John Bruni reviews TWIN PEAKS: season 2, episodes 4-7

Twin PeaksEpisode 11: “Laura’s Secret Diary”
Originally broadcast October 20, 1990
Written by Jerry Stahl, Mark Frost, Harley Peyton, Robert Engels
Directed by Todd Holland

Episode 12: “The Orchid’s Curse”
Originally broadcast October 27, 1990
Written by Barry Pullman
Directed by Graeme Clifford

Episode 13: “Demons”
Originally broadcast November 3, 1990
Written by Harley Peyton & Robert Engels
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

Episode 14: “Lonely Souls”
Originally broadcast November 10, 1990
Written by Mark Frost
Directed by David Lynch

My rating: ★★★★
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The woods are wondrous here, but strange.

Leland confesses to killing Jacques, and he’s locked away. We also discover that Andy wears the same kind of rare boots that were found under Leo’s porch . . . and he bought them from Gerard while he was in Harry’s office. The hunt for the one-armed man resumes.

Harold doesn’t want to give up the diary to Donna. He considers it a part of his living novel. People come to him, and he likes to take down the stories of their lives. Laura Palmer’s secret diary is an important part of this.

Josie returns home, “unaware” of Catherine’s disappearance in the mill fire.

Cooper tries to play counselor to help fix Andy and Lucy’s relationship, but it doesn’t work. Even someone as reasonable and patient as Cooper can’t fix something goofy like this. Even Harry has given up trying, which should tell you something.

Judge Sternwood (played by the wonderful Royal Dano) arrives to sort both Leland and Leo out. He lives the good life, traveling all over the state in a Winnebago with his young legal assistant, enjoying alcoholic beverages, even if they have a reputation for sneaking up on you.

Dick Tremayne comes to Lucy with money for an abortion. Furious, Lucy casts him out. It takes her a while, because she feels the need to explain everything he needs to do—walk out the door, go to his car, get in, put the key in the ignition, turn the key and so on—but Dick is sent packing.

A stranger demands that Josie has to go back home, but she wants to stay until she can get Pete’s signature on the mill. The stranger suspects Harry might have something to do with her reluctance, but she swears that Harry means nothing to her. That’s an ugly thing to say, but you can see the struggle in her eyes. She clearly loves Harry. In the meantime, the stranger goes to the RR and beats the shit out of Hank because he’s been trying to assert himself into Josie’s affairs.

Cooper, in yet another of his odd moments, decides to do a hand stand in his room, and as a result, he finally sees Audrey’s note under the bed. Ben Horne asked him to deliver the ransom money, since Jean intends on killing Cooper, but now that Cooper knows where Audrey is, he doesn’t have to play by those rules.

Harry speaks on behalf of Leland at the bail hearing, and Leland is released. Sternwood also decides that Leo is not fit to be tried in court, and he is released into Shelly’s care.

Donna offers to tell Harold her life story in exchange for Laura’s secret diary. He says he’ll read it to her, but he won’t let it leave his house. She lures him outside, and once he leaves his safe zone, he freaks out and collapses.

Cooper picks up Ben’s briefcase of money. Ben tells Hank to follow Cooper and bring back Audrey. And, if possible, the money. Cooper, he says, is not coming back.

Maddy infiltrates Harold’s place, hoping to get the diary while Donna distracts him.

Andy finds out he’s no longer sterile (which, no doubt, would disappoint Albert).

Harold and Donna kiss, but then he discovers Maddy trying to steal the diary. He freaks out and starts cutting himself.

Cooper and Harry go to One Eyed Jack’s, and Cooper finds Audrey. Harry witnesses Jean kill Blackie, but Jean escapes. Cooper and Harry are caught at the last second as they try to escape with Audrey, but Hawk comes to the rescue, grateful that Cooper and Harry can’t keep a secret. Outside, Jean catches Hank who is carrying the district attorney’s ID.

Harold, bleeding from his face, tells Donna how he thought she cared about him. He trusted her. He feels more betrayed than he ever has before. James bursts in, and Donna tries yet again to steal the diary, but she fails. Poor Harold. He is probably the most sympathetic character in Twin Peaks. Actor Lenny Von Dohlen deserves special mention here. He plays Harold so awkwardly, yet so hopefully, that you just want to give the poor bastard a hug and tell him everything’s going to be okay.

After Maddy takes off, James and Donna bond once more, and they decide to be together again. Also, Maddy tells James that she has to go home now. She only came to town for Laura’s funeral, and now it’s time to get back to her ordinary life.

Leo comes home, but Bobby and Shelly are dismayed to discover that their sweet $5K check was eaten away by fees, and all they get per month is a mere $700.

And then Gordon Cole arrives in Twin Peaks. If you’ll remember, Gordon is Cooper’s supervisor, but this is the first time we meet him in person. His presence nearly turns the show into a vaudeville act. You see, he’s almost completely deaf. You have to shout at him to get him to understand, and most times, you won’t succeed. It’s only fitting that he’s played by David Lynch himself. The combination of his deadpan face and his loud, nasally voice is perfect.

We discover that Josie has a sexual relationship with the stranger, even though she doesn’t like him. He demands that she leave for home, but she won’t go until Ben gives her the money for the mill. She has Pete’s signature, so she goes to Ben only to discover he doesn’t have the money. They blackmail each other into a stalemate, and Ben decides to hand over a check he got from Japanese businessman Mr. Tojamura in regards to possible involvement with Ghostwood.

Bobby and Shelly throw Leo a welcome home party, and this is yet another great scene in TWIN PEAKS history. Leo has a kazoo in his mouth, so he has to breathe through it. Every time he blows out, it makes noise. At one point, his face flops down into a cake, and Bobby pulls him out by the ponytail, saying it was a good thing they didn’t light the candles. But it would seem that Leo’s not all that gone. As Bobby and Shelly start making out in front of him, he starts making noises in his throat.

Windom Earle (remember him?) sends Cooper a chess move. This is not important in the series yet, but it will be soon.

Ben tries to salvage his relationship with Mr. Tojamura now that he has spent the businessman’s money on Josie.

Hawk brings Gerard in, and it turns out that he has multiple personalities. He changes into Mike, and we finally get some solid information as to what is really going on behind the scenes. First of all, it should be noted that Gerard’s voice alters in a clearly supernatural way. If Cooper and Harry had any doubt that something otherworldly was happening, it’s gone now. Mike says Bob used to be his familiar, and that Bob feeds on fear and needs a human host. Mike also needs a host, and that’s Gerard’s purpose. Few people can see Bob’s real face: the gifted and the damned. Then, Cooper and Mike start saying the same thing at the same time, quoting Cooper’s dream from early in the first season. He says that Bob’s house is wooden and surrounded by trees. It has many rooms, all alike but occupied by different souls.

Cooper decides that Mike is describing the Great Northern, and they all go to show Mike everyone in the building, hoping that he’ll point out Bob’s host. That’s right, since Mike has not taken his medication, he’s going to point without chemicals. This doesn’t work out, as Mike collapses just as Ben Horne walks in.

Hawk goes to Harold’s place to get the secret diary only to find that poor Harold has killed himself in the remains of his greenhouse. He left a note: “I am a lonely soul.” Yes, he was. The diary has been torn to pieces, but Hawk gathers it up for Cooper to piece together later.

Leo is starting to come back to himself. He’s making more noises, and he’s even speaking a little. Bobby, desperate for money, thinks Leo has a secret fortune stashed away. In Bobby’s search, he uncovers a mini-tape in the heel of Leo’s boots.

Audrey confronts Ben about One Eyed Jack’s, and Ben confesses everything. He owns the place, he knew Laura was there and yes, indeed, he fucked Laura Palmer. In fact, he loved her.

Cooper discovers Laura’s secret diary mentions Bob by name. He has haunted her since childhood, and his haunting includes molesting her for years. She thinks Bob is a friend of her father’s. She threatens to tell the world all about the real Ben Horne. Audrey shows up and tells Cooper everything she just learned about her father. Cooper remembers that Mike passed out when Ben entered the room. All of this leads him to believe that Ben is Bob’s host, and that Ben killed Laura Palmer. He goes with the police force to the Great Northern and arrests Ben.

Mr. Tojamura pays Pete a visit before taking off his disguise, revealing that he has been Catherine the whole time.

The Log Lady comes to the station and tells Cooper that there are owls at the roadhouse. Cooper, Harry and the Log Lady go to the Bang Bang Bar, where Bobby sits in one corner, wondering what his life has become, while James and Donna sit elsewhere, Donna grieving the loss of Harold (and feeling guilty for having caused his suicide). On the stage, Cooper sees the musical act fade out and the giant fade in. The giant tells him, “It’s happening again.”

Elsewhere in Twin Peaks, we finally have the answer to the big series question: who killed Laura Palmer? The killer fades between himself and Bob as he brutally murders Maddy in the Palmer living room. To confirm that he is, indeed, the real killer, he puts the letter O under one of her fingernails. Her blood runs out on the carpet, and now we know that the phantom blood stains she’s been seeing were coming from the future, as they are her own.

Wow. If you thought we got a lot of answers last time, this time is purely shocking. Mike’s truth is shocking enough on its own, but when the identity of Laura Palmer’s killer is finally revealed, even though we’re still a long way away from the series finale, it is absolutely jarring.

It’s also disappointing to know that Cooper has the wrong man. Ben Horne, who is in jail, can’t possibly have killed Maddy. But then again, anyone who has been paying attention for the last few episodes pretty much should have known the culprit. The only question is, what is Cooper going to do about it? And how will he deal with Bob?

Once again, even though we have a lot of answers, we don’t have all of them. There are, after all, 16 more episodes to go. Yet Lynch and Frost manage to keep the fires stoked (and you will walk with it, no doubt), the plot running and Cooper still enjoying damn fine cups of coffee. Stay tuned for more.

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About John Bruni

John Bruni is the author of DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN (New Kink), POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS and TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE (StrangeHouse) and STRIP (Riot Forge). His short work has appeared in anthologies like A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE (Pill Hill), ZOMBIE! ZOMBIE! BRAIN BANG! (StrangeHouse) and the critically acclaimed VILE THINGS (Comet). He edited STRANGE SEX 3 for StrangeHouse, and he was the editor and publisher of TABARD INN: TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE. Find out more at www.talesofquestionabletaste.com and www.talesofunspeakabletaste.blogspot.com.
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