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 “Demons.”
- On this day in history, the band Warrant breaks into the US Top-10, in the #10 position, with “Cherry Pie.” I’m not sure if it’s the lyrics that make me want to punch the band in their collective face, or if I feel that way about most of these hair-false-metal bands. The song spends a single week before falling down the charts again.
- The big movie winner of the week was Jacob’s Ladder, a surrealistic horror movie staring Tim Robbins. The movie barely recouped its $25 million price tag. Although I remember seeing the movie, I don’t remember anything about it at all, except that it left me confused and agitated. There may have been something in the air that year.
- The actress Mary Martin, who was both Peter Pan and J.R. Ewing’s mom, died of cancer, at age 76.
- “Ice Ice Baby,” by Vanilla Ice is the #1 song in the US, while “Unchained Melody,” by the Righteous Brothers, reigns in the UK.
- LIFE magazine has Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, advertising the movie Godfather III, on its cover. This is the sequel I like to pretend never existed, like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or Fredo Corleone.
- As this episode begins, it’s still the evening of Tuesday, March 7.
- Smith House.|| The same setting as the end of the previous episode. HAROLD SMITH is brandishing a hand trowel at high school students DONNA HAYWARD and MADDY FERGUSON. As you may recall, the two young women had just distracted Harold and tried to steal LAURA PALMER‘s secret diary from his hiding place in the bookcase.
- Harold really thought that Donna Hayward was different. But, she’s just like all the others.
- JAMES HURLEY, who was never fooled in the least by Maddy when she stopped by the Double R Diner for coffee, claiming one was for her uncle, LELAND PALMER, busts in and saves Donna and Maddy. Mostly Donna, because Maddy is standing around looking a little jealous after. James apparently followed Maddy to the Harold Smith residence, where the two young women were carrying out their heist.
- Unfortunately, after all of that drama, they didn’t manage to get the diary.
- After the young people have left, Harold begins to spray his plants. Then he begins to scream.
- Bookhouse.|| AGENT DALE COOPER returns from One Eyed Jacks, carrying AUDREY HORNE in his arms. DEPUTY HAWK is there, as well.
- Agent Cooper examines Audrey, noticing the needle tracks. He says that she’s probably on heroin.
- Audrey begins speaking: “Can you see me, Daddy?” Agent Cooper tries to keep her awake. “His tongue,” she says. “So heavy. A hand in my throat. It hurts me. Oh, God, it hurts me.” Then stuff about “black cold” and “I’m sinking.”
- Audrey finally begins to seem more lucid. She’s glad that Agent Cooper came for her.
- Smith House (exterior).|| James Hurley tells Donna that there can be no more going off on their own. Donna tells James about Laura’s secret diary, and that she also thinks that Harold Smith may have killed Laura. James just doesn’t want Laura putting herself in danger. The two repledge their undying love.
- Bookhouse.|| SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN looks through mugshots until he finds one of JEAN RENAULT, the man at One Eyed Jacks who killed BLACKIE O’REILLY. For the purposes of this scene, we’re going to assume that the sheriff’s office keeps copies of all the mugshot books at the Bookhouse, the secret clubhouse for the group of men who actively oppose the secret evil presence that lives in the woods in Twin Peaks.
- Agent Cooper, meanwhile, is beating himself up because his actions put Audrey Horne in danger. He says it’s not the first time he’s done that.
- Sheriff Harry tells Cooper that Audrey is safe now and that Agent Cooper thinks too much sometimes. He also says that Cooper is the best lawman he’s ever seen.
- Great Northern Hotel.|| Agent Cooper returns the briefcase full of ransom money to BENJAMIN HORNE. Cooper tells Ben he was able to free Audrey without the money. Horne seems relieved to find out that Blackie O’Reilly was killed and that Jean Renault escaped.
- Cooper tells Ben that Audrey is recovering from a drug overdose. Ben asks if he can see her. Cooper says she’s resting comfortably now, but that he’ll call Ben in the morning. Ben doesn’t push; he’s not a doting father.
- I think it’s safe to assume, following this scene, that the in-story date is Wednesday, March 8.
- Johnson House.|| BOBBY BRIGGS is pushing LEO JOHNSON in a wheelchair. Bobby and SHELLY JOHNSON are both upset because Leo’s disability check is only $700 instead of the $5000 Bobby had told Shelly to expect.
- Sheriff’s Station.|| Donna Hayward tells Sheriff Harry about Laura’s secret diary at Harold Smith’s place. Sheriff Harry reminds Donna that the last time they played this “game,” DR. LAWRENCE JACOBY ended up in the hospital.
- Regional FBI Bureau Chief GORDON COLE (David Lynch) arrives, looking for Sheriff Harry. Chief Cole is hard-of-hearing and shouts rather than talks. He says ALBERT ROSENFIELD won’t be back. But, he fulfills Albert’s normal forensics role by imparting the following information: the fibers found outside of Cooper’s hotel room are from a vicuña coat (a type of wool from a llama relative); the drug in PHILLIP GERARD‘s syringe was unique; and the papers found near the train tracks were from what appears to be a diary.
- Then, Deputy Hawk shows up with Phillip Gerard, the one-armed shoe salesman.
- Bookhouse.|| Ben Horne visits his daughter. Audrey Horne hints that she knows some of her father’s secrets. The scene where he is consoling her seems to have an extra layer of creepiness.
- Audrey tells her father that she would like for Agent Cooper to take her home. Ben suggests that they all go together. He’s probably concerned about which of his secrets she might tell the FBI agent.
- Hurley House.|| NADINE HURLEY returns from shopping. She strongly hints to BIG ED HURLEY that she wants to have sex. She still thinks she’s a teenager and doesn’t know that Ed is her husband.
- Blue Pine Lodge.|| COUSIN JONATHAN, the character formerly known as ASIAN MAN, and almost-certainly not JOSIE PACKARD‘s cousin, or named “Jonathan,” for that matter, is getting dressed, which suggests that he and Josie had sex (or maybe I have a dirty mind). He tells Josie that they are leaving for Hong Kong on a one-way ticket. Josie tells Cousin Jonathan that she’s still waiting for the insurance money and for what Benjamin Horne owes her. Jonathan says that the mysterious MR. ECKHARDT wll make it more than worth her while.
- Josie says, “You can’t make me leave.” To which Jonathan responds that he will kill Sheriff Harry if she doesn’t leave tonight at midnight.
- Dock by River (or perhaps Lake).|| James Hurley visits Maddy Ferguson. James feels like he owes Maddy an apology. Maddy says that James looked at her and saw Laura. She and Laura were really close when they were younger. It was like they were psychically connected.
- We get the opening credit synth song during this scene. Maddy says she thinks James and Donna belong together. Maddy says she’s going home tomorrow. She came to Twin Pines for a funeral, and now it’s time to go.
- “Is this goodbye?” James asks, making puppy-dog eyes at her. “I guess it is,” Maddy says.
- Great Northern Hotel.|| Benjamin Horne and Josie Packard drink a toast to the fire that destroyed Packard Sawmill. Josie wants her money. Ben says he won’t have the money until he gets it from the Icelanders. Ben adds that he has a secret dossier on her late husband’s boat going boom. He shows her the key to his hotel safe and threatens to bury her. Josie counters with a key to a safe deposit box in another city, where she says there’s enough evidence to bury him.
- Ben seems to respect Josie’s negotiating skills. He signs over the $5 million Tokyo Bank check he received from MR. TOJAMURA. Josie gives the signed documents signing over the land for his Ghostwood Project to Ben. As Josie leaves, Ben tells her, “Well played.”
- Johnson House.|| Bobby Briggs and Shelly Johnson throw a party for Leo Johnson, complete with hats, balloons and streamers. Leo is wearing sunglasses, ala Bernie (as in “Weekend at…”). Bobby and Shelly begin making out on the table in front of her brain-dead husband. Shelly gets freaked out because she thinks she saw Leo move. Bobby brings out cake. Leo falls face-first into it and Bobby pulls him back up in his chair by his ponytail. Bobby says it’s a good thing they didn’t light the candles. Shelly laughs.
- If this were an episode of Tales from the Crypt, Bobby and Shelly would die horribly at the end.
- Sheriff’s Station.|| Gordon Cole tells Agent Cooper that he reminds him of a small Mexican chihuahua (as opposed to a Canadian chihuahua? Hmm…). Cole tells Cooper that it was Albert’s opinion that he may be getting in over his head again. He says Cooper “went into the chute” in Pittsburgh and wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Cooper assures his supervisor that he is “A-OK.” The only similarity to Pittsburgh is that he was wounded.
- Cole adds that an anonymous letter arrived at the home office with Cooper’s name on it.
- The letter reads: “P to K-4.” Cooper says it’s an opening chess move from his old partner, WINDOM EARLE.
- Great Northern Hotel.|| Benjamin Horne and Leland Palmer walk into Ben’s office. Ben says with his brother, JERRY HORNE, on the road that he needs Leland more than ever. Plus, with recent events, he believes he understands Leland more than ever. He tells Leland about the interested Japanese investors. Leland has all sorts of plans to stall the Icelanders while Jerry Horne finishes checking out the Japanese investors.
- Blue Pine Lodge.|| Sheriff Harry arrives to find Josie Packard already packed and ready to leave. She introduces the character recently known as Cousin Jonathan (and formerly Asian Man) as her assistant, MR. LEE. Josie says she sold the sawmill. It’s over: She’s going home.
- Sheriff Harry says, “I love you.” He repeats it, but Josie Packard leaves anyway.
- Great Northern Hotel.|| Benjamin Horne sits at a table with the mysterious Mr. Tojamura. The Japanese businessman wants to know why Ben has his cashiers check for $5 million while he has nothing. Mr. T says that Ben is wasting his time and they will withdraw their offer. Tojamura claims his family was at Nagasaki.
- On the other side of the room, Leland Palmer begins singing by the piano. Ben goes over to stop him, but the two end up dancing together.
- PETE MARTELL, sitting at the bar, turns around and says, “The King and I.” Maybe the song that Leland is singing is from that musical; I couldn’t tell you. Pete is sitting next to Tojamura. He offers to buy the Japanese man a sake, then an ice-cold Miller.
- Sheriff’s Station.|| Phillip Gerard, the one-armed man, is in the conference room. Gordon Cole says that the “medicine” in Gerard’s syringe contains schizophrenia drugs. They withhold giving him his injection. An “inhabiting spirit” called MIKE takes over Gerard’s body, which is his “host.” Agent Cooper says that Mike talked to him in his dream. Who is BOB? Mike says that Bob was his familiar. He cannot reveal where Bob comes from.
- Mike says: “He is Bob. Eager for fun. He wears a smile. Everybody run.”
- He says that Bob requires a human host, and that he feeds on fears. And the pleasures. They are his children. Mike and Bob were once partners.
- In unison, Mike and Agent Cooper recite: “Through the darkness, the future past, the magician longs to see, one chants out between two worlds: Fire . . . Walk with me.”
- Mike adds: “But then I saw the face of God and was purified.” Mike says he cut off his arm but remained close to his goal: To stop Bob. He also says that the image of Bob on the poster is his true face. But few can see it . . . the gifted and the damned.
- Cooper asks if Bob is near now. Mike says he has been for nearly forty years. Where is he now? Mike says it’s a large house made of wood, surrounded by trees. The house is filled with many rooms, each alike but occupied by different souls night after night.
- Agent Cooper says, “The Great Northern Hotel.”
- And here the episode ends.
So, where does this leave us, after so many weeks of this story?
The Harold Smith cliffhanger was left sort of unresolved. We didn’t get the secret diary, although the close call did convince Donna to tell Sheriff Harry about it. Another result seems to be the imminent departure of Maddy Ferguson, who is planning to leave Twin Pines tomorrow, story-time. I still remain unconvinced that she’s not Laura Palmer in disguise.
It looks like Josie Packard is leaving the story as well, even though Sheriff Harry professed his love to her. She probably loves him, too, but she’s being forced to leave by Cousin Jonathan/Mr. Lee and the mysterious Mr. Eckhardt. This seems to sort of close the chapter on Packard’s Sawmill and the sale of the property to Benjamin Horne.
Likewise, the rescue of Audrey Horne from One Eyed Jacks seems to cut off that particular investigatory thread as well, with the deaths of Blackie O’Reilly and Emory Battis. Jean Renault’s quest for revenge for his brother’s death (brothers, maybe) is still dangling. I guess there’s still some drug smuggling going on as well.
Lucy Moran is still out-of-town during this episode. Come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing Deputy Andy Brennan in this one either. We barely saw Big Ed and Nadine Hurley, and their story seems to be spinning its wheels. Likewise, Norma and Hank Jennings aren’t doing anything noteworthy, and Bobby Briggs and Shelly Johnson are just providing comic relief with the comatose Leo Johnson.
The arrow may have moved a bit on the Laura Palmer investigation, but it’s taken a turn toward the truly bizarre. Bob and Mike are both inhabiting spirits, it seems, and Bob likes to torment and kill people. Somehow, spirits are responsible for the odd goings-on in Twin Peaks. Makes perfect sense. It seems that Bob has possessed someone in town, someone we probably know, and the path indicated by the current investigation seems to lead to the Great Northern Hotel.
So, is Bob inside of Benjamin Horne? Perhaps Audrey (no, she’s too young—Mike said for forty years). Mr. Tojamura? Pete Martell (who was at the bar, remember)? The frustrated lounge singer Leland Palmer? The dementia-addled room service waiter?
Maybe we’ll get some answers in the next episode. Though, considering this show’s track record, probably not any answers that are easy to decipher.
A lot of stylish nothing happened in this episode. More mystery boxes dropped in our laps, for the first time or being reinforced. Windom Earle. Mr. Eckhardt. Mr. Tojamura. The sudden disappearance of Agent Albert Rosenfield (Gordon Cole says he’s not coming back, too). The whole Mike/Bob thing that everyone seems to accept without question. But, in the end, we were just moving pieces around on the board again.
Perhaps pawn to king’s four. One of the most popular opening chess moves, by the way.
This one gets a mediocre 3-out-of-5 stars from me. Something substantial needs to happen soon.