Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Twin Peaks: A Fresh Eye (Season 2 Episode 7)


Season 2 Episode 7

You know you’re in for a treat when ‘Directed by David Lynch’ pops up in the opening credits. However, this episode should come with a warning for those of a nervous disposition or an overactive imagination because once you have witnessed episode 7, you won’t want to be left alone with your thoughts for fear of them slipping on some latex gloves and finishing you off.

At the Great Northern, Mike (Gerard) is seated as Andy brings each of the guests in front of him in the hope of finding BOB. The lobby is overcrowded with members of the navy each throwing and bouncing rubber balls. The repetitive noise created by the bouncing balls generates a bewildering atmosphere to epitomize Mike/Gerard’s mindset. As Ben approaches Mike works up a seizure. Although he is not the killer, Ben has very recently been in the presence of Leland.


Hawk discovers the body of Harold Smith. His lifeless legs hang in the room with the orchids. The girls attempted to steal his diary but we mustn’t assume that his disappointment and lack of trust in humanity is reason enough for his suicide. Harold would have us believe that. His suicide note "J'ai une âme solitaire." translates as I am a lonely soul, the same phrase as uttered by Mrs Tremond’s grandson in episode in Series 2: Episode 2. Harold plays on his shortcomings in his death as a means of hiding his true perverse, manipulative, monster, identity. Harold was so ashamed of who he was that he had no choice other than to kill himself. He would know that Donna would be reporting Laura’s secret diary to the police and he would be interrogated, thus revealing the truth about himself. He was not protecting Laura’s secrets. He tore the diary up to make it look that way but if this had been his true intention he would have destroyed it permanently by burning it. His suicide enabled Harold to protect his own dark and shameful secrets.


There’s ‘always music in the air’ as Wonderful World plays as the camera pans over framed photographs of Laura Palmer to reveal Maddy sandwiched between Leland and Sarah and framed by the open lid of the record player. The lid is about to close on this family unit.

Leo’s behaviour mirrors that of Waldo, the bird that he shot in Season One. He bleats “New Shoes” in a similar tone to Waldo’s “Leo, No!”

Shelly hands in her resignation at the RR and breaks the news to Norma as if she were dying. I have previously discussed the duality and repetition in the lives of these two characters. By detaching herself from Norma, Shelly heads in an uncertain and frightening direction, like a lamb to the slaughter. Shelly is significantly over emotional throughout the scene. Norma and Shelly are like two peas in a pod which Shelly is tearing herself away from. The RR special of the day, as stated on the blackboard behind them is ‘Split Pea and Lamb.’

Bobby and Mike discover a tape in Leo’s shoe. A partnership between a BOB and Mike was responsible for murders.

Three alternative endings were filmed to this episode to protect the true identity of Laura’s killer. Ben, Leland and Bob were all filmed but none of the actors were told who the actual killer was. Prior to his arrest, in his office Ben Horne’s face is lit from below, giving him a devilish appearance. The frame of his glasses creates a raised and menacing brow and the reflection on his glasses give his eyes a bright blue and threatening glow.


The music has ended. The needle bounces at the end of the record the fuzz and bounce of the needle is comparable to the ball-bouncing at the opening of the episode. Sarah Palmer crawls down the stairs and calls out to Leland. The camera, at ground level backs away from an empty chair and reveals the vast space of the Palmer living room. The carpet responsible for Maddy’s vision is revealed. The ceiling fan spins and whirs as it did in Sarah’s initial vision following Laura’s death.


The Log Lady warns Cooper: “We don't know what will happen or when, but there are owls in the Roadhouse.” The owls are the spirits that take on many forms and provide Cooper with information
“Something is happening, isn't it, Margaret?”
“Yes!”

There is a full moon in the sky. Full Moons according to lunar myth see a rise in crime, suicide, violence, sleepwalking, and emergency room admissions. Although it hasn’t been scientifically proven the lunar effects are evident in what’s about to happen in Twin Peaks.


Sarah Palmer claws her way into the living room. Her movements are animalistic. As she looks up Sarah has a vision of a White Horse, in a bright light that consumes the space in her living room. There is the possibility that this is an allusion to the Book of Revelations in the Holy Bible: "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him". -- Revelation 6:7. However, according to Native American symbolism, the white horse represents “the whispers of wisdom found in spirit winds.” Considering, Leland is the vessel for the spirit of BOB, the vision of the horse is a relative to both suggestions - the spirit wind as it possesses Leland and the imminent death of Madeline Ferguson and Leland Palmer.


The red drapes of the Bang! Bang! Bar play host to Julee Cruise as emotions are heightened amongst residents. Donna, James and Bobby all appear touched by a similar sentiment. The camera reveals the patrons of the Roadhouse; we see the navy personnel from the Great Northern lobby and assorted bikers.

The dilatory waiter, who discovered Cooper after he'd been shot, is sat at the bar. Julee and the music fade away from the stage and are replaced by Cooper’s vision. The Giant is framed on the stage, in a harsh spotlight. He tells Cooper. "It is happening again. It is happening again."


At the Palmer's, Leland continues to look in the mirror. At first, we see his reflection, then another glance reveals BOBs reflection. He turns around puts on a pair of latex gloves. Maddy comes down the stairs calling out for Leland and Sarah, shouting "What's that smell? It smells like something's burning." The smell of scorched oil when Jacques Renault was murdered was memorable to Doctor Jacobi and in later episodes we find out that at the entrance to the Black Lodge there is a strong smell of scorched oil. Could this be the smell that Maddy is referring to?



Maddy notices Sarah lying unconscious on the floor, then sees Leland looking at her with his hands in the gloves. She attempts to run up the stairs screaming and Leland chases her and forces her back down to the living room. Under a harsh spotlight we see Leland as BOB, beating Maddy and chasing her around the room. As the murderer switches between characters the noticeable difference in the scene is the lighting. A spotlight is present each time BOB is seen. It lights both Maddy and the killer. The spotlight also lit the Giant in the previous scene signifying a likeness between the characters, symptomatic of them being from the same place – the Black Lodge.


BOB grabs Maddy and throws her onto the sofa. Leland appears again and hits Maddy hard in the face twice. The camera films from directly above Maddy’s point of view and the effect of the punch is gut-wrenching as Lynch momentarily places the viewer in the defenceless position of the victim.

Following more violence, Maddy chokes, her mouth is bloody as Laura’s was in Ronette’s vision. BOB is kissing her all over her face and neck while they dance, then he says "Leland says, you're going back to Missoula, MONTANA". What does this say about the relationship between the spirit and the host? In BOB saying ‘Leland says..’ it suggests not all information is available to BOB. Does he forcefully extract the information from his host? Is this the reason for the murder? It is the only explanation given to her. Maybe Maddy’s similarities to Laura triggered something in the killer to re-live the thrill of his previous murder.


He grabs her hair and in a final act of brutality throws her across the room and slams her face into a glass picture frame and she falls, covered in blood onto the carpet on which she saw her blood smeared vision. A letter is placed under her ring fingernail as she lies on the carpet dead. Mike revealed in Series 2 Episode 6 that the only people who can see BOB’s true face ‘are the gifted and the damned.’ We had seen BOB from Maddy’s perspective in her visions but assumed she shared the gift of her aunt Sarah. We now know that Madeline Ferguson was the latter.


Cooper’s vision ends and he checks his finger to see if the giant has returned his ring. He has not. The dilatory waiter approaches Cooper from the bar and says, "I'm so sorry." The waiter was present the first time Cooper visualised the Giant and here he is again. Is the waiter the vessel for the Giant? His comments are vague yet otherworldly. Cooper’s face fades into the red curtains of the Road House as the most disturbing episode ever comes to an end.

 Read all of Twin Peaks: A Fresh Eye on Culturine

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