Saturday, 27 November 2010

Twin Peaks: A Fresh Eye (Season 2 - Episode 2)

S2 Episode 2

Windom Earl is firmly planted in our conscience, when Cooper is told that his crazed ex-partner has disappeared ‘into thin air’. A trick we see in FWWM and further episodes including the entrance to the Black Lodge.

Donna’s takeover of Laura’s meals on wheels service takes her to Mrs Tremond. In a moment of eerie genius, the viewer is placed in the room prior to Donna. We are met by complete silence. Mrs Tremond is laid in bed whilst her grandson sits, formally dressed, in an oversized chair. They exist solely to serve the purpose of others. When alone, their existence is futile. The magic grandson is played by David Lynch’s son and theorists have suggested that the Grandson and Gordon Cole (David Lynch’s character) are one and the same. I will look at this theory thoroughly in a future FWWM post. The Tremond’s appear in FWWM’s scene above the convenience store with The Man from Another Place and BOB, which affirms their otherworldly pedigree. The ‘creamed corn’ trick is reminiscent of the scene involving the Mystery Man, Fred Madison and the phone call in Lost Highway (1997). It is a wonderfully constructed scene. When Donna asks the Tremond’s if they knew Laura well, the delivery of the word ‘no’ generates great suspicion along with a sense of fear. A fear of the secrets they are undoubtedly keeping.

In Ben Horne’s office Leland first lays eyes on BOB’s wanted poster. “I know him” he states, present tense and then tells of how he lived next door to his grandma’s summer house when he was a little boy. In the same scene Jerry asks his brother, “Is this real Ben, or just some strange and twisted dream?”

At the Sherriff’s office, Lucy receives a phone call from a ‘mystery person’. The caller refuses to reveal identity to Lucy so she refuses to put the call through to the Sherriff. Who is this ‘mystery person’? We are aware that Leland is on his way to share his information about the wanted poster. Could this mystery person have something to do with his inhabiting spirit? Can Bob use a phone? Albert also asks in this episode "Has anyone seen BOB on earth in the last few weeks?"

After being told by the Log Lady to “deliver the message” Major Briggs arrives at Coopers hotel room. He shows Cooper a print out of deep space information that he keeps track of at his work. He tells Cooper that he must maintain deep space monitors and that they receive communication space garbage. Between Thursday night and Friday morning when Cooper was shot, there was a change in the readout. Amidst a mass of numbers he reads, “The owls are not what they seem." Then further down the page, “Cooper, Cooper, Cooper." This introduces a science-fiction element to the Giant. The Giant is an inhuman visitor, who in the tradition of aliens/ufos has the ability to disappear into a ball of bright light.

 “Just you, and I”. What begins as a scene of laughable Happy Days style pulp, soon ends with a roar of inexplicable gut wrenching terror. Like many Twin Peaks fans, I have been haunted by this scene for the past twenty years. However, in my mind I had set the scene in the Palmer household, whereas in pseudo-reality it took place at the Heyward residence. To begin with there is mild melodrama in the performance of the song as James is confused as to which of the girls he is singing too. Donna, feeling rejected leaves the room, quickly followed by James, leaving poor Maddy all alone. The telephone rings for Donna, it’s Harold Smith. James is still absent from the room which suggests he may have something to do with what follows. From Maddy’s point of view, the man we now know as BOB slowly enters the room, and approaches Maddy/the viewer in an animalistic motion. Eventually he crawls over the sofa and forces himself onto Maddy, filling her field of vision and almost bursting out of the television. The question then is what was BOB doing at the Heywards? Are we supposed to believe that James has metamorphosed into BOB? Maddy obviously shares Laura and Sarah’s gift for strange dreams and visions. The blood on the carpet and the terrifying approach of BOB, knowing as I do what happens in episode 7, would suggest this is a premonition. Donna and James see nothing.

The Giant waves his hand in front of a sleeping Cooper. We’re the presented with an image of Ronette and then a blurred impression of BOB. The Giant says," The owls are not what they seem." Then Briggs repeats the line. So far the dream is in line with Cooper’s subconscious. He is re-living his day and the case in sleep. However, we then see BOB and an owl superimposed over his face. Sarah runs down the steps of her house. BOB walks closer and then comes into focus and laughs.

 The image of BOB and Sarah on the stairs was formerly exclusive property of Sarah Palmer. Cooper shows an extension of his psychic capacity as he has the ability to tune in to the dreams and visions of others. BOB coming into focus also coincides with Maddy’s vision. The imagery used of Cooper and the bright white lights support the sci-fi element as mentioned previously. Was the dream taking place in Cooper’s mind or did the Giant plant it there?

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