Welcome to Twin Peaks:/\/\ First-Watch Recap: Season 2: Ep. 2.8 “Drive with a Dead Girl” (Original airdate Saturday, November 17, 1990) — a review

this is not Maddy Ferguson

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 “Drive with a Dead Girl.”

  • On this day in history, David Crosby breaks his left leg, ankle and shoulder in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles, California. His mustache is unharmed.
  • The #1 single on the US charts is still “Love Takes Time,” by Mariah Carey. Can’t be helped.
  • Two days prior, on Thursday, November 15, the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on a classified military mission. This is designated 8TS-38. It is a classified payload for the Department of Defense. Many believe it is military communications satellites and/or stealth surveillance satellites.
  • The day before, Friday, November 16, President George H. W. Bush leaves on a trip to Europe and the Middle East to spend Thanksgiving with US troops in Saudi Arabia.
  • On that same Friday, Rocky V premieres in the US movie theaters. Surprisingly, it will not be the last time the character Rocky Balboa will appear on the big screen. This is the one with real-life boxer Tommy Morrison as the character Tommy Gunn. Morrison is forced to retire from boxing just six years later because he will test positive for HIV. He will die in 2013, from AIDS according to his mother, although his wife will claim he tested negative for HIV after death.
  • Other people in this movie who are no longer with us: Sage Stallone, Sylvester’s actual son, appears as Rocky Jr. in this movie, but passes away in 2012, even before Morrison, of natural causes, at 36 years old (he was a heavy smoker, it’s said); Burgess Meredith left us in 1997; Tony Burton (who will appear in Twin Peaks) in 2016.
  • The In-Story Date? Doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Everyone in Twin Peaks works seven days a week.
  • Palmer House ||| Something bad has happened to MADDY FERGUSON. Is this the next day? Maybe. LELAND PALMER is driving golf balls in his living room. DONNA HAYWARD and JAMES HURLEY stop by to say goodbye to Maddy, but Leland says he dropped her off at the bus station that morning.
  • Leland still sees BOB when he looks at his reflection in the mirror. And, Maddy’s corpse is in his golf bag.
  • Leland puts the top down in his convertible as he drives off. He’s in a happy mood.
  • Sheriff’s Station ||| BENJAMIN HORNE is brushing his teeth in the holding cell. His brother, JERRY HORNE, shows up and says he’s going to handle Ben’s case personally since his lawyer has been charged with a different murder.
  • Ben says he was with CATHERINE MARTELL on the night that LAURA PALMER was murdered. That doesn’t really help his case, since they both still think she’s dead, even though we know she isn’t.
  • The Horne brothers reminisce about their childhood bunk beds and the night LOUISE DOMBROWSKI was dancing on a hook rug with a flashlight in her hand.
  • Whafuh? This story even has a blurry flashback, as if this memory is something that will be important to the story.
  • In the station lobby, LUCY MORAN returns from her trip with her sister GWEN (Kathleen Wilhoite). Lucy introduces Gwen to DEPUTY HAWK, whom Gwen refers to as that “Native person” she’s heard so much about. Gwen has a baby.
  • If I’m remembering correctly, the phone number that DEPUTY ANDY BRENNAN found for Lucy’s sister and brother-in-law connected him to an abortion clinic. Will that be addressed, I wonder?
  • Great Northern Hotel ||| It’s 10:03 AM according to AGENT DALE COOPER, as he dictates his message to DIANE. Agent Cooper and SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN are walking together down a hallway. Cooper tells Diane that he and the sheriff have just been with the ONE-ARMED MAN, or “what’s left of him.”
  • In the lobby, Leland is dancing with a golf club under his arm, as one does. Agent Cooper suggests to Sheriff Harry that maybe it would be best if the sheriff told Leland that Ben Horne was arrested for Laura’s murder.
  • Leland appears shocked at the news. He thought JACQUES RENAULT
  • No, Agent Cooper says. Leland is uncharacteristically stable as he absorbs this information. Leland says, “The law will take care of this.” To which Cooper responds, “As it should be.”
  • As he gets around the corner, Leland begins to cry. Then, to laugh.
  • Agent Cooper tells the sheriff that he’ll catch up with him, and then follows Leland around the corner. He asks Leland that if he remembers anything unusual about Ben Horne’s behavior on the night of Laura’s death, to please let him know.
  • When no one else is around again, Leland resumes dancing.
  • Sheriff’s Station ||| DR. WILL HAYWARD gets a blood sample from Ben Horne as his brother protests the brutal treatment of his client. Agent Cooper and Sheriff Harry are in the room as well. Jerry Horne demands that Ben be released or charged.
  • Agent Cooper shows Ben the secret diary of Laura Palmer. Ben says that he doesn’t recognize it. Cooper tells Ben that they all know about One-Eyed Jacks.
  • So did Laura,” Cooper adds. Then, he reads aloud from the diary: “Someday I’m going to tell the world all about Ben Horne. I’m going to tell them who he really is.”
  • Jerry Horne strongly suggests to his brother that he get a better lawyer.
  • Johnson House ||| BOBBY BRIGGS listens to the tape recording of Ben Horne talking to LEO JOHNSON about burning down the sawmill. Bobby records a copy of the tape to send to Ben Horne. Of course, he doesn’t know yet that Horne has been arrested.
  • Bobby tells SHELLY JOHNSON that the tape is their ship since their cash cow turned into a sink hole. Bobby says he’s going into business. If the business is mixing metaphors, he should be all right.
  • Double R Diner ||| NORMA JENNINGS‘s mother, VIVIAN NILES (Jane Greer), makes her first appearance. She introduces Norma to her new husband, ERNIE NILES (James Booth). Norma still believes that there is a food critic coming. Her mom is staying at the Great Northern Hotel, of course.
  • Calhoun Memorial Hospital ||| PHILLIP GERARD, the one-armed man and host for the inhabiting spirit known as MIKE, wakes up, saying “He’s close.” He asks his nurse for a glass of water. Then Gerard knocks out his guard and leaves through the window.
  • Double R Diner ||| Norma’s ex-convict husband HANK JENNINGS arrives at the diner and Norma chastises him for being 48 hours late. Hank tries to explain that he was away on business. Hank can be charming when he puts his mind to it. He really turns it on with his mother-in-law Vivian. Hank agrees (on both his and Norma’s behalf) to meet Vivian and Ernie at the Great Northern Hotel at 8:30 for dinner.
  • Sheriff’s Station ||| PETE MARTELL shows up while Sheriff Harry is looking at a woodpecker. Pete tells the sheriff that JOSIE PACKARD is gone, and that she left a note. Pete tells the sheriff that, no offense, he loved Josie. Sheriff Harry says something about Josie’s assistant, MR. LEE. Pete corrects him and says that’s Josie’s COUSIN JONATHAN. After they finish talking, Pete says he has a bad feeling about all of this, and Sheriff Harry agrees.
  • Agent Cooper arrives and tells the sheriff about Phillip Gerard’s escape from the hospital.
  • Deputy Andy sees Lucy Moran holding her sister Gwen’s baby, and faints dead away.
  • Down in the holding cells, Pete Martell enters. He plays a tape of Catherine Martell admitting that she was with Ben Horne on the night Laura died. She wants Ben to sign the mill and Ghostwood Estates back over to her in exchange for her testimony.
  • After Pete leaves, Ben trashes his cell, angry that Catherine set him up.
  • Road next to a golf course ||| Leland is driving his convertible erratically. Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper pull him over after he nearly runs into them. Leland says he’s on his way to try out a new set of clubs.
  • He also says he has new information for Agent Cooper. He says he was in Ben Horne’s office late on the night that Laura died. He overheard Ben on an angry phone conversation with someone, saying something about a “dairy.”
  • Cooper assumes he meant “diary.
  • Lucy Moran’s voice comes over the police radio. Sheriff Harry goes back to the patrol car.
  • Leland asks Cooper if he plays golf. Cooper says that, yes, he enjoys the precision of the game. Leland offers to show him his new clubs. Maddy Ferguson’s body is still in the trunk. Sheriff Harry tells Cooper that Gerard was found by the waterfall. They need to go.
  • As the lawmen leave, Leland adjusts his rearview mirror. Bob smiles back at him.
  • Sheriff’s Station ||| Lucy Moran holds an ice pack to Deputy Andy’s head while Gwen talks. Andy wants to talk to Lucy about his “sperms.” Gwen comments that this is all men are interested in. She says her first thought after Little Carl was born was that this was just what the world needed, another sperm gun running loose. Andy tells Lucy that his second test showed that his sperm was viable. Both Andy and Lucy tell Gwen to shut up when she keeps interrupting. Gwen leaves the lobby.
  • Deputy Andy tells Lucy that he knows he’s the father of her baby now, but Lucy doesn’t confirm this.
  • In the conference room, Ben and Jerry Horne, Phillip Gerard, Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper are gathered. The one-armed man says that Bob has been very close, but he’s not in the room now. Jerry Horne again demands that his brother be released or charged, so Sheriff Harry charges him with murder.
  • Cooper pulls the sheriff aside and says that he doesn’t think that Ben Horne killed Laura Palmer. He should be released. The sheriff tells Cooper that he’s backed the FBI agent every step of the way, but he’s had enough of the mumbo-jumbo.
  • He says, “I’ve had enough of the dreams, the visions, the dwarves, the giants, Tibet, and the rest of the hocus pocus.” He believes he has hard evidence against Benjamin Horne, and it’s his job to lock him up. Cooper agrees: this is Sheriff Harry’s back yard.
  • This is the first time that the sheriff has seemed troubled by all the supernatural elements of this investigation. Has he just been humoring Cooper all along?
  • Great Northern Hotel ||| Hank and Norma Jennings arrive for their dinner with Ernie and Vivian Niles. When the ladies leave the table to go freshen up, Hank and Ernie begin to talk. It turns out they knew each other from prison. Hank refers to Ernie as “the Professor.” Ernie tells Hank that he’s been trying to go straight. He met Vivian at a Republican fundraiser. When the ladies return, Hank proposes a toast to the newlyweds.
  • He’s not ratting Ernie out. I bet he has his reasons.
  • Elsewhere in the hotel, Agent Cooper is preparing for bed. There’s a slice of pie and a glass of milk on his nightstand. He activates his microcassette recorder and dictates a message to Diane.
  • It’s after 11 PM. He says he’s close to cracking the case. AUDREY HORNE knocks on his door and asks if she can come in. She asks Cooper if he’s arrested her father. He tells her he has. She asks the agent if he thinks he did it. All she ever wanted was for her father to love her, but she thinks he’s ashamed of her. She also wants Cooper to know that no one touched her while she was at One-Eyed Jacks.
  • The phone rings. Cooper answers it, says he’s on his way, then tells Audrey to go to her room and lock the door. No questions.
  • Exterior (maybe near the waterfall) ||| Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper arrive while a plastic-wrapped body is pulled from the water. It’s Maddy Ferguson, the cousin who looks like Laura Palmer. It’s like deja vu all over again.
  • End of episode

My theory that Maddy Ferguson was actually Laura Palmer with dark hair seems to have been soundly disproven.

I was correct about new characters being introduced to fill the void left by Harold Smith and Maddy, though. Norma Jennings’s mother, Vivian, and her stepfather, Ernie Niles, are brought on-stage to stir things up again and introduce potential plot threads. Hank and Ernie knew each other in prison. This is bound to become a part of the story.

Lucy Moran’s sister Gwen, with her baby, is also introduced. But, she feels more disposable, at least story-wise. We had to have the baby there so that Andy would faint.

Donna Hayward, James Hurley and Audrey Horne were barely a blip on the radar in this episode. The same is true of Bobby Briggs and Shelly Johnson. And, I don’t believe we checked in on Big Ed and Nadine Hurley at all. It seems that Josie Packard has been removed from the story altogether, and Catherine Martell is just waiting for the right time for her grand reentry into civilization.

I liked the macabre humor of this episode, with Leland transporting Maddy’s corpse in his golf bag. Leland being stopped by the sheriff with the body in the car was nearly a Hitchcockian moment. I’m uncertain as to how inhabiting spirits work, but if Bob is pulling Leland’s strings, does that mean Leland murdered his own daughter? That’s dark.

What’s going to happen? I can conjecture here, but my track record hasn’t been stellar so far.

Leland will be found out somehow. Maybe a dwarf and a giant will hand Agent Cooper all of the evidence he needs. This means that Benjamin Horne will be exhonerated and released. But, Ben will also be blackmailed by both Catherine Martell and Bobby Briggs. I’m not sure what Bobby’s angle is, but he told Shelly Johnson that he was going into “business.” So, we’ll see.

Hank Jennings is going to get his step-father-in-law Ernie “the Professor” Niles back into the criminal life, smuggling drugs from Canada, or whatever shenanigans those scamps will get up to. Somehow, someway, Norma Jennings is going to resume her affair with Big Ed Hurley. It’s a foregone conclusion that they will be found out by Hank. With Nadine Hurley believing she is 18-years-old, and not married to Big Ed, there’s no telling what will happen there. No, that’s not true. Her memory will return, all at once. That’s what happens in soap operas. Maybe she and Hank will work together to get their revenge on their spouses.

I have no idea what’s going on with Donna, James and Audrey. They seem to have been removed from all story threads for the moment. I suppose they could continue their Scooby Gang investigation into both Laura and Maddy’s murders now, but that seems redundant to me. Something I can’t predict may be about to happen to engage these characters again.

We seem incrementally closer to solving at least one murder. But, there are still 14 episodes left in the season.

This one was fun. I’m giving it 4-out-of-5 stars, just for keeping my mental gears lubricated.

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