It’s a new week! Time for a new trip into America’s favourite Washington town with a recently murdered high school student named Laura Palmer and a population of 51,201!
You can go check that population. Because I’m not lying.
Last we left off, we’d been to a zillion locations in Twin Peaks (including but not limited to: A gas station, three separate houses with hostile marriages, and a bar/music hall/community gathering place) and met a zillion people (including but not limited to: A truck driver with a mean streak, a philandering waitress, and an FBI agent obsessed with Douglas firs and I guess murders or whatever). You haven’t missed too much if you’re just joining us. You’ll catch up pretty quick.
Episode 2: Traces to Nowhere
We begin in the Great Northern, in what turns out is Agent Dale Cooper’s room. Presumably. Unless he is just hanging upside down in someone else’s hotel room and talking to Diane on the recorder again. Two things trouble him this morning: What really went on between Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys… and who pulled the trigger on JFK? No, really, that is what he says..
Coop heads downstairs for breakfast, where he notes the “damn fine cup of coffee” he has just been served and orders a very specific breakfast. He is a simple man who knows exactly what he wants with his eggs and bacon. That is Audrey Horne’s fetish. As I would assume most things are, such as having skin and a physical form. She slithers in to sit at his table, clearly wanting to get in Agent Cooper’s panties. They flirt, as one does with high school kids.
After breakfast and some questionably legal flirting, Agent Cooper heads over to the sheriff department, tearing in there ready to start working when everyone else is still deep into the traditional morning donut feast. He doesn’t berate anyone for that, and they just nod as he tells them what’s up and how it’s gonna be. Mutual respect, y’all. Everyone is doing things their way, yet together.
Dr. Hayward, Donna’s dad and town doc, shares some grisly facts with Sheriff Truman and Agent Cooper about Laura’s postmortem… the same person in the train car assaulted Laura and Ronette. Laura had sexual contact with at least three men in her last 12 hours. She ultimately died from blood loss from numerous shallow wounds, none alone deep enough to kill, bite marks on shoulder and tongue, and lesions from being bound. No tox screen back yet. Ronette will probably never be okay enough to talk to anyone about what exactly happened. Ugly stuff.
Across town or maybe 50 feet away, at the house of the worst of our group of not-great marriages, Shelly gets verbally dressed down for not attending to all the housework, particularly Leo’s secret laundry he had in his truck. Damn, dude, set people up to succeed. One shirt has blood all over it, as Shelly observes in the golden light at their outdoor washer+dryer situation. She crams this item into a drawer (at their outdoor drawer situation) right as Leo comes out.
Back at the sheriff’s department, Coop and Truman continue their busy day, now showing the video found in Laura’s room to James Hurley. Coop uses some kind of magic from the future to figure out James was there, as I cannot believe you could see this reflection in someone’s eye with some junky cheap camera from this time period. Write me an email to tell me I’m wrong.
Apparently Coop has already deduced James was/is in love with Laura, but James advises it was a secret from everyone but Donna. James also knew another Laura secret: her cocaine use. The night Laura died, she was cruising around with him on his motorcycle, but flipped out and jumped off at an intersection, disappearing into the night. She said she couldn’t see him anymore, for some reason. Once James makes this revelation, Coop whips out the half of the heart necklace found in the train car. Despite a flashback where we clearly see Laura giving James the other half and also us seeing James bury it last episode, James says he doesn’t know anything about that tacky, maudlin garbage (he didn’t call it that). Suspicious!
Speaking of drama, Leo realizes he gave House Elf Shelly his bloody shirt and is angry-dismayed it isn’t in the washer with his other clothes. Elsewhere in a jail cell, Bobby and Mike discuss getting the $10,000 they owe to Leo some way. More on both of these stories as they develop.
Over at Donna’s house, Donna talks to her mom about her feelings and secrets, plus some other people’s secrets. Sort of rude to share things that aren’t yours, Donna, but I guess you are very stressed right now and it is maybe healthy to get some of that off you. Donna says James was good for Laura because she was troubled… and actually she and James are kind of falling in love right now. She and James are both conflicted about it, since they are happy about this but it feels inappropriate.
Cartwheel across town to the sheriff department again. Donna’s new semi-beau is being released into the custody of Ed Hurley, uncle and town Good Guy. Ed’s got some bumps and scrapes from the fight at the roadhouse. Truman pokes fun at him a little for being there with his extramarital affair pal, Norma. I guess everyone knows about this. Ed thinks maybe before the fight broke out, his drink was drugged by the proprietor, Jacques Renault. A named character drugging drinks? Seems like a potential plot point!
Meanwhile, Agent Cooper tells someone on the phone about bomb ass cherry pie. He just likes food.
This next bit doesn’t add to the plot, per se, but it does give some sweet character development. At the hardware store, Nadine intensely, kind of threateningly tells Norma about her new drapes. Norma (and the audience) thought she was busted for the affair with Ed, but nope, Nadine is just a freak about making drapes run silently. She is buying tons of cotton balls.
Let’s head on over to the Martells’. Josie Packard is looking sexy in the Martell cabin this AM. Pete is filleting some fish in the kitchen. I am waiting to explain the relationship of Josie to Pete and Catherine Martell until the show actually does, because I want to keep alive the feeling of mystery and wonder and also I don’t recall what it is just now anyway. Since Coop and Truman are there to discuss Laura, she changes into her best (sort of) (sexy mom) dress.
Turns out Laura helped Josie with her English the afternoon prior to her death. She was a real humanitarian, that girl. She was helping everyone in town with something or other, legal and criminal, secret and public. The phone rings, and Josie excuses herself. Coop asks Truman how long he and Josie have been seeing each other. Neither Truman nor Josie had given any indication they knew each other at all, much less knew each other biblically. He could tell just by body language! And nothing! Psychic vibrations? Pheromones? Who knows. Turns out they have been dating for six weeks, if you are curious.
Who was on the phone? Catherine Martell, being an asshole about closing the mill for a day a few days ago. Coop and Truman head out.
Swoop over to an undisclosed location. Catherine shares a post-mean phone call champagne (sparkling wine?) toast with… Benjamin Horne! Yes, indeed, another affair! Through pre- and post-sex discussion, we hear their plan for her to cook the books to engineer a bankruptcy at the mill, then set fire to the thing. Talking about setting fire to the mill gets them both keyed up for round two of banging. Classic Bad People stuff.
Palmer house: Sarah Palmer is sitting on a couch on the verge of a screaming freakout. Leland advises Donna to not upset her. Just being there gets Mrs. Palmer upset, though. She looks at Donna and sees Laura, then she sees an older fella peering at her in the room. She is, of course, upset.
In a similar vein, over at the hospital, Deputy Hawk talks to Ronette’s parents as he sees a one-armed man come into the hospital. He follows, but the man wanders into a stairwell and seemingly disappears.
Audrey Horne is up at the Great Northen being spacey and seductive… in her dad’s office. He bitches at her for listening to records too loudly, which is delightful to her. She is a bratty bottom, for sure. He busts her, too, for probably scaring the Norwegians into fleeing without signing the contracts. He tells her, while shaking his finger at her, “Laura died two days ago. I lost you years ago.” BURN. Audrey seems less aroused and more bummed out by this.
In other parenting news, Bobby’s dad picked him up from jail today and they are having a family dinner at home. Bobby’s dad tries to be a good dad, a stiff yet real-talking one. He speaks in a very measured, even tone, but then he smacks a cigarette clean out of Bobby’s mouth into Mom’s plate of meatloaf! Don’t light up at the table, son! After gingerly plucking the cigarette out of her loaf, Mom advises Bobby they are here for him.
Meanwhile at the Double R Diner, Cooper and Truman hang out and have coffee. Coop says hey to the Log Lady at the end of the counter, but she isn’t having it. Norma tells them Laura helped organize the Meals on Wheels program with her. I guess coke is how she made time to be so nice and involved, am I right?
On her way out, the Log Lady drops by and advises her log saw something the other night, but Cooper won’t ask the log what it saw per the Log Lady’s instructions, so the Log Lady leaves.
We’re wrapping up the episode! Time for a lot of action really fast! Buckle in your Douglas firs; safety seal your baggie of Pacific Northwest fog!
Over at the Johnsons’, Shelly returns from work with some pie for Leo, who greets her with soap in a sock and anger about lost shirts. He turns the music up and beats her up pretty hard with that soap in a sock.
Donna introduces James to her parents, because he is at her place for dinner in a boyfriend way. They titter and chit chat. They don’t seem too torn up about Laura. Who am I to judge manifestations of grief, though?
Bobby and Mike cruise by Donna’s, mad that James macked on both their old ladies. Bobby says it’s too bad they can only kill him once.
Dr. Jacoby listens to a tape from Laura. His office is so tropical tacky. Laura says James is so sweet, but dumb. She mentions a mystery man that she has told Jacoby about before. He puts on headphones so we don’t hear what Laura says about him, but Jacoby looks stressed. While looking stressed, he opens a coconut box thing and James’ necklace is inside!! The one from the hole in the forest!! The episode ends there. James’ necklace is the end of both episodes, hmmmmm.
This second episode still has a lot of characters, but they are easier to follow, I feel. We get some dialogue gems and some melodramatic, soapy stuff. Remember this series is basically a surreal soap opera that sometimes makes you feel weird and dirty. We’re not much closer to finding out the “Who killed Laura Palmer” question, but boy howdy, a lot of people are tangentially involved. Life is going on without Laura, and we are going on with it. Arguably, the series wasn’t really intended to be about answering the question of who killed Laura anyway.