura’s many side-jobs.
- The LOG LADY sits off in a corner. She spits out her gum and sticks it on the wall.
- Cut to: the Sheriff’s Station. AGENT ALBERT ROSENFIELD examines AGENT DALE COOPER, who checked himself out of the hospital after suffering a point-blank gunshot wound. Albert says that GORDON COLE, their boss, ordered him back to Twin Peaks. Agent Cooper is concerned because Albert isn’t exactly well-liked in the town.
- Albert, who is kind of an investigator-savant—not unlike Cooper—determines that Cooper was shot by a right-handed person, 5’6” to 5’10” tall, at a distance of less than three feet.
- Cooper asks, “Albert, where does this attitude of general unpleasantness come from?”
- Albert responds, “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”
- Cooper says, “Well, if you don’t want two black eyes on a regular basis, I suggest you make some kind of peace with rural life.”
- DEPUTY ANDY BRENNAN enters the room and says that LEO JOHNSON was locked in a jail in Hungry Horse, Montana, on February 9, 1988, when THERESA BANKS was murdered.
- Elsewhere in the station, PHILLIP GERARD, the one-armed man, comes in, looking for SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN. He’s there to sell him some shoes.
- Sheriff Harry is with James Hurley, listening to the tape James found in Dr. Jacoby’s coconut. James claims that Dr. J’s door was open and he knocked, but no one answered. He also says he believes that MIKE NELSON and BOBBY BRIGGS put the cocaine in his gas tank.
- The sheriff and James talk about the mystery man in the red Corvette. James no longer believes it was Leo Johnson. Or, the late JACQUES RENAULT, for that matter. He doesn’t share the reasoning that led him to this conclusion, but James believes there’s another person in play here.
- James also remembers Laura reciting this scary poem about fire in the woods when they first started seeing each other and Laura was still doing drugs.
- It goes something like: “Would you like to play with fire, little boy?/ Would you like to play with BOB?”
- Okay, as poems go, it’s no “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” But, whatcha gonna do?
- Agent Cooper and DEPUTY HAWK enter the room. Cooper tells James that he knows that he has the other half of Laura’s heart necklace. James gives it to Cooper, telling him it was in a coconut in Dr. J’s office.
- Sometime later, Donna Hayward comes in wearing the sunglasses. Someone off-screen gives a wolf whistle. Donna is a bad girl now, smoking a cigarette. She says she’s there to see James.
- Deputy Hawk takes her to the holding cells. They both confirm that none of them have told the authorities anything. Donna and James kiss through the bars.
- Donna is acting strangely sexually forward, and the emotionally fragile James seems put off by this. A sensitive boy, James is.
- Elsewhere in the station, Agent Cooper asks LUCY MORAN and Deputy Andy to search through three-years worth of Flesh World magazines to find a photo of Theresa Banks, which would further connect her murder to Laura’s.
- We cut to Calhoun Memorial Hospital, where Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper come to see Dr. Jacoby. They ask him about the half-heart necklace. Jacoby says that he followed the man in the red Corvette. Leo Johnson. Leo somehow eluded him near Old Sawmill Road. Then a motorcycle came by followed by a police cruiser. Dr. J followed the motorcycle and saw Donna Hayward and James Hurley hide something under a rock. He took it as a keepsake.
- Dr. J says that the necklace symbolized Laura Palmer’s double life. He believes she decided to end her life. She allowed herself to be killed.
- That’s how you do it, doc. Blame the victim.
- Then our intrepid lawmen ask about Jacques Renault’s murder. Dr. J was in ICU when it happened.
- Dr. J says he heard the fire alarms go off, and that there was the peculiar smell of burnt engine oil.
- Elsewhere in the hospital, Bobby Briggs visits SHELLY JOHNSON. He brings flowers. They kiss. The actor playing Bobby still can’t act.
- Shelly tells her lover that her husband tried to kill her. Leo knows about them. Then, the two profess their love for each other.
- Sheriff Harry, Agent Cooper and Agent Rosenfeld all see Bobby Briggs at the hospital.
- It seems that everyone in the cast is at the hospital at the same time. BIG ED HURLEY is there with his wife NADINE HURLEY, who remains in a coma, after attempting to take her own life.
- Agent Cooper talks to Big Ed, so that we can deepen our backstory of the illicit romance between Big Ed and Norma Jennings. Ed and Norma were hot and heavy for a while, and then she suddenly ran off with Hank Jennings, which naturally caused Big Ed to marry Nadine, who was madly in love with him. During their honeymoon, Big Ed accidentally shot out Nadine’s eye when buckshot skipped off a rock. But Nadine was a trooper.
- James Hurley stops by to see Big Ed and the two hug.
- Agent Cooper then sees the body bag. The way it’s hanging with the zipper unfastened, it appears to be smiling. Hey, one of the Giant’s clues!
- Elsewhere in the hospital, PETE MARTELL pushes away his tray of hospital food, which does look disgusting.
- Norma Jennings leaves Shelly Johnson’s hospital room after visiting. She sees Big Ed looking all tender and loving at Nadine’s bedside.
- Cut to: the Double R Diner. Bobby Briggs comes in and sees his dad sitting in a booth. MAJOR GARLAND BRIGGS calls his son over. Major Briggs can’t discuss his work with the government because it’s classified, but he does want to tell his son about a vision he had. It’s that type of series, where things like visions are commonplace.
- Maj. Briggs had a vision about being on the veranda of a vast estate. Lots of gleaming, radiant marble. He makes Bobby cry when he tells him that his vision is of Bobby, finally happy and carefree.
- Norma Jennings returns to her diner. Hank Jennings, her former convict husband, asks about Shelly Johnson. Norma says she can’t talk right now.
- Meanwhile, during this exchange, Bobby comes to the sudden realization that it was Hank Jennings who shot Leo Johnson.
- Cut to: Sheriff’s Station. Agent Cooper is discussing the entries in Laura’s diary.
- On the night Laura disappeared, she made two appointments. She wrote that she was “nervous about meeting J tonight.” She was nervous because she planned to tell James Hurley that she didn’t want to see him anymore.
- Before sneaking out of the house, Laura received a phone call that Agent Rosenfeld says they believe was from Leo Johnson, calling to meet her later that night.
- Laura was with James until 12:30 a.m. At Sparkwood & 21, she ran off into the woods. She met up with Jacques Renault, Leo Johnson and RONETTE PULASKI, and they all went off to Jacques’ secret sex cabin.
- For some reason, the FBI agents believe that Leo Johnson did not leave with the girls while Jacques was unconscious. They believe that there was a third man.
- Here’s the reason: the “Fire. Walk with me” note (remember that one?) was written in AB-negative blood, a blood type that doesn’t match Jacques, Leo, Laura or Ronette. They think it was the killer’s blood.
- Deputy Andy begins crying while hearing all of this. He hasn’t done this in a while. He was too busy accidentally firing his service revolver and hitting himself in the face with porch boards. When Agent Rosenfeld can’t let the crying go unremarked, Deputy Andy angrily tells Albert to shut his mouth and then storms out of the conference room.
- Those left in the room agree that the next course of action is to find the Third Man.
- At the Blue Pine Lodge, Pete Martell finally comes home from the hospital. Sheriff Harry is with him. Pete tells Harry that JOSIE PACKARD left a note saying that she had emergency business in Seattle. Pete says Josie frequently leaves for Seattle, and he thinks her “emergency business” is shopping, because she always comes back with a lot of clothes.
- The sheriff tells Pete that they still haven’t found his wife, CATHERINE MARTELL, who’s been missing since the night of the sawmill fire, and that Pete should expect the worst.
- The phone rings and a stranger asks to speak with Josie.
- Cut to: Great Northern Hotel. It’s the ASIAN MAN with the douchebag ponytail. He hangs up the phone and calls Hong Kong next. What’s this all about?
- But, as long as we’re at the hotel, we get to join BENJAMIN and JERRY HORNE walking through, discussing gourmet food of some sort. Ben asks Jerry if he’s seen his daughter, AUDREY HORNE, today. No, not today.
- The two Hornes enter the office and Hank Jennings is waiting for them, wearing his leather jacket. Ben asks him where Josie Packard is, and Hank says that she left last night. Then Ben wants to know why Leo Johnson isn’t dead like he’s supposed to be.
- Hank spins a crazy story about Leo chopping wood inside the house and patrol cars all over the place. He lost both me and Jerry during this part. Jerry is suspicious because Hank first said that Leo was chopping wood and then said he was in the house. I’m not certain what Hank is really covering up here, but suspect it has something to do with Bobby Briggs being present, a fact he doesn’t share with the Horne brothers.
- Hank seems certain that Catherine Martell is dead, though. He wants to know what to do with the ledger.
- At One Eyed Jacks, Audrey Horne enters the office of BLACKIE O’REILLY. The madam says that the owner was disappointed in her performance. Audrey says he just wasn’t her type. Blackie tells her that everybody’s her type.
- Cut to: the Hayward House. Donna Hayward calls Norma Jennings and offers to take over Laura’s Meals on Wheels route. She asks if she can use the Double R station wagon.
- The youngest Hayward daughter, GERSTEN HAYWARD (Alicia Witt) makes an announcement that she was chosen to be fairy princess in the school play. HARRIET HAYWARD (Jessica Wallenfels) is going to read a poem about Laura Palmer while Gersten plays piano.
- LELAND and SARAH PALMER are there. As are DR. WILL and EILEEN HAYWARD, Donna Hayward and Maddy Ferguson.
- As they eat, Dr. Hayward and Leland Palmer talk about the mill burning down. 150 jobs lost. Dr. Hayward says he guesses that opens things for Benjamin Horne’s development plans. Leland says that, as Ben Horne’s lawyer, he really can’t discuss that.
- I think this is the first time I realized that Leland was a lawyer.
- The discussion turns to Leland’s newly white hair. Leland says that he feels as if a great weight has been lifted from his heart. In fact, he feels like singing.
- Which he does.
- Leland tells Gersten to play “Get Happy,” which he begins to sing. He sings faster and faster while Sarah begins to cry, and then he collapses.
- At Great Northern Hotel, Agent Cooper is in his room at 11:55 p.m. He dictates a message to DIANE. He feels like he has rebounded from getting shot.
- At One Eyed Jacks, Audrey Horne lies in bed, praying to “Special Agent.” She wants to know if he saw her note. She thinks she’s in over her head and wants Agent Cooper’s help.
- Back to Great Northern Hotel. Agent Cooper is asleep as a shadow passes over him. The Giant has returned. He says he forgot to tell Cooper something.
- He says, “Don’t search for all the answers at once. A path is formed by laying one stone at a time. One person saw the third man; three have seen him, yes, but not his body. One only. Known to you, ready now to talk.”
- Then the Giant says, “One more thing: You forgot something.”
- “What?” Agent Cooper asks.
- Then a globe of light passes from the Giant to Agent Cooper’s head.
- At Calhoun Memorial Hospital, the fluorescent lights flicker. Ronette Pulaski opens her eyes and begins thrashing about and screaming. She’s seeing Laura’s final moments. The creepy man with long gray hair is killing her, then begins screaming at the sky.
- This is where the second-season premiere ends.
I get it.
It’s the weird David Lynch element that is part of the attraction of this series. It’s stylish and atmospheric, tinged with the supernatural. There’s a kinky undercurrent throughout the entire show. Barely legal girls in every direction. Drugs. Brothels. Adultery. Murder and arson. Real estate shenanigans. Visions and dreams, and professional lawmen who don’t dismiss such rubbish. Strange supernatural boogeymen in long gray hair, and, now, a giant only Cooper can see.
I get it. That stuff is, for lack of a more appropriate word, fun. I don’t particularly care for fiction where I can predict what’s going to happen next. This show gets bonus points for keeping me confused. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next.
But, I am also a lover of story. The biggest thing that differentiates fiction from reality is that fiction is required to make sense. This series doesn’t always make sense. The central story question—”Who killed Laura Palmer?”—doesn’t even seem to be that important. Plenty of other crimes have occurred since then, including the attempted assassination of Agent Dale Cooper, providing the convenient soap-opera bridge between seasons one and two.
It comes down to Mystery Boxes, even though the concept didn’t really have that name when this series was on the air. Who killed Laura? Who shot Cooper? Where are Catherine and Josie? What’s up with the Long-Haired Man? The One-Armed Man? The Dream Little Person? The Giant? The Asian Man?
And, is there anyone else (who hasn’t seen this series) who suspects that Maddy is actually Laura?
Lots of questions. And, when it begins to look like we might be getting answers, more questions and new characters are introduced, new murders and various other crimes committed, all designed to keep the viewer a bit unsteady on their feet. Since this series was originally cancelled after two seasons, I suspect some questions will remain unanswered.
I’m committed to watching 21 more episodes. I kinda can’t help myself. But, I think this series is just okay, not as great as certain people promised me it would be.