Welcome to Twin Peaks:/\/\ First-Watch Recap: Season 2: Ep. 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (Original airdate Saturday, February 16, 1991) — 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 Condemned Woman.”

  • On this day in history, the Council of Lithuania declares that country’s independence, after decades of Soviet rule.
  • Of all the movies released around this time, it looks like the only one I saw in the theater was The Silence of the Lambs. Still a good movie. I can’t see Ted Levine in anything else—including the television series Monk—without thinking about Buffalo Bill.
  • Gonna Make You Sweat” by C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams still rides high at #1 on the US music charts. “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak peaks at #11, never quite cracking the top-10.
  • The #1 song in the UK may have been “Do the Bartman,” by The Simpsons. Really. I could make this stuff up, but I didn’t this time.
  • >>>Sheriff’s Station ||| SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN and AGENT DALE COOPER listen to the recorded voice of WINDOM EARLE in the sheriff’s office.
  • “Now, Dale, listen carefully,” Earle’s recorded voice says. “It’s your move. Please, put your heart into it will you?”
  • There is a chessboard on Sheriff Truman’s desk.
  • “I’ve noticed a certain tentative quality in your thinking as if your mind were occupied with issues other than those on the board before you.”
  • Earle challenges Agent Cooper to a deadly chess game, through the newspaper. Sheriff Truman asks LUCY MORAN to contact PETE MARTELL, Twin Peaks’s resident chessmaster, and ask him to come over right away. He also asks Lucy to call the newspaper to find out the latest possible deadline for the next day’s personal columns.
  • Both Cooper and Truman look at the white death mask found in Cooper’s hotel room. This is CAROLINE EARLE‘s death mask.
  • Sheriff Truman tells Agent Cooper that she was beautiful. Cooper tells the sheriff that she was the love of his life.
  • >>>Blue Pine Lodge ||| Pete Martell hangs up from talking on the phone with Lucy Moran. He said he’d be right there. After hanging up the phone, Pete takes two plates of food to the dining room table. He places one in front of his wife, CATHERINE MARTELL, and the other in front of Catherine’s brother, ANDREW PACKARD. Pete has arranged Andrew’s breakfast to look like a dog, which amuses both men. It makes Catherine angry, of course.
  • Andrew calls Pete “a prince of a man.” Catherine calls him “a court jester.”
  • After Pete leaves for the sheriff’s station, Andrew and Catherine begin to talk about the Ghostwood project. JOSIE PACKARD enters the room and immediately faints upon seeing Andrew, her husband, whom she believed to be dead.
  • >>>Sheriff’s Station ||| DEPUTY HAWK escorts HANK JENNINGS into Sheriff Truman’s office. Hank is on crutches. The sheriff tells Hank that he’s charging him with the attempted murder of LEO JOHNSON. Hank proposes to trade info about the murder of Andrew Packard. He hints that Josie was the murderer. The sheriff angrily tells Hawk to get Hank out of his office.
  • AGENT ALBERT ROSENFIELD presents ballistics evidence to Cooper that points to Josie Packard as the person who shot Cooper. Albert wants to arrest Josie, but Cooper wants to wait.
  • >>>Great Northern Hotel ||| AUDREY HORNE works at the concierge desk. JOHN JUSTICE “JACK” WHEELER, played by a young Billy Zane, walks up and asks if someone could go to the airport to retrieve his luggage and equipment from his private jet. Audrey is initially rude and dismissive, but Wheeler quickly charms her. He tells her he has a photo of her when she was a little girl. He says that she was cute. I don’t think this was meant to sound as creepy as it does.
  • Even though I already told you his character’s name, it hasn’t been mentioned in the episode yet.
  • After Wheeler leaves, Audrey opens up the letter she received from Windom Earle. It reads “save the one you love” and invites her to attend a gathering of angels at the Roadhouse at 9:30 p.m.
  • >>>Hurley House ||| NADINE HURLEY tells BIG ED HURLEY that she and MIKE NELSON are in love. She breaks up with Ed.
  • >>>Blue Pine Lodge||| Agent Cooper questions Josie Packard about JONATHAN (AKA “COUSIN” JONATHAN) KUMAGAI‘s murder. Josie insists she had nothing to do with it. Catherine Martell is eavesdropping on their conversation. Cooper asks that Josie be at the sheriff’s station by nine o’clock, and then he leaves.
  • Catherine comes in and tells Josie that THOMAS ECKHARDT wants to see Josie alone tonight. Josie is worried that he will kill her. Catherine says her biggest worry should be what he’ll do when he finds out that Andrew Packard is still alive. Catherine removes a book from the bookcase, revealing some keys and a gun. Josie takes the gun.
  • >>>Great Northern Hotel ||| BENJAMIN HORNE, BOBBY BRIGGS, JERRY HORNE, Audrey Horne and Jack Wheeler are in Ben’s office. Jack is officially introduced by name. Bobby, who is now Ben’s “executive assistant,” is introduced as “Bob.” Hmm.
  • Ben Horne reveals his Stop Ghostwood campaign. He plans to stop the Ghostwood Development Project in the name of the endangered pine weasel. Audrey and Bobby share a look, as if both are wondering if Benjamin Horne has gone crazy. Again. Ben also mentions that he’s considering a run for the senate after stopping the development.
  • >>>Double R Diner ||| Windom Earle is there, at the counter, in a disguise. He leaves a note for SHELLY JOHNSON. Meanwhile, NORMA JENNINGS is talking to her sister ANNIE on the phone. Annie is leaving a convent and coming to Twin Peaks. Norma finds the envelope that Earle left and gives it to Shelly. The envelope contains another portion of a poem and the same invitation to the Roadhouse that Audrey Horne received.
  • Big Ed Hurley comes into the diner and openly embraces Norma Jennings. “It’s time for us to be together,” he says. He asks Norma to marry him.
  • >>>Somewhere in the Woods ||| Leo Johnson is whittling arrows for Windom Earle.
  • >>>Sheriff’s Station ||| Norma Jennings visits Hank Jennings in lockup and asks him for a divorce. Hank insists that he’s going to go to therapy. He wants Norma to help him get out of there, to tell Sheriff Truman that Hank was in the restaurant the night that Leo Johnson was shot. If she will give him his alibi, he’ll give her her divorce.
  • In the conference room, where we find the obligatory plate of donuts, Pete Martell helps with planning Cooper’s next chess move. He says Windom Earle won’t be able to remove another piece from the board for four or five more moves.
  • Agent Rosenfield, speaking to Agent Cooper, reveals even more evidence of Josie Packard’s involvement in Cooper’s shooting and Jonathan Kumagai’s death. Sheriff Truman overhears the conversation.
  • >>>Blue Pine Lodge ||| Josie Packard is putting on makeup as her recently-deceased husband Andrew enters the room, bringing her champagne. Josie tells her husband that Thomas Eckhardt made her do it. Andrew tells Josie that he loved her but knows that she never loved him. He encourages her to go to Eckhardt, who still doesn’t know that Andrew is alive, and he will help her get out of the country.
  • >>>Another Place in the Woods ||| DONNA HAYWARD and JAMES HURLEY have found a new picnic spot in the woods. Donna wants James to come home with her. James says he can’t right now. Donna forgives James for his involvement with EVELYN MARSH. James tells Donna that he loves her. She says she’ll be waiting for him to come back.
  • >>>Blue Pine Lodge ||| Sheriff Truman arrives and asks Pete and Catherine Martell where Josie went. Pete tells the sheriff that Josie was going to the Great Northern Hotel to see “an old friend.” Catherine tells the sheriff that the “friend” is Thomas Eckhardt. The sheriff leaves in a hurry.
  • >>>Great Northern Hotel ||| Thomas Eckhardt enters an elevator, where Andrew Packard is waiting for him. Andrew tells Eckhardt that Josie betrayed him.
  • Ben Horne is having dinner with his daughter Audrey and Jack Wheeler. Jack says that he buys bankrupt businesses, streamlines them and sells them after making them environmentally friendly. Ben leaves the table after being told that the chef tried to stab his brother Jerry. This leaves Audrey and Jack alone, of course, although Jack Wheeler is being made to look pretty saintly so far.
  • Although sparks are obviously beginning to fly between these two kids, Audrey begs off early to keep her appointment at the Roadhouse.
  • >>> The Roadhouse ||| Donna Hayward and Shelly Johnson are at the bar. Both received notes and pieces of the poem. Audrey Horne arrives, completing the set. They put their pieces of the poem together and read it.
  • The poem is by Percy Bysshe Shelley, I think, and not worth repeating.
  • Windom Earle is sitting further down the bar, disguised in a trucker cap.
  • >>>Great Northern Hotel ||| Agent Cooper is practicing fly-fishing in his room when Catherine Martell calls. Catherine tells Cooper that Josie Packard is there in the hotel, in Thomas Eckhardt’s suite. Cooper gets his gun.
  • Before Cooper arrives at the suite, Josie shoots Eckhardt, who dies in front of Cooper. Josie aims her gun at Cooper, telling him that Eckhardt tried to kill her. Cooper wants to know why she shot him. Sheriff Truman arrives at the suit as well.
  • Suddenly, Josie collapses. Sheriff Truman cradles her body in his arms and says, “She’s dead.”
  • Cooper has a vision of KILLER BOB climbing over the side of a bed, saying, “Coop, what happened to Josie?”
  • Then a vision of the little man in the red suit doing his weird little dance.
  • Then, back to the present, where a grieving sheriff holds the body of a dead Josie Packard. And, suddenly, Josie’s face appears on a knob on the nightstand drawer. She’s screaming. Trying to get out.
  • Whafuh?

I’m sitting here at my computer keyboard, shaking my head.

I’m not certain what this headshake is meant to communicate, however. Confusion? Certainly. Amazement. Sure, but Amusement and Bewilderment come closer to the mark. I no longer have any idea what story is being told here.

The sudden ninety-degree lefthand turn into Killer BOB world and Josie the drawer pull land did little to deepen the central mystery here, whatever that may be, but did a bangup job of completely waking me from the fictive dream.

I think I’m finally turning against this series.

Two stars this time. I think that’s generous.


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