Skip to main content

Cooper, you remind me today of a small, Mexican Chihuahua.

Twin Peaks
2.6: Demons

David Lynch starred in five episodes of Twin Peaks and directed six. Would that he had ditched the acting gig altogether, swapping it for his appearances for megaphone duties. Gordon Cole is a likeable but one-joke character, a pratfall when set against the rapier wit of Albert, whom he ostensibly replaces. 2.6 is merely so-so, following the trend of the previous few episodes, but it does come together for the final scene in which, yes, Mike finally, and after much running on the spot, makes his presence felt.


Harold Smith: You lie, and then you betray, and then you laugh about it. You are unclean, contaminated.

Before that, however, we have to contend with yet more of Harold Smith. Fortunately for us all, this is his final appearance in the show. Harold will endure an off screen suicide between this and 2.7. Yay us.


His meltdown in the opening scene is laughable, and it’s a testament to how useless Donna is that she singularly fails to claim the diary even when dozy James turns up to help.


Meanwhile, Maddy, in her penultimate living appearance, gets to go slightly meta as she says farewell to James. “For a while I got to be somebody different, but now I’m just me again”. Back to being Laura? Which means she must surely die.


Pete: Do you like musicals?
Mr Tojamura: No.
Pete: Not even Fiddler on the Roof?

Director Leslie Linka Glatter adds some winning humorous touches, even into some of the more pedestrian subplots. Particularly amusing is the exchange between Pete and his Asian husband; Fiddler on the Roof is the classic musical to like for those don’t like musicals.


There’s also a lovely moment where Leland comes back to work for Ben and is distracted by a stuffed fox staring into the back of his head, before firing off a series of red tape manoeuvres. Ben’s delight at this legal acumen is unbridled; he’s less pleased later when Leland launches into Getting to Know You in the bar. The fox bit not only works as a sight gag, it becomes a crucial clue later, as Leland puts some of its hair in his pocket.


There’s a cute exchange between Ben and Josie when both counter-threaten the other with the dirt they hold. The mention of the fascinating dossier he holds on her late husband’s boat that went boom is a reminder that David Warner will be making a welcome appearance in a few episodes time.


This is a good episode for Richard Beymer, who not only has attention rather crudely shifted towards him as a murder suspect (more on that in 2.7) but is reunited with his beloved daughter. The manner in which Ben oozes insincerity and hugs Coop, who would clearly rather be anywhere else, is marvellous. It’s then topped as he exits with the suitcase full of returned cash clutched lovingly to his bosom.


Harry: You’re the best lawman I’ve ever seen, but sometimes, you think too much.

Audrey is full of threatening intimations towards her father (“I saw SO much”) but won’t be back on proper form until next week. She sings the praises of Coop (“I prayed, I prayed that you would come”), who is filled with remorse for his actions (“I violated my professional code, and now Audrey is paying the price”). Fortunately, Harry is on hand to speak some good earthy rustic sense to him; Coop’s self-recriminations are rather overdone, and it’s a sign that even the captain can lose his touch if the boat isn’t kept moving.


Gordon Cole: Cooper, you remind me today of a small, Mexican Chihuahua.

Gordon Cole delivers a couple of good lines amid Lynch's frantic mugging, his cryptic comparison of Coop to a dog (he never divulges why) and recognition of the arrival of Gerard (“There’s the one-armer now!”) is a more endearing stating of the bleeding obvious than his quickly-becoming-tiresome repetition of what the previous person said deafness. Of course, Cole also brings tidings of Windom Earle, poised to become the show’s next big bad (“P to K-4”).


Shelly: This is too creepy.

I continue to be impressed by Eric de Rae, since Leo as other than a brute rather passed me by previously. There’s something rather genius about his minimalist performance, playing the long game for laughs by just sitting there. Inevitably, Bobby’s scheme for insurance money turns sour when he and Shelly get a fraction of what’s expected. They still throw a coming home party, however, complete with Leo blowing a kazoo and toppling face first into his cake. Bobby has very much gotten over his flirtation with being a decent guy, making out with Shelly in front of Leo and too late claiming he “doesn’t want to exploit him or anything”.


Agent Cooper: Who are you?
Philip Gerard: My name is Mike.
Agent Cooper: What are you?
Philip Gerard: I am an inhabiting spirit.

The scenes with Mike don’t add much to what we already know, and knew since the European pilot, but they areatmospheric, and set the tone for the high drama of the next episode. Al Strobel is great, inhabiting the heightened language of Mike with eerie calm. There is enough avoidance to keep things mysterious; Bob was Mike’s familiar, but “That cannot be revealed” is the response when Coop asks where Bob came from. Some of the language too, has the tenor of a twisted nursery rhyme.


Agent Cooper: What does Bob want?
Philip Gerard: He is Bob, eager for fun. He wants a soul. Everybody run.

We learn that Bob is a parasite who requires a human host; he feeds on fear and the pleasures. They are his children. Particularly effective is Mike and Coop repeating the “Fire Walk With Me” verse in incantatory unison, and the revelation that Bob has been with them in Twin Peaks for nearly 40 years. Mike then describes what can only be the Great Northern Hotel as his current location (where, of course, we have seen Leland singing in the lounge, even though the proprietor is Ben Horne).


2.6 represents a slight uptick on its predecessors, thanks to the concluding sequence, but the leap next week is marked. Glatter effectively imbues the final scene with an atmosphere of expectancy but it’s clear Lynch is at the helm as soon as 2.7 opens, marbling the screen with queasy dread.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

She writes Twilight fan fiction.

Vampire Academy (2014)
My willingness to give writer Daniel Waters some slack on the grounds of early glories sometimes pays off (Sex and Death 101) and sometimes, as with this messy and indistinct Young Adult adaptation, it doesn’t. If Vampire Academy plods along as a less than innovative smart-mouthed Buffy rip-off that might be because, if you added vampires to Heathers, you would probably get something not so far from the world of Joss Whedon. Unfortunately inspiration is a low ebb throughout, not helped any by tepid direction from Daniel’s sometimes-reliable brother Mark and a couple of hopelessly plankish leads who do their best to dampen down any wit that occasionally attempts to surface.

I can only presume there’s a never-ending pile of Young Adult fiction poised for big screen failure, all of it comprising multi-novel storylines just begging for a moment in the Sun. Every time an adaptation crashes and burns (and the odds are that they will) another one rises, hydra-like, hoping…

Our very strength incites challenge. Challenge incites conflict. And conflict... breeds catastrophe.

The MCU Ranked Worst to Best

Why would I turn into a filing cabinet?

Captain Marvel (2019)
(SPOILERS) All superhero movies are formulaic to a greater or lesser degree. Mostly greater. The key to an actually great one – or just a pretty good one – is making that a virtue, rather than something you’re conscious of limiting the whole exercise. The irony of the last two stand-alone MCU pictures is that, while attempting to bring somewhat down-the-line progressive cachet to the series, they’ve delivered rather pedestrian results. Of course, that didn’t dim Black Panther’s cultural cachet (and what do I know, swathes of people also profess to loving it), and Captain Marvel has hit half a billion in its first few days – it seems that, unless you’re poor unloved Ant-Man, an easy $1bn is the new $700m for the MCU – but neither’s protagonist really made that all-important iconic impact.

My name is Dr. King Schultz, this is my valet, Django, and these are our horses, Fritz, and Tony.

Django Unchained (2012)
(MINOR SPOILERS) Since the painful misstep of Grindhouse/Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino has regained the higher ground like never before. Pulp Fiction, his previous commercial and critical peak, has been at very least equalled by the back-to-back hits of Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Having been underwhelmed by his post Pulp Fiction efforts (albeit, I admired his technical advances as a director in Kill Bill), I was pleasantly surprised by Inglourious Basterds. It was no work of genius (so not Pulp Fiction) by any means, but there was a gleeful irreverence in its treatment of history and even to the nominal heroic status of its titular protagonists. Tonally, it was a good fit for the director’s “cool” aesthetic. As a purveyor of postmodern pastiche, where the surface level is the subtext, in some ways he was operating at his zenith. Django Unchained is a retreat from that position, the director caught in the tug between his all-important aesthetic pr…

I have discovered the great ray that first brought life into the world.

Frankenstein (1931)
(SPOILERS) To what extent do Universal’s horror classics deserved to be labelled classics? They’re from the classical Hollywood period, certainly, but they aren’t unassailable titans that can’t be bettered – well unless you were Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan trying to fashion a Dark Universe with zero ingenuity. And except maybe for the sequel to the second feature in their lexicon. Frankenstein is revered for several classic scenes, boasts two mesmerising performances, and looks terrific thanks to Arthur Edeson’s cinematography, but there’s also sizeable streak of stodginess within its seventy minutes.

Can you float through the air when you smell a delicious pie?

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
(SPOILERS) Ironically, given the source material, think I probably fell into the category of many who weren't overly disposed to give this big screen Spider-Man a go on the grounds that it was an animation. After all, if it wasn’t "good enough" for live-action, why should I give it my time? Not even Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's pedigree wholly persuaded me; they'd had their stumble of late, although admittedly in that live-action arena. As such, it was only the near-unanimous critics' approval that swayed me, suggesting I'd have been missing out. They – not always the most reliable arbiters of such populist fare, which made the vote of confidence all the more notable – were right. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not only a first-rate Spider-Man movie, it's a fresh, playful and (perhaps) surprisingly heartfelt origins story.

Stupid adult hands!

Shazam! (2019)
(SPOILERS) Shazam! is exactly the kind of movie I hoped it would be, funny, scary (for kids, at least), smart and delightfully dumb… until the final act. What takes place there isn’t a complete bummer, but right now, it does pretty much kill any interest I have in a sequel.

Only an idiot sees the simple beauty of life.

Forrest Gump (1994)
(SPOILERS) There was a time when I’d have made a case for, if not greatness, then Forrest Gump’s unjust dismissal from conversations regarding its merits. To an extent, I still would. Just not nearly so fervently. There’s simply too much going on in the picture to conclude that the manner in which it has generally been received is the end of the story. Tarantino, magnanimous in the face of Oscar defeat, wasn’t entirely wrong when he suggested to Robert Zemeckis that his was a, effectively, subversive movie. Its problem, however, is that it wants to have its cake and eat it.

Do not mention the Tiptoe Man ever again.

Glass (2019)
(SPOILERS) If nothing else, one has to admire M Night Shyamalan’s willingness to plough ahead regardless with his straight-faced storytelling, taking him into areas that encourage outright rejection or merciless ridicule, with all the concomitant charges of hubris. Reactions to Glass have been mixed at best, but mostly more characteristic of the period he plummeted from his must-see, twist-master pedestal (during the period of The Village and The Happening), which is to say quite scornful. And yet, this is very clearly the story he wanted to tell, so if he undercuts audience expectations and leaves them dissatisfied, it’s most definitely not a result of miscalculation on his part. For my part, while I’d been prepared for a disappointment on the basis of the critical response, I came away very much enjoying the movie, by and large.

Just make love to that wall, pervert!

Seinfeld 2.10: The Statue
The Premise
Jerry employs a cleaner, the boyfriend of an author whose book Elaine is editing. He leaves the apartment spotless, but Jerry is convinced he has made off with a statue.