Ahh, the Twin Peaks first season finale! The last gasp for breath before we plunge into the accelerated weirdness that shall be season two! The most cliffhanger-strewn episode in the entire series save for the season two finale that made us all scream! How I remember thee…
As I mentioned at the start of this whole re-watch thing, I caught a glimpse of this ep before I was actually following the show. I originally said that I’d seen Audrey at One-Eyed Jack’s followed by Nadine’s suicide attempt, but as I watched this time, I think the bit about Audrey was a false memory. I know for sure that I saw Nadine, and some scene right before that (which I’d misremembered as Audrey’s). But the previous scene to Nadine is Leo leaving Shelley in the mill, so I don’t really know. Such are the mysteries of a Twin Peaks life, huh?
Anyway, this whole episode is fantastic, but do you know the thing I love most about it? Timing things when I showed the series to first-time viewers such that we had to stop for the night right after it was over.
Yeah, I’m a jerk like that. (I love to do stuff like that at the end of chapters in my books, too, come to think of it. Ain’t I a stinker?)
This being the season finale, I’m going to do this post a little differently and group things into the major plot lines and cliffhangers…
Maddie, Donna, James, Dr. Jacoby…and Leland
This is where the episode begins, so I may as well start here, too. In reality, all Donna & James’s investigation in Jacoby’s place does is to prove to them that he’s innocent, which I suppose is a good thing, since information is information. Not only do they find Laura’s missing tape and the other half of the necklace they buried, but they also stumble upon Jacoby’s drink umbrella mementos! (Okay, so as a sentimental person, I can actually relate to that sort of thing. Not that I have a box filled with cocktail garnishes, per se.) One little detail: the necklace they find should have a leather strap, since it was James’s, not a gold chain. Some Twin Peaks fans who look even more deeply than I do for meaning in every little thing might have a supernatural theory for this, but I’m just going with continuity error.
Oh, and also Jacoby gets clobbered. In my virgin viewing, this confused me, since I thought he was dying directly from the hits and I didn’t see how that was possible. (The heart attack hadn’t occurred to me.) So hey, how was he found so quickly and brought to the hospital? This was before cell phones, and I can’t imagine many other people were wandering around the park that night. Did Leland wake up from BOB’s control and then call 911 anonymously?
Hank & Josie
So as Hank talks with Josie and picks up his $90,000 for going to prison for vehicular manslaughter, we learn that Josie arranged for Andrew’s death!
Then Hank gets all weird with his blood thing, because he’s Hank and that’s what Hank do. Hank also do phone call to Catherine to get her to the mill to look for the ledger. Then Hank do phone call to Ben at One-Eye’d Jack’s to report in before he goes off to do more of what Hank do…later. And speaking of Ben…
Ben & Audrey
Now we start getting into the cliffhangers. In a development that’s sure to result in therapy, Ben celebrates his Ghostwood deal with the Icelanders by slipping out to have a look at the new girl. And hey, the new girl is his daughter!
But he doesn’t know that yet. And Audrey now knows her dad owns the place. And…fade to black. Black, just like Leo’s heart. And speaking of Leo…
Leo, Shelley, and Bobby. And Hank. And Catherine. And Pete.
Boy, everyone’s just crowding in on this plot thread, huh? Leo gets back from a long day of stalking Waldo in order to prove just why he’s a shitty, shitty human being. (By the way, pulling the towel away from Shelley? Creepy.) Leo’s just an utter asshole, and clearly thinks he’s justified in tying Shelley up in a burning building because she broke his heart. She made you do it, Leo? Ugh. I hope someone shoots him.
And hey, someone does! It’s Hank again, inadvertently saving Bobby when Leo catches Bobby in his living room and, like any good host, goes after Bobby with an axe. But let’s step back a bit, to where Bobby continues Stupid Bobby Plan #2 and pretends to be Leo calling the police to ineffectually tip them off that James has cocaine in his gas tank. All Bobby really manages to do is to get surveillance pulled off of Leo’s house, which leads to Leo being able to get in there and attack Bobby when he comes to visit. If not for Hank, Bobby’s plan would’ve gotten him chopped up into little bits.
But I mentioned Catherine and Pete, didn’t I? This plot thread features the rare moment when Catherine and Shelley are on screen in the drying shed at the same time. Can you imagine an odder pairing? Someone write me a fan-fic where Catherine and Shelley drive around in a van solving mysteries! Also, I always love this:
And then Leo’s arson bomb goes off, everything catches fire, and Shelley and Catherine are running around in a burning building, into which Pete heroically runs!
But before they got there, we get the scene in the mill office where Catherine pleads with Pete to help her look for the ledger, and it’s actually rather touching. While I think much of it is probably just Catherine trying to play to Pete’s soft side in a way she knows will likely get him, I do think Catherine does feel something for Pete, somewhere, in a tiny spot in her heart. Perhaps it’s somewhat similar to how Big Ed feels about Nadine, though to a far lesser extent. And hey, speaking of Big Ed and Nadine…
Big Ed and Nadine
The drape runner defeat is too much for poor Nadine, and she has herself a little self-destructive picnic where Ed finds her. Nadine did put the phone right next to her though, so this is a clear cry for help. But will she survive? To quote Grampa Simpson: “Oh of course she will, it’s TV!” And hey, Audrey spotted Cooper on a little TV in Blackie’s office, huh? And speaking of Cooper…
Cooper, Jacques, Lucy, and Andy. And Leland again.
Okay, so I probably shouldn’t lump in Lucy and Andy with Cooper and Jacques, but they have some connection, so let’s go for it, starting with the first two.
Cooper’s undercover act gets even better as he’s talking to Jacques. Cooper’s a good actor, which may have something to do with Kyle McLachlan being a good actor. He swiftly gains Jacques’ trust and lures him back into the U.S. so they can arrest him. And here Andy gets his most badass moment in the show (okay, his only badass moment) when his two solid days of target practice pay off, and he takes Jacques down right before he can shoot Harry.
This soon leads to Lucy hearing about it and getting impressed enough for Andy to feel good enough to put the moves on her and get back into her good graces. And it works! For about 10 seconds. Lucy tells him she’s pregnant, Andy goes nearly catatonic (which on the surface seems a pretty dick move–no pun intended–until we find out why in season 2), and Lucy looks angry enough to smother someone. And speaking of smothering someone…
In what I found the most shocking development originally, a grieving Leland smothers Jacques! While he’s sleeping! In his hospital bed! Okay, so here’s my take: that wasn’t BOB, that was Leland, insane with grief and jumping to conclusions. It’s also my own personal theory that Leland killing Jacques is the point where BOB said, “Okay man, you’re starting to get too unstable and get us into trouble. I’m taking over completely.” And that’s why we get the white hair.
Oh and then Cooper returns to his hotel room, opens the door expecting room service, and promptly gets shot thrice. Time to end the first season!
Andy shooting Jacques and saving Harry, and Andy’s grinning glance at Lucy when Hawk is telling the tale to the other cops.
Least Favorite Moment:
Donna, James, and Maddie listening to Laura’s tape, mostly because it bothers me that it’s a different recording from when Jacoby was listening to it in a previous episode.
The close-up of Jacques’ mouth when he’s telling Cooper about the poker chip:
Hank doing his little blood-partnership thing with Josie, and then Josie fearfully, almost absent-mindedly, smearing the blood over her lips.
Things I always have to imitate:
Nothing actually in this one.
“Do you believe him?” “He’s too stupid to lie.”
Also, the sheer lengths to which Cooper, Harry, and Hawk take the fishing metaphor during their sting operation to nab Jacques: “Got a trout on the line, Hawk. This one’s a keeper.” “The trout’s heading upstream towards the net.” “Hold the line. We’ll set the hook.” “He’s downstream about twenty minutes. He’ll miss the catch but he’ll be there when we grill him.” “Copy. We’ll make our move as soon as the big fish shows his fins.”
Things I noticed for the first time:
It never occurred to me before, but Jacques really doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to have a pet bird. The way he refers to Waldo not once by name but by “that damn bird” doesn’t exactly indicate any love for such a pet, though he cared enough about Waldo to take him to the vet at least once.
Sparkwood & 21 traffic light count: 2
Waterfall close-up shot count: 2
Windblown trees shot count: 2