We open on the sound of Norwegian drinking songs, which can only mean one thing – REPLACEMENT NORWEGIANS! (DING!) Agent Cooper is telling his imaginary friend it’s 4:28am, which means either the sun rises REALLY early there, or there’s a street light outside shining directly into his room. Which, granted, is often the case in hotel rooms but I’d think he’d have complained about that already instead of this being his first complaint. Regardless, he wants a pair of earplugs. You know what? I respect someone who makes their own solutions instead of aimlessly lashing out at the world. He also holds his tape recorder up a couple times so his imaginary friend can hear the song too. How thoughtful.
A waitress tells Agent Cooper the singing contingent is from Iceland, so I guess there are no more ding!s. Boo. Audrey ambushes Agent Cooper again, but he blows her off in the interest of time. Before he goes, he asks how old she is and she says 18. So, legally, not jailbait. Still really creepy, though, especially when Agent Cooper actually seems interested now that he has this information. And yes, the actors are probably about the same age. The characters are not.
Jerry finally checks in with Ben to tell him about the Icelandic contingent, which includes a woman named Heba who knows the way to Jerry’s heart is with a frozen leg of lamb. Ben proposes they all make a trip to the brothel, which Jerry responds to with “I am honored to know you.” Glad to know courting Heba’s not holding you back from your life’s ambition there, Jerry. Laura’s dad shows up asking to work with the Iceland contingent so he doesn’t go crazy, but Ben and Jerry can tell he’s already gone crazy and maybe putting him near jetlagged strangers with large amounts of money is not such a good idea.
The Sheriff’s office, the Doctor and Agent Cooper are checking out the non-French Dude’s apartment. The Doctor says the blood on Dumb Leo’s shirt wasn’t the same type as Laura’s. Agent Cooper concludes it must be French Dude’s blood, and the Doctor is shocked when that turns out to be likely. Agent Cooper finds a nudie magazine in the ceiling somewhere (?) and identifies it as the one that Ronette had an ad in. They find some response mail and start going through it, starting by making fun of a man in a lady’s nightgown. Really, this joke would have been funnier without seeing the picture, but then, we’ve all seen cross-dressers by now. Agent Cooper finally realizes there’s a weird picture of Dumb Leo’s truck in the ad.
Shelly is making Bobby breakfast while they fantasize together about killing Dumb Leo. What I like most about this plan is there’s no way Bobby’s smart enough to not also kill himself in the process, although the number of times he points the gun casually at Shelly is disturbing. A Sheriff’s car pulls up, but fortunately for Shelly and Bobby it’s Deputy Droopy who can’t detect Shelly’s bad acting over his own while she feeds him lines about Dumb Leo being out with French Dude. A call from Dumb Leo interrupts Shelly and Bobby’s sexytimes, but he just wants to be sure no deputies have stopped by looking for him. Shelly assures him she doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Norma stops by to see Garage Ed so they can both confirm that they’re not leaving their respective spouses. Garage Ed’s excuse is “Nadine’s not well” as if this were a new status or likely to change anytime soon. Norma tries making the case that they should both be selfish before declaring they’re on a break and the soundtrack lets us know these are the acts of true love.
Audrey goes to speak with the manager of her dad’s department store and act generally awful. He’s nothing but a sweetheart, but calls her bluff on starting at the bottom so she blackmails him by saying if he doesn’t do what she wants she’ll rip her clothing, scream, and tell her dad he made a pass at her. With his door wide open and drones walking by regularly. See, women don’t actually pull shit like this because no one believes it even when it does happen. And no one believes it even when it does happen because of shows like this. I know Audrey is supposed to be an “evil little sexpot” but that doesn’t mean she’s evil for the sake of being evil.
Donna meets Emo-Boy in the park because he left her a note. How quaint! Emo-Boy manages to parlay admitting that he lied about being an orphan but really his dad’s a deadbeat and his mom likes to take occasional weekends to drink and screw into an even more tragic backstory. He also turns “we can’t have secrets” into “we have to secretly solve Laura’s murder” but Donna wants to believe that one so it’s all good for her.
Yet more donuts get dropped off for the police at non-French Dude’s place. Deputy Hawk has checked the PO box where responses from the magazine ads were sent and Agent Cooper identifies two ads, meaning the second was Laura’s. There’s a picture with red drapes in the ad, which Cooper identifies as being from his dream and also a picture taped inside a kitchen cabinet, the latter of which is a significantly more solid lead. Deputy Hawk says non-French dude mentioned having a cabin in the woods, like, NO WAY THAT WAS IMPORTANT BEFORE but they decide to go for a walk and check it out.
Donna and Emo-Boy meet with Maddie at the diner. Donna wastes no time declaring Maddie part of their super-secret plot because she’s so trustworthy. (Not that she’s not, but how would Donna know? She met this woman two seconds ago, literally.) Maddie orders a cherry Coke and then doesn’t touch it. Sitting at the booth behind them looking nefarious and definitely judging their wastefulness is Hank, Norma’s husband with the domino fetish. He has heard everything, so it doesn’t matter whether Maddie tells anyone, Donna, because you already did. Norma and Shelly come in with their hair and makeup all done up, like HUSBANDS CAN’T BE BEATING ON US NOW! and Hank immediately asks Norma to make good on that “getting me a job” thing she promised. Of course, as soon as she agrees he’s asking for coffee breaks. And then there’s a bit of that soap-within-a-soap (although we don’t see a TV or know who’s watching it) and there’s our act break. THERE’S OUR ACT BREAK! One of my teachers used to say an act break should represent Escalation, Complication, or Revelation (or a combination). This was like some extra footage of the crew screwing around they had sitting on the cutting room floor.
Bobby’s parents have dragged him to Dr. Jacoby, who is still wearing his 3D glasses. After they’ve finished being uptight at Dr. Jacoby, he throws them out to talk to Bobby alone. He starts out by asking what the first time Bobby had sex with Laura was like, which seems to be getting back to the creepy sexual feelings Dr. Jacoby has towards Laura, except he pivots it immediately into how Bobby cried after sex and Laura laughed at him. This gets through Bobby’s defenses pretty quickly, and they get through Laura’s depression to how she was a demon who manipulated Bobby into doing bad things because he’s really a good guy. Sure. If I was going to pick one guy from this show who was just a victim in this whole thing, it would be Bobby.
Then there’s pretty scenery.
Why did Agent Cooper, the Sheriff, and Deputy Hawk drag the Doctor with them into the woods? They think they’ve found a spooky old cabin but actually it’s Log Lady’s place. Agent Cooper tries to blow her off but everyone else shushes him. She’s got cookies! Turns out Log Lady’s name is Margaret, which everyone already knew but never said out loud, even when Agent Cooper asked directly. Approximately every other sentence she says is nonsense, but it does come up that her husband burned to death a day after her wedding. See, Emo-Boy, that’s how you do a tragic backstory! Log Lady again gives Agent Cooper a chance to ask her log what it saw, and with some prompting, he does. Log Lady describes people walking by and hearing screams, but is light on specifics, which is probably for the best since she wouldn’t be the best courthouse witness anyway.
The men continue through the woods but hear music which leads them to the cabin. There’s a shot of the four of them that looks like night-for-day, and a close up of a crow for no real reason. They burst into the cabin and find a record player turned all the way up and on repeat. The Sheriff finds the myna bird in a cage, which, I was under the impression they’d be about the same size as parrots if the scratching was one of those two, but this looks more finch-sized. Inside of a cuckoo clock they find the rest of the poker chip, a piece of which was in Laura’s stomach.
Pete and Catherine arrive at that motel bar, where there is apparently an invite-only dinner for the Icelanders. Fortunately they are both on the list. Unfortunately, Pete begging Catherine not to drink is all it takes for her to start double-fisting champagne. Jerry is hanging on his beloved Heba, who does not seem to be nearly as into him as he is to her. Catherine dumps her champagne on Ben’s foot in front of everyone, which isn’t suspicious at all. Audrey notices her wandering off and takes back to her secret passages in the walls to spy on Catherine and Ben loudly planning to burn down the mill and blame Josie. First, Catherine slaps Ben a bunch of times while accusing him of adultery (hey, it’s not like he was sleeping with his wife or anything) and they make out a bunch. Audrey apparently thinks the piece of wall she took out to spy is soundproof, because as soon as she puts it back she starts laughing.
Jerry starts to make a big speech, but Laura’s dad puts on loud dance music and starts breaking down the way he does, dancing and crying and generally being weird. At Ben’s urging, Catherine joins him as a dance partner, going so far as to pretend every move he makes is a dance move, even when he’s clutching his head and sobbing. Audrey’s decided this isn’t funny anymore and breaks down in tears. Audrey is wrong. It’s hysterical.
Maddie calls Donna in the middle of the night to say she found Laura’s secret hiding place and there was a tape there. They should meet the next day with a tape recorder. I’d think a tape player would be more useful, but all this technology is so confusing.
Josie is smoking in the dark in Ben’s office, just like a villain (complete with cigarette holder). Ben comes in and she tells him she went to Catherine’s hiding place like Ben told her and Ben kisses her hand. Catherine. Josie. I want you both to sit down and listen to me here. You can do better. Even in this town. I bet there’s loads of guys we haven’t even met yet because they’re not screwed up.
Hank beats up Dumb Leo as retribution for taking over the drug market instead of just keeping it running (I’m not clear on what the difference would be), so naturally Dumb Leo beats on Shelly, because he needs to have power over someone. Shelly immediately goes for the gun. She gets one shot off, her eyes closed, and then cries and clutches her face. We don’t see Dumb Leo so we have no idea if she missed or not.
Agent Cooper is already upset going back to the hotel for bed and being serenaded with Icelandic drinking songs when he sees the door to his room is open. He pulls his weapon and orders whoever is inside to turn on the light. It turns out to be Audrey, naked, in bed, begging him not to make her leave. Okay, Agent Cooper, that one’s up to you but you DO have to tell her to put her clothes back on. This isn’t Girls. It is a nice moment of Audrey trying to be a grown-up and failing spectacularly in a meaningful way.