This show is rather fabulous, isn’t it? Since the second season is a full 22 episodes, I’m going to do them in batches, and less detailed.
The first episode is two hours (or was, with commercials) and nearly half of that is given to Agent Cooper, lying on the floor, bleeding heavily. I was right about the bulletproof vest, but he folded it up chasing down a tick. He will have to explain this frequently because it doesn’t make sense to anyone else either. So only the belly shot made it through. First the old man covering the room service duties for the night stops by to have a long conversation with him about hanging the phone up vs. calling a doctor punctuated by some of the best “thumbs up” gestures ever, then Lurch stops by with a riddle. He says, “I will tell you three things, and when these three things happen, you’ll know I was telling the truth.” Agent Cooper seems to be all about believing Lurch without proof, but Lurch is invested in the idea that there’s an order to these things. I’m guessing thing #4 will be slightly true and embarrassing to the listener. Just sayin’. Thing #2 is “the owls are not what they seem” which can only mean one thing – RETURN OF THE LOG LADY!
Remember in Bunheads, that episode with the weird scene where one of the girls did a dance to “Istanbul Not Constantinople” and it was never clear if this was an actual thing that was happening or all in her head or why this song or what any of it meant? I now understand that scene was an homage to Twin Peaks, where we suddenly see Emo-Boy, Donna and Maddie sitting around in Donna’s living room recording a song. We don’t know where they got the recording equipment, microphones, or software to put an echo effect on Emo-Boys voice (but not his guitar, even though they’re on the same mic and OF COURSE Emo-Boy plays guitar. Next year he’ll be on a quad somewhere playing his poems), we didn’t know any of them had any interest in singing, we don’t know where this song came from. It just happens, and then Maddie gets attacked by the creepy guy in everyone’s visions but not any actual person so she’s fine. (Incidentally, the subtitles have changed their mind on how her name is spelled, but I’m sticking with the original spelling because it’s easier.)
Audrey has not taken my advice and escaped behind the seamstress, which means she has to put off her father’s advances. After making it out of that tight squeeze, she… stays there? For several days? And tries to blackmail the department store guy? No spoilers or anything, but stupidity *might* be catching. She is caught and held for ransom by Black Rose (everyone else calls her Blackie but I just can’t bring myself to, despite being from the land of Whitey Bulger) and eventually Jean, who is non-French Jacques’ very French brother. (They finally explain that there was a third brother, Bernard, who is the one that Dumb Leo killed. Now it makes sense! Except for the French/non-French thing. That’s still a mystery.) Even though they know Ben is going to pay the ransom, they plan to kill Audrey by overdosing her on heroin. Which might mean it would look like an accident except for the part where they TAPED THEMSELVES TYING HER UP AND FORCIBLY INJECTING HER WITH DRUGS AGAINST HER WILL AND SENT THE TAPE TO BEN. Might taint a few juries, is all. Audrey prays to Agent Cooper, like he’s Jesus or Santa, and it’s shot so we think he actually might hear her but instead he becomes just one more person walking around saying “has anyone seen Audrey lately?” for a few days without actually looking for her.
The producers have decided to differentiate Ben and Leland visually by having Leland’s hair turn white overnight, and also having him sing PD (public domain) songs non-stop. The particular one he chooses is a precursor to “The Song that Never Ends.” Laura’s family and Donna’s family have a dinner party, and you guys, not only does Harriet come back, but we also get BABY WENDY CROWE! In a fairy princess dress! And she plays piano! Really well! It is a scene explicitly made so I can die happy.
Deputy Droopy has graduated to full-on stupid, although to be fair he starts the season with another head injury and I’d have to think those would add up after a while. He no longer wants Lucy back because it turns out doctors told him he was infertile (not for nothing, but I know a few women who were told they were infertile and it turned out that was code for “seriously, though, use condoms”). Lucy tracks down the only other paternal candidate, Dick, and it’s hilarious how everyone pronounces his name with a heavy emphasis on the D, like not how you pronounce it when it’s someone’s name. They’re right, though. He’s a total dick. He’s what we would call in modern parlance a “dandy.” He has trouble speaking around his veneers. While it’s common and even encouraged for women to sacrifice comfort and functionality for fashion, it is generally frowned upon for men.
Donna puts on Laura’s sunglasses and starts channeling Laura, or what she thinks of Laura, which is cartoonishly naughty. There’s this actual exchange with Emo-Boy:
EB: “When did you start smoking?”
D: “I smoke every once in a while. It relieves tension.”
EB: “When did you get so tense?”
D: “When I started smoking.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Then she bites his knuckle. It’s amazing.
Agent Patronizing is back, presumably because the fans demanded it. He continues speaking in one-liners (my personal favorite: when Agent Cooper admits to having been visited by a giant, Agent Patronizing deadpans, “any relation to the dwarf?”) but his insulting small-town folk culminates in a speech that’s so wonderful I have to post it verbatim:
You listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I’m a naysayer and a hatchet man in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. I love you, Sheriff Truman.
The soundtrack threatens to drown out the last bit, but you’ll strain to hear it because you know this can only be going someplace you want to be and then there you are.
The donuts are forming an army. They stand in formation on the conference table at the Sheriff’s station and bide their time. Every time there’s a new piece of evidence discovered or a theory laid out in their presence, they chuckle softly and multiply, just a little.
Garage Ed tells the story of how he is responsible for Nadine’s eye patch because he accidentally shot out her eye on their honeymoon. Unfortunately, he tells the story in front of audience surrogate/fan service/Agent Patronizing who can’t stop laughing. Nadine wakes up from her coma convinced that she’s still 18 and they have to do that thing where everyone plays along or she might die or something. It would be ridiculous in the bad way except that the actress throws herself into it so completely. Even at 18, I don’t think I had that much energy. And the super-strength is a permanent thing now. I want to play with her too!
Donna takes over Laura’s Meals on Wheels route, not out of a sense of civic pride or altruism, but because someone sends her a note that there’s a clue on the route. For all the talk about how evil Laura was, she did more good than anyone else in town. Of course, once we see that Laura’s route consists of one old lady with a creepy grandson, I suppose it does seem less altruistic. Donna finds out that the old lady’s next door neighbor is a young recluse with more game than any of the other guys in town and a notebook marked “Laura Palmer’s Secret Diary” which is basically full of fan fiction. Clearly, this guy is a vampire.