Skip to main content

You've already met Judy.

Twin Peaks
3.15: There’s some fear in letting go.

Just two episodes ago, Big Ed was nursing a solitary late night cup-a-soup and looking as if nothing could ever come right. And even here, it seems as if, having finally been finally let off the leash by Nadine, he’ll be reduced to a coffee and cyanide. So the reparatory hand on his shoulder, signalling Norma is ready to be there with him for evermore, seems too good to be true. I’m wary that Lynch and Frost won’t just pull the rug from under them, and how long Nadine, who thanks to Dr Amp shows no fear in letting go, will remain in her golden, shovelled-up state.


I particularly enjoyed Wendy Robie’s delivery of “But I’ve been a SELFISH BITCH to you all these years”, and several of the characters here – Nadine, Big Ed, Hawk – are proving much more effective in this second wind of the series than they ever did first time round. Michael Horse has a great face for stoic rumination now. But not a horse face. 


Hawk’s phone conversations – I say conversations; really, they’re monologues to which he listens attentively – with the very frail Margaret Lanterman have punctuated this season in a quietly affecting manner, and this, her final one, as the Log Lady faces death, neven more so. It’s thus a consolation to be helped along by Hawk’s studied reserve. There’s one final clue (“Watch for that one. The one I told you about. The one under the moon, on Blue Pine Mountain”), and then Margaret’s log is turning gold (nothing to do with Dr Amp).


The episode needs these spots of reflection and connection, as elsewhere Twin Peaks (the town) is in violent disarray. We see significantly more of Gersten Hayward but in the most distressing of situations. Partly because she’s with Steve Burnett, and partly because… Well no, entirely because she’s with Steve Burnett, who evidently has a mystifying lure with the ladies. It’s said that if you don’t see a body on a show, you can’t count on the person being dead, so I’ll believe Steve blew his brains out when I see them. As to what they’re discussing, barely coherently, either he’s just completely fried (which he is) or he’s also possibly done something really bad to someone. Really bad.


It was gratifying to see Freddie and his magic glove come to James’ rescue in the Bang Bang Bar. Given the latter’s forward manner, I can only assume that motorbike accident had a subtly adverse effect on his faculties, as he seems oblivious to hubby Chuck when making his introductions Renee (“I was just trying to be polite”). I’m unclear quite why he gets locked up with Freddie, though, since he didn’t render anyone senseless and foaming at the mouth with a fistful of green marigold. Still, it’s quite the gang in there; Mr Echo the Souse, Naido the Monkey Girl, Grumpy Chad, Poor Earnest James and The Green Glovelet. A sequel to The Usual Suspects could be in the works.


Charlie: Are you going to put your coat on, or are you going to talk me to death right here on the threshold?

I hadn’t hitherto paid much credence to the popular fan suggestion that Audrey is still in a coma – when exactly is she supposed to have entered this coma, with a son in the scenario? After Evil Coop raped her? – but as her prevarication over leaving her house/mind continues, the idea becomes teasingly more feasible. Which would be a shame, as I don’t want Charlie to disappear in a puff of logic. And also because, as brutally unkind as Lynch and Frost are giving us this version of Audrey, the raped, comatose one sounds even more cruelly devised.


Aside from Chantal and Hutch tying up one of their two loose ends (Todd dies in a splatter of digitally exploding head), the other non-Coop moment of note comes in the last scene as a girl (Ruby, played by Charlyne Yi) is forcibly removed from her stall at the Bang Bang Bar by bikers and proceeds to crawl across the floor before screaming in a manner reminiscent of Laura Palmer in Fire Walk With Me. Which seems about right. I’m not sure how more I could have taken of The Veils either.


I wonder a bit about Chantal and Hutch. Much as I like Roth and Leigh, their characters don’t really click; they’re kind of sub-Tarantino – intentionally? – right down to banal discussions of violence (torture) and philosophical conversations instead of pop culture ones (although they do discuss fast food). Maybe it’s just because they’re both veterans of his productions.


Evil Coop: Who is Judy? WHO IS JUDY?

So, Phillip Jefferies is a big steaming kettle (a full body suit iron lung?), puffing out numbers. It was a safe bet that Jefferies would be reincarnated, but who could have foreseen this? Or his rather lacklustre voice double (Nathan Frizzell; I particularly didn’t appreciate the overdubbing of the Fire Walk With Me scene)? Jefferies’ presence is just as mystifying to Evil Coop as it is to us by the look of it, since his confident, in-control manner is replaced by confusion and frustration. Is PJ Just fucking with Evil Coop (“Did you call me five days ago?” asks Evil Coop. “I don’t have your number” replies the kettle)? And if not, who did get him on the blower? Why does Coop want to ask Jefferies about Judy now after all these years, other than it being the first chance Lynch and Frost have had to address the subject? Apparently, Coop has already met Judy, but have we?


It’s a conversation that doesn’t reveal much. Even less how the convenience store – I’m presuming it’s the Dutchman – gets around. At least, I assumed it was dematerialising, TARDIS-like, to pop up somewhere else, but perhaps it just dwindles in and out of phase like its dirty tramp inhabitants (one of whom bears a passing resemblance to Alice Cooper circa Prince of Darkness) and remains geographically in the same place.


Janey-E: Oh, Dougie. It’s like all our dreams are coming true.

The Sky TV placeholder photo for this episode showed Coop in the Red Room, so I was a little disappointed he didn’t end up back there. Is sticking a fork in an electrical socket his ticket back there? Or will the electric charge cause him to revert to Coop in time for Chantal and Hutch’s visit? Even if he doesn’t, savant Coop will surely somehow persevere.


I’m wondering if Sunset Boulevard has any greater significance on the proceedings than an incidental character having the name Gordon Cole (it is, after all, narrated by a dead person – one theory has the entire season taking place in Audrey’s head, like Bobby Ewing on acid, which I don’t really buy, not least because it would retrospectively diminish scenes such as the Log Lady’s passing). Possibly not, any more than Chantal being able to see Mars. Or spending several minutes watching Coop eating chocolate cake. My favourite scene of the episode, though, returns us to the magnificent ineptitude of the Vegas FBI office, and Special Agent Randall Headley’s fury at Agent Wilson’s inability to locate the correct Dougie Jones (“WILSON!”)







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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Who’s got the Figgy Port?

Loki (2021) (SPOILERS) Can something be of redeemable value and shot through with woke (the answer is: Mad Max: Fury Road )? The two attributes certainly sound essentially irreconcilable, and Loki ’s tendencies – obviously, with new improved super-progressive Kevin Feige touting Disney’s uber-agenda – undeniably get in the way of what might have been a top-tier MCU entry from realising its full potential. But there are nevertheless solid bursts of highly engaging storytelling in the mix here, for all its less cherishable motivations. It also boasts an effortlessly commanding lead performance from Tom Hiddleston; that alone puts Loki head and shoulders above the other limited series thus far.

Here’s Bloody Justice for you.

Laughter in Paradise (1951) (SPOILERS) The beginning of a comedic run for director-producer Mario Zampa that spanned much of the 1950s, invariably aided by writers Michael Pertwee and Jack Davies (the latter went on to pen a spate of Norman Wisdom pictures including The Early Bird , and also comedy rally classic Monte Carlo or Bust! ) As usual with these Pertwee jaunts, Laughter in Paradise boasts a sparky premise – renowned practical joker bequeaths a fortune to four relatives, on condition they complete selected tasks that tickle him – and more than enough resultant situational humour.

You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) The final finale of the Twilight saga, in which pig-boy Jacob tells Bella that, “No, it's not like that at all!” after she accuses him of being a paedo. But then she comes around to his viewpoint, doubtless displaying the kind of denial many parents did who let their kids spend time with Jimmy Savile or Gary Glitter during the ‘70s. It's lucky little Renesmee will be an adult by the age of seven, right? Right... Jacob even jokes that he should start calling Edward, “Dad”. And all the while they smile and smile.

As in the hokey kids’ show guy?

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (2019) (SPOILERS) I don’t think Mr Rogers could have been any creepier had Kevin Spacey played him. It isn’t just the baggage Tom Hanks brings, and whether or not he’s the adrenochrome lord to the stars and/or in Guantanamo and/or dead and/or going to make a perfectly dreadful Colonel Tom Parker and an equally awful Geppetto; it’s that his performance is so constipated and mannered an imitation of Mr Rogers’ genuineness that this “biopic” takes on a fundamentally sinister turn. His every scene with a youngster isn’t so much exuding benevolent empathy as suggestive of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ’s Child Catcher let loose in a TV studio (and again, this bodes well for Geppetto). Extend that to A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood ’s conceit, that Mr Rogers’ life is one of a sociopathic shrink milking angst from his victims/patients in order to get some kind of satiating high – a bit like a rejuvenating drug, on that score – and you have a deeply unsettli

It’ll be like living in the top drawer of a glass box.

Someone’s Watching Me! (1978) (SPOILERS) The first of a pair of TV movies John Carpenter directed in the 1970s, but Someone’s Watching Me! is more affiliated, in genre terms, to his breakout hit ( Halloween ) and reasonably successful writing job ( The Eyes of Laura Mars ) of the same year than the also-small-screen Elvis . Carpenter wrote a slew of gun-for-hire scripts during this period – some of which went on to see the twilight of day during the 1990s – so directing Someone’s Watching Me! was not a given. It’s well-enough made and has its moments of suspense, but you sorely miss a signature Carpenter theme – it was by Harry Sukman, his penultimate work, the final being Salem’s Lot – and it really does feel very TV movie-ish.

What's a movie star need a rocket for anyway?

The Rocketeer (1991) (SPOILERS) The Rocketeer has a fantastic poster. One of the best of the last thirty years (and while that may seem like faint praise, what with poster design being a dying art – I’m looking at you Marvel, or Amazon and the recent The Tomorrow War – it isn’t meant to be). The movie itself, however, tends towards stodge. Unremarkable pictures with a wide/cult fanbase, conditioned by childhood nostalgia, are ten-a-penny – Willow for example – and in this case, there was also a reasonably warm critical reception. But such an embrace can’t alter that Joe Johnston makes an inveterately bland, tepid movie director. His “feel” for period here got him The First Avenger: Captain America gig, a bland, tepid movie tending towards stodge. So at least he’s consistent.

I'm offering you a half-share in the universe.

Doctor Who Season 8 – Worst to Best I’m not sure I’d watched Season Eight chronologically before. While I have no hesitation in placing it as the second-best Pertwee season, based on its stories, I’m not sure it pays the same dividends watched as a unit. Simply, there’s too much Master, even as Roger Delgado never gets boring to watch and the stories themselves offer sufficient variety. His presence, turning up like clockwork, is inevitably repetitive. There were no particular revelatory reassessments resulting from this visit, then, except that, taken together – and as The Directing Route extra on the Blu-ray set highlights – it’s often much more visually inventive than what would follow. And that Michael Ferguson should probably have been on permanent attachment throughout this era.

Somewhere out there is a lady who I think will never be a nun.

The Sound of Music (1965) (SPOILERS) One of the most successful movies ever made – and the most successful musical – The Sound of Music has earned probably quite enough unfiltered adulation over the years to drown out the dissenting voices, those that denounce it as an inveterately saccharine, hollow confection warranting no truck. It’s certainly true that there are impossibly nice and wholesome elements here, from Julie Andrews’ career-dooming stereotype governess to the seven sonorous children more than willing to dress up in old curtains and join her gallivanting troupe. Whether the consequence is something insidious in its infectious spirit is debatable, but I’ll admit that it manages to ensnare me. I don’t think I’d seen the movie in its entirety since I was a kid, and maybe that formativeness is a key brainwashing facet of its appeal, but it retains its essential lustre just the same.

I’m just glad Will Smith isn’t alive to see this.

The Tomorrow War (2021) (SPOILERS). Not so much tomorrow as yesterday. There’s a strong sense of déjà vu watching The Tomorrow War , so doggedly derivative is it of every time-travel/alien war/apocalyptic sci-fi movie of the past forty years. Not helping it stand out from the pack are doughy lead Chris Pratt, damned to look forever on the beefy side no matter how ripped he is and lacking the chops or gravitas for straight roles, and debut live-action director Chris McKay, who manages to deliver the goods in a serviceably anonymous fashion.

Damn prairie dog burrow!

Tremors (1990) (SPOILERS) I suspect the reason the horror comedy – or the sci-fi comedy, come to that – doesn’t tend to be the slam-dunk goldmine many assume it must be, is because it takes a certain sensibility to do it right. Everyone isn’t a Joe Dante or Sam Raimi, or a John Landis, John Carpenter, Edgar Wright, Christopher Landon or even a Peter Jackson or Tim Burton, and the genre is littered with financial failures, some of them very good failures (and a good number of them from the names mentioned). Tremors was one, only proving a hit on video (hence six sequels at last count). It also failed to make Ron Underwood a directing legend.