Skip to main content

Cooper flew the coop!

Twin Peaks
3.9: This is the chair.

(SPOILERS) If this is what an “average” episode of Twin Peaks Season Three looks like, I’m completely fine with that. We’re halfway through the season now, and I’m not holding my breath for the fully reintegrated Coop to materialise anytime soon, although I am enjoying the positioning of threads that will lead to Gordon et al discovering his whereabouts.


Detective Fusco: It’s like talking to a dog.

And with regard to Dougie-Dale, he isn’t doing much this time, apart from having his fingerprints lifted and staring at an American flag in the corner of a waiting room. It isn’t the strangest moment in the episode (that belongs to Jerry Horne), but it seems pretty damn normal compared to much that we’ve seen in this run. Nothing short of the flag uttering “Gronda gronda” could have really sent the scene into truly mental territory.


David Koechner’s Detective D Fusco and particularly Eric Edelstein’s Detective “Smiley” Fusco make this scene, though, the latter’s easily-amused giggling hitting just the right unrehearsed Lynchian note, be it D’s “Must be a beauty” in response to the cost of (Larry Clarke’s) Detective T Fusco’s tail light repair or the capture of Ike “The Spike” Stadtler as D announces they have his fingerprints; “As a matter of fact, we have your whole palm”. Ah, poor wee murderous psychotic Ike.


Gordon Cole: I don’t appreciate your language one bit, colonel… Oh, a place. Buckingham, South Dakota.

It’s a testament to Lynch’s timing that he can make old ones like that land. Timing that’s in full effect during the snail-like scene where Gordon and Tammy watch Diane smoke for what seems like forever before he cadges a puff. Dern is marvellously splenetic as Diane (“It’s a fucking morgue!” she screams when told she can’t smoke on the premises).


And, shockingly, it appears she is receiving texts from Evil Coop (“AROUND THE DINNER TABLE, THE CONVERSATION IS LIVELY”), in which case, it must be via someone else (because she receives the message in caps, and he sends them lowercase: Phillip Jeffries?) But colour me surprised, as I completely didn’t get a vibe of complicity from their meeting in prison. And are her colleagues aware something is suss about her? Is that why Tammy wanted to keep her conversation with Gordon dialled down? Great as Diane venting is, my favourite line of the episode is easily the one at the end of this exchange, though:

Detective Macklay: William Hastings was having an affair with the local librarian, Ruth Davenport. Davenport’s head was found atop the headless body of your Major Briggs. Once we took Hastings into custody, his wife was murdered in their house, apparently by their lawyer, a man named George Banner, who is now also in custody. And the next day, Hasting’s secretary died in a car explosion.
Albert: What happens in Season Two?


Nice too that Albert instantly takes to acerbic Constance. Could it be romance? The actual revelations regarding Briggs are, more-or-less, fairly linear join the dots, even though their substance is bizarre.


I rated Matthew Lillard early in the season, but I found his hysterical Hastings rather wearing here, reducing what might have been an eerie scene, given the content of a “strange little blog about some alternate dimension” that can actually be found if you go to http://thesearchforthezone.com (“Today we finally entered what we call the Zone, and we met the Major”), to one-note exposition. His recollection of events has some considerable gaps (it was beautiful, we are told, when the Major floated up, looking for coordinates that Ruth had written on her hand, up, and then Ruth was dead), so maybe we’ll have more on this (“there was so many people there” sounds a wee bit like Phillip Jeffries’ experience of the Black Lodge in Fire Walk With Me).


William Hastings: I wanna go scuba-diving!
Albert: Fruitcake, anyone?

Reasonably, Gordon and Albert connect the decapitation to Evil Coop, who has been in the area, but that may not exactly be the case (fellow lodge members are surely involved, though). The Dougie/Janey-E ring will doubtless provide another vital link in the trail to Dougie-Coop, what with his fingerprints circulating, TV footage broadcast relating to the Ike “The Spike” attack, and Hutch and Chantal likely having him on their hit list.


Betty Briggs: He said that one day you would come and ask me about Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Similarly deductive feats are occurring in Twin Peaks, also to do with Major Briggs, and also unfolding in remarkably straightforward, connective fashion. Nice to have the return of Charlotte Stewart as Betty Briggs, and her comforting words to Bobby (“Somehow, he knew that it would all turn out well. Your father never lost faith in you”). Clearly, Windom Earle kyboshing Bobby with a log did him the power of good in the long run. I have to admit, though, Dana Ashbrook isn’t nearly as compelling as a nice guy as he was as a wild child, but to be fair, he hasn’t been given an awful lot to chew on (his greatest moments in the original show all came opposite the sadly missed Don S Davis).


Hawk on the other hand, just needs to see the message from the stars from the original (COOPER COOPER) to deduce “Two Coopers”. He should be in the FBI, since theyre progressing at a comparative snail’s pace in comparison. That this appears to be about 10 days after the events in FBI land might suggest a lot needs to happen in that timeline before a convergence in two days’ time in this, at Jack Rabbit’s Palace. Or maybe not.


Also: Johnny’s back (but played by a stunt guy)! Tim Roth appears as a seedy heel not-such-a-shock! Jennifer Jason-Leigh’s back, but not nearly enough of her (Evil Coop does very little of note here apart from giving her a wet one)! Chad stinks out the conference room with his lunch (Hawk is hilarious not helping him with the door)! A girl, Ella (Sky Ferreira), in the Roadhouse has a nasty underarm rash she keeps scratching, shades of Teresa Banks (“You let zebras out again?” as well as penguins, black and white creatures, just like lodges)! Ben Horne demurs from smooching Beverley to the serenade of that sound (“Almost like the ring out of a monastery bell”)! Lucy and Andy choose furniture! And, my favourite: Jerry’s foot tells him “I am not your foot”! I think that says everything.













Agree? Disagree? Mildly or vehemently? Let me know in the comments below.

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…

Imagine a plant that could think... Think!

The Avengers 4.12: Man-Eater of Surrey Green
Most remarked upon for Robert Banks-Stewart having “ripped it off” for 1976 Doctor Who story The Seeds of Doom, although, I’ve never been wholly convinced. Yes, there are significant similarities – an eccentric lady who knows her botany, a wealthy businessman living in a stately home with an affinity for vegetation, an alien plant that takes possession of humans, a very violent henchman and a climax involving a now oversized specimen turning very nasty… Okay, maybe they’re onto something there… – but The Seeds of Doom is really good, while Man-Eater of Surrey Green is just… okay.

Why are you painting my house?

mother!
(SPOILERS) Darren Aronofsky has a reasonably-sized chin, but on this evidence, in no time at all he’ll have reduced it to a forlorn stump with all that stroking. And then set the remains alight. And then summoned it back into existence for a whole new round of stroking. mother! is a self-indulgent exercise in unabated tedium in the name of a BIG idea, one no amount of assertive psued-ing post-the-fact can turn into a masterpiece. Yes, that much-noted “F” cinemascore was well warranted.

You better watch what you say about my car. She's real sensitive.

Christine (1983)
(SPOILER) John Carpenter was quite open about having no particular passion to make Christine. The Thing had gone belly-up at the box office, and adapting a Stephen King seemed like a sure-fire way to make bank. Unfortunately, its reception was tepid. It may have seemed like a no-brainer – Duel’s demonic truck had put Spielberg on the map a decade earlier – but Carpenter discoveredIt was difficult to make it frightening”. More like Herbie, then. Indeed, the director is at his best in the build-up to unleashing the titular automobile, making the fudging of the third act all the more disappointing.

This isn't fun, it's scary and disgusting.

It (2017)
(SPOILERS) Imagine how pleased I was to learn that an E Nesbitt adaptation had rocketed to the top of the US charts, evidently using a truncated version of its original title, much like John Carter of Mars. Imagine my disappointment on rushing to the cinema and seeing not a Psammead in sight. Can anyone explain why It is doing such phenomenal business? It isn’t the Stephen King brand, which regular does middling-at-best box office. Is it the nostalgia factor (‘50s repurposed as the ‘80s, so tapping into the Stranger Things thing, complete with purloined cast member)? Or maybe that it is, for the most part, a “classier” horror movie, one that puts its characters first (at least for the first act or so), and so invites audiences who might otherwise shun such fare? Perhaps there is no clear and outright reason, and it’s rather a confluence of circumstances. Certainly, as a (mostly) non-horror buff, I was impressed by how well It tackled pretty much everything that wasn’t the hor…

Let the monsters kill each other.

Game of Thrones Season Seven
(SPOILERS) Column inches devoted to Game of Thrones, even in “respectable” publications, seems to increase exponentially with each new season, so may well reach critical mass with the final run. Groundswells of opinion duly become more evident, and as happens with many a show by somewhere around this point, if not a couple of years prior, Season Seven has seen many of the faithful turn on once hallowed storytelling, and at least in part, there’s good reason for that.

Some suggest the show has jumped the shark (or crashed the Wall); there were concerns over how much the pace increased last year, divested as it was of George RR Martin’s novels as a direct source, but this year’s succession of events make Six seem positively sluggish. I don’t think GoT has suddenly, resoundingly, lost it, and I’d argue there did need to be an increase in momentum (people are quick to forget how much moaning went on about seemingly nothing happening for long stretches of previ…

It could have been an accident. He decided to sip a surreptitious sup and slipped. Splash!

4.10 A Surfeit of H20
A great episode title (definitely one of the series’ top ten) with a storyline boasting all the necessary ingredients (strange deaths in a small village, eccentric supporting characters, Emma even utters the immortal “You diabolical mastermind, you!”), yet A Surfeit of H20 is unable to quite pull itself above the run of the mill.

He’s a good kid, and a devil behind the wheel.

Baby Driver (2017)
(SPOILERS) Pure cinema. There are plenty of directors who engage in superficial flash and fizz (Danny Boyle or JJ Abrams, for example) but relatively few who actually come to the medium from a root, core level, visually. I’m slightly loathe to compare Edgar Wright with the illustrious likes of Sergio Leone and Brian De Palma, partly because they’re playing in largely different genre sandpits, partly because I don’t think Wright has yet made something that compares to their best work, but he operates from a similar sensibility: fashioning a movie foremost through image, supported by the soundtrack, and then, trailing a distant third, comes dialogue. Baby Driver is his most complete approximation of that impulse to date.

Rejoice! The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

Split (2016)
(SPOILERS) M Night Shyamalan went from the toast of twist-based filmmaking to a one-trick pony to the object of abject ridicule in the space of only a couple of pictures: quite a feat. Along the way, I’ve managed to miss several of his pictures, including his last, The Visit, regarded as something of a re-locating of his footing in the low budget horror arena. Split continues that genre readjustment, another Blumhouse production, one that also manages to bridge the gap with the fare that made him famous. But it’s a thematically uneasy film, marrying shlock and serious subject matter in ways that don’t always quite gel.

Shyamalan has seized on a horror staple – nubile teenage girls in peril, prey to a psychotic antagonist – and, no doubt with the best intentions, attempted to warp it. But, in so doing, he has dragged in themes and threads from other, more meritable fare, with the consequence that, in the end, the conflicting positions rather subvert his attempts at subversion…

Don't worry about Steed, ducky. I'll see he doesn't suffer.

The Avengers 4.11: Two’s A Crowd
Oh, look. Another Steed doppelganger episode. Or is it? One might be similarly less than complimentary about Warren Mitchell dusting off his bungling Russian agent/ambassador routine (it obviously went down a storm with the producers; he previously played Keller in The Charmers and Brodny would return in The See-Through Man). Two’s A Crowd coasts on the charm of its leads and supporting performances (including Julian Glover), but it’s middling fare at best.