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 “Dispute Between Brothers.”
- On this day in history, the space probe Galileo completed an Earth flyby. The probe had to slingshot around Venus and twice around Earth to build up the momentum to reach Saturn.
- “Because I Love You (The Postman Song),” by Stevie B is the #1 song in the US. The song was written by Warren Allen Brooks and remained at #1 for four weeks.
- The following day—Sunday, December 9—veteran wrestler/actor Mike Mazurki passed away. You may not recognize his name, but you would recognize his face. Mazurki made his living playing henchmen and tough guys in movies such as Murder, My Sweet (1944) and Some Like It Hot (1959). He was, however, a law school graduate.
- In the December 8, 1990, Garfield comic strip, Jon Arbuckle has decided to celebrate Saturday night by clipping his toenails, and Garfield wants someone to call the SWAT team.
- Fantastic Four #347 had a December 1990 cover date. This was during the time that I stopped reading comic books. It seems that the Fantastic Four are dead, and the new Fantastic Four consists of Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Ghost Rider. Yeah, that happened. I’m not familiar with the story arc, but I’m fairly certain that the original members of the FF weren’t really dead.
- Also, the tenth episode of the second season of Twin Peaks aired. It keeps showing the sawmill in the opening credits montage, even though, in the show, the sawmill has already been torched and the land sold by JOSIE PACKARD.
- The familiar synth-laden montage dissolves to an exterior shot of a shadowy, tree-lined road, then to a slow pan shot of a fireplace mantelpiece that stops at the framed photo of LAURA PALMER, whose murder that kicked off the series has now been solved. I think.
- We’re in the Palmer House ||| Superimposed on the shot is “three days later,” which makes this Tuesday, March 14, 1989. Again, I think.
- DR. WILL HAYWARD is in conversation with the newly-minted widow SARAH PALMER. The doctor offers to give her a shot, but she doesn’t want it. She says that every part of her wants to be there “for both of them.”
- I assumed that Sarah meant for both Laura and LELAND PALMER. However, MADDY FERGUSON died recently as well, so maybe Sarah Palmer meant Laura and Maddy, or even Leland and Maddy. I’m going to go with my original assumption.
- Today, Mrs. Palmer is burying her husband next to her only child. This is a sad way to get written out of a story.
- AGENT DALE COOPER, the best lawman anyone has ever known, is there as well. Cooper consoles Mrs. Palmer by telling her that her husband Leland didn’t do these things, and that he was at peace when he died. At the end, Cooper says, Leland saw Laura, and Cooper believes that she accepted and forgave him.
- Agent Cooper tells Sarah that he would be honored to drive her. To the funeral, I assume he means. It’s confusing because the very next scene seems to also be in the Palmer House. I’m happy we didn’t have to watch another funeral scene, but this transition was almost too abrupt for me to follow.
- There’s a big spread of food at the wake. HANK JENNINGS notices NORMA JENNINGS and BIG ED HURLEY talking to each other. Hank brings a plate of food to Sarah Palmer. Sarah is sitting with AUDREY HORNE and EILEEN HAYWARD. DONNA HAYWARD tells Big Ed that JAMES HURLEY is blaming himself for all of this. DR. JACOBY and MAJOR BRIGGS are talking to each other. Major B invites Agent Cooper to go night fishing with him.
- Sarah Palmer, meanwhile, is talking about Donna Hayward and her daughter Laura promising to be best friends forever.
- Suddenly, two old men begin to fight.
- Agent Cooper finds out from Dr. Will Hayward and PETE MARTELL that the two men are Twin Peaks’ mayor and his brother, DWAYNE and DOUGIE MILFORD. Theirs is on ongoing feud that no one’s sure how it started. It seems that Dougie is engaged to a young woman of whom Dwayne does not approve.
- Twin Peaks High School ||| Dr. Jacoby and Big Ed talk to the principal about admitting NADINE HURLEY into the high school as a senior.
- Great Northern Hotel ||| Agent Cooper is packing his bags and Audrey Horne asks him if he’s leaving. He says yes, but he’s going fishing tonight. Audrey pries into Cooper’s romantic history. He tells her that he hurt someone once, a material witness to a federal crime. He and WINDOM EARLE were supposed to protect her, but he wasn’t there for her. Cooper was badly injured, and Earle lost his mind.
- Audrey takes all of this in stride, then tells Cooper that, one day, she will be grown up and then he better watch out.
- Johnson House ||| BOBBY BRIGGS has put on LEO JOHNSON‘s suit. SHELLY JOHNSON asks if Bobby will take her out tonight. Bobby says if he lands this job with BENJAMIN HORNE, he’ll take care of her in ways she never thought of.
- Sheriff’s Station ||| CATHERINE MARTELL is waiting for SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN in his office. Sheriff Harry enters the office, eating a donut, and says: “Forgive my saying so, Catherine. But, aren’t you dead?”
- Catherine just shrugs. Harry asks if Pete knows she’s alive. Catherine says that she and her husband will be duly reunited. She asks the sheriff if he has any questions. He says a couple. Catherine wants to know if she’s under suspicion, and Sheriff Harry says that depends on her answers. He also suggests that she get a lawyer.
- Catherine says that’s unnecessary, since she has nothing to hide. She says she believes an angel saved her life. She found herself in the woods after the fire. She walked through the night and found herself at her old family cabin on Pearl Lake. She ran out of food and came back.
- Elsewhere, in the station, DICK TREMAYNE comes in and talks to LUCY MORAN. Dick says that he needs to care for something more important than himself. He’s become a Big Brother. Dick says that he’s confident that Lucy’s baby is his, and he wants to be a responsible father.
- DEPUTY ANDY BRENNAN, who has been eavesdropping, comes out and says until they find out who is actually the father, they should all be friends.
- Afterward, DEPUTY HAWK asks Andy if he’s crazy.
- Agent Cooper comes to see Sheriff Harry and tells him goodbye. Harry gives him a special lure for steelhead trout and a Bookhouse Boys patch. They all agreed that Agent Dale Cooper was “one of us” now. Cooper says that he is honored.
- In the lobby, Agent Cooper toots his wooden whistle and says goodbye to Deputy Hawk, Deputy Andy and Lucy Moran. He tells Hawk that if he’s ever lost, he hopes Hawk is the man they send to find him. He tells Andy that his bravery is exceeded only by the size of his heart. He tells Lucy best wishes and says she better invite him to the wedding, whoever the lucky man might turn out to be.
- It’s time to shake things up. Enter: ROGER HARDY (Clarence Williams III) and RCMP PRESTON KING (Gavan O’Herlihy). Hardy is a special agent for the FBI, internal affairs, and, of course, King is a Canadian Mountie.
- Agent Hardy tells Agent Cooper that he’s been suspended from the FBI. In part, the suspension is because Cooper crossed the border into Canada to rescue Audrey Horne. There’s also some question of Cooper’s motives and methods. Hardy is waiting for some evidence to arrive.
- Great Northern Hotel ||| Bobby Briggs paces in the hallway. Ben Horne’s secretary comes out, says Mr. Horne wasn’t expecting him, and maybe they could set something up for next month. Bobby tells the secretary to tell Ben that it’s about the tape he received in the mail yesterday.
- The actor playing Bobby is still doing a terrible job. Maybe it’s the way the character was written.
- Audrey Horne sees Bobby in the hallway and, indicating his suit, says it’s a little early for Halloween, isn’t it? Audrey, of course, is able to get Bobby into her father’s office. Ben Horne looks terrible. He calls security to escort Bobby out.
- Bobby shouts, either to the security guards or secretary, “You can tell your boss that that tape was not the original!”
- Blackmail? Is that Bobby’s angle?
- Audrey Horne takes the time to console the young thespian-in-training.
- Sheriff’s Station ||| Agent Cooper is there with Roger Hardy, who asks Cooper what was the purpose of his first visit to One Eyed Jacks. Cooper says he was there to gather information about Laura Palmer from JACQUES RENAULT. Hardy suggests that Agent Cooper lured Renault across the border, where he was wounded while being arrested, and then murdered in the hospital that same night. Agent Cooper reminds Hardy that Leland Palmer admitted to the murder of Jacques Renault.
- The purpose of Cooper’s second visit to One Eyed Jacks was to rescue Audrey Horne from her kidnappers, both of whom are now dead. It seems that Agent Cooper, as a member of a federal law enforcement agency, was supposed to contact Canadian authorities before crossing the border.
- It seems that Mountie King was involved in a six-month sting to arrest Jacques Renault before the yokels from Twin Peaks showed up and ruined everything. The cocaine for the set up is, mysteriously, now missing. The DEA’s been brought in to investigate and Cooper has 24 hours to assemble his defense.
- Meanwhile, Cooper is ordered to surrender his sidearm and badge.
- Agent Hardy calls Sheriff Truman into the room. The sheriff gives Cooper the Bookhouse Boys salute as the agent leaves the room.
- Agent Hardy asks for the sheriff’s cooperation, assuring him that his office will not be held responsible for anything that Dale Cooper is guilty of.
- Sheriff Harry says that, if he understands the law correctly, Hardy needs extradition papers to get a statement from him, and a subpoena from a judge. Harry says that unless they have that paper, they can take their cooperation and stuff it.
- Sheriff Harry says, again, that Agent Dale Cooper “is the finest lawman I’ve ever known.”
- Twin Peaks High School ||| Nadine Hurley, who has been admitted back to high school, is trying out for the cheerleading squad. She throws a male cheerleader through the air like the Bionic Woman. WhaFuh?
- I’m not sure where this Nadine-as-Amnesiac-She-Hulk subplot is going. Feels like a dead end to me.
- Johnson House ||| Shelly Johnson brushes Leo Johnson’s teeth. The phone rings. It’s Bobby Briggs. She’s angry because Bobby’s been gone all day. She says that she wants to put Leo in a home. She wants a life. Meanwhile, Leo moves his chair while she’s on the phone. Shelly ends the scene by telling Bobby that Leo moved.
- Double R Diner ||| Norma Jennings sees that she got a bad review for the diner. Then she discovers that her mother, VIVIAN NILES, is the traveling critic M.T. WENTZ. Vivian still thinks that the Double R Diner is just not a good restaurant. Norma’s feelings are hurt. She tells her mother that she wants her out of her life. Goodbye. Go.
- One Eyed Jacks ||| Hank Jennings and ERNIE “THE PROFESSOR” NILES are there, and Ernie tells Hank that he’s happily married and that he won’t steal his wife’s money. JEAN RENAULT comes in. Hank tells Jean that Ernie can do things with numbers that would make a $1000-a-night hooker blush like a nun. Jean Renault explains that recent developments have left them in a cash-poor situation and that he needs $125,000 immediately.
- Jean gives Ernie a briefcase full of cocaine. The guy who brings in the briefcase is none other than Mountie King, who was with Roger Hardy earlier. Mountie King plans to plant cocaine in Agent Cooper’s car, putting the final nail in the agent’s coffin.
- Sheriff Harry’s House ||| The sheriff is awakened by someone banging on his door. It’s Josie Packard. Sheriff Harry begins kissing her. Josie is dirty and crying.
- In the Woods ||| Agent Cooper talks to Maj. Briggs about his actions, doing what he thought was right and now facing the consequences. The major suggests that Cooper couldn’t do more than that. They are roasting marshmallows at their campsite.
- The two talk about BOB, and whether he truly exists. Major Briggs says that Agent Cooper was blessed with certain gifts, and in this he’s not alone. The major asks Cooper if he has ever heard of the White Lodge.
- Cooper says “No,” but that he feels the call of nature. When he returns, he wants to hear about this “White Lodge.”
- An owl hoots.
- There is a bright white light. And, Maj. Garland Briggs seems to have been abducted.
- End of episode.
After the revelation that Leland Palmer was the person who murdered Laura Palmer and Maddy Ferguson, as well as Jacques Renault and who knows how many others, this episode seemed to be floundering a bit, searching for some kind of story thread.
We introduce a feud between elderly brothers Dwayne and Dougie Milford that seems to be related to nothing that’s come before this episode.
Nadine Hurley, who is experiencing a strangely selective form of amnesia where she thinks she’s eighteen years old again, is admitted back at the high school as a senior. She still has what appears to be superhuman strength for some reason.
Bobby Briggs is either trying to get a job from Ben Horne, or else is trying to blackmail him. Either way, if he’s successful, let’s hope some of the money goes towards acting lessons.
Since Agent Dale Cooper’s sole reason for being in Twin Peaks has been taken away, internal affairs Agent Roger Hardy rides into town with a Canadian Mountie and puts Cooper on suspension until his hearing. This gives Cooper a reason to stay. I had hoped for at least one scene featuring Agent Hardy and Norma Jennings. It would be like a mini Mod Squad reunion.
Also, Norma Jennings’ mom, Vivian Niles, turned out to be the travel critic M.T. Wentz that everyone was looking for. She gave the Double R a bad review. That seems to be the end of this particular story arc (if you can plot an arc with only two points on a graph).
We end the episode with more cryptic talk about the White Lodge, and then continue our backdoor pilot for The X-Files by having Maj. Briggs abducted. The major would play Dana Scully’s father one day soon as well.
Maybe it’s just post-Laura-Palmer depression or something, but this episode felt unfocused to me, scrambling to find a plot, any plot. It’s a three-out-of-five star showing for me.
I kinda want to hear more about Bob and the One-Armed Man, some sort of explanation for what that was all about. This series has only twelve episodes remaining to wrap everything up for me. If, as I suspect, it doesn’t, I’m not going to bother with the movie or the later limited-run series to answer any unanswered questions.