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 “Lonely Souls.”
- On this day in history, “Knocking Boots,” by the rapper Candyman peaked on the US Top-10 at #9. In all, it would spend two weeks on the Top-10, but there ain’t no shame in Candyman’s game. I remember the track because it sampled “Ooh Boy,” by Rose Royce, who also did “Car Wash.” I’m dancing to disco over here.
- Mariah Carey’s “Love Takes Time” reached #1 this week. I’m not a fan, which is why I led with Candyman. All I want for Christmas is to never hear a certain song again.
- On the previous day, Friday, November 9, the movie Home Alone was released. A funny Christmas movie about negligent parents and a home invasion. I enjoyed this movie, which is notable for making it possible for Macaulay Culkin to land Mila Kunis as a girlfriend. Popular rumor has it that Kunis lost her virginity to Culkin.
- There was no good reason to add that last sentence. I was appealing to the lowest common denominator.
- “Unchained Melody,” by the Righteous Brothers was in the Top-5 in the UK. Probably because of the movie Ghost, which released in the summer of 1990. New life for a twenty-five-year-old tune. It’s still great.
- In the Peanuts comic strip, by Charles M. Schulz, Snoopy is eating pizza while roller-skating, lending credence to the argument that, by this point, the best strips were behind Schulz now, even though they would continue for ten more years.
- I’m not sure of the In-story Date for this episode. Time gets a little slippery in Twin Peaks. It may still be March 8th, but could be March 9th. I suppose this only matters to the truly anal-retentive.
- Sheriff’s Station ||| AGENT DALE COOPER, SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN, DEPUTY HAWK, DEPUTY ANDY BRENNAN, GORDON COLE, and PHILLIP GERARD (AKA the ONE-ARMED MAN) all lean against a wood paneled wall, drinking coffee.
- Sheriff Harry says “they” are waiting for them at the Great Northern Hotel. Phillip Gerard, who is speaking through his inhabiting spirit MIKE, repeats his description of the place BOB—another inhabiting spirit who was once Mike’s familiar—is located.
- “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.”
- Sheriff Harry asks Hawk if he has the warrant for HAROLD SMITH‘s place. Hawk says he’s on his way as soon as he finishes his coffee. Gordon Cole, section exposition chief, tells Hawk that the pages found on the train tracks near the bloody towel were from a diary.
- Agent Cooper says that DONNA HAYWARD mentioned that Harold Smith had a secret diary for LAURA PALMER.
- Gordon Cole says he’s on his way to Bend, Oregon, on a hush-hush mission. Probably difficult to act and direct at the same time. Cole shakes hands with everyone except for “Mike,” whose one hand is occupied with a coffee cup. Cole tells the other men to take good care of Mike.
- Great Northern Hotel ||| We dissolve from that wonderful establishing shot of the waterfall to the interior of the hotel. “Mike” is saying “No” as each hotel guest is brought before him. Many of the hotel’s guests are dressed in sailor outfits and bouncing rubber balls for some reason.
- BENJAMIN HORNE enters the room, smoking his big cigar. At exactly this moment, “Mike” has a seizure. He’s not looking at Ben Horne at that moment, however. The enigmatic MR. TOJAMURA is standing nearby, though, in “Mike”s line of sight.
- We cut to an exterior shot of a police car, the lights in its roof rack turning, driving down a road with a mountain in the background. Then we’re inside—
- Harold Smith’s House ||| The place looks like it’s been ransacked. Flowers are strewn everywhere. Hawk knocks, but the door is ajar and it opens. Harold Smith is hanging from the rafters of his greenhouse.
- Palmer House ||| “Wonderful World” is playing on the phonograph. LELAND and SARAH PALMER are sitting on the couch. MADDY FERGUSON is standing, drinking coffee or tea. She takes a seat between the Palmers and says she feels that it’s time for her to go home to Missoula. She misses having a life of her own. She’s leaving tomorrow, but says she’ll return for visits.
- Harold Smith’s House ||| Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper have joined Hawk. Cooper finds a note on Harold’s body. “J’ai un Homme Solitaire,” which they all say is French for “I’m a lonely soul,” but Microsoft Translator presents as “I have a lonely man.
- Sounds familiar, though. Seems like the creamed-corn child magician next door said something like that, doesn’t it?
- Sheriff Harry says, “Poor guy. It’s a good thing Andy didn’t see this one.” It’s been established that Deputy Andy is a sensitive law enforcement officer who cries at particularly bad scenes.
- Johnson House ||| BOBBY BRIGGS and SHELLY JOHNSON are going through their bills. They have $42 left after paying them all. LEO JOHNSON is sitting nearby in his wheelchair. Bobby begins to whine about having to go home to his parents and back to school. Shelly reminds Bobby that he said he would take care of them. She tells Bobby to take the necklace back to get some money. The police have even impounded Leo’s truck. Bobby is convinced that Leo was hiding money somewhere.
- Leo suddenly begins to scream, which makes Bobby and Shelly scream as well. Leo says, “New shoes.”
- Shelly says, “He’s alive,” which is something I thought they already knew. Shelly then adds that she had taken a pair of boots in for repair. Bobby tells her to find the receipt.
- Great Northern Hotel ||| AUDREY HORNE tells her father, Ben Horne, that she knows all about One Eyed Jacks, EMORY BATTIS, BLACKIE O’REILLY, and Laura. She lets her father know that she was Prudence at One Eyed Jacks, in her little white mask. Ben admits that he has owned the brothel/casino for five years. He also admits to sleeping with Laura Palmer. Audrey asks her father if he killed her. He answers, “I loved her,” but that’s not the same as saying “No,” is it?
- Double R Diner ||| Shelly Johnson tells diner owner NORMA JENNINGS that she’s going to have to quit her job. BIG ED and NADINE HURLEY come in. Nadine still thinks she’s eighteen-years-old. Nadine asks Norma how long she’s been working at the diner. Norma says twenty years, which doesn’t compute with Nadine. Big Ed tells Nadine it’s been only six weeks. Nadine asks Shelly is she’s in their class at school.
- Nadine squeezes the glass of her milkshake so hard that it shatters after she says, “I am so happy.” With a bloody hand, she tells Big Ed that she could just kiss him to death.
- We’ve been getting some not-particularly-subtle hints that Nadine somehow has super-strength. This was even before her suicide attempt that regressed her mental age. She bent the “oars” on her rowing exercise machine. Remember? Maybe it’s gamma rays.
- Johnson House ||| Bobby Briggs arrives with his friend MIKE NELSON. Leo Johnson is there alone. Bobby refers to him as the “late” Leo Johnson. Bobby tells Mike that HANK JENNINGS shot Leo through “that window.”
- Leo says, “New shoes” again. Bobby uses a hammer to remove the heel from Leo’s old boots. What do you know? He finds a microcassette tape inside.
- Sheriff’s Station ||| Agent Cooper sits at a table in the conference room. There’s a plate of donuts nearby, naturally. It’s 2:47 PM and he’s dictating a message to DIANE as he goes through the pages of Laura Palmer’s secret diary.
- Cooper says what he’s managed to put together supports the statements of Phillip Gerard/One Armed Man/Mike. There are repeated references to Bob. Cooper says that he was a threatening presence in Laura’s life from early adolesence. There are indications of abuse and molestation on a regular basis. He is referenced to, on more than one occasion, as a friend of her father.”
- In an entry less than two weeks before Laura’s death: “Someday I’m going to tell the world about Ben Horne. I’m going to tell them who Ben Horne really is.”
- Audrey Horne enters the conference room. She says she spoke with her father. He admitted to sleeping with Laura Palmer, but she doesn’t know how long it was going on. She also tells Cooper that Laura was working at One Eyed Jacks (you have to admire Laura’s Protestant work ethic — how many jobs did this one girl have?). Oh, and Audrey’s dad also owns the brothel.
- Sheriff Harry comes in. Audrey wants to know if they’re going to arrest her father. Cooper tells Audrey not to tell anyone else about this.
- Cooper tells Sheriff Harry, “Without chemicals he points.” Which was one of the GIANT‘s clues, I think. Cooper is referring to “Mike” being denied his chemicals, his schizophrenia cocktail, and fainting just as a “certain person” entered the room. He’s talking about Ben Horne.
- Agent Cooper tells Sheriff Harry that they’re going to need an arrest warrant for Benjamin Horne.
- Great Northern Hotel ||| Ben Horne tells Mr. Tojamura that his brother, JERRY HORNE, checked with his people in Japan and the bank, and he now accepts Tojamura’s offer.
- Agent Cooper, Sheriff Harry, Deputies Hawk and Andy choose that moment to show up and arrest Ben Horne for questioning in the murder of Laura Palmer. He’s arrested before he can sign Mr. Tojamura’s contract.
- Palmer House ||| A record spins with the needle stuck in the last groove. Tick-tick-tick. Sarah Palmer crawls down the stairs. Oh no, I think she’s crazy again.
- Sheriff’s Station ||| Sheriff Harry tells his deputies to take Ben Horne down to the holding cells. The LOG LADY is there. She tells Cooper and Harry that there are owls in the Roadhouse.
- We get an outdoor shot of a full moon behind some clouds.
- Blue Pine Lodge ||| PETE MARTELL is in the kitchen, scared by the sudden arrival of Mr. Tojamura, who embraces him. It turns out that Tojamura is actually CATHERINE MARTELL in disguise. He tells her she looks terrible, but he’s overjoyed to find out his wife is still alive.
- Palmer House ||| Sarah Palmer continues to crawl. It’s kinda her thing. She has a vision of a white horse in her living room. I guess this could be a heroin reference, but who knows? Sarah passes out. Meanwhile, Leland is in the other room, straightening his tie.
- Roadhouse ||| Donna Hayward sits with JAMES HURLEY in a booth. Donna asks him if he’s heard about Harold Smith, and he has. James says Harold’s death was no one’s fault. Donna feels guilty about it. She probably should.
- Sheriff Harry, Agent Cooper, and the Log Lady enter the Roadhouse. When the Log Lady speaks, the men of Twin Peaks take heed.
- A crappy song is being played by a band with a blond lead singer.
- Meanwhile, James Hurley tells Donna that Maddy Ferguson is going home. Donna says it’s weird, because Maddy didn’t say anything to her.
- Donna begins lip-synching the lyrics to the crappy song.
- Agent Cooper looks around. The place is packed. There are not enough venues for crappy music in Twin Peaks. There are people in sailor uniforms here as well.
- Bobby Briggs is drinking at the bar. Lots of underaged customers in this bar.
- The band vanishes as Cooper watches. He has a vision of the Giant. “It’s happening again,” the Giant says.
- Palmer House ||| Leland is checking himself out in the mirror, but it is Bob who is staring back at him. Leland puts on gloves.
- Maddy Ferguson comes downstairs and says it smells like something is burning. Leland/Bob attacks Maddy. Maybe I was wrong about her being Laura in disguise. Leland beats her. There is blood on her teeth. Then, he begins dancing with her, saying, “Laura, my baby.”
- Leland changes from himself into Bob over and over as the two spin in the middle of the room. Suddenly, he smashes Maddy’s head into a picture frame, then slides a letter under one of her fingernails. A “D,” I think.
- Roadhouse ||| Agent Cooper and the Giant stare at each other until the Giant vanishes and the band returns.
- The senile old room-service waiter from the Great Northern Hotel approaches Agent Cooper’s table. He pats Cooper on the shoulder and says, “I’m so sorry.”
- Donna Hayward begins crying in her booth. Bobby Briggs seems upset at the bar.
- Cooper looks around thoughtfully as the episode ends.
Could this series get any stranger? The answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes!”
It seems like we’re closer to solving Laura Palmer’s murder. Benjamin Horne has been arrested for questioning, as a person of interest, but it appears he’s not guilty. At least, not of Laura’s murder. He’s guilty of a lot of things.
Leland Palmer seems to be carrying around the inhabiting spirit known as Bob. Does that mean he killed his own daughter? It certainly seems like he’s killing Maddy Ferguson at the end of the episode. Was Leland around when Phillip Gerard/Mike had his fainting spell at the Great Northern Hotel? Hmm. . .
Other developments: Harold Smith has committed suicide. Goodbye, Harold; Bobby finds a microcassette hidden in one of Leo Johnson’s old boots; Mr. Tojamura is revealed to be Catherine Martell in disguise; the Log Lady says that there are owls in the Roadhouse, but I still don’t know what that means; and, Cooper has another vision of the Giant, this time while he’s awake, but the old waiter is close at hand just like before.
I don’t know if all of this is important. It’s almost certain that some of it is just misdirecting our attention as the show creates its illusions. If Harold Smith and Maddy Ferguson are both truly dead, that can mean only one thing: We’re about to be introduced to new characters to fill the void.
I’m giving this episode a little extra for style points. 4-out-of-5 stars seems fair to me.
With this episode, we’re nearly a third of the way through Season 2. Fifteen more episodes to go.