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Tuesday, 2 of March of 2021

DVD First Watch: Twin Peaks – “Double Play”

This show just loves the double. Whether it’s opposites attract or good vs. evil or identical personalities, Twin Peaks doesn’t pass up the chance to compare, contrast, and combine.

Twin Peaks title cardDouble has always been the name of the game in TV. The standard structure of an episode is A plot and B plot. You have your good guy(s) and your bad guy(s). There’s even the ubiquitous two-parter, usually used to bridge the mid-season hiatus and season-to-season breaks.

Twin Peaks itself is like one never-ending two-parter, with stories spilling over from episode to episode, or pausing to only to reappear a few episodes down the line. And then there’s the way the stories are matched up.

James’s tryst with Trophy Wife finally comes to its inevitable head. He’s planning to leave against her wishes, she’s whining about love, and then the cops show up. Much to my surprise, James actually figures out – immediately! – that he’s been set up for Rich Husband’s death. Trophy wife tearfully tells him to run while he can (inbetween tearful confessions of love), but damn if I believe she isn’t setting him up further with the cops.

Following the mariticide theme, we find out oh so much about Windom Earle.

Here’s the story: Windom was Cooper’s mentor and first partner. They were assigned to protect a woman named Caroline, witness to a murder. Cooper feel in love with Caroline, was unable to protect her, and she died. AND SHE WAS WINDOM’S WIFE! (Dun dun duuunnn!) Windom went crazycakes and was in the loony bin until his recent escape. But what’s really exciting is that Cooper believes Windom committed the murder Caroline witnessed, killed her, and is now killing others in the way she was killed. AND he faked being crazy (still not sure why) and has lost the ability to tell right from wrong. HOLY MURDEROUS MENTOR, BATMAN.

Every good hero needs a tragic backstory, and Cooper has some kind of skewed Greek thing going on.

So, to recap: Trophy Wife killed Rich Husband, Cooper loved Windom’s wife, Windom killed a lot of people (including his wife), Audrey and Bobby are in cahoots, Leo woke up and went straight to his death, and Nicky may not be (but totally is) the devil.

I love the way we are finally introduced to Earle, both in Cooper’s low key and emotionally taunt exposition, to the atmospheric unveiling of him in the cabin. The use of light and shadow, fire and wind, and the ever-present chess in that revelatory scene was perfection. Even though you know from the very beginning, from the moment Leo sees the light in the cabin window, who is waiting inside, the reveal of Windom Earle is delicious.

Game on, y’all.

 

Notes:

  • I love that Ben, in his insanity, chooses to be a Confederate. And that Dr. Jacoby enthusiastically encourages his delusions. “And it is my firm belief that God Himself is a Southerner.” “Hallelujah!”
  • The Black Widow’s charming every male within a 20 ft radius and all I can do is sing, “THAT GIRL IS POOOOISON!”
  • Eckhart is here!

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