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Tuesday, 2 of March of 2021

DVD First Watch: Twin Peaks – “Masked Ball”

Doubles. Everywhere a double.

Twin Peaks title cardFrom the grown woman who thinks she’s a teenager to the man who wants to be a woman – everyone in Twin Peaks has a duality to them that the show revels in exploring (or ignoring, as it sees fit). People aren’t always what they seem (James’s “I’m only quiet on the outside” being one of the big lines in the episode) and what they actually wind up being isn’t always good.

The dual-nature issue is directly represented by the entrance of the White Lodge/Black lodge dichotomy into the narrative. No doubt these lodges – and the spiritual experiences they promise – will come into play later as Cooper delves deeper into the mysteries of Twin Peaks and himself.

Meanwhile, Daddy Briggs is still missing and Mrs. Briggs is called in to consult on the matter. She’s rather nonplussed, advising Coop and Harry that Daddy Briggs disappears all the time, usually in relation to work. “Was it work related?” she asks. “Did he leave suddenly?” I TOLD YOU GUYS; HE’S TOTALLY HAMMOND AND HE WAS BEAMED AWAY FOR AN INTERGALACTIC EMERGENCY. Though she hints at the nature of his work and all but confirms Cooper’s suspicions with her lack of response, she does confirm one thing: “It’s classified.” I TOLD YOU. THIS IS CANON.

At any rate, Daddy Briggs is the military man with the spiritual side. Nadine – who has a crush on Bobby’s former best friend and might possibly wind up on the wrestling team (I know) – is the teenage girl trapped in a woman’s body. She’s the slight lady with the strength of a lioness. She’s broken and whole at the same time. She’s the past and the present and I’ve taken this too far. My point is: more duality.

James, as he’s stated, is the young man with a quiet exterior belying the raging whirlwind of emotions that tear him up inside. Also, he’s set up to be ravished by the femme fatale trophy wife who – to my surprise – has stayed very hands-off so far but is no doubt going to take out her lonely, lonely existence on the young hunk of man-meat fixing her absent husband’s favorite mode of transportation. *ba-dum-tiss*

(I was kind of hoping that all of the cuts to James in this episode would just be him riding his bike down similar-looking roads while the generic be-bop rock played in the background. C’mon, you know that would have been awesome.)

We have the dual nature of Nicky, Dick’s kid from the home, who appears to be and acts all innocent but is clearly a child of the devil. (I may be biased.)

Then there’s the duality of Dennis/Denise, the DEA agent who crossdressed while undercover and found that he liked being a she. Y’all, I have to take a moment out of this very smart and entirely serendipitous dual nature discussion to mention the fact that I lost my damn fool mind when that office door opened and David Duchovny strolled through in full drag. I have no words. No words at all. (He makes a pretty good-looking woman; nice eyes.) It was a moment of TV magic.

“Diane, when I’ve got a moment, remind me to tell you about Agent Bryson.” YOU HAVE A MOMENT, COOP. SPEAK.

For Denise, the splitting into two parts wasn’t something chosen or expected, but merely something that happened. This isn’t always the case for the rest of the characters. Josie’s dual nature might not have been what she wanted, but it’s what she chose to survive. And now it’s led her under the thumb of yet another master. And I do believe that Catherine will be the nastier of the two.

(Also: OMGWTF, ANDREW. Dead/alive – the ultimate dichotomy?)

We end with a wedding, which may be the most well-recognized signifier of duality ever. Two parts becoming one whole. Young bride, old groom. Masculine and feminine. Yadda yadda yadda. And the two sides don’t stop there, as it is heavily implied that the bride is a gold-digging two-timer, which totally fits in with the whole “looks are deceiving” thing Twin Peaks has going on.

And at the center of it all, and undercurrent of things to come, we have the dual sides of the chessboard as Cooper and the unnamed man slowly play out their game of cat and mouse. Personally, I’m hoping for some sort of clever dovetail between this and the other main story (or stories, if you will), but that might be expecting to much linear-ness from the Lynch-ness.

It’s all a bit strange, but that life. Strange is normal. You just have to go with it.

 

Notes:

  • GORDON (GORDON)! GOING ALL CHARLIE ON US AGAIN WITH THE SPEAKERPHONE. I LOVE YOU. Of course you support Coop. OF COURSE YOU DO. “We’ve all had our socks tossed around from time to time.” PLEASE COME BACK GORDON, I MISS YOU.
  • Looking at the camera is a big no-no. It’s only done by mistake or by design. We get a great by-design look into the camera from Cooper in this episode and I APPROVE. (I wonder if it’s difficult for actors to act into the camera when they’ve so conditioned themselves not to. Hrmm.)
  • “What the hell are you talking about?” Agent Hardy, pointing out just how strange Cooper sounds to the world outside Twin Peaks.
  • “Cooper, you may be fearless in this world, but there are other worlds.” “How many?” Coop, I love you. Never change.
  • “That’s a good color for him.” Have I mentioned that Hawk is my favorite? Yes? Well, he is.
  • Ben has been contemplating… feng shui. Also, apparently, crazytown.
  • Awww, Audrey and Coop danc– AHAHAHA, Denise and Andy dancing! <333


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