Twin Peaks Ep. 3: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”

We open with a very long shot of Audrey’s family eating dinner in silence. Even without enough resolution to recognize the characters (including her brother in full Native headgear), you can tell it’s them just from the silence. And then Audrey’s favorite snare music welcomes in her uncle Jerry (the brothers are Ben and Jerry) with a cheese sandwich for his brother and no one else. Ben even takes a bite right from the middle of the sandwich, obliterating any possibility of “anyone else want to try?” The brothers go on and on about how wonderful it is, but throw in as much “Paris” as you like, it’s still a cheese sandwich. Audrey’s mom knows this, so she facepalms.

Ben breaks the news to Jerry that Laura Palmer’s dead and the Norwegians left (ding!), although he hides Audrey’s role in the latter. Then he suggests a foray to the local brothel as a pick-me-up.

Donna’s parents are still feeding Emo-Boy. Before they go to bed, leaving Donna and Emo-Boy alone, they have a pointed exchange with Donna asking if she’s accompanying them to church the next morning. (Implied: “Or will you be too busy DAMNING YOUR MORTAL SOUL?”)

Ben and Jerry take a motorboat to the brothel (my understanding was one should save the motorboating for the brothel, but I don’t speak from experience) where they find all the girls in matching lingerie, and even though there’s a dozen girls here, the boys flip a coin to see who’s going first. As if Ben wouldn’t have just whomped his brother on the head if he’d lost. The girl Ben picks is reluctant, to say the least, but is apparently the only girl who counts as everyone else disappears and Jerry has to drink at the bar by himself.

Emo-Boy emos in Donna’s direction about how they’re meant to be, and she is so taken in by his power that she gets ready to go at it right there on the couch where her parents could walk by JUST WANTED A GLASS OF WATER, DEAR but they don’t because such is Emo Power.

Agent Cooper celebrates entering his hotel room by tooting one of those wooden train whistles for tourists. Perhaps this will become a theme and he’ll celebrate every door closing with a little “toot toot.” The deputy (?) calls to tell him about the creepy guy walking down blue hallways at the hospital. Apparently the guy had one arm? I missed that. IMDb tells me the original Fugitive series ran from ’63-’67, so this looks like it’s setting up to riff on that. Agent Cooper then receives a scented note with the name of the brothel (Jack with One Eye) on it, because the clues are coming fast and furious now!

Bobby and Snake go to meet with Leo in the woods, and it’s interesting how this is actually shot with a flashlight as the light source. At least, for some of it. There’s that real-life sense of “I just have to trust that anything outside of this small circle of light is not trying to kill me.” Of course, that’s not the case with the Dumb Gang, and aside from Leo lurking menacingly, there’s someone hanging out in the bushes that Leo says not to worry about and Bobby and Snake seem to actually take that advice. Leo, in a move dumb even for him, complains that he’s being cuckolded while trying to appear menacing, and I think someone needs to explain to him how that particular fantasy works. Then Leo racks his gun and tells Bobby and Snake to go out for a pass (so he can throw a deflated football full of drugs at them) and I really wish he’d shoot but he doesn’t, because these guys can’t beat up anyone they consider more worthwhile than a woman.

Garage Ed tracks a bunch of grease into the house while his crazy wife verbally abuses him and breaks her rowing machine, because crazy comes with superhuman strength. Or poorly made rowing machines. Perhaps crazy simply means not checking the online reviews.

Agent Cooper drags everyone even moderately involved in law enforcement into the woods with a chalkboard. I really hope no one – for instance any of this town’s battered spouses – is trying to get through to the police right now.

Bobby stops by to see his girlfriend- Leo’s wife! Dun dun DUNNNN. He manhandles her while he asks what happened to her, because she is not drawn to the smart type, and then they make out in extreme closeup for a while.

Garage Ed goes to see his girlfriend and mope over how sad his life is (because clearly he had no part in that) but he gets to go someplace where a woman brings him coffee and listens to him and doesn’t complain about his getting grease everywhere. (Note that he has cleaned up, so this last isn’t an issue not because his girlfriend isn’t a nag like his wife but because… it isn’t an issue.)

Back with Agent Cooper and… hey, it looks like there might be two deputies in this town! So that’s two deputies, the Sheriff, and Lucy to go through about a couple hundred donuts on a regular basis. Lucy gives everyone coffee, which Agent Cooper instantly spits out because it’s that good. And hot! (He hilariously sounds ecstatic while he says this.) Agent Cooper takes a moment to explain the Free Tibet movement, which reminds me of my writing teacher who would send us current events stories and ask us to incorporate them into our scripts. Except, as I pointed out to him, I’m working on a Good Wife script. It’s chock-full of current events. Anyway, this does not transition at all into Agent Cooper’s “deductive method” which involves chucking rocks at bottles while people read suspect names. It’s a whole lot of exposition, but not a lot of police work. And once hitting Deputy Andy in the head with a rock. Poor Deputy Andy. I just learned his name and now he’s going to forget it.

Audrey puts on the finger-snapping song in the diner where Donna’s eating with her parents (have they forgotten about her awesome sister already? Maybe they shipped her off to solve crimes in the big city) and Audrey orders coffee because she’s bad. Donna and Audrey talk and Audrey admits that her feelings about Laura Palmer are slightly complicated, then starts talking about Agent Cooper because it’s all too real, man! Then she says her dad used to sing to Laura, which cannot possibly be anything besides creepy and she tries to seduce Donna by… swaying slightly to the music.

At the Sheriff’s station, Agent Albert shows up with two men in sunglasses and decides to act like a Man in Black cliche, causing Lucy to stick her tongue out at him and Agent Cooper to steal the Sheriff’s nose. (His name is Sheriff Truman. Noted.) Agent Albert goes through the Big Book o’Cliches: “Welcome to amateur hour. Looks like an all-nighter, boys.” Until, that is, the Sheriff pulls him aside and threatens that he’ll be “looking for his teeth two blocks up on queer street.” I’m still trying to parse that one. I can’t even tell if it’s a homophobic remark or just weird.

Garage Ed is trying to tiptoe into the house when he’s ambushed by his wife. Fearing the worst, she instead excitedly tells him the grease he tracked into the house was the key to her silent drape runners and now they’re going to be rich. Garage Ed is clearly wondering what the market for this particular item would be.

Pete is polishing his boots on the bed as an excuse to surreptitiously sneak Josie a key from his wife’s bedside table. His wife comes out of the bathroom and sends him to his room. She tells him he’s got mink oil on his head, which, I don’t think he does? So this is some kind of insult? Meanwhile, Josie discovers there are two sets of books on the mill! Why ever would that be?

Laura’s dad puts on a record of Pennsylvania 6-5000 (this, incidentally, is a very expensive song to use in a TV show) and then turns in circles, holding a framed photo of Laura at arm’s length until his wife comes in to stop him and breaks the frame. So they’re both going crazy. I can’t say I blame them. Then he uses the shards of frame to smear blood all over the picture. That was silly. Frames are easy to replace. Although probably they have a bunch of those photos too. I think it’s her homecoming photo.

It’s the dream sequence! The one they spoofed in the Simpsons episode “Who Shot Mr. Burns” where Lisa was backwards-talking to Chief Wiggum until she gets frustrated and just starts yelling. This is apparently supposed to supernatural, but it’s Agent Cooper’s dream. If dreaming about work qualifies as supernatural, someone tell James Randi I should be a millionaire. The guys reciting poetry say they’re named Bob and Mike, which are the two loser guys from jail but these aren’t the same guys. Same characters, perhaps, but not the same actors. Also, Laura Palmer looks about 35, which fits with my time-turner theory. Then again, Agent Cooper has aging makeup on too, so maybe everyone’s supposed to be older than they are.

Agent Cooper wakes up with his heavily-gelled hair in an adorable curl and calls “Harry” to say he knows who killed Laura Palmer, but it can wait until morning. As a writer, dude, write that down. The brilliant ideas you have in the middle of the night will disappear. Wait – is Harry the same as Sheriff Truman? Is his name Harry Truman? That’s… not actually clever. But I’ll forgive them if the final four episodes of this season are knowing who the killer is and just trying to catch him.

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About Generation Coax

I am an aspiring TV writer, amateur photographer, and craft hobbyist.
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One Response to Twin Peaks Ep. 3: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”

  1. Pingback: Twin Peaks Recaps: The Recap | Generation Coax

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