Monday, June 12, 2017

Twin Peaks s03e05 Spoiler Recap

The title of this episode is "Vegas, Baby."


Not the best episode so far.  The dangerous-Agent-Cooper-in-jail story line has moved along an inch or two, when Cooper uses his one phone call to somehow (with touch tones alone) hack into the jail's alarm system.  We see the incapacitated-Agent-Cooper-as-Dougie at work (he's in Life Insurance), but it all seems for comic effect; story line barely moved at all.

Most of the rest of the episode is devoted to short vignettes introducing new characters with new threads, which we know from Lynch' Twin Peaks work in general (especially season 2), might be relevant, or might be false leads.  For some reason Lynch likes producing that kind of fatigue in his audience.

Specifically:  we meet a young couple who is sponging off of Shelly, who still works at the Double R Diner ("NOW, Shelly"...that Shelly), a misogynist/drug dealer who hangs out at the Bang! Bang! bar, and a military career gal who's going to get the "Area 52" branch of the military involved in the ongoing murder investigation in South Dakota.

There is one bright spot in the Dougie story.  Although he has a long way to go to recovery, the incapacitated-Agent-Cooper-as-Dougie shows momentary sparks of recognition.  Every now and then someone says a word or phrase that strikes a chord in Dougie's FBI self, such as "case file":  he stops, repeats the word, and seems to think about it.  The best one is the effect the word "coffee" has on him, that really gets a rise!  He actually gets his hands on a cup of Starbucks and suckles it likes it's a baby bottle containing life itself.

The brightest spot in the episode is our learning of what Dr. Lawrence Jacoby has been doing with himself.  We've seen him receiving a shipment of standard hardware store shovels via UPS.  Later, he painstakingly spraypainted them gold.  And now we see that he hosts, under the name "Dr. Amp",  a periodic video/podcast show about conspiracy theories, the evils of government, and the poisoning of our environment by multinational corporations.  He's got a great audience:  Nadine, the eye-patched wife of Big Ed Hurley watches.  And Jerry Horne, the ne'er-do-well younger brother of Northern Lodge owner Benjamin Horne, tokes up while listening. 

And how does Dr. Amp fund his show?  He offers his audience a solution: they have to "dig themselves out of the shit."  He even shows himself shoveling himself out of a waist-deep pit of brown muck, with what else but his $29.99 Gold Shit-Digging Shovel, available by mail, Order Now!  By God, Lynch still has the comedy touch.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Twin Peaks s03e04 Spoiler Recap

There's a Lynch humor piece in this episode.  You don't laugh at it.  It's only funny in the way some SNL skits are badly acted but hilarious in their premise.


Back in Twin Peaks, the sheriff's station still has klutzy, whiny-voiced Lucy working the front desk, and hapless (and useless as ever), deputy Andy Brennan, sporting an absurdly high cowlick, along with a middle-aged paunch.  Not being terribly good actors, and lacking their youthful charm of the 90's, their return hasn't been particularly delightful.  The new element, though, is that they have a son named Wally Brando.  In fact, in this episode they are just receiving the news that Wally Brando (always mentioned by full name) has just arrived in town.  You see, Wally Brando is a soul of the road.  He rides his motorcycle hither and yon following his heart on an ongoing discovery of the American spirit.  Lucy and Andy are proud of him for it the same way that the parents would be for an olympic medal or Nobel prize winner.

Joke 1 is that Wally Brando is decked out in a perfect replica of Marlon Brando's biker from The Wild One (1953), and joke 2 is that he's played by Michael Cera.  Joke 3, the cruelest of all, is that Lynch graces us with a five minute (feels like twenty) soliloquy by Wally Brando, motionless, with Andy and Lucy looking on admiringly from his side, a seriously-delivered but cliché- and pablum-laden discourse on the truth and goodness of the great American highway.

Like I say, noone's laughing yet it's funny as hell.  Michael Cera doesn't even ride the motorcycle, just sits on it.  

The rest of the episode is similarly light in flavor, compared to the macabre dimension-travelling of the previous.  Agent Cooper's earthly persona is still mentally incapacitated, and having replaced the Cooper lookalike "Dougie", he is still assumed to be Dougie by those around him.  He pretty much just bumbles around like Peter Seller's Chance the gardener from Being There.

The dangerous hood Cooper character is now in jail, having been found with firearms and drugs in his wrecked car.  This turns out to be the Cooper that the FBI locates, not Dougie.  They have an interview with him, in which the jailed Cooper does a very leaden impression of the real Agent Dale Cooper, with obviously rehearsed lines, which fools the FBI not one bit.  In the meantime, we're given a major reveal about who this Cooper is (although it's been pretty strongly hinted).  It's Bob.  

He is Bob!  Eager for fun.  He wears a smile.  Everybody run.   
- One-Armed Man, Season 1   

Somewhere back in Twin Peaks history there was a scene where Cooper stared in a mirror and suddenly thrust his forehead right into the glass.  In the cracked, bloodied mirror, his reflection is Bob.  We also see the two of them together in the red room, laughing maniacally together like satanic frat brothers.  So the conclusion is that Bob took over Cooper's body, trapped Cooper's real identity in the Red Room, and has been running amok for the last 25 years.  Something's doesn't line up, though; Bob isn't inhabiting a being for evil (such as killing one's own Prom Queen daughter), he's more of a hit man for organized crime.


Andy Brennan, Wally Brando and Lucy Brennan

Twin Peaks s03e03 Spoiler Recap

In episode 3, there are actually three Kyle McLachlan characters.  Dale Cooper, FBI agent wearing his familiar black suit, is trapped in the other-worldly red room.  #2 is the hard boiled criminal character, also referred to as Cooper, and involved in FBI work.  Number three is a kind of duncey character named Dougie who lives in Las Vegas and sees prostitutes, but we've only seen him just lately, and briefly.

The entire episode (1 hour) is dedicated to showing the movement of characters in and out of their dimensions, and how they swap bodies.  We know from other films that Lynch loves to move the camera into other worlds.  The camera will follow the sound coming from a telephone earpiece, and go right through the holes in into the electronics.  Or the camera will travel through walls to show the spaces inbetween rooms, with dust, drywall matter, and rodents.

So here Lynch seems to have put quite a lot of thought into the experience of being in a strange dimension.  The black-suited Cooper leaves the red room and enters into a creepy limbo.  There is a woman with missing eyes who can't speak, in a room with a strange steampunk apparatus in a wall panel, and a metal door somebody is heavily pounding on from the outside. They climb up a ladder, open a hatch and climb out onto a platform suspended in outer space, very much like Le Petit Prince standing on one of those little planets, but more terrifying.  The woman falls of the platform and presumably falls for eternity.  Eventually Cooper climbs back down, and a woman in red by a fireplace advises that he must go NOW.  Cooper ends up passing through the steampunk apparatus, painfully...and leaving behind his shoes.

The other Cooper, and Dougie, back on earth, experience extreme vomiting.  Dougie shrinks to nothing and black-suited Cooper comes out of a wall socket in the form of a black gas, eventually appearing in solid form laying on the floor.  His faculties haven't recovered, and he is a Rain Man-style imbecile.  He ends up in a casino, and starting with a $5 bill, wins enormous payouts from every slot machine he tries.  He eventually gets picked up by the authorities, and he's reported to FBI headquarters where Gordon Cole, the hard-of-hearing senior FBI guy played by David Lynch himself, celebrates the news of Cooper's final return.

The tough-guy Cooper ends up in a car wreck, and we don't see what's become of him physically.

Twin Peaks returns! Season 3, episodes 1-2 spoiler recap

I just finished episode 1 of the new TP, which is two hours of David Lynch amazingness. It's real "Holy Fuck" stuff. However it is not a return to the goofy fun of the original TP. In fact, of the many story lines, few have any evident connection to the Laura Palmer story. The short bits that have original cast members are sometimes weak and perfunctory, as though DL is using a TP season three as a thinly veiled opportunity for doing new work that interests him more. But in other ways not so much...too soon to judge. In sum, this is very possibly one of DL's great works and deserves to be taken seriously. But it's also true that if you're not up for a lot disturbing horror material (masterfully done), TP season 3 may not be for you.

I'll say this about the "Dale Cooper" in this episode. He's not just a linear extrapolation of the quirky, one dimensional FBI man of years ago. He's more the product of someone who has had dramatic life changes and choices over the course of 25 years, i.e. like real life. And in keeping with Kyle McLachlan's acting weight, he is carrying a lot of the film.

Log Lady appears to have been filmed "in time" before the actor's demise, but her illness is evident in her scenes.

Some actresses with girlish charm in their twenties keep it on into their fifties, but Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer) doesn't seem to be one of them. She and Dale Cooper are in dream sequences in the red room once again, but they don't work as well.


So the thing about Dale Cooper (or whoever Kyle M. is supposed to be...not clear)
is he's now a real "heavy", a very dangerous guy, who has various shady thugs people working for him and "gun moll" style girlfriends, all of whom are under constant threat and intimidation by him. Picture below.  He wears a leather jacket, long hair, speaks in a low-pitched gruff voice, his scenes are all in seedy hotels and restaurants and rustic lodges, and has a bit of a southern air to him, ...someone joked that it's "Twin Peaks meets Duck Dynasty."   So he seems like a criminal, but at the end of episode one he gets on a computer and logs into an FBI portal, so he must actually be in some kind of deep cover.

Log Lady is sad to watch, as you can see from the pic below, she really was very ill when they shot her scenes.  She's holding the log in that pic.  She is instructing "Hawk" (Sheriff Truman's spiritual American Indian deputy) with clues (i.e. what her log is telling her) about where to find things, over the phone.

Anyone of our age group has gotta detest the actor who plays James Hurley's ability to defy age!  23 yrs old then, 50 now, he looks like a hipster single guy in his 30's.

One more thing, there are lots of clips from the original season 1 series, and the very opening clip is original footage of Laura Palmer in the red room saying "I'll see you again in 25 years."  Yes, that really happened!

They also re-enact, in their current characters, a famous bit of Red Room dialog from season 1:
Cooper:  "Are you Laura Palmer?"
Laura:  "If I feel like I know her, but... (in agony) sometimes my arms bend back."

Dale Cooper, the heavy

Log Lady, passing on clues from her Log to Deputy Hawk

Log Lady as we knew and loved

James Hurley, defying age


 Deputy Hawk

 Laura Palmer