Welcome to Twin Peaks:/\/\ First-Watch Recap: Season 2: Ep. 2.3 “The Man Behind the Glass” (Original airdate Saturday, October 13, 1990) — a review

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 “The Man Behind the Glass.”

  • On this day in history, the song “Ice Ice Baby,” by Vanilla Ice, was being heard a lot. It entered the top 10 the previous week and wouldn’t hit #1 until November 3rd. It “borrowed” the bassline from “Under Pressure,” by Queen and David Bowie, who didn’t receive songwriting credit or royalties for the sample until after the lawyers got involved.
  • Praying for Time,” by George Michael, was the #1 single in the US. It was the seventh #1 hit for the late Michael. My ex-wife had a crush on the artist since the “Faith” music video. I told her that I suspected she might not be his type. She said that I thought everyone she found attractive was gay.
  • By 1998, when George Michael came out, I didn’t gloat: by that point, winning arguments with my soon-to-be ex-wife didn’t seem that important.
  • Over in the UK, Bobby Vinton’s version of “Blue Velvet” was #3 on the charts. It was in a television ad for Nivea cold cream, causing a re-release of the single in the UK. Perhaps David Lynch’s movie Blue Velvet inspired the use of the song. If so, there’s your Lynch connection.
  • Meteoroid EN131090 grazed the Earth’s atmosphere above Czechoslovokia and Poland. It was never a real danger to the planet, even if it had entered the atmosphere. The event was significant because it was only the second time such a thing could be scientifically recorded and analyzed, giving scientists more observational data for future events.
  • The movies Memphis Belle and Troll 2 were in the theaters. I saw Memphis Belle later as a video rental. It was okay, as I recall. I’ve never seen Troll 2 (or Troll, now that you mention it). It has a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was intended to be a comedy titled Goblins. Instead, it was marketed as a horror movie sequel that wasn’t related to the original movie at all. In fact, there were no trolls in the movie. Child star Michael Stephenson directed a documentary about the movie in 2009, Best Worst Movie. The movie has achieved cult status and is widely regarded as being among the worst movies ever made.
  • It’s even possible that more people have watched Troll 2 than Memphis Belle at this point. I kind of want to watch it now, too.
  • Our in-story date is Sunday, March 5.
  • Our episode begins at Calhoun Memorial Hospital, where the formerly comatose RONETTE PULASKI is now awake, freaking out, and being restrained. AGENT DALE COOPER and AGENT ALBERT ROSENFIELD join SHERIFF HARRY TRUMAN in the hospital room. Albert checks Ronette’s IV bag and says it looks like someone injected it with dye. Agent Cooper pulls another letter from under one of Ronette’s fingernails. This time, it’s the letter “B.”
  • This part initially confused me. My first thought was that Cooper would have already checked Ronette’s nails the same way he did on LAURA PALMER‘s body. It turns out that this scene is trying to suggest that the slip of paper was inserted by the same person who injected the IV bag with dye. Meaning, recently. Since this detail was never made public, it would have had to be done by the killer or by someone with intimate knowledge of the investigation.
  • Still, no one has killed Ronette. A talking myna bird was considered a big enough threat to warrant assassination.
  • Agent Cooper tells Agent Rosenfield and Sheriff Harry that he believes he was visited by a GIANT.
  • He tells the men about the giant’s three clues: 1.) JACQUES RENAULT in a smiling body bag (which came true almost immediately); 2.) “The owls are not what they seem”; and, 3.) A man who points without chemicals.
  • Agent Rosenfield asks if the giant was any relation to the dwarf.
  • Cut to: the Harold Smith residence. DONNA HAYWARD visits HAROLD SMITH (Lenny Von Dohlen), who is on her new Meals on Wheels route. Not surprisingly, Harold is another weird character in a town chockful of them.
  • Harold tells Donna that Laura wanted him to get in touch with Donna if anything happened to her.
  • You see, he doesn’t like to go outside. I guess that makes him agoraphobic.
  • Harold says that Laura considered him to be a mystery in her life.
  • He used to be a horticulturalist. He keeps it warm in his house because he raises orchids. This made me think about Nero Wolfe, naturally. Wolfe didn’t like to go outside either. He asks Donna if she would be kind enough to place an orchid on Laura’s grave for him.
  • While Harold goes to get the orchid, Donna tries to get a slip of paper partially sticking out of a closed cabinet drawer. But, Harold returns before she can get the paper. He has a hybrid orchid—a “lady-slipper”—for Laura’s grave. He calls the orchid his “last gift to Laura.”
  • Harold tells Donna that she’s every bit as lovely as Laura said she would be. He’s seriously giving off a creepy vibe.
  • As Donna is leaving, she tells him that she will be back.
  • At the Sheriff’s Station, Agent Cooper has written the letters “R,” “B,” and “T” on a chalkboard, as well as the names of the four people who have seen BOB, the creepy long-haired man. SARAH PALMER, Agent Cooper, Ronette Pulaski, and MADDY FERGUSON.
  • Sheriff Harry, still thinking about Cooper’s vision, asks if the giant had a big, booming voice. Cooper says that the giant spoke softly.
  • Agent Rosenfeld makes a few additional jabs at Cooper, then announces that the cocaine found in the gas tank of JAMES HURLEY‘s motorcycle was a match to that found at Jacques Renault’s and LEO JOHNSON‘s places. The boots found hadn’t been worn or tampered with. The letter “B” under Ronette’s fingernail came from an issue of Flesh World.
  • Also, the sketch of “Bob” didn’t get hits in any database.
  • It turns out that Agent Cooper was shot with a Walther PPK, the same gun favored by James Bond. Agent Rosenfeld collected some fibers from outside Cooper’s hotel room and he’s heading for the lab now.
  • There’s still bad blood between Sheriff Harry and Agent Rosenfield, and it appears the two men are about to face-off once again, until Rosenfield delivers a heartfelt monologue.
  • Albert says: “I’m a naysayer and a hatchet man 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.”
  • When Agent Rosenfield leaves the room, Agent Cooper pats the sheriff on the shoulder and says, “Albert’s path is a strange and difficult one.”
  • I’ll concede the “strange” part. These were wholly unexpected words from Rosenfield and cast the character in a new, infinitely-weirder light.
  • In the lobby of the station, DEPUTY HAWK is standing beside James Hurley. Agent Cooper approaches the two men, tells James he’s being released and won’t be charged. He also tells the young man to stop trying to solve the case himself.
  • LUCY MORAN, the receptionist-dispatcher, is trying to come up with as many words containing the letters “B,” “T,” and “R” as she can. Deputy Hawk asks to see the list.
  • DICK TREMAYNE (Ian Buchanan) shows up to take Lucy to lunch. Dick is a foppish man who works in designer menswear at Horne’s Department Store.
  • LELAND PALMER shows up with a photocopy of the “Bob” sketch, which we’ve seen DEPUTY ANDY BRENNAN posting around town. Leland says he knew the man from when he was a little boy. He thinks his last name was Robertson. He lived in a white house next to their property in Pearl Lakes.
  • Robertson. R. B. T. Well, that piece of the puzzle fits, Nancy Drew.
  • Agent Cooper instructs Deputy Hawk to go to Pearl Lakes and find out who used to live in that white house.
  • Leland says the man used to flick lit matches at him, saying, “Want to play with fire, little boy?”
  • Cooper says, “That’s our man.”
  • Cut to: the Double R Diner. Dick Tremayne and Lucy Moran are on their lunch date. They’re at the diner because the restaurant at the Great Northern Hotel is just too fancy, and those may be the only two restaurants in this town of 50,000 people.
  • Lucy tells Tremayne that it’s been six weeks since she’s heard from him. Tremayne says he was going to call, but he lost her phone number. Lucy reiterates that it’s been six weeks, but, prior to that, she says they saw each other every Thursday for six months.
  • She says that six weeks ago, they drank two bottles of Champagne and ended up on a display bed at Horne’s Department Store. She tells Tremayne that she is pregnant.
  • Wait. This douchebag may be the father of Lucy’s baby? Poor Deputy Andy . . .
  • Elsewhere in the diner, James Hurley and Maddy Ferguson are sitting together in a booth. James is concerned because Donna Hayward is acting oddly. She’s smoking and acting all slutty.
  • Donna comes into the Double R and sees the other two at the exact moment they are holding each other’s hand. She tells them that she met someone on her Meals on Wheels route who is “bright and charming and intelligent.” Bright and intelligent must have slightly different definitions. She adds: “Unlike anyone I know.”
  • That’s a burn on James, of course. He’s probably not bright enough to catch on to that. Or, maybe he is. He does ask Donna, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
  • To which she responds: “Why don’t you sit here and hold hands and try to figure it out?” Ouch. I think it’s safe to say that Donna is acting jealous of Maddy.
  • Meanwhile, up at One Eyed Jacks, EMORY BATTIS, department store manager extraordinaire, is filming a bound-and-gagged AUDREY HORNE while BLACKIE O’REILLY prepares another hypodermic needle. Battis and O’Reilly are teaming up to shake down BENJAMIN HORNE. Blackie is making Audrey ride the “white tiger” (meaning heroin, I think), the same way Benjamin Horne got Blackie addicted.
  • At the Sheriff’s Station, PHILLIP GERARD, the famous one-armed man, is showing Sheriff Harry his selection of boots. Gerard suddenly sees the Bob sketch and reacts strongly. He excuses himself so that he can take some medication.
  • Still at the station, SHELLY JOHNSON talks to Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper. She says she’s not going to testify against her husband because she doesn’t have to. Sheriff Harry tells Shelly that they know Leo started the fire and they know that she was there. Shelly says she still loves her husband. Agent Cooper isn’t buying it. He tells her that it smells like insurance money to him, but he doesn’t think that Shelly thought up this scheme herself. Someone else is pulling her strings.
  • In the station mens room, Phillip Gerard, the one-armed shoe salesman, is having some kind of seizure while he attempts to use a hypodermic needle to shoot himself up in the leg.
  • He emerges from the stall and says, “Bob? I know you’re near. I’m after you now.”
  • Agent Cooper enters the lobby of the Great Northern Hotel. The ASIAN MAN we saw in a previous episode is surveilling the room from behind a newspaper like someone in a Bogart movie.
  • Ben Horne is on the phone with his brother, JERRY HORNE, as Agent Cooper approaches. Cooper asks if Ben has heard from Audrey. He hasn’t. The FBI agent says he received a phone call from her but she didn’t say where she was. She did reference seeing him in a tux. He was wearing a tux at the hotel the night he was shot.
  • Ben says that his daughter has gone missing before, on a regular basis, in fact. Benjamin accuses Cooper of having more than a professional interest in his daughter. He also says he’ll call Agent Cooper whenever his daughter comes home to roost.
  • The Asian Man follows Agent Cooper as he leaves.
  • At One Eyed Jacks, Audrey Horne is still tripping balls. She regains consciousness and JEAN RENAULT (Michael Parks), the elder brother of Jacques and Bernard, is there. He gives Audrey a caramel, and then gives her another shot.
  • Emory Battis and Blackie O’Reilly are watching the surveillance tapes. Battis identifies Agent Cooper from the footage. Jean Renault and Blackie’s sister, NANCY O’REILLY (Galyn Görg), are also there. Jean’s character motivation is revenge. He blames Agent Dale Cooper for the death of his brother. Jean has decided to be the go-between in the ransom plot and he will take 30% of the money for his trouble.
  • Blackie O’Reilly wants Jean to take her sister back up north with him. Jean says that her sister is going to stay. He also tells Blackie that they can’t let Audrey live now.
  • Cut to: the Sheriff’s Station. PETE MARTELL calls Sheriff Harry and tells him that JOSIE PACKARD called him. She will be back in town tomorrow afternoon.
  • Sheriff Harry asks a favor from Agent Cooper. He wants to talk to Josie alone before Cooper begins questioning her. Cooper cautions the sheriff not to allow personal feelings to interfere with their work, but of course he will do this favor for Harry.
  • Deputy Hawk comes in with information about the Pearl Lakes house next to Leland Palmer’s childhood home. He says there’s a vacant lot next to the Palmer House, but, next to the lot, there is a white house, all boarded up, and no name on the mailbox. Hawk is still working on a title check, and the utility company is searching their records as well. They won’t have any further information until the morning, at the earliest.
  • The sheriff asks Deputy Hawk if he’s seen Gerard. Agent Cooper’s ears perk up because the “one-armed man” was there. In his dream, the one-armed man knew Bob. The men go to the restroom to look for Gerard, finding the hypodermic needle on the floor.
  • “Without chemicals he points,” Agent Cooper says. The Giant’s third clue.
  • At Calhoun Memorial Hospital, NADINE HURLEY is restrained to keep her from hurting herself. DR. WILL HAYWARD tells BIG ED HURLEY to talk to her, even sing to her if she has a favorite song. Big Ed begins singing “On Top of Old Smokey” to his wife. Nadine busts out of her restraints and begins clapping her hands like a windup monkey clashing its cymbals.
  • She begins to sing a song. Not “On Top of Old Smokey.”
  • The lyrics are as follows:
  • “You’re a Jack/ And I’m a Jack/ And Steeplejacks are we! (Repeated twice)/ And when we climb up to the top/ The cry is Victory!/ V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!”
  • With this, Nadine Hurley is awake. She calls her husband “Eddie,” and then begins talking about cheerleading tryouts and becoming a senior. She believes she’s 18 again.
  • Agent Cooper and Sheriff Harry visit DR. JACOBY‘s hospital room. It’s decorated in a tropical motif and a young woman seems to be caring for him. Jacoby introduces the island girl as his wife, EOLANI (Jennifer Aquino), who lives at their place in Hanalei. They are practicing a type of Kahuna healing.
  • Cooper asks the psychiatrist if he’s ready to be hypnotized. Dr. Jacoby says he’s been under many times. He hands Cooper a paper with the auto-suggestions he uses written out, then asks Eolani to start the tape.
  • Dr. Jacoby also has the sheriff hold some sort of special stone up at the foot of the bed.
  • While under, Dr. Jacoby remembers the smell of burnt engine oil. He also remembers the sound of ripping tape and a pillow going over Jacques Renault’s face. Jacques was making a sound like a dog barking.
  • Jacoby also says he knows who is holding the pillow.
  • Cut to: Outdoor montage. Woods. Moon. Clouds. Owl. The owl hoots.
  • We’re at the Graveyard. Donna Hayward leaves the orchid she got from Harold Smith at Laura’s grave. Donna talks to Laura the way people always talk to gravesites on television.
  • Donna tells Laura that she is mad at her for being gone. She also says that Laura’s problems are still the center of her life.
  • At the Palmer House, James Hurley visits Maddy Ferguson. He says his mother came home all loaded, and that he hates her. He needs to talk to someone. The two begin kissing, so maybe he needed to do something besides talk. Donna Hayward shows up at the door and then leaves. James rushes out after her.
  • Maddy tells Leland Palmer that she came to Twin Peaks for a funeral and it feels like she fell into a dream. People think she’s Laura, and she’s not. Leland comforts her.
  • I’m one of the people who thinks she’s Laura.
  • Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper come into the house, saying that the door was open. Harry arrests Leland Cooper for the murder of Jacques Renault.
  • Donna shows up at the front door of Harold Smith’s House. She’s distraught. She whines about James. Harold says that Laura always used to say: “Donna Madonna, there’s always mañana.”
  • Donna takes a closer look at a flower, a knife and something that says it’s the diary of Laura Palmer.
  • End of episode.

Who killed Laura Palmer?

We still don’t know. We know who killed Jacques Renault, however, and he’s been arrested for the crime.

Ronette Pulaski is waking from her coma, as we all knew she would. Leo Johnson is still in a vegetative state, but is apparently going home with his wife Shelly. What are the odds that Leo will regain full consciousness as well? Nadine Hurley came out of her coma as well, although she believes she’s still a high school senior.

We continue to muddy the waters by introducing new characters and new potential storylines. There’s Harold Smith, the agoraphobic horticulturalist who was close to Laura and has something that may be Laura’s secret diary. There’s Dick Tremayne, who may have to go on Maury with Lucy Moran and Deputy Andy Brennan to see who’s the father of Lucy’s baby. Jean Renault shows up with revenge on his mind, and he’s apparently tight with Nancy O’Reilly, Blackie’s sister. Dr. Jacoby has a wife, Eolani, which may not be important at all, although I believe this fact makes him seem a little less creepy without being any less weird.

Things are happening, though. Some of which may just be artful distractions. The killer obviously visited Ronette Pulaski in the hospital, putting dye in her IV bag and a letter under a fingernail, but didn’t kill her. Deputy Hawk is chasing a lead on Bob that came from Leland Palmer. Jean Renault is going to attempt to kill Agent Cooper when he comes with the ransom money for Audrey Horne. Phillip Gerard, the one-armed man, has returned to the story after it seemed he was dismissed in the first season. Josie Packard wasn’t killed in the sawmill fire, it seems, and will be back in town tomorrow. Meanwhile, a mysterious Asian Man seems to be keeping track of Agent Cooper.

What’s going to happen next? I don’t have a clue. This is a soap opera.

Still a marginally entertaining soap opera, though. I’m giving this episode 3-out-of-5 stars.

Eleven episodes down. Nineteen to go. Will we ever find out who killed Laura Palmer?

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