TP Countdown Day 22: The Man Behind Glass

Well, you can’t be great television forever, I guess.

Not that things are getting too bad yet in Twin Peaks, but there are moments I recognize and know what they’ll lead, and some of the first balls of some of the worst subplots in this show have just started rolling.

Let’s start with a big one. Richard Tremaine arrives this episode to take Lucy for lunch – dutch, of course! – and we learn that Dick had been seeing Lucy in the past, and even had a tumble in the hay on a display bed in Horne’s department store. Now after we’ve learned last episode that Andy is shooting blanks, this means Dick is the likely culprit behind Lucy’s pregnancy. We’ll eventually learn, though, that Andy’s sperms are just fine, which will lead us to a terrible triangle subplot as Dick and Andy compete to see who should be the dad of Lucy’s baby.

We also continue to see the start of the love triangle between Donna, Maddie, and James, which is pretty painful and not at all fun. The only saving grace is the realization that once that plot line gets resolved, James ends up in kind of an even more annoying place.

On the plus side, we do get to see Maddie have a bit of a breakdown this episode over how frustrating it is to have everyone look at her like she’s Laura. She’s not, she explains, and isn’t even anything like her, and yet everyone just acts like she is. Especially James, he gets all kissy with her late in the episode, which Donna manages to see, which sends her off to Harold Smith’s place to be all like, “Boo hoo, James.”

There’s actually a really nice moment between Leland and Maddie as Leland tries to comfort her in her frustration. I’ll tell you what makes it such a great moment after the break because it’s kind of a SPOILER. So go away if you don’t want to know secrets about a 25 year old show.

It’s a nice moment because in only a couple of episodes, Leland will straight up murder Maddie. Does that make this ironic? Or would it be the murder that was ironic? Or would either one be ironic? I’m never sure.

Of course we eventually learn that it’s not really Leland who’s behind it, but Killer BOB who’s been inhabiting Leland. But I think there’s something interesting here too if you don’t look at the Leland / BOB situation quite so literally. I don’t want to say too much about it here, because it actually fits better while talking about Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, but the fact that Leland had experiences with Bob in the past is, I think, relevant beyond simply implying that BOB is a force that’s been around for awhile.

Speaking of BOB, Mike Gerard the shoe salesman gets another look at the police sketch while trying to sell Sheriff Truman some shoes, and this time it seems to get kind of a reaction out of him. He seems shaken, and explains to Truman that he’s got some medicine he needs to take. He heads off to the bathroom, but before he can poke the needle into his leg, Mike seems overtaken by some kind of force. Stepping out of the bathroom stall, he addresses Bob, who he knows is nearby, and who he’s after now.

What’s up with this? Well, Cooper figures it out, after hearing that Mike had been at the police station and then vanished before making the sale. Cooper checks out the bathroom and finds Mike’s syringe. “Without chemicals he points,” Cooper says as he picks the needle up. The last of the giants predictions has come to pass. Though still need to track Mike down before he can do any pointing for them.

While we’re talking about syringes, it looks like Audrey is slowly being turned into a junkie, as Blackie has taken to jamming heroin into her arm to keep hare dopey and unconscious. Jean Renault, French-Canadian brother to deceased Jacques and Bernard, arrives at One Eyed Jacks to help Blackie and Emory with their blackmail attempt, and also to just be generally creepy. It’s worth noting that this is another storyline which isn’t exactly a favorite of mine, but if memory serves, it leads to a pretty awesome guest appearance from David Duchovny, so I can’t complain too much.

Tonight on Twin Peaks

In other news, Nadine walks up from her coma with super strength and also believing that she’s 18 years old and about to go to cheerleader tryouts. Leland gets arrested for Jacques’ murder after Jacoby fingered him as the culprit while under hypnosis (he also recalled smelling scorched engine oil during Jacques’ murder and during his own attack in the park – this is an important detail to the larger mythology of Twin Peaks so store that away somewhere).

Ronette finally ends up with a letter between her fingernail – the letter R – which eventually leads Cooper to conclude that the three letters, R, B, and T, are spelling out the word ROBERT. Could this be related to Killer BOB? Probably.

Donna’s visit to Harold’s house at the episode’s close unearths the big mystery for this episode – Laura Palmer’s diary, which we had thought had been retrieved by the police way back in the pilot. .It seems not! What sort of secretes could be contained in there? Probably pretty juicy ones.

While it’s tempting to close things on that revelation, I’ll instead bring this recap to an end with a quote from Albert, a favorite character of mine, and certainly one of the greatest quotes of the show. After running his mouth and making the usual cynical wisecracks that are his forte, Truman once again threatens physical violence against Albert. Albert’s response is, shall we say, unexpected.

ALBERT: 

Now you listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman 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. [Albert leaves the room]

COOPER: Albert’s path is a strange and difficult one.

It just doesn’t get much better than that.

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