In these next episodes of Twin Peaks we start to see the various plot lines coalesce as progress is not just made on the murder mystery of Laura Palmer, but on the backstabbing and double-dealing between the town’s business interests both legitimate and illicit. Circumstances now force us to take this series two episodes at a time if we hope to catch up before the launch of Showtime‘s new season next month, which suits (Burns better) me because the impulse to binge the show is getting stronger as all the elements starting coming together to resolve some of the central mysteries, and take us deeper into others.
First of all, it seems like everyone’s doing their own investigation into the death of Laura Palmer. James and Donna draft Maddie Ferguson into their efforts after discovering that someone had taken James half of Laura’s heart-shaped necklace. Maddie, who James immediately notes is Laura’s spitting image, uses her inside access to the Palmer home and discovers something in Laura’s room that’s big enough to require an urgent midnight phone call to Donna. Maddie said she had a feeling that Laura was in trouble, even though she admits she didn’t really know Laura that well, so it begs a deeper look at the question, why these two cousins could pass as their own twin?
Speaking of that necklace, we know that Jacoby has it, and it seemed like an interrogation by Agent Cooper has prompted Jacoby to start his own inquiries. Using a family counseling session with the Briggses, Jacoby paints Bobby in a corner while one-on-one, seemingly using some details Laura told him against Bobby, how she laughed at him when he cried after the first time they made love. Jolting Bobby out his typically snarky and sarcastic mode, he tells Jacoby how Laura wanted to die, how she wanted to bring out the darkness inside people and tempt them to corrupt themselves. Hardly the picture of someone that Jacoby says made him find the quality of his practice again, though he does note that Laura’s dug addiction was a positive sign that she knew she needed help, even if that help came from nose candy.
Speaking of nose candy, the spotlight of suspicion turned more harshly on Jacques Renault, whose the importer of drugs to Twin Peaks along with Leo Johnson. While others were trying to put the pieces to the Palmer mystery together, Bobby and Shelly decide to help it along to its end by planting Leo’s bloody shirt in Jacques apartment. Cooper and Truman are led to suspect Jacques after Hawk finds a one-armed man whose friend was a veterinarian who was treating a bird belonging to Jacques that left bite marks on Laura Palmer’s body. Did you follow that? I’ve watched a lot of cop shows and I do wonder how the Sheriff’s Department gets warrants based on evidence a federal agent got in a dream…
So what did they find? They found the planted shirt belonging to Leo Johnson, but the blood it was covered in was Jacques. They also found a copy of Flesh World magazine with letters sent to a P.O. Box owned by Jacques, but addressed to Ronette and Laura. Pictures of a cabin with red drapes lead Cooper, Truman, Hawk and Doc Hayward into the woods where they encounter the Log Lady, who finally reveals what the log saw: two men and two women heading further into the woods towards Jacques cabin, and later it heard a girl scream and the voice of a third man. At the cabin, the quartet found a poker chip from One-Eyed Jacks with a piece missing out of it, the same piece found in Laura’s stomach.
So we’re planning a trip to One-Eyed Jacks at some point, right? Jacques is hiding out there, Ronette worked there, and the Horne Brothers are regular visitors there. Audrey has an idea of its significance, otherwise why would she know to direct Agent Cooper there. Audrey is someone else initiating her own line of investigation, conning her father into giving her a job at the department store and then conning the manager to put her on the perfume counter, where Ronette and Laura both worked. But what did Audrey discover that made her turn up naked and hysterical in Agent Cooper’s room at the end of “Episode 5”?
An answer to that question will have to wait because there’s so much going on with other people named Horne. We of course know about the affair between Benjamin Horne and Catherine Martell as they seek to undermine Josie Packard and her ownership of the mill. But if that’s Horne’s endgame, why is he meeting Josie in secret during the Horne celebration welcoming Icelandic investors? And why is Josie giving him the fake ledger that Catherine had supposedly hidden? And why was Josie following Catherine and Horne, and was spying on them like a private dick outside the motel?
Perhaps Horne is doing a double blind bluff. Maybe he has doubts that Catherine can deliver the mill and the rest of the land, and decided to go to the source. Maybe Josie, knowing that Catherine is trying to undermine her, just wants to beat her to the punch and undermine the woman that’s treated her brother’s widow so horribly by taking the only thing that matters her to her: the profit to be made from selling the mill. In which case, what role does Josie’s relationship with Harry have in the scheme? Is he a useful pawn or are their genuine feelings there? Call me a sucker, but I think that Josie’s dance with the devil is a recent development, perhaps she’s just at her wits end with Catherine and her scheming.
Here’s something else, if Ben Horne is about to get the mill free and clear from Catherine, why was he plotting to burn it all down with Leo at the end of “Episode 4”? I think somewhere between “Episode 4” and “Episode 5” Josie came to Ben with a counter-proposal, which is probably a good thing because Leo doesn’t look nearly as intimidating as he used to. Not only did Bobby’s amateur set-up work like a charm, but Bobby had been stoking Shelly up for a couple of days to finally use that gun she’s been keeping for Leo. At the end of “Episode 5” she shoots him, and we hear Leo scream, but how much damage did she do?
But even before that Leo has having a bad day. He had to kill Jacques brother Bernard so that the other Renault wouldn’t talk, and then Norma’s convict husband Hank got parole and the first person he want after was Leo. Before getting shot, Hank punched Leo in the head and told him that he was supposed to be minding the store and not starting his own franchise. I guess we all have someone to answer to, but what is the extent of Hank’s power? He’s sending threatening sketches to Josie, and eavesdropping on James, Donna, and Maddie, but how much does he have to do with the death of Laura and other doings in Twin Peaks when he’s been behind bars?
It feels like there’s so much going on that we almost forget the main victim of this series, and those immediately close to her. Poor Leland Palmer. His grief is so palpable and it almost seems like no one cares. Well, they care, but everyone seems to be getting on with their lives and just leaving this man in his misery, like it’s an inconvenience to have a father with a murdered daughter walking around. It feels like Leland in his endless malaise is the the thing were supposed to be vaguely aware of, but perhaps it has more meaning than we realize. I have no idea what, but we have two more episodes till the season one finale to theorize further.