“To be continued…” How quaint. To remember a time when TV shows felt the need to remind us that the story’s not over at the end of an hour is like remembering when you had to set your VCR manually to tape something, or only being able to use the internet when no one was using the telephone. Even from a 1990 perspective, you have to admit adding “To be continued…” to the end of the first season finale of Twin Peaks was grossly unnecessary considering the fate of several main characters was up in the air, while the fate of the main suspects was profoundly more certain.
Let’s start with the suspects, and if you ever want to look guilty for a committing a crime, you do exactly what Leo Johnson does in this episode. Yes, he survived Shelly shooting him in “Episode 5”, taking the bullet in the arm it seems, but while perched like a psycho waiting to shoot Shelly’s lover Bobby with a long-range rifle, Leo hears about recent developments on his police scanner. First, he kills Waldo, Jacque’s bird that can mimic any voice he hears. Then later, Leo kidnaps Shelly takes her to the mill, which he’s rigged to blow, and leaves her tied up their to die in the fire. Say, you think the police are going to wonder what Leo Johnson’s wife was doing at the mill, at night, in the exact place where the bomb went off?
Suffice it to say that Leo wasn’t really thinking through his crimes, which is something that cannot be said of Josie Packard. The sweet, innocent widow appears far more conniving than originally advertised as she’s now not only revealed to be working with Ben Horne, but she appears to be working to get Catherine out of the way. Permanently. When Catherine learns about a life insurance policy that her brother’s widow took out on her, the usually in control Martell suddenly found herself on the back foot. It was interesting for a change to see Catherine the one scrambling, no longer the puppet master of her own domain. She even had to confide in Pete, which was a little awkward, but surprisingly sweet.
More disturbing than Josie’s plans for her sister-in-law though were the plans she’s already carried through with concerning her deceased husband. It seems as though Josie paid off Hank Jennings to “accidentally” get in a hit and run with Mr. Packard, with $90,000 being the going rate for a husband-icide in 1990 dollars. It suggests that Josie’s plan to sell the mill and escape with the money might go back years, and it’s enough to make you wonder if maybe Catherine suspected Josie of being involved with her brother’s death. It might explain the bad blood if Catherine suspected that there was blood spilled.
Speaking of bad blood, Bobby continued his half-assed conspiracy to rid himself of all enemies by framing James for drug possession. His bad luck lead him to follow James and Donna on the same night they launched with Maddie’s help an entrapment scheme on Dr. Jacoby. Maddie poses as Laura to lure Jacoby out of his office while Donna and James sneak in to find something incriminating on the good doctor. Bobby, I guess having not met her or being too enraged at Laura’s funeral to remember her, thinks he sees Laura too. But he’s got a job to do: Get James!
With Jacoby gone, Donna and James search his office and find a tape Laura made on the night of her death, and James’ half of the heart-shaped necklace that Jacoby took from its hidey-hole in the woods. The tape offered some frank confessions from dark Laura, how she saw James as sweet but dumb, and lamenting her ability to make men do the things she wants them to do. “I get off on it,” she adds glibly. It was a bit cathartic for James having heard the truth, but he ends the season in trouble when he takes the tapes to the police and a search of his bike (following an anonymous tip from Bobby) leads to the discovery of the drugs Bobby planted.
Meanwhile in other amateur sleuth operations, Audrey finally made her way to One-Eyed Jacks as a perspective hostess, and not coincidentally at the same time as her beloved Special Agent, Dale Cooper. Audrey had surprised Cooper in his room at the end of “Episode 5” to proposition him, and at the beginning of “Episode 6” Cooper delicately refused the offer. True, Audrey’s 18, but she’s still in high school, and Cooper believes firmly in upholding certain principles as an FBI agent, and besides, what Audrey needs is a friend, says Cooper, and he’s more than happy to be her friend. It’s the most elegant rebuff anyone’s ever heard, but ultimately very sweet, and one that’s unlikely to dissuade Audrey from her feelings in any event.
But back to One-Eyed Jacks, where Audrey meets Black Rose who hires all the girls, but especially the “hospitality girls” that “escort the important guests.” Emphasis on “escort.” It turns out that the perfume counter is the gateway to Jacks, and Audrey manages to finagle a way to get herself face-to-face with “Blackie” and impress her by tying a cherry stem with her tongue. I seem to remember a commercial for Crown Royal or something like that where the gag was about a woman that tied a cherry stem with her tongue so now I’m wondering if one inspired the other. Nonetheless, the real cliffhanger for Audrey’s story is not whether she’ll get found out, but what’s going to happen when Ben Horne realizes that the new girl he’s come to inspect at Jack’s is his own daughter? And yes, Ben is not only a client of Jack’s, but he’s also the owner.
As for Cooper, he was at Jack’s in a Bookhouse Boys undercover operation to smoke out Jacques Renault and get him stateside to take him into custody. I’m forced again to wonder what the FBI is to make of a small town’s secret society doing undercover work in a foreign country to entrap a murder suspect, but perhaps the FBI of the early 90s was more results driven. In any event, the gambit worked, and Cooper, posing as a drug trafficker, managed to lure Jacques back to the U.S. for the chance for a little green. Jacques is taken into the custody, although Andy does shoot him in the arm while he’s resisting arrest. Case closed, right?
Not so fast. Jacques recalls the night that Laura died, as he and Leo took Laura and Ronette to his cabin, but Leo smash a bottle against the side of his head and when Jacques came to the morning after, Leo, Laura and Ronette had all gone. Convenient. But it’s also convenient that Jacques apparently never met the man to whom belonged the third voice that the Log Lady overheard. Is this the mysterious Bob? The killer we’ve so far only seen in dreams and visions, and the one that’s bound to kill again. And more than that, is he already trying?
So we’re left on the hook with a lot of potential and actual death at the end of the season finale. Nadine took a bunch of pills to overdose herself, and Ed finds her unconscious. Hank lures Catherine to the mill in time for the fire to start, and Catherine finds Shelly tied up where Leo left her. It remains to be seen whether they escaped in time, not to mention the fate of poor Pete who, in spite of everything, went into the burning building to make sure Catherine’s okay. Leo, while trying to kill Bobby, is shot by Hank, which adds another layer of complexity on the mystery: was Hank covering up Leo’s torching of the mill, or was he getting rid of the man that’s the number one suspect in the death of Laura Palmer?
On top of all that though, Jacques was killed by Leland Palmer, smothering the criminal while he rested in the hospital. Why was Leland suddenly so proactive? He’s been a ghost the last several episodes, traipsing from one appearance to the next only seeming to be vaguely aware of what he’s doing and why, and now he’s suddenly so animated he seeks out the suspect in his daughter’s killer, lures the police away with a false alarm, and kills Jacques? There’s something very weird going on here. Was Leland acting out as a bereaved father? Because nobody said anything about Jacques being the suspect, or being the only suspect in his daughter’s murder, especially when he looks nothing like the Bob vision his wife saw.
Down the hall from Jacques though Dr. Jacoby was resting after having a heart attack while being beaten by a masked assailant. The same assailant, it seems, that shows up at the Northwestern later that night and shoots Agent Cooper three times! Is this Bob? And if so, why is he so anxious to get Agent Cooper out of the way? And if not, who else could possibly want Agent Cooper dead? In the end, with more than a half-dozen main characters dead or dying, did we really need to be reminded that this was “To be continued…”? Hardly.