When we last left Twin Peaks (at least so far as the purposes of this series of recap), Agent Cooper had his big breakthrough in the case of who killed Laura Palmer, and it came from a weirdly disjointed, but code-filled, dream sequence. Who was Bob? Who was Mike? Who was the little man? And what did Laura/not-Laura whisper to him? If you thought the answers would be straightforward, then you must be thinking of some other show. But the consequential episode pushed on a key idea of the series so far, that there’s a lot more to Twin Peaks than meets the eye.
First, the post-dream recap. Truman and Lucy meet Cooper at the hotel for breakfast, and Cooper described how he learned about Mike and Bob, who lived above a convenience store, and how Bob killed Laura and is likely to kill again while Mike, his accomplice, cut off his own arm so that he wouldn’t have to. Cooper than explained about the red room, and being told that his favourite gum was about to come back in style, how he met a woman that looked like Laura, who was filled with secrets and whispered something to Cooper that he doesn’t remember. Despite only having two generic names, a rough profile, and the news that his favourite gum was coming back, Cooper is elated: “Break the code, solve the crime,” he says.
One sort of side note about the dream, Cooper tells Truman and Lucy that the vision of himself in the dream was 25 years older. When Twin Peaks relaunches later this year, it will be 27 years since this episode first aired, which is off by two years, but I do wonder if it was a consideration for David Lynch and Mark Frost when they considered the Peaks comeback.
Interestingly, Cooper’s dream starts to pay off almost immediately. Agent Rosenfield discovers that Laura’s hands were bound by pulling her arms back, just like dream Laura mentioned. Elsewhere, Leland Palmer receives a visitor, Maddy, who is Laura’s cousin. Of course, Maddy, also played by Sheryl Lee, is the spitting image of Laura except for the dark hair and the glasses. Obviously, we’ve known since episode one that Laura had many secrets, and Rosenfield confirms another one proving that Laura was addicted to cocaine.
The idea that Laura had secrets seems to be an open secret in Twin Peaks, at least that was the implication of Bobby’s allegation at Laura’s funeral. “You damn hypocrites make me sick,” he yelled. “You knew she was in trouble, but you didn’t do anything.” Where does all this rage come from? Is it because his father gives him a talking to about being a man and how death is a part of life and all that? Maybe Bobby just wanted to make a scene, perhaps spurned on by the appearance of James at Laura’s graveside after a last minute change of heart (he wasn’t planning on attending). It’s probably worth noting that Cooper discounted Bobby and his friend Mike as being the “Bob” and “Mike” from his dream, but interesting coincidence, right?
If Bobby’s outburst disrupted the serene atmosphere of Laura’s funeral, it was nothing as compared to Leland’s parting emotionalism for his daughter. One would think have his daughter’s twin cousin around would be a comfort, but it seemed like there was no comfort for Leland save for throwing himself on his daughter’s casket as it descends into the ground. “Don’t ruin this!” Mrs. Palmer yells at her husband, who after the initial grief seems to have a better handle on herself than Leland who’s fallen deeper into sorrow-induced madness, but I couldn’t help but get the feeling that Mrs. Palmer meant something more than “Don’t ruin our daughter’s funeral.” And was it just me, or was Leland surprised at Maddy’s appearance, and surprised that she and Laura have a resemblance. There’s a story there, I think.
There’s also a story with the Bookhouse Boys, Twin Peaks’ very own secret society. Sheriff Truman, Deputy Hawk, Ed Hurley and James Hurley are all members, and they are dedicated to keeping at bay some kind of nondescript evil that lives in the woods outside of town. There is surely some backstory here that has yet to be developed, but for now it’s illicit drugs that the Bookhouse Boys have in their sights, ones brought into town by Leo Johnson and sold by Jacques Renault, the bartender at the road house. We know that Leo’s moving cocaine, but there’s also seems to be a drug empire infrastructure in Twin Peaks, and Leo’s long been on Truman’s radar from the sounds of it. “Leo’s one of those guys you keep on a list and keep an eye on,” he tells Cooper.
The Bookhouse Boys “take custody” of Jacque’s brother Bernard, who claims to know nothing, but left a warning back at the roadhouse for Jacques, who calls Leo to come and pick him up before the cops do. None of this should come as a surprise, and Leo makes absolutely no attempt to be personable when questioned by the police for Laura Palmer’s murder. I’ve long suspected that Leo had nothing directly to do with it, but if he did, he’s got a helluva poker face. So where did the bloody shirt come from? And for that matter, why is Shelly hiding it? What’s she planning with that gun she’s also hiding?
Those secrets remain in the dark for now, and I honestly hope there’s some revelation soon because anything about Leo Johnson, I find, is the most boring part of the show. He’s a boor, an abuser, and almost hopelessly one-dimensional as compared to many of the rest of Twin Peaks’ citizens. I do wonder though if the pending release of Norma’s husband from prison make shake things up though because he sounds like someone that might be in Leo’s wheelhouse, sent to prison for attack someone and acting wildly out of jealousy. Why else would we have squandered so much time in this scene, it practically screamed, “Pay attention to this, it will be important later.”
Also found in discovery this week was that Dr. Jacoby may not be the (total ) pervert we think he is. He confesses to Cooper during a late night visit to Laura’s graveside that working with Laura helped him find a love for his work again. So the secret tapes may have been therapeutic after all, at least for Jacoby himself. The internal drama of the Martells also got some air, with Josie telling Truman about the two ledgers, but Catherine had already removed the corrupt one and chastised Pete for helping the widow Martell undermine her. I wouldn’t mind seeing more story being dedicated to the internal disfunction of the Martells because Piper Laurie‘s proverbial moustache twirling is delicious.
Finally, how much does Audrey Horne know? She’s the one that tipped off Cooper about One-Eyed Jacks, and it seems she’s got access to some kind of series of secret passages around the Great Northern. What are Audrey’s motivations? Is she just trying to help Cooper because she fancies him? I find that more probable than any sort of idea that she wants to help Laura posthumously, especially since she had no problem using Laura’s death to get one over on her father. If there’s someone to watch in all this, it’s Audrey, not that I think she had something to do with the murder, but she definitely has her finger in a lot of the pies around this mystery.